'Guardian' is the largest mining memorial in Wales which commemorates the 1960 Six Bells mining disaster in which 45 men and boys lost their lives in an underground gas and coal dust explosion.
Working in partnership, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and Six Bells Communities First secured funding for a new, more fitting memorial to those who had given so much to the coal mining industry, to be erected and construction began in spring 2010.
On June 28th 2010, the 50th anniversary of the mining disaster, the memorial was unveiled at a commemorative service led by the Arch Bishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams and attended by 7,500 people including around 400 relatives of the victims who came from across the U.K and wider world.
Costing over £200,000 the memorial is a 12.6 meter high statue of a miner, constructed from over 20,000 individual slices of 10mm thick Cor- Ten- steel, a ‘weathering’ steel that allows a protective rust patina to form on its surface.
The statue weighs around 8 tones and stands on a 7.4 meter high sandstone plinth. The names, ages and home towns of each of the 45 victim of the disaster are laser cut into the Cor-Ten steel plates that surround the plinth.
Guardian now towers over 20 meters above the former Six Bells colliery site; scene of the tragedy some fifty years earlier and is dedicated to all mining communities.
In spring 2011 the formerly derelict Coach and Horse’s pub in Six Bells will be re opened after a period of complete refurbishment as Ty Ebbw Fach; a ‘social enterprise’ or profit making business that aims to tackle social and environmental issues.
It also aims to put the profits it makes through restaurant, kitchen and room facilities back into the community creating jobs and offering training and youth provisions. It will also be the visitors centre and contact point for those wishing to visit the Miners memorial, the Ebbw Fach Trail and Parc Arael Griffin.
Public Transport Directions
For all public transport information, please visit www.travelinecymru.info - Enter postcode NP13 2ND
We are located 30 mins from the M4. Leave at junction 28, take A467 to Brynmawr. Continue on the A467 until you come to Squire Cars and take the next right onto Six Bells road. Follow road to the bottom of the hill and the car park is located on the right directly after Bethany Baptist Chapel.
We are 16 mins from the Heads of the Valleys road (A465). Take exit A467 and continue along this road until you reach Six Bells. Turn
left onto Six Bells road and follow the road down to the bottom of the hill and the car park is located on the right directly after Bethany Baptist Chapel.