Ty Croes (612114)

There was a Wernos listed as being in Llanelli in 1865 when it was owned by Benjamin Jones. This was an anthracite slant that worked the Rock Vein seam half a mile to the west of Pantyffynnon Colliery. It was opened in 1908 by the Rhos Colliery Company and in that year employed 194 men underground and 56 men on the surface with the manager being Lewis Jenkins. It employed 266 men in 1913 when the manager was still Lewis Jenkins and 300 men in 1916. This company was a member of the Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners Association and later became the New Rhos Anthracite Collieries Limited. Mr. Jenkins was still the manager in 1918/19 when it employed 380 men and 347 men respectively but in 1927/30 the manager was T.J. Evans. It remained under their control until the Combine mania of the 1920s when it came under the control of the United Anthracite Collieries Limited. United Anthracite was formed by John Waddell, Daniel and David Daniel, and Sir Hector McNeil in 1924 and grouped together; Great Mountain Collieries, Ammanford Collieries, Pontyberem Anthracite Colliery, and New Dynant Anthracite Colliery Limited to give UAC a combined output of 600,000 tons of coal in that year. During the following two years Carway Collieries, Caerbryn Anthracite Colliery, Gwendraeth Valley Anthracite Collieries, New Rhos Anthracite Collieries and Pentremawr Colliery Company were acquired, and it controlled 1,000,000 tons of anthracite production by 1926. It was in 1926 that United Anthracite Collieries Limited merged with Amalgamated Anthracite Collieries Limited.

 On the 4th of February 1928, John Davies, aged 40 years and a labourer died when he was run over by trams.

Wernos Colliery employed 510 men working underground and 119 on the surface (with Rhos Colliery) in 1930, and 770 men together in 1931/3, but by 1935 it is not shown on AAC’s working mines. From 1938 to 1943 it was managed by D. Rees and employed 18 men underground working the Rock seam and 16 men on the surface.

On Nationalisation, Wernos Colliery was placed in the National Coal Board’s, South Western Division’s, No.1 (Swansea) Area, and at that time employed 17 men on the surface and 24 men underground re-developing the colliery with the manager still being D. Rees. It had its own coal preparation plant (washery), and was the site of the Area Laboratory. By 1954 it had been placed in the newly formed No.9 (Neath) Area, and extensive works resulted in it being re-opened in 1957.

The main drift was 850 yards long and 14 feet high and dipped one in four. The new upcast shaft (6020810055) was sunk between the 15th of July 1954 and March 1956 by Cementation and was 2,000 yards from the mouth of the old drift and was 14 feet in diameter and 240 yards deep and 2,000 yards to the west of the drift. A new 400 yard roadway was driven in the Gras seam and then a cross-measure drift dipping 1 in 8 and 400 yards long was driven to expose an estimated 5.5 million tons of reserves in the Rock, Lower Pumpquart, Stanllyd and Gras seams which were between 34 inches to 60 inches in thickness.

It was 1957 before it retained full production, with the coalfaces being fully power loading and £1 million spent on the colliery. As late as 1958 22 contractors were still at Wernos Colliery developing drivages into new areas of coal. A new shaft had been sunk and the drivages were hoped to expose 4 million tons of coal reserves but encountered severe geological faulting and water problems. In 1958 out of the total colliery manpower of.412 men, 172 of them were working at the coalfaces. In 1961 these figures were 545/170 men respectively.

In 1961 this colliery was still in the No.9 Area’s, No.4 Group along with Cwmgorse, East, Ammanford, Pantyffynnon and Abernant Collieries. In that year this Group had a total manpower of 2,838 men, while this Group produced 485,647 tons of coal in that year. The Group Manager was E.G. Maggs and the Area Manager was C. Round.

The NCB stated its intentions to close this colliery illustrating the following statistics:

  • 1957 loss per ton of coal produced £2.13.
  • 1958 loss per ton of coal produced £2.07.
  • 1959 loss per ton of coal produced £3.11.
  • 1960 loss per ton of coal produced £1.55.
  • 1961 loss per ton of coal produced £2.01.
  • 1962 loss per ton of coal produced £0.58.
  • 1963 loss per ton of coal produced £0.23.
  • 1964/5 loss per ton of coal produced £1.50.

Wernos Colliery was closed on the 6th of November 1965 and those that wanted to were transferred to Cynheidre Colliery.

 Some statistics:

  • 1903: Manpower: 59.
  • 1907: Manpower: 208.
  • 1908: Manpower: 250.
  • 1910: Manpower: 251.
  • 1911: Manpower: 250.
  • 1912: Manpower: 291.
  • 1913: Manpower: 266.
  • 1918: Manpower: 380.
  • 1920: Manpower: 347.
  • 1922: Manpower: 347.
  • 1923: Manpower: 433.
  • 1924: Manpower: 431.
  • 1925: Manpower: 421.
  • 1927: Manpower: 339.
  • 1928: Manpower: 45.
  • 1930: Manpower: 629.
  • 1933: Manpower: 420.
  • 1937: Manpower: 484.
  • 1938: Manpower: 492.
  • 1947: Manpower: 41.
  • 1948: Manpower: 39.
  • 1950: Manpower: 30.
  • 1954: Manpower: 186. Output: 42 tons.
  • 1955: Manpower: 197. Output: 4,059 tons.
  • 1956: Manpower: 200. Output: 2,636 tons.
  • 1957: Manpower: 292. Output: 51,282 tons.
  • 1958: Manpower: 412. Output: 81,555 tons.
  • 1960: Manpower: 524. Output: 106,520 tons.
  • 1961: Manpower: 549. Output: 97,279 tons.
  • 1965: Manpower: 614.


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

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