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Registered at Companies House No 2715963

Registered Charity No 1027015

Website: www.mike.munro.cwc.net/mining/wmpt/wmpt_frm.htm

NEWSLETTER – WINTER 2006/2007
Welcome to the latest edition of the Welsh Mines Preservation Trust newsletter. I am sorry for the late publication, I was hoping to have it completed and distributed before Christmas, but with pressures of work etc. unfortunately I was unable to meet that deadline. This edition features two more in the series of articles written by Simon Hughes, some very good news on the restoration of Bryngwyn Engine House, updates on all that is happening in Mid Wales from Steve Oliver, reports activities the Trust undertook last year, what we have planned for this year and much more. I hope that you enjoy the newsletter, as usual I am always happy to receive items for future newsletters, my thanks to all who contributed. BRYNGWYN COLLIERY ENGINE HOUSE – BEDWAS I am very pleased to report that agreement has now been reached for the restoration of the Engine House. I have received a communication from the property developers Charles Church in which they announce:Preserving our heritage – Bryngwyn Colliery Engine House Standing almost hidden in the heart of the Manor Park housing estate are the industrial archaeological remains of the Bryngwyn Colliery Engine House. Built in 1868 this ‘Inverted Cornish’ engine house was once the unique centre piece of this small but thriving colliery to which the village of Bedwas owes its initial growth. For many years until its closure in 1893 the colliery was the major employer in the district. The engine house was built under the stewardship of the colliery owner W S Cartwright of Newport, a local industrialist and entrepreneur. Charles Church Homes, the current owners of this Scheduled Ancient Monument have commissioned a report with a view to conserving the masonry remains for their eventual interpretation and access to the public within their woodland setting. The first phase of these works, involving the fencing of the site, initial woodland management and treatment of the vegetation to the upstanding remains, is due to commence in the coming weeks. The second phase, to consolidate and stabilise the surviving masonry is planned to proceed in spring 2007. The conservation works will be undertaken in consultation with CADW, the Welsh Assembly Government’s historic environment division, Caerphilly Borough Council and Veryards Opus.

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For further details please contact Charles Church Wales, 34-37 Lambourne Crescent, Cardiff Business Park, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5GG.

I feel that as we criticise companies and bodies for their uncaring attitude to industrial remains, we should also compliment them when necessary, so on behalf of the Trust I have written to Charles Church telling them how delighted we are that the remains are to be conserved. If any member also feels this way, please feel free to write to Charles Church at the address above.

Bryngwyn Engine House – taken June 2006 before work commenced. I have also received a letter from Mrs “Min” Miles from Bedwas, who along with her husband was instrumental in organising the local campaign and petition to save the Engine House. Mrs Miles has kept me updated throughout the campaign and has provided me with much information on the Engine House and its history. Mrs Miles enclosed a copy of the newsletter of the parishes of Bedwas and Rudry, in which the communication from Charles Church was also published, along with a letter from her. “The Stack” Latest information from Mrs M Miles of the Local History Group
It is pleasing to note that building firms, such as Charles Church Wales, are not only interested in the building of new homes but are also sympathetic to the heritage of past craftsmen. It is understood that the newly erected fence around the site is for safety reasons and will be removed when the project is completed. Many thanks to all involved in the protection of our heritage. Mrs M Miles, Bedwas and Trethomas Local History Group.

3 Mrs Miles finishes her letter by saying “We are pleased to note that the fence and gates have been erected on the site and quite a lot of clearance work has been carried out. We are now looking forward to some better weather in the spring when hopefully the work will commence on the consolidation and preservation of the Engine House. As you know we had much respect and admiration for David (Bick), in particular for the research into history etc, of the Bryn Gwyn Engine House, and the publication of his findings in “Archive” (Volume 38). We also appreciate the support of the Welsh Mines Preservation Trust for their involvement and contribution to our mining heritage at the former Bryn Gwyn Colliery, Bedwas. BBC RADIO WALES – COUNTRY FOCUS In October last year I was asked by BBC Radio Wales to assist them with the production of a programme in their Country Focus series.

Recording the programme at Cwmystwyth left to right Pauline Smith (BBC Radio Wales), Ray Woods, Steve Chambers (CCW) and Simon Hughes. This program was to highlight the legacy of the metal mining industry in Ceredigion and was recorded on 13th October. The programme was presented by Ray Woods and featured the plant life at Cwmystwyth, the pollution and remedial work by the Environment Agency at Cwm Rheidol, restoration work on the chimney at Cwmsymlog and the work of Ceredigion County Council’s Spirit of the Miners Project and a visit to the underground waterwheel at Ystrad Einion. It included interviews with Simon Hughes, Steve Chambers (CCW), Paul Edwards (Env. Agency), Meleri Richards (Ceredigion County Council – Spirit of the Miners Project), Howell Lewis (Local Farmer – Cwmerfin) and myself as the underground guide at Ystrad Einion.

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Paul Edwards (Environment Agency) is interviewed beside the “lagoon” outside No 9 Adit at Cwm Rheidol.

Meleri Richards (Spirit of the Miners Project Manager) is interviewed about the restoration work on the chimney at Cwmsymlog.

5 The programme was broadcast on Sunday 21st October, for those of you that receive their newsletter on CD I have added the photographs taken during the recording of the programme and a recording of the programme (it will play on a computer using Windows Media Player). If anyone else would like a copy I can supply it on CD (to play on computer) or cassette tape for £2 (cheque payable to WMPT) to cover the cost of the CD / cassette and return postage and packing. CWMSYMLOG CHIMNEY Work started last summer on the restoration of the well known chimney at Cwmsymlog Mine. This work was funded by grants from CADW and the Spirit of the Miners project.

The Chimney shrouded in scaffolding – October 2006. Unfortunately the restoration work will not be completed as quickly as was hoped. When work commenced the stonework at the top of the chimney was found to be in a very poor condition and in need of replacement. So the chimney will be a few feet shorter, until work resumes this spring, when the defective stone will be replaced. Further funding will be made available. When the work is completed it is hoped to hold a Heritage Day there to celebrate the restoration. Details in next newsletter. TABERNACL CHAPEL – CWMSYMLOG Over the weekend 14/15 October the Trust returned to the Chapel at Cwmsymlog to carry out more vegetation clearance.

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Since our visit in the early part of the year, the brambles had started to grow back.

Hard at work left to right Kelvin & Dalton Davies, Leasa Fielding (Ceredigion County Council), Meleri Richards (Ceredigion County Council – behind gravestone) and Doreen Levins

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Peter Austin (Ceredigion County Council) gets to work with the strimmer.

Lunch Time left to right Robert Ireland, Steve Oliver, Christine Smith, Doreen Levins, Peter Austin, Simon Hughes and “Tommy”.

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Job done! Simon Hughes takes a well earned rest after the work was completed, along with Peter Austin and his daughter April. Whilst we were at Cwmsymlog we were fortunate to be allowed to have a look inside the chapel (thanks to Mrs June Griffiths).

