Glamorgan’s Blood: health and welfare records in the coal industry collections – Pre-vesting date material within the National Board Collection

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.

Pre-vesting date material – DNCB/15

DNCB/15 is a series that comprises material of general historical interest, kept on file by the National Coal Board, relating to coal mining and associated industries before the nationalisation of the coal industry in January 1947. Within this series there are a number of records associated with health and welfare within the coal industry prior to nationalisation.

One particular file relating to Mountain Ash and Penrhiwceiber Hospital contains material such as notes on hospital benefit, hospital regulations, hospital admission contributions and a history of the hospital service at Mountain Ash.

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Hospital rules, Mountain Ash and Penrhiwceiber Hospital (DNCB/15/17/2)

A programme from the visit of HRH The Duchess of York to Deep Duffryn pithead baths also features within the series, and serves to emphasise the importance placed on the pithead baths buildings.

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Programme for the visit of the Duchess of York to Deep Duffryn Pithead baths (DNCB/15/17/3)

A certificate issued by Brynmenyn Rescue station to Thomas John Jones of Cribbwr Fawr Colliery on 4 May 1920 shows that the welfare of workers underground was considered, and that staff were appropriately trained in the use of rescue apparatus.

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Rescue apparatus training course certificate (DNCB/15/10/3)

 

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)

 

Glamorgan’s Blood: health and welfare records in the coal industry collections – HM Inspectors of Mines Annual Reports

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.

HM Inspectors of Mines Annual Reports

Mines Inspectors reports are a resource that can be used to find out about working conditions within the coal industry, and as such inform research into how working conditions affected the health of colliery workers.

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Report of HM Inspector of Mines for the South-Western District (No.12) for the year 1888 (London: H.M.S.O.) (DNCB/6/1/3/1)

The Mines Inspectors reports deal with accidents, working procedures and other aspects relating to safety in all types of mines and in quarries. They give information on specific mines, accidents and people, but can also show trends and developments in safe working.

Glamorgan Archives holds 47 volumes of HM Inspectors of Mines Annual Reports dating from 1889-1939 (ref.: DNCB/6/1/3).

Information sourced from: North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, Nicholas Wood Memorial Library, Mines Inspectors Reports: A Guide, 2016. See this document for a detailed overview of the contents of Mines Inspectors reports. Accessed at https://mininginstitute.org.uk/resource-guides/

Glamorgan’s Blood: health and welfare records in the coal industry collections – National Insurance Registers

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.

National Insurance Registers

National Insurance registers are a set of volumes that can be consulted to assess benefits and welfare provision for workers. The current system of National Insurance has its roots in the National Insurance Act 1911, which introduced the concept of benefits based on contributions paid by employed persons and their employer.

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National Insurance Register, Risca Collieries, Jul 1920-Jul 1924 (D1411-1-2-4)

There are 28 volumes of National Insurance registers within the scope of the Glamorgan’s Blood project, many of which are for Risca Collieries and are within the United National Collieries Limited collection (ref.: D1411). The majority of entries within the volumes include names and employee National Insurance contributions, with some entries also including addresses and occupations.

Please note that access to material less than 100 years old may be restricted.

Glamorgan’s Blood: health and welfare records in the coal industry collections – Ocean and National Magazines

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.

Ocean and National Magazines

The Ocean and National Magazine series are magazines written for and by the coalfield workers. They contain articles, cartoons and news from the collieries, providing a snapshot of life in the coalfield in the 1920s and 1930s. Each magazine also contains Welsh language content.

With features on pithead baths, hospitals, welfare and recreation, the magazine can be used to see what provisions were available for colliery workers in the 1920s and 1930s. Many of these topics are also represented in cartoons within the magazines.

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Plan of Park Colliery Pithead Baths, Feb 1929 edition (D1400-9-2-2)

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Photographs of Pentwyn Cottage Hospital Treorchy, Feb 1929 edition (D1400-9-2-2)

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Pithead Baths at Park, May 1929 edition (D1400-9-2-5)

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Cartoon – ‘Scenes That Are Brightest’ – the pithead baths, Dec 1933 edition (D1400-9-6-12)

With such a variety of topics, these magazines are an amazing resource and Andrew Booth, one of our volunteers, has recently completed an index to the magazines, making them searchable on our catalogue (ref.: D1400/9).

Andrew has also written a series of blog posts highlighting some of the topics that can be found within the magazines.

Glamorgan’s Blood: health and welfare records in the coal industry collections – Newspaper cuttings

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.

Newspaper cuttings

Volumes containing newspaper cuttings are an excellent way to get a snapshot of life in the coalfield. Although of lot of newspaper material is now available online, the advantage of these kind of volumes is that they bring material on the same subject together – a handy tool for any researcher!

One particular volume within the National Coal Board collection concerns the provision of social welfare for miners, including the opening of workmen’s institutes and pithead baths, grants for welfare schemes, and recreational activities. Dating from 1926-1934, this volume can be used to give a sense of the welfare activities taking place at the time.

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Newspaper cutting volume containing cuttings relating to welfare in the coal industry (DNCB/15/6/17)

Fourteen of the newspaper cutting volumes within the collection relate to strikes and stoppages, mainly the Tonypandy Riots of 1910-1911.

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Newspaper cutting volume containing cuttings relating to the Tonypandy riots (DNCB/15/6/6)

Alongside newspaper cuttings, press digests also feature within the collection. These offer a wider view of the representation of the coal industry within the media, and overall they cover the periods 1943-1958 and 1988-1991. Within the National Coal Board collection there is also a set of local and national newspaper cuttings and press releases concerning the Aberfan disaster.

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Front page of the Sunday Citizen, one of the newspaper cuttings in the National Coal Board collection relating to the Aberfan disaster (DNCB/4/1/12/1)

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.

Photographs

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.

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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