Document referenceDNCB
Level of description Fonds
TitleNational Coal Board, Records
Creator(s)British Coal Corporation, 1987-1997
National Coal Board, 1946-1986
BackgroundIn 1945 the newly-elected Labour government announced its intention to nationalise the British coal industry. The Coal Industry Nationalisation Act was passed on 12 July 1946 and it provided for the establishment of a National Coal Board (NCB) in which all the assets of the coal industry would be vested. The NCB would be responsible for running the whole industry, split into the following eight Divisions: No.1 Scottish; No.2 Northern; No.3 North-Eastern; No.4 North-Western; No.5 East Midland; No.6 West Midland; No.7. South-Western; No.8 South-Eastern.

On the vesting date, 1 January 1947, the NCB’s South Western Division consisted of 220 collieries and over 100 small privately owned mines. The Division was sub-divided into the following areas; No.1 Swansea, No.2 Maesteg, No.3 Rhondda, No.4 Aberdare, No.5 Rhymney, No.6 Monmouthshire and Severn (Forest of Dean, Somerset, Bristol).

In the early 1940s there had been a great demand for coal and many pits had been kept open although operating at a loss. This great demand continued after nationalisation, but the NCB embarked on a policy of distributing the available finances to the collieries that they believed would have the best returns. In the period 1947 to 1959 this led to the closure of 76 collieries. However, alongside the closures, the NCB also started to invest heavily in new ventures, redeveloping collieries such as Mardy and Fernhill in the Rhondda and Llanharan and Nantgarw near the southern outcrop.

The closure policy had the desired effect of improving the output per manshift at collieries, but ultimately it failed in its attempts to stem the huge losses that the Division was running up. The mergers of pits continued in the 1960s; Wyndham and Western Collieries were merged in 1965, and Tower and Fernhill Collieries in 1966, with Merthyr Vale and Deep Navigation collieries receiving major investments.

The 1960s also saw the occurrence of one of the worst disasters in the history of the British coal industry. On 21 October 1966, 144 people, 116 of them children, were killed when a tip of coal waste slid onto the welsh village of Aberfan. On 26 October 1966, the Secretary of State for Wales, appointed a Tribunal to inquire into the causes of, and circumstances relating to, the Aberfan disaster. The NCB accepted the lessons and recommendations set out in the Report of the Tribunal and gave the Minister of Power an immediate account of what they were doing to remedy the shortcomings. Comprehensive information about all NCB tips was assembled (for the first time) and policies were devised for controlling them. A tip safety committee was established by the NCB, and a programme of inspection, investigation and remedial work was installed.

In order to make the south Wales coalfield more efficient, and to meet the demand for coal, more mergers of collieries were carried out during the 1970s, including the mergers of Lady Windsor and Abercynon in 1975, Nantgarw and Windsor in 1974 and Garw and Ffaldau in 1975.

By the late 1970s, the pit closures had started contributing to an industrial depression in south Wales. With a rise in unemployment, people became increasingly concerned not only with the loss of jobs, but also the effect that unemployment would have on the mining communities as a whole. In 1984 the National Coal Board declared that it wished to close 20 pits across Britain, with the loss of 20,000 jobs. On 12 March 1984, Arthur Scargill, President of the NUM, called a national strike against the pit closures. Many miners were involved in picketing and protesting, including miners from 28 pits in the south Wales coalfield. The strike lasted for nearly a year, with the miners conceding defeat on 3 March 1985.

On 1 January 1987, the NCB became the British Coal Corporation. Over the next few years more collieries were closed and mining operations in Wales, under the British Coal Corporation, came to an end in 1994, with the closure of Tower No.4, the last British Coal Corporation deep mine in the south Wales coalfield.

With the passing of the Coal Industry Act 1994, the industry wide administrative functions of British Coal were transferred to the Coal Authority and its economic assets were privatised. The British Coal Corporation was wound up in 1997.
DescriptionRecords of the National Coal Board (NCB) and the British Coal Corporation, South Wales Area. Records are arranged by the creating department, with records concerning a variety of subjects found across the different series, such as colliery planning and development schemes, capital expenditure, colliery closures, strikes and industrial relations (particularly material on the 1984/1985 Miners’ Strike), industrial disease, accidents, compensation, NCB property, public relations (including colliery profile leaflets and press statements), accounts, welfare (including plans of pithead baths), the Aberfan disaster and Tribunal, tip control (including a set of tip plans) and opencast operations. Within the Mining Department papers there are plans showing underground workings across the south Wales coalfield and at individual collieries. Other plans within the collection include those relating to machinery and engineering.

