Nick Smith MP Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent
Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith has suggested a minute’s silence to mark the 60th anniversary of the Six Bells mining disaster this weekend.
At 10.45am on June 28, 1960 an explosion at the Six Bells colliery killed 45 men and boys in what was one of the UK’s worst post-war mining accidents.
The site is now the home of the Six Bells Guardian statue which memorialises the disaster.
Mr Smith said: “It has been 60 years since that dreadful morning when 45 men and boys went to work and never came home.
“The reverberations of this accident are still felt very strongly in Blaenau Gwent, by those who remember that day vividly, by those whose family members were working at the pit and by those who lost loved ones.
“On Sunday at 10.45am I will be taking a minute’s silence to remember those fathers, sons, brothers and uncles who lost their lives and I would invite anyone who wants to join me to take part at home, at work or wherever they may be.”
Mr Smith, who comes from a mining family, added: “We must not forget how dangerous working down the pits was. It was a perilous and punishing job at the best of times.
“Many of those who left the job with no obvious physical injuries have gone on to suffer terribly with respiratory issues in later life.
“This is why I will always campaign to do right by ex-miners in Parliament, including my ongoing work to ensure a better share of the mineworkers’ pension scheme for former pitmen and their families.”