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British Industrial History

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Aberdulais Tinplate Co

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JD Aberdulais 2015 5.jpg

of Aberdulais, near Neath, Glamorgan, Wales

c.1830 Tinplate manufacture began at Aberdulais - the site had previously been used for copper smelting, for a corn mill, and then for ironworking, all powered by the Aberdulais Falls.

The Ynys-y-gerwyn rolling and tin mills were located to the east of Aberdulais and close to the River Neath.

However: 'WELSH TIN-PLATE WORKS. I notice in to-day's "Wales Day by Day" a paragraph asking which is the oldest tin-plate works in South Wales, mention being made of Kidwelly as being built in 1801. The Aberdulais Tin-plate Works (near Neath) were in full swing in 1790, and for how long before that I do not know. There was also at Aberdulais another tin-plate works, even older, I believe, and which has been dismantled for many years. This was the Ynisygerwn [Ynysygerwn] Works, above Aberdulais. Through what period they were active I do not know, though I think Sir John Llewelyn could give information on this point.— I am, &c., G. CONWAY WILLIAMS, The Elms, Briton Ferry, April 27.'[1]

c.1890 the upper works were abandoned

1914 Advert: 'ABERDULAIS, NEAR NEATH.
SALE OF LEASEHOLD TIN-PLATE WORKS, FIXED AND LOOSE PLANT, MATERIALS, AND STOCKS
MESSRS. W. HARRY REES and SON (F.A.I.) are instructed by the Liquidator of Messrs. Joshua Williams and Co., Limited (in Voluntary Liquidation), to SELL by AUCTION, at the Castle Hotel, Neath, on WEDNESDAY, the 8th April, 1914, at Four p.m.,
the ABERDULAIS TIN-PLATE WORKS, with the FIXED and LOOSE PLANT and STOCKS, together with the 19 COTTAGES, situate in Queen's-square, Aberdulais, and MEADOW on the RIVERSIDE, comprising about 5 acres, held under lease for 43 years from 25th December, 1895, at annual ground rent, including water rights, of £250.
The Works consist of stone and brick buildings, and include boiler-house, containing 2 Lancashire boilers and one Stirling boiler and Green’s patent economiser; mills, fitted with 6 mills, driven by Galloway and Waddell engines; cold roll room, fitted with 9 pairs cold rolls, driven by vertical tandem engine, with 2 pumps; tinhouse, fitted with 4 tinning sets, dusting and branning machines; annealing, pickling department, with Gray's pickling machine and 3 furnaces, assorting rooms, carpenters’, blacksmiths’, and fitting shops, copperas shed, scruff-house, weighbridge office, with weighing machine, store houses, bar-cutting shed, principal and general offices, house, with dynamo and engine.
The Tramway laid throughout the Works connect same with the Works Siding the G.W.R.
The Water Supply is ample and free, secured by lease end is obtained from the Neath Canal and River Neath.
The Loose Plant and Effects will be included in the Sale, and must be taken at the price stated in the Conditions of Sale, and the Unsold Stock of Black-plates and Tin-plates taken at a Valuation.
Descriptive Particulars and Conditions of Sale apply to the Auctioneers at their offices at Neath and Port Talbot; or to Messrs. E. P. Morgan and Co., Solicitors.'[2]

1937 British Industries Fair Advert for Welsh Tinplate Works. As part of Richard Thomas and Co. (Engineering/Metals/Quarry, Roads and Mining/Transport Section - Stand No. D.328).

1937 British Industries Fair Advert pp. 666 and 667; and p325

1939 The company was wound up[3] at the same place and using the same liquidator as several other Richard Thomas and Co subsidiaries. The lower works were abandoned.

The visible remains, which include a reconstructed water wheel, belong to the tinplate period. Also include an impressive masonry header tank (the 'bastion'), the foundations of the adjoining rolling-mills, various walls and an eighteen metre high chimney. The site is in the care of the National Trust. See photo.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Western Mail, 1 May 1916
  2. Western Mail, 4 April 1914
  3. The London Gazette 4 April 1939
  • [1] Coflein - Aberdulais