Inside the Tabernacl Chapel, Cwmsymlog

9 It will be seen on the photograph at the top of the previous page that some pains of glass are missing from the chapel windows, local members of the Trust are working with the Chapel Committee to cover the windows with plexi-glass to make the chapel weather proof. My thanks to all those who attended over the weekend and worked so hard, Simon Hughes, Steve Oliver, Christine Smith, Robert Ireland, Kelvin and Dalton Davies, Meleri Richards, Leasa Fielding, Peter and April Austin, Pat Walker and her two grandsons, Doreen Levins and “Tommy” the dog for picking up all the sticks. TEMPLE MINE MEETING - 27th July 2006 On 27th July I attended a meeting with CCW and Spirit of the Miners project to discuss CCW’s safety concerns at Temple Mine and to assess the condition of the 40 foot wheelpit. In Attendance:Paul Culyer Andrew Begg Peter Austin Meleri Richards Leasa Fielding Graham Levins Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) Countryside Council for Wales Ceredigion County Council (CCC) Ceredigion County Council Ceredigion County Council Welsh Mines Preservation Trust

A visit was made to Temple Mine to see the features giving concern to CCW and ways these could be resolved. It became apparent that there were three areas of concern:i) Safety risks and hazards on the site ii) Access to underground workings iii) Condition of the 40 foot wheel-pit i) CCW were concerned that although there is no public footpath through the site and the site is not designated Open Access Land under the CRoW Act 2000, that people do visit the site. Due to this they have certain responsibilities regarding the safety of these visitors. At the dressing floor area, there were concerns that people could be injured by climbing and/or falling from the remains of the buildings and the wheel-pit. It was agreed by those present that the best way of dealing with this problem would be to erect fencing (1.5 metres high) between the path and the dressing floor area to discourage access to the area. Suitable signs will be erected drawing attention to the hazards. Whilst at the dressing floor it was noticed that the top edge of the large building was collapsing, it was found to be probably caused by somebody removing stones, attempting to dig through the doorway at the southern end of the building. In the area of the middle adit and the 40 foot wheel-pit, there were concerns that people could be tempted to climb on the wheel-pit and that an accident could result. It was again agreed that fencing would be the best option. CCW proposed to erect fencing alongside the path to discourage access to the wheel-pit and to safeguard against people slipping down from the path. Again suitable signs will be erected drawing attention to the hazards.

10 ii) Next the subject of access to the underground workings was discussed. CCW are quite happy for underground access to be granted to mining historians and groups having the necessary insurance. As the Top and Middle Adits only lead to a dangerous drop into the stope, it was felt that it would be best to fence or grille the entrances to prevent access. It was agreed that the Bottom Adit (behind the 40 foot wheel-pit), was of great importance due to the remains of the flat rod system and the underground shaft headgear, that the entrance would be gated to enable access (as above). The gate would be fitted with a padlock and CCW would provide a key or combination number to individuals or groups that they grant permission to visit the mine. iii) We then discussed the problem of the decay of the 40 foot wheel-pit. There are several structural defects, which are likely to lead to the eventual collapse of the southern corner. Some large stones have fallen out, due to the washing out of the mortar and the small packing stones; this has resulted in stress cracks in the remaining large stones. Daylight can be seen through the southern corner. This weakness has caused a large crack on the southern wall and another large crack on the eastern wall from the window arch. Ideally the wheel-pit should be repaired, but CCW does not have a budget for maintaining and repairing industrial remains. The site is not at present a Scheduled Ancient Monument, a site meeting will be taking place between CCW and CADW on 10th August. The cost would be far in excess of what the “Spirit of the Miners” could assist with. The Welsh Mines Preservation Trust does not have the funds to finance the repair. The cost of repairing the wheel-pit would be very expensive due to the remoteness of the site, the difficulty of access and transportation of equipment and materials. So I am afraid he only decision we could agree on was that the 40 foot wheel-pit would be left to decay and eventually collapse. CCW are very keen that the wheel-pit is fully surveyed and photographed. The Welsh Mines Preservation Trust is willing to carry this out. The Trust will also explore the possibility getting an industrial/historic artist to sketch the site and the 40 foot wheel-pit. [This has been organised for 31 March/1 April Ed] If anyone in the Mining History Community has any ideas of how to raise the finance to repair the wheel-pit or any suggestions, I will be more than happy to hear from them. I will arrange a survey and photography of the site, if anyone knows of a historic/reconstructive artist who might be willing to assist please let me know. I must thank CCW and CCC for attending the meeting and their constructive input. See following pages for photographs. Graham Levins Secretary Welsh Mines Preservation Trust

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Two views of the large building ruin at the dressing floor showing where someone has been digging in the doorway at the southern end of the building, causing collapse from above.

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Crack

Crack from top of window aperture running up to top of wheel-pit

Crack running up southern side of wheel-pit

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South eastern corner of wheel-pit starting to bow out

Missing stones and mortar, daylight can be seen on other side

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Close up view of cracked stones on southern corner of the wheel-pit.

15 STEVE OLIVER ITEMS Our Mid Wales Director Steve Oliver has sent the following updates. PEN Y CLUN ENGINE HOUSE The builder has now completed the restoration work on the Engine House; he has done a very good job. The building remains should now be safe for many years. The Trust are most grateful to CADW for funding for this restoration work.

Photograph taken during restoration of the Engine House at Pen Y Clun A meeting has been held with CADW at Pen Y Clun to discuss what restoration work is required on the leaning chimney. A preliminary structural survey has been carried out by Mike Weston of Veryards. His reaction is to leave it as it is and just point the stonework and replace missing bricks, but some test bores will be taken to ensure the stability of the ground below before a final decision is made, CADW have expressed a willingness to make another grant available to the Trust for the chimney restoration. The excavated remains of the boiler house have been covered with a geothermal blanket and tailings to keep the weather out and ensure they do not decay anymore. PONT CEUNANT (FRONGOCH) GENERATING STATION Following suggestions made at the Ceredigion Mines Forum meeting last year a project has been created to remove all the dumped household waste from within this magnificent building, and to take steps to prevent further dumping. The partners in this scheme are Ceredigion County Council’s Spirit of the Miners project and The Environment Agency who are both making a financial contribution to the cost, the

16 land owner Mr Henry Williams who is supplying and erecting new fencing around the building, Tom Price (Plant Hire) who is supplying an excavating machine free of charge to assist with the project and the Welsh Mines Preservation Trust who will be supplying volunteer labour.

