Open a form to report problems or contribute information

 
1 Introduction 2 Message details 3 Upload file 4 Submitted
Page 1 of 4

Help and advice for Brynamman - coal and tin

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it. We have a number of people each maintaining different sections of the web site, so it is important to submit information via a link on the relevant page otherwise it is likely to go to the wrong person and may not be acted upon.

The History of Brynamman  

Coal mining & tinplate related extracts

 

By Enoch Rees  1883/1896.  Translated by Ivor Griffiths.

Here are some coal mining & tinplate related extracts from this book

 

 

 

NAMES OF COAL SEAMS  (p29)

 

The bed of Anthracite coal considered to be in the Brynamman district

                                                       Feet    Inches

  •         1.      Pinshin Seam             1       8
  •         2.      Goch Seam                3       10
  •         3.      Sebon Seam               1       9
  •         4.      Stwryn Seam             2       3
  •         5.      Wen Seam                 2       10
  •         6.      Ddu Seam                  2       10
  •         7.      Newydd Seam           2       8
  •         8.      Harnio Seam              2       4
  •         9.      Fawr Seam                4       6
  •         10.     Ddu Seam                 2       8
  •         11.     Bresen                      4       0
  •         12.     Trigloyn Seam           2       5
  •         13.     Brynlloi Seam           2       4
  •         14.     Bresen Fach Seam    1       8
  •         15.     Ganol Seam              2       9
  •         16.     Isaf Seam                  2       9
  •         17.     Bryn Seam                2       0
  •         18.     Astell Seam               1       8

There is about a yard of fireclay under Bresen Fach.

NAMES OF COLLIERIES IN THE ANTHRACITE REGION. (p29/30)

 

Mines marked * are Pit - all the others are Drift

Lower District.

  • Trimsaran
  • Pontyberem  
  • Tumble  
  • Pentre Mawr  
  • Glynyrhebog  
  • Plas Bach *
  • Pont Henry
  • Rock Castle
  • Emlyn
  • Crosshands  *
  • Rhos  *
  • Cae'r Bryn  *
  • Park No 1
  • Park No 2
  • Ammanford

Central District.

  • Cawdor
  • Gelliceidrym
  • Llwynrhydian
  • Pwll Newydd y Waun  *
  • Hen Bwll y Waun  *
  • Pantycelyn
  • Blaenywaun

Upper District.

  • Hendreforgan
  • Cwmgilfach
  • Brynhenllysg
  • Pwll Bach
  • Ystradfawr   *
  • Hendreladys   *
  • Waunclawdd
  • Abercrave
  • Onllwyn
  • Seven Sisters  *
  • Varteg
  • Crynant
  • Nant Merthyr
  • Ynys Merthyr
  • Aberpergwm
  • Pwllfaron
  • Ystradowen
  • International   

All the above collieries belong to the Anthracite Union

NAMES OF TINPLATE WORKS IN THE ANTHRACITE AREA (p30)

 

  • 1. Brynamman    1872
  • 2. Glynbeudy     1889
  • 3. Garnant
  • 4. Glanamman
  • 5. Tirdail
  • 6. Pantyffynon
  • 7. Cwmtwrch
  • 8. Gurnos
  • 9. Ystalyfera
  • 10. Yniscedwyn

COAL AND ORE MINES OF THE PLACE.(p30)

(Most of them now closed.)

Level yr Office; Level y Bresen; Level Bawns,Level Pencraig; Level Trigloyn a Coedcae Bach; Level Herbert; Level yr Ynys; Level y Cwar; Level Tyrhen -- Abraham; Level Twynadarn; Level Pantycelyn; Glynbeudy Drift; Cannon Frift; Bwli Bach Drift; Medwyn Drift; Blaenywaun Drift; Drifft y Tynel; Drifft y Wythien fawr.

                             Year sunk       Depth

  • Pwll    canol   y Waun        1837,   200
  • Pwll    Uchaf                      1847    140
  • Pwll    Newydd                  1884    250
  • Pwll    y   Gwter                 1855    110
  • Pwll    Rhydwen

Several small pits were sunk here and there in the district, but they are not worth mentioning.
For instance the Byrlip Pit and similar ones ---- more water and beer than anything else.

COAL MINING ACCIDENTS IN THE KINGDOM (p31/2)

 

The causes of loss of life in and around collieries are many and varied.
As shown, explosions are only one of the causes, and the lives lost through this is small in comparison to the total.
The following gives the causes of all the deaths in 1884 and 1885.

