This was the crucible that drove the industrial revolution, once.
It was a valley blessed with mineral wealth in abundance, enough for men to dig out 2 million tons of coal a year.
The steelworks in Ebbw Vale could lay claim to being the biggest in Europe: 11,000 people working there in the 1960s, amid “the noise from the tinplate lines, the smell of acid used to clean steel coils, the sight of a hot ingot, as bright as the sun, being reduced to a thin steel slab”.
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