Tower Colliery, situated in the south Wales valleys, was earmarked for closure in 1994 by British Coal. Tower represented the last deep coal mine in an area made famous by its mining tradition. The pit was profitable, so the miners, lead by union leader Tyrone O'Sullivan, decided to fight for their livelyhoods, consequently purchasing the colliery in 1995.

Tower Colliery has become world famous because of its miners, who now own and run their pit successfully. It has become a symbol of the strength and fight of the working miners and their families. This exhibition is a photographic document of the lives of the Tower miners over a period of year. It documents their everyday work, retaining their jobs in an area of high unemployment.

Since 1982, when Roger Tiley covered his first picture story for the Guardian newspaper, documenting miners, he has retained his interest in photographing the coal mines and the pit communities in south Wales. During the 1984/85 Miner's Strike, his workwas published extensively and he was commissioned to take part in the 'Valleys Project' as part of Ffotogallery's Cardiff, collection of images which was exibited in Europe.

Roger Tiley is currently Head of Photography at Swansea College. Although he lectures on a full time basis, his love of the photographic image allows him to exhibit nationally and reproduce his work in book form. 'Owned by the miners: Tower', due to be published in April, will be his third publication. He recently visited the USA to make photographs comparing women living in the coal mining regions of Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee in relation to the women living in the changing culture of the south Wales valleys. This book, titled 'Merched y Cymoedd and the American Dream' is due for release during late 1998. He will also be visiting the USA later this year to make a new series concentrating on Welsh influences in Pennsylvania.

For further information in Roger Tiley's work and books, write to:

Incline Publications
Celynen De
Ynys Uchaf

Department of Pictures and Maps

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