NATURE OF ACCIDENT

NUMBER OF

LIVES LOST

 

1884

1885

Explosions

65

341

Cave-in or Fall

482

439

Overwinding

2

2

Ropes or chains breaking

21

6

Descending or ascending the pit

21

19

Fall down pit from surface

8

10

Things falling down pit

3

5

Things falling along pit

8

7

Various other causes

8

15

Powder blast

22

7

Gas suffocation

19

2

Water bursting through

1

13

Falling into water

1

0

On the inclines

40

46

By trams and tubs

100

112

By underground machinery

7

9

Various other causes underground

23

30

By machinery on the surface

12

7

Boiler blast

2

1

Various causes on the surface

80

67

                        Total

942

1150

Is not this a black and heartrending catalogue?
So many to die in a year,and most of them, cut down in an accident.
No wonder that the words of an English bard were critical:

"They fell and faded -- and the crackling trunks
Extinguished with a crash -- and all was black."

As seen, the main cause of loss of life in the collieries was cave-ins or falls from the roof or sides. The death toll under this heading was 38.17% of the total. Most underground workers know that there are different arrangements operating in different regions concerning the setting up of timber props. In some regions, all the props are set up by specially appointed persons,and the collier does not interfere in any way with the 'timbering.' In other regions the props are put up by the colliers themselves, which is the arrangement in this area.
There has been much argueing at times on the merits and de-merits of the two systems, and I believe that I am right in saying that the miners in South Wales are practically all in favour of the second system. They argue that the nature of the roof and the ground is such that they cannot adopt the other method. Still, it would be interesting to look at the number of deaths through falls or cave-ins in the regions using the two systems.

The following list gives a clear view of the matter:

Region

Number of deaths through falls in 1885 

Rate of deaths per thousand persons employed

Timbering
by

Northumberland,Cumberland, and North Durham

 21 

.39

Officials

South Durham,Durham,Westmoreland, and North Yorkshire

39 

.62

Officials

North and East Lancashire

29 

.89 

Workers

West Lancashire and North Wales

57 

1.37

Workers

West Yorkshire

46

.72 

Workers

Derbyshire,Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire

32 

.58

Officials

North Staffordshire,Cheshire, and Shropshire

15

.67 

Officials

South Staffordshire and Worcestershire

20 

.86

Workers

Monmouthshire ,Somerset and parts of Gloucestershire and Breconshire

37

1.03

Workers

South Wales

81

1.31

Workers

East Scotland

42

.91 

Workers

West Scotland

20 

.66 

Workers

         MINING DISASTERS

        BETWEEN 1845 and 1896

 

 

