Ebbw Vale Works

The Ebbw Vale Steel Iron and Coal Co. Ltd. owned several pits in the Ebbw vale district and together with their Iron and Steel plants, were known collectively as the "Ebbw Vale Works".

No. 22 pit was sunk around 1860.
From the Inspector of Mines list 1896, "Nos. 15 and 22", and "Fire clay Level" together employing 587 producing from the Old coal, Big vein, Elled and Three quarters seams.

By 1908 the workforce had diminished to only 66.
Nos. 22 and 15 closed 1908/9.
Fire Clay level remained opened and in 1918 there were 30 men

Ebbw Vale Steel Iron and Coal Co. Ltd  No. 22 pit
Ebbw Vale Miners sometime between 1860 and 1900 Ebbw Vale Miners sometime
Victoria Colliery ( the prince of wales)
The Prince of Wales Colliery Ebbw Vale 1920 (right)

Victoria pits were a series of 16 mine workings producing both coal and iron ore to supply the Victoria Ironworks owned by the Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal Co. Ltd.

The shaft of the original Victoria No.1 colliery was sunk to a depth of 690 feet by the Ebbw Vale Company and completed in 1846 (other shafts were sunk later). Although it was only a single shaft it was used to raise both coal and iron from three different levels. Winding was by the Water Balance method.
The No. 6 pit was added in 1847. This was also a water balance pit working both iron and coal.

There occurred an accident just over one year after it opened, when 11 miners who were descending the shaft fell to their deaths after a rope, which was connected to a counter balance bucket became detached.

Ebbw Vale, 1920  Prince of Wales Colliery
Ebbw Vale Steel Iron and Coal Co. Ltd  Victoria pits
On March 2nd 1871, a gas explosion occurred at the Victoria No.1 pit killing eighteen men and one boy.

At the inquest the government mines inspector reported that a blower of gas from the coalface had been ignited by a naked flame, he also added that the ventilation was inadequate and this was compounded by the abnormal weather conditions. In his report to the Home Office the inspector stated if his earlier advice on ventilation improvement had been put into practice the explosion probably would not have occurred.

After the explosion the pit was closed down, it reopened eleven years later when steam powered ventilation fans were installed.

In 1896 a workforce of 363 were producing coal from the Big Vein, Byddeg, Old Coal and Old Woman's Coal seams.By 1908 the workforce had increased to 463.
In 1918 there were 998 men employed.
Later Partridge Jones & John Paton Ltd. owned it.
Production ceased in 1929.In 1945 there were only 8 men employed for pumping and ventilation.

No. 6 closed in 1894
No. 5 closed in 1895
No. 6 closed in 1894
No. 5 closed in 1895 and reopened in 1914 it was then called Prince of Wales, Victoria. Victoria No. 1 closed in 1914.
Victoria Colliery Disasters

21st of June 1848

Name Age Occupation Status Lived at
Chivers, Hubert 13      
JamesDavis 39   Married  
Richard Edwards 26   Single  
John Harris 47   Married 4 Children  
William Owen 18   Single  
John Morgan 32   Widowed  
James Phelps 29   Single  
Emanuel Stilman 27   Widowed  
David Thomas 29   Married 2 Children,  
Isaac Williams 23   Single  
Richard Williams 27   Single  
2nd of March 1871
Name Age Occupation Status Lived at
Francis Adams, 21 Collier, Single, Briery Hill
John Chapman, 23 ,Collier Married 1 Child Old Pitty
Samuel Cooke, 18 Collier Single Bee Row
John Evans, 31 Collier Married 5 Children Victoria Town
Charles Ford 20 Collier Single Powell's Row
John Gallope 30 Collier Married 6 Children Briery Hill
Joseph Gallope 25 Collier Married Old Pitty
James George 24 Collier Married 1 Child Briery Hill
Joseph Harris 12 Doorboy Boy Powell's Row
Thomas James 21 Collier Single Briery Hill
ThomasMitchell 39 Collier Married, 10 Children Victoria Town
Phillip Phillips 59 Collier Married Bee Row
David Phillips 21 Collier Single Bee Row
George Williams 23 Haulier Single Briery Hill
William Plummer 24 Collier Married Victoria Town
Jonathan Price, 50 Fireman Married, 6 Children Powell's Row
John Price 18 Collier Single ( Son of Jonathan )
James Tanner 58 Collier Married, 6 Children  
George Turk 18 Collier Single Briery Hill

Waun Lwyd Colliery
The Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal Company Ltd sank Waunlwyd Colliery between 1874 and 1876.

No.1 and No.2 shafts both downcast at 272 yards and 168 yards deep respectively, No.3 shaft up-cast at a depth of 269 yards.

