I’ve been keeping in touch with the tragedy unfolding in South Wales where three of the four miners have now been reported deceased. An absolute tragedy for their families and for the community. Mining areas are strong communities and whatever the outcome of all of this, the people will , with support get through it.
I am struck by how we forget so easily that what seem like ordinary jobs are dangerous jobs. When I was growing up in Yorkshire we had lots of mining communities in the county and my uncle was a miner.It’s a dangerous and sometimes frightening role requiring lots of skill to work several feet underground.It’s dark and wet and there’s a risk of the walls collapsing around you. We used to know it was dangerous, because from time to time there would be a death and it would be reported on the news. I know the legacy that being a miner can have ; my uncle has a myriad of chest complaints and will not go out in the dark. The dark is too reminiscent of being trapped.
Nowadays we don’t hear much about miners and mining. I expect your average 10 year old has no idea what a mine looks like or the dangers of working in one. Wherever there are people doing dangerous jobs , there are often other dangerous jobs to be done around them. So for the last 20 hours or so there have been divers, fire officers and cave rescue workers in South Wales looking to find the four who have been missing. Hero workers who do great work and who, in my experience, are always hopeful of a miracle. Let’s hope we get one in the next few hours.