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A slate workshop in Llechwedd

Blaenau Ffestiniog, Slate and North Wales

Slate and North Wales go together, just as Coal and South Wales go together. Most of the stone walls in North Wales are constructed out of slate. Many pool/billiard tables use Welsh Slate and most of the slate roofs around the country come from the slate quarries of North Wales.

If you travel into the North Wales mountains to a town called Blaenau Ffestiniog you will be able to take a trip down some deep slate mines and travel back in your imagination to the times when workers, using candlelight, mined slate.

It's fascinating to see how easy the skilled workers 'split' the slate by hand. Also to see how slate is made into roof tiles and how the tiles are attached to wooden stringers using a special kind of tool to make holes in the slate.

Blaenau also has some interesting Electricity Generating Plants which can be toured, the pump storage scheme is an amazing lesson in technology and economics.

 
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John Pugh
Copyright 1999 [Digital Imagery]. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 20, 2002 .