An underground fire broke out near the stables, on September 22nd, 1879 killing three men including a father and his son, 16 horses also perished. An air-door, which had been purposely left open to clear a pocket of gas was accidentally close by a fireman sending the gas to the naked lights at the stables, where it ignited.

Waunlwyd Colliery

The Dead.;
John Jones a Fireman.
William Griffiths (snr.) an Ostler.
William Griffiths (jnr.) an Ostler.
In 1896 a workforce of 951 men were employed here and coal was being extracted from the Three Quarters, Big Vein and Elled seams.By 1918 the workforce had grown to 2,365 men.
During 1935 Partridge Jones and John Paton and Co. became the new owners.
In 1938 it employed 1,123 and in 1945 there were 758 men employed.The colliery was effectively closed when it was integrated with the Marine colliery in 1964.


Cwm and Monmouthshire Colliery
Situated near Llan dafal in Cwm, this colliery is first mentioned in the Inspector of Mines list 1880.

It is again mentioned in the 1896 list when the owners were Monmouthshire and Cwm Collieries Co. At this time there were 124 men employed here producing coal from the Tillery seam.
By 1908 the number employed was 105, it also went by the name of Cwm North and South levels.
In 1918 there were 76 men employed at this collery, later Jones and Emmanuel became the owners.
In 1938 E. H. Bennet and Co. Ltd. owned the Cwm South level employing 58 men.
It closed in the early 1940's.

Cwm and Mon Colliery
Red Ash Level

The Red Ash Level mine was one of the many mines that were set into the easterns side of the ebbw Vallley.

This was down to the many seams found along the Ebbw Valley and was often concidered dangerous to be worked in. also along the valley at this time one could find mines names the Black Vein, Big Veinand the old coal

Marine Colliery
The sinking of this colliery began in 1889 by the Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal Company Ltd. The downcast shaft being 418 yards deep and the up-cast 414 yards.
The first coal was produced in 1893.
From the Inspector of Mines list 1896, there were 833 men employed producing from the Old coal, Three quarters, Big and Elled seams, in 1913 there were 2,407 men employed.On the 1st of March 1927 an underground gas and coal dust explosion killed 52 men. The death toll would have been many more if it wasn't for the quick thinking of the manager Mr. Edward Gay, who on his arrival at the mine ordered the ventilation fan to be slowed down so that it wouldn't fan the flames of any fires burning below. It turn out that his actions saved the lives of the men still alive in the district where the explosion occurred.
At this time there were 1400 men employed at the colliery but fortunately when the explosion occurred only the night shift were working underground.
By 1935 the ownership of the colliery change hands to Partridge, Jones & John Paton Ltd. who worked the colliery until Nationalisation in 1947, when there were 1,540 men employed.
During the 1970's it became integrated with Six Bells colliery with all the coal being handled at the Marine,. in 1982 £2.5 million was spent on a new skip winding system, also a new coal handling plant was installed on the surface.
Sadly Marine Collery was the last deep mine to work in the Ebbw valleys, it closed March 1989.
Marine Colliery, Cwm, 1920

Marine Colliery, Cwm, 1983

Marine Colliery Accident

rescue team

On Tuesday, March 1 st, 1927, fifty two men died in the Marine Colliery at Cwm.

The colliery was established by the Ebbw Vale Steel Iron and Coal Co. Ltd., in 1893 and sunk to a depth of 414 yards. It was named "Marine" after the Marine Compound Engines used underground. The name is also connected with the coal, which was used by the Admiralty in Royal Navy warships, in the first world war.

Marine was a modern pit compared with others in the district, and the people of Cwm and Company officials were shocked when the explosion occurred. The night shift of firemen and maintenance men had only been down a few hours before the explosion took place. It was due to fire damp which had gathered in the Black Vein area and then swept with devastating effect through the return, to the upcast shaft. There were about 140 men underground at the time, and it was believed that fifty men had been trapped by the fall.

Officials and rescue teams used the downcast shaft and pumps were set up to force ventilation through the workings. This would prevent further explosions and allow rescue teams to get to the trapped men. The first three officials who went down were F. P. Hann, the Managing Director, H.' McVicar, General Manager, and W. H. John the Colliery Agent. These were overcome by carbon monoxide gas, commonly known as "black damp", and were brought back to the surface.

Relatives and friends waited anxiously for news as miners with light injuries arrived at the Ambulance Room, but by 2.30 a.m. and it was obvious that many of the miners still underground must have been killed.

