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Description

This is a photograph of one of the women workers, known locally as 'copar ledis', who worked at the Amlwch copper mines on the island of Anglesey. The women were employed to clean and break up the copper ore. The 'copar ledis' wore a thick glove on their left hand with iron rings around the fingers in order to handle the ore. A popular song which was sung during the nineteenth century gave the following description of the Anglesey 'copar ledis':

'Maent oll yn ferched medrus
A hwylus hefo'u gwaith
A'u henwau geir yn barchus
Gan fwynwyr o bob iaith;
Hwy weithient oll yn galed
Am gyflog bychan iawn
O'r braidd cant drigain ceiniog
Am weithio wythnos lawn.'

Translation: ('They are skilful women and able at their work; and miners of all nationalities regard them with respect. They work hard for a very small wage, hardly earning fourteen shillings a week').

Source: John Rowlands, Copper Mountain (Llangefni, 1966).

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