Visit to Merthyr

Added on by Robert Haines.

In Merthyr Tydfil with Guardian journalist Chris Arnot. He is working on a new book about mining in the UK. We talked about my family history and visited the site of my father's coal mine on the mountainside above Heolgerrig.

It was bleak with a bitter North wind blowing and in the distance Pen-y-Fan iced in snow. Reminding us of the harsh conditions the miners faced getting to work in the winter months. We saw my old home, Heolgerrig House where I spent an idyllic childhood. Now a church/bar? Very emotional visit.

Retired miner, Elwyn Marshall who started work at the coalface aged 14 was a great character. His humour warmed us up after our spell on the cold mountain. Poignant visit to my hometown.

Elwyn Marshall