Cardonnel Tinplate Works

Cardonnel Tinplate Works at Skewen opened in 1891

List of Historic Places – Recorded name: Cardonnel Tin Plate Works. 1888-1913 from the National Library of Scotland. Map

Boiler stack of former Cardonnel Tinplate Works
Boiler stack of former Cardonnel Tinplate Works. 2021

Boiler stack and Building Remains of former Cardonnel Tinplate Works.
A Grade II Listed Building in Coedffranc (Coed-ffranc), Neath Port Talbot.

Cardonnel Tinplate Works was opened in 1891.
Cardonnel Tinplate Works behind the BP Oil Refinery Pump Station – Tennant Canal at Cwrt Yr Bettws Bridge. Picture: 1950’s – Old Neath & District in Pictures Vol 4 by Neath Antiquarian Society

April 4, 1891 South Wales Echo – Opening of a New Tinplate Works. The Cardonnel Tin-Plate Works were formally opened on Thursday, under circumstances with augur well for the success of the undertaking. Not withstanding the unpropitious weather, a large company assembled to witness the interesting ceremony. The works are built on the most approved principles. At present there are only two mills, but the company proposes to considerably enlarge the works, and ere long hope to have eight mills in full swing. The engine, which is by Westray, Copeland, and Co. Limited, is of 400-horse power, of exceptionally strong make, and governed by Joy’s automatic valve gearing. The works are most favourably situated on what is known as the Burrows, within five miles of the East Dock, Swansea. They directly abut on the Great Western Low Level Railway on the one side, and on the Tennant Canal on the other, thereby direct access to the Prince of Wales Dock by rail and water. We understand the company will not use flux of any kind, but intend to turn out plates of the very best heavily-coated quality. The works already afford employment to a number of hands, and in due course the number will be greatly augmented. The following are the names of the gentlemen comprising the company:-Dr T. P. Whittington (chairman), Mr T. Leyson (Penyscynnor), Mr W. Rosser (Brynamlwg), Mr Wm. Davies (Plasyfelin, Glynneath), and Mr J. H. Strick, Sea View, Skewen, all of whom are actively identified with various industries in the district. The works will be under the management of Mr Strick, a gentleman of great practical experience in the tin-plate trade. South Wales Echo. National Library of Wales Archive

Cardonnel Tinplate Workers – Picture: Skewen and District. A History by John Bailey and Emyr Gough.

January 03 1914 Llais Llafur (Labour voice) – When Doctors Disagree Mr Howel Cuthbertson, coroner, opened an inquiry at Skewen on Tuesday on Thomas Richards, a middle-aged blacksmith, of Bosworth Road, Skewen, who was injured at the Cardonnel Tin-plate works in October last, and who died on Friday. An injury to the left shoulder was due to the penetration of a piece of steel, which was removed later by Dr.D.L.Jones. The evidence of Dr Jones and that of Dr. Prell as to the cause of death did not agree and the coroner ordered a post-mortem examination. Llais Llafur(Labour voice). National Library of Wales. Archive

Cardonnel Tinplate Works opened in 1891 – 1934. The premises were requisitioned by the Ministry of Supply in 1942 and the buildings were offered for sale in 1948. Info by British Listed Buildings. Old Neath & District in Pictures Vol 1 by Neath Antiquarian Society

March 01, 1895 The South Wales Daily Post – Killed on the Line at Skewen. The Inquest. Mr Coroner Cuthbertson held an inquest on Thursday Morning on the body of Thomas Evans aged 64, employed as a night watchman at Cardonnel Tin-plate Works, was found dead on the line on Wednesday. The deceased was walking on the down line (Low Level, G,W,R,) and was, no doubt killed instantly. It is said that he was going home to prepare breakfast for his sons. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned. It was earlier reported that beside the body of deceased was found the body of his dog, which had apparently been ran over by the train. Evans leaves a widow and several grown-up children. The South Wales Daily Post. National Library of Wales Archive

Cardonnel Tinplate Works, Skewen, opened April 1891.

May 28, 1909 The Cambrian – Death of Mr Rosser, Cilfrew. Director of Cardonnel Tin-Plate Works. Mr. WM. Rosser, of Brynamlog, Cilfrew, near Neath, died with tragic suddenness on Monday night. Mr. Rosser was about 60 years of age, and appeared in his usual health when he left his residence, about nine o’clock on Monday evening, to visit a man named Davies, living in a cottage 150 yards away. Whilst talking, Mr Rosser, who was sitting on a chair, suddenly threw back his head and expired. Dr. Jeeves, assitant to Dr. Whittinghton, the family medical attendant, was quickly on the spot, but life was extinct. Mr. Rosser leaves a widow and several grown-up children. He was one of the managing directors of the Cardonnel Tin-plate Works, and was well-known in comerial circles in South Wales. The Cambrian. The National Library of Wales. Archive

August 17, 1898 –The apocalyptic end to the heatwave of 1898 when day turned to night and it rained sand. The sky turned black, blue-violet lightning brought chimneys down on pedestrians and set trousers on fire, and hens roosted in the daytime. One flash of lightning struck the chimney stack at the Cardonnel tinplate works in Skewen , sending it crashing to the ground – several workers were said to have had a narrow escape. Walesonline

November 19, 1940 – Sir W. Jenkins asked the Minister of Supply in Parliament on ‘whether he is aware that the Cardonnel Tinplate Works, Skewen, have been idle for over three months, and no suggestion of a restart and that there is a large number of skilled men in this area unemployed; and why essential works are allowed to stay idle with skilled workers waiting to meet the needs of the country? In reply Mr. Harold Macmillan answered that supplies of steel are not sufficient to keep all tinplate works running to full capacity, and I am afraid that the works at Cardonnel could only be reopened at the expense of employment elsewhere. Cardonnel Tinplate Works closed in 1940. Hansard UK Gov.

April 27, 1918 Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder Mr and Mrs. Philip Jones, New Road, Skewen were informed on Wednesday, in a sympathetic letter from his Major that their son, Lