Wagon loaded with pitprops at Tareni sidings in 1912 (©NRM)

Pit Props

The pit props used at Tareni Colliery and in the Swansea region came from a variety of sources. Swansea timber importers Thomas and Son imported Baltic, Norwegian and Newfoundland pit props into the port of Swansea, which were then distributed via the Swansea Canal and the Swansea Vale Railway to the numerous coalmines that required them. G. Leonard David and Company advertised themselves in 1916 as pitwood merchants supplying timber to several Swansea Valley collieries. Among the later importers and distributors of pit props to Tareni Colliery (1923) was the firm of E. William Cooke and Company who had a seat on the Board of the Company, giving them direct access to the managing directors. At an earlier date local Swansea Valley businessmen purchased standing pitwood trees in the Afan Valley and sold those on to colliery proprietors in the Swansea region. Others purchased timber from Brittany or from sources closer to home such as from the Kilybebill Estate. A fascinating account of the size and types of timbers used underground is documented in Tareni Colliery.

RETURN TO SNIPPETS Snippets from the Book