The South Wales coal field gave rise to hundreds of collieries. By 1913 Cardiff had become the largest coal exporting port in the world. Following the miners’ strike in 1984 only two deep mines remained working in Wales. Tower Colliery in the Cynon Valley was one of them. The strike was a national struggle and threatened the very future of the industry; Tower endured the full brunt of the conflict, but the comradeship of the workers helped soften the blow of management tactics. After closing in 1994, Tower Colliery reopened in defiance of the large scale pit closure programme under the Thatcher Government. 239 staff pooled their redundancy money and in 1995 Tower reopened as a cooperative and successfully produced coal until its closure in January 2008. This was, and still is, a unique achievement – no other mine, in the history of British coal has been bought by its workforce. Its closure as a deep mine is the end of an era, one that is woven with hardship, oppression and tragedy. The spirit of the Tower miners has never been broken.
The space is heavy with metaphor and a strange relationship remains between the industrial and the personal; these objects have a narrative of their own. They ask us to look at the overlooked, the familiar, to ponder their significance.
The exhibition Tower by Eleanor Whiteman runs 16.09.17 to 14.10.17. All welcome and admission is free.
Public Transport Directions
X4 Abergavenny - Cardiff route. There are two stops where you can depart the bus. Either in the town centre or by the new college in Ebbw Vale There you can catch the E3 bus to Abertillery or you can continue to Brynmawr on the X4 and catch the X15 to Abertillery depart the bus in High Street Abertillery take a short walk and take the left by iceland into church street and your destination is located in the Kickplate Gallery.
FROM THE NORTH: Follow the A467 off the Brynmawr roundabout on the A465 Heads of the Valley road towards Abertillery. Continue for approx 5 miles and turn left at the traffic lights into the town centre. head through high street take a left by iceland into church street and your destination is located in the Kickplate Gallery.
FROM THE SOUTH: Take the A467 off JUNC 28 of the M4 towards Abertillery. Turn right at the traffic lights into the town centre . head through high street take a left by iceland into church street and your destination is located in the Kickplate Gallery.