Pont Ceunant (Frongoch ) Generating Station The problem at Pont Ceunant is the fact that there is an unofficial lay-bye beside the building, that makes a convenient pull in for people to unload their rubbish and throw it down into the building. Part of the project will be to block the large aperture in the building through which the rubbish is dumped with a decorative grille, manufactured by the local blacksmith at Abermagwr. The unofficial lay-bye will be removed, the grass verge will be restored and an interpretation board will be placed there giving the history of the building and making a comment about the problem of dumping at sites such as this. The Trust is grateful to all the partners for their contributions both financial and in kind. The date for the clear-up operation at the Generating Station is Fri 8th June (1030am start), this is the day before the WMS summer meeting in Llanrwst, we need some Trust members to attend to assist with the work as our contribution in kind to the project, please advise me if you are able to attend. MID WALES GEOLOGY WEEK To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of The Geological Society of London (The oldest geological society in the world) and the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Geologists' Association, an exhibition entitled “Land of my Fathers - Mae hen wlad fy nhadau, A Geological History of Mid Wales and its Metal Mining is being held in the Minerva Centre, Llanidloes, from Monday 25th to Saturday 29th of September 2007.

On Thursday 27 Sept, an evening of illustrated talks will be held at the above location commencing at 7.15pm, which will include Prof. David James, Fellow of the Geological Society, describing the geological history and Mr George Hall, President of the Welsh Mines Society, telling the story of metal mining in the district. It is also hoped to have a display by the Welsh Mines Preservation Trust at the event. Full details on their website http://mwgeology.members.beeb.net/index.htm or just type Mid Wales Geology Club into Google. There will also be a field trip to Pen Y Clun and Bryntail. If you require further information please email me at christine_steve@tiscali.co.uk CWM ELAN MINE

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A view of Cwm Elan Mine taken during the Welsh Mines Society visit last summer.

The Trust has been approached by The Elan Valley Trust to assist them with a project to preserve the remains at Cwm Elan Mine and to open the site up for public access and awareness. I attended preliminary discussions with the Elan Valley Trust and CADW, the Elan Valley Trust will be making an application for match funding to CADW later in 2007, with a view to the work being carried out in 2008.

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One of the magnificent wheel-pits at Cwm Elan Thank you Steve for the above reports, and thanks on behalf of the members for all the good work you are doing in Mid Wales [Ed]. DECLINE & EMIGRATION IN CARDIGANSHIRE – SIMON HUGHES When our local mines went into their final decline, before the start of the Great War, some of the miners took a pay cut and came to work in the Leri Mills at Talybont, which also happened to be a reserved occupation. A few went overseas, notably to Columbia, Mysore, Mexico and the Rand. After 1880, many lead miners also went to find work in the coal mines of South Wales but missed the camaraderie of narrow vein mining and always longed for an upturn in the economics of lead mining so that they could return home and still maintain a decent standard of living. One of the old Cardiganshire ways, now virtually forgotten, was to have family in South Wales and as a child, I often wondered why some of my primary school friends would go on holiday for a fortnight in Ammanford or Cross Hands. A few school friends later moved to South Wales to join their cousins who enjoyed greater economic prosperity than the “Cardis” did. We were simply unaware of the huge migration that had taken place half a century before. Many gravestones dotted around Plynlimon testify to these dual addresses and the link through mining. I have heard it said that “Cardis” were responsible for sinking over 90% of the shafts in South Wales, some of which were sunk in excess of 500 fathoms in the quest for coal. In the census returns it can be seen that the population of Cardiganshire steadily rose as the mines flourished

19 1801 – 43,000 1811 - 53,000 1821 – 58,000 1831 – 65,000 1841 – 66,000 1851 – 71,000 1861 – 73,000 1871 – 74,000 And then dwindled from 74,000 in 1881 1891 – 63,000 1901 – 62,000 1911 – 59,000 1921 – 56,000 The number reached a low point of about 56,000 in 1931, a depressingly similar number to the 1811 figure. It almost appears that all those who had arrived after 1811 had left and gone elsewhere, but it is a far more complex scenario and involves too many generations to be offered a simple answer. The current population of Cardiganshire currently stands at around 75,000 thus demonstrating that it has taken 130 years to repair the damage done by closing the mines. During the period before the last war we can glean an insight into the decline of employment in the Cardiganshire mines through the Mineral Statistics and the Mines Inspector’s Reports. 1878 1900 1910 1930 1889 persons 655 persons at 21 mines 745 persons at 18 mines 1 person employed as caretaker at Erwtomau.

1920 165 persons at 12 mines Did the loss of 2 or 3,000 jobs cause the population to fall by 20,000 ? In part, yes. During the early 1870s there were reputedly 8 - 10,000 people engaged within the industry, but I am cynical and think that this figure is somewhat inflated and must include all the carriers, seamen, shopkeepers, smiths, foundry men, message carriers Etc. I suspect that even reducing this figure to 6,000 persons dependant on the Cardiganshire mining industry at this time would be stretching matters to the extreme. This closure of the mines followed by 25% of the population becoming economic migrants must have precipitated a similar position to that experienced during the closure of Britain’s pits in the 1980s, where the “corner shop” could survive whilst there were working mines in the vicinity, but without them it was simply not viable. Villages such as Cwmystwyth

20 and Dylife were turned into ghost towns as the population departed. This is a widespread phenomenon that, in recent years, has occurred at Silvermines in Co. Tipperary when the miners left. Many did not even to bother to lock their front doors when they left as the houses were of no value. By 1878, according to the Mineral Statistics, the numbers engaged in the Cardiganshire mines was reduced to about 2000, employed both above and below ground. I simply cannot accept that 6 - 8000 jobs had been lost in eight years and think that during the very best of times that there were no more than 3 – 4,000 persons directly employed by the mining companies. Wales has always produced good miners and soldiers, it was therefore no great surprise that some ex-miners joined the army but many never returned from the trenches of Belgium and France. After the armistice of 1918, the withdrawal of the miner’s wage subsidy was the death knell of the industry. And then there was the great influenza of 1921 that wiped out a substantial number of the survivors and left a chronic shortage of labour. At about the same time, the Agricultural Wages Board decided that farm servants had to be paid more than they had been receiving and the miners then required a proportionate rise. Meanwhile, the huge reserves of lead that had been held by the government were dumped onto the market at pre war prices. A good move for the London lead traders but disasterous for the Cardiganshire Mines. Captain R. R. Nancarrow informed the Board of Trade that there was now a great shortage of skilled miners in Cardiganshire and H. E. D. Merry also expressed a similar opinion whilst trying to open old workings on behalf of the Melindwr Mines Development Corporation in the early 1920s. With a minimal objection, we then gave up our industrial status in the early 1960s and became almost wholly dependant on agriculture and tourism with a presumption against further mineral development. Agriculture and tourism are now sinking into the doldrums and require state support to compete within a global environment. By 1970 mining employment had fallen to a couple of dozen, but this was a significant increase compared to the bleak post war years. In 1980 there were still about ten people making a living out of the mines, but by 1990 this had fallen to five or six whilst today it is slightly less and the nature of the work is very erratic and of little economic significance. The late 1980s saw the demise of prospecting and the rise of the reclamation scheme and tighter planning constraints on development but I doubt that the high price currently being paid for metallic zinc ( £ 1750 per tonne ) will precipitate any further research on the bulk extraction of the remaining mineral reserves of mid Wales. Looking back at over 40 years of involvement in mines and mining, I’ve had a wonderful time and greatly lament the losses that have occurred, not only in the winding down of the mining industry generally but of the decrepitation, reclamation, dumping and destruction of so many old mine sites in the name of progress. Simon Hughes UPON THE DANGER OF ORE CHUTES – SIMON HUGHES Box-hole, mill and ore-pass are alternative names for that universal construction, the orechute, with which we are all familiar but rarely treat with the respect that they deserve.

