The next few posts on this blog will cover the biographies of various men (no women yet!) who left the Saundersfoot coalmining community for careers that had little or no relevance to their backgrounds. In the 1800s, this type of departure from mining was uncommon. What made these people take a different course from their peers? How did they achieve it?
My great-grandfather, Richard Nash, is an example of this. He grew up in a mining family in Begelly in the 1860s leaving the village around 1880 to become, amongst other roles, a captain in the Salvation Army, an evangelist and a brewer of temperance drinks. By comparison his four uncles moved from Begelly to the south Wales coalfield in the early 1870s but all remained miners. It is not clear whether he had any different opportunities than they did. The problem is that I don’t know what set him apart and this provides the reason why I won’t write a separate post about him.
Another example is the story of William Morris who left Stepaside to eventually become a director of a mining company in Australia. This post was provided by Joyce Phillips and I know from the number of hits and from email feedback how interesting readers found it.
If you would like to contribute something along these lines, do drop me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org