At this moment, the weather was much like the gloomy collection of homes cluttering the valley floor around the coalmine in the town of Llanfair. Mine workings that reared up in a dominating fashion, as a stark symbol of man’s exploits of their natural surroundings. Mine workings that dominated the miners’ cottages surrounding the pit - silent mine workings on the Lord’s Day. Coal dust and coal fires, throwing out sulphurous emissions, that invaded the lungs of miners, their homes and streets.
On what was a dreary Sunday, the age-rounded, worn down tops of the valley were rarely visible. Dark nimbus clouds swept over them from the west, skidding over the distant sea. Sinister, Payne’s Grey clouds coloured the water an uninviting, deep, murky black, interrupted occasionally by a succession of wind formed, choppy, white caps.
It was a cold, dark, inhospitable day in the valley, but without much rain from the reticent nimbus. Rain had been at a minimum throughout these autumn and winter months. Yet, there seemed to be an impending doom permeating the air, an all-encompassing, atmospheric exclamation, of an event that would be overwhelming – man and nature at their worse - a combination of two evils, treacherous forces heading toward their inevitable, conflicting conclusion.
The mine was silent, the darkened streets were virtually empty and those who usually spent some social time chatting over the back garden fences remained indoors feeling a little edgy and out of sorts, listening to the noises of the wind creating strange creature-like sounds as their home was buffeted. It was the kind of day, many thought, that just didn’t deserve to be the Lord’s Day.
Dogs didn’t wag their tails, not even when they were given loving attention; cats didn’t purr but slept fitfully near the hearth, heads resting on their front paws but with a sense of restlessness. Birds were silent, staying hunched as they perched on the limbs in the few trees that remained unscathed from the industrial intrusion. Children’s laughter was missing but their crying, for which there was no apparent cause, resonated.