Pit Memories - Up and Under


By William John Evans 1989. Dinefwr Press, Llandybie.  ISBN 0-9521783 2 X

Or in Welsh "Atgofion y Pwll " [Lan a Lawr]. The book is bi-lingual although the 2 sections are not identical.

Index compiled by Gareth Hicks Oct 2000

**My copy of this book was deposited with Glamorgan FHS in April 2022

Click  here for the position with lookups

The description of a photograph comprises the exact words in the caption in the book.
Copies of photographs are not available.
There is coverage of Betws[Ammanford] Colliery but also some on the villages /mines of Brynamman in CMN and Tairgwaith, Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen and Cwmgors in Glamorgan.



There is coverage of Betws[Ammanford] Colliery but also some on the villages /mines of Brynamman in CMN and Tairgwaith, Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen and Cwmgors in Glamorgan.

Contents of English section

  • The Price of Coal
  • "What event do you consider the most important in the 75 years of the South Wales Mineworker's Union ?"
  • The Pit Ponies
  • Court Royal, Bournemouth
  • South Wales Coalfield[Map]
  • Coal Producing Collieries
  • Disasters
  • Statistics
  • List of Collieries closed in the South Wales Coalfield since Nationalisation
  • Small mines operating in the Lliw Valley Borough Council
  • The  Old Pit, Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen
  • Memorandum of Agreement made Sept 12th 1896
  • Boys' Wages Scale
  • Schedule of Prices
  • Culture kept despite Pits being Closed
  • Sinking of the New Betws Mine
  • Pengorsto Opencast Coal Site, Brynamman
  • Pit closures
  • Poetry
    • Miners Strike 1972
    • Night Shift Lark in the Dark
    • The Fluid Coupling
    • Farewell to Danny the Brick
    • Farewell to Will Bach Owen
    • The Redundant Pit Poney that Roams on the Hill
    • Happiness
    • Stradey Victory
    • Farewell to Dan Jones Bwthyn
    • Farewell to Dai Bach Magazine
    • Farewell Not Goodbye
    • Appointment of an Overman
    • Farewell
    • Betws Colliery Outing
    • God's garden
    • Farewell to Stan
    • Protest March of Betws Colliery[ 1992]
  • Two Mining Yarns
  • Learning to Read
  • A Safety Shotsman
  • Short Story " Show Dockets"
  • Photos, Fags and Fun

Contents of Welsh section;

  • Brynhenllys Colliery, Rheolau y Claf Gasgliad [Sick Fund Rules]
  • 'Papur Doctor', 1894 [Doctor's paper certifying  a miner as unfit for work]
  • Pris Glo [ The Price of Coal]
  • Barddoniaeth [Poetry]
    • Gwaith Glo'r Betws
    • Eddie Llysgwyn, Sec y Betws
    • Dai magazine
    • Balad Streic y Glowyr '72
    • Trip Ieu Pant
    • Yr Hen Geffyl Blewog sy'n Crwydro ar y Bryn [ Ceffyl Segur Gwaith Glo Wedi Cau]
    • Croeso i'r Eisteddfod [ Abertawe 1982]
    • Terfyn ar Hen Waith y Betws [ Tiwn 'Claddu'r Mochyn Du']
    • Gwaith Glo Betws-Yr Hen yn Darfod, a'r Newydd yn Dechrau
    • Atgofion fy Mebyd
    • Afon
    • Permit Cynnar i Ken
    • 'Atgofion Hen Lowr'
    • Dydd y Nos
  • Storiau am y Glowr[ Stories about the miner]
  • Y Papur Pai [ The pay slip--[a story]]
  • Cloddio Glo Brig ym Mhengorsto, Brynamman [ Pengorsto Opencast Coal Site, Brynamman]



Listed in the order they appear, English version first.

