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Coal Society - A History of the South Wales Mining Valleys 1840-1980

By David Egan. Published by Gomer Press, 1987 (3rd Impression 1992)
Welsh Teaching History Materials; a project funded by the Welsh Office Education Department and based at University College, Swansea.

This book is an excellent primer for anyone wishing to gain a basic grounding in the history of South Wales coal mining, the articles (which are not extracted here) are of necessity brief.
Because they form a very useful (in context)  bibliography in themselves, I have created a list of Sources with descriptions, referenced S.1 etc, (P is a picture/drawing, M a map/diagram, Q a quotation/statistics).
They are shown below in the same order as in the book.
(Gareth Hicks, June 2004)

Contents

  • Maps
  • Timeline
  • Section 1, Introduction
  • Section 2, The Industry---Geography & Geology of the South Wales Coalfield; The History of the Industry to 1840 ; The History of the Industry 1840-1920 ; Coalmining Techniques.
  • Section 3, The Coalowners---Landlords & Coalowners; Ownership and Management; The Lifestyle, Attitudes & Reputation of the Coalowners.
  • Section 4, The Miners --- The Collier Boy; Mineworkers ; The Collier ; Miners' Unions.
  • Section 5, Coalfield Society 1---The Creation of Coal Society ; The Nature of Coal Society ; Homes & Family Life; Poverty & Public Health.
  • Section 6, Coalfield Society 2---Popular Culture & Pastimes; Religion ; Education ; Politics.
  • Section 7, Coal Society in Crisis---Introduction ; The 1914-18 War and After; The Coal Industry in the Inter-War Years ; The Depression -Effects ; The Depression-Resistance, Protest and Despair ; The South Wales Coalfield since 1945; Conclusion.
  • Appendices---Glossary; Conversion Tables ; Places to visit.

Maps

  • 1. The Counties of Wales: Old and New  (1536-1974 & 1974)
  • 2. The South Wales Coalfield: Major Valleys & Towns
  • A. Places mentioned in the Text
  • B. Central Valleys
  • C. Eastern Valleys

 Introduction

  • S.1P    'Berw Y Rhondda' by T H Shepherd, after H Gastineau. NLW
  • S.2Q   Traveller's description of Rhondda.  The Book of South Wales, C Cliffe, 1847
  • S.3Q   A historian describes a visit to the Rhondda Valleys.   Glamorgan, A Morris, 1908
  • S.4P    Ferndale in Rhondda Fach Valley ( Old Rhondda in Photographs, C.Batstone, 1974)

The Industry

The Geography & Geology of the South Wales Coalfield

  • S.5M     The South Wales Coalfield - geography. The South Wales Coal Industry 1841-1875, J H Morris & L J Williams, 1958
  • S.6M     The South Wales Coalfield - geology/railways/ports.   Coal and the Coalfields in Wales, F J North, 1926
  • S.7M     Cross section through Neath/Abercynon/Pontypridd/Nantgarw.   A Geography of Wales, H J Savory, 1968

The History of the Industry to 1840

Development up to the 17th century

  • S.8Q    Extracts from accounts of the Lordship of Gower for colliery at Kilvey in 1400.   The Rise of the British Coal Industry, J U Nef, 1932
  • S.9M    Map of Pembrokeshire coalfield in C17th. Industry before the Industrial Revolution, W Rees, 1968
  • S.10Q   Description of methods and dangers of mining in Pembrokeshire in 1561.  Memoranda on the Queen's Remembrancer's Roll, 1561

The Copper Industry

  • S.11P    Colliery near Neath Abbey with smoke from copperworks, 1805, NLW
  • S.12Q    An account in 1705 of Mackworth's role in developing local coal mines.   The Case of Sir Humphrey Mackworth and the Mine Adenturers, 1705

The Iron Industry

  • S.13M   Map showing iron furnaces in South Wales after 1760.   The Iron Industry in Wales 1750-1850, B Davies, 1983
  • S.14Q    Account from tourist's guide to Monmouthshire in 1801.  A Historical Tour through Monmouthshire, W Coxe, 1801
  • S.15Q    An account of iron smelting at Dowlais Ironworks in 1850.   The Morning Chronicle, 1850
  • S.16P    Blaenavon Ironworks, NLW
  • S.17Q    Employment figures for Dowlais Ironworks in 1841.   Report of the Royal Commission on the Employment of Children, 1842

The Early Sale-Coal Industry

  • S.18Q    Statistics for coal shipped from port of Newport in 1808 & 1809.  Report of Select Committee on the Petition of South Wales Colliery Owners, 1810
  • S.19P    Coal being taken from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff in 1790, NLW
  • S.20Q      Customs report for port of Cardiff in 1782 . History of the Port of Cardiff, E L Chappell, 1939
  • S.21P    Coal being shipped at Landore, Swansea in 1792, Royal Institution of South Wales

The History of the Industry 1840-1920

The Scale of Expansion

  • S.22Q    Coal production statistics 1865-1914. The South Wales Coal Annual, 1915
  • S.23M      Map showing coverage of collieries by 1915.  Rebirth of a Nation:Wales 1880-1980, K O Morgan, 1981

The Merthyr and Cynon Valleys

  • S.24M    Map showing main collieries by 1874. The South Wales Coal Industry 1841-1875, J H Morris & L J Williams, 1958
  • S.25P    Colliery surface scene at Powell's Middle Dyffryn Colliery (c1874?)
  • S.26P    Notice issued in 1848 by David Davis advertising the qualities of his coal from Blaengwawr. W W Price Collection, Aberdare Library
  • S.27Q    Speech by John Nixon, a Cynon coal owner.   Merthyr Guardian, 12 May 1860

The Rhondda Valleys

  • S.28Q    Details of collieries opened in the Rhondda Fawr from 1850-1914. The Rhondda Valleys, E D Lewis, 1959
  • S.29P    Glamorgan Colliery at Llwynypia. The South Wales Coalfield, A P Barnett & D Wilson-Lloyd (eds), 1921
  • S.30M    Plan of the undertaking of Ocean Coal Co Ltd 1893. I Thomas. Top Sawyer:A Biography of David Davies of Llandinam, 1938
  • S.31Q    Figures showing development of Ocean Collieries, 1870-90. I Thomas. Top Sawyer:A Biography of David Davies of Llandinam, 1938

The Monmouthshire Valleys

  • S.32Q    Details of some major colliery developments in Monmouthshire. The South Wales Coal Annual, 1915
  • S.33Q    Description of work at Bargoed colliery. Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company 1864-1914, 1914
  • S.34P    Coke ovens at Bargoed colliery. Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company 1864-1914, 1914
  • S.35P    Washery at Bargoed colliery. Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company 1864-1914, 1914

The Anthracite Coalfield

  • S.36Q    Production figures, 1900-1914. The South Wales Coal Annual, 1915

Markets and Uses for South Wales Coal.

