Photo-a-Day (Thursday, 22nd January, 2015)
Part of some slag heaps
What on Earth is a slag heap?
That,s one of your old photos were you "Mick" was spying and taking pictures of the young couple by the side of one of those rocks.?
Alan, I expect there are people more able to tell you what a slag heap was than me but it was literally a large hill made from waste from the coal industry. Most pits would have a slag heap. No one ever thought they might be dangerous, kids played on them etc. Then one day in Wales in the village of Aberfan it happened. Much rain shifted the a slag heap above the village and like an avalanche it move downward & engulfed the village school & part of the village. Many people died, a generation of children were wiped out.
I also remember as a child, a miner was climbing one in order to check something when he was engulfed by it & they couldn't recover his body (I am not sure about that). it was the slag heap that was near to the railway bridge over the canal below Victoria Road Platt Bridge.
Dan your a fool useing that sort of statment.
You get about Mick, well done.
You're right maggie!
Those slag heaps were like shifting sand; very dangerous. But as kids playing cowboys, you could get shot and roll right down!
Mick,I know this place well.Old pit rucks used to catch fire underground and the grey pit dirt turned red under the heat.It was dug out and used for building purposes.These rocks are what was left behind.I remember several in this area burning and giving off a strong smell of sulphur and leaving yellow sulphur on the ground,you could see them glowing.They were very dangerous places and we were told about a man sinking in the ground and being burned.
When was this taken Mick, plenty leaves on the trees?
Alan, Helen is more or less on the button when describing a slag heap.
It was all the shale , Coal dust and fragments piled up to make a hill. Many of them were hundreds of metres high and the compacted weight of them caused them to move, this movement caused a great amount of friction and the "heap" caught fire in the middle.
You could very often see smoke rising all around the heap. As a child I used to climb up the ones at Pony Dick(an area between Pemberton ,Winstanley and Worsley Mesnes) and slide down in a corrugated roof section of a wartime Nissan hut.
Almost all have them have been removed now and the wasteland has become housing estates.
Thank you Helen and David for your explanations. They have revived a long dormant section of my aging brain !
Aberfan was a tragedy,not exactly a slag heap,more of a slurry heap.The rain did not help.I had college friends who worked on the rescue..sorry...recovery,extremely traumatic!
We used to slide down one not far from Whitley Crossing on a tin tea tray. No health and safety then and I'm still hear seventy years later.
David - Wigan ex pat, the photo link below should bring back some memories. The photo was taken on a slag heap (otherwise known as a spoil heap) next to Pemberton Station (Highfield Church in the background)
Mags, was Whitley Crossing anywhere near the end of St Clements Road, past Cherry Gardens ? If it was, my my sister Anne & I used to go down to the crossing to see what we thought was the Flying Scotsman go by.
I remember during WW2 attempts were made to extinguish the smouldering slag heaps in the Wigan area as they were a dead giveaway to enemy aircraft.
Looking at the comments, it must have been a Beechillers playground. I lived in Kaburnum a grove and school holidays were alway spent in the fields round and about near Whitley. Armed with a bottle of pop and "make sure you home my teatime" ringing in our ears we went to see the tains and no doubt get up to some mischief or other.
Helen and Mags; That slag heap near Whitley crossing was Scouts Hill. A tennis club was near there.
I'd forgotten it was called Scouts Hill, another memory for storage :-))
Neil , Thanks for the link ,it reminded me of bygone times.
Mags; The smaller slag heap nearby was Cubs Hill.