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image for Exhibition item typeDinorwig '69 - The End of the Line at National Slate Museum

  • Visit Wales VAQAS
  • Food Standards Hygiene (Very Good)

Exhibition, Wed 17 Jul - Tue 31 Dec 2019, free entry

Dinorwig '69 - The End of the Line

Dinorwig '69 - The End of the Line


This exhibition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the closure of Dinorwig slate quarry.

Diary Schedule

17.7.2019 – 31.10.2019 Exhibition: Dinorwig ’69 The End of the Line / FREE

Weekly Film showings of The End of the Line and Ffarwel Roc / FREE

22.8.2019 Guided tour of Dinorwig quarry / FREE but ticketed by contacting the shop or calling 02920 573702

23.8.2019 Dinorwig '69 talk by Curator Cadi Iolen / FREE but ticketed by contacting the shop or calling 02920 573702

24.8.2019 Commemorative concert 7pm / FREE but ticketed by contacting the shop or calling 02920 573702

The quarry closed on 22nd August 1969 - only weeks after the investiture of Prince Charles at Caernarfon Castle on a dais of Dinorwig slate. 350 men lost their jobs and a quarrying community and a way of life that had existed since the 1780’s changed forever.

The exhibition reflects on the legacy of the quarry for the village of Llanberis and surrounding communities, and trying to put the closure into context - reflecting on this most important part of history and looking at the impact the closure had on this community and its people. A century earlier, closure would have been inconceivable. Dinorwig was one of the two largest slate quarries in the world – and, along with its neighbour at Penrhyn, Bethesda, could produce more roofing slates in a year than all other combined slate mines and quarries world-wide. The strange silence that came to Dinorwig in August 1969 had a profound and long-lasting effect on this area.

The exhibition features a selection of 50 photographs chosen by former quarry workers in conjunction with the museum’s curator, as well as artwork and poetry by local schoolchildren. A programme of activities supports the exhibition including a guided walk through the quarry itself on 22 August and a spectacular commemorative concert on 24August featuring a host of local talent, who have a connection to the local community.

“Many of our activities will centre around late August,’ said Dafydd “The men received a letter from the Dinorwic Slate Quarries Co Ltd to tell them that the quarry was closing on 22nd August so it seemed appropriate for us to use this date as a focus for our events. The concert will also be a chance for us to remember our dear friend and colleague Elwyn Jones who worked here at the museum as a foundryman for many years. Sadly Elwyn, a member of hugely popular band Hogia’r Wyddfa, passed away two years ago and the concert will be in his memory too.

Other features of the exhibition include the original auction catalogue for the Quarry and the workshops at Gilfach Ddu and showings of the films “The End of the Line’ - a BBC film made in 1969 at the time of the auction which shows the selling off of the artefacts. Also featuring in the exhibition will be a range of short films, produced by local people about their memories of the time and assisted by pupils from Ysgol Brynrefail Llanrug – originally produced 10 years ago for the 40th anniversary.

“The short films in the exhibition – even though produced 10 years ago - bring us face to face with many different aspects of the closure. Such as the effect on the Crosville buses which had carried hundreds of men to work each day, the fear that trade would be lost by local businesses as men no longer had money to spare, and what it was like to be a woman working in the slate company’s office…all human stories giving a glimpse into the everyday effects of closing such a huge industry. Many of those involved have now passed away, which makes it even more poignant to be showing them as part of these commemorations.”

Slate was first quarried extensively at Dinorwig in the 1780’s and by the 1890’s it employed over 3,000 men and boys as quarrymen, apprentices, carpenters, fitters, foremen and managers. Its growth led to a network of closely-knit series of villages – Llanberis, Deiniolen, Dinorwig, Cwm y Glo, Llanrug, Bethel, Y Felinheli and Waunfawr amongst these – all of whom depended on the quarry for their sustenance – and who in turn provided the skilled labour force to turn rock into roofing slate. The slate industry, like many other large industries, had always had its difficulties. Dinorwig quarry had had its share of strikes in 1885 with the Dinorwig lockout, echoed in 1900 in Bethesda by the Penrhyn Lockout – which became one of the longest running industrial disputes in history. By the 1960’s the slate industry in general faced an even more uncertain future. Things hadn’t been going well for a number of years and there seem to be many reasons why Dinorwig quarry closed in 1969. There was less demand for slate in the UK during the 20th century, Welsh slate was expensive compared to roofing tiles and slate from overseas and the quarry owners of Dinorwig and Penrhyn were competing against one another for a share of a fairly small market.

Baby changing facilitiesCoach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Disabled toiletsEducation/study areaFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopOn-site cateringOn-site light refreshmentsPicnic sitePublic toiletsWelcome HostFacilities for conferencing

Event details

Dates Times
Wed 17 Jul - Tue 31 Dec 2019 10:00


Free entry

Events at this Venue

date event
Wed 17 Jul - Tue 31 Dec Dinorwig '69 - The End of the Line
Wed 17 Jul - Tue 7 Jan Merched Chwarel Exhibition
Sun 1 Dec - Sun 5 Jan Elf Trail


Padarn Country Park,
LL55 4TY



Plan route to National Slate Museum using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SH 585602  Lat: 53.12015 Long: -4.11585

The Museum is located in Padarn Country Park off the A4086 in Llanberis. From the A55 take J11 onto the A5 and then onto the A4244 and Llanberis. From the Midlands take the A5 from the M54 and from South Wales take the A470. When in Llanberis follow the signs for Padarn Country Park.

Parking: with charge

Accessible by Public Transport: 8 miles from Bangor station


  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site cateringOn-site catering
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Picnic sitePicnic site
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Welcome HostWelcome Host
  • Facilities for conferencingFacilities for conferencing