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Remains of Winding Gear


The picture shows the demolition of Wyndham Colliery pit head winding gear in the Ogmore Valley. The pit was working for 116 years and closed in 1984.

The remains still visible today are that of the winding gear for the Catherine Shaft of the 2nd Rhondda Main Colliery, sunk in 1909 by the Lewis Merthyr Combine, who built the first houses to the South to house the workers for the colliery which was then named “Lewistown” after the Lewis Merthyr Combine owner, Sir William Lewis, Baron of Senghenydd.

During its working life at least eleven men and boys were killed in accidents at the 2nd Rhondda Main Colliery. Two sinkers William Richards aged 44 years and Daniel John aged 38 years were killed during the shaft sinking operations on the 15th August 1910 and a third sinker, Richard Evans aged 31 years was killed on the 18th May 1912. The youngest boy to lose his life at Rhondda Main was David John Brooks aged 13 years who was killed instantly by being caught in a creeper at the surface taking empty trams back up to the top of the Anne shaft from the screens.

The surface lands, derelict buildings and plant of Rhondda Main Colliery were purchased by Cory Brothers Company Ltd. in 1924.They were bought by the Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries Ltd. in 1942 and passed into the ownership of the National Coal Board under the provisions of the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act of 1946. In 1950 the National Coal Board erected a modern Central Coal Washery plant to process the coal produced by the Ogmore Valley collieries and removed much of the previous buildings and remains of the 2nd Rhondda Main Colliery, however they left the base and part of the support legs for the Catherine Shaft winding gear in situ.

Remains of 2nd Rhondda Main Colliery 1935-40 and the site of the Ogmore Valley Central Washery 1955-86
All that remains of the winding gear for the Catherine Pit

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