  • S.37Q    Extract from Lord Seymour's 3rd report in 1851 on Admiralty trials re best coal for British Navy. Parliamentary Papers, 1851
  • S.38Q    Details of exports with destination and South Wales ports, 1914. The South Wales Coal Annual, 1915
  • S.39P     Advertisement by Ocean (Merthyr) Steam Coal. The South Wales Coal Annual, 1915
  • S.40Q    'Disposition of the total output' figures for year ending 31 Dec 1891. South Wales Coalowners Assoc. Records, NLW

Transport

  • S.41P    Ferndale wagon shop of D Davis and Co.   The South Wales Coalfield, A P Barnett & D Wilson-Lloyd (eds), 1921
  • S.42P    Crumlin Viaduct in 1857. The London Illustrated News, 1857
  • S.43P    Coal wagons in sidings at Ferndale Colliery. The South Wales Coalfield, A P Barnett & D Wilson-Lloyd (eds), 1921
  • S.44P    Build up of wagons at Cardiff Docks. NLW

Docks

  • S.45P    Ships being loaded with coal at Cardiff Docks in 1860. Cardiff City library
  • S.46P    Advertisement by Cardiff Railway Company, Bute Docks in 1914.   The South Wales Coal Annual, 1915
  • S.47Q   Export figures for South Wales ports 1885-1914.  The South Wales Coal Annual, 1915
  • S.48P    Aerial view of Barry Docks in its heyday. Aerofilms Ltd

Coalmining Techniques

Reaching the coal

  • S.49P    Diagram of types of coal mining activities. The Industrial Archaeology of Wales, D Morgan Rees.
  • S.50P    Diagram of 'bell pits' structure.   The Industrial Archaeology of Wales, D Morgan Rees.
  • S.51P    Entrance to slant mine at Cwm Mawr Colliery, Tumble in 1950s. NLW
  • S.52Q    Details of expenses in sinking John Nixon's Merthyr Vale Colliery between 1869 and 1875. South Wales Coalowners Assoc. Records, NLW
  • S.53P    Sinkers at Universal Colliery, Senghenydd in 1880s. Old Caerphilly & District in photographs, H C Jones, 1979
  • S.54P    Sinking of Markham Colliery in 1911. NLW

Mining Coal

  • S.55M    Plan of workings at Merthyr Vale Colliery up to end of 1877. South Wales Coalowners Assoc. Records, NLW
  • S.56M    Diagram of a more modern colliery. In and under Britain, M H Haddock, 1948
  • S.57Q    Newspaper account in 1850 of mining at Abercarn Colliery. The Morning Chronicle, 1850
  • S.58Q    Statistics re coal cutting machines in use in 1912. The South Wales Coal Annual, 1913
  • S.59Q    Explanation to Royal Commission in 1919 by E H Hann of Powell Dyffryn Co as to why so few coal cutting machines had been introduced into the South Wales Coalfield. Report of the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry, 1919.
  • S.60P    Miners working at Ton Pentre, Rhondda.  Rhondda Past and Future, K Hopkins(ed), 1975
  • S.61Q    Description of a collier's work by a Blaenavon collier. W H Taylor, Blaenavon. South Wales Miners' Library Taped Interview.

Haulage and Winding

  • S.62P    Drawing of 'horse gin' used for surface winding. British Mining, R Hunt, 1887
  • S.63P    Water balance at Cwmbyrgwm Pit. NLW
  • S.64Q    Engineer's account of using a water balance winding method. Transactions of the Manchester Geological Society, 1862

Ventilation and Drainage

  • S.65Q    Newspaper account in 1850 of ventilation used in a Monmouthshire colliery. The Morning Chronicle, 1850    
  • S.66P    Pit bottom furnace for ventilation at Bwllfa Colliery, Aberdare in early 1900s. NLW

 

The Coalowners

Landlords and Coalowners

Landlords and Leases

  •  S.67Q    Part of lease from Crawshay Bailey to David Davis on land in Upper Rhondda in 1866. South Wales Coalowners Assoc. Records, NLW

Mineral Rights

  • S.68Q    Types of payment received by landlords. The Economics of Coal, J Thomas, 1919
  • S.69Q    Amounts paid from 1856 to 1878 by John Nixon's colliery company to Lord Aberdare, the landlord. South Wales Coalowners Assoc. Records, NLW
  • S.70P    Lord Aberdare's house on his estate at Dyffryn, near Mountain Ash. W W Price Collection, Aberdare library

Barriers

  • S.71M    Map showing royalty areas covered by the Nixon, Taylor & Cory Company collieries in the Merthyr Valley in 1878. South Wales Coalowners Assoc. Records, NLW

Ownership and Management

The Iron Companies

Individual Owners

  • S.72Q    Employment/Output/Wages figures from David Davies's collieries in Upper Rhondda, 1870-1900. The Rhondda Valleys, E D Lewis, 1959

