THEY were the girls who brought a touch of glamour to the grime of the pithead.

Now the hunt is on to find women from the region who won coveted Coal Queen pageant titles up to 40 years ago.

Big Pit: the National Coal Museum of Wales wants to hear from the victorious ladies for a feature it is preparing in its magazine, GLO.

The search was triggered when staff working on an edition about the North Wales coal industry unearthed photos of Coal Queens taken at Llay Welfare Hall from 1971 to the early 1980s.

Communications officer Kathryn Stowers said: “Myself and curator Ceri Thompson were in Wrexham recently and met community organisations.

“One of the groups we talked to had a collection of photographs of Coal Queens.

“The images are a great example of how the coal industry impacted on all aspects of life within these communities.

“We are keen to find out who these ladies are and what happened to them.”

Local Coal Queens went forward to a national competition, supported by the National Coal Board (NCB) and Coal News.

The overall winner was the ambassador for the NCB during her tenure, attending events such as the Ideal Home Show.

Kathryn added: “The tradition of crowning a Coal Queen didn’t happen to the same extent in South Wales, so we are looking for stories which relate to the North Wales coalfields especially.”

GLO, a free magazine, features a range of subjects linked to the coal industry in Wales. Previous editions have focused on Bevin Boys, nationalisation and the 1984/85 strike and are available at

- Do you have any information about the region’s Coal Queens? Contact Kathryn and her team on 01495 790311.