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The Marine Colliery
Marine Colliery Pumping Engine
On the site of the former Marine Colliery at the southern end of Cwm is a large steam-pumping engine built by Hathorn Davey of Leeds in 1893 and formerly used at the colliery. It was installed there when the colliery was completed, in a chamber beneath the winding engine on the downcast shaft, the pump has now been relocated near the by-pass road roundabout.
The engine could deal with 50,000 gallons of water per hour when working at seven strokes per minute. It has a 68-inch low-pressure cylinder with a 10 feet stroke and engine cost £4,630 to install. The engine was rescued during site clearance operations and relocated to one side of a new car park, set on a concrete plinth. It is built entirely of cast iron, and has been thoroughly painted since re-erection. The engine is a scheduled ancient monument regarded as of national importance as a rare colliery-pumping engine surviving intact from the late 19th century.
On the 1st of March 1927 an underground gas and coal dust explosion killed 52 men. The death toll would have been many more if it wasn't for the quick thinking of the manager Mr. Edward Gay, who on his arrival at the mine ordered the ventilation fan to be slowed down so that it wouldn't fan the flames of any fires burning below. It turn out that his actions saved the lives of the men still alive in the district where the explosion occurred.
At this time there were 1400 men employed at the colliery but fortunately when the explosion occurred only the night shift were working underground.
By 1935 the ownership of the colliery change hands to Partridge, Jones & John Paton Ltd. who worked the colliery until Nationalisation in 1947, when there were 1,540 men employed.
During the 1970's it became integrated with Six Bells colliery with all the coal being handled at the Marine.
In 1982, £2.5 million was spent on a new skip winding system, also a new coal handling plant was installed on the surface.The Marine was the last deep mine to work in the Ebbw valleys, it closed March 1989.
The sinking of the Marine Colliery began in 1889 by the Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal Company Ltd. The downcast shaft being 418 yards deep and the up-cast 414 yards.The first coal was produced in 1893.
From the Inspector of Mines list 1896, there were 833 men employed producing from the Old coal, Three quarters, Big and Elled seams.
In 1913 there were 2,407 men employed.
From a report 1923, there were 944 men working at Marine No. 1, producing from the Old Coal seam and there were 1,097 employed at No. 2 working the Elled, Big Vein and Three Quarters seams.
Marine Colliery Photographs