Colliery Companies

  • S.73Q    Example of partnership formed in 1858 at Penygraig Colliery, Rhondda Valley. A History of the Pioneers of the Welsh Coalfield, E Phillips, 1925
  • S.74Q    Details of a limited liability company (D.Davis & Sons Ltd) formed in 1890. South Wales Coal and Iron Companies, 1911
  • S.75Q    Details of directors of the Ocean Coal Company in 1917. Capitalism in the South Wales Coalfield, G Harvey, 1918
  • S.76P    Photograph of the Board of Directors of the Bwllfa and Merthyr Dare Steam Collieries Ltd in 1919. The South Wales Coalfield, A P Barnett & D Wilson-Lloyd (eds), 1925
  • S.77Q    Evidence by a coalowner to the Royal Commission. Reportof the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry, 1909

Coal Combines

  • S.78Q    Production figures for 10 largest collieries in 1873. South Wales Coalowners Assoc. Records, NLW
  • S.79Q    Details of firms taken over by the Cambrian Combine headed by Lord Rhondda, 1910-1916. Report of the Commission Appointed to Inquire into Industrial Unrest, 1917

Profits

  • S.80Q    Extracts from balance sheet of D Davis & Sons Ltd, 1910. South Wales Coal and Iron Companies, 1911
  • S.81Q    Distribution of profits by some SW colliery companies, 1899 to 1914. The Economic and Business History of the South Wales Steam Coal Industry, R Walters, 1977

Managers and Officials

  • S.82P    Photograph of officials employed by Onllwyn Colliery in Dulais Valley owned by Evans, Bevan & Co, (1870?). NLW
  • S.83Q    Some duties of a manager. Mines Act, 1872
  • S.84Q    Extract from report of Government Enquiry. Report of the Commission Appointed to Inquire into Industrial Unrest, 1917
  • S.85Q    Humourous statement by old Tredegar colliery manager. The Colliery Workers Magazine, April 1925

The Lifestyle, Attitudes and Reputation of the Coalowners

  • S.86Q   Background to  Evan Evans, coalowner in the Gilfach Valley.  A History of the Pioneers of the Welsh Coalfield, E Phillips, 1925
  • S.87Q    Extract from letter by Lord Rhondda in 1916. The South Wales Daily News, 14 Feb 1916
  • S.88Q    Lord Merthyr and the Miners' Provident Society. A History of the Pioneers of the Welsh Coalfield, E Phillips, 1925
  • S.89Q    Dying miner's comment about Lewis Davis. A Noble Life: Incidents in the Career of Lewis Davis of Ferndale, D Young, 1899
  • S.90P    Lewis Davis's home at Ferndale. A Noble Life: Incidents in the Career of Lewis Davis of Ferndale, D Young, 1899
  • S.91P    Lord Rhondda with colliery officials at Llanmaes colliery. NLW
  • S.92Q    Details of Lord Rhondda's interests. Capitalism in the South Wales Coalfield, G Harvey, 1918
  • S.93P    David Davis's mansion at Broneiron, Montgomeryshire. I Thomas. Top Sawyer:A Biography of David Davies of Llandinam, 1938
  • S.94P    David Davis goes hunting. I Thomas. Top Sawyer:A Biography of David Davies of Llandinam, 1938
  • S.95P    Edward Davies's 21st birthday celebrations at Llandinam. I Thomas. Top Sawyer:A Biography of David Davies of Llandinam, 1938
  • S.96Q    Matter of fact description of miners' physical condition after the 1871 strike - by the secretary of the South Wales Coal Owners Assoc. The Colliers Strike in South Wales, A Dalziel, 1872
  • S.97P    Cartoon 'Work and Wages'  depicting owners' cynical attitude to miners' wages. The Western Mail, 12 March 1902
  • S.98Q    Comment by mine's inspector on cynicism by owners towards paying compensation to widows in pit disasters. Mines Inspector's Report, 1856
  • S.99Q    Alexander Dalziel's view of the 1871 strike. The Colliers Strike in South Wales, A Dalziel, 1872
  • S.100Q    Letter by Lord Aberdare describes use of soldiers to quell unions. Letters of.......Lord Aberdare of Duffryn, 1902
  • S.101Q    Employment/Output comparison figures. The South Wales Coal Annual, 1915
  • S.102Q    H A Bruce opines why South Wales miners against use of double-shift system. Letters of.......Lord Aberdare of Duffryn, 1902
  • S.103Q    Miners' leader sums up what hostilites are all about. What we want and why, N. Ablett, 1922

The Miners

The Collier Boy

Going to work

  • S.104P    12 yr old John Davies at Ferndale Colliery in 1911.   Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974.
  • S.105Q    Will Paynter describing his journey to work from his home in Trebanog, Rhondda Valley in 1917. My Generation, W Paynter, 1972
  • S.106Q    Joseph Keating of Mountain Ash looks forward to his first day at work. My Struggle for Life, J Keating, 1916
  • S.107Q    Joseph Keating's first day at the Navigation Colliery in 1883.   My Struggle for Life, J Keating, 1916
  • S.108Q    Bert Coombes, Resolven, describes his various tools. These Poor Hands, B L Coombes, 1939

The Colliery

  • S.109P    Surface scene at Bwllfa No 1 Pit, Cynon Valley in 1912. NLW
  • S.110Q    John Thomas, an Ammanford collier, describes some of the work in surface buildings. The Economics of Coal, J Thomas, 1919

Below Ground

  • S.111Q    Frank Hodges of Abertillery describes the journey down the pit in 1900. My Adventures as a Labour Leader, F Hodges, 1925
  • S.112P    The pit bottom at Tirpentwys Colliery near Pontypool in 1908. NLW
  • S.113Q    Will Paynter's description of the darkness of the pit. My Generation, W Paynter, 1972
  • S.114Q    A  professor at University College in Cardiff describes the journey to the coal face itself. The British Coal Trade, H S Jevons, 1915

Mineworkers

Underground Workers

  • S.115Q    Account of work of an underground haulier. Report of Children's Employment Commission, 1842
  • S.116P     Hauliers at work at a Pontypool mine c 1910. NLW
  • S.117Q    Work of a repairer, by a doctor in 1933. The Health of Old and Retired Coalminers in South Wales, E M Williams, 1933

