From the journal of Harry Williams who started in Tirpentwys colliery at the age of 14 in 1922:

“In 1928, I became an ostler and started with the horses underground. We had 124 horses stabled at the pit bottom.

“As an ostler I was responsible for 15 horses and my duties were to care for them after their day’s work. At the end of the day the horses would be brought by the hauliers some two or three miles from the coal face to the stables.

“They were unharnessed, examined for injuries or ill-treatment, groomed and fed. If we found evidence of ill-treatment then the haulier responsible would have his lamp stopped. He would have to see the manager and could well lose his job.

“A horse went down the pit at four years old and never came up again until he was too old to work or was killed underground. The general working life of a horse was 12 years”

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.