We have some exciting news to announce today. We are finally unveiling our upcoming Abandoned Wales video series, which will be starting next weekend and will run into the new year. The video below serves as an introduction to the five videos and the background behind how they came to be.
Liam has been filming and editing these videos since 2019, across three trips to the country both to the north and south. The videos hopefully capture a small cross section of the breadth of Wales’ abandonments and lost heritage of which it is full of. Whilst the north has been dominated by the slate industry, the south has been dominated by coal, both of which have heavily influenced the make-up of the country past and present during and after their decline. This video series aims to provide an insight into a story of industrial decline, and how this has influenced communities and the landscape today.
The upcoming parts represent a range of amazing places across Wales as follows:
1 – Inside the Infamous Car Cave (Vlog)
2 – Ruins of Dinorwic Slate Quarry
3 – Cwm Coke Works Mega Industrial Exploration
4 – Abandoned Collieries of Wales (Short Film)
5 – South Wales Adventure to Lost Castle and Train Yard
Whilst some of the videos link together, each video is standalone and we have everything from informal action-packed vlogs to professional cinematic mini documentaries. These will take us over Christmas and into the New Year when you will hopefully have time to watch them. For those interested in our Orford Ness documentary, this is currently coming along nicely but will come out after in early 2022. As well as this Suffolk feature, we have also been working on more videos in both Norfolk and Kent, but of course uncovering Essex’s local history will always remain at the forefront of our forays. As travel restrictions ease we would like to explore more in Wales, Scotland and France to name a few places in the next couple of years. We look forward to seeing what you all think of our adventures further afield!
1: Exploring The Infamous ‘Car Cave’ Slate Mine
This first part is best seen as a fairly informal warmup video. We arrive in the country in the late summer of 2020 and head straight for a treacherous underground slate mine in Corris, North Wales. Known amongst explorers as ‘the car cave’, we take a look to see if it is really worth the hype. The incredibly dangerous mine prevented us from reaching the bottom, but in the dark depths we found the car heap to be barley visible as anything more than a speck of light without doing long exposure photography. Still, the mine itself in our opinion presents a much more impressive piece of history to explore at one’s own peril, and the trip still made for an unforgettable experience.
2: Hike Through the Ruins of Dinorwic Quarry
In the second episode of our Abandoned Wales series, we visit a true gem we’ve been fascinated by since our early one. The dramatic remains of the Dinorwig quarrying community are as surreal as they are stunning. Used for long over a century, people worked, lived and died at the enormous slate quarry which spans throughout the hills in North Wales. We took a breath taking trip through the foggy ruins to see a portion of the incredible structures that remain.
3: Exploring the Giant Derelict Cwm Coke Works
The third video of the series sees us drive down to the south of Wales as we shift our focus from slate to coal mining. This short film follows us on our exploration through the enormous remains of a partially-demolished coke works in Beddau; once adjoined to Cwm Colliery where the coal mined from underground was processed into useful coke fuel on site. This enormous industrial wasteland is perhaps the most gigantic explore we have done to date, and we had to do it justice with a video which captures both the harsh environment it has created as well as how this lost landmark has come to define the surrounding area.
4: The Abandoned Collieries of South Wales – Short Film
This short documentary was filmed over the Summer and Autumn of 2021, and features no fewer than six different locations including the sites of five former coal mines – just a few of the thousands that once dominated South Wales up until only a few decades ago. In this video, we investigate what happens when national interests change and huge industries are suddenly abandoned. How have the communities of South Wales adapted the remains of their collieries in the 21st century?
List of locations featured:
- Blaenavon Ironworks
- Big Pit Colliery National Coal Museum
- Penallta Colliery Power Hall, Headstocks & Bath House
- Hafodyryns Colliery Washery
- Blaenserchan Colliery Washery
- Llanhilleth Colliery Pit Head Baths
5: Adventure Through South Wales’ Ruins Old & New
The last part of the Abandoned Wales series sees us compare the width and breadth of ruined heritage that South Wales is home to. Both the old and new are all shells of their former glory, from a once-noble magnificent castle to the wastlelands left behind in the disused railway yard of a prominent steel works and a rubber factory once at the pinnacle of Modernist design. Join us as we get stuck in to see such a great variety of fascinating locations.