Surface Workers

  • S.118P    Farrier at work at Rhos Llandwit Colliery, Caerphilly, 1885. Old Caerphilly & District in Photographs, H C Jones, 1979
  • S.119Q    Account of work of a banksman, from the Special Rules of a colliery. Cadoxton Colliery Special Rules, 1874
  • S.120P    Surface workers on screens at Middle Duffryn Colliery, Cynon Valley, 1911. History of Powell Duffryn,1914

Children

  • S.121Q    What 10 yr old Elizabeth Williams who worked as a door keeper at the mines of Dowlais Iron Company told the Commissioners in 1842.   Report of Children's Employment Commission, 1842
  • S.122Q    Edward Edwards, aged 9, describes his job as a 'trammer' at Esgyrn Colliery, Briton Ferry in 1842. Report of Children's Employment Commission, 1842
  • S.123P    Drawing of door-keepers and trammers at work. Report of Children's Employment Commission, 1842

Female Miners

  • S.124P    Drawing of women carrying coal in baskets out of a level, early 19th century. Report of Children's Employment Commission, 1842
  • S.125Q    Account of work of women hauliers on surface at Abergorchi Colliery in 1880s. Welsh Folk Museum.
  • S.126P    Women employed in washeries of Ebbw Vale Colliery in 1896. The South Wales Miner, 1968

The Collier

Work

  • S.127Q    How job learnt by James Griffiths of Ammanford who began as a collier's lad in 1904. 'The Miners Union in the Anthracite Coalfield' by J Griffiths; in Men of No Property, G A Hughes, 1971
  • S.128Q    Overall job description by a mining engineer, T Foster Brown in 1883. Transactions of the South Wales Institute of Engineers, 1863
  • S.129P    Miners at a level near Pontypool in 1910. NLW
  • S.130Q    Extract from poem by Idris Davies of the Rhymney Valley. Gwalia Deserta, Idris Davies, 1938
  • S.131Q    Vernon Hartshorn, a miners' union leader, giving evidence to Government Commission in 1919. Report and Minutes of Evidence of the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry, 1919
  • S.132Q    Aberdare miner, Edmund Stonelake, talks about the collier's pride in his work. The Autobiography of Edmund Stonelake, E Stonelake, 1981
  • S.133Q    Dalziel describes custom of colliers controlling output. The Colliers Strike in South Wales. A Dalziel, 1872

Wages

  • S.134Q    Day rates under the Minimum Wage Act 1912. The South Wales Coal Annual, 1913
  • S.135Q    Schedule of Prices (piece work rates) at Ocean Collieries, 1882. Rhondda Public Library
  • S.136Q    Wage slip from Nixon's Navigation Company Ltd, Cwm Cynon Colliery, 1902?. Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, Local History Collection

Conditions

  • S.137Q    Miners' leader, Noah Ablett, describes dangers and difficulties faced by miners. What we want and why, Noah Ablett, 1922
  • S.138P    Memorial leaflet to 3508 miners who lost their lives in colliery disasters between 1837 and 1927 in the North Wales, South Wales, and Monmouthshire coalfields. NLW
  • S.139P    4 drawings of the scenes at the Park Slip Colliery, Aberkenfig in Sept 1892. London Illustrated News, 1892
  • S.140Q   Newspaper account of the explosion  at Abercarne, Monmouthshire in Sept 1878. South Wales Daily News, 13 Sept 1878
  • S.140(a/b)PQ    Report and picture of the disaster at Universal Colliery, Senghenydd in 1913. Western Mail 16 Oct 1913 & NLW
  • S.141Q    Author describes a fatal roof fall accident. The Autobiography of Edmund Stonelake, E Stonelake, 1981
  • S.142Q    A doctor describes the effect of lung diseases. The Health of Old and Retired Coalminers in South Wales, E M Williams, 1933
  • S.143Q    A collier describes effects of nystagmus to a doctor in 1912. Miners Nystagmus:Its Causes and Prevention, T Llewellyn, 1912

Miners Unions

Before 1898

  • S.144Q    Extract from ceremony when someone joined the Friendly Society of Coalmining in 1831. Cambrian, 12 Nov 1831
  • S.145Q    Leaflet from 1849 explaining recent stoppage by 'Colliers of Aberdare Sea-Coal'. The Morning Chronicle, 1850
  • S.146Q    Newspaper extract concerning weakness of the Union in 1871 dispute. The Western Mail, 12 June 1871
  • S.147P    Print showing a mass meeting of Amalgamated Association of Miners members in Merthyr during 1875 dispute. London Illustrated News, May 1875
  • S.148Q    Extract from Rules of the 'Blaenavon Association'- an owner's sponsored union, 1891. Big Pit Mining Museum, Blaenavon
  • S.149P    Drawings of scenes from 1893 hauliers strike, Ferndale & Merthyr. London Illustrated News, Aug 1893
  • S.150P    Cartoon headed 'As far off as ever', showing Mabon arguing the miners' case with Sir W T Lewis. The Western Mail, 14 Feb 1898
  • S.151P    Demonstration in Merthyr Tydfil, 1898. Merthyr Public Library
  • S.152P    'The Fed's' badge/motif.  South Wales Miners Library
  • S.153P    The Federation Song. South Wales Miners Library
  • S.154Q    Description of 'The Fed's role by Will Paynter. 'The Fed', W Paynter;  in Men of No Property, G A Hughes, 1971
  • S.155Q    Newspaper report of the founding conference of the South Wales Miners Federation.   South Wales Daily News, 12 Oct 1898
  • S.156Q    Explanation of the Lodge system by Dai Dan Evans. 'Relationship between NUM, and the structure of the coal mining industry', D D Evans: in Men of No Property, G A Hughes, 1971
  • S.157Q    Job of checkweighr explained by Cliff Prothero who held the job at Cwm-rhyd-y-gau Colliery, Glynneath. Recount, C Prothero, 1981
  • S.158P    Ballot at a Rhondda colliery. Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.159Q    Report of  SWMF Annual Conference in 1922. The Colliery Workers Magazine, July 1922

