South East Wales

Metal theft mine memorial in Abercynon repaired

Abercynon mining memorial - since restoration Image copyright RCT
Image caption The new plaques will be officially unveiled in a public ceremony

A Valleys mining memorial desecrated by metal thieves who stole its bronze plaques has been repaired.

The monument at Abercynon's Navigation Park marks the location of the local colliery which opened in 1889, closing one year short of its century in 1988.

The memorial was damaged in 2012 during a spate of metal thefts targeting public parks and monuments.

New plaques will be unveiled by Rhondda Cynon Taf mayor John Watts, who worked in the coal industry himself.

"This will be an important day for the whole community and I urge everyone who is able to, to come along and join in this event to mark our strong industrial heritage," he said.

Abercynon colliery was opened by the Dowlais Iron Company in 1889 to serve the steelworks in Cardiff.

Eighteen men died during construction, and five were killed in an accident underground in 1906.

Nearly 2,800 people worked there at the height of production, and the pit eventually closed in February 1988, later replaced by a business park.

The memorial was installed in March 1995 in honour of those who died and all who worked at the former colliery.

The original plaques were stolen in May 2012 and thought to have been sold for scrap at a time when prices were high for copper and other metals.

The memorial will be given a public rededication ceremony at Navigation Park, Abercynon, at 12:00 BST on Thursday.

Image copyright Rct
Image caption The memorial - shown here with its original plaques - honours all who worked and died in the colliery
Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption Police believe the plaques were stolen to be sold on for scrap

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