Glamorgan’s Blood: Health and Welfare Records in the Coal Industry Collections – Photographs

Cataloguing and conservation of National Coal Board (NCB) and pre-vesting colliery company records held at Glamorgan Archives has been undertaken through the Glamorgan’s Blood project, and made possible by a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Grant. The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health and, as such, one of the project’s main aims has been to improve access to records related to medical and welfare issues. In a series of blog posts over the coming weeks we will highlight the types of material that you are able to find on this topic within the coalfield collection.


The National Coal Board collection contains a large number of photographic prints and negatives, some of which can be used in the understanding of health and welfare within the coal industry.

Photographs of the interiors and exteriors of the pithead baths show the architecture of the buildings and the facilities on offer for colliery workers, such as medical treatment centres and first aid rooms.


Pithead baths, Wyllie Colliery, mid-20th century (DNCB/14/4/135/23)


First Aid Room, Western Colliery, 1951 (DNCB/14/4/133/1)


First Aid Room, Aberbaiden Colliery, 1951 (DNCB/14/4/1/1)

Images within the NCB negative collection show men at the Talygarn Rehabilitation Centre. In 1957, Talygarn treated 1,018 patients and at that time 88% of the men treated there were fit to return to some form of work, with 59.6% of the men treated returning to their normal work.


Talygarn Miners’ Rehabilitation Centre, 1966 (DNCB/14/4/147/108)


Talygarn Miners’ Rehabilitation Centre, 1951 (DNCB/14/4/153/272)

The negative collection can be used to show the importance placed on first aid training by the NCB, with images of NCB inter-colliery first aid competitions from the 1960s showing men being assessed on their first aid skills in scenario based challenges. There are also images showing first aid procedures that were used for an NCB handbook, along with images of safety equipment such as the trambulance and underground first aid stations.


Members of Coedely Plant First Aid Team during competition, 1968 (DNCB/14/4/158/9/1/30)


Trambulance, 1955 (DNCB/14/4/87/100)


Rescue/medical training exercise, Penllwyngwent Colliery, [1950s] (DNCB/14/4/104/9)


Ambulance competition, 1953 (DNCB/14/4/155/43)

The NCB photographic collection is now fully catalogued under reference DNCB/14.


NUM Executive being retrained into self-rescuers, Dinas Rescue Station, 1973 (DNCB/14/4/158/8/7)


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