Peerless Powell Duffryn of the South Wales Coalfield by Leslie M. Shore... - The Vale of Rheidol Railway
The Vale of Rheidol Railway

Peerless Powell Duffryn of the South Wales Coalfield by Leslie M. Shore...

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Powell Duffryn’s growth as Britain’s foremost coal company is a remarkable aspect of the nation’s mining heritage. After 1935, Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries employed over 30,000 miners, operated around sixty collieries, and produced nearly forty per cent of the South Wales Coalfield’s output. Sir George Elliot founded Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company in 1864 by raising capital to buy steam coal collieries from the sons of Thomas Powell. PD then mined coal that was the first choice in quality for fuelling steam ships. Sir George ran the company in a style that gave rise to controversy amongst the company’s shareholders. Providently, in 1883 Elliot put Edmund Mills Hann, a County Durham mining engineer, in charge of the company’s collieries. Hann helped steer the company away from the edge of bankruptcy by harnessing engineering to ensure that the company’s collieries in the Cynon and Rhymney Valleys became models of efficiency. Progress was impeded at times by industrial conflict and natural disasters. Nevertheless, by 1914, PD was a byword for Welsh steam coal around the globe. Then, in 1935, Edmund Lawrence Hann led the merger of PD with Welsh Associated Collieries to create the most powerful company in British coal mining.Leslie Shore offers this first full history about Powell Duffryn as a coal company. His previous publication, Vickers’ Master Shipbuilder: Sir Leonard Redshaw, was highly acclaimed, in ship and marine engineering magazines, as a book to ‘treasure’. 

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