Roger Tiley

Portrait of Roger Tiley

The closure of so many pits in the South Wales Valleys left many communities in a state of turmoil and poverty. Some have survived by adapting – tourism, second homes, valley exiles returning to retirement. But where there is no local work at a pit or factory, a school closure means the death of a village. It is this sad state of atrophy in the community which motivated Roger Tiley’s photographic work. With an abruptness and finality he summed up the situation which faced these communities: “I have lived in the valleys all my life. A lot of my family were miners, but like many others our connection with the industry has finished.” But there is little nostalgia, sentimentality or even romance in his photographs.


Roger Tiley - The Valleys Project, 1985/86

Lewis Merthyr Colliery looking towards Pontypridd. Mid-Glamorgan County Council is hoping to establish a mining museum at the colliery © Roger Tiley

Celynen South Colliery – Closed 1985 © Roger Tiley

Markham Colliery, Gwent – Closed 1985 © Roger Tiley

Maerdy Colliery, Rhondda Fach – Proposed Closure 1985 © Roger Tiley

No Title © Roger Tiley

Evidence of what was once the familiar site of a pit head, now a mere trace remains in the valleys landscape © Roger Tiley

Celyn North Colliery – Closed 1985 © Roger Tiley

Kids Playing in disused colliery building – Maerdy Rhondda Fach © Roger Tiley

Forest Fire. Crosskeys, 1982 © Roger Tiley

Demonstration against life sentences on two Rhymney Valley miners – May 1985 © Roger Tiley

Mr. Cooper. Born 1900, Mr Cooper came from Gloucester when he was 14 looking for work. His father also got a job in the pit © Roger Tiley

Big Arch Private Mine, Pontypool. All employees in private mine are N.U.M. Members, therefore were on strike for nearly a year © Roger Tiley