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Nine mines there were, made Ferndale proud,

steam coal "BLACK GOLD" up from the ground.

Seven seams produced, quality coal.

those were the days, no men on the dole.

In 1867, there was an explosive sound,

men would be buried, deep underground.

Choking and burning, screams did abound,

it took nearly a month, for them to be found.

The cause it was deemed, safety locks tampered,

miners taking chances, whilst being hampered.

A jury concurred, it was management's fault,

they knew of the practice, but never called a halt.

Two years later, another explosion,

fifty three souls trapped, no ventilation.

Screaming and choking, in the bowels below,

what they went through, nobody knows.

The inquest verdict, bosses to blame,

no ventilation, no air in the seam.

If they had listened, in 'sixty seven,

fifty three souls, no place in heaven.

One other death, occurred at the pit,

a hero he was (Thomas Charles) at Rourke's Drift,

He fought off the Zulus, with rifle in hand,

later killed by a journey, in his promised land.

Copyright Arthur Cole 2016 (20)