Doctor Florance O'Sullivan lived nearest to the pit, in Wood vi lie Road, and later wrote an account of the disaster. He led one of the rescue teams and was joined by other local doctors, including Doctor Alan P. Brown.

The rescue team which Dr. O'Sullivan led, consisted of two ambulance men, two stretcher bearers and a guide. The team made its way into the affected area, slipping and slithering down shafts and pitches and met a fireman, with a linnet in a cage. They arrived at a point where the bird stopped chirping and died, and they quickly returned to the surface. They then went down again to an area where trapped men had been located. This time there was no risk of gas, but they were in danger of being crushed by rockfalls. The team rescued two men, but it was nearly two days before all the bodies were recovered. When the men were found, they all appeared to be alive, for the effect of the gas had made their cheeks red.

Relatives and friends stood in the mud and driving rain and waited anxiously for news. Fifty two men had been killed and several families lost two or more members. Workers in the same heading were killed. William Matthews, and his two collier sons, Trevor and Herbert were lost. There followed days of comforting the bereaved and identifying the bodies as they were brought to the surface. On Wednesday the Prime Minister, Mr. Stanley Baldwin and his wife, visited the scene of the disaster and called on many bereaved families.

On the day of the funeral in Cwm, a bus carrying sightseers and mourners, turned over as it was travelling over the bridges near the colliery and several of the passengers had to be treated in hospital

There was a seperate funeral for the Ebbw Vale , but most of the the forty one victims from were buried in a special section of Cwm cemetery. On September 29th, 1927 a momerial tablet to those who died was unveiled at Cwm Institue by the general manager, Sir Fredrick Mills

Marine Colliery was one of the last fully operational colliery in the Blaenau Gwent area and during the last ten years of its life the surface works was expanded and modernised. At the time of its closure the coal seams had not been exhausted, and in the interests of economy the collieries at Six Bells and the Rose Heyworth, Abertillery, were linked to Marine underground.