English section;

Evans, William John, 5The introduction of pit-head baths were a great advancement to the women folk, 8
Outside the Court Royal, Bournemouth, 1981, 12Soup kitchen at Tairgwaith during Miners' Strike 1926 which was a long and hard struggle, 21
Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen Cross before viaducts were built, c 1904, 28The old Public Hall, Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, which was burnt down April 1st 1928, 32
Interior of the old Public Hall, Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, 32Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen Welfare Hall as it is today. Built in 1931 by J D Howells and Son at a cost of £14,888-9-5. Seating capacity 962, 33
Programme of Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony  of Welfare Hall  in 1931, 33Poster re Opening Ceremony of New Welfare Buildings in 1932, 33
Entrance tunnel to Betws Drift Mine opened 1974, 34The Marine Colliery, Ebbw Vale, Gwent which is threatened with closure, 37
Maerdy Pit c 1920, 38The upper and lower railway tracks at 'Tyle'r Cwm', GCG, before Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen viaducts were all completed, approximately 1906, 38
One of the steam locomotives which was used at the GCG collieries, 39The Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen Federation Hall re-opened in 1937 after the original hall was burnt down, and now used as a coal stocking area by three local brothers, Gareth, Lyn and Raymond James, 39
The Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen Silver Band 1901, 40The Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen Silver Band before leaving on a tour of Germany in 1988, 40
Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen Operatic Company performing 'Waltz Dream', March 1950, 41The Leigh Arms. 'Tafarn y Maerdy', Tairgwaith, 1968. Kept by Mr and Mrs Ifan Davies, later taken over by their daughter, Mrs Margaret Vaughan. Last pint was drawn March 13th 1975, before tavern was demolished under reclamation scheme, 41
The small mining village of Tairgwaith where at one time there were three pits producing coal at the same period within a mile of the village--The Maerdy, Steer and East Pits, 42Brook Terrace, Tairgwaith. Note truck at bottom of street with materials for unmade road, 42
Trucks 'runaway' at Maerdy Pit, July 1933 with local people viewing damage caused, 43Photograph of the East Pit, Tairgwaith being sunk, 1910, 43
East Pit, Sunday Shift c 1950. Note the small amount of men needed to maintain week-end work, 44Surface craftsmen at the East Pit colliery, 44
Tairgwaith Carnival held at Llwyncelyn Field, c 1932. Timber-staying competition in progress, 45East Pit committee members, 45
The arrival of the spake at Cwmgors Colliery, c 1910, 46Abernant modern pit shaft being sunk during the early fifties, 47
Abernant Colliery, situated between Pontardawe and Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen. Note all the modern lay-out with twin towers. Closed 26/3/1988, 47 

Welsh section;

Surface workers at Cwmllynfell Colliery being notified that the pit is to close, 2/2/1959, 39 
Brynhenllys miners carrying their tools on their backs, due to the closure of the works , August 1955, 39Brynamman Opera Company performing 'Mikado', 1922, 40
Brynamman Opera Company [performing 'Gipsy Princess' in 1983] under the baton of Mr Ifor ap Gwlilym, 40Cwmllynfell Operatic Society performing the Welsh opera 'Blodwen', 41
Children of Cwmllynfell performing the Welsh cantata 'Y Blodyn Glas' [by Mr D Rowlands,Cwmtwrch], 41Garnant Drama Company[1951-1970], 42
Brynamman Miners' Mouth-organ Band, 1933, 42Brynamman Railway West c 1912, 43
Ammanford Colliery and Brickworks pre 1921, 43Betws miners reaching surface from spake, 1975, 44
Old Betws Colliery, journey of trams hitched ready to be lowered underground, 44Ex-miners of old Betws Colliery ,having stopped during miners' outing , outside Abernant Colliery , now closed, 26/3/1988, 45
Presentation of clock to Mr Gwyn Williams for 28 years service as Chairman of Ammanford Colliery N.U.M. Lodge, 1945-1973, 46Presentation to Mr Freddy Bowen, baths supervisor of old Betws Colliery by members of various unions, 46
Mr Eddie Morgan, Secretary of N.U.M. Ammanford being presented by colliery committee on retiring in 1975, 47Ex-miners and ex-officials of Betws old Betws Colliery on an outing together on the River Severn, 1983, 47
William John Evans, the author, being presented with an oil lamp on his retirement in 1981, by Mr Don Roberts, manager of the colliery, during a miners' get-together Christmas dinner, 48