Song of the Mines

Music played an important part in the lives of colliery workers. Many men joined colliery bands and choirs.

Coegnant Male Voice Choir singing ‘Song of the Mines’, 1947 (DNCB/14/4/33/9)

Music and singing were seen as wholesome leisure activities, distracting workers from the pubs – and politics – and keeping them out of trouble.

Park Colliery Male Voice Choir, Ocean and National Magazine, 1930 (D1400/9/3/7)

Being part of a choir or band fostered a sense of pride in their colliery. Healthy rivalry between collieries was encouraged, and inter-colliery competitions were hotly contested.

[Ammanford Brass Band], 31 Jan 1964 (DNCB/14/4/158/10/8)

Band members and choristers were ambassadors not only for their workplace but for their village or town.

Fernhill Colliery Band, agreement with Gabriel Collins for payments towards a tenor horn, 1922 (D1100/1/2/1)

If you wanted to be in a choir or band you had to be committed, and would be expected to contribute from your wages for the purchase of instruments and scores.

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