Images of Industry
Scene from Senghenydd Disaster, 1913
Media: watercolour over pencil on paper
Size: 330 x 430 mm
Acquired: 2012; Gift
Accession Number: 2012.79
In 2012 a painting connected with the disaster was donated to the Department of Industry by a miner guide working at Big Pit. This is his story -
This painting has been in the family since 1913 and the story behind the painting has been handed down to me, although recent research by the Senghenydd Memorial Room has put some details in doubt.
The woman crying in the painting is said to be my grandmother who, at the time of the painting in 1913, was Sarah Jane Price.
She is crying because her first husband George A Price, a collier aged 28 of 137 High Street, Abertridwr, is being carried from the disaster on the stretcher.
The girl by the door I believe is her daughter by her first marriage Rachel Price, the boy is her son James Price (2 years old) and the baby is George Abraham Price (8 months old).
The scene was painted by my grand father Thomas Broome, who was the best friend of my grandmother’s first husband whose body is supposed to be on the stretcher. However, George A. Price's body was not actually recovered and identified until 31st March 1914 so the family story about the painting is not quite accurate. In addition it would not have been possible to see the colliery from the house in Abertridwr. My grand father was part of the rescue attempts, as well as being an amateur artist, and this was the scene he decided to paint later.
My grand father fell in love with the lady in the painting and married her in 1914, my father Henry William Broome was later born of this marriage.
My Grandmother , Sarah Jane Price, also lost her father (my great grand father) John Phelps of The Huts, Senghenydd who was a haulier aged 26 (his body was either the 15th or 16th body to be recovered) in the 1901 Senghenydd disaster so she lost her father and husband within 12 years down the same mine.
My father later went into the mines to work so I am the fourth generation of coal miners in my family.