(1 Jul 2016) It's been 25 years since the Penallta Colliery fell silent: the river once black with soot is now green and nature has taken back its place in this valley in South Wales.
Eddie Cullen grew-up here in a family of miners and remembers the decline of the town and the sorrow at seeing the heart of his community torn away.
"Everyone was frightened when the pit shut," he says.
With dire poverty and high unemployment rates, South Wales has benefited from generous grants and financing schemes from the European Union to rejuvenate the area's economy.
Yet on 23 June - the day of the UK referendum - the region voted massively to leave the EU.
The modern highway connecting Brynmawr with other former coal-mining towns in the Valleys region of South Wales was partly funded by the European Union, replacing a three-lane road known for its many deadly accidents.
In Abbw Vale, where 62 percent voted out, EU funds have also been used to improve railway lines, open museums, schools and training centres built where the steel works once stood.
Paul Thomas, who voted 'remain', worries Brexit could jeopardise these achievements.
"There was going to be more development but we don't know what's going to happen now," he says.
But back in the old city centre retired truck driver John Thompson doesn't agree, saying that "there's been no benefit to this area at all"
"Leave" campaigners say many of the EU projects are gimmicky and haven't led to any tangible improvements for people.
Also, they consider the EU money as British money to begin with, since overall Britain contributes more money than it gets back from the EU.
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies, was one politician to go against the party's UK leader, Prime Minister David Cameron, and vote for Britain to quit the EU
Davies used the metaphor of an out-of-control car to describe the EU, saying that people used the referendum to effectively say "I want to get out, the way this car is driven, we're going to hit a brick wall."
But for one Welsh company, Brexit was the brick wall.
In Pontypridd, a town climbing up misty hillsides north of Cardiff, Jenny Hughes said her education consultancy firm lost three potential contracts the day after the referendum as European partners pulled out.
Even though Wales receives hundreds of millions of pounds annually in EU funding, more than half of the Welsh electorate voted for Britain to leave the EU.
Puzzling many analysts, the "leave" vote was strongest in deprived post-industrial areas that have arguably benefited the most from EU support.
"Wales might have shot itself in the foot," says Ed Poole, lecturer in politics at Cardiff University, explaining that Wales has been one of the biggest net beneficiaries of being in the European Union.
A study he co-authored before the vote estimated that Wales receives a net annual benefit of 245 million (British) pounds (327 million US dollars) from the EU budget, or about 79 pounds (105 US dollars) per head.
That compares with a net contribution of 151 pounds (201 US dollars) per head for all of the United Kingdom.
It's possible, Poole says, that some voters didn't fully understand the role of EU funds in supporting their communities - or chose to ignore it.
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