Cymraeg

The Colliery photographs of John Cornwell

John Cornwell was a freelance photographer who took many photographs of collieries, mostly in south Wales and the English Midlands, both underground and on the surface, during the 1970s and early 1980s. He perfected a method of underground photography using the standard colliery lighting and was able to photograph coal faces, roadways, shafts and equipment with amazing clarity. In addition to photographing working mines he also recorded abandoned mine workings, above and below ground.

John Cornwell was also well respected in the broader field of industrial archaeology. He published a number of books on Welsh and English collieries.

The copyright of his south Wales images is now owned by National Museum Wales.

Comments(69)

Mark Williamsg
19 April 2022, 12:28
Great photos love looking back I worked at oakdale and taff merthyr have you any photos I could get. Regards mark
Lewis Powell
3 March 2022, 13:26
Loved the photos I’m trying to get photos of Yorkshire pits such as Middleton broom loft house rothwell and alerton bye water as these are the pits I worked at from 1965 to 1985 Lewis Powell
Lewis Powell
3 March 2022, 13:26
Loved the photos I’m trying to get photos of Yorkshire pits such as Middleton broom loft house rothwell and alerton bye water as these are the pits I worked at from 1965 to 1985 Lewis Powell
Ceri Thompson Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales Staff
1 February 2022, 15:05

Dear Lewis Powell

I’m afraid that we only collect images of Welsh collieries, it might be worth contacting the National Coal Mining Museum for England, Caphouse Colliery, Wakefield to see what they have in their collections.

Best wishes

Ceri Thompson, Curator, Big Pit: National Coal Museum

Lewis Powell
31 January 2022, 18:53
Any photos of Middleton broom rothwell collerley loft house colleriey and alerton by water colleriey please
John Steven
17 January 2022, 20:32
What a stunning collection of photographs which I’m enjoying looking through with great interest.
Ceri Thompson, Curator of Coal Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales Staff
2 March 2021, 10:31

Dear Mr Wray

I don’t think that the compensation was for the same accident.

Another John Lewis was killed on 16th January 1903 under a fall of coal at Castle Pit which was owned by the Plymouth Company. The compensation probably refers to this incident.

If I can be of any further help, please let me know.

Best wishes

Ceri

Philip Wray
26 February 2021, 14:27
On 10 June 1900 John Lewis of 30 Bridge Street Troedyrhiw Merthyr was killed while working at the Plymouth Colliery Level according to a news report.
There was an inquest during which it was stated that he was working at the Clynmill Coal Level belonging to the Plymouth Company.
On 3 April 1903 an Ann Lewis (John's widow was named, Ann) and her children received a compensation award of £300 from Messrs Crawshay Brothers Cynfarthfa Ltd following the death of her husband.

I'd be grateful for your observations, please, about 1) whether this payment was for John's accident (I can't tie Clynmill to the Crawshays) and 2) in exactly which colliery did the accident occur. An OS map dated shows the Clyn mil Pits levels 1 and 2 being disused.
David Lee
13 December 2020, 12:10
I worked in the mining industry in North Derbyshire all my working life, and find the photos and comments very interesting. A question for Nia Evans. Were the memories of Faith Anderson's Grand Father ever made public ? I would be extremely interested to read them if possible.
Alcwyn Elliott
30 October 2020, 16:22
Great photographs, I have worked at many of these mines in South wales working on installing training and repairing the AB shearers that cut the coal on the Longwall. Some of these mines were Big Pit, Marine Lady Windsor Bargoed Britannia Bedwas Six Bells, Nantgarw, Merthyr Vale Tafff Merthyr, the list goes on.
I started at Bargoed Pit and moved on from there to Anderson Mavor (Anderson Boyes eventually Anderson Strathclyde)
Ystrad Mynach College gave me the education I needed for my career.
Now retired with 45 years in coal mines.
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