  No.Killed

1845 -- Aug 2 

Cwmbach near Merthyr Tydfil

28

1846 -- Jan 14

Risca Colliery

35

1848 -- June 21

Victoria,Monmouth

11

1849 -- Aug 11

Llety Shenkin,Aberdare

52

1851 -- Sept 3

Aberdare.Chain broke

14

1852 -- May 10 

Dyffryn Pit,Aberdare

64

1852 -- May 10

Gwendraeth Vale;water broke in

28

1853 -- March 12

Risca Vale.Explosion

10

1856 -- Nov 29

Cwmamman,Aberdare;cage upset

8

1856 - July 15 

Cymmer,Pontypridd

114

1857 -- Feb 19

Lundhill,Barnsley

189

1858 -- Oct 13

Primrose Colliery,Swansea

13

Same Year 

Dyffryn near Newport

20

1859 -- April 5

Chain Colliery,near Neath

20

1860 -- March 2

Killingworth

75

1860 -- Dec 1

Risca,near Newport

45

1860 -- Dec 20

Hetton,Northumberland

22

1861 -- June 11

Claycross,Derbyshire

21

1861 -- Oct

Lalle,France

85

1862 -- Jan 16

Hartley,Northumberland

292

1862 -- Feb 19

Gethin,near Merthyr

47

1862 -- Nov 22

Walker,Newcastle

15

1862 -- Dec 8

Barnsley

60

1863 -- March 6

Coxbridge,Newcastle

13

1863 -- Oct 17

Margam

39

1863 -- Dec  26

Maesteg

14

1865 -- June 16

Bedwellty

24

1865 -- Dec  20

Gethin,Merthyr

30

1865 -- 

New Pit,Tredegar

36

1866 -- Jan 23

Highbrook,Wigan

30

1866 -- June 14

Dukinfield

37

1866 -- Oct  31

Pelton Fell,Durham

24

1866 -- Dec  12

Oaks,Barnsley

360

1866 -- Dec  13

Oaks,Barnsley

28

1866 -- Dec  13

Talk o' th' Hill

80

1867 -- Aug   29

Garswood,St Helens

14

1867 -- Nov  8

Ferndale

178

1868 -- Sept 30

Ruabon

11

1868 -- Nov  26

Arley,Wigan

62

1868 -- Dec  21

Norley,Wigan

7

1868 -- Dec  30

Haydock,St Helens

26

1869 -- April  1

Highbrook,Wigan

33

1869 -- June 10 

Ferndale

60

1869 -- July 21

Haydock,Wigan

58

1869 -- Nov  22

Hindley,Wigan

30

1870 -- July 7

Silverdale,Stafford

19

1870 -- Feb  14

Morfa Colliery,Port Talbot

29

1870 -- July 23

Llansamlet

19

1870 -- Aug  16

Brynu,Wigan

19

1871 -- Jan  10

Eckington,Sheffield

27

1871 -- Feb   24

Pentre

38

1871 -- March 2

Victoria,Ebbw Vale

10

1871 -- Sept 6

Moss Pitts,Wigan

70

1871 -- Oct  25

Seaham

30

1872 -- Jan  11

Llynvi Valley

11

1872 -- Oct   7

Morley Main,Dewsbury

34

1872 -- Nov   14

Pelsall Hall,Walsall

22

1873 -- Feb  18

Talke Colliery,Stafford

20

1874 -- April 14

Astley,Dukinfield

54

1874 -- July 18

Sawmills Pit,Wigan

15

1874 -- Nov  20

 Rawmarsh,Rotherham

23

1874 -- Dec  24

Bignall Hall,Dudley

17

1875 -- April 30

Bunker's Hill

43

1875 -- Sept 11

Donnington,Salop

11

1875 -- Dec  4

Powell Duffryn

22

1875 -- Dec  5

Llan Colliery,Pentyrch

12

1875 -- Dec  6

Swaithe. Main,Barnsley

140

1876 -- Dec  18

Abertillery

17

1876 --

Dowlais Blast furnace

40

1877 -- Jan  23

Stonehill,Bolton

18

1877 -- March 8

New Worcester,Swansea

18

1877 -- Feb  7

Darcey Lever,Bolton

10

1877 -- April 11

Tynewydd

5

1877 -- Oct  11

Pemberton,Wigan

33

1877 -- Oct  22

High Blantyre

200

1878 -- March 8 

Kilsyth,Sterling

16

1878 -- March 12

Kersley,Bolton

43

1878 -- March 27

Apedale,Chesterton

30

1878 -- June  7

Haydock,Wigan

189

1878 -- Sept  11

Abercarne

268

1879 -- Jan  13

Dinas

63

1879 -- March  4

Deep Drop,Wakefield

79

1879 -- July  2

High Blantyre

28

1880 -- Jan  21

Leycett,North Staffordshire

73

1880 -- July 15

Risca

120

1880 -- Sept 8

Seaham

170

1880 --Dec  10

Penygraig

101

1880 -- 

Naval Steam Coal

96

1881 -- 

Abram,Wigan

48

1881 --

Whitfield,Tunstall

25

1882 --

Trinidon Grange,Durham

84

1882 -- 

Tudhoe,Durham

37

1882 -- 

Clay Cross,Derbyshire

45

1882 --

Baddesley,Warwickshire

23

1882 --

West Stanley,Chester le'street

13

1883 --

Altham,Lancashire

68

1883 --

Wharnecliffe,Carlton,Barnsley

20

1884 --

Pochin,Tredegar,Mon

14

1884 --

Penygraig

11

1885 --

Naval Steam Coal,Penygraig   

14

1885 --

Mardy,Rhondda Valley

51

1885 --

Usworth:,Durham

42

1885 --

Clifton-hall,Lancashire

177

1885 --

Maerdy

81

1886 --

Alltofts,Normanton,Yorkshire

22

1886 --

Bedford,Leigh,Lancashire

38

1886 --

Bedminster,Bristol(Dean-lane)

10

1886 --

Elemore,Hetton-le-hole,Durham

28

1886 -- Dec

Houghton Main Colliery,Barnsley

10

1887 -- Feb 18

Cwtch. Colliery,Rhondda

38

1887 -- March 4

Mons,Belgium

150

1887 --- May 4

Nanaimo,Vancouver

160

1887 -- May  27

Blantyre

80

1887 -- Oct  24

Walker Pit,Newcastle

30

1888 -- May  14

Aber,Tynewydd

5

1890 -- Jan  23

Glyn Pit Disaster,Pontypool

5

1890 -- Feb  6

Llanerch Colliery,Abersychan   

176

1894 -- June

Cilfynydd

292

1896 -- Jan  27

Tylorstown

57

THE DEPTHS OF OUR COAL PITS. 

