As a miner, or collier I should say, I stand here as part of the “Pit to Port” sculpture, symbolising the vital link between the Welsh coal industry and the Cardiff docks. I am proud to represent the hardworking men and women who spent their lives extracting coal from the depths of the Welsh earth.
For over a century, the Welsh coal industry was a driving force behind the country’s economy, providing employment for hundreds of thousands of people and producing millions of tons of coal each year. This coal was transported to the ports of South Wales, including Cardiff, where it was loaded onto ships and sent all over the world.
Welsh anthracite was considered the best coal in the world due to its superior quality, bright flame, long-lasting burn, and low smoke and ash levels. It was exported worldwide for use in heating and energy. The Welsh coal industry was built on this high-quality product and remains a source of pride for the Welsh people.
Cardiff docks were a major destination for the coal we mined, and the city’s prosperity was built on the back of our industry. It was the vision of the 3rd Marquess of Bute, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, that transformed the docks into a thriving hub of commerce. Lord Bute invested heavily in the docks, building new docks and upgrading existing ones, and his efforts were instrumental in establishing Cardiff as one of the largest coal-exporting ports in the world.
Although the decline of the Welsh coal industry and the Cardiff docks in the latter half of the 20th century brought great challenges to our communities, I am proud to be remembered through this sculpture as a symbol of our collective history and heritage. The “Pit to Port” statue is a tribute to the miners and dock workers who worked tirelessly to extract coal and transport it to the world, and it serves as a reminder of the important role that our industry played in the development of Wales and its people.
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