Rhys Evan’sdiaryBy STephanie kang 8-1Thursday, May 16, 13
1781 Steam engineThe Steam Enginein 1781 James WattThursday, May 16, 136 years ago, my dad told me detailed stories about the great inventions when I was young. He mentioned that James Watt,the inventor of the Steam Engine, made a huge impact in our lives. He added that maybe either my younger brother or I canbecome a famous man like him.When I asked my dad why it was so significant, he replied that it made one major impact, which was to create boats to travela great distance. Also, trains are now mostly used for transporting many coal, woods, and other supplies. I was clearly ableto see a large difference between the transportation of coals and ironstones, long time ago it was transported throughcarriages with horses. Thinking of it, nearby our house was a long river that flowed all the way to the coal mining place.People hand made the canals which transported goods to the destination. Perhaps the steam engine can differ that. He knewall this facts because he used mine coal, unfortunately got replaced by the steam engine.Suddenly, he told me the negative side effects of the steam engine. The worst one was that coal miners were to collect coal tofuel the steam engine. Eventually, they had to mine for coals to be able to use the steam engine. I had also thought that theenvironment was being polluted these days, and maybe because of the steam engine. Just then, I gasped in horror themoment I heard the word “died.” Because of this coal mining, some people died from getting cuts from inside the cave or somejust got squashed by giant rock of coals. Still, lots of miners were boycotted and replaced by the steam engine so I guess lesspeople died since then. The life of working inside the cave was very hazardous, yet I had thousands of questions to beanswered. Such as, “Isn’t there other better jobs than mining coal?! People are dying from this!”I questioned if James Watt invented it all by himself but it was no. My dad answered, around 1600s and 1700s, ThomasSavery a English inventor patented the first steam engine. From there, Thomas Newcomen an English farrier theatmospheric steam engine, which basically improved Thomas Savery’s. Now here it is, James Watt’s modern steam engine.As my dad told me more, I was fascinated especially how most of the workers used their muscle power before the SteamEngine was invented. I also agreed that James Watt was an intelligent person. Through this invention the England societychanged from agrarian society to a urban one. Maybe someday I’ll have to coal mine too, I should get ready too.
1805 Blanaevon ironworksBlanaevon iron worksin 1805 Me, at the age of 13.Ready to coal mines. onthe right is the davy lampThursday, May 16, 1313! I’m 13, which is also my lucky number. Last week I turned 13. Spent my time with friends from across the street. Gosh I’mgetting older. Around at nightfall, my dad sat on my bed next to me. I read his face, it seemed quite serious. Then, he told methe story Blanaevon Ironworks that was created in 1805. It was owned by Lord Abergavenny.At sunset, he took me to the Blanaevon Ironworks. This place was monumental, it already had several luxury cottages. It wasalso considered as the first iron works furnace to be ever created. He used to show and inform me around, that the ironworks wereimportant in the development of the ability to use cheap, low quality, high sulfur iron ores.My parents thought I was old enough and ready to know about these things. I had a job, at the age of 13! First, there was around230 young kids under 18 ears old employed in the mine works and I was one of them. I was given a Davy lamp that helped mesee in the dark and it was invented by Sir Humphry Davy. My lamp number was 454. I prepared myself by packing somesandwiches for lunch and a jack of water, all were metal. I walked a mile to the pit and my stomach gurgled with my handsshaking, as my first day to mine. It was appalling inside the cave, filled with mice and insects. Already I was covered in dirtand dripping salty sweat. As I grabbed the metal bottle, it threw up warm water all over my face. By 1796, we produced 5,400tons of ironstones a year. I didn’t relish any of this, all my dad said was that children were cheap and were able to access smallplaces. It felt like a pile of garbage food dumped on the ground, just waiting for the pig to come and eat you. Child laboring wasvery cruel in those days. Even though, I was very much haggard from my work, I felt satisfied that iron production maderailway lines and boosted the Wales.During my work, I was introduced to my mine owner, Louis Tyler who is a brother of Alfred Tyler. I rapidly scanned hisclothing from head to toe. Let me see, his outfit is very classy and wealthy looking. His face was like he was going to castigateanyone who disobeyed him. I did hear some rumors about him. He was so rich that he lived in a mansion with gardens, lakesand never paid his money to us, the coal miners. I thought he was very ravenous. I glared at him like he was a stranger, well hekind of was I guess.Now I shall, go get some rest, tomorrow I need 14 more hours to work inside that dark and dirty mine.
1842 The mines actAnthony Ashley CooperSome of the delightedminers after theannouncementThursday, May 16, 13The minute I woke up from the loud cheering noise outside my window, I immediately gazed through the glass. It was crowdedmostly with coal miners. There he was Lord Ashley announcing, “No female was to be employed underground. No boy under 10years old was to be employed underground. Parish apprentices between the ages of 10 and 18 could continue to work in themines.” The new constitution has been stated. Suddenly, all the coal miners cheered joyfully as they threw their arms in the airreleasing their caps. Meanwhile, I just sighed and lay back in my bed. All these questions popped out in my mind. Why am I aboy? The girls don’t have to mine! I wish I was under 10 years old. Plus it means boys over the age of 18 don’t need to work. Ormaybe I suppose I wish I was over 18 quickly.Just then, my eyes became watery when I noticed a couple hugging each other with tears of happiness and realized that this daywas important to coal miners because the mines act protected their children and wives. On the other hand, some women seemedannoyed because these women and children who were working in the mines often earned additional money. From the side of mywindow, I made a hideous face at those women who had a grumpy face. Luckily, nobody noticed me from down above. If I werethem, I would just be grateful that mining coal life was over.Lord Ashley then spoke again, mentioning the reason why he was doing this act. It was because in 1838, there were lots ofviolent thunderstorms that killed 26 children, 11 girls aged from 8 to 15, boys between 9 and 12 years old. “In 1840, I haveinvestigated the conditions of the workers, especially the children in the coal mines and I’d like to make this changes.” But thenI pondered about the mine owners, I bet Lord Ashley incensed Louis Tyler and the other owners. I was at least glad for otherchildren because so much kids dying at a young age like this is not right. When the announcement had finished, some womenstomped their feet way back home, while other families skipped together. As a I watched each and every one of them go, I wonderedwhat the kids will do now. They won’t have to work anymore, maybe they’ll be educated. I envied them, I rather be educated thenwork and having to be sloven every single day of my life.Tucked tightly in my bed sheet, I mused about how different my life would be being educated. Then slowly closing my eyes, Ijust thought about how exciting tomorrow would be and the next day too.
