Ystalyfera, Swansea Valley

This was an anthracite slant that worked the Red Vein possibly in its early days as Ynysgeinon Colliery. In 1893 it was owned by the United Anthracite Collieries Company of London and employed Richard Day as the manager. In 1896 it was owned by the Gwaun-cae-Gurwen Colliery Company of Rotherham and employed 103 men underground and 35 men on the surface. The manager was John Griffiths.

In 1900 it was owned by the Varteg Colliery Company of Ystradgynlais and was managed by Daniel Daniel. It abandoned the Red Vein in January 1901 and was listed as discontinued in 1903/7. We can find no listing for it in 1913, but in 1917 the New Varteg is shown as working under the ownership of the New Varteg Colliery Company Limited of Ystradgynlais which was not a member of the Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners Association. In 1918 the New Varteg was owned by Phillip J George of Abercwmboi, Aberdare and was listed as lying idle.

When the Welsh Anthracite Collieries Limited was formed in 1923, the Varteg Anthracite Collieries Limited was shown to be one of its assets. It was shown as Varteg Globe Colliery in 1935 when it employed 29 men on the surface and 111 men underground. In 1943/5 the manager was J. Thomas and it employed 177 men working underground in the Red Vein seam and 53 men working at the surface of the mine.

On Nationalisation in 1947, Varteg Colliery was placed in the National Coal Board’s, South Western Division’s, No.1 (Swansea) Area, and at that time employed 53 men working on the surface of the mine and 180 men working underground. The manager at that time was J. Thomas. This colliery had its own coal preparation plant (washery).

In 1955 out of a total colliery manpower of 220 men, 104 of them worked at the coalfaces, this coalface manning was fairly steady throughout the late 1950s, it was 96 men at the coalfaces in 1956, and 99 men at the coalfaces in 1958. In 1961 out of the total colliery manpower of 194 men, 84 of them worked at the coalfaces. In 1961 this colliery was placed in the No.9 (Neath) Area’s, No.3 Group along with Abercrave, Pwllbach and Yniscedwyn Collieries. The total manpower for this Group in that year was 1,746 men, while the total amount of coal produced by the Group in that year was 310,819 tons. The Group Manager was D. Evans while the Area Manager was C. Round.

Varteg Colliery was closed by the NCB in November 1964.

Some Statistics:

  • 1889: Output: 10,542 tons.
  • 1894: Output: 31,718 tons.
  • 1896: Manpower: 138.
  • 1899: Manpower: 134.
  • 1900: Manpower: 68.
  • 1901: Manpower: 2 not working.
  • 1902: Manpower: 11 not working.
  • 1929: Manpower: 140.
  • 1930: Manpower: 140.
  • 1935: Manpower: 140.
  • 1941: Manpower: 182.
  • 1945: Manpower: 232.
  • 1947: Manpower: 233
  • 1948: Manpower: 237. Output: 50,000 tons.
  • 1950: Manpower: 251.
  • 1954: Manpower: 234. Output: 32,000 tons.
  • 1955: Manpower: 220. Output: 35,975 tons.
  • 1956: Manpower: 233. Output: 39,106 tons.
  • 1957: Manpower: 228. Output: 32,882 tons.
  • 1958: Manpower: 225. Output: 24,202 tons.
  • 1960: Manpower: 238. Output: 36,750 tons.
  • 1961: Manpower: 194. Output: 28,804 tons.


Ystalyfera, Swansea Valley

Please see above.


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

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