21 Never assume that a chute is empty and will lead into the stope above as you can get into an unimaginably awful scenario.

At Frongoch, sometime just after, 1900 it appears that a large rock became jammed in an
ore chute and a man who was filling a waggon decided that if he took a long length of rail, and pushed the waggon close to the chute, he could dislodge the boulder by leverage. The whole weight of the ore in the chute then came to bear on the short end of the rail and pinned the man, on the other end, against the roof where his crushed body was discovered by his comrades some hours later.

In the Cwmystwyth Mine on the evening of 20th June 1902, an experienced miner met a
premature death that was later reported upon in “ The Welsh Gazette “ and is worth quoting verbatim – “ A sad fatality occurred at Cwmystwyth lead mine on Friday evening last, the victim being a married man named David Davies of Cnwcybarcut. Deceased went to work on Friday afternoon, and told Captain Isaac Thomas that the pass in Olderson’s level had been choked, and in reply Capt. Thomas told the deceased not to meddle with the stuff in the pass, and that he (Capt. Thomas) would see to the pass himself. The same evening while Davies, his son, and another were at work clearing the passage there was a heavy fall of rock and gravel, which overwhelmed Davies and killed him. An inquest touching the death was held at Cwmystwyth on Saturday 21st of June before Mr John Evans, district coroner. Lewis Hughes, miner of Ffair Rhos gave evidence of identification, and said the deceased was 49 years of age. He worked with him in Olderson’s level. He last saw him alive about 8.25 p.m. in the level. His son William Davies (19) was with them. The pass from Olderson’s level to the surface was choked with stuff, and Davies went up into the pass to clear it. He saw the deceased enter the pass, but went up right out of sight. In a few minutes he heard and saw stuff coming down. He shouted to Davies but got no reply. He then went out to get men to help him to take him from there, leaving his son in the level on his knees crying. Several men came back with him, and they got the deceased out of the pass. He was then dead, having received great injuries to his head. When the deceased went up the pass he had a charge of dynamite in his hand. He had told him he had better not go, as it was not right to go into such a dangerous place. No further evidence was taken, and the inquest was adjourned until Saturday next at 3.00 p.m. to enable the Inspector of Mines to attend.
WG 26-06-02.

Mining Fatality. Mr John Evans, district coroner, held an adjourned inquest on the death of David Davies on Saturday last. Lewis Hughes, Ffair Ros, miner, corroborated the evidence previously given by him, and said there was no explosion before the stuff came down, or at any time. The charge was found afterwards. The object of taking the Dynamite into the mine was to charge the holes they were working at. The deceased took it into the pass to blow down the stuff. He could have used another pass. That one was level with the slope. John Evans of Neville Place, said that he worked at the mine as a clerk. On the day of the accident he was in the office with Capt. Thomas a little before 2.00 p.m. David Davies went to his desk, and he told Capt. Thomas that the pass was choked. Capt. Thomas told him to leave the pass alone and that he ( Capt. Thomas ) would be there next morning to look at it. After going out David Davies put his head through the window and called “Allright I shall leave it alone and go on with my work.”

22 Isaac Thomas was the next witness called. He said that he was the Captain of the mine. At 2.00 p.m. on the day of the accident David Davies went to the office and told him that as far as he could see that the pass was choked. The pass was one leading from the level to the surface. He told the deceased to leave the pass alone and go on with his usual work, and that he would be up the next morning to see to the pass himself. In going out he called back that he would not touch the pass. He was using Dynamite in his usual work, and was foreman of his shift. The witness had never himself never used Dynamite, or put men to use it in clearing a choked pass. The usual method was to turn water into the pass from the top. The first intimation he had that the pass was choked was about 1.55 p.m. on Friday June the 20th. It would have been David Davis’ duty to report the fact to him if the pass was choked, but he had not done so. He could not say why he was so particular about having that pass clear, except that it would be a convenience to be clear. A verdict was passed that the deceased died from the effects of a quantity of earth and stones accidentally falling on him in one of the passes. “ WG .3-07-02.

Level Fawr, Ore Chute in the Bell Chamber [photo Simon Hughes] Regardless of the accuracy of this report, Olderson’s obviously being Alderson’s where there are no ore chutes to the surface or means of turning the stream into them, it serves

23 well to illustrate the scant disregard given to hazardous conditions. There also seems to be a high incidence of men going into dangerous places despite the pleas of their comrades.

Simon Hughes by ore-chute Hafna Mine (1971) [Photo Simon Hughes]

The best way of resolving a hang up in an ore chute is by employing a device known as a
“Bangalore“, it may well be known by other names in different areas. I was told by a well seasoned old timer that they originated during the Indian Mutiny ( 1856 / ’57 ) when someone had the idea of fixing a small keg of powder to the end of a bamboo pole as a way of clearing English troops off high battlements. The advent of high explosives improved the efficiency of the device but, undoubtedly, the greatest improvement came during the 1960s when “Alkathene”, and other plastic pipes became widely available and proved to be a great improvement upon bamboo. I don’t know when the device was adopted for mining purposes.

Whilst clearing the Western Shaft at Bwlchglas in the early 1990s, the “Bangalore” proved
to be the safest way of dropping the rubble down to adit level without exposing anyone to the risks attendant with hang ups.

A similar situation can occur when putting up a rise, and it is not unknown for the face to
“freeze” that is, the charge fractures the rock which then hangs up in the shaft awaiting curious miners. Winzes are generally a far safer method of developing a mine.

Hang ups are not just confined to ore chutes, materials stored in silos and hoppers are also
prone to this problem and were formerly dealt with by a small blast. The dangers of investigating such problems are as perilous as entering an ore chute. A young man was tragically killed at the Talley Quarry in the mid 1980s after entering a silo. The modern way of solving the problem is by fitting a device known as an Air Cannon, a large pressure

24 vessel that discharges down a pipe into the bottom of the silo. The shock usually being sufficient to dislodge the contents.

Modified “Bangalores” have also proved useful in clearing deep peat and removing stulls
that cannot be reached safely.

