Treasure chest of papers detail mining heritage


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

DOCUMENTS giving a fascinating insight into the history of a Wrexham coal mine have been handed over to a community council.

About three years ago, North Wales Miners Association Trust membership secretary Margaret Jones got in touch with Peggy Jacobsen, the granddaughter of the last owner of Gwersyllt Colliery, Ben Kay, after seeing a message posted on a mining forum online.

She had found the centuries-old documents in a box in her garage.

The hoard includes legal papers dating from 1789, wedding certificates, pictures of Peggy’s grandfather and his staff.

And now Mrs Jones has completed work to digitise the collection herself, taking more than 400 photos which have been donated to Gwersyllt Community Council.

Chairman of the trust Alan Jones described the documents as “important” to the history of the area.

He said: “It’s so important that we learn about the heritage. Wrexham, without coal, would not be here.”

Mr Jones runs a mobile mining museum with other volunteers, with the van based at Bersham Heritage Centre and sometimes visiting schools across the county.

He said: “The children absolutely love it.

“We give them a tour of the van and talk in the classroom as well – they’re enthralled.

“When you show some of them a piece of coal, they don’t know what it is.”

And Mr Jones said teaching youngsters about the area’s coal mining history was especially important in the year of the 80th anniversary of the Gresford Disaster and in light of the pit explosion in Turkey on Tuesday, which has left hundreds dead.

“Eighty years on from the Gresford Disaster and we still have the same problems with what is happening in Turkey,” he added.

Gwersyllt Community Council clerk Peter Mullen said the documents formed “an important part” of the area’s history.

The original documents from the colliery, which closed in 1925, will be archived at Wrexham Museum.

See full story in the Leader

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