Book Review: Aberllefeni Slate Quarry, by Jon Knowles

A really good mining book comes along from time to time. Mike Moore reviews a newly-published volume on an important slate quarry in North Wales.
Aberllefeni Slate Quarry – A history of the last underground slate working in Wales
Jon Knowles, A4, Hardback, 280 printed pages, self published. Hen Dy Gwydyr, Penrhydeudraeth, Gwynedd LL48 6RD , ISBN 978-1-3999- 95167-8  £35.00 available via Jon and bookshops.
In Jon’s own words “the book is a culmination of over 15 years exploration underground and archival research.” This book is a credit to Jon’s expertise and determination. It is full of his own colour photographs, with black and white historical record photographs. The quarrying operations in and on both sides of the valley are described in full, the working methods are described with plans of the underground quarries all neatly labelled. Jon has also provided a lot of detail of the industry itself, with the workshops and machinery supported by diagrams and drawings. This book also includes plans of the mine. An extra nice touch is an aerial photograph with a labelled photo on the opposite page, thus not detracting from the original.
Jon has gone into great detail with appendices giving accident statistics, mine ownership, managers, men working underground, and also a report fully documenting the departmental committee of 1895 on Merionethshire slate mines chaired by Mines Inspector Dr.  C. Le. Neve Foster, relating to Aberllefeni Corris.
A superb book and well worth adding to your collection.
Review by Mike Moore