Pitheads Sepia

Laurie Parker

Well-Known Member
Tower Colliery was the oldest continuously worked deep-coal mine in the United Kingdom, and possibly the world, and the only mine of its kind remaining in the South Wales Valleys. It is located near the villages of Hirwaun and Rhigos, north of the town of Aberdare in the Cynon Valley south Wales.

Led by local NUM Branch Secretary Tyrone O'Sullivan, 239 miners joined TEBO (Tower Employees Buy-Out), with each pledging £8,000 from their redundancy payouts to buy back Tower. Against stiff central government resistance to the possibility of reopening the mine as a coal production unit, a price of £2million was eventually agreed.

Having mined out the northern coal extracts, the colliery was last worked on 18 January, 2008 and the official closure of the colliery occurred on 25 January. The colliery was until its closure, one of the largest employers in the Cynon Valley.

This image was Taken on the day of closure with the Fuji9600 I applied the sepia as I wanted to create an aged feel to a very old colliery, and by pure luck right place right time ,the miner leaving the pit doors with his bowed down head says it all for me!

I have had numerous 10 by 8 copies done of this image for many people in the area.It does look loads better large one of my favourites taken with the fuji


This one was taken at The Big Pit at Blaenavon again used the sepia efect for an aged feel this was with the canon

Big-Pit-Sepia by Laurie Parker, on Flickr
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Originally coming from Castleford (an old mining town in Yorkshire) where now there are no pits left at all, I find these very moving Skye. Obviously, you know quite a lot about the area and mining communities, but when I was a kid, I used to love to watch the headgear turn at pits like Glasshoughton and Ledston Luck: the headgear was the focal point for me of any pit and to see the wheels turning was like you were watching the heartbeat of the whole mine - which then was the major employer (either directly or indirectly) for most of the local community.

I didn't realise how much I missed it until seeing these evocative shots. Thanks.
I know exactly what you mean Grez when I was small we lived right by the colliery and everyday used to see these black faced tired looking men coming from the pithead and take their stroll over to their showerooms and so many people depended on the pits, when they disappeared it was like ripping the heart out of the community, I am pleased though that many of these massive pithead wheels have been left on site as a monument to all the people who lived and tragically died in these pits.
Great captures that tell a great story.

Really like the treatment as well, especially the edge effect..

What did you use to do that?
Thx will check them out
AutoFX do a range of software things like Dreamsuite, mystical lighting, tint and tone to name a few and they are well worth it, fab software
I used to use Photographic Edges (and Kai's Power Tools, too) as a plugin with PhotoPlus.
Hi Laurie,

Your image of the Blaenavon headwheel is perfect for a collage we are doing on the back cover of a book we are producing. Can you please contact me about permissions? - Jo Holloway, Sunpenny Publishing - jodie-AT-sunpenny.com - many thanks!
Laurie not sure why these passed me by but love them really good work will be great to see them published. :)
Hi Laurie,

Your image of the Blaenavon headwheel is perfect for a collage we are doing on the back cover of a book we are producing. Can you please contact me about permissions? - Jo Holloway, Sunpenny Publishing - jodie-AT-sunpenny.com - many thanks!

i have got in touch with Laurie with regards to this message, i am sure she will get in touch soon

cheers Guys :) I love these old pitheads fabulous places.

I have sent you a Pm on here Jo :) and an email
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Cheers, Pete I have the first one enlarged and framed as the colliery is not to far from where I live, quite an emotional day here in the valleys when it closed
I can imagine. I always think the winding gear is so impressive and it must seem strange when it is now silent and static. I have some shots of the old silver mines in Freiberg near Dresden. The main shafts are now all closed except for one that is used as an experimental mine. I had the chance to go down it a few years ago in the pit lift (360m - the lower levels have been allowed to flood). Interesting experience. I have a few shots from the trip that I must post.
Yeah Pete I am the same here myself I also find the pitheads very impressive, and from the hundreds that were just in this area alone to find that this one the last deep mine faced the same fate as the rest of them was pretty sad, The Blaenavon one "Big Pit" was turned into a museum and woah what a fantastic place to visit, you also get to go down into the mine which I done, and to see the conditions underground where all these men worked well lets put it this way the deserved all the money they were paid actually they should have been paid more, amazing experience and so glad I went on the underground tour bit.

Cheers Brian, I wanted an old feel to these and for me sepia tones always seem to give that, I must say these photos really do print very well and look fabulous in the right styled frame and mount, I shall have to go into the other harddrive on pc upstairs and get some of the others that have had similar treatment, it works well on various subjects