Mary Dugdale, River Tawe at Night.
The Mary Dugdale sits on the River Tawe on a moonlit night. The smoke from the copper smelting works glows from the furnaces as it bellows out into the night air. The copper smelting furnaces would be working around the clock and would employ adults and children as young as 9 years old. Accidents were common and death by asphyxia and toxic fumes were commonplace. The river also became very polluted with poisons such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and sulphur which would pour out into Swansea Bay.
“It came to pass in days of yore
The Devil chanced upon Landore
Quoth he, by all this fume and stink
I can’t be far from home I think”
Winning entry in a Railway Eisteddford, 1887