Ore Chute No 6 Level, Gwynfynydd Mine

In the late 1960’s there were several passes below the opencut at the Gwynfynydd Mine.
Despite our pleas, a colleague clambered into an apparently clear chute only to declare that it looked unsafe. Seconds later there was a rush of gravel that fortunately swept him out of the draw hole. Had the contents been of a coarser nature I fear that he would not have been so lucky

A typical example that many readers will have experienced exists at the Cwmystwyth
Mine, in the pass from Jackilas Adit down into the Copper Level. In the late 1960s this was in an intact condition with a ladderway in the southern compartment divided from the pass

25 by a strong wooden brattice. It all looked very enticing until one climbed about 20 feet above the lower adit where a large boulder was lodged that had smashed through the uppermost timberwork. This was observed over a ten year period and showed no signs of movement. Dave Ely and I then taped some gelignite to a cane and rested it on the side of the boulder but it resisted all attempts to dislodge it and remains in this precarious condition. Believe me, you do not want to be in this pass when this boulder moves.

Cardiganshire does not ever appear to have employed “ grizzleys “. Akin to a cattle grid,
and usually made out of heavy rails, grizzleys prevent oversize rocks from entering the chute, and thus reduces the possibility of the contents hanging up. Traditionally, a big man with a big sledgehammer was employed to spall the oversize, nowadays, it is more convenient to use a hydraulic breaker on a backactor. Modern box holes are often hung with heavy chains around the walls that can be moved with a winch should a hang up occur. If this fails, get the alkathene ! Simon Hughes PLEA FOR HELP FROM SIMON HUGHES Simon Hughes has obtained a copy of “Annales Des Mines, Preparation Mecanique, Du Minerai De Plomb, Aux Mines De Lisburne, Cardiganshire – by M L Moissenet”. David Bick quoted from this work in Old Metal Mines of Mid Wales, Part1; and in British Mining No. 30 Frongoch Lead and Zinc Mine. The text in this book is all in French, Simon would be very grateful for some assistance with the translation of all or part of this book into English (unfortunately it runs to 142 pages). If any member would be prepared to assist please contact Simon by email mining.man@amserve.com or telephone 01970-832324, thank you. TWO OLD POSTCARDS – PETER CHALLIS

[Peter Challis Collection]

26 Peter Challis has sent me two very interesting old post cards the first one is of the buildings at Llanfyrnach Mine. The second one is of “Happy Valley Old Lead Mine, Towyn”, Peter would be very interested to hear suggestions for the identity of the mine. Thank you Peter for sharing these old gems, it is interesting to see them. If anyone else has any old photographs/postcards they would like to share with members, I will be pleased to receive copies of them (by email or on disc) and publish them in future newsletters.

[Peter Challis Collection] BRONZE AGE MINING WEEKEND Dolebolion Farm, Pontrhydfendigaid, Ceredigion, 15-16th July 2006 A workshop and public demonstration of prehistoric mining, tool making and copper smelting was carried out at Dolebolion Farm on the site of the former Bronberllan Lead Mine (Strata Florida Mines) by members of the Early Mines Research Group. The event was organized and funded by the Ceredigion County Council’s ‘Spirit of the Miners’ initiative and was hosted by Non and Eleri Jones (Dolebolion Farm). The workshop was

27 one of several local events held to celebrate National Archaeology Week. More than 50 people attended on both days, and in addition on the Saturday afternoon, a guided tour was led by Prof. David Austin of the Strata Florida Mines and the archaeological excavations currently being undertaken by Lampeter University as part of their Strata Florida Landscape Project. The best way to understand how primitive mining was carried out at the beginning of the metal-using period is to witness it reconstruction, in this case watching the practice of firesetting against rock followed by the fabrication and use of stone mining tools. The latter involved the making of hammers out of local beach pebbles using twisted withies (hazel) bound with raw-hide strips for handles, then swinging these (under arm!) against a rock face and plucking off the shattered and fire-cracked rock with a pick made of red deer antler. This was something experienced by adults and children alike as they were shown how the ore was won, and how the process of crushing this on a mortar or anvil stone and the hand-picking of mineral in preparation for smelting followed. At the Bronberllan Mine quarry site an earth-shaft furnace no more than 20 cm in diameter and 30 cm deep was constructed within one of the field banks, and inside this a charge of malachite (copper carbonate) ore was successfully smelted and a ‘copper bloom’ produced on the Sunday afternoon. Within a single week-end the process was taken through to its conclusion; a tiny trinket-size copper axe was cast within an open clay mould following the re-melting of some previously smelted copper in a crucible buried beneath charcoal within an open bowl furnace. This was a fun experience for many of the participants and on-lookers, and hopefully an educational experience as well, yet there was a serious side to it all. The procedures that we followed here had been developed from a programme of experimental archaeological research undertaken into prehistoric mining and smelting. This included week-long courses of training and experiments in experimental archaeometallurgy with students from Birkbeck College (University of London) at Butser Iron Age Farm in Hampshire, as well as numerous reconstructions of mining carried out at or close to the sites of the Bronze Age mines such as Cwmystwyth, just a stone’s throw from Strata Florida, and at Alderley Edge in Cheshire. We needed to know why so little evidence of these presumed furnaces survived within the archaeological record, whilst the evidence for the mines was relatively good, why no examples of slag have been found when we know for sure that they were extracting chalcopyrite and other sulphide ores here in mid-Wales and in North Wales on Parys Mountain (Anglesey), and how on earth they could ever have smelted such an intractable ore? We are not really any the wiser on some of these questions, but at least now we have some leads to work on. Only two sites within the British Isles have provided any evidence at all of possible Early Bronze Age smelting; Ross Island mine in Killarney, Eire and a single more or less eroded away hearth on the cliffs at Pen Trwyn, Great Orme, Llandudno in North Wales. At the latter site some tiny prills of copper are all that remains of what may have been a spongy slag formed within the base of the furnace that had been finely crushed to remove the entrapped metal droplets for re-melting. Our experiments at roasting the chalcopyrite ore from Copa Hill, Cwmystwyth within open pits and then smelting this under poorly reducing conditions has also yielded the tiniest prills of copper, the latter growing inside of gas cavities in a molten matte at around 1150 - 1200° C, but it is still difficult to understand how this could ever have produced sufficient extractable metal. Perhaps the smelting of a mixed sulphide and carbonate ore is the answer? We await the results of some more experiments, and perhaps one day the archaeological discovery that will help to make sense of it all.

28 I should of course point out here that we were cheating! For the purposes of fairly rapidly demonstrating the smelting of copper at Bronberllan we used a malachite ore from Zaire. Nevertheless, our yield of metal using this primitive earth furnace blown with simple bag bellows was excellent; 445 gms of metal from a kilogramme of ore. The theoretical maximum in this instance would have been 600 gms. I doubt that this yield would have satisfied the Bronze Age smith…. but I guess we are just easily pleased! Simon Timberlake and Brenda Craddock, Early Mines Research Group WMPT/CEREDIGION COUNTY COUNCIL “SPIRIT OF THE MINERS” HERITAGE WEEKEND – 3RD & 4TH JUNE 2006

Last years WMPT/Spirit of the Miners Heritage Weekend was held in unbroken sunshine, in the Myheryn Forest, between Devil’s Bridge and Cwmystwyth. The Saturday began with a visit to Bodcoll (Gertrude) Mine. Over 30 local residents and Trust members attended each of the days events I am very grateful to Mr & Mrs Lewis of Bodcoll Farm for allowing us to visit this interesting mine. One interesting feature at Bodcoll is the stone floor of an hand-dressing

29 site. Bodcoll is where I took the photograph that is used by Ceredigion County Councils “Spirit of the Miners” project on their publicity material.