The SWMF 1898-1914

  • S.160Q    Extract from a speech by Mabon in the USA. South Wales Daily News, 2 January 1905
  • S.161Q    Newspaper account in 1906 of campaign in Maesteg area against non-unionists. South Wales Daily News, Dec 1906
  • S.162P    Cartoon 'Peaceful Persuasion' portraying the role of women in forcing membership of the Union. The Western Mail, 15 Dec 1906
  • S.163Q    'Abnormal places' problem explained by Union leader. What we want and why, Noah Ablett, 1922
  • S.164Q    Part of newspaper account of disturbances at Tonypandy in 1910. The Western Mail, 9 Nov 1910
  • S.165P    Tonypandy Square after the riots of 1910. South Wales Miners Library
  • S.166Q    Extracts from pamphlet 'The Miners' Next Step' published by the Unofficial Reform  Committee, 1912. The Miners' Next Step, 1912

Coalfield Society 1

The Creation of Coal Society

Population Growth

  • S.167M    Map of 'old counties' of Wales showing census statistics for 1801,1851 & 1911

The People and their Origins

  • S.168M    Map of counties of England and Wales. Glamorgan County History, vol V, A H John, 1980
  • S.169M    Map showing where people who lived in Glamorgan in 1911 were actually born. Glamorgan County History, vol V, A H John, 1980
  • S.170Q    Comment by a woman who moved to the Rhondda from rural Cardiganshire. Ar Llethrau Ffair Rhos, W J Edwards, 1963
  • S.171Q    An agricultural labourer from Merioneth describes the railway journey to Cilfynydd in 1906 with first impressions of South Wales. Interview with J L Williams, South Wales Miners Library.
  • S.172Q    Table showing birth places of Rhondda Valley inhabitants in 1891 & 1911. The Rhondda Valleys, E D Lewis, 1959.
  • S.173Q    Joseph Keating comments on how Irish immigrants to South Wales retained their own customs. My Struggle for Life, J Keating, 1916
  • S.174P    Julio Bracchi in his Tonypandy cafe in early 1900s. Rhondda Past & Future, K S Hopkins, 1974
  • S.175Q    Comment on how groups of immigrants stuck together in Cynon Valley. The Health of Old and Retired Coalminers in South Wales, E M Williams, 1933

The Nature of Coal Society

Language

  • S.176Q    Table showing which language(s) the populations of Carmarthenshire and Monmouthshire spoke at the 1901 and 1911 censuses.
  • S.177Q    Thomas Jones of Rhymney comments on the decline of the Welsh language. Rhymney Memories, T Jones, 1938
  • S.178Q    Letter to a newspaper re Welsh language decline. Glamorgan Free Press, 11 June 1902

Communities

  • S.179P    The mid-Rhondda Fawr in 1920s. In Search of Wales, H V Morton, 1932
  • S.180Q    Description of South Wales valleys. Report of the Commission Appointed to Inquire Into Industrial Unrest, 1917-18
  • S.181P    Tylacoch in the Rhondda in 1920s. Rhondda Remembered, C Batstone, 1983
  • S.182Q    Doctor's comment about differences between  ways of life in anthracite and main part of the coalfield. The Health of Old and Retired Coalminers in South Wales, E M Williams, 1933

The Domination of Coal

  • S.183Q    Occupational statistics for Glamorgan between 1851 and 1921.   Glamorgan County History, vol V, A H John, 1980
  • S.184Q    Graph showing 'Fluctuation in the Price of Coal, Livestock, and the Marriage rate, 1850-1913'.  'Wales and the Atlantic Economy', B Thomas; in The Welsh Economy: Studies in Expansion, B Thomas, 1962

'Women's Work'

  • S.185P    Woman employed as hauliers at Abergorchi Colliery in Treorchy, 1880s. Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.186P    'Patch girls' of Tredegar, c 1860s ?. Manchester City Art Gallery.
  • S.187Q    Newspaper account of 'patch girls' employed on the tips. The Bristol Mercury, 14 May 1865
  • S.188P    Photograph of brickworkers at the Glamorgan Colliery, Llwynypia in 1880. Rhondda Remembered, C Batstone, 1983
  • S.189Q    Description of woman brickworkers at Blaenavon in 1865. Notebook of A J Munby 1865
  • S.190Q    Sad memories of one South Wales girl in service in London of her first day. A Child in the Forest, W Foley, 1974

Homes and Family Life

Homes

  • S.191P    Wooden huts as housing at Senghenydd. Old Caerphilly & District in Photographs, H C Jones, 1979.
  • S.192P     Three roomed cottages at Dinas. Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.193Q     Part of a 1878 survey of houses built at Merthyr Vale by Nixon, Taylor, Cory & Co . South Wales Coalowners Assoc Records
  • S.194P     Private builders at work at Tallis St, Cwmparc, Treorchy in 1890s. Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.195P    Typical terrace housing development in the Rhondda. Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.196Q    Account of how a 'Building Club' operated. The British Coal Trade, H S Jevons, 1915

Family Life

  • S.197P    Photograph of typical house bathing arrangements.  South Wales Miners Library
  • S.198Q    Account of bathing arrangements in a lodgings. 'The Miners: A Test case for Oral History', C Storm-Clark: in Victorian Studies, Sept 1971
  • S.199Q    Abergwynfi miner's wife describes how pit life  dominated her life. 'Pit Head Baths', E Williams: in The Colliery Workers' Magazine, July 1925
  • S.200Q    Rhondda housewife's account of keeping house 'tidy'. Women of the Rhondda, R Crook, 1980
  • S.201P    Pontypool woman using a dolly tub and poss stick for her washing, early 1900s. NLW
  • S.202Q    'Mam' rules the roost. Women of the Rhondda, R Crook, 1980
  • S.203Q    A miner reflects on why his mother died so young. Unusual Students, H Watkins, 1947

Furniture, Clothes and Food

  • S.204Q    Ebbw Vale man's description of typical miner's cottage in early 1900s. A History of Ebbw Vale, A Gray-Jones, 1970
  • S.205Q    Description of fashions in clothes of the period (early 1900s). A History of Ebbw Vale, A Gray-Jones, 1970
  • S.206P    Newspaper advertisement -men's fashions and price of clothes. South Wales Evening Post, 12 Oct 1920
  • S.207Q    Details of food of the period 1900-14, and its price.   A History of Ebbw Vale, A Gray-Jones, 1970

