The Maerdy pit was the second of the pits to be sunk in the Gwaun-cae-Gurwen series. The first pit (Old) was sunk in 1837 by Charles Morgan, a local land owner; this continued to be a small concern until it was bought in 1874 by a group of Yorkshiremen who called their new company, the Gwaun-cae-Gurwen Colliery Company. The Maerdy pit was to the south-west of the Old Pit and was sunk in l886 to the Big Vein seam which it found at a depth of 240 yards. This sinking was followed by the East Pit in 1910 and the Steer Pit in 1924. In 1913 Maerdy Pit employed 801 men, and the company advertised as:

Gwaun-cae-Gurwen Colliery Co.Ltd. (established over half a century),
Anthracite Colliery Proprietors, Swansea (South Wales).
Sole Proprietors and Producers of the Celebrated G.C.G. Machine-made Cobbles and Nuts for Stoves and House Purposes
Specially Washed Nuts & Beans for Gas Producers
Red Vein Large and Red Vein Cobbles for Horticultural Purposes and Lime burning
Quotations made for truck loads to any Railway Station in the United Kingdom, or Cargoes f.o.b. Swansea or Llanelly.

In July of 1914, a strike started at this colliery over non-unionism and plans to work double shifts that eventually involved 1,600 men. In September 1916 Lord Rhondda gained controlling interest in the company, at that time Maerdy employed 835 men with the manager being J. Hargreaves. In 1928 it became part of Amalgamated Anthracite Collieries Limited. In 1918 it employed 587 men underground and 190 men on the surface and in 1919 it employed 774 men. The manager in both years was T.M. Jones. In 1935 Maerdy Colliery employed 59 men at the surface of the colliery and 200 men working underground. In 1945 it employed 215 men underground and 93 men on the surface with the manager being J.L. Morgan.

On Nationalisation in 1947 this colliery was placed in the National Coal Board’s, South Western Division’s, No.1 Swansea Area, and at that time employed 78 men on the surface and 211 men underground working the Big, Black and Peacock anthracite seams. The manager at that time was J. L. Morgan. The Maerdy Pit was closed in January 1958. Please also see the listing on Gwaun-cae-Gurwen Colliery.

Some Statistics:

  • 1895: Manpower: 658.
  • 1902: Manpower: 566.
  • 1913: Manpower: 801.
  • 1916: Manpower: 835.
  • 1918: Manpower: 777.
  • 1920: Manpower: 818.
  • 1922: Manpower: 761.
  • 1923: Manpower: 808.
  • 1924: Manpower: 812.
  • 1927: Manpower: 785.
  • 1928: Manpower: 747.
  • 1930: Manpower: 791.
  • 1933: Manpower: 793.
  • 1935: Manpower: 259.
  • 1945: Manpower: 308.
  • 1947: Manpower: 289.
  • 1948: Manpower: 286. Output: 37,500 tons.


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

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