Glamorgan’s Blood: health and welfare records in the coal industry collections – Fernhill Colliery Papers

The current cataloguing and conservation of the National Coal Board and pre-vesting colliery company records held at Glamorgan Archives has been 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 this series of blog posts project archivist, Louise Clarke, highlights some of the types of material that you are able to find on this topic within the coalfield collection.

Fernhill Colliery papers

The records of Fernhill Colliery are a collection of miscellaneous items relating specifically to Fernhill Colliery in the Rhondda Valley. This collection is great for setting the scene of the coal industry, with papers on subjects such as the colliery band, pithead baths and wages.

D1100-1-2-6 PHB instructions web

Pithead baths instruction booklet, Fernhill Colliery (D1100/1/2/6)

A guide to using the pithead baths is a key welfare related record that can be found in the collection. One tip within the manual reads:

Get your “butty” to wash your back. Then you do his. The most up-to-date installation has not yet discovered any better method of “back-washing”.

This collection (ref.: D1100) also features material on Treherbert Cottage hospital and the provision of a motor ambulance service.

D1100-3-12-2 Treherbert hospital web

Plan of Treherbert Hospital, Nov 1924 (D1100/3/12/2)


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