Shops

  • S.208Q    Shops in houses, by Bert Coombes of Resolven. These Poor Hands, B L Coombes, 1939
  • S.209P    Shops in the Rhondda c 1890s. Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.210P    Shops in the Rhondda c 1890s. Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.211P    Street scene in Tonypandy. NLW
  • S.212Q    Description of scene inside a Clydach Vale shop. Print of a Hare's Foot, R Davies
  • S.213Q    Details of the Aberdare Co-operative Society in 1902. Aberdare Co-op Soc Records, UCW Swansea

Poverty and Public Health

Poverty

  • S.214P    Women picking coal at Aberdare during 1910 strike. W W Price Collection, Aberdare Public Library
  • S.215P    Soup Kitchen at Beddau in 1912. A History of Llantrisant, D Lewis, 1975
  • S.216Q    Food given at Swansea Workhouse in 1862. 'The Poor Law in West Glamorgan'. J E Thomas: in Morgannwg, Vol XVIII, 1974
  • S.217P    Miners working as stone breakers at Treharris during 1898 lockout. South Wales Miners, R Page Arnot, 1967

Self-Help

  •  S.218Q    Rules of Friendly Society in Dulais Valley, 1893. South Wales Miners Library

Public Health

  • S.219Q    Insanitary conditions in Rhondda UDC. Report of Medical Officer of Health for Rhondda Urban District Council, 1893
  • S.220P    Newspaper drawing 'Baby Graves' depicting tragedy of so many young deaths. The Western Mail, 24 June 1907
  • S.221Q   Author describes the ill-health of some of his classmates at Pontlottyn at end of 19th century. The Autobiography of Edmund Stonelake, E Stonelake, 1981
  • S.222Q    Children and dangers of falling into tubs and baths. 'Pithead Baths', A Lovat-Fraser; in Welsh Housing and Development Assoc Yearbook, 1922.

Medical Facilities

  • S.223Q    Thomas Jones describes some 'folk medicine'. Rhymney Memories, T Jones, 1938

Coalfield Society II

Popular Culture and Pastimes

Self Entertainment & Hobbies

  • S.224Q   Thomas Jones describes some street games played in the 1880s.    Rhymney Memories, T Jones, 1938
  • S.225P    'Bat and catty' or 'catty and doggy' being played at a tournament in Tonypandy in 1920s. Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.226P    Carnival parade at Pontycymmer in Garw Valley in 1908. Old Maesteg and the Bridgend Valleys in Photographs, R G Keen, 1979

Theatres, Cinemas and Outings

  • S.227P    Theatre Royal, Tonypandy, 1890s. Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.228P    Souvenir programme to mark opening of the Empire Theatre of Varieties in the same street as the above, in 1909. Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.229P    By 1914 the cinema had arrived  at Treherbert, the Saturday morning children's matinee (known as Penny Rush) was about to start. Rhondda Past & Future, K Hopkins, 1974
  • S.230P    The 'Rhondda Butterfly' charabanc.   Rhondda Past & Future, K Hopkins, 1974
  • S.231Q    Account of a Bedlinog man off on a trip to Barry Island.  The Right Place. The Right Time. W H Davies, 1972

Sport

  • S.232Q    A Bedlinog man explains the popularity of rugby in the valleys. The Right Place. The Right Time. W H Davies, 1972
  • S.233P    Ebbw Vale Rugby team in 1900-1 season. Old Ebbw Vale in Photographs, K Thomas
  • S.234P    Souvenir programme of Wales v All Blacks, 1905. BBC Hulton Picture Library
  • S.235P    Ynysddu Town AFC in 1920. Old Ebbw Vale in Photographs, K Thomas

The Public House

  • S.236P    New Inn, Ton Pentre. Rhondda Past & Future, K Hopkins, 1974
  • S.237Q    Description of a pub, author's father kept the New Inn Hotel, Clydach Vale. Interview with Bryn Lewis, South Wales Miners Library.
  • S.238Q    Miner's letter to newspaper re Sunday closing. The Merthyr Express, 30 July 1881

Music

  • S.239P    The Rhondda Glee Society. Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.240P    Gwaun-cae-gurwen Silver Band (formed 1902). South Wales Miners Library

The Eisteddfod

  • S.241P    Part of programme for 2nd Annual Eisteddfod of the Mountain Ash Cottage Hospital in 1896. Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, Local History Collection

Religion

The Rise of the Chapels

  • S.242Q    Table of statistics from the 1851 Religious Census.
  • S.243P    Carmel Chapel, Ebbw Vale. Old Ebbw Vale in Photographs, K Thomas

The Denominations

  • S.244Q    Chapels in the Maesteg area in 1926. Kelly's Directory of South Wales, 1926
  • S.245P     Salvation Army Band, Pentre, Rhondda, 1912. Treorchy Comprehensive School, Local History Collection

The Influence of the Chapels

  • S.246Q    Canvass of people's views on drink, Mountain Ash 1878. Lord Swansea Collection NLW
  • S.247Q    A boy from Bedlinog describes a temperance society's entreaty to join them. The Right Place. The Right Time. W H Davies, 1972
  • S.248Q    A Glynneath miner's view of chapel sermons. Recount, C Prothero, 1981

Criticism and Decline

  • S.249Q    A Pontlottyn miner's evidence of the chapel's lack of influence on temperance . The Autobiography of Edmund Stonelake, E Stonelake, 1981
  • S.250Q    Will Paynter on leaving the chapel. My Generation. W Paynter, 1972

The Chapel and the Community

  • S.251P    Annual Chapel Walk at Pontycymmer in 1908. Old Maesteg and the Bridgend Valleys in Photographs, R G Keen, 1979

