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Rhondda Timeline

The following table is a non exclusive timeline of events that happened in the Rhondda and Cardiff because of the coal industry. If there are any incorrect facts please e-mail me.

1855

Starting in 1851 the East Bute Dock and Basin opened at Cardiff was opened in 1855 expanding the existing West Bute Dock. The new dock covering 46 acres.

 

First consignment of Rhondda steam coal sent from Treherbert to Cardiff. This was the beginning of the Rhondda Valleys as a major producer of quality coal.

 

Revival of the National Eisteddfod

 

re-opening of Mwyndy Iron Mines, Llantrisant after long period of closure

 

Taff Vale Railway operating from the Rhondda Valley to Cardiff

1856

Cymmer Colliery, Porth. Explosion kills 114 of 160 workforce employed below ground.

 

Penarth Docks built to cope with increased demand in exported coal from the South Wales coalfields.

1857

4 January 1857 saw the last public execution at Cardiff (John Lewis of Merthyr Tydfil for murdering his wife)

1858

Rhymney Railway opened and extended to Cardiff

1859

Bute East Dock at Cardiff built to meet ever increasing world wide demand for Welsh coal. 14 September 1859 saw the full completion of Bute East Dock, Cardiff

By 1860

Some 50 collieries (mainly in the Aberdare & Merthyr Tydfil areas) had offices in the docks area of Cardiff

Bef 1860

Crown Patent Fuel Company set up at Blackweir, Cardiff for manufacture of coal briquettes

1860

Offices of Taff Vale Railway opened in Crockerton, Cardiff

 

Cardiff Pilotage Board established under the Bristol Channel Pilotage Act

 

Average annual coal output for Glamorgan 85 million tons.

1863

first Cardiff built steam ship (The Lady Bute) launched by the Bute Docks Steam Shipbuilding Co.

1864

Penarth Harbour, Dock & Railway leased to Taff Vale Railway Co.

1865

Glamorgan coal output reaches 103 million tons per annum.

 

First Cardiff Registered, Cardiff owned ship "Llandaff" purchased by H.Vellacott from Tyneside builders.

 

New docks are opened at Penarth to meet extra demand of exports of Welsh coal.

1866

Work begins on Roath Basin at Cardiff Docks.

1867

Ferndale Colliery, Ferndale. An explosion kills 178 men and boys and shocks the nation.

1869

Ferndale Colliery, Ferndale. An explosion kills 60 workmen.

1870

South Wales coal production exceeds 13,590,000 tons, 50% of which is for export.

 

Mining by the longwall method replaces the more traditional pillar and stall technique.

1871

Pentre Colliery. An explosion kills 38 men.

 

At Gelli Colliery an accident claims the lives of 4 men.

 

Over 34,000 coal miners employed in Glamorgan.

 

Amalgamated Association of Miners forms a strong union amongst the miners of South Wales.

1872

New legislation introduced to regulate the operation of coal mines, which now number 340 in South Wales.

1873

South Wales Coal owners Association formed.

1874

Roath Basin, Cardiff opened to try and meet the need for exported Welsh coal.

1875

The sliding wage scale introduced to determine the level of wages among mineworkers of South Wales.

1877

Tynewydd Colliery, Porth. Flooding in the mine kills 5 miners and a further death occurs of a member of the rescue party. Albert Medal first awarded for gallantry underground.

1880

Naval Colliery, Tonypandy. An explosion kills 96 miners.

1881

New docks at Swansea opened.

1882

Coedcae Colliery. 6 miners dead.

1883

Coedcae Colliery. An accident claims the lives of 5 miners underground.

 

Gelli Colliery. 4 miners dead.

1884

Penygraig Colliery. An accident claims the lives of 11 men.

1885

Maerdy Colliery, Maerdy. A Christmas Eve explosion kills 81 miners.

 

Naval Colliery, Tonypandy. 14 die underground.

 

Tylecoch Colliery , Treorchy closes

1886

An amendment made to the Coal Mining Act of 1872.

1887

The Coal Mines Regulation Act.

1889

Barry Docks built to ease the pressure on the docks at Cardiff.

1891

First visit of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show to Cardiff

1892

Great Western Colliery. An explosion underground kills 58 men.

1893

Dinas Lower Colliery Closes

 

Dinas Middle Colliery Closes

1895

Llwyncelyn Colliery, Porth closes

1896

Tylorstown Colliery. 57 men killed underground.

1898

Barry New Docks constructed.

 

Port Talbot docks opened.

 

Miners locked out and the South Wales coalfield at a standstill. After 6 months the miners are defeated. South Wales Miners Federation founded.

1900

Coal production in South Wales increased to 39,320,000 tons.

1901

Tynewydd Colliery, Porth closes

1905

Cambrian Colliery, Clydach Vale. An accident leaves 31 men dead.

 

Tylorstown. 2 men killed in a shaft explosion.

 

National Colliery, Wattstown. Tragedy claims the lives of 119 men and boys.

1906

The Notice of Accidents Act.

1908

The new Coal Mine Regulations introduced to increase safety in pits.

1909

New docks at Swansea opened to cope with the demand for Welsh coal.

 

Lady Margaret Colliery, Treherbert closes

 

Ynyshir Colliery, Ynyshir closes

1910

Riots at Tonypandy.

1912

Coal miners minimum wages favorably affects the South Wales mining area.

1913

Total output of coal from South Wales is 57 million tons, of which 70% is for export.

 

The zenith of the South Wales coalfield. Over 17,000 horses were employed in the south Wales coalfield to draw coal.

1915

Strike by South Wales miners results in a better wage agreement.

1916

The South Wales coalfield comes under Government control.

1917

Serious conflict of views in the South Wales coalfield between unions and owners.

1919

The Prince of Wales descends pit at Cymmer.

1921

Coal production ceases following a lock out at South Wales pits.

1922

Caerphilly Miners Hospital established at Watford, Caerphilly

 

Taff Vale Railway, Barry Railway, Penarth Harbour Railway & Rhymney Railway absorbed by the Great Western Railway

1926

General Strike. The miners held out for 9 months after other workers had returned to work, but were eventually forced back on lower pay than they had before the strike.

 

Bute Colliery,  Treherbert closes

 

Lady Lewis Colliery, Ynyshir closes

1928

Industrial depression causes distress amongst the mining communities of South Wales.

1929

Depression continues to cause severe distress in the mining districts of South Wales.

 

Pentre Colliery, Pentre closes

1931

Coal dispute in South Wales puts 140,000 men out of work.

 

Nos. 2, 4 Collieries Ferndale close

1932

Nos. 1, 2 Collieries, Mardy close

 

Llwynypia Colliery. 11 men die in pit disaster.

1933

Tynybedw Colliery, Pentre closes

1936

Nos. 6, 7, 8 Collieries, Tylorstown close

1938

Abergorki Colliery, Treorchy closes

1940

Production ceased at Cymmer Colliery, Porth.

1945

Glamorgan (Scotch) Colliery, Llwynypia closes

1947

The coal industry is nationalized.

 

Blaenclydach, Clydach Vale ( also known as Brookvale). Closed by the N.C.B shortly after nationalization.

 

Ynysfeio Colliery, Treherbert closes

 

Standard Colliery, Ynyshir closes

1948

Maindy Colliery, Rhondda Fach. Opened in 1864 as the first pit of the Ocean Coal Co. Employed 1,399 men and boys at the turn of the century, closes

March 26th. 1955

 Rhondda becomes a Borough as opposed to an Urban District

1958

Naval Collieries, formally part of the mighty Cambrian Combine under the ownership of Lord Rhondda. Commenced operations in 1875, closes

 

Ely Colliery, Penygraig closes

 

Nantgwyn Colliery, Tonypandy closes

1959

Eastern Colliery, Ystrad, owned by the Ocean Coal Co. this deep mine employed over 690 men during its heyday, closes

 

Ferndale Nos. 1 & 5 Collieries, Tylorstown. One of a series of deep mines sunk by D. Davies and Sons during the 1860's, close

 

Tydraw Colliery under the control of the Cory Brothers Ltd.. Shortly after the First World War employed over 730 men and boys, closes

1960

No. 9 Colliery,  Tylorstown closes

1962

Gelli Colliery, Gelli closes

1965

Cambrian Colliery, Clydach Vale. A terrible accident leaves 31 miners dead.

1966

Parc & Dare Colliery, Cwmparc closes

 

Glenrhondda (Hook & Eye) Colliery , Blaencwm closes

 

Fernhill Colliery, Blaenrhondda closes

1966/7

Cambrian Colliery, Clydach Vale. A deep mine sunk in 1873 by Cambrian Collieries. Scene of major disaster in 1894, closes

1967/8

Abergorki Colliery, Treherbert. Originally owned by Burnyeat and Brown and later by the Ocean Coal Co., closes

1968/9

National Collieries, Tylorstown. A deep mine opened in 1881 by the United National Coal Co., closes

1983

Lewis Merthyr Colliery, Trehafod closes

1990

Nos. 3, 4 Collieries, Maerdy close thus ending a 150 year period of mining in the Rhondda Valleys

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