Slate office at Rail wharf
By December 1961 mine was closed and name-board removed, and by 1965 building was demolished. Though the Deeside Tramway ceased in 1947 (some say 1950) motor trucks continued to use the wharf until closure.
The mine was incorporated in 1876, though there are reports that there was some activity before that date and that the tramway was "rebuilt" in that year, between the Deeside slab works and Nant-y-Pandy slate works. By the end on the century it had about 200 employees. In 1899, from a burnt fragment of pay-records pay was 4shillings and 4pence per day after deductions, which included blasting powder and other commodities bought from the mine and 2 shillings per week to the "oddfellows society" to cover injury pay (21.5p in modern money)!.
According to marketing materials in 1920, Moel Fferna had an advantage of slate from Bangor or Festiniog in that rail costs to Saltney were 2/6d cheaper.
In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Saltney like this: "on the Chester and Holyhead railway, at the junction of the Chester and Shrewsbury railway, 2 miles S W of Chester; is practically the port of Chester; underwent much enlargement, in recent years, in connexion with railway -works, iron-works, candle-works, manure-works, the opening of collieries, and the establishment of a corn mill and of a wire-rope manufactory;"
However, most of the Moel Fferna slate was shipped south, so the rail advantage was lost and the Quarry seems to have declined, as did Saltney as a port as the Dee Estuary silted up.
In 1920 the mine had 50 employees, 36 in 1953 and only 20 at closure in 1960.
This photograph is by Metman and was uploaded March 7th. © Metman please do not copy or distribute without prior express permission.
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