Name Employment Address
Harry Brain, Labourer 104 Marine Street, Cwm
William Bryant Repairer 2 Newcombe Terrace, Cwm
Bert Button Collier 22 Canning Street, Cwm
Wilfred Button Engineman 22 Canning Street, Cwm
Joseph Chappell, Assistant Collier 42 William Street, Cwm
John Clarke, Collier Mill Terrace, Cwm
Charles Cox Haulier 122 King Street, Cwm
William Crowley Repairer 8 Rees Street. Ebbw Vale
W. G Davies, Repairer 9 School Terrace, Cwm
Davies, Reginald Repairer 43 Western Terrace, Ebbw Vale
William Dudley Labourer The Huts, Beaufort
David Evans Labourer Llanelly Hill, Brynmawr
Tom Gatehouse Labourer 191 Marine Street, Cwm
Charles Green Repairer 85 Lilian Grove, Ebbw Vale
Fred Green, Repairer 48 Canning Street, Cwm
Alfred Griffiths Collier 36 Canning Street, Cwm
Sidney Hill Repairer 3 Steward Street, Cwm
John Hobbs Labourer Duffryn Villas, Cwm
Llewellyn Jenkins Repairer 24 Station Terrace, Cwm
William Jones Collier 12 Council Street. Ebbw Vale
Charles Lee Labourer 123 Marine Street, Cwm
Tom Lewis Engineman 8 Station Rd, Waunllwyd
Edward Mason Labourer 5 Railway View, Cwm
William Mathews Overman Kitchener Terrace, Cwm
Trevor Mathews Collier 43 Marine Street, Cwm
Herbert Mathews Collier 13 Park View, Waunllwyd
Walter Mathlin, Repairer 14 King Street, Cwm
John Miles, Collier 71 Canning Street, Cwm
Charles Monaghan, Labourer 74 Canning Street, Cwm
Richard Monaghan, Labourer 74 Canning Street, Cwm
Tom Morris, Collier 4 King Street, Cwm
Tom Morris, Haulier 108 Beaufort Hill,Beaufort
Richard Nation, Haulier 77 Emlyn Avenue, Ebbw Vale
William Penny, Labourer 103 Canning Street, Cwm
Robert Pester, Haulier 242 Marine Street, Cwm
William Pickford, Collier Osborne Road, Brynmawr
Wilfred Probert, Labourer 49 Station Terrace, Cwm
Harold Reed, Fitter 224 Marine Street, Cwm
Gordon Riddock, Labourer 187 Marine Street, Cwm
John Rogers, Examiner Railway View, Cwm
John Rogers, Labourer 18 The Huts, Cwm
Shellard, Walter Collier 6 Mill Terrace, Cwm
Ben Stibbs, Assistant Collier 52 Stanfield Street, Cwm
Tom Tarr, Collier 2 Duffryn Villas, Cwm
Fred Trowbridge, Labourer 12 Duffryn Rd, Waunllwyd
Jim Vaughan, Repairer 53 Woodland Hill, Ebbw Vale
William Warren, Assistant Haulier 25 Currie Street, Cwm
Ted Wilcox, Ropeman 25 Crosscombe Terrace, Cwm
Ellis Williams, Examiner 75 Marine Street, Cwm
Albert Wright, Labourer 2 Waen Goch, Beaufort
Time Line For the works rail link to Ebbw Vale
1789 Ebbw Vale Company Works Opened.
1837 Victoria Ironworks, Ebbw Vale Opened.
1837 Beaufort Ironworks Tramway Passenger station by Victoria Ironworks and Ebbw Vale Company's Victoria Colliery called Victoria.
1846 Victoria No. 1 Pit, Ebbw Vale Mine sunk.
1847 Victoria No. 6 Pit, Ebbw Vale Mine sunk.
1859 #West Somerset Mineral Railway# Line leased by the Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal company (originally the Ebbw Vale company) for 55.25 years
1859 Merthyr Tredegar and Abergavenny Railway Company incorporated. Backed by Crawshay Bailey of Nantyglo, James Hill of Blaenavon and Thomas Brown of Ebbw Vale. Engineer; John Gardner.
1864 West Somerset Mineral Railway, Ebbw Vale Company West Somerset Mineral Railway taken over by the Ebbw Vale Company to procure iron ore.
1868 Ebbw Vale Ironworks Bessemer process introduced.
1868 Ebbw Vale Company Works Bessemer process introduced.
1871 Victoria No. 1 Pit, Ebbw Vale Gas explosion, 19 killed. Pit closed.
1882 Victoria No. 1 Pit, Ebbw Vale Re-opened after new ventilation fans fitted.
1894 Victoria No. 6 Pit, Ebbw Vale Closed.
1895 Victoria No. 5 Pit, Ebbw Vale Closed.
1909 #West Somerset Mineral Railway# The Somerset Mineral Syndicate sub-lets the line from the Ebbw Vale company. The line is re-opened between a new jetty at Watchet and Brendon Hill where a 2 foot mine line extends the railway. Gupwrthy is not re-opened.
1910 London and North Western Railway, South Wales Run-away coal train piles up after being diverted onto a dead-end siding by signalman on Ebbw Vale Branch.
1914 Victoria No. 5 Pit, Ebbw Vale Re-opened as Prince of Wales, Victoria.
1914 Victoria No. 1 Pit, Ebbw Vale Closed.
1919 #West Somerset Mineral Railway# Ebbw Vale companys lease expires and no longer has to pay for use of line.
1919 Ebbw Vale Company Works Works closed.
1929 Victoria No. 5 Pit, Ebbw Vale Production ends.
1935 Ebbw Vale Company Works Acquired by Richard Thomas & Co.
1938 Ebbw Vale Company Works Re-equipped and Ironworks, Steelworks and mills re-opened as the first continuous wide-strip mill in the UK for tinplate.
2005 Ebbw Vale Steelworks Closed
Some of the Other Coal Mines found in the Ebbw Vale area
Graig Vawr
Bwlch Y Garn
Aberbeeg, Newport, Powell Bros
Abercarn, No.1, Neport, Ebbw Vale Co. Limited.
Abersychan Works, Ebbw Vale, Ebbw Vale Co. Limited.
Beaufort, Aberstrouth, Beaufort Colliery CoCwm, Aberbeeg, J. Cook and Co
Bush, Crumlin, Bush Coal Company,Beaufort Works,
Nantyglo, Nantyglo and Blaina Co Limited.
Llandaval, Aberbeeg,
Monmouthshire and Cwm Collieries Co.Old Engine,
Nantyglo, Coalbrook Vale Coal Co.
Pantyforest, Ebbw Vale, Powell and Co.
Pontypool Works, Pontypool, Ebbw Vale Co., Limited.
Sirhowy Works, Newport, Ebbw Vale Co., Limited.
Sun, Nantyglo, Morgan and Williams.
Tillery, Abertillery, Jaynes Tillery Colliery Co.
Tredegar, Tredegar, Tredegar Iron and Coal Company Limited.
Tirphill, Tredegar, J. P. Jones.
Wain Level, Nantyglo, Morgan Thomas.
Winches, Nantyglo, John Lewis.
Yard Level, Nantyglo, Chilton and Jones.
Other Notable mines attached to the the Ebbw Vale area
Drybrook Level, Newnham, Ebbw Vale Co. Limited.