Monday, 19 September 2011

Gleision

While this is predominantly a professional blog, I felt that I couldn't let the happenings of last Thursday and Friday pass without at least commenting about them to a certain extent.

I'm valleys born and bred, I've lived my whole life (until recently) in the next valley to the Gleision Colliery, my secondary school was only a couple of miles up the road in Ystalyfera. And yet I never knew that the colliery existed until the last few days. I remember sitting in history lessons learning about life underground, more than a decade ago now. I remember visiting Big Pit a mining museum, and being appalled at the fact that people would work every day in such conditions, facing any number of dangers. I then remember sitting in lectures at Swansea where my Special Subject was The South Wales Coalfield and hearing about the mining disasters which have gone before, Senghennydd for example. Even recently in my work at the National Library I came across a disaster in Cilfynydd which I'd never heard about before. But all of this to me was history. While I knew that coal mining was still going on to a certain degree in South Wales I never really thought about it, after all there are decades since anything of this nature happened in Wales, and certainly not in my memory.

I'm lucky, not since my Grandparents generation has anyone in my family gone into the mines. I never knew the four men who lost their lives so tragically last week, and yet I spent the majority of Friday watching the news. I think I managed to complete less work on Friday than on any day since I've started at the National Library. I finished work at four o'clock and started my way home. Driving home I was switching between Radio Cymru and my music. Radio Cymru had a lot of coverage of what was happening. As I was getting back to the valleys, having crossed the Black Mountain the last announcement came through, confirming the death of the fourth man. It was pouring with rain and then I could see a rainbow.

It seems to have affected the whole area in a surprising way, considering that the majority of people had no idea who these men were. It isn't history any more but something that's still happening.

"There's a cry in the valleys, tears in the West,
Mourning the heroes that wear the pit vest
Underground grafters always put in a shift
Below the hillside in the deep dark drift
They're not coming home to their children, their wives
The mine once again takes cherished lives
The coalfields of Britain all unite in your mourn
We're all the same breed, we're pit village born
May the heroes sleep peacefully, may the community stay strong.
RIP"

This message written on a card in remembrance for the men has been passed all over the place, via facebok, via text and through many other formats. I'm sure I've seen or possibly heard these words before somehwere. Though where I can't remember. All I can say is hopefully this united grief will not be needed again.

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Er mae blog proffesiynol yw hwn am y rhan fwyaf, teimlaf bod rhaid dweud rhywbeth am ddigwyddiadau Dydd Iau a Dydd Gwener dwethaf. 

Ces i fy ngeni a fy ngodi yn y cymoedd, dwi wedi byw fy mywyd cyfan (nes yn ddiweddar) yn y cwm nesaf i ble mae Glofa Gleision wedi ei sefydlu, es i i'r ysgol rhai milltiroedd lan yr heol yn Ystalyfera. Ond nes i diwrnodau dwethaf, doedd dim syniad gyda fi bod glofa hyd yn oed yna, heb son am y ffaith ei fod o hyd yn gweithio. Rwy'n cofio gwersi hanes yn yr ysgol yn son am y peryglon o weithio dan ddaear, dwi'n cofio ymweld a'r Pwll Mawr Amgueddfa glofaol a teimlo'n rhyfedd fod pobl wedi gweithio mewn shwd le, yn gwynebu peryglon rhyfedd. Cofiaf eistedd mewn darlithoedd yn y Brifysgol (y "South WalesCoalfield" oedd fy mhwnc arbennig i) a clywed am y trychinebau glofaol sydd wedi bod o'r blaen, e.e. Senghennydd. Ac yn fwy diweddar wrth edrych ar hen Bapurau Newydd yn y Llyfrgell Genedlaethol fe ddes i ar draws Trychineb Cilfynydd, un roe'n i heb glywed unrhywbeth am o'r blaen. Ond i fi roedd hyn i gyd yn hanes. Efallai nid hen hanes ond hanes. Er rydw u'n gwybod fod 'na lofeydd o hyd yn mynd fan hyn a fan draw nid oeddwn yn meddwl amdanyn nhw, wedi'r cyfan mae 'na ddegawdau ers i unrhywbeth o'r natur yma ddigwydd yng Nghymru, ddim yn fy ngof i da beth.

Rwy'n lwcus, ddim ers cenhadlaeth mamgu mae unrhyw un o'n teulu ni wedi bod o dan ddaear. Roeddwn i byth yn nabod y pedwar dyn a collodd eu bywydau mewn ffordd mor erchyll yr wythnos dwethaf, ond eto fe wnes i gymryd y rhan fwyaf o Ddydd Gwener yn gwylio'r newyddion. Dwi ddim yn meddwl ers i fi ddechrau gweithio yn y Llyfrgell i fi wneud cyn-lleied o waith. Fe wnes i adael gawaith am bedwar o'r gloch a dechrau'r ffordd gatref yn gwrando ar Radio cymru a oedd yn dilyn y digwyddiadau yn Cilbebyll yn gaos. Am 6 o'r gloch wrth i ddod i lawr o'r Mynydd Du ac i mewn i ardal glofaol De Cymru roedd hi'n arllwys y glaw a fe ddaeth y cyhoeddiad olaf un, yn cadarnhau marwolaeth y glowr olaf. Y peth neasf roedd 'na enfys yn ganol y glaw.

Mae hyn wedi effeithio pawb yn yr ardal, mewn ffordd angrhedadwy gan cymryd i ystyriaeth fod y mwyafrif fel y fi ddim yn nabod y pedwar dyn hyn. Nid hanes yw trychinebau y glofeydd mwyach ond rhywbeth sydd yn digwydd o hyd.

"There's a cry in the valleys, tears in the West,
Mourning the heroes that wear the pit vest
Underground grafters always put in a shift
Below the hillside in the deep dark drift
They're not coming home to their children, their wives
The mine once again takes cherished lives
The coalfields of Britain all unite in your mourn
We're all the same breed, we're pit village born
May the heroes sleep peacefully, may the community stay strong.
RIP"

Roedd y neges yma ar garden fel teyrnged i'r dynion a wnaeth farw. Mae'r neges wedi ei ddanfon ymlaen dros i'r lle i gyd. Ar draws y byd mewn ffurf electronig ar y we a dros y ffonau symudol.  Dwi wedi gweld y pennill yma neu rhywbeth tebyg o'r blaen dwi'n siwr on ble ni alla i gofio. Yr unig beth galla i wneud yw gobeithio fydd y trychineb yma yn mynd i mewn i hanesion y Glofeydd fel y trychineb olaf.



1 comments:

Ed Osborne said... Best Blogger Tips

It's a small world. Tragedies like Gleison make you realise how lucky we are. Thanks for sharing your personal point of view and the beautiful poem.