The Aberdare Gas Undertaking

The 75th accession received in 1965 comprised the records of the Aberdare Gas Undertaking, formerly known as the Aberdare and Aberaman Consumers Gas Company.

Gas companies were first set up in south Wales between the years 1820-1830. The provision of gas for lighting at Swansea and at Cardiff in 1821, and then at Newport in 1825, was so successful that undertakings were soon set up in other regions such as Merthyr Tydfil, 1836; Pontypridd, 1850; Dowlais, 1856; and Bridgend, 1869.

By the middle of the 19th century, the general dissatisfaction with the actions of many undertakings led to the passing of Acts of Parliament to regulate the industry. These included the Gas Works Clauses Acts of 1847 and 1871, and the Sale of Gas Act of 1859.

During the latter half of the 19th century, the industry saw a period of development and amalgamation, with the formation of holding companies and their acquisition by local authorities. For example, in the Rhymney Valley a succession of small undertakings came into being: Caerphilly Gas Light Company and Water Works Company Ltd, 1869; Hengoed Gas and Water Company Ltd, 1877; Bargoed Gas and Water Company Ltd, 1877, and the Rhymney and Aber Valley Gas and Water Company Ltd , 1878. All these companies were amalgamated by a Special Act of Parliament in 1898 under the title of the Rhymney and Aber Valleys Gas and Water Company.

From the 1880s to the boom years after the First World War, there was a growing demand for gas, and attempts were made to extend and improve the various production plants within the region. However, the Depression affected the Welsh gas industry, and some smaller companies went bankrupt and amalgamations continued. In 1949, the gas industry was nationalised and the Wales Gas Board became the first public industry to serve the whole of Wales.

The Wales Gas Board inherited the records of its predecessor bodies. The Aberdare Gas Undertaking was only one of many bodies; the other companies whose records we hold here at Glamorgan Archives are:  Barry Gas Undertaking; Bridgend Gas Undertaking; Cardiff Gas Company; Cowbridge Gas Company; Dowlais Gas Undertaking; Garw and Ogmore Gas Undertaking; Llantrisant Gas Undertaking; Maesteg & Clyncorrwg Gas Undertaking; Merthyr Tydfil Gas Undertaking; Porthcawl Gas Undertaking; Pontypridd Gas Undertaking; Rhondda Gas Undertaking, and Rhymney and Aber Gas.

DGA_A_11

The records of the Aberdare Gas Undertaking date from 1966-1949 and include Acts of Parliament, plans, minutes, reports, ledgers, wages books, shareholders registers and ledgers, correspondence, agreements, contracts.

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