There is a substantial photographic print and negative collection which includes images of collieries across the south Wales coalfield. The collection includes (but is not limited to) images of individual collieries (above and below ground), disasters, strikes, royal visits, groups of workmen, general studies of ‘valley life’, colliery horses, coal face work, pithead baths, medical centres, people, machinery, buildings, ancillary works, scientific equipment, exhibitions and staff training.

Records created at individual collieries also feature within the collection and include accident and compensation registers, pay books, rent books and a horse purchase book. Some of this material was in use by pre-vesting colliery companies and continued by the NCB.

Alongside records created by the NCB, the collection includes pre-vesting date records kept by the NCB. This material comprises records relating to coal mining and associated industries before nationalisation. This series includes (but is not limited to) papers of The Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners' Association (including a set of press digests covering the period immediately before the nationalisation of the coal industry), a set of newspaper cutting volumes and terms of settlement papers.

The NCB also deposited the pre-nationalisation records of individual colliery companies. See the related collections field for a list of these collections.
ArrangementWhere identifiable, records have been listed by the creating department within the National Coal Board. Notable exceptions are the individual collieries, photographic collection and pre-vesting material, for which an artificial arrangement has been created based on subject and type of record.
Extent309 volumes, 201 boxes, 2744 plans, 4794 negatives
AppraisalAppraisal has taken place retrospectively, with all records which meet the collection policy of the Glamorgan Archives having been retained. Duplicates destroyed.
Source of AcquisitionThe majority of material was deposited under S.4(1) of the Public Records Act 1958 by the National Coal Board and the British Coal Corporation in the period 1957-1997. Some material was presented under S.3(6) of the Public Records Act 1958 by the British Coal Corporation in the 1990s, namely duplicate mine plans, engineering drawings and colliery profit and loss accounts.
Finding AidsA detailed catalogue is available
Related materialThe following collections contain material that was deposited at Glamorgan Archives by the National Coal Board and British Coal:
DPD: Records of Powell Duffryn Limited
D1100: Fernhill Collieries Limited, Records
D1101: North's Navigation Collieries (1889) Limited, Records
D1370: Cardiff Collieries Ltd, Llanbradach, Records
D1398: Burnyeat, Brown and Co., Records
D1399: Locket’s Merthyr Collieries Limited, Records
D1400: Ocean Coal Co. Limited, Records
D1404: Ocean and United National Limited, Records
D1411: United National Collieries Limited, Records
D1422: London and South Wales Coal Company, Records
D1423: Risca Coal and Iron Company, Records
D1427: Abercarn Coal Company, Records
D1482: John Jones, Hengoed, Papers
D1493: Hill's Plymouth Company Limited, Records
D1621: Welsh Navigation Steam Coal Company Limited, Papers
D1628: Ynishir Steam Coal Company Limited, Records
D1645: Glenavon Garw Collieries Limited, Records
D1668: Crown Preserved Coal Company, Limited, Records
The following list records further items, series and collections held at Glamorgan Archives relating to the coal industry. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and there may be other material held at Glamorgan Archives that is relevant to coalfield research.

BB/C/33/1-10: Clerk's Department, Borough of Barry - National Coal Board Posters
D243: Mid Glamorgan County Library, Miscellaneous Papers
D359: Aberfan Spoil tips photographs
D386: Aberdare Library Collection - coal material concerning collieries in Mountain Ash area
D608: George Hatch of Abercynon, National Union of Mineworkers papers
D624: Douglas Simpson, Colliery Manager, Papers
D682: John Owen Evans, research notes for book 'Coal Mining in Caerphilly and District'
D701: Mrs Alison Essaye, Collection. Plans originally used at NCB Offices, Tondu
D803: Teifion Davies of Ystrad Mynach, Surveyor, papers
D935: John Toghill of Caerphilly, colliery plans, collection
D955: Wyndham/Western Colliery, Nantymoel, Records
D972/2/1: Alfred J Davies Papers, Plan of the Nine Foot Seam at Windsor Colliery, Abertridwr
D978: Forestry Comission, aerial photographs, some taken for NCB
D1013: Colliery Maps and Plans of South Wales
D1061: John O'Sullivan of Cardiff, Photographer, Records
D1069: P O Davies of Mountain Ash, Deep Duffryn Colliery slides
D1080: Matthew Williams collection, images of a South Wales Miners' Gala, Cardiff, 1960s
D1114: Nantgarw and Coedely Collieries, Records
D1120: Park slip relief fund
D1265: Park Colliery and Cambrian Colliery, Records
D1301: Taff Merthyr Colliery, Trelewis, Records
D1318: Wyndham Colliery and Penllwyngwent Colliery, Records
D1370: Cardiff Collieries Ltd, Llanbradach, Records
D1544: Leslie Price, Photographs of South Wales Coalfield
D1554: Colliery Guardian, Coalfield Map, 1959
D1555: Garw Colliery, Plans
D1559: TP Spierling of Barry, Collection, south Wales coalfield plans
D1606: Mark Baker of Blaenllechau Colliery. Underground plans of Tower and Mardy Collieries
D1617: Coal Spoil reports
D1652: Jill McAndrew, Colliery Nursing Officer - occupational health research project
D1656: Conrad Phillips Colliery Photograph Collection. Photographs of pit head baths at Gelli Colliery
D1657: Leslie Price collection, colliery plans
D1686/1: James Breacher, Colliery Manager, Garw Ocean Colliery
D1722: Nightingale's Map of Glamorgan
D1724: Blaengarw Colliery Strike, Photograph, Nov 1929
D1733: Keith Leighfield, British Coal privatisation papers, 1994
BMT/E/8/13: X-ray and medical examinations of trainees and prospective employees in collieries
CL/BRA: Cardiff Libraries, British Records Association Deposits. Coal leases at CRA/BRA 715/7; CL/BRA 333/2; CL/BRA 333/14; CL/BRA 333/15
DA: Glamorgan Estate of Lord Bute, Collection
DAB/26: S Andrews and Son: records relating to collieries
DART/N/6/1-3: South Wales Argus, 'Coal Crisis' issue 1926
DB/I: Marquess of Bute Welsh Estates, Mineral Leases (copies)
DBJ: Blandy-Jenkins of Llanharan, Estate Collection
DCB: Records of Cory Brothers and Company Ltd
DCH: Edgar Chappell, Collection, Campions map of collieries, iron, tin, copper and chemical works, railways and stations in South Wales
DCOMC/13/5: Colliery Owners Taxation Committee
DCOMC/22/3: Joseph Davies and Hailey, coal and coke export statistics
DCOMC/23: Andrews, Davies and Dupont Limited, Coal Exporters
DCOMC/25/9: Annual reports, accounts, minutes etc for The Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners Association
DCOMC/29/4, 9, 12: Cardiff Incorporated Chamber of Commerce - Maps and plans
DCR/13: Bwllfa & Merthyr Dare Steam Collieries (1891) Limited as additional lessee
DCR/101: Contract with Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries Limited
DDH/4: Aubrey-Fletcher Estate, Records. Correspondence and plans relating to Trebanog Colliery Company
