Belgian blues

Belgian blues

16th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

The heritage of the coal mining industry in the French-speaking Walloon region of Belgium is a 200-kilometre range of hills stretching from Liege in the northeast to the Borinage in the southwest. The terrils, as these slag heaps are known in Belgian, are pointless molehills of waste.

They form a painful reminder of a time which has gone forever. But guide Olivier Rubbers hopes to revitalise the region by attracting hill-walking tourists to the terrils. Coalminer's son Willy Dréau has opened a mineworkers' museum. Nostalgia for those days, according to Willy, is nostalgia for shared suffering. "We may have lived in misery, but it was our misery."

0 Comments To This Article