Onllwyn and District Miners' Welfare Association

Scope and Content

Minutes 1953-1960; account books 1924-1954.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Onllwyn and District Miners' Welfare Association was formed in 1922. The first Chairman of the Management Committee was David J. Thomas, manager of Maesmarchog Colliery. Early projects included the construction of a football field and the establishment of a successful soccer team. A pavilion was constructed in 1933, primarily for the use of the football team as changing rooms but throughout the years it was used for other things. A bowling green was opened in 1936 and a bowling team formed and in later years tennis courts and a children's corner were constructed.

In 1944 it was decided to build a Welfare Hall and the Management Committee started to appeal for funds and organise fund-raising activities. However due to subsidence in the sports field and other essential repairs and building work the plans for a Welfare Hall were put on hold. In 1953 a fire destroyed the pavilion and a new one was built costing 2000. Eventually however the Welfare Hall was built and fully furnished and it opened on July 23rd 1955 at a cost of around 30,000.

The last slant worked at Onllwyn Colliery closed in April 1964. Front and Back Row and the school were pulled down and people were rehoused at Caewern, Skewen. This was a severe blow to the village and the knock on effect was financial difficulty for the Welfare Association due to a significant reduction in funds. The sports field, bowling green and children's corner all fell into disuse and the film shows put on at the hall were ill attended. It was decided at that point to convert the Hall into a licensed bar in response to the changing circumstances.

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Geographical Names