A Light in the Vale.

A Light in the Vale.

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A Light in the Vale records the development of trade unionism among the coal and shale miners of the New South Wales Western Coalfield between 1875 and 1900. Faced with what they regarded as intolerable working conditions the miners of the Vale of Clwydd Colliery formed an association for their mutual protection in 1878. They achieved some early successes but their union was forced out of existence by 1881. By the mid 1880s the region’s miners had formed a district union, which successfully weathered the economic and industrial storms of the 1890s. The organisation entered the 20th century ready to become an active player in a developing national miners’ union. The book charts the early struggles and successes of the union. It includes brief biographies of the union’s leaders, including Joseph Cook who became Prime Minister of Australia in 1913.