This wooden sculpture depicts a father and son, coal miners, in South Wales.
We had lots of coal mines in our area and although this sculpture is on the site of an old mine where there was a disaster (This is one of my previous blogs) I think that this sculpture is of a more general nature.
When I visited this place the weather was very calm and the few minutes I stood looking at this sculpture I found it very moving.
Having worked on the image I feel that the scene depicts a father looking on at his son who, just a child but in those times considered of working age is being sent to work in the mine for the first time.
The father reflecting on the lost childhood of his offspring and the inevitability of another carefree youth exchanged for a life of hard toil, sweat and tears of a working life spent underground.
The son, scared and unknowing of what's ahead reflects, that in his father he sees a proud man, tired and weakened due to a life of hard physical labour in a hot, dirty and dangerous place, providing what he can for his family and thinking that someday, he will be doing the same thing to his son in what must seem a never-ending cycle of existence.
Although a very moving piece of art depicting working life in the early part of the last century I would like to say that when I became of working age I saw many of my school friends at 16 years old taking jobs with the "National Coal Board" to be coal miners. A few years later and when of an age to frequent "pubs and workingmen's clubs" in our valley, these school friends and their older collier workmates whom I had the privilege to know, were not dour or sad people but where always full of life, fun-loving and had an optimistic outlook on life, they were proud to be continuing in a profession that, although under much-improved conditions was still a hard, dirty dangerous job where disaster could have been just around the corner.