Stephen Lyons
- freelance researcher -

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The Welsh National Drama Movement 1914

130th St John Field Ambulance

Black Vein Mining Disaster 1860


On the 1st December 1860 at the Black Vein colliery at Risca the worst disaster to date in Wales and the second largest loss of life in a mine in the UK occurred. 142 men and boys perished, the majority suffocated by Choke Damp when the explosion of gas took all the oxygen from the air. A dozen of the victims were buried in a newly made cemetery in a field above the canal at Risca. In January 2017 I formed the Black Vein Miners Memorial Society and 12,000 was raised to renovate and maintain the Greenmeadow graveyard.

I have carefully researched the reporting of the disaster and have successfully dispelled some of the myths which have persisted for many years. I now give a talk on this subject.