Education

Sunday Schools

  • S.252P    Sunday School classes at Nebo Baptist Chapel, Pontygof, Ebbw Vale in 1900. Old Ebbw Vale in Photographs, K Thomas.
  • S.253Q    Description of Sunday school classes in the Rhondda. History of Pontypridd and the Rhondda Valleys, O Morgan, 1903

Day Schools

  • S.254Q    Comment by visiting Anglican minister on  colliery schools in Hirwaun in 1856. Journal of William Roberts (Nefydd), Blaina. NLW journals
  • S.255P    First pupils at Beddau Board school in 1878. A History of Llantrisant, D Lewis, 1975
  • S.256P    Class in Treorchy Girls' School in 1913.   Rhondda Past & Future, K Hopkins, 1974
  • S.257P    Entry from School Log of a Maesteg Infants School in 1895. Merthyr Colliery School. Maesteg, Infants Dept Log Book, 1895

Secondary Schools

  •  S.258Q    Junior and Senior Certificate Examination subjects and regulations in 1911. Central Welsh Board Regulations, 1911

Adult Education

  •  S.259Q    Part of the syllabus of classes organised by the Western District of the SWMF in 1921. South Wales Miners Library.

Miners' Institutes

  • S.260P    The Parc and Dare Workman's Hall in Treorchy. The Valley, BBC Wales, 1982
  • S.261Q    Souvenir programme of opening in 1909 of Ferndale and Blaenllechau Workmens Hall and Institute.
  • S.262P    Oakdake Institute Library. The History of the Oakdale Institute, G H Hoare
  • S.263P    Part of printed catalogue of the Parc and Dare Institute Library, Treorchy. South Wales Miners Library.
  • S.264Q    Tredegar miner Archie Lush talks about an adult education course. Interview with A Lush, South Wales Miners Library.

Politics

The Liberal Domination

  • S.265Q    Extract from newspaper report of speech by Henry Richard during 1868 election. Aberdare Times, 14 Nov 1868
  • S.266Q    An account of the 'Treorchy Riots' of 1874. 'Reminiscences of the Rhondda', W Morris: in Rhondda Leader 19 Jul 1919

Lib-Labs

  • S.267P    William Abraham (Mabon) in 1885. NLW
  • S.268Q    Account of Mabon's election in 1885. The Western Mail, 3 Dec 1885

The Rise of Socialism

  • S.269P    Keir Hardie at Dowlais Top in 1900. South Wales Miners Library
  • S.270P    Poster from 1910 Merthyr Boroughs election, 'Vote Keir Hardie'. Labour Party Photograph Library
  • S.271P    Section of a newspaper published in 1920 by Marxist idealists, 'The Workers' Bomb'. South Wales Miners Library.

Women and Politics

  • S.272Q    Description of women's role in Labour and Co-operative movements. A Woman's Work is Never Done, E Andrews, 1948
  • S.273Q    Excerpt from newspaper article by Labour Councillor from Pontllanfraith. The Colliery Workers Magazine, Feb 1925

Coal Society in Crisis

Introduction

  • S.274Q    Powell Duffryn brochure looking at its future, 1914. History of Powell Duffryn, 1914
  • S.275Q    Employment and Production statistics for South Wales Coalfield, 1890-1983. 'The Fed': A History of the South Wales Miners in the Twentieth Century, H Francis/D Smith, 1980
  • S.276Q    Population Figures, 1921, 1951, 1981. Census of population, 1921, 1951, 1981

The 1914-18 War and After

The War and the Coalfield

  • S.277P    Parade in support of war effort at Mountain Ash in 1915. Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, Local History Collection
  • S.278P    SWMF Notice in support of war effort. Records of the SWMF
  • S.279P    David Lloyd George addressing SWMF Conference at Cardiff in 1915. South Wales Miners Library

State Control of the Coal Industry

  • S.280Q    Part of evidence by James Winstone, President of the SWMF, to the Commission. Report and Minutes of Evidence of the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry, 1919
  • S.281Q    Part of evidence of Hugh Bramwell of the South Wales Coalowners Assoc to the Commission.   Report and Minutes of Evidence of the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry, 1919
  • S.282P    Extract from Commission's Report - the recommendation to nationalise the industry.   Report and Minutes of Evidence of the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry, 1919

The 1921 Lock-Out

  • S.283P    The SWMF sets out effects of the Coal Owners' Proposals in 1921. Records of the SWMF
  • S.284Q    Newspaper report on  whether safety men should continue to work during lock-out. The Western Mail, 14 April 1921
  • S.285P    Processions of men from Mardy, Tylorstown, Ferndale and other pits in protest re working by safety men. The Western Mail, 14 April 1921

The Coal Industry in the Inter-War Years

Recovery and Collapse

  • S.286Q    South Wales Coal Field production figures halved in period 1923-1943. 'The Fed': A History of the South Wales Miners in the Twentieth Century, H Francis/D Smith, 1980
  • S.287Q    Export figures to various countries 1913 & 1931. The South Wales Coal Annual, 1931
  • S.288Q    Average price per ton of coal produced in certain British coalfields in 1921. Report and Minutes of Evidence of the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry, 1925

The General Strike and Miners' Lock-Out 1926

  • S.289Q    Coalowners' proposed wage cuts. Records of the SWMF
  • S.290P    A J Cook, leader of the Miners Federation of Great Britain. South Wales Miners Library
  • S.291P    Newspaper article 'Coal  Crisis Emergency Issue'. South Wales Argus, 4 May 1926
  • S.292P     Diagram illustrating organisation of General Strike Committee. Souvenir Report of the Merthyr Tydfil Strike Committee, 1926
  • S.293Q    Poem by Idris Davies on 1926. Gwalia Deserta, I Davies, 1938
  • S.294Q    Various newspaper articles about offences committed by striking miners. Western Mail, Nov 1926

Work and Working Conditions

  • S.295Q    Table showing quantity and percenatge of coal cut by machinery in South Wales and Monmouthshire, 1913-1934. The South Wales Miner, June 1936
  • S.296P    Coal face at Penallta Colliery in 1930. Big Pit Mining Museum, Blaenavon
  • S.297Q    Table showing Fatal Accidents at all Mines (British Coalfields) with principal causes, 1914-1939. The Colliery Year Book, 1960

