The Tredegar Company - One of the South Wales Coalfield's 'Big Three', by Leslie M. Shore
Book published by Lightmoor Press in 2017, 208 pages. Hardback - c.22cm by 28cm (N6643)
Brand New Book
From the rear side cover: The Tredegar Company earned its wealth from iron and coal. In the nineteenth century the ‘Great’ South Wales Tredegar iron works operated at the head of the Sirhowy Valley on land owned by the Morgan family of Tredegar House, near the city of Newport. During the Railway Age, the works supplied iron rail to the world. Isambard Kingdom Brunel selected ‘Tredegar coal’ to power his pioneering steam ship Great Western and after 1840 the company’s sale of steam coal boomed.
In 1873, the Tredegar Iron & Coal Company acquired the assets of the Tredegar Iron Company. Charles McLaren, 1st Lord Aberconway, and Sir Arthur Markham became the company’s most influential directors. From 1898, coal mined at the company’s McLaren Colliery became valued by navies worldwide.
During Alfred S. Tallis’s period of general management, the company not only opened Oakdale Navigation Collieries (1907-1911), Markham Colliery (1910-1913), and Wyllie Colliery (1924-1926) but built model villages to house the families of officials and miners. The toil of generations of miners produced many millions of tons of coal as fuel for steam ships and railway locomotives. In a climate of industrial conflict and political change the company became one of the ‘Big Three’ of the South Wales Coalfield.
Leslie Shore offers a history of the Tredegar Company with an account of the fate of the company’s collieries under National Coal Board control. This history is a sequel to his Peerless Powell Duffryn of the South Wales Coalfield.