 

The following gives the depths of some of the South Wales coal pits that are over 200 yards deep.
The depths are given in yards.

Treharris (1)

(2)

760

720

Lady Winsor,Ynysybwl (1)

(2)

608

556

Bedlinog (1) 

(2)

580

510

Albion

545

Penrhiwceiber

527

Merthyr Vale (1)

(2)

482

476

George,Cwmpennar

470

Elliot,New Tredegar

450

Dinas,Rhondda

440

Fochriw

Fochriw

430

400

Nixon's Navigation

416

Naval,Rhondda

415

National,Rhondda Fach

410

Globe,Rhondda Fawr

400

Cambrian

400

Blaenrhondda

400

Maerdy,Rhondda Fach (1)

(2)

388

285

Cymmer

384

Hafod & Lewis'Merthyr

380

Llwynpia

372

Ynyshir(Standard)

370

Bwllfa(Eastern) Ocean

370

Pendyrus(Tylor'stown)

367

Parc Newydd,Cwmparc

367

New Tredegar(Old Pit)

360

Blaenllechau(5)

358

The Ocean,Nantymoel

350

Castle Pit,Cyfarthfa

330

Bedwellty,Tredegar

326

Blaenllechau (4)

300

Cwmpennar (Lower Dyffryn)

300

Deep Dyffryn,Mountain Ash

290

Blaenllechau (1)

286

Ffaldau,Cwmgarw (Victoria)

 "      "       (Old Pit)

253

220

Cwmnoel

260

Blaengarw

252

Bodringallt

238

Fforchaman

226

Blaenllechau (2)

225

Pentre,Rhondda

220

Ty Trist,Tredegar

210

Treorchy

210

South,Plymouth

200

Gwauncaegurwen,Old Pit

200

Pwll Newydd

250

HOURS WORKED IN COLLIERIES. (p35/6)

FROM A REPORT DATED NOVEMBER 1st 1890.

Mr Thomas Ashton,secretary to the Miner's Federation of Great Britain,has issued a statistical report from returns supplied by checkweighers and district secretaries showing the hours worked at collieries in the various mining districts of Great Britain,with the exception of Durham,Northumberland,and Cleveland.
The return relating to Lancashire and Cheshire is confined to 179 pits,and shows that the majority of the miners descend the shaft about five o'clock in the morning,some few at four o'clock,and in some instances at six o'clock. In one instance the men ascended at one o'clock,but in the majority of cases from three to half-past is about the average.

At 21 collieries two shifts are worked, and at one pit belonging to Colonel Hargreaves,two and three shifts are returned as being worked at one colliery. The question how many hours are worked at the coal face is answered as follows:
In only one instance,viz., Moss Arley,are 12 hours worked; at 2 collieries,11 hours; at 38,from 10 to 10 1/2 hours; at 67,9 to 9 1/2 hours; at 55,8 to 8 1/2 hours; 5 are returning as making 7 to 7 1/2 hours; and the men at Bower's Pit,7 and 7 1/4 hours.

The boys are returned as working at one colliery(Allen's Grren),10 1/2 hours; at 63 collieries,10 hours; at 65 collieries,9 to 9 1/2 hours.
The day men work from 9 to 10 hours;and in some few instances,11 hours.
It is shown that at the collieries as a rule,they commence to draw coal at six o'clock, and cease at five.

In most instances in South Staffordshire there is only one shift worked,and with one exception,8 hours form the working day. In Somersetshire only 7 to 7 1/2 hours are worked at the coal face.
The return relating to 145 Yorkshire pits compares favourably with other districts as to the hours worked by both men and boys. Although there are more collieries in the country than those noticed,the return relates to the chief pits in both South and West Yorkshire. As a rule the return shows that the men descend from five to half-past five o'clock in the morning, and ascend between half-past one and two o'clock in the afternoon. There are,however,several instances where they do not ascend until half-past three,and in one case until four o'clock.
Less time is stopped for meals than in Lancashire and some other counties. Most of the collieries begin to draw coal at six o'clock in the morning,and cease at from half-past three to four o'clock.
At Rothwell Haigh it is stated that they begin to draw coal at six o'clock and cease at ten. Three shifts are worked,and the distance the men have to travel to the coal face is from 1,000 to 2,000 yards.
At Carr House the distance travelled is 1 to 3 miles,and at Victoria,Haigh Moor,2 miles. At 6 collieries in the county,9 hours are worked at the coal face; at 19,8 1/4 to 8 1/2 hours; at 38,8 hours; and at 31,7 to 7 3/4 hours.

