Cardiff engineers restore pit whistle for Senghenydd centenary

Published on 23 October 2013

The centenary of the 1913 Universal Colliery mining disaster in Senghenydd was commemorated with a public ceremony, the unveiling of a memorial statue, and the blowing of the original pit whistle, restored by engineers from Cardiff School of Engineering.

mining whistleThe Senghenydd Colliery Disaster is the worst mining accident ever to happen in the United Kingdom, and resulted in the loss of lives of 439 miners and one rescuer. The disaster happened on the 14th October 1913, and the same date in 2013, this event was commemorated across the nation.

Dr Carl Byrne of the School of Engineering was in contact with the team that operate the steam engine that fires the whistle, and a number of engineers helped restore the original pit whistle. These included engineer Terry Treherne who works at the Gas Turbine Research Centre, one of Cardiff School of Engineering's off-site research facilities, and his son Lee, an engineering technician, at the School.

Using the high pressure air compressors at the GTRC site, Terry and Lee got the pit whistle working, and the whistle itself then played a large part in the commemoration of the tragedy.

For more details see the Aber Valley Heritage Group's website.