DDJ: Dillwyn and Jones, Mining Engineers, Records
DEGS/8: The Western Merthyr Coal and Fuel Co., Deeds and plans, 1875-1959
DER: Evans and Reid Coal Company Ltd, Cardiff, Records
DG: Dowlais Iron Company, Records
DHSE: Health and Safety Executive, Records - Plans
DJE/143: Plan of part of Llyspentwyn Colliery in Mynyddislwyn (co. Mons)
DMP2/25-27: Papers of Ann Clywd, MP, concerning coal
DNACODS: National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers (NACODS), Lady Windsor Lodge, Ynysybwl
DNLE/1: Cardiff Washed Coal Co. Ltd
DNLE/6: Garth Works, Walnut Tree Bridge, Eglwysilan
DNLE/8: Glyn Colliery Co. Ltd.
DNLE/9: Messrs. Gueret
DNLE/10: Powell’s Tillery Steam Coal Co. Ltd
DNLE/11: Pyeman Watson & Co. Ltd
DNLE/12: Taylor Leyshon & Co. coal selling agents and coal shippers
DNLE/13: Charles M Willie & Co.
DNLE/14: Company Records – various
DNLE/30: Glamorgan Coal Co. Ltd and Archibald Hood of Cardiff
DNMW/5: Bettws Colliery. Particulars and conditions of sale
DPE: Homfray of Penllyn Estate papers - Penlline estate colliery plans
DRA/11/1-466: Elders’ Navigation Colliery
DRA/11/477-513: Prospectuses, statements of account and directors’ reports of various companies
DRA/15/17-26: Ffaldau Colliery Workmen School Committee - Legal opinion, school account and correspondence
DRH: Rhymney Iron Company Records
DSA: Stephenson & Alexander, Auctioneers and Chartered Surveyors, Records
DSB/6/8: South Wales Coalfield, plans
DST/17: Maesteg Collieries, copies of leases
DST/18: Braich-y-cymmer Collieries, copies of leases
DST/25/28: Llynvi Colliery: Cost of washing coal at the Llynvi Washing Machine, maesteg, issued from Colliery office
DSWP/PH/COA: Coal strikes photographs
DTD/5: Correspondence, accounts and notes concerning colliery at Margam
DTH: Thomas Family of Llantwit Fardre and Pontypridd; collection - plans
DTHO: Thomas family of Llanbradach and Ystrad Mynach Estates Records - deeds
DVAU/61-63: Thomas and Evans Steam Coal Company, Treorci
DVL/69-117: Lanelay Estate. Colliery Plans
DWA/ABERFAN: Piggott, R.J. (Chief Surveyor, National Coal Board), Aberfan Disaster Inquiry Papers
DXNG/2: Map of east Glamorgan, showing collieries, ironworks, canals and railways
DXNS: S Jenkins, Collection
DXBA: Maps and Plans
DXBK: Port Talbot Railway & Docks Co etc
DXBT/5: Industrial deeds
DXBT/7: Industrial deeds
DXCR/1: Collection of deeds, plans and leases
DXCU/17/1-5: Plans of Abergorky and Mardy Colliery
DXCV: Insole and Biddle, Brick, Timber and Coal Merchants Records
DXCZ: Colliery plans
DXDA: Gordon's map of the South Wales coalfield
DXDG/7: Senghenydd Disaster 1913
DXDF/1-3: Gwaun-cae-gurwen collieries plans
DXDK/22: Plymouth Collieries and Ironworks, Merthyr Tydfil sale catalogue
DXDV/1-4: Plans of Blackbrook Colliery, Caerphilly; lease of workings in Rhondda
DXFA: Lease
DXGC16: Greenwood's map of south east Wales
DXGC17: Lewis Merthyr Collieries
DXGC23: Plan of the western section of the south Wales Coalfield
DXGC103: Mining ballads
DXGC156: National Museum of Wales: discussion papers
DXGC184: Photograph of official presentation of papers relating to the Aberfan disaster enquiry, to the Glamorgan Archive Service
DXGC189: Photographs from the John Cornwall Collection
DXGC206: Cartoons of the Welsh Coal strike by J.M. Staniforth
DXGC237: Plans of the South Wales Coalfield by Henry K. Jordan
DXGC293: Rhondda & Pontypridd - Tonypandy riots, 1910
DXGE7: Deeds of messuages and lands called Newhouse in Bayden, Llangynwyd; and plan of Ton Phillip Rhondda Coal Co.