The lads employed underground work longer hours than the miners. The return shows that at 16 Yorkshire pits they work 10 hours, at 48,from 9 to 9 1/2 hours; and at 51,from 8 to 8 3/4 hours. At the Allerton Main Colliery neither men nor boys work more than 7 hours.
The claymen employed underground work as a rule 10 1/2 hours per day. So far as regards the working of shifts,it appears that at 9 collieries in the county,3 shifts are worked,and at 27 pits,2 shifts,those working 3 shifts. averaging 7 1/2 to 8 hours per shift. It ought to be explained that in some instances, where firms have more than one pit,only one return is made.


LABOUR CONGRESS 1891. (p36/9)

HELD IN WESTMINSTER HALL,LONDON.

The following appeared in " Cwrs y Byd" dated November 1892

Mr David Dale,Chairman; Messrs W.Abraham,M.P.; G.Balfour,M.P.; T.Burt,M.P.; A.Hewlett; E.Trow; The Right Honourable A.J.Mundella,M.P.; Sir J.E.Gorst, Q.C.M.P.; The Right Honourable Leonard Courtney,M.P.; Messrs.M.Austin and J.Maudsley; Messrs. G.Drage;J.Burnett,and F.V.Hornby,Secretary.

This congress was authorized by the House of Commons to look into the conditions of workers in various fields of labour,and on the occasion appointed Mr Enoch Rees,Brynamman,to give testimony before it on behalf of the Anthracite Coal Regions of South Wales,for whom,Mr Rees has filled the post of secretary for over ten years.
It can be seen,on looking over the report that his connection. with the labour field is extensive; and it was clear that he was faithful in his supervision,and has gained for himself the trust of the region,so that he is often appointed as supervisor to the collieries in various special circumstances,like the present one.
The post of secretary of any society is not unimportant,and the larger the area,the more is the responsibility of the officials,especially the secretary. The truth of it is,he is the chief adjudicator and in the present day we get many instances of neglectful and dogmatic secretaries running the train of their societies to destruction with the results proving bitter to hundreds of honest and thrifty workers. Often a great mistake is the appointment of inexperienced persons to fill important posts in very important areas. Businessmen take special care not to make a mistake which might prove damaging to them when choosing their employees. When choosing a secretary for the Anthracite Coal Region,it was noted that a businessman was needed as well as an experienced miner.
It is certainly not often that there is success in this direction,but as for Mr Rees, it would not be regarded as insulting -- in fact,perhaps he is proud to say that he was born and raised at the 'Coalface',so that the whole of the colliery district is as familiar and natural to him as the trickle of the brook over the smooth faces of small pebbles,as the following report reveals;-

THE REPORT.

"I am presenting the following report on behalf of the members of the Miner's Federation of the Anthracite Coal Region. Out of 42 collieries, in the region,38 are attached to the Federation,which negotiates wages and employment.And although four of the collieries are not affiliated to the federation,yet the peace and understanding which exists between the masters and workers stems from the fact that they follow the arrangements of the federation. The membership of the federation at present is 3,500.

The members live in hilly,country districts scattered through three counties, namely Brecon,Glamorgan,and Carmarthenshire. 95% of them are Welsh,speaking corresponding and carrying on the business of the federation in Welsh.
I worked for 20 years underground,but for the last 10 years I have held the post of secretary to this federation,so I have had enough opportunities to become familiar with the circumstances and opinions of the miners.
The strikes that took place in the region before the adoption of the "sliding scale" damaged the relationship between capital and labour,and it has meant financial loss to both employer and employee as well as unpleasant feelings. The effect was greater on the workers due to their poorer circumstances and the weakness of union administration. The miners in country areas as a rule are more thrifty than those living in populous or civic districts,and improve their circumstances by building a house or keeping a cow or two. The strikes therefore were more destructive in their effects on industrial areas in country places than in the towns,forcing those in the first place to give up their homes and sell their cows,etc.,and go "on the tramp" as they say,to look for maintenance for themselves and their families.
Seldom, it is true,did they succeed in getting work in the neighbouring collieries, being 'strikers' from another district.

