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IRON
AND
COAL
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General

In 1885, Mr Thomas Wales, HM Inspector of Mines reported that workers were still using the naked flame of open lamps for illumination underground in the Fochriw Collieries

The 1894 Coal Mines Report stated that both pits were in an excellent state of repair and prospects for the future were good, however by that time the North Tunnel shaft had been abandoned.

In 1924 the salary of John Bevan the Fochriw Colliery Manager was £400 p.a. plus a house and coal, of John Davies the Manager of South Tunnel Colliery was £300 plus house and coal.

On New Year’s Day 1914, out of a total workforce of 1,982, 324 did not report for work, this being 16%.

Prosecutions for theft from colliery premises

“Merthyr Express” 5 June 1880  Coal Stealing at Vochrhiw    Mary Ann Griffiths, aged 12, was summpned by P.C. Evans for stealing 25lbs. of coal, the property of the Dowlais Iron Company, from one of the Vochriw sidings, on the 19th inst. She was fined 2s. 6d inclusive of costs.

“Merthyr Express” 8 November 1879  Merthyr Police Court: Coal Stealing at Vochriw   Samuel Davies, a stoker, a respectably dressed young fellow, was summoned for stealing 112 lbs. of coal from the landing of No. 2 Pit Vochriw on the 25th.  P.C. Evans, who is stationed up there, said that he witnessed the theft at about 3 o’clock in the morning, The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to five days imprisonment with hard labour. Monday - Before J. Bishop, Esq..

“Merthyr Express” 31 August 1872  Stealing Coal    Mary Smith, 19, was charged with stealing coal, weight 30 pounds, the property of the Dowlais Iron Company. P.C. James Davies said he saw prisoner taking coal from the Dowlais Compay’s railway line at Vochriw on Thursday evening; he followed and took her in charge, when it was found that she had 30lbs. weight, coal that had fallen from the overloaded trucks. Prisoner said she did not know there was any harm in it, and her mother, who was in Court, stated that she rented a cottage from Mr. Dixon, who had given her permission to pick up as much coal as she wanted, for her own use, from the tips. Mr. Jones, cashier of the Dowlais Company, said that Mr. Dixon was merely the contractor for constructing the Great Western Railway extension from Llancaiach to Dowlais, and had no right whatever to give permission to take coal from the Dowlais Company’s line. Prisoner was sent for seven days hard labour.

2 July 1921  Stealing Planks   Nathaniel Arnold of Fochriw was summoned for stealing five planks, value £2-5-0, the property of the Guest Keen and Nettlefolds Ltd. Sergeant Williams said that the defendant admitted the theft saying that he wanted the build a shed at the back of the house. "I have nothing else to do during the strike and I wanted to make a foul cot." Defendant was fined £2 or 31 days imprisonment.

3 December 1921  Summons    Edward Parry was summoned for stealing a lump of coal, value 6d., the property of Messrs. G.K.N. Ltd.  P. S. Jones stated that he saw the defendant carrying the lump of coal from the direction of the pit. Defendant said that he had picked up the lump during the strike. A fine of 10 shillings was imposed.