Originally published 7th January 1982.
By Hal Jons, writing as Harry Graham. Luther Lewis bestrides his pits like a colossus. He is feared and hated and grudges go deep. With many pits closed or on short time, Lewis’ Bryn Ebbw collieries are working flat out. All it needs is a spark to cause chaos. Tom Morgan, union man, provides the spark, but it is Dai Crew, overflowing with hatred for Lewis, that strikes the fateful blow.
The resultant calamity is quite unlike the popular conception of a mining disaster and many families become embroiled. Above ground the silence has a different quality than usual and some need no telling that they may never again see husbands or children.
It is soon known that Lewis is amongst the missing, which engenders many and varied feelings in those waiting to hear about loved ones. Whilst the task of digging out any survivors begins, the disaster provokes everyone – those safe above ground and those trapped in the mine – to start a process of soul searching.
For some it is a wake–up call but others seem more than happy to find that they have no soul to search. Behind every face is a story – and behind some faces are ugly secrets that would do much better to stay hid.