Bodcol, looking east

Hand-dressing floor

30

View looking out from the Upper Adit at Bodcoll Following the visit to Bodcoll we made our way into the Myheryn Forest, where lunch was taken under the shade of the trees. Suitably refreshed we made our way to Mynach Vale and Dolwen.

31

A picnic in in the shade

The larger of the two wheel-pits at Mynach Vale (unfortunately full of rubbish) The next mine visited has been known by various names Mynach Vale, Tygwyn, De Broke, where after searching through the undergrowth the two wheel pits were found. It is unfortunate that even at such a remote location one of the wheel-pits is being used as a rubbish dump. We were then joined by Simon Hughes and moved on to look at the remains of Dolwen Mine on the opposite side of Nant Rhuddnant.

32

Bryn Grimston, Harold Morris and Roger Bird admiring the smaller of the two wheel-pits. On the Saturday evening we assembled at the village hall at Ysbyty Ystwyth, were David Austin gave a very interesting talk on the Strata Florida Mines and Metals Project which is being supported by the “Spirit of the Miners”, Lampeter University, Pentir Pumlumon and The Strata Florida Trust.

David Austin

33

Helen Palmer This was followed by an excellent talk by Helen Palmer from Ceredigion Archives, Aberystwyth, on the lives of the local lead mining communities, as seen though various records held in the archives. Helen referred to and quoted from various documents that are held in the Archives, The Ceredigion Archives are always more than willing to accept doccuments (or copies of), photographs, results of research projects; virtually anything connected with the history and life of the County, even digital copies on disc.

Ania Skarzyenska, at Nant Syddion, giving an account of its history.

34 On the Sunday morning, again in glourious sunshine, we made our way to Nant Syddion. Where the old cottage has been renovated by the Mountain Bothy Trust, it is available for use free of charge, for anyone walking the hills to spend the night. Dr Ania Skarzyenska, gave an interesting account of the history of Nant Syddion, which dates from the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536. Nant Syddion was owned by local families until being sold in the 1840’s to the Duke of Newcastle when it became part of the Hafod Estate. Ania told of the unfortunate quadruplets that were born at Nant Syddion, none survived and their graves can be found in the churchyard of St John’s Church at Ysbyty Cynfyn. Whilst at Nant Syddion an opportunity was taken to see the flooded level driven there beneath the present forestry road.

The flooded level at Nant Syddion We then continued to Nant Y Creiau, where lunch was eaten, before climbing the hill to see the mining remains there. Some of us (me included) only climbed about half way up the hill, while the more intrepid (and fitter !) climbed to the top.

35

Building remains at Nant Y Creiau

The upper part of Nant Y Creiau, viewed from the open-cut.

36

Nigel Chapman recording the results of his survey of the building remains and the wheelpit at Nant Y Creiau. The Trust is greatful to Tony Ellis and Chris Edwards from the Forestry Commission for granting permission to visit the mines within the forest. I must thank the following people for their help and support in organising the weekend, Meleri Richards and Peter Austin from Ceredigion County Council, Simon Hughes, Steve Oliver, Ania Skarzyenska for her interesting talk on the history of Nant Syddion, David Austin and Helen Palmer for their interesting talks on the Saturday evening in Ysbyty Ystwyth and lastly Kelvin Davies for leading people around the sites. SPIRIT OF THE MINERS – MELERI RICHARDS Ysbryd y Mwynwyr – Spirit of the Miners Spirit of the Miners is into its final year and the project still has capital money to spend from April onwards. Please get in touch if anyone has any ideas for projects that could have a potential economic benefit to the area through: • encouraging tourism, • Safeguarding built heritage within the area, • Creating opportunities for new businesses and jobs in the area. Spirit of the Miners aims to develop an understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of mining in the Ceredigion Uplands.

37 Capital costs in this instance means any sort of building work, equipment, fixtures and fittings and landscaping incurred in relation to the project. Any project would need to be completed before November 2007 and located within Ceredigion. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with Meleri Richards if you require any further information or if you would like to discuss any ideas. You can contact me either by email melerir@ceredigion.gov.uk or by telephoning 01545 574162. Meleri Richards DATES FOR 2007 Sat 31 March/Sun 1 April 2007 – TEMPLE MINE We will be holding a working weekend at Temple Mine to carry out a survey of remaining features on the site at the request of CCW. The 40 foot wheel-pit is in a perilous situation, and will eventually collapse, CCW have asked us to survey and photograph the wheel-pit while it is still standing. Jenny Gowing is hoping to attend and paint the mine. Whilst there, we can see if it is possible to find a way to preserve the wheel-pit. I attended a meeting with CCW and the Spirit of the Miners last July to inspect the state of the wheel-pit, details below. If time permits we will survey other features at the mine. Meet each day outside St John’s Church at Ysbyty Cynfyn on A4120 Devil’s Bridge - Ponterwyd Road at 1030am. Sat 5th May/Sun 6th May 2007 – MID WALES WORKING WEEKEND We will be holding a working weekend in Mid Wales, hopefully at Bronfloyd mine, details still to be finalized. If you are interested in attending please contact me or enclose a note with your 2007 membership subscription and I will advise you details as soon as they are confirmed. Fri 8th June 2007 – PONT CEUNANT (FRONGOCH) GENERATING STATION See Steve Oliver’s article above. Sat 25th Aug/Sun 26th Aug/Mon 27th Aug 2007 - HERITAGE WEEKEND 2007 Over the August Bank Holiday Weekend we will be staging our annual Heritage Weekend, again in association with Ceredigion County Council’s Spirit of the Miners Project. This will be the last one that Spirit of the Miners will be involved in, as the project finishes in November this year. The weekend will consist of three days of field trips and two evening events (Sat, Sun) of talks slide shows etc. If anyone would like to suggest locations in Ceredigion to visit or even better offer to lead a field trip, or give a talk at one of the evening events please contact me. This will be the forth Heritage Weekend we have held and they are well received locally. Mon 25th to Sat 29th September - MID WALES GEOLOGY WEEK See Steve Oliver’s article above.

