Micheline Lemay – Loos en Gohelle (11-19), Liévin
Micheline: “Welcome to coal country”
If you so wish, Micheline Lemay can even welcome you in the local patois! The Pays de Liévin offers a summary of the history of the entire former mining basin. From the technical aspects right up to the tragedy of 1974 (42 dead), and touching on social and family dimensions, the mining world still leaves an impression on visitors. This former teacher of history and geography at the Bruay-Labuissière Lycee really knows her subject and the mine workers’ town of Saint-Amé, a true example of a mining community with its school, dispensary, typical houses, church and other facilities; they hold no secrets for her.
Just like the coal extraction site that has been transformed into the cultural centre and business incubator of Pit 11/19 in Loos-en-Gohelle, at the foot of the “twin slag heaps” that reach a height of 186 metres above sea level.
Micheline, a volunteer for Chaîne des Terrils, an association dedicated to safeguarding these unique reminders that UNESCO has listed to World Heritage Sites, will lead you to the summit of Pinchovalles, the longest flattened slag heap in Europe, and a unique viewpoint from which to see the entire area at a glance. Following the footsteps of an avid walker like Micheline, visitors will hear the legend of Monsieur Houillos who, during the Middle Ages, advised a local farmer to dig in the earth to uncover a stone that burns…