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1926 - 1968

Wyllie Colliery, the last mine to be sunk by the Tredegar Iron and Coal Company, was situated in the Sirhowy Valley, which lies north of Risca and south of Tredegar in South Wales. The valley gets its name from the River Sirhowy which runs through it.

Besides coal, the area was heavily mined for other minerals, such as sandstone and shale. The nearby woodland provided charcoal, and limestone from the hills of nearby Trefil meant that iron ore could be smelted in the valley from early times.

The sinking of Wyllie's 626yds deep shafts began in 1924, and was completed with the mine producing coal in 1926. Alexander Wyllie, a director of the Tredegar Iron and Coal Company, gave his name to the colliery and the nearby village where the miners' houses were built. This was in the middle of a politically turbulent time for the Welsh coalfields, and many mines were experiencing strikes and lock-outs. These were hard times, the Welsh miners were hard men, and the hardships endured by their families were gruelling.

This photograph shows the South Wales miners undertaking a hunger march to Bristol in 1931.

Unlike other mines in the area, Wyllie was heavily mechanised, and instead of the old hand filling methods, the latest cutting machines were implemented from the mine's inception.

At the height of its production, Wyllie employed over 800 men. By the end of the war there were still over 700 men employed there.

Wyllie closed in 1968, after a relatively short working life of 42 years.




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