Sat 29 /Sun 30 September - BICKFEST In celebration of the late David Bick's distinguished, highly individual, and influential contribution to British mining history, the Welsh Mines Society is arranging a two-day meeting on September 29th and 30th, 2007. On the Saturday there will be a one-day indoor conference at the Mellington Hall Hotel, Church Stoke, Powys, SY15 6HX, on the border of South Shropshire and Montgomeryshire (Powys). On the Sunday there will be a walk, led by members of the Society, to the Bryntail and Pen-y-Clun mines, near Llanidloes (Refreshments not provided). At the latter site the Welsh Mines Preservation Trust has been instrumental in arranging for comprehensive repair work to the 19th century engine-house, which should be completed by the time of our visit. [Engine House restoration work has been completed Ed] The title of the conference will be: 'The Lode of History'. You are hereby invited to attend. The fee for the weekend's proceedings is expected to be £25. This will include morning coffee, tea, and biscuits, buffet lunch, and afternoon tea at the hotel, together with a printed copy of the proceedings, which will be forwarded to you by post. Besides the conference room those attending will have the exclusive use of two sitting rooms, as well as the hotel's larger public hall, so that there will be ample opportunities for social and research discussion. If you would like to contribute to the conference as a speaker by presenting a paper of up to twenty minutes duration, please write or fax George Hall ‘Abilene’, Sheet Road, Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 1LR (01584-887521) at your early convenience, giving your title and a brief synopsis. We are not seeking eulogies, but contributions on the romantic and personal aspects of mining history, which appealed to David, will be welcomed, as well as those of a more technical nature. We will require this material in written form in due course, in order to include it in the printed proceedings. If you don't wish to address the meeting, but would still like to make a contribution, written communications will also be welcome for editorial consideration. This material should be sent to Dave Linton, Hendre Coed Uchaf, Llanaber, Barmouth, Gwynedd, LL42 1AJ, either on CD or disk, or to dave.linton@hendrecoed.org.uk. Dave would like a passport-style photograph, together with some brief biographical details. Full details of the programme will be posted (e-mail if preferred) to those who have booked for the conference, nearer the date. Any alterations and additions to the above programme will be available on the W.M.S. website www.welshmines.org This is an abbreviated info sheet. The whole can be requested by e-mail from: mole@grottage.fsworld.co.uk John Hine, Chairman Welsh Mines Society

th

th

38

39 CATHERINE & JANE CONSOLS WEEKEND 2007 We will be holding another working weekend at Catherine & Jane later in the year, details in next newsletter. BRITISH MINING No 80 – MEMOIRS 2006 The latest offering from the Northern Mines Research Society, Memoirs 2006 contains three very interesting articles that may be of interest to Trust members. The first is Tapping drowned workings: Thornley and Woolley Hill Collieries by Trust director Nigel Chapman. The other two are by Trust and WMS member Dr David James; The Cwmystwyth Mines – a revision of lode geometry from new geological surface mapping; and Lode geometry in the Plynlimon and Van Domes – the relative importance of strike swing and relay linkage. NMRS members receive copies all their publication free of charge as part of their membership. Books in the British Mining series can be purchased from Moore Books www.moorebooks.co.uk CWMYSTWYTH MINE The Crown Estate’s Safety Works at the mine are now complete, their Mineral Agents Wardell Armstrong have agreed to meet with representatives from the Trust and Welsh Mines Society to discuss our possible involvement in the future management of the mine. It is hoped this meeting will take place in March. SUBSCRIPTIONS 2007 Good News: At the Trust AGM in November 2006 it was decided that membership subscriptions for 2007 would remain unchanged at £8.00. Bad News: Please can I ask you to get your cheque books out and forward your membership subscription (£8.00) to the Membership Secretary, Nigel Chapman at 14 Dorset Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B17 8EN, thank you. At the end of this Newsletter you will find the minutes of the Trust 2006 AGM, the 2007 AGM is to be held on Sun 4 Nov at Nigel Chapman’s home 14, Dorset Road, Birmingham at 12 noon. Members are welcome to attend but please let Nigel know before hand so we have an idea of numbers attending. My thanks to all those who have contributed to this edition of the newsletter, I apologise again for the late publication but I hope it has been worth waiting for. All articles and photographs by Graham Levins [Newsletter Editor] unless stated. Graham Levins : Secretary 1 Stonecrop Close, Broadfield, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9EP. 01293-510567, Mobile: 07880-817370, email: WMPTsecretary@welshmines.org Nigel Chapman : Membership Secretary 14 Dorset Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B17 8EN

40

Registered at Companies House No 2715963

Registered Charity No 1027015

Website: www.mike.munro.cwc.net/mining/wmpt/wmpt_frm.htm MINUTES OF 14th AGM – 12 November 2006 Held at 14, Dorset Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham In attendance Chairman:- T Evans (TE) Secretary:G Levins (GL) Directors:N Chapman (NC), A King (AK), S Timberlake (ST), P Claughton (PC) Meeting opened at 1215 1) Chairman’s Opening Address We are very grateful to Nigel and Mrs Chapman for once again for inviting us here for our AGM. How time has flown, it is incredible that this is the 14th AGM. Another good year for the Trust, its whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Very pleased with all that is happening in Mid Wales, thanks to Steve Oliver. We are sorry that Christine is unwell and that Steve is unable to attend today – we send her our best wishes for a speedy recovery. Also pleased with the attendance at Working Weekends and the support we get from those who are not members of the Trust. The Trust has an image problem, the title seems to put people off, although we can not change it. Our best advertisement is the Newsletter, it is well presented, it reads well and conveys the true image of the Trust. The name must stay. A discussion followed about a working name for the Trust, the directors were asked to give some consideration to a working name for the Trust. It has been a sad year for the Trust with the death of David Bick and the retirement of George Hall as a director, it will not hold us back, we will move on. Mention was made of the members who had passed away in the last year; David Bick, Damian Mc Curdy and Denis Parkhouse. 2) Apologies for Absence Steve Oliver, Christine Smith

41 3) Minutes of 13th AGM, held on 30th October 2005 at 14 Dorset Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham It was proposed by TK and seconded by PC, that they were a true and accurate record of the 13th AGM and should be accepted. All in favour. Matters Arising from the Minutes None. Secretary’s Report and Presentation of Accounts GL reported on the meeting to discuss the establishment of a Ceredigion Mines Group; the Heritage Weekend in the Myheryn Forest; ongoing work at Catherine & Jane Consols, Pen Y Clun and Cwmsymlog; the situation at Temple Mine and the forthcoming work at Pont Ceunant Generating Station (Frongoch). We must thank Steve Oliver for all his work at Pen Y Clun and Pont Ceunant Generating Station. We have 75 members, of whom 3 have yet to pay 2005 subscriptions and 15 members are outstanding with their 2006 subscriptions. This year we lost the three members who passed away. During the year ending 31 March 2006 we made a profit of £973.23. At the end of the financial year our assets were Current A/c £1814.67 and Reserve A/c £1282.38 giving a total of £3097.05, as of 11/11/2006 our balances were Current A/c £1565.44 and Reserve A/c £1295.57 giving a total of £2861.01. It was proposed by PC, seconded by ST that the accounts be accepted, agreed by all present. A detailed report is attached to these minutes. 6) Nomination and Election of Directors Due To Retire By Rotation Terry Evans and Graham Levins are both due to retire by rotation, both are willing to continue as Directors and in their roles as Chairman and Secretary. It was proposed by ST and seconded by NC, that both are re-elected and that both continue in office, agreed by all present. It was also noted that George Hall had retired as a Director in June, GL had written to him thanking him for his work on behalf of the Trust and wishing him all the best in his new role as President of the Welsh Mines Society. 7) Insurance It was proposed by PC and seconded by NC that we continue to purchase our insurance through the Council for British Archaeology, agreed by all present. Membership Subscriptions 2007 It was proposed by PC and seconded by NC that due to our healthy financial situation the Membership Subscriptions for 2007, remain at £8.00, agreed by all present. Appointment of Auditor It was proposed by PC and seconded by NC that we appoint Nicholas Bennett to be our auditor again for 2007, agreed by all present.

