Ystalyfera, Swansea Valley 77183/09502

This mine was opened just to the north of Pwllbach Colliery in 1899 by the Pwllbach Colliery Company. The Big Vein in this area was very thick and
could be as much as 70 feet but then in other parts of the mine it would be absent. Some of the thick parts were reworked two or three times with each working taking about eight feet of coal. It was served by the London, Midland and Scottish (Midland, Swansea Vale) Railway.

It was managed by D.W. Davies and employed 260 men in 1913 when owned by the Pwllbach Collieries Limited of Queen’s Building, Swansea, who were members of the Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners Association. It employed 236 men in 1907, 200 men in 1915 and 350 men in 1916 when it was still managed by Mr. Davies and 313 men in 1919 when it was managed by D. Williams.

It was then owned by the Pwllbach Tirbach and Brynamman Anthracite Collieries Company Limited until that Company became part of Henderson’s Welsh Anthracite Collieries Limited when it was formed in the 1920s, with this company becoming a subsidiary of Amalgamated Anthracite Collieries Limited in 1928. In 1927 it employed 580 and in 1930 it employed 498 men working underground and 114 men at the surface of the mine. D.R. Williams was still the manager. In 1931 it employed 650 men.

In 1934 Henderson’s was based at 81 Gresham Street, London and its directors were; Sir A Cope, Sir D.R. Llewellyn, T.H. Henderson, T.P. Cook, D.
Thomas, W. Peglar and W. Slark. It controlled ten collieries and employed 2,714 miners. In 1935 Tirbach Colliery employed 114 men on the surface and 498 men underground, and in 1940 it employed 488 men.

It abandoned the Big Vein in 1939 and the Middle and Lower Brass seams in 1940.

It was used by the National Coal Board as a Training Centre for the industry’s recruits until 1961.

It was also the name of a licensed mine that was listed in 1970 as being owned by J.H. and R.D. Edmunds of Trelewis.

Some statistics:

  • 1899: Manpower: 37.
  • 1900: Manpower: 35.
  • 1901: Manpower: 94.
  • 1902:Manpower: 123.
  • 1903:Manpower: 195.
  • 1905:Manpower: 248.
  • 1907:Manpower: 236.
  • 1909:Manpower: 239.
  • 1910:Manpower: 262.
  • 1911:Manpower: 249.
  • 1912:Manpower: 265.
  • 1913:Manpower: 260.
  • 1915:Manpower: 200.
  • 1916:Manpower: 350.
  • 1919:Manpower: 313.
  • 1922:Manpower: 420.
  • 1924:Manpower: 543.
  • 1925:Manpower: 500.
  • 1927:Manpower: 580.
  • 1928:Manpower: 638.
  • 1930:Manpower: 612.
  • 1931:Manpower: 650.
  • 1933:Manpower: 622.
  • 1935:Manpower: 612.
  • 1937:Manpower: 634.
  • 1938:Manpower: 502.
  • 1940:Manpower: 488.


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

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