Mynydd & Môr Books

Published September 2020

Morfa Colliery, Port Talbot, was operational between 1849 and 1913 and at its peak was one of the largest collieries in South Wales with around 800 miners working six to seven hundred tons of coal a day.  These years were punctuated by cruel multiple losses of life in the explosions of 1858, 1863, 1870 and 1890, as well as individual deaths on a day to day basis. Whilst it is true that no single disaster occurred to compare to the heart and soul-breaking tragedy at Senghenydd in 1913 that killed 439 miners and one rescuer, Morfa’s record is still a shocking one. The repeated misery, grief and hardship, experienced by the people in the local community of Taibach over the decades is probably unparalleled in the history of any mining community. (See foot of page for list of chapters.)

This wonderful book is a tribute to the courage and compassion of those who toiled for a better life, and who built the foundations upon which our community and country now stand.

Stephen Kinnock
Member of Parliament for Aberavon
Shadow Minister for Asia and the Pacific


1. PORT TALBOT delivery/collection and CASH payment only
from Allen Blethyn

Dale's Traditional Barber Shop, 109-111 Station Road, Port Talbot SA13 1LZ
during normal opening hours

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Remembering Morfa: Coal, Catastrophe & Courage by Allen Blethyn & Lynne Rees
Published by Mynydd & Môr, Offham, Kent ME19 5PH (2020) 
pp.168, ISBN 978-1-5272-6752-7  

List of Chapters

Foreword                                 Stephen Kinnock MP              

The Morfa                               Allen Blethyn                          

Secrets                                     Lynne Rees                           

Hermits & Monks                                                                 

Coal & Copper                                                                                

Morfa Coal                                                                       

The Cost of Coal: 1849 - 1859                                                   

Morfa People: Mary Francis                                                     

The Cost of Coal: 1860 - 1869                                                                   

The Cost of Coal: The Cornish Explosion 1870                                   

Morfa People: The Coles                                                   

The Cost of Coal: 1871 - 1889                                                         

The Cruel Sea                                                                     

The Cost of Coal: The Morfa Colliery Disaster 1890              

Bringing Up the Bodies: 1890 - 1894                                   

Morfa People: William Barrass                                                       

Morfa People: “Born a Mandry, Buried a Mainwaring”                                 

Towards the End: 1895 - 1913                                                         

Morfa People: Agents & Managers                                          

Morfa’s Horses                                                                                   

Morfa 1911                                                                                 

Morfa People: The Last Widow                                                           

Morfa People: The Last Survivor                                             

Morfa Memorials 1990                                                                      

Appendix 1:     Lives Lost 1850 Explosion                         

Appendix 2:     Lives Lost 1863 Explosion                           

Appendix 3:     Lives Lost 1870 Explosion                             

Appendix 4:     Lives Lost 1890 Explosion                              

Appendix 5:     All Other Lives Lost at Morfa 1849 - 1913