Cyclists remember lost Gleision pals a year on
A GROUP of cyclists have paid tribute to the four miners who lost their lives at Gleision Colliery just days ahead of the first anniversary of the tragedy.
A total of 12 riders set off from Tafarn Twrch, in Lower Cwmtwrch yesterday morning for a charity bike ride to remember Garry Jenkins, Phillip Hill, David Powell and Charles Breslin.
The event paid tribute to the miners, and also looked to raise awareness of Mines Rescue Limited, who were at the scene.
The event was organised by Kevin Morgan, nephew of Wayne Thomas, General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers in the South Wales area.
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The 41-year-old, who works at Lodge Cycles, said it was important for him to organise something a year on from the event.
He said: "We wanted to do something positive to remember them.
"The response was great and as soon people knew what it was all about, they were interested in getting involved and helping in some way."
The route saw the group, made up of members from Three Valleys Mountain Bike Club in Briton Ferry and the Cwmtwrch Cycle Group, leave the tavern before going past Ystradgynlais and Ystalyfera, before passing the Gleision drift mine near Cilybebyll, Pontardawe, and returning to their starting point.
"We enjoyed the ride, it was great fun," Mr Morgan said.
"All other services who attended on that day were Government funded. Mines Rescue Limited were the only ones not publicly funded and we are hoping to push for funding from it, and hopefully it could prove to be something positive from something really tragic."
Mr Morgan said he had quite close links to some of the men who lost their lives.
He said: "We were all hoping and praying that the worst would not happen that day. Garry Jenkins and Charles Breslin were quite close friends and David Powell was married to my cousin.
"After what happened I felt compelled to do something in memorial to the men, it is such a close knit community.
"Hopefully this will grow year on year, and give some weight to the bid for Welsh Government funding."
To donate, e-mail email@example.com, call 01443 682522, or write to Mines Rescue Limited, Dinas Training Centre, Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taff, CF40 1JJ.