Coalbrookvale Colliery

Coalbrookvale Colliery

The name of Coalbrookvale was an English derivation of Nant-y-glo, stream of coal, Coal Brook in the vale of.

Mr George Brewer.
The Coalbrookvale Iron Works were set up in the 1820’s by Mr George Brewer. Later his son Mr Thomas Llewellyn Brewer took control.

Coalbrookvale Colliery.
The Coalbrookvale Deep Pit was sunk sometime after 1840, (the colliery was not on the 1840 tithe map), the colliery must have been sunk under the ownership of Mr Thomas Llewellyn Brewer as Mr George Brewer had retired in 1839. In later reports of the 1880’s the colliery was still known locally as “Brewers Deep Mine”.

Mr T. L. Brewer.
In 1856 Mr T. L. Brewer left Coalbrookvale to live at Danygraig near Newport, Monmouthshire.

Mr Edmund Morgan.
In 1873 Mr Edmund Morgan leased the Coalbrookvale Colliery, Nantyglo. Mr Edmund Morgan lived at Coalbrookvale House, his wife was Rebecca, nee Lewis, she was from the old respected Lewis family from the Trostre.

The Death of Mrs Rebecca Morgan.
In October 1896 Mrs Rebecca Morgan sadly passed away.

Mr Daniel Lewis.
In 1874 Mr Daniel Lewis became manager of the collieries at Coalbrookvale.

Messrs J. G. & W. Barnes & Edmund Morgan.
In 1878 the partnership of Messrs J. G. & W. Barnes, Derby Buildings, Fenwick Street Liverpool along with Mr Edmund Morgan took over the collieries at Coalbrookvale Nantyglo as – Messrs Barnes, Morgan & Co. The Barnes were as follows – Mr George Barnes, Mr William Barnes and Mr James Barnes, James Barnes was also managing director and chairman of the Bersham Collieries Company near Wrexham and had a large interest in several steam ship lines and other business enterprises in Lancashire.

Mr Edmund Morgan of Barnes Morgan & Co.
On September 25th 1879,
Mr Edmund Morgan of Barnes Morgan & Co was given a presentation upon his retirement from the company, the miners committee was as follows – The officers – Mr Daniel Lewis (Chairman); Mr Evan Evans (Treasurer); Mr Llewellyn Blunt (Secretary): The committee – Mr Samuel Francis; Mr Davis Jones; Mr Thomas Gratewood; Mr John Jones; Mr Evan Hughes; Mr Rosser Rosser; Mr James Morgan; Mr William Rosser; Mr William Tuck; Mr Thomas Roberts; Mr John D. Adams; Mr Edward Evans; Mr Thomas Jenkins; Mr Henry Summerhill; Mr George Wheeler; Mr Evan Maddy; Mr Stephen Evans; Mr William Beynon; and Mr Lewis W. Lewis:

Messrs Barnes & Co.
After the retirement of Mr Morgan the collieries were under the control of Messrs Barnes & Co. The Coalbrookvale Collieries Company.

Mr George Highfield.
In 1889 Mr Daniel Lewis finished working at the Coalbrookvale Colliery to work for the Lancaster Company at the Cwmtillery and Rose Heyworth Collieries as general manager and resided at Lake Villa’s, Cwmtillery.
The new manager at the Coalbrookvale Colliery was Mr George Highfield. Mr Highfield was only at the colliery for a short while and retired the following year.

1890 Mr Highfield’s retirement party was held at the Bush Inn on Saturday 6th December 1890. The following men who worked at the Coalbroookvale Colliery were present – Mr James Johnson (Presided); Mr Jacob Jenkins; Mr F. Morris; Mr David Evans; Mr Jos Rees; Mr Thomas Williams; Mr T. Aston; Mr W. M. Williams; Mr J. Jones; Mr James Williams; Mr Richard Roberts gave a present of a purse of gold sovereigns and an illuminated testimonial in a gilt frame.

Also present were – Mr Richard Roberts (Chairman); Mr Thomas Roberts (Treasurer); Mr Samuel Francis (Hon Sec.); Committee- Mr Richard Roberts; Mr George Wheeler; Mr Henry Barrington; Mr John Thomas; Mr David Evans; Mr Frederick Morris; Mr William Price; Mr Samuel Thomas; Mr Thomas Williams; Mr John Morgan; Mr Joseph Hale; Mr James Prosser; Mr John Watten; Mr Daniel Williams; Mr William Tuck; Mr James Morgan; Mr Thomas Wheeler;

Mr William Thomas.
In 1890 Mr William Thomas from the Wattsville Colliery took over the management of the collieries and resided at Llanreed House, Coalbrookvale.

The Coalbrookvale Wages Agreement.
In 1894 a wages agreement was written up and the prices paid were as follows – For cutting coal 1s. 5d. per ton. For double timbering 11d. The hauliers wage was 3s. 5d. per day.