The Anthracite Coalfield

  • S.298Q    Investigation in 1937 re movement of miners into anthracite area from more depressed parts of coalfield. The Second Industrial Survey of South Wales, 1937

The Aftermath

The Depression: Effects

Unemployment

  • S.299P    Graph showing levels of unemployment in South Wales, 1923 to 1948. Wales in Maps, M Davies, 1958

Emigration

  • S.300Q    Table showing loss of population in certain South Wales towns  1921-1931. The Black Death on Wheels: Unemployment and Migration - The Experience of Inter-War South Wales' by A Chandler: in T Williams,   Papers in Modern Welsh History
  • S.301P    A group of men from Blaina working in Brighton in 1930. NLW
  • S.302Q    Arthur Exell from Beddau describes how the Welsh not always welcome in England. 'Morris Motors in the 1930s' by A Exell:  in History Workshop, Spring 1979
  • S.303Q    A Rhondda minister's account of an experience in the USA. Christ in the Valley of Unemployment, R J Barker, 1936

Survival

  • S.304Q    Survey in 1937 in Blaina of two household's income and expenditure, one employed, the other not. 'Portrait of a Mining Town', P Massey: in Fact, Nov 1937
  • S.305Q    Table issued by the Co-operative Wholesale Society of food prices in June 1937. The South Wales Miner, June 1937
  • S.306Q    A story of hardship told by a South Wales miner in the 1930s. In Search of Wales, H V Morton, 1932
  • S.307P    Picking coal from the mountain side at Brynmawr. NLW
  • S.308P    Staff of soup kitchen at Salem Chapel, Nantyffyllon during 1926 lock-out. Old Maesteg and the Bridgend Valley in Photographs, R G Keen, 1979
  • S.309Q    Balance Sheet of the Mardy Distress Funds account. SWMF Accounts
  • S.310Q    Elizabeth Andrews of Pentre describes the relief work carried out by miners wives during 1926 Lock-Out. A Woman's Work is Never Done, E Andrews, 1948

The Depression: Resistance, Protest and Despair

Unemployed Movements

  • S.311P    Newspaper feature re 'National Unemployed Workers Movement'. South Wales Miners Library
  • S.312P    Newspaper report of demonstration at Blaina against cuts in unemployment benefits and 18 being charged with causing a riot. The Daily Workers, 6 March 1935
  • S.313P    Poster calling for first Hunger March on London in 1927. South Wales Miners Library
  • S.314P    Part of the 1931 march in Bristol. South Wales Miners Library
  • S.315P    A section of the Garw Valley contingent on that March in Bristol. Old Maesteg and Bridgend Valleys in Photographs, R G Keen, 1979

The Struggle against Company Unionism

  • S.316P    SWMF Notice re a 'Show Cards' week to combat non-unionism. SWMF Records
  • S.317Q    Walter Haydn Davies from Bedlinog describes the bitterness caused by the 'civil war' between the SWMF and the rival South Wales Miners Industrial Union(SWMIU). The Right Time. The Right Place...,W H Davies, 1972
  • S.318P    Police protect members of the SWMIU at Blaengarw in 1929. The Miners: The Years of Struggle, R Page-Arnot, 1953
  • S.319P    Propaganda leaflet issued at Taff Merthyr by the SWMF against the SWMIU. South Wales Miners Library
  • S.320P    Propaganda leaflet issued at Taff Merthyr by the SWMIU against the SWMF. South Wales Miners Library
  • S.321P    Newspaper report 'Stay-in Strikers Defy Fed'. South Wales Echo, 17 Oct 1935

Political Movements

  • S.322Q    Results of 1945 General Election in coalfield constituencies. Western Mail
  • S.323P     Extract from Communist Party newspaper 'Rhondda Vanguard'. South Wales Miners Library
  • S.324P    Young Comrades League members with banner presented by Russian miners, at Maerdy (Little Moscow).  South Wales Miners Library
  • S.325P    Leaflet published for Memorial Meeting to 3 Rhondda miners who died fighting with the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War ( Willie Davies, Blaenclydach; David Jones, Penygraig; Frank Owen, Mardy). South Wales Miners Library

Despair

  • S.326P    The Pentre Alexandra Deaths Head Orphans (Jazz Band ?). Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.327P    Carnival scene at Wattstown, Rhondda in 1928. Old Rhondda in Photographs, C Batstone, 1974
  • S.328Q    An unemployed South Wales miner's grim view of the valleys. Unusual Students, H Watkins, 1947

The South Wales Coalfield since 1945

Nationalisation

  • S.329P    Scene on Vesting Day, 1 Jan 1947, at Lewis Merthyr Colliery, Porth. NLW
  • S.330P    Poster advertising some of the nationalisation celebrations held in the Rondda. NLW

Changes in the Industry

  • S.331P    Abernant Colliery near Pontardawe - surface buildings. NLW
  • S.332P    Abernant Colliery near Pontardawe - below ground . NLW

Pit Closures

  • S.333Q    List of mines that were closed in the 1960s. 'The Fed': A History of the South Wales Miners in the Twentieth Century, H Francis/D Smith, 1980
  • S.334M    Map showing collieries that still existed (in 1980). 'The Fed': A History of the South Wales Miners in the Twentieth Century, H Francis/D Smith, 1980
  • S.335Q    Table of manpower and production figures for the South Wales Coalfield for  various years from 1913 to 1983. 'The Fed': A History of the South Wales Miners in the Twentieth Century, H Francis/D Smith, 1980

Effect of Pit Closures

  • S.336Q    Newspaper report 'A Valley on the Ropes' - Maesteg. The Western Mail, 14 Feb 1985

Conclusion

  • S.337P    Pentre, Rhondda as it is today. C Batstone, Photographer, Pentre, Rhondda.
  • S.338Q    John Evans, a Rhondda miner, tells the author what he felt about long term unemployment. Time to Spare, F Green, 1935

[Last Updated : 3 June 2004 - Gareth Hicks]