Sunday, 20 September 2009

Going underground with focus on tourist mine

I remember my school trip to Big Pit well, and not for Darren Jones throwing up in the coach or someone nicking something from the shop, no, I remember the lift and the thrill of wearing the yellow helmet and the small tough ex-miner who guided us through the tunnels.

I suspect it's an experience many Welsh school children now share as the coal mining industry retreats further from our present into a heritage experience and has given up on having a future - I heard this week about a Welsh steam railway forced to take coal from Russia despite having a mine down the road because of some stupid regulation or other.

Now, one of Wales' best established tourist attractions and a reminder of the nations industrial might the mine, near blaenavon, is the focus of tomorrow night's Saving Britain's Past on BBC2 at 7.30pm.

Hear how the pit, once saved from dereliction by a big idea, was saved again by winning World Heritage Status.

Big Pit in snow: photograph © John Pember
@ Welsh Icons


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