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Merthyr Tydfil

A very bleak exposed location at the summit of the railway from Dowlais to Nelson. Although the station no longer exists, the rails are still there, the site having been used as a distribution point for the coal that was extracted from the old tips by RYANS and the opencast coal extracted by Taylor Woodrow at the Royal Arms site. They  now transport  the coal from the massive Ffros-y-fran project which will produce 12 million tonnes of Welsh Dry Steam. In the distance behind the telegraph pole you can just make out South Tunnel Houses which were built for the employees of the South Tunnel Colliery, and  in the 70's  converted to a pub called the Tunnel Tavern. That has also gone the same way as the station- demolished!


The Railway Crossing.


Pit Cottages - 1955.

A young Derek Evans, brought up in Pit Cottages, stands by his Sunbeam Talbot 80.

(Photograph courtesy of Derek Evans)

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Cwmbargoed Pit Cottages - "Tip 'a prison' for Pensioners"

(From the Merthyr Express, Courtesy of Tony Arthur)


Pit Row - 1960s.



(David Thomas tells us that this photograph of Bruce (his grandparent's dog) was taken at the back

of Pit Cottages, about 1967, in the background can be seen Cwmbargoed signal box)

Cwmbargoed Mission Hall, Sunday School Party - 1946-7.

(Photograph courtesy of Derek Evans)

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Wayne Harris sent us these photographs of the Harris Family, of Cwmbargoed:

A young Dai Harris formerly of Penydarren Pits

and Station House, Cwmbargoed.

A young Dai 'Mutty' Harris sitting in Cwmbargoed.

A young Phillip Harris and his Uncle Gwynfedd,

of South Tunnel, Cwmbargoed.

Dai 'Mutty' Harris   Dai 'Mutty' Harris

Derek Evans' home and garage.

On the left hand side of the photo is John Keatings home in what is left of Railway Terrace, and Scrapyard. The white house in the middle, partly hidden by the tree, is Derek Evans  home in what is left of Pit Cottages. On the extreme right is the railway crossing, where the engine was snowbound in a previous photograph. The Station was to the right of the crossing, just out of the photograph.

(Photograph courtesy of Derek Evans)

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Kinsey Farm down below.

(Photograph Courtesy of Tony Arthur)


Brynceira Farm. - Farmer Mr Kinsey.


South Tunnel Houses - Cwmbargoed

(Photograph Courtesy of Tony Arthur)


South Tunnel, Cwmbargoed - Late 1950's

Phillip Harris (Driver) and Tony Arthur (Passenger) on Uncle Gwynfedd's Scooter.

(Photograph Courtesy of Tony Arthur)


Alison Arthur on Uncle Gwynfedd's Scooter - Late 1950's

(Photograph Courtesy of Tony Arthur)


Cwmbargoed - 1973

Tony Arthur and his brother Andrew Arthur

(Photograph Courtesy of Tony Arthur)


South Tunnel Houses in 1975

(Photograph courtesy of the John Owen Collection)


The Tunnel Tavern - 1980s.

Built from the old South Tunnel Houses



Landlord of the Tunnel Tavern - Bill Gardner - Outside the Tunnel Tavern.


South Tunnel Pit. One of the Dowlais iron Company Pits.

Showing the water Balance Headgear (Centre) and the Waddle Fan (Right Hand-Side)


Cwmbargoed - Penydarren Pits

(Photograph Courtesy of Tony Arthur)


Bill's wife Bridie gave us permission to reproduce her poem 'Toil on Trecatti'




The mountain lay there, so serene,

Gazing at the sky,

 Wrapped up in a mantle green,

Watching clouds glide idly by,

But little did the mountain know,

Its peace would soon be shattered,

Or that all across that valley scene,

Its insides would be scattered.

For down the road there came four men,

Tugging on a rope,

With muscles taut, and eyes alight,

And hearts so full of hope.

These four men knew beneath that green,

There lay a wealthy soul,

Not gold, nor silver, or rich thick oil,

But diamond-like black coal!


"Set up camp" the leader cried,

As he climbed up on the peak,

"Dig it deep and Cast it high,

I want to hear those bodies creak,

To these 3 men my coal I entrust,

And you will all heed their directions,

Jones the Plant, Rees the Production,

And D.L. in charge of projection.


Soon explosions rocked that peaceful scene,

Birds on the wing would shiver,

Yellow monsters moved in from far and near,

Eucs, Graders, D8s, D9s and the 225 Caterpillar.

The Marion was Joe Mullaney's pride,

And he sent that dragline sweeping far and wide,

Digging the Upper and the Lower Four,

While Casey watched him from down below.

And under his breath said "Good Boy Joe".


Piece by piece the mountain crumbled,

As ton by ton the coal was trundled,

Up and over Cwmbargoed Common,

The sheep looked on but did not comment.


It's 25 years later, and the work still goes on,

But in a very short time all the coal will have gone,

So four men will come back and pick up their rope,

And leave that sore mountain, hearts full of fresh hope,

Of more coal around some corner,

And if their luck will hold out,

They'll find it and mine it,

Without a doubt about.



Bridie Gardener 1984



Canadian Geese visiting  Poundsarn Pond during migration in September 2003.

(Photographed by Derek Evans)


Fochriw Cutting.

(Photograph courtesy of Derek Evans.)


Cwmbargoed residents - 2006.

L-R: Phyllis Parry, Derek Evans, Mona Marshallsea, Ted Evans, Sylvia Jones.

(Photograph courtesy of Derek Evans)


During ground preparation for the 'Fros-Y-Fran Land Reclamation Project,

remains of the old colliery known as the 'Soap Pit' have been exposed - September 2007.

Click Here

To See More Of The

Ffos-Y-Fran Opencast



Cwmbargoed - Dowlais Aqueduct 1975


Cwmbargoed - Dowlais Aqueduct in a collapsed state, No date.


Cwmbargoed Railway - 2006 & 2007

(Photographs Courtesy of Tony Arthur)


Cwmbargoed Old Railway Sidings

(Photograph Courtesy of Tony Arthur)


Horse 'Cwmbargoed Gwen' - 1960s

Teddy Evans' Bungalow and Josh Powell's House can be seen in the background.

(Photograph Courtesy of Tony Arthur)


Pony Flame - 1970's

(Photograph Courtesy of Tony Arthur)


The Bungalow Bogey Road.

(Photograph Courtesy of John Jones)


Railway Houses, Cwmbargoed - August 1973.

(Photograph courtesy of The John Owen Collection)


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