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The Crown Prince of Japan's Visit to

Deep Navigation Colliery

Treharris, Merthyr Tydfil


In 1977 (I think): the then Crown Prince of Japan (Now the current Emperor of Japan following Hirohito's death) visited Deep Navigation Colliery in Treharris. My father Sid Wilkins was a Colliery official (Under Manager in charge of the colliery at the time due to the manager being off sick) for the visit and was charged with entertaining Akahito on the day. I was 15 at the time and lived in Trelewis.


Security was very tight for the visit as many of the miners and locals had returned from service in World War Two and who would not have appreciated the visit. My father recalls plain clothes detectives visiting all the pubs and clubs, eavesdropping conversations to assess any trouble that might have been brewing. Anyone at Deep Navigation who had been associated with service in World War Two were given the day off with full pay.


Phil Wilkins


Sid Wilkins and Akahito

(Photograph Courtesy of Phil Wilkins)


Akahito in the centre with Sid Wilkins to the left, Philip Weekes, the NCB South Western Area General Manager to the right, with Tony White, assistant electrical engineer to the right of Philip Weekes and with camera crews, press and police in tow.

(Photograph Courtesy of Phil Wilkins)


Akahito with a Miners lamp with Sid Wilkins to the left and the Police Commander to the right.

(Photograph Courtesy of Phil Wilkins)


Sid Wilkins Presenting a Lamp

Sid Wilkins presenting a miners lamp to the Managing Director of the Western Mail. To the far left is Ron Morgan, Overman for the district that was visited. The others are members of the Western Mail press.

(Photograph Courtesy of Phil Wilkins)


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