Coal Mining in the Llanelli Area ~ Volume One ~ 16th. Century to 1829 by M. V. Symons
"Malcolm Symons' book shows clearly what a persistent and dedicated investigator can achieve by locating a diversity of documents and by studying these intensively and imaginatively, coupled with the available field evidence.
The work provides an excellent reference source on the coal seams, the adits and pits, the water courses that supplied and drained the pits, the transport network and the shipping places. In addition the author supplies much important information on the families and companies involved.
In marshalling such information – the great proportion of which is published for the first time – in a very professional way in both the text and in the many excellent maps, the author has provided both local and general historians with an indispensable tool. It provides, for the first time as far as the coalfields of Wales are concerned, a detailed blueprint against which the more general studies can be assessed.
It will also provide local readers – and I speak as one who was born in Llanelli in to a coal-mining family – with a fascinating insight into their industrial heritage.
Because of the successful and attractive way in which the information is presented and cross-referenced, it should prove of value to anyone interested in the history of South Wales."
Dr. Douglas Bassett, Director, National Museum of Wales.
Coal Mining in the Llanelli Area ~ Volume Two ~ 1830-1871 by M. V. Symons Volume Two published January 2013 and available from Llanelli Library
Volume 2 adopts the same format as the first book of the series which ended in 1829, and recounts the story of Llanelli's coal mining industry from 1830 up to 1871, a year which marked the beginning of a period of unrest and long-term decline in the local coal and non-ferrous industries.
The book starts with details of the geological factors which controlled the mining of coal at Llanelli and then examines the role played by the owners of the main local estates in encouraging developers and entrepreneurs to exploit the coal underlying their lands. Five coal mining enterprises have been classified as larger concerns with two of them - the Llanelly Copperworks Company and the Llangennech Coal Company - exceeding the others in terms of size and importance and being considered in greater detail. A further 43 companies or partnerships are classified as smaller enterprises with their stories told in a separate chapter. A final chapter is devoted to accident records for Llanelli's coal industry and discusses the causes of fatalities in the local collieries. Nine Appendices provide additional detail of relevance to the main text.