Wrexham mining artifacts make their way back home

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Staff reporter

PRECIOUS artifacts dating back to the 1700s of Wrexham’s mining history have been brought back home.

Margaret Jones, membership secretary of North Wales Miners’ Association Trust, was exploring her passion for local history online when she was able to get in touch with Peggy Jacobsen, the grand-daughter of Ben Kaye, the last owner of Gwersyllt and Westminster Colliery and founder of Gwersyllt Working Mens Club.

Peggy had submitted a request on the Welsh Coal Mines website forum asking for advice after a chance discovery in the garage of her family home in Dorset of a collection of historic documents relating to the old colliery, which closed in the 1920s.

Margaret, 64, then jumped at the chance of bringing the precious documents back home to Wrexham to share with fellow enthusiasts and the public.

She said: “A few days later a rather large cardboard box arrived in the post, full of documents dating from the 1790s to the 1900s. They’re really very interesting and, according to an expert from the Welsh National Library in Aberystwyth, they are in excellent condition.

“To be able to actually get your hands on artifacts which are more than 200 years old is wonderful.

“I’ve got a real love of local and family history and this is one of the best discoveries we’ve made.”

The collection ranges from photographs of the old site to mortgage deeds complete with the original company seals.

Margaret added: “They’re all written in old English and are really beautiful to look at. I even enjoyed spending a bit of time translating one of them into modern English and it was a fascinating read.”

Margaret, of Caia Park, and Peggy, who originally lived in Gwersyllt before the mine closed, have now built up a firm friendship and will be meeting for the first time this weekend when Peggy will be travelling to the ara, with her mother Jennifer Duckworth, to see the documents go on display for the first time.

The exhibition will take place at Gwersyllt Resource Centre, Second Avenue, tomorrow, between 10am and 1pm and all are welcome.

As part of a long-term aim to create the first North Wales miners’ museum, the Trust hopes the extra publicity will inspire the community to contribute to a fund to pay for the documents to be digitally copied for future generations to enjoy.

Margaret added: “It’s absolutely amazing that we’re able to bring our history back home for the younger generations to see.”

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