DXGE16: Lease of Penrhiw and Maindy collieries
DXGJ: Universal Colliery, Senghenydd: Transcript re explosion
DXGR/1-2: Lady Lewis Pit Records
DXHD/1: The Cardiff Navigation Colliery: Sale catalogue, with five plans
DXHD2/I,ii: Bettws Llantwit Colliery Ltd
DXHU: Lewis Watkins of Caerphilly, colliery manager; Papers
DXHV: S.O. Davies
DXIA/11: Y Fwyell yn Llaw Eglwysbach, Cyf 1, Rhif 6. Rhifyn coffadwriaethol am danchwa Cilfynydd
DXIA/12/5: Postcard - Cambrian Colliery Ambulance and Nursing Division, 1920
DXIO/4: Cardiff Navigation Colliery, Llantrisant. Sale catalogue, including engineers' reports, schedule of plant, plans and sections
DXIO/5/1-7: Neath Abbey & Duffryn Estates Colliery Co. Ltd
DXIS: South Cambria Collieries Syndicate Ltd
DXIT: Sections by Henry K. Jordan, 1908
DXIU: Evans family of Llangynwyd - Llynvi Valley Colliery Company Records, 1872-1873
DXIW: Gwaundda and Graig Ddu Estate in Llantrisant
DXKF/1/16: Postcard, South Rhondda colliery, Brynna
DXKI/25: Cardiff Navigation Colliery
DXKI/34: Postcards showing collieries
DXKI/46: Senghenydd Colliery Disaster, 1913
DXMF1/83: Postcard showing Powell Duffryn colliery
DXMX: Llanbradach Colliery Records
DXN/11/1-2: David D M Clark of Cardiff Collection, National Coal Board, Annual Report and Statements of Accounts, 1947-1948
DXNG/2: Map of east Glamorgan, showing collieries, ironworks, canals and railways.
DXNH: Notice of sale: Naval Steam Coal Colliery
DXNL/7-10: Tir Tuppa & Cefn Forest Minerals
DXNS: Engineers' and Surveyors' Notebooks
DXPI: Gomer Thomas, Mining Engineer, Papers
DXQM/9: Llewellyn Pit Shaft distaster, Gifach Goch
DXQF: Plan of part of Llantrisant
DXQN/25/18: Photograph of Sketch of Cwm Winning colliery, Beddau, 13 Oct 1909
DXQS: Miss G Morgan; Collection - Coal workings at Gin Pit and Norths. Photograph of Wm. Davies (1802-70), agent of Llynfi Mineral Works.
DXRK: Deeds of property in Llantrisant
DXRQ: South Wales Coalfield plan by Henry K. Jordan
DXRS: Bargoed Colliery Ambulance Team photograph
DXRT/3/1-4: Glamorgan County Council - Children And Welfare Department records - Mineral Papers
DXRZ/8: Cardiff Navigation Colliery
DXSB/1-3: List of nicknames used in mines and factories, compiled by G. Greeves; Plans of explosion at Mclaren No. 1 pit, Rhymney; Bedwellty Pits, plan, including a section of Ty Trist Colliery, Tredegar
DXSW/3/1-2: Blaenrhondda Colliery, mineral lease/conveyance
DXTQ/8: Photographs of industrial scenes in the Rhondda Valley and Hirwaun
DXUP: G P Williams - County Councillor, collection
DX6: Photographs of Maesteg Collieries
DX64/1-8: Copy letter books and notebooks of Gwilym L. Jones, Groesfaen colliery, Bargoed. Photos, Gilfach Goch, Evanstown, Britannia Colliery
DX73/2/2: Photograph of Plymouth Colliery Workmen's Prize Band
DX102/10, 11, 14: Davies Family, Abercynon
DX107/28/1-3: T. Graham Davies of Merthyr Tydfil Collection - Leaflets, 'March for jobs' in support of the miners, 21 Oct 1992
DX143/1: Weekly pay slip of Rees Davies from Albion Colliery
DX154/2-3: Comparison of colliery performances of Powell Duffryn and Cory units
DX160: Newbridge Colliery. Photograph of a painting of the first steam engine in the Rhondda valley, now standing in the grounds of the Polytechnic of Wales, Treforest
DX186/1: Lady Windsor Colliery, Abertridwr - Storekeeper's diary
DX199/1/1: Colliery plans - Grosfaen, Garth
DX199/1/2: Photographs - Blaengarw. Colliery houses and Glenavon pithead
DX209/1/1-2: North's Navigation Collieries Ltd, Reports c1890
DX215/1: Werntarw Colliery, Pencoed. Timebook