1876 Pendyrus coalmine opensTylorstown, that’s my littlebrother, tom Evansalfred tylerThursday, May 16, 13Oh, I forgot to mention the village I lived in, Tylorstown, which was named after Alfred Tyler of 42 Newsgate Street, London.Basically, my words to describe Tylorstown would be scenic and vey welcoming. Sides of the street walls are all built withbricks. As I stood walking towards my wooden closet, I grabbed a photo of Alfred Tyler buying the mineral rights of Pendyrusfarm in 1872 and began the second large colliery in the Rhondda Fach, which my dad showed me back then. As I blew the dustoff against the photo glass, I reminisced the details my dad told me back then.This afternoon, 1876, today was a day to celebrate. Unfortunately Alfred’s first pit sank , which was named “Pendyrus Mine,”sank at first but not today. Today the steam coal reached at a depth of 333 yards. There was a big celebration going on. All thevillagers walked along the side of the brick buildings. I thought it was beyond incredible. During that century I thought thatboth coal and the Pendyrus coal mine has a major role, like to the industrial revolution or the excavation of coal. During thecelebration, there were lots of performances. Finally, Louis Tyler was ready to cut the red ribbon. He was surrounded by brightflashes of camera’s snapping every picture of his movement. The minute he cut the red ribbon, the whole crowd cheered as loud asthey could. Louis Tyler then made a speech, thanking everyone for celebrating with him and the purpose for this Pendyrus minecoal was because his brother Alfred Tyler wanted to increase the coal production, so it opened to achieve that goal. Everyoneapplauded and proceeded to enjoy their food and drinks.From then on, I thought that the development of Pendyrus colliery was very rapid, going from 3,252 tons in 1877 to 241,061tons in 1893. The first steam coal was despatched via the Taff Vale Railway to Cardiff in 1877. Later in the year, there werenews everywhere about how Alfred Tyler gave up his business interest to take care of the properties in South Wale. In replacement,Messrs D. Davies took over Tylorstown in 1894. But many of the villages of the Rhondda was influxed of workers overcrowding,poor housing conditions.These days, after the Pendyrus coal mine opened, I guess the air pollution was becoming worse. Just hope one day ourenvironment would be immaculate and there would be no explosions.
1896 monday 28thjanuaryTylorstown, pit No. 8 The funeralafter the explosionat No. 8 pitThursday, May 16, 13Today I nearly got killed, could’ve been stomped . 1896, Monday 28th, January a day to remember. Early in the morning,everyone was doing their work as usual. I was in No. 2 pit drinking water because I was thirsty and famished from all the coalmining.Suddenly, around half past five, an explosion took place at No. 8 pit. From my side of the pit, I’d felt nothing, even the others Iwas working with felt nothing. It was a chaos, workers were told to evacuate the each of their pits for safety. My heart wasthumping, my body became wishy-washy. Suddenly, everyone found out that the explosion in No. 8 pit had caused havoc inNo. 7 pit too which killed 57 miners. I wasn’t sure how many miners there were at first, but I was sure a lot had died. There wererescuers going in and out of both pit No. 8 and 7. Some rescuers cam back out carrying injured miners, both old and youngaged. They were all coughing black dust, was provided with sanitation. Also, eighty horses were perished.I froze like a stick of glaze ice, couldn’t speak for few minutes. Afterwards, news reporters came filming the situation. I heardsome information, In Rhondda Fach, there was a methane explosion so powerful that it blew the winding gear off the top of theshaft. People who died were mostly who were making their way to the bottom of the shaft after a night shift. From there on, Iwasn’t able to hear anything else because of the crowd noise. Instead I heard strangers chatting near me. They said somethingabout the No. 7 pit, how the force of the explosion brought down heavy falls of roof and side. Everyone including I was veryplaintive. Most families burst into tears, some whimpered, others sobbed. I just stood there, somewhere between the crowd, blankmind. I felt awful and sorry for some families, and felt lucky for myself that I wasn’t one of those people working in pit No. 8or 7.Soon enough, they held a funeral near the factory and some people spoke. One of the speakers talked about the cause of thisaccident. Eight workmen didn’t come up the shaft until 5 a.m, other then oiling engines at 4 a.m and looking at the two boilerfires, they had no work to do. Then, this guy named Mr. Gerrard spoke professionally. He announced that the engine man hadmade a pure mistake by traveling in the wrong direction. I didn’t really understand his words, as he continuously spoke thatthe engine man had two cage loads of men and probably started rashly. The cage went up instead of down.When the day had ended, I trudged my way back home with my chin down. Today was a disaster, a day I can never forget.
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