South Wales Coalfield Collection

Phurnacite Project

Ref.No. Description Dates
VID/1 Interview of Morgan, Idwal.
Interview of Idwal Morgan, secretary of the Phurnacite Lodge, about the Phurnacite plant at Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley. He talks about the history of the plant and its function, the process for changing 'duff' into smokeless fuel, the workforce at the plant, unemployment in the Cynon Valley, the effect on the area if the plant closed, the pollution caused by the plant and ways of reducing this, the possibility of a new plant on the coast, the effect the closures of Aberaman Colliery and Fforchamman Colliery had on production at the plant, transporting fuel by rail and road, what would be done if the National Coal Board tried to run down or close the plant, support in the community to keep the plant open and what action the National Coal Board should take to preserve the plant.
Covers period : 1942-1981.
Running time : 18mins 31secs.
12.1981
VID/2 Interview of Amphlett, Tom.
Interview of Tom Amphlett, a former pumpsman and now a van driver at the Phurnacite plant at Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley. He talks about how he gets to work, the damage done and pollution caused by the plant, conditions of health in the plant and the possible risk of cancer, the lack of consultation between management and workforce over the running of the plant, the feeling of uncertainty over the future of the plant, the effect the closure of the plant would have on the surrounding area and lodge pressure on the National Coal Board to invest in the plant.
Covers period : 1965-1981 (c).
Running time : 11mins 23secs.
12.1981
VID/3 Interview of Maiden, Alan.
Interview of Alan Maiden, an oven top worker at the Phurnacite plant at Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley and chairman of the Phurnacite Lodge. He talks about the hazzards of the job and the possible risk of cancer, dust and the need to wear masks, the wages of battery top workers, the enthusiasm amongst the workforce for the introduction of a new processing method and the obligation of the National Coal Board to introduce it, the effect on the area if the plant closes, the struggle to get good coal for the plant, competition from abroad, what would happen if large redundancy payments were offered and what would happen if the National Coal Board tried to close the plant.
Covers period : 1969-1981 (c).
Running time : 16mins 10secs.
12.1981
VID/4 Interview of Evans, Arfon.
Interview of Arfon Evans, Chairman of Mardy Colliery which supplies coal to the Phurnacite plant at Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley. He talks about the amount of coal they supply to the plant and how difficult it would be to find another market if the plant closed, the awareness of the workers at Mardy of the threat to the plant, the reluctance of National Smokeless Fuels and the National Coal Board to invest in the plant, privatisation and denationalisation, the National Union of Mineworkers' struggle with the government, the attitude of the miners' lodges towards the plant, the possibility of the plant being relocated, pollution caused by the plant, unemployment in the Cynon Valley and the Rhondda, government and National Coal Board policy towards the pits in the area and the possibility of national action if it is proposed that the plant should be closed.
Covers period : 1965-1981 (c).
Running time : 11mins 17secs.
12.1981
VID/5 Interview of King, Bill
Interview of Bill King, Secretary of Merthyr Vale Lodge.[Merthyr Vale Colliery was the main supplier of coal to the Phurnacite plant at Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley] He talks about the developments made to supply more coal to the plant and how Merthyr Vale Colliery could not survive if the plant closed, the reluctance of National Smokeless Fuels and the National Coal Board to invest in the plant, pollution and health in the area, the plant not getting money for a better process from the Labour government, investment needed at the plant and at Merthyr Vale Colliery and the social and economic effects on the Merthyr Valley if the Merthyr Vale Colliery closed.
Covers period : 1979-1981 (c).
Running time : 18 mins 56 secs.
12.1981
VID/6 Interview of Evans, Peter.
Interview of Peter Evans, Compensation Secretary of Merthyr Vale Lodge. He talks about the relationship between Deep Duffryn Colliery and the Phurnacite plant at Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley, the decline of Deep Duffryn Colliery and the plant, the lack of invesment by the National Coal Board, the pollution caused by the plant, the policy of Imperial Chemical Industries when it ran the plant, the effect the closure of Deep Duffryn Colliery had on Mountain Ash, support for keeping the plant open and not relocating it, how much the collieries depend on the plant, subsidised imports and co-operation between the collieries and the plant.
Covers period : 1942-1981 (c).
Running time : 22mins 5secs.
12.1981
VID/7 Interview of O'Sullivan, Tyrone
Interview of Tyrone O'Sullivan, Secretary of Tower Lodge. He talks about the relationship between Tower Colliery and the Phurnacite plant at Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley, the lack of investment by the National Coal Board and National Smokeless Fuels in the plant and collieries, the pollution caused by the plant, the effect on the community if the plant closed, the militancy of the collieries in the South Wales area, what should be done about the plant and what the workers at Tower Colliery would do to keep the plant open.
Covers period : 1960-1981 (c).
Running time : 10mins 58secs.
25.11.1981
VID/8 Interview of Hartwell, Dane
Interview of Dane Hartwell, Secretary of Blaengwrach Lodge. He talks about why the Phurnacite plant at Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley is important to an anthracite colliery like Blaengwrach, smokeless fuels made from anthracite, open cast mines, the pollution caused by the plant, the possibility of strike action if the plant was closed, lack of investment in the plant and collieries, European Energy Policy, the interest of private companies in mining, cheap imports, nationalisation, privatisation and denationalisation.
Covers period : 1942-1981 (c).
Running time : 16mins 42secs.
25.11.1981
VID/9 Interview of Griffin, Mike and Evans, Haydn.
Interview of Mike Griffin, Secretary of Penrhiwceiber Lodge and Haydn Evans. They talk about the importance of the Phurnacite plant at Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley to Penrhiwceiber colliery, what the closure of Penrhiwceiber colliery would mean to the local communities, the possibility of strike action if the plant was closed and national support for such action, the Tripartite Report, lack of investment in the plant and collieries by the National Coal Board, private contractors during the 1972 and 1974 strikes and the potential profitability of the plant.
Covers period : 1947-1981 (c).
Running time : 13mins 27secs.
25.11.1981
VID/10 Documentary - Fighting for the Phurnacite.
A documetary entitled Fighting for the Phurnacite. This is about the Phurnacite plant at Abercwmboi in the Cynon Valley. It comprises of extracts from the interviews SWCC : VID 1 - VID 9 and footage of the plant and related collieries.
Covers period : 1947-1981 (c).
Running time : 28 mins 21 secs.
1981

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