My Grandfather Albert Edward Phillips like many of his day survived the traumas of The 1914-1918 Great War, expecting to return home to a Country fit for heroes, it wasn't to be. As history has shown, poverty was rife throughout the land with employment and social welfare far from plentiful, mining continued to be a source of "security" but it came as no surprise that the Nation found it self in the National Strike of 1926 . Granddad had returned from the Great War and married Alice Morgan , a widow, my Mother Lorna being born at the height of the strike.

Stories of her being trailed around the Country side as my grand parents sought food and casual employment from the Farming community, remain with me to this day. As had happened in the past, working in the Mines was the only alternative even though wages were minimal, but added to the prospect of having a "New" job, came housing. In 1934 a batch of new homes were constructed, suddenly New Ifton and Garden Village joined the post man's route, a community was born, thanks to mining.

As one community began to look forward to a future, 11 miles away across the Welsh Border at Gresford on the outskirts of Wrexham , another was to suffer from one of Britain 's biggest Mining Disasters. On the morning of Saturday September 22nd 1934 a succession of explosions and resulting fires deep below ground was to claim the lives of 266 Miners, including some of the rescue workers who descended to tackle the raging flames and try to save the lives of their colleagues caught up in the intensity. The Gresford Disaster will be recalled else were on these pages, but my Granddad's word's to me as a small child 20 years on, "They never stood a chance, only six men came out alive, the rest are still down there!" have been amplified in my mind, by the book Gresford The Anatomy of a Disaster . I now know why he kept a picture in his jacket pocket, did he know the men,? or think "there for the grace of God, go I"?, me thinks both.