How has your attitude to the quarries changed over time?

As part of our research and development for Merched Chwarel, we are asking women (local, incomer and visitors) how their attitudes towards the quarries has changed over time. Particularly striking is how incomers and the younger generation all say they have got more fond of them over time.

We would love to hear your views! If you have 10 minutes to spare, we'd be delighted if you could fill in a short questionnaire:

Nantperis quarries (15 of 83).jpg
Nantperis quarries (23 of 83).jpg

Before I lived here, I saw them as a playground for climbing, now I feel much more connected to their history.

Doeddwn i ddim yn gwybod llawer am bwysigrwydd enbyd y chwareli i’r ardal, dim ond trwy straeon fy nhad. Roedd o’n sôn llawer am annhegwch y sefyllfa – bod ei dad a chymaint o rai tebyg iddo wedi gweithio mor galed i wneud teulu’r Faenol yn fwy cyfoethog. Dwi’n gresynu na chefais mwy o’r hanes yn yr ysgol uwchradd – roeddem yn tueddu i edrych ar y Chwyldro Diwydiannol yn Lloegr yn hytrach nag yng Nghymru, o be dwi’n gofio.

Dwi’n eu hoffi nhw mwy bob diwrnod I fod yn onest a dwi yn hoffi gweld bywyd newydd yn dod iddyn nhw yn yr atyniadau newydd sydd yn codi.
[ I love them more every day to be honest and I like to see a new life for them in the new attractions that arise.] 

I associate mines with masculine endeavour and manual labour and as such don’t feel deep connection with them, but know that women and children also worked in them in the deeper past.  About ten years ago I got to know a man whose father was on the management side of a large quarry in Snowdonia - I began to pay attention to this side of the process of mining and to notice the legacy of privilege as it manifested itself in him.  The mining industries polarise the ‘have' and 'have nots’ in society and as such always make me feel uneasy.  

I resent despoliation of the landscape but I understand why it happens.

I think I’m more forgiving of their impact on the landscape these days. They just are.

I used to think that my fascination with the quarries was about seeing beauty in destruction, but as time has passed, it doesn’t feel like destruction, but more positive. Now I see them as a window to the beauty that is “underneath” and as new “natural” landscapes.  (Except for the Penrhyn extension, which I find horrifying for some reason)

I used to think the Llanberis quarry would have been a good project for a Millennium fund restoration. But I feel a little more fond of them now. They’re part of the place. Good for exploring too.

It has felt familiar / beautiful / hostile / dangerous / alien / comforting / flat grey / multifaceted . It has never been boring.

My affinity and appreciation of what they were has increased over the years. The more engrossed I become, my fascination grows. In the past I would not have thought about the very ground I am standing on surrounded by 1,000 men, their daily lives, struggles and camaraderie in all weather and conditions. My home quarry is active, machinery having replaced over 1000 men. There are 5 left, with Uncle Gwyn just retired. An unescapable sadness of not being able to bring the past back, if only to experience briefly, brings me closer to these unique places. I now feel an overriding poignancy in my fascination of abandoned, derelict structures, returning to nature, -  evoking an emotional response of what once was.

Rwyf yn teimlo mwy o gysylltiad gyda’r chwareli ers imi fod yn gweithio yn yr Amgueddfa.  Pan oeddwn yn ifanc rhan naturiol o’r tirlun oedd y chwareli – rhywbeth oni’n gymryd yn ganiatol. Ond ers imi fod yn gweithio yn yr Amgueddfa rwyf yn teimlo fod y chwareli yn llawer pwysicach gan eu bod wedi creu y gymdeithas y cefais fy magu ynddi.

When I first came to this area 35 years ago I found the quarries rather austere and foreboding but this has changed over time and I now find the quarry landscape is as relevant to this area as the untouched land. The quarries add a depth and richness both historically and culturally.

Many people worked in quarries. Some have managed to change due to closure and become adventure and exploration areas. Some changed use for slate so owners could continue making an income from them, very few remained as the original slate quarries

When I first get off the coach (although originally from here, we now live in Coventry), the first 1 – 2 hours, it’s a shock to see just how big it is: All that, cut out by hand! I feel so small. The museum has changed too – we’ve been coming for years. It’s much more elaborate now.

The changes have been necessary for safety and economic reasons – resources ran out

At first I thought they were austere and forbidding because even worse abuse of the landscape than what I was used to: I could see 13 spoil heaps in South Yorkshire from my bedroom window. Half a mountain appeared to be moving. I found Blaenau Ffestiniog depressing because the spoil heap is over everything

Angen dal clywed, gweld mewn ffyrdd ddim just i’r ymwelwyr

I don’t think it has, particularly, but I’m v. interested in this project, then maybe it will

Daeth argae Tanygrisiau a pwerdy Trawsfynydd ac ar ôl priodi a chael teulu, yr oedd gwell cyflogau i gael, yn y llefydd hynny. Ond nid oes ymadael â’r llwch o ysgryfaint y teulu.

Colli y teimlad o fod yn ran o deulu mawr a’r agos – atrwydd yn y gymdeithas yn dilyn dod a mwy o beiriannau i’r chwareli.