The Welsh Connection in the British Virgin Islands The Copper Mine in the British Virgin Islands

By Abi King | Make Me Think

Oct 24

View from Welsh Mine Virgin Gorda

Today, we are all so connected. So much so that as the ferry sped across the sparkling, foaming blue, I managed to snap this shot and tweet it to the world. The sun shone so brightly I couldn’t see the screen. But I could see the view in real life (IRL) and that was what mattered.


A little while before that, I blogged from beneath the stars in the silent desert of rust red rock in Jordan.

Many an article hems and haws about the perils of our smartphone-saturated lives and the lack of loneliness and languor.

But it’s the other connections that often catch my eye, the ones that span generations if not centuries, that span geography not electrical wires.

Welsh copper mine in British Virgin Islands


The Copper Mine in the British Virgin Islands

I had just this moment in the British Virgin Islands, amid an otherwise dutiful tour of beach resorts and boarded up restaurants.

We paused for a moment by this unassuming mine.

Flecked with copper and burnt with liberty green, this tiny rocky outpost used to send back ore to…home.

My new home, anyway, of Wales, just returned to after all these years and parted from for this trip just hours and 4500 miles before.

Copper mine in British Virgin Islands

It seemed strange, so strange to stand there reading about miners and this structure, built in 1837 and abandoned in 1862, while salt-air clung to my skin and that sea, that sparkling sea, twinkled like an overlooked mine of diamonds.

How different must the lifestyles of those miners have been, sent here from Cornwall, away from dust and coal and darkness and into resplendent sun.

How long the voyage must have taken.

How strange it is that people sent burned metal to where I stood not long ago, on the other side of the world.

And how strange it is that the rocky mine still stands while all those lives are long since gone.

The clock on the wall may be blind, I think, but the rays of the sun are too.

Decaying Welsh Mine in the British Virgin Islands

 Disclosure: I visited the British Virgin Islands as a guest of Elite Island Resorts and stayed at Long Bay Beach, Tortola. All Welsh reminiscing is mine, all mine, as with everything else here that I write. 

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