The 2019 Pembrokeshire trip has begun! The children set off around 9.45, waving goodbye to staff ad family members. Before we knew it, we had crossed the bridge into Wales. Around 12pm, we reached Big Pit and had time for a quick lunch before we kitted up — headlamp, helmet and battery pack — for a journey down the mines.
Big Pit was a working mine for 120 years and the tour guides have a immense amount of experience. The children had lots of perceptive questions and the tour guide told them plenty of tales of life down the mine. We saw the stables where the horses, from the age of 4, lived and died and experienced the darkness that children as young as five would have experienced. We saw how a Davey lamp works and met canaries of the sort that miners might have used to detect carbon monoxide.
In the children’s words:
Olly: We went up in the dark at the very end saw how the walls got lighter as we could see the sunlight. At one point, in the middle of the tunnel, we turned off our torches to experience what it was like not to have a candle down in the mines.
Josh J: It was a scary, fun experience that will never be forgotten!
Olivia B: When he showed us the electricity flowing through the wires…
Lily Mai: Which made a bell go ding-ding!
Olivia B: And we turned off the lights, it scared us all to see the electric sparks because of the methane gas.
Taya: The horses were mountain houses. There worked seventy-two working a day.
Olivia: They got taken down to the coal mine when they were four.
Olly: They were only allowed out for two weeks.
We have now arrived at Pembrokeshire and the children are showering and settling in for dinner...
Update: The children have now eaten and are settling down for the night. Be sure to check out the extra photos and the summary of the day video.