Tower Colliery was the longest -operated coal mine in the UK, possibly the world, and is the last remaining coal mine of its kind in South Wales. Tower Colliery is located north of the town of Aberdare in the Cynon Valley.
History of the colliery
The coal mining in Tower Colliery began in 1805 and went uninterrupted until 1994. 1994, the mine was initially closed for economic reasons by the then Conservative British government.
Later in 1994 many of the former employees joined under the leadership of the NUM industry Competent Tyrone O'Sullivan together to form a cooperative to buy the mine. The mining engineer Philip Weekes was first adviser to the cooperative and later elected as President of Goitre Tower Anthracite, the newly established operating company.
On 2 January 1995, the mine went into operation again. In the following years, the cooperative, contrary to the predictions generated profits and hired new employees. The gains were issued, among others, for the improvement of working conditions and social projects, the wage rose above the average wage for miners. Tower Colliery until its closure in 2008 was one of the largest employers in the region Cynon Valley.
Closure and future plans
After exhaustion of coal reserves, the mine was officially closed on 25 January 2008. A portion of the workforce has been adopted by other collieries in South Wales; the grounds of the Tower Colliery should - be used in future as a training center for miners, inspectors and similarly stored professions - among others.