Main Colliery, Skewen Records

Scope and Content

aMinute books, 1889-1934; Reports, 1890-1925; Accounts, 1874-1933; Shareholders' records, 1889-1934; Production and sales records, 1884-1928; Property records; 1909-1931; Correspondence, 1889-1934; Receivership papers, 1889-1934; Maps and plans 1889-1934

Administrative / Biographical History

The Main Colliery Company Limited was formerly the Dynevor Duffryn and Neath Abbey United Collieries Company Limited. In 1806 George Creber Fox and others (who in 1792 had acquired the Neath Abbey Ironworks) contracted with the Williams family of Dyffryn to work minerals under the Dyffryn estate for 63 years. The New Neath Abbey Coal Company appears to have begun in June 1819, with Joseph T. Price holding 5/12ths of the Company's shares and the Fox family the remaining 7/12ths. In 1873 the Company was wound up and the property sold to Messrs. Batters and Scott on behalf of the Dyffryn Main Colliery Company. In 1874 the property was sold again to the United Company (the Dynevor Dyffryn and Neath Abbey United Collieries Company) under the directorship of John Newell Moore of Cambrian Place, Swansea. The new Company also took over the collieries of Edward Acland Moore and John Newell Moore trading in co-partnership as the Dynevor Coal Company and the New Dynevor Coal Company, the leases of Messrs. Batters and Scott, and the property of Bartholomew Parker Bidder of Neath, colliery proprietor and Adam Scott. The United Company failed in 1888, but was re-constituted as the Main Colliery Company Limited under an agreement dated 1 May 1899, made between the Dynevor Dyffryn and Neath Abbey United Collieries Company, its liquidators, the Glamorganshire Banking Company and John Bicknell (on behalf of the new company). The Company's new directors were: John Cady of Swansea, Director of the Glamorganshire Banking Company James Inskip of Bristol, Chairman of the Taff Vale Railway Francis Pavy of London, Chairman of the Railway Share Trust John Richardson of Swansea, JP Henry Bourchier Osborne Savile of Bristol, Chairman of the Bristol and South Wales Railway Waggon Company William Hole Williams of London, Chairman of Lewis Merthyr Navigation Colliery Company The new Company was registered on 13 June 1899 with authorised capital of £300,000. Its pits were East and West Brithdir, Bryndewi and Cwmdu Collieries, No. 6 Pit and Court Herbert at Neath Abbey. The Company's registered office was at Carlton Chambers, Bristol, the address of Messrs. Brittan and Company, solicitors, who acted as solicitors for the Company. James Inskip, a partner in the firm, was appointed as the first Chairman, and John Bicknell the secretary. In July 1924, owing to a strike of the work-force, the Company was forced to cease working the collieries. When work was resumed in December 1926, the economic conditions generally were such that profitable working was impossible. The Company's export trade, formerly the chief outlet for its products, had been lost, and efforts to find alternative markets were unsuccessful. In the hope of re-establishing the Company on a profitable basis, the Chairman, Samuel White of Bristol, advanced large sums of money to the Company, amounting in all to £280,000, but by December 1928 the collieries had ceased working, and Sir William McLintock was appointed by the Court as Receiver and Manager on behalf of the Debenture Holder. The receivership was concluded in July 1932 with assets of £1,150 and liabilities amounting to £369, 677. The Company was finally wound up in June 1934. The papers seem to represent the records of the Company brought together at the offices of George White and Co. in Bristol at the time of the attempted re-establishment of the Company between 1926 and 1928. These papers would appear to have come from two separate sources; firstly, the papers of the former secretary, John Bicknell, from his offices in Bristol, and secondly, papers transferred from the colliery offices in Neath sometime after 1926. The arrangement of this list follows a historical perspective of the records: the Company's administrative and commercial records (mainly 1889-1926), which would have existed either in the Neath or Bristol offices up to 1926, the papers of Samuel White, largely collected together during the period 1926-1928, and the papers assembled by Sir William McLintock as Receiver following his appointment in 1928. These latter papers include a group of papers relating to the winding-up of the Company in 1934. Many of the papers were still in the bundles and parcels which may have been made up when the records were transferred to the offices of George White and Co. Many do not appear to have been consulted subsequently. The list which follows has attempted to preserve these 'original' bundles wherever possible, even though the relationship between the items within a bundle is sometimes difficult to understand. In some cases the original bundling has been broken; separated items have been listed individually and the documents associated in the list with records of similar type. In the list which follows, the letters (ob) are used to signify an original bundle. This list follows the format of the interim list produced by the Record Office in March 1971, but with an attempt to provide fuller descriptions of the bundles referred to in the interim list.


Arranged chronologically into: Minute books; reports; accounts; shareholders records; sales records; property records; correspondence, receivership papers, maps and plans

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Mine of Information Project, University of Wales Swansea LIS Archives, Library & Information Centre,, University of Wales Swansea,Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP

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