4) 5)

8)

9)

42 10) Dates of Directors Meetings 2007 Sun 25 Feb - Directors Meeting, Westwinds, Penydarren Park, Merthyr Tydfil. Sun 4 Nov – AGM and Directors Meeting, 14, Dorset Road, Birmingham. Activities for 2007 Restoration work will continue at Pen Y Clun on the Engine House and chimney. Frongoch Generating Station February Temple Mine Survey – 31 March /1 April Mid Wales Weekend – 5/6 May Heritage Weekend – 25/26/27 August Catherine and Jane TBA Any Other Business A vote of thanks was proposed by GL, seconded by PC to thank Nigel and Mrs Chapman for their hospitality and the refreshments.

11)

12)

Meeting Closed at 1310 Graham Levins : Secretary 1 Stonecrop Close, Broadfield, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9EP. 01293-510567, Mobile: 07880-817370, email: WMPTsecretary@welshmines.org

43

SECRETARY’S REPORT TO 2006 AGM
Another good year for the Trust. The year started with the inaugural meeting of the Ceredigion Mines Forum, which was held in March, the cost of the meeting was funded by Ceredigion County Council’s Spirit of the Miners Project, the meeting was attended by almost every organisation and person that has an interest in the Mining Heritage of Ceredigion. Whilst it was felt that it was not the right time to reform the Ceredigion Mines Group, it was agreed that an email based forum called the Ceredigion Mines Forum would be established. This has already borne fruit, through the forum we were alerted to the problems at Temple Mine. Other exchanges of information have taken place between members. At the meeting it was good to meet various people and put faces to names. The other positive side of the meeting was that we were all able to learn the roles played by the various bodies, their priorities and responsibilities. The Trust and the WMS were able to advise those present of our roles. From the Trust point of view I was able to make several useful contacts, as an example I met the Contaminated Land Officer from CCC, following a conversation with her we have been able to draw attention to the problem of dumping at mine sites in the county. This has resulted in a project to clear dumped rubbish from Frongoch (Pont Ceunant) Generating Station, to improve the site and the erection of an interpretation board to explain the use of the building, this should be completed in the spring next year. My thanks to Steve Oliver for his assistance with this project and for the time he has spent attending meetings. The Trust has been involved in two working projects this year; the continuation of the work at Catherine & Jane Consols, I am afraid due to work commitments I have not be able to attend there this year, but my thanks to Harold Morris for looking after things there; the next project was the clearance of undergrowth at the Miners Chapel at Cwmsymlog, we have held two working weekends there this year and the chapel and graveyard looks cared for again, this work has received much praise locally and has built very good relations between the Trust, the local community and the Community Council. The Chapel committee were very grateful to the Trust and have made a donation of £30 to the Trust. In June we held another Heritage Weekend in association with the Spirit of the Miners project visiting mines in the Myheryn Forest and an evening event in the village hall at Ysbyty Ystwyth, this was attended by 20+ members and local residents, it also attracted some good publicity for the Trust (and SotM) in the Cambrian News. Following information circulated on the Ceredigion Mines Forum, I became aware of the potential collapse of the large wheel pit at Temple Mine, I met with CCW there and whilst it will not be easy to repair the wheel-pit, I have agreed with a request from CCW that the Trust carry out an in depth survey of the site and the wheel-pit next spring. Work has progressed at Pen Y Clun, we held two open days there in June which a few WMS members attended, we also conducted a small archaeological dig trying

44 unsuccessfully to find footings of other buildings on the site, this will no doubt continue. We must thank Steve Oliver for the tremendous amount of work he has put into this project. Full details of the above will be given during the meeting. During the financial year ending 31 March 2006, we were very fortunate to receive a donation of £500 from David Bick, £50 has been received from the sale of discs by Simon Hughes, and £30 has been received from the Chapel Committee at Cwmsymlog. Thank You letters were written. We have 75 members, 3 of whom did not pay in 2005, and 15 of whom have not yet paid membership for 2006. Unfortunately three members have passed away David Bick, Denis Parkhouse and Damian McCurdy letters of condolence were sent on behalf of the Trust. This year we made a profit of £973.23, which includes the donations above, but during this financial year I did not claim my expenses. At the end of the financial year our assets were Current A/c £1814.67 and Reserve A/c £1282.38 giving a total of £3097.05, as of yesterday our balances were Current A/c £1565.44 and Reserve A/c £1295.57 giving a total of £2861.01. Graham Levins Secretary Welsh Mines Preservation Trust

45

Registered at Companies House No 2715963

Registered Charity No 1027015

Website: www.mike.munro.cwc.net/mining/wmpt/wmpt_frm.htm Company Limited by Guarantee Company Number 2715963 Charity Number 1027015 INCOME AND EXPENDITURE ACCOUNT FOR YEAR TO 31 MARCH 2006
(Prepared taking advantage of exemptions accorded to a small company – no cash flow produced) INCOME Subscriptions/Donations Bank Interest £ 1939.50 26.51 1966.01 EXPENDITURE Companies House NAMHO Subscription Early Mines Research Group Council For British Archaeology Nat West Bank (Revised Entry) £ 30.00 15.00 500.00 43.00 280.00 868.00

Income Expenditure Profit for year

1966.01 868.00 1098.01

BALANCE SHEET AT 31 MARCH 2005
ASSETS Bank Balances: Current A/c Business Reserve A/c LIABILITIES 1814.67 1282.38 3097.05 Revenue A/c b/f Profit for year Un-cashed cheque (000041) 3097.05 Accounts approved by the trustees 2122.81 1098.01 3220.82 -123.77

AUDITOR’S REPORT:- I have examined the income and expenditure account and the Balance Sheet
of the Welsh Mines Preservation Trust for the year ended 31 March 2006. In my opinion the accounts give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Trust at 31 March 2006 and of its income and expenditure for the year then ended.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT
(Prepared taking advantage of the exemption conferred by Part II of Schedule 8 of the Companies Act 1985.) Principle Activity: The preservation of mines in Wales. Trustees holding office at 31 March 2005 and 31 March 2006: D E Bick (Until Jan 2006), N A Chapman, T W Evans, G W Hall, A P King, G C Levins, S Timberlake, P Claughton, S Oliver (From 30 Oct 2005).