Incidentally I shall give an example of one strike out of the many I could mention.
On March 1st 1880,the workers came out on strike at a colliery in Brynamman,Carmarthenshire,a country district with a population of around 2,000,and where the tradesmen depended entirely upon the workers. The strikers were demanding a rise of three shillings in the pound.This,if agreed to would put them on equal terms to other colliers,but as there was no sort of 'sliding scale' operating,or a reconciliation board to rule on wages,and as the employers refused to agree to the workers demands,the strike lasted for 12 months and 5 days.
The same company owned three furnaces and a forge in Brynamman,and they had to close these down because of the work stopping at the colliery. After this long stoppage,the matter was given to arbitration,and work restarted on the standard operating in eight of the neighbouring pits. If an arbitration board or 'sliding scale' had been operating at the time as it does today,it could all probably been avoided,and it is quite true to say that more than half of the wage increase they received from the employers before the introduction of the sliding scale had been lost through strikes -- hardly any increase or reduction taking place without there being a strike of one or two weeks taking place over the problem.
On August 24th. 1882,an agreement was signed by the employers and the representatives of the workers of the region,by virtue of which,it was decided that the wages would be governed by the sliding scale of steam coal.
Since November 1st 1888,we have received in the region at various times increases to the amount of 11/- in the pound,varying from 13 3/4% to 2 1/2% according to the decision of the three-monthly accounts. A reduction of 3 3/4% took place at the beginning of the month of November in spite of this. This has all taken place within the last 3 years without a day being lost because of the decision of the sliding scale.
We,as a region are very hopeful that the government,if called upon to strengthen or improve the present form of sliding scale that rules the relationship between employer and employee,will give careful consideration and support in the matter,as I have plenty of undeniable proof that it is certainly the best system operating up until now to govern wages.

Regarding the working day and eight hours,as a region we are in favour of the system of eight hours from pithead to pithead,as we consider this to be fully enough for men who work hard under the earth. We are of the opinion that it is worthy and just to regard the distance a miner has to walk from the pitshaft to his place of work as part of his labour. I know of some workers who walk daily from Brynamman to Gwauncaegurwen,a distance which takes an hour and a half to walk there and back, and I consider that to be more than enough for a miner to walk without any payment or acknowledgement.
It was the custom in this region 15 years ago to work 10 and even 12 hours a day,and you had an example of this in the largest colliery in the area,Gwauncaegurwen. This colliery was well known for its long hours,and when the system of 9 hours was adopted some years ago,many of the workers pre-supposed that their wages would be cut. Their fears were groundless,in fact,quite the contrary,they earned better wages,and they are also more lively,healthier,and gentle than they were when working longer hours underground. There was also a re-organization in the method of working after the change.

 With regard to the inexperienced workers in the colliery,they were a great worry to experienced and careful workers because of their lack of knowledge about the nature of the work places. I can think of no calling except the miner's where a man cannot carry out his appointed task in the absence of an experienced worker after only a few hours of instruction. It is essential that the miner understands well the nature of the place where he is working,from the floor to the 'top' as well as the 'gas,'while he is there. The amount of gas might be different today to what it was yesterday,and the number of 'props' required one day not as necessary as another day because it is impossible to perceive the dangerous fissures in the top which calls for props until the coal underneath has been cleared. And very often even the most keen eyed fails to see the fissures in the top. One cannot find out the nature of the top except by sound,and it requires long experience to enable a man to recognise the sound and the nature of the top. I have every reason to believe that many inexperienced miners have met with fatal accidents through using the same number of props one day as they used the day before,and set them at the same equal distance apart as on previous occasions.

Realizing that the calling of a miner is such a dangerous one, the federation and its representatives with me believe in all conscience that a person should pass some sort of examination before being allowed to work underground,except those that started working very young,because an inexperienced worker can make a mistake in his ignorance which could endanger the lives of hundreds of his co-workers."

---------

It is worth mentioning that Mr Rees had,at his request as a Welshman,received permission from Mr Dale,the chairman of the conference, to give his address in clear,pure Welsh,and great attention to this fact was given by the news reporters of London and Cardiff newspapers. One London reporter congratulated Mr Rees for demanding the right to give his report in the language of the people he represented,and according to his information,this was the first bit of public Welsh that had been delivered in the hall,and it gave light to the underground darkness before the high gentry of London.