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Simon Hughes

Simon Hughes was born in 1872. He lived with Ellen, his wife, and their nine surviving children in New Brighton.

He was a skilled worker and a master of several trades. His job was to repair and keep in good order all timber in the mine. He had to ensure all the shoring and propping of loose ground, make and fix ladders and lay rails for the tramways. On top of this he helped to maintain the pumps, pipes and associated equipment. When the company needed an extra man, Simon worked on the ore crusher.

Simon Hughes usually worked a six day week. It was a six hour working day excluding breaks. It was hard physical work and there were no paid holidays. His pay varied depending on the work he did. By the time he finished at the mine in 1915 he was on four shillings and six pence (about 22p) a day, though sometimes his wage was as low as a shilling and tuppence (about 6p) a day.

He was surely a valued employee as the United Minera Mining Company employed him to the very end. Luckily he avoided the job his colleague, William Williams, had to do for several months - cleaning bricks from the demolished mine buildings for re-use; fourteen thousand of them in November 1914 alone for just £3 3s. More importantly Simon survived his career in the lead mines - not everybody did.

Simon Hughes in Speedwell Cavern, Minera
© Denbighshire Record Office