Near Aberdare, Cynon Valley (02530105)

This pit was opened in 1843 by William Thomas, and owned in 1858/1861 by Mrs. Rees, in 1862 by the executors of Mrs. Rees, and in 1862/5 by R. Rees & Company, in 1869 by the Lletty Shenkin Coal Company and in 1873 it was owned by Burnyeat and Brown and Company who paid £220,000 for it.

Burnyeat and Brown was a consortium of north country industrialists with the shares of the company being held by William Burnyeat, shipowner of Whitehaven, A. McCabe a broker of Liverpool, G. Bentinck, MP from Middlesex, Joseph Brown, J. Moore, S. Sherwy, all Whitehaven ironmasters, W. Dickinson, Workington ironmaster, W. Reile, Liverpool engineer, W. Dalzelle, Whitehaven tobacco merchant, Thomas Dalzelle, Liverpool ships stores, J.H. Dodgson, Liverpool draper, G. Jackson, Whitehaven tobacco merchant and J. Hargreave, Liverpool ship-owner. They held it until it was purchased by the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company Limited in 1900. This company was a member of the Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners Association.

It was sunk on the western extremity of its mineral take and was linked to the Old Duffryn Colliery. In the 1850s a Struve type ventilation fan was installed at this pit. It had two 18 feet diameter air cylinders with a seven feet stroke, each cylinder weighing 6.5 tons. By 1880 ventilation was by a 40 feet diameter Waddle type fan.

The coal worked in this colliery was exceedingly gassy and a number of explosions occurred killing many men and boys. The reports of these can be found by clicking on the appropriate date: 1849, 1853, 1858, 1860. There may be others, but we have no records of these. It is also reported that several explosions occurred in ships that were carrying the coal from Cardiff.

In 1880 this colliery was in serious financial difficulties – it owed the landowner £16,000 in royalties which hadn’t been paid for four years and was unable to pay the men’s wages. It stopped production owing its workforce £2,300 collectively. A new manager was brought in and the colliery began to get on its feet.

The Western Mail of Monday, 11th of June 1894, reported:

On Saturday morning, Mr. T. Braithwaite, manager of Messrs. Burnyeat, Brown, and Cos., collieries, submitted to a deputation of the workmen a proposal to supply house coal at 5s. 6d. per ton at Abernantygroes and Ynyscynon, and 7s. 6d per ton for Aberaman or Aberdare. With some slight modification, the men accepted the terms, and a settlement of the dispute was affected. The men will resume operations this (Monday) morning.

In 1900 it consisted of 320 acres of coal with the coal being wound up in one shaft 275 yards deep. The winding engine had two 26-inch wide cylinders with a 48-inch stroke and the drum was semi-conical ranging from 8 to 13 feet. The No.4 Heading haulage had a 150 hp electric motor, the PD Heading haulage was 160 hp and the Gellideg haulage was 125 hp. Coal was being worked in the Bute, Yard, Seven-Feet, Six-Feet and Gellideg seams. In 1878 it was managed by L. Llewellyn and in 1884/96 it was managed by Thomas Braithwaite who employed 350 men underground and 66 men on the surface. In 1907 it employed 800 men and in 1908 it employed 820 men underground and 98 men on the surface with D.R. Morgan as manager. In 1916 it employed 900 men with D. Davies as the manager while in 1919 W. Jones was the manager and it employed 800 men.

It is claimed to have been the first steam coal pit in this district (Part IV of the Geology of the South Wales Coalfield.) The Upper Pit was sunk to the Seven-Feet seam at a depth of 801 feet 6 inches. The Lower Pit was sunk to the Four-Feet seam at a depth of 295 feet 10 inches. The pits were 550 yards apart. The upcast ventilation shaft was 15 feet in diameter. They were served by the Taff Vale Railway the sidings capacity for this colliery in 1898 was 71 full wagons, 74 empty wagons and 13 other types of wagons.

Lletty Shenkin Colliery abandoned the Four-Feet and Six-Feet seams in 1913 and closed in 1923.

Some of the other deaths at this colliery;

  • 17/8/1858, John Davies, aged 30, collier, fall of roof.
  • 18/11/1860, W. Williams, aged 14, collier, fall of roof.
  • 11/6/1861, Thomas Jones, aged 12, collier, fall of roof.
  • 21/3/1862, John Pratt, aged 16, collier, fall of roof
  • 9/8/1862, David Jones, explosion of gas
  • 3/12/1862, Roger Powell, aged 39, engineman, fall of coal.
  • 11/12/1867, Daniel Davies, aged 14, door boy, run over by trams.
  • 10/2/1868, David John, aged 48, collier, fall of roof.
  • 31/12/1869, David Evans, 18, engineer, killed by machinery.
  • 4/8/1870, J. James, aged 34, fireman, killed on the surface
  • 12/12/1873, J. Reynolds, collier, fall of roof.
  • 20/3/1875, Evan Jones, aged 63, fall of roof.
  • 18/4/1875, William James, aged 27, labourer, run over by trams.
  • 17/10/1875, J. Lloyd, aged 56, collier, fall of roof.
  • 17/7/1877, John Thomas, collier, shaft incident.
  • 20/9/1879, Thomas Jones, aged 41, collier, fall of roof.
  • 6/4/1880, Samuel Bowen, aged 53, collier, fall of roof.
  • 1/1/1883, Edward Edwards, aged 34, haulier, run over by trams.
  • 5/3/1883, John Davies, aged 27, ripper, run over by trams.
  • 26/11/1891, Henry John, aged 39, hitcher, drowned in the sump of the shaft.
  • 14/1/1893, W. Williams, aged 63, labourer, run over by trams.
  • 18/4/1893, David Davies, aged 63, collier, fall of roof.
  • 30/6/1894, David Morgan, aged 56, collier, shotfiring incident.
  • 13/6/1895, Thomas Williams, aged 18, collier, strain.
  • 27/3/1897, Stephen Evans, aged 43, labourer, fall of roof.
  • 24/10/1898, Tudor Williams, aged 41, haulier, crushed by trams.
  • 22/9/1899, J. Thomas, aged 61, ostler, run over by trams.
  • 13/5/1910, Charles Jones, aged 55, collier, fall of roof.
  • 12/8/1910, J.L. Davies, aged 33, haulier, fall of roof.
  • 12/8/1910, Elias Price, aged 52, collier, run over by trams.
  • 27/8/1910, William Williams, aged 60, repairer, fall of roof.
  • 23/1/1911, Rees Humphreys, aged 51, collier, fall of roof.
  • 27/1/1911, Thomas Mince, aged 40, collier, shaft incident.
  • 19/7/1911, Benjamin Williams, aged 49, stower, fall of roof.
  • 20/1/1912, George Bevan, aged 31, collier, fall of roof
  • 2/4/1913, Ernest Wooton, aged 24, labourer, electric shock.
  • 16/9/1914, James Evans, aged 59, stover, run over by trams.

Some statistics:

  • 1870: Manpower: 356.
  • 1896: Manpower: 416.
  • 1899: Manpower: 504.
  • 1900: Manpower: 317.
  • 1901: Manpower: 437.
  • 1902: Manpower: 530.
  • 1903: Manpower: 500.
  • 1905: Manpower: 724.
  • 1907: Manpower: 800.
  • 1908: Manpower: 918.
  • 1909: Manpower: 918.
  • 1910: Manpower: 1,086.
  • 1912: Manpower: 939.
  • 1916: Manpower: 900.
  • 1919: Manpower: 800.
  • 1922: Manpower: 500.


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

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