I recently visited Nth Wales the land my grandfather left 105+ years ago. Many of the original 3,000 workers in the Penrhyn Slate Quarry where he worked also left due to industrial disputes that dragged on and off for years. Such disregard for customers by the quarry owners meant customers found other suppliers in France and elsewhere, or simply alternative products, such as cheap mass-produced tiles.
My grandfather was not alone in abandoning the slate mining industry. Better conditions elsewhere, World War I, and lost skills resulted in a shortage of the skilled labour needed to extract the slate in . . . [more]