Abercwmboi, Cynon Valley (03049962)

This mine was sunk in 1856 to a depth of 1,027 feet 7 inches to exploit the Four-Feet seam which it found had an average thickness of 66”. It also worked the Graig seam at a thickness of 28”, and the Clay seam in which it mined 28” of coal along with 42” of fireclay. According to the minutes of the Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners Association, it was at this colliery that the first claim for indemnity against a strike was made. It was then the Aberdare Steam Collieries Association and the owner of Abercwmboi, David Davies claimed £7,914 but was awarded only £4,700.

The upcast ventilation shaft was elliptical in shape measuring 18 feet by 12 feet and worked the Four-Feet seam while the downcast shaft measured 16 feet by 12 feet and worked the Seven-Feet seam. It was owned by David Davies and Sons, the forerunner of the Ocean Coal Company. In 1870 it employed 466 men and produced 65,135 tons of coal.

In 1874 a Waddle type ventilating fan was installed with a 40 feet diameter. It was not listed as working in 1878 when the manager was E. Adams. It was sold to the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company in 1881 who intended to use it for pumping and ventilation purposes only.

The colliery was listed as working again in 1888 and produced 17,162 tons of coal in 1889, it was not working in 1896, in 1907 it employed 53 men, and in 1908 it was managed by D.R. Morgan and employed 99 men underground and 23 men on the surface. In 1910 this colliery employed 470 men and was working the Graig and Two-Feet-Nine seams. It had the same manager in 1911 when it employed 344 men. In 1912 it employed 386 men and in 1913 it employed 249 men. The manager at that time was Jacob Jayne.

It abandoned the Graig seam in April 1914. In 1915/6 the manager was T.L.(or D.J.) Davies and this colliery employed 320/326 men. It was merged with Aberaman Colliery in 1923.

  • On the 2nd October 1863, Lewis Morgan, aged 47 years, and a collier, killed under a fall of roof.
  • On the 29th October 1863, Henry Evans, aged just 12 years, and a door boy, killed under a fall of roof.
  • On the 28th of June 1867, David Lewis a collier aged 19 years was killed by a fall of roof.
  • On the 1st of April 1872, William Williams, aged 18, and a collier, fell to his death when he was thrown out of the shaft cage.
  • On the 22nd of January 1914, Fred Smith, aged 62, and a repairer, fell to his death in a shaft incident.
  • On the 3rd of December 1884, John Marryman, aged 18 years, and a labourer was run over and killed by trams.
  • On the 10th of January, Thomas Evans, aged 22 years and a haulier, was killed under a fall of roof
  • On the 22nd of December, Edward Henry Rees, aged 17 years, and a stower, died under a roof fall.
  • On the 7th of February 1891 when James Davies, a collier, died in a powder explosion.

Some statistics:

  • 1907: Manpower: 53.
  • 1908: Manpower: 122.
  • 1909: Manpower: 122.
  • 1910: Manpower: 470.
  • 1911: Manpower: 344.
  • 1912: Manpower: 386.
  • 1913: Manpower: 249.
  • 1915: Manpower: 320.
  • 1916: Manpower: 326.

In November 1926 during the General Strike and Lock-Out, thirty policemen from Plymouth were attacked at Aberaman while escorting scabs to work. Three miners from Abercwmboi were sentenced to two months hard labour with three others fined £15 or 21 days hard labour for the attack.

Generally based on the Nine-Feet seam this colliery’s coals were classed as type 201B Dry Steam Coal which were non-caking, low volatile, low ash and low sulphur content coals. They were used for steam raising in boilers for ships, locomotives, power stations and central heating.


Information supplied by Ray Lawrence and used here with his permission.

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