Images of the South Wales Mines

Auteur: David Bellamy
Taal: Engels


This book is a celebration of the South Wales Coalfield, and an important record of the industry during its last working days. Graphically illustrating life of the mines in watercolours and black and white sketches, this book describes the history of the Coalfield, from its beginnings in the early nineteenth century through the heyday of 'King Coal' when South Wales was 'the powerhouse of the Empire' to the hardships of the Depression, the post-war rundown and finally the virtual demise of the deep pits.
Here are large landscape paintings of the great mines of the Coalfield at Big Pit, Taff Merthyr and in the Rhondda; depictions of pit-head gear, working underground, coal-trains and pit ponies; gritty portraits of the men who worked at the coal face; and gentler scenes of the cottages and communities above ground, and the landscapes reclaimed by Nature as the pits fell silent.
David Bellamy, who lives on the eastern edge of the Coalfield, at Pontypool, has produced many mining paintings over recent years, and has talked to miners and sketched underground. All the paintings are therefore as accurate as possible. The result is an intimate portrayal of an industry that has now almost become history, in an area in which coal was at the heart of most people's lives.
The accompanying text relates the story of the mines: the especially difficult geological problems of the valleys; the harsh working conditions; child labour; social conditions; protests, disasters and riots. Full captions describe the sources of the paintings, and show how they were painted, and the techniques and working methods employed are explained in the last part of the book. Finally, mining museums and other places of historical interest are given.
Images of the South Wales Mines will be fascinating to miners and ex-miners and their families and those who work in the industry, as well as to people who live in or visit the area. It will also appeal to those with a more general interest in our industrial heritage and to amateur artists who wish to paint mining or industrial scenes.
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november 1993
Aantal pagina's
144 pagina's


David Bellamy
The History Press Ltd



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