The Death of Mr James Barnes.
On February 2nd 1899 Mr James Barnes sadly died at his residence at Litherland Park, Liverpool.

On February 14th 1900 the business of Messrs Barnes & Co was officially dissolved

Nantyglo and Blaina Iron Co.
In October 1903 the Coalbrookvale Collieries were put up for auction. They were purchased by the Nantyglo Iron Co for £3,000. The property purchased was 122 acres, which included 2 collieries, Coalbrookvale House, garden and cottage etc, railway connections and sidings along with the Old Yard Pit with a winding capacity of 300 tons per day.

Mr William Baker Dixon.
In December 1904 the Nantyglo and Blaina Company leased the collieries to Mr William Baker Dixon (Wigan) who was intending to develop the collieries further.

Messrs Dixon Hallett & Co.
A while later Mr Dixon went into partnership with Mr Gerald Oliver Hallett and became Messrs Dixon Hallett & Co.

In January 1916 the partnership of Messrs Hallet and Dixon was liquidated.

Mr Silvanus Jones Jnr.
In 1916 the Coalbrookvale Collieries were taken over by Mr Silvanus Jones Jnr. Reports stated he was also opening the mine shaft that had been closed since the last dispute.

In March 1918 the Coalbrookvale Colliery was put up for auction.

Ebbw Vale Steel Iron and Coal Co.
In September 1920 the Ebbw Vale Steel Iron and Coal Co announced that they had purchased the Coalbrookvale Colliery though the deal must have been called off as all later reports stated it was still owned by S. Jones & Co?

In November 1920 it was announced that Mr Sylvanus Jones Jnr of the Woodlands, Blaina and his brother-in-law Mr T. L. Davies a county school teacher, had left the town for a sea voyage for the benefit of their health. They went to Australia and in March 1921 sent a message back to say they were on the return route home. It also stated that the brothers were in charge of the collieries in his absence.

In August 1921 the colliery closed again, though in the November it had re-opened after wage negotiations and employed 200 men. Over the next few years the colliery became idle on many occasions.

Mr Evan Watkins M.E.
In April 1922 Mr Evan Watkins M.E. became the manager of the Coalbrookvale Colliery, Mr Watkins had previously been the manager of the South Griffin Collieries. The colliery employed 250 men at this time.

Mr Howell Morgan M.E.
In the 1924 Mr Howell Morgan M.E. of Cwmcelyn Road, Blaina was the manager.

The Closure of the Coalbrookvale Colliery.
In November 1924 the Coalbrookvale Colliery closed. It was reported to be one of the oldest collieries in the district at the time of closure.

In October 1925 Mr Sylvanus Jones went Bankrupt. At this time he was living in Brongain, Stow Park Crescent, Newport, Monmouthshire.

The Coke Yard Colliery Company.
In 1927 a new company was set up and purchased the Coalbrookvale Colliery, the new company was called The Coke Yard Colliery Company, it consisted of the following gentlemen – Mr Thomas Davies; Mr James Davies; Mr David Davies (Brothers); Mr Alfred Tudgay; Mr William Bowen; and Mr Oswald Lovett.

Mr Alfred Tudgay.
On Friday 6th January 1928 Mr Alfred Tudgay of the Garn, Nantyglo, partner in the new company was working in the shaft of the old flooded up-cast shaft removing old pipework, he had been attached to a rope and descended the shaft by a winch. For some unknown reason the winch malfunctioned and Mr Tudgay dropped 300 feet to the bottom of the shaft. Mr Reginald Collett, a former pit-man was at the scene and at once arranged to descend the shaft to aid Mr Tudgay. Mr Collett tried in vain on several occasions but his safety lamp kept going out, he later tried with an electric light but had to come back up the shaft as the air was foul and no rescue could be attempted.

The following Monday the services of a professional diver was called for and Mr James Douglas from Cardiff, his two brothers and his son-in-law arrived at Coalbrookvale. They descended the shaft and reached the water level 20 feet from the bottom of the pit, they sunk through the water to pit bottom, though there was no sign of Mr Tudgay. Upon their ascent they found the body of Mr Tudgay 9′ feet below the surface of the water level in the shaft, he had been caught up in girder work and old guide ropes. At the inquest Mr R. Collett, pit-man was commended for his actions and risking his own life in trying to rescue Mr Tudgay. Thanks were given to the Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal Company in supplying the rescue equipment.

The Later Years.
I am not sure what date the Coalbrookvale Colliery closed though in the late 1930’s the Coalbrookvale area along with parts of North Blaina was in need of renovation and upgrading, many houses were deemed inhabitable by the council and a clearance scheme was put into action. Many properties were demolished and the land was cleared. A few miners and their families travelled north to find work in the northern coalfields.

(More information to come).

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