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CONTINENTAL PIT BATHS.

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CONTINENTAL PIT BATHS. A TOUR OF INSPECTION BY WELSH COLLIERS. (By EVAN DAVIES, Khbw Vale.) Pithead baths is a very controversial sub- ject amongst, the miners This iz generally the ease when an effort is made to break down an old custom. Time was when no miner would think of making his nightly ablutions unless before a large fire in the kitchen. With the introduction of house baths this has been abandomed and now a still further step is being sought that, the washing should be ''one at the pit head. The Cornish tin miners have no scruples to this system because for generations he has been accustomed to the method of going to and from his work clean. Councillor Evan Davies, Ebbw Vale, has be n around the foreign coalfields, and in the following articles describes, in a lucid and an intelli- gent manner, the prevailing customs in those countries. The Welsh deputation appointed to visit France, Belgium, and Germany, to make an inspection of the bathing arrangements in these three countries, have now returned home after an extensive journey and a most exhaustive inquiry. The deputation was made up chiefly of miners and miners' repre- sentatives, with a sprinkling of persons interested in the mechanical and technical aspect of mining on the Continent. It will be remembered that the suggestion of a. deputation to the Continent first came from Mr David Davies, M.P Llandinam, and, as is characteristic of this gentleman, he put. forward this idea with a scheme for effec- tually carrying it out. Mr Davies, I think, is the largest shareholder of the Ocean Company, and immediately on his announce- ment of this topic, he took the necessary steps to put his ideas into practical effect. The result was that one collier was selected from each of the Ocean Company's pits, to be accompanied by Mr John Samuels, min- ing lecturer at the new Technical School at Treforest; Mr Reginald Carter, assistant secretary to Mr Davies, as interpreter, and two miners from North Wales interested in a model village. The four other persons who took the journey with the gentlemer. already referred to, were a Mr Richards, architect, Cardiff; Mr T Davies, manager of a set of Cambrian Combine collieries; Mr Vyce, miners' ag<mt, Ebbw Vale, and myself. Another person who left with the deputation was Mr G D Jones, chief mechanic of the Ocean Company. The deputation left Cardiff with the 10.0 a.m. train on 23rd June, picked up myself and Mr Vyce at Newport, and completed the number selected by the addition of the two North Wales gentlemen at Charing Cross, London. Our number had now reached seventeen. We left Charing Cross at 2.30, and with the customary farewell to the guard, we found oursel ves comfortably placed in an open carriage quite suitable to our numbers. The few hours from London to Folkestone were spent in making the acquaintance of each other, and before reach- ing the pier we bad a fair notion of the tem- per and spirit of every one. On reaching the steamer it was perfectly clear we were not all good sailors. The rain started to come down in torrential showers. The wind blew very strongly, and the ashen faces of many of our number spoke quite eloquently of their innermost feelings. Of course, there was now no turning back, and we made the best of the few hours on the Channel by taking tea and in trying to appear as com- posed as the rest of the company. For one I was very pleased to hear when some of the party had sighted land, and in spite of the rain we were at once on the upper deck to catch a glimpse of Boulogne. FIRST IMPRESSIONS. I Our first impressions of this seaport town were not very complimentary, and we ex- pressed our views very freely. On leaving the landing we were pestered with dozens of men anxious to earn a few coppers by carrying our bags. For the moment we were not so anxious to allow them, as we were very suspicious of the foreigner on our landing. We were next hustled to the Customs to have our baggage searched. On entering the Customs House of Boulogne it gives one the impression of entering some menagerie. The shouting and bustle are perplexing to the stranger, yet most of this turmoil is created for no purpose whatso- ever. Our bags were examined (or, shall I say, looked at and marked), and we were then taken to one of the trains waiting alongside a platform, as if it had been pushed into some siding. Here we met the representative of the British Consul. He boarded the train with us, and remained until we had pulled up into the town station. From what I could gather, he had been responsible for placing us in the wrong train and a few words with him and the guard put matters all right. He had selected this train as being the most convenient for us, and we heard nothing further about it. I knew we were in a fast train by seeing a board with the word Rapide on it, and on making inquiries I was informed that this word meant the same as our "Express." We left Boulogne Station at 6-30 an.i travelled at espress speed for nearly 150 miles, but then had to change and take our seats in a much slower train. From Boul- ogno to Sens we had to change our train on two occasions, each of which left us with no improvement. On the whole, however, we had no ground for complaint, as we had travelled considerably from 6.30 until we reached Sens at 11-30 pm. We were met at the station by a cab, in which we placed our luggage, and then proceeded to the hotel on foot. Entering this town by night does not give one a very favourable impression. The lights were all out in the streets, and the rush from the station to the Hotel Des Voyageurs is not what we are accustomed to in some of our own industrial towns. Our sntrance to this hotel was made by the side door, in the middle of an old court- yard. It was perfectly clear that at one time this house had been the headquarters of the old stage coach, or perhaps a better description would be the old mail coach. On our entry we found the table laid for supper. For myself, I now began to wonder what kind of food would be laid before us. I had dreams of horseflesh and frogs, and possibly some very small quadruped as our diet at this place, and no one can imagine the relief I felt when the waiter showed such amusement when asked if the beef on the plates was the remains of some old horse. I was the only one of the company who wished to have tea as my drink. The others were satisfied with lager or coffee. I shall never ask for tea again in France, ar d shall always call for coffee in that country as the best substitute. Our sleeping accom- modation was not all we could desire. 4bout eight Qi the party had to go out to ) separate hotels. Four of these were quite satisfied with the places at which they stayed, but the other four were not. The other nine remained at the Hotel Des Voy- ageurs, three going upstairs on steps lead- ing from the courtyard, while the others stayed at the hotel p oper. On retiring we were informed that breakfast would be on the tablis at seven o'clock, and that we should leave for the station at 7-45 to meet the inspector of mines for the Sens district. (A long instalment in continuation of this interesting subject will appear next week.)

IBARGOED EX-SECRETARYI ARRESTED.

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ABERGAVENNY EASTER TUESDAY]…

A SHIP'S I

I ALLEGED LONG-FIRM FRAUDS.-I

Vi" SWRT.

ITHE MINERS' FEDERATION.

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I DUEL WITH SABRES. I

DEATH IN A VESSEL'S FUNNEL.…

BURST TYRE UPSETS MOTOR-CAR.…

SIMPSON'S CHEF DEAD.I

STARCHFIELD'S ORDEAL.I

TWO MEN KILLED ON THE LINE.…

MASQUERADED AS A CARTER.

LONDON STREET PERILS. I

LOSS TO TEMPERANCE CAUSE.…

ANCIENT FEUD ENDED. I

-GROG STOPPED IN U.S. NAVY.I

I CELLULOID PERILS.-I

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