The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57360 Message #903251
Posted By: Gareth
04-Mar-03 - 12:24 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Treacle mines
Subject: RE: Folklore: Treacle mines
Treacle Mines ? Treacle Mines ! Don't talk to me about Treacle Mines. Do you realise the misery and destruction that the Treacle Industry has left in these valleys.
I see them now passing outside my windows, gaunt old treaclers, gasping for breath, their bodies destroyed, by the sugar dust coating and frosting their lungs. I see the tankers delivering bulk insulin to the pharmacy. And I see our landscape dominated by the mounds of waste dumped by the mines, the streams turned into thick dribbles of golden syrup by the run off from the tips.
Aye butty, it was an industry, and the source of wealth to many in London, but the Treacle Mine owners were a hard rapacious lot. Children barely able to walk condemned to slavery in the sweet cloying darkness, pulling trams of raw treacle to the shafts, and all for a halfpenny a day. Treaclers, working naked in their stalls, hacking away with their sugar tongs, listening for the first "gloop" that was the harbinger of a roof fall, risking being buried under tons of crude molasses. No naked flames allowed in case of explosion.
Oh yes, we had the union, The South Wales Federation of Treaclers to protect our interests, but it was a war, a war between men and masters. These valleys still remember the army being sent to open fire on striking treaclers, when our women and bains starved, and scavenged the tips looking for scraps of treacle, missed by the washing screens.
Remember that, in your comfortable homes when you open a tin of treacle, there's blood on that tin.