Tower Colliery was the last deep mine to work in Wales. British Coal, along with all the other collieries in Wales, was earmarked for closure. The miners however, had a different view and put their redundancy money together to purchase the pit. Tower eventually closed in 2013, after the miners' buyout lasted for eight profitable years.
I spent a year during 1996 visiting the colliery to document the daily running. I was no stranger of going underground and facing the conditions miners face on a daily basis. All the project was shot using a 6x9mm Fuji camera with a fixed 65mm lens. The camera had a mechanical shutter, and as batteries were not allowed underground, this was an ideal camera. I used the technique of painting with light, asking the miners to stay still while I used my cap lamp to illuminate them, using a ten second exposure.
The community also played an important part in this project and I recorded many events arranged through the colliery.
A book was published called 'Owned by the Miners : Tower'.
Warning : all photographs are strictly copyright Roger Tiley. Illegal use without permission can be tracked by an ID number. An invoice will be issued.