WAUNHIR TRIMSHARAN. Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire. 16th. February, 1907.

The colliery was the property of the Trimsharan Company Limited and was worked by means of a drift, 100 yards long which dipped 1 in 4. and there had not been a fatal accident at the colliery despite the fact that it worked the most dangerous and thickest seam in the district. As a journey of tubs full of coal weighing 9 tons. were being brought up, by some means unknown, one of the tubs tilted just as the journey reached to top and the hitching plate broke causing the remaining tubs to career down the slant just at the time that the men were making their way to the surface after finishing their shift. Some of the men were knocked down and killed while the trams reached the bottom they knocked out props which caused a fall of roof 6 yards long which buried 11 men in the debris.

Those who lost their lives were:

  • Benjamin Davies aged 30 years, of Waenyglyn,
  • Albert Lilley aged 18 years of Kidwelly,
  • John Rees aged 16 years of Capel,
  • David Lodwick aged 28 years of Waenyglyn,
  • David Davies of Pwll.
  • David Price of Trimsharan.

The inquest was held by Mr. D.A. Sanders when it was stated that there were six manholes on the slant which was 11 feet high and 5.5 feet wide. The strain on the plate was about 7.75 tons and the total weight of the coal wagons was 8 tons 12 cwt. The safe working load would be about six tons this.

Thomas Evans who had been manager of the colliery from September, 1904 and was previously undermanager at the Gwendraeth Colliery, aid it was the duty of the riders to couple up the trams and make sure that a bar was placed at the end of the journey. He had known a bar to break. This had happened about 15 months before when the journey ran about 130 yards down the slope. This incident occurred at the same place where the present accident occurred. From questioning by Mr. Dywer Lewis, the Inspector it was established that there were only two bar hooks in the pit and the manager admitted that it would have been an advantage if there had been one at each parting.

The coupling plate was made of white steel secured by four rivets. It was the duty of the mechanic to inspect these plates. There were some new trams introduced about eight months before but the plate that snapped was son an older tub.

J.D. Daw, engineer, inspected the hitching bar and came to the conclusion that it was continually strained when it came to the top of the brow due to the angle over which the journey had to pass. The continually passing over this point would weaken the bar and he was doubtful of the accident would have been prevented by inspection.

John Treherne, the rider of the journey, said that he had been doing the job for two years and a few months before he had sent up a journey without a bar and had been censured by the manager. On the day of the accident, he did not put the bar and hook on because he did not have one. It had been sent upon the previous journey and had been lost on the slant. There was another about 100 yards away but he did not have time to go and get it as they wanted to finish work before 1 p.m.

Mr. Lewis said he had no criticism of the bars that were used but he was critical of the angle of the brow which was too acute.

The Coroner summed up and told the jury that Mr. Robson, the previous Inspector, some time ago had tried to get rules established with regard to hooks and bars but there was a great deal of opposition. The Coroner thought the management of the colliery wanted a bar and hook to be used on every journey.

A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned and the jury aid no person was responsible for the accident but recommended the arrangements suggested by Mr. Lewis should be adopted, especially the lowering of the angle at the top of the slant.


Colliery Guardian, 22nd February 1907, p.362, 8th March, p.450.

Information supplied by Ian Winstanley and the Coal Mining History Resource Centre.

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