Tower of Strength: The Story of Tyrone O'Sullivan and Tower Colliery

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Tyronne O'Sullivan is the chairman of Tower Colliery, Hirwaun, South Wales. He led the team of miners that fought to but the pit from British Coal in 1995. He and 238 miners each paid 8, 000 from their own redundancy settlement to become shareholders. The additional funds needed were borrowed from various banks. This was, and still is, a unique achievement - no other mine, in the history of British Coal, has been bought by the workforce. For over 20 years Tyronne was the National Union of mineworkers branch secretary, leading a radical group of men in what had to be a militant colliery. Tyrone was effectively fighting British Coal for wages and conditions all his working life but it was in the latter years that the fight became about the very survival of the pit. Tower is now the last surviving deep mine in Wales and is a profitable going concern. British coal, to wards the end of its regime, ear marked Tower as a pit with no future and were determined to close it down. This would have resulted in not only the loss of a Colliery and the resultant unemployment but also in the devastation of the local community. The Tower miners refused to lie down and they fought like no other group of miners in the land. The miners had faith in Tyrone and his buy-out team.

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Contents

INTRODUCTION The March Back
9
TWO Growing Up in the Valleys
45
THREE A Miners Life
59
Copyright

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