Photo: Denholm White and John Stoneman by a coal dram at Cwmnant Mine 1953 after being made redundant from Tareni (Richard White)
Hello and a warm welcome to our website.
We are Clive Reed and Lynne Gent and together, under our title of Etifeddiaeth Cwmtawe Swansea Valley Heritage, we have produced and published our book on Tareni Colliey.
We are very proud to say that we have done absolutely everything to create this book ourselves, except actally print it – that was done magnificently by Y Lolfa in Aberystwyth – so we can say, without a doubt, that this book was “Made in Wales”.
Clive spent five years researching the book and below is a syno
psis of how he was inspired to do it and the experience he has which gave him the background to enable him to create what has been hailed by so many people as an intelligent, well researched and delightful publication.
Author of “Tareni Colliery, The Mine, the Miners and Their Communities”
Clive Reed has lived in Pontardawe for nearly 40 years but he was born in Neath, South Wales, into a family who worked in the local tinplate industries and on the railways. He was brought up as a youngster with visits to the tinplate works, railway sidings, locomotive sheds and docks, and saw at first hand the jobs that men, and sometimes women, carried out in those industries. He won an apprenticeship to the Steel Company of Wales at Port Talbot in 1961 and completed his apprenticeship as a welder. Afterwards he worked at the steelworks on maintenance on blast furnaces and conveyor systems and at the steelworks workshops.
Clive worked in many industries over the following 32 years, as a welder, welder fabricator on construction sites, as a welder, boilermaker, and blacksmith in the South Wales dry docks, before redundancy in 1992 led him into the academic world. At the mature age of 52 years he gained a BA Hons at Swansea Institute of Higher Education in 1995 to add to his Diploma in Local History Research at University College Swansea in 1991, and his earlier City and Guilds Crafts Certificates in 1964 and ‘65.
Clive went on to design and teach courses on genealogy and Welsh local history for both Neath and Swansea Colleges Adult Education Programmes, before becoming Museums Education Officer for Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council in 2002. He worked at Cefn Coed Colliery Museum in the Dulais Valley, opposite Tareni Colliery, first as Museums Education Officer, then with responsibility for maintenance and safety of the site, before being requested to manage the mine museum. He retired in 2008.
He published his first book, Two Centuries of Pontardawe 1794-1994, in 1994, (now sold out), following that as a co-author on three volumes of Around Pontardawe and District. He has researched and written a number of local history leaflets and had many short industrial history papers published in relevant journals. He managed the restoration of the Swansea Canal between 1984 and 2005, designing and overseeing the restoration projects during that period.
It was meeting new friends in Pontardawe in the early 1980s (all all members of the Swansea Cana
l Society and the Swansea Valley History Society) that sowed the seeds and it was the many hours, days and years spent in their company talking about how the industries worked and of the communities that developed from them, that in part ignited in Clive his passion for the heritage of the industries of the Swansea Valley.
In the period early 1980s to 2015, Clive collected many historical artefacts from former colliery locations tinplate and steelworks sites, potteries, foundries, ship repairing yards, canal and routes of tramroads and railways. He and other friends salvaged many historical documents from commercial, religious and domestic premises that were closing and being demolished in the 1980s and 1990s in Clydach, Ynysmeudwy, Pontardawe and Ystalyfera. Those artefacts and documents amounted to several thousand individual items that were later donated to institutions such as The National Museum of Wales, The National Library of Wales, West Glamorgan Archive Service, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council Museums, Ystalyfera Heritage Group and Swansea City Museum and to several other institutions. In total, 1,860 documents, publications and photographs were donated to the above named institutions in addition to 621 physical artefacts of heritage value.
He writes and gives illustrated talks to local groups in the Swansea Valley region and has, to date, given over three hundred and fifty such talks on Pontardawe, the Ynysmeudwy Pottery, Swansea Canal and recently, Tareni Colliery.
Clive is an excellent speaker, full of passion for his subjects, and his talks are always enhanced with much fascinating social history. He is in high demand from all types of societies, historical or not, so if you’re local and have a space to fill, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
PS. I’m the one who edited, designed and layed out the book (of which I am very proud as it looks great!) but this website is my first feeble attemp at such. So many apologies if it’s basic – it has been a fraught learning curve!!!!!
If what you’ve read in this website makes you want to read more in “Tareni Colliery, The Mine, The Miners and Their Communities: A History of a Mining Enterprise in the Swansea Valley” then these are the details you’ll need:
- Price £30.00 plus p&p £4.95 ISBN: 978-1-5272-0129-3.
- It is available straight from us for collection to save postage (we can even drop it off if convenient) – for this go to Contact Us
- OR you can purchase it through ebay at ebay/TareniColliery
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