DX228/1-4: C H Chrismas of Caerphilly, papers. Llanbradach Colliery
DX253/6: Photograph taken at the opening of the new Cardiff Coal and Shipping Exchange
DX260/1-2: D. Hugh Thomas, Papers, Programme for Senghenydd pit disaster commemoration, 1981
DX298/1: McLaren Merthyr Colliery, Abertysswg
DX316/1-3: Ocean Steam Coal Collieries
DX325/1: Coal seams, Llanwonno parish
DX325/3/1-3: Practical Coal-mining' edited by Prof. W.S. Boulton of University College, Cardiff
DX325/4: 'A treasure on ore and stone mining' by Sir Clement Le Neve Foster, seventh Edition, revised by S. Herbert Cox, 1910
DX325/17: National Colliery Disaster, July 15th, 1905
DX399/4: Cambrian Colliery Disaster Fund, Trust Deed and Scheme
DX423: John Cornwell papers, Colliery plans and lease book, 1877-1956
DX426: Cwmogwr Colliery Co.
DX450b: Penygraig, Naval Colliery Explosion. Transcripts of newspaper reports
DX454: E.G. Williams of Chepstow, Papers
D464/2/91-92, 113: Idris Bowen, amateur camera club. Underground photos and the Coal Exchange
DX470: Papers of Mr Davies, Blaenclydach
DX494: South Wales Coal Field, 1849
DX506/4: Brynmenyn Miners' Rescue Station, Agreement
DX520: Colliery disasters 1875-1905 booklet, 'Tragedies of the Mine, Thirty Years' Explosions in South Wales'
DX526: Photographic printing plate of lorries marked 'Park Coal Co., Maesteg Deep' outside City Hall, Cardiff
DX538: Llantwit and Black Vein Colliery, Sale catalogue
DX550/4: South Wales and Monmouthshire Winders' Association, Minute Book
DX557: Account of the Tynewydd Pit Disaster 1877
DX788/1: South Wales Coal Annual map of South Wales coalfield showing mineral undertakings, published by Joseph Davies, 1904
DX790/1: Report of the explosion at Six Bells Colliery, Monmouthshire
DX800: Penallta and Abercynon Colliery records
DX839/1/2-4: Collection of Postcards of Bedwas Colliery and New Tredegar
DX841/1-6: Plans of Bryn-du Colliery, near Bridgend and 1 plan of Cefn Colliery
DX860: Pamphlet including brief history of Dowlais Cardiff /Abercynon Colliery, Dec 1889-Mar 1988.
DX885: An illuminated greeting to Rowland Rowlands, manager of the Penygraig Coal Company 1873
DX920: South Wales Coalfield Maps, Printed maps of coalfields and railways
DX949: Photograph of Central Valuation Board (Coal Act, 1938)
DX953: Universal Colliery, Senghennydd mining disaster, 1913 - postcard, rescue team
DX960: Papers of Violet John relating to South Wales Miners Support Groups
DX975: Obadiah Williams, copy book with some entries concerning Dinas Middle Pit in the period 1869-1870
GD/C/CD/U/1-3: Civil Defence Collection, Aberfan Disaster
GD/PL: Proposed Glyncorrwg Miners’ Museum
MC/X/21: Mid Glamorgan County Council - Lewis Merthyr/Ty Mawr Project Steering Committee, Rhondda Heritage Park
MD/C/10/45: Visit to Prince of Wales to Nightingale's Bush Nature Reserve and Nantgarw Colliery
MD/LB/UNL/5-7: Mid Glamorgan County Council Land and Buildings Department, plans
MD/PL/5/5: Tip survey schedules and plan of derelict colliery sites in Glamorgan
MD/PL/6/13/15: Conservation Architect's files, St John's Colliery, Maesteg
UDPP/S/1: Pontypridd Urban District Council, Surveyor's Department, Miscellaneous photographs - includes coal tip subsidence and collieries
UDR: Small number of colliery tip drainage plans and other plans relating to tips
UPP/118-123: Pontypridd Poor Law Union - records relating to non-poor law duties of the Board of Guardians, including assessment of collieries
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