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Glamorgan Archives
National Coal Board : South-Western Division, No. 5 Area

Reference code(s): GB 0214 DNCB/23

Held at: Glamorgan Archives

Title: National Coal Board : South-Western Division, No. 5 Area

Short Title: National Coal Board : South-Western Division, No. 5 Area

Creation date(s): 1854-1948

Level of description: Sub-fonds

Extent: 65 cubic metres

Name of creator(s): Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co; Great Western Colliery Co; Rhymney Iron Co. Ltd; United National Collieries Ltd.


Administrative/Biographical history: The early coal entrepreneurs in south Wales were mainly owners of copper works and ironworks and it was only after c. 1840, that the successful collieries began to develop. Part of this change was a product of improvements in mining technology. By 1873, most of the major coal companies in South Wales had been formed, and by 1914, the giant combines such as the Cambrian Combine, United National and T. Beynon and Company, dominated and controlled 40% of output. During the First World War (1914-1918), the coal industry was taken over by central government to ensure that strikes over wages did not stop supply of coal to the Royal Navy. In 1919, a Royal Commission reported that the industry should remain with the Government and be nationalized. This shocked the owners, but in 1921 the Government changed its mind and the industry was handed back to them. The Government took over the industry again during the Second World War (1939-1945). After the war, an inquiry recommended that the coal industry should be nationalized. On the 1st January 1947, the National Coal Board came into being; it inherited large numbers of records relating to the mines and their owners. The National Coal Board was dissolved in 1994.


Scope and content/abstract: Records of the National Coal Board, South-Western Division, No. 5 Area, 1854-1948, consists of: Records relating to Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co Ltd, includes, cost-books, 1864-1934; output-books, 1885-1904; Rhymney Valley Group, pay-books, 1935-1938; house-coal sales, 1941-1948. Records relating to the Great Western Colliery Co Ltd, includes cost-books, 1929-1934; daily quantities, 1928-1932. Records relating to Rhymney Iron Co Ltd, includes, cost-books, 1920-1931. Records relating to the United National Collieries Ltd, includes, general pay-books, 1876-1880; records re: Risca Collieries, 1854-1949; records re: Abercarn Colliery Ltd., 1883-1902. Records relating to Burnyeat Brown & Co Ltd, includes Black Vein Pit, coal accounts pay-book and wagon repair register, 1917, 1934-1937. Records relating to Ocean Collieries (Ocean Coal Co) includes, records re: Bwllfa Pits, pay-book, 1877-1881.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged in order of company: Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co; Great Western Colliery Co; Rhymney Iron Co. Ltd; United National Collieries Ltd.

Conditions governing access: No restrictions. These records are stored in an outside repository and should be ordered at least one week in advance of an intended visit so that they can be brought into the Record Office for consultation in the searchroom.

Conditions governing reproduction: Normal Glamorgan Record Office conditions apply.

Finding aids: A handlist is available at the Glamorgan Record Office.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are possible.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by the Secretary of the South-Western Division of the National Coal Board on 26 October 1966 (accession number 2140).


Related material: Related units of description records of the National Coal Board (DNCB/ ). Related units of description held elsewhere: National Coal Board, Coal Research Establishment, Powell Duffryn Reports and Papers consisting of series of technical progress and test reports, with correspondence files, illustrating the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company's involvement in the extraction and marketing of coal and its concern with other works and processes not related to coal mining, 1892-1953 [The National Archives]; Burnyeat, Brown & Company Limited - memorandum and articles of association, minute books, reports, accounts, 1897-1954 [Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury, London].


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds. The archive comprises earlier material accumulated by the National Coal Board.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Hayden Burns for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Glamorgan Record Office, Catalogue of records for the National Coal Board, South-Western Division No. 5 Area; "Welsh Coal Mines website (, viewed 24/02/2004."

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2004; February 2005

Coal mines and mining | Wales, South
Iron industry and trade | Wales | Glamorgan

Personal names

Corporate names
Burnyeat, Brown & Co.
Great Britain | National Coal Board. | South Wales Area
Great Western Colliery Company
Ocean Collieries
Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company
Rhymney Iron Company
United National Collieries

Rhymney (Wales)

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