Changes under Nationalisation

By Ivor Davies

My father worked as a collier in Bargoed Colliery under the Powell Duffryn Company. One day he injured his finger so badly that he had difficulty in working. His doctor told him not to work so he went to the Powell Duffryn Company compensation doctor and was put on compensation pay.

Unfortunately his finger became gangrenous and had to be amputated. When it had healed he returned to work and was put on 'light employment', pushing drams of coal around on pit bottom. After some weeks it was decided to pay him a lump sum of £4 for the loss of his finger - and give him the sack! He couldn't work on the coal face and they were overmanned on pit bottom - so he had to go.

Things changed under the National Coal Board. I was working in Windsor Colliery and I remember the storeman telling the engineer 'Your day is over. The people own the pits now and there won't be the drive to make money for the shareholders'.

That was good but it went from one extreme to the other, you used to have an engineer in Windsor who would ask every day what the cost per tonne of coal was from the washery and would play hell if it had gone up a penny or whatever. Under the Coal Board, you didn't have the same pressure on the workmen to wworry about those pennies.

This story was first published in The National Coal Museum's publication Glo / Coal.

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.