Llanhilleth Colliery Workmen's Institute and Library Records

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of minutes 1916-2003, correspondence c.1920-1996, membership records 1949-2001, committee attendance records 1988-1989, rule books [20th century], statement of accounts 1912-2000, account books 1904-1994, cash books 1908-1966, cheque books 1966-1970, wage books 1929-1996, staff and employment papers 1939-1988, premises agreements and plan 1925-2001, Library registers 1908-[20th century], Llanhilleth Colliery Miners' Workmen's Library and Institute Social Club Ltd. financial statements and rules [1965]-1994, photographs c.1905-c.1983 and ephemera including publications 1955-c.2000. Also includes Llanhilleth Steam Coal Lodge monthly returns book 1934-1935; correspondence of Cwmtillery Colliery Welfare Club 1966-1970.

Administrative / Biographical History

The miners' institutes and halls developed in Wales from the latter part of the nineteenth century. The development of the coalfield saw a great increase in the population and new demands for meeting places for both lodge (Union) business, evening classes and community recreation. The institutes strongly reflected the role of the community and as a result they became focal points for the social, cultural and educational life of the mining village and area. Llanhilleth Workmen's Institute and Library is situated in Llanhilleth, Gwent and was officially opened in May 1906. It was built by funds from Partridge, Jones and John Paton the owners of Llanhilleth Colliery and from weekly contributions from the miners' themselves. Contributions continued from workmen of Llanhilleth Colliery, Aberbeeg South Colliery, Oakdale Colliery, Celynen Collieries. Outside membership consisted of non-miners who paid subscriptions. The Institute was the cornerstone of the community and among the amenities available to members were a library, reading room and dance hall, and a swimming pool which was located in the basement. The Institute rented The Playhouse cinema before purchasing it on 14 December 1944 for the sum of £4000. In later years the following were also opened on the premises: a billiard room, bar and betting shop. The Institute rooms were leased for a number of uses including a dental clinic, maternity clinic and Police Court and hired by organisations such as Llanhilleth Steam Coal Lodge, a branch of the National Union of Mineworkers (South Wales Area). The Institute was administered by the Major Committee with other specialized committees for specific areas. It was a registered charity and also the home of the Llanhilleth Colliery Miners' Workmen's Library and Institute Social Club Ltd., becoming a member of the Working Men's Club and Institute Union Ltd. c.1965. Activities organized by the Social Club included bingo and social evenings with entertainers. The Institute became a limited company in 18 January 2007, run by Llanhilleth Miners' Institute Ltd Management Company and is still in existence known as Llanhilleth Miners' Institute.

Conditions Governing Access

Accessible to all researchers by appointment. Items within this collection containing information on named individuals may be restricted in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Contact the repository for further details.

Other Finding Aids

An online catalogue is available through the Swansea University website.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Susan Thomas for Swansea University, with reference to: Llanhilleth Miners Institute website (http://www.llanhillethinstitute.com/ ) viewed 15 Apr 2010; Llanhilleth Workmen's Institute and Library records, Swansea University (SWCC/MND/148); Francis, Hywel "Survey of Miners' Institute and Welfare Hall Libraries October 1972-February 1973." Llafur Vol.1, No.2, 1973.

Related Material

Other collections relating to Llanhilleth Colliery Workmen's Institute and Library held in the Archives at Swansea University: GB 0217 SWCC : 2001/13 Llanhilleth Colliery Workmen's Institute and Library and GB 0217 SWCC : MNA/NUM/L/49 Llanhilleth lodge (containing Llanhilleth Colliery Workmen's Institute and Library minutes).

Geographical Names