Aude Herbez – Lens
In search of the « Twins » of Loos-en-Gohelle
Aude Herbez is very attached to the town of her birth, Loos-en-Gohelle. Barely thirty years old, she bursts with energy and ideas to help you discover this region that is so dear to her. Because she works in the events industry for the Mayor of Lens, Aude knows all the latest news and the many initiatives that showcase the mining basin.
« There are four major themes that I can focus on in Loos-en-Gohelle», the young lady begins. « Initially Loos-en-Gohelle was a rural village. Then, mining heritage radically changed the make-up of the entire area. After that came the Wars. Finally, sustainable development began to take hold when the mines closed down. These four themes are completely and constantly interconnecting. »
In the « village centre », you’ll find military cemeteries. The site of Pit 11/19 – the highest twin slag heaps in Europe (140 metres) – has nowadays been revisited. There’s no question of destroying these two great symbols of the golden age of the mines! « Companies have set up home here, making use of Eco-friendly materials. The Culture Commune, Scène Nationale association has interviewed former miners and broadcasts their testimonies so that they’re never forgotten. You can tour the slag heaps themselves in around one hour. »
Apple trees grow on these little green and black mountains. They sprouted from the cores that were discarded by miners at the time. A wonderful heritage indeed! « When I was born, in 1982, the mine was still operating. My house was just beside it. My grandfather was a miner, and fathered eleven children! »
The mine is not simply a vestige of the past. It’s still alive today, only in a different way. Aude will show you the shale heaps, the mine workers’ towns, their very particular layout and their evolution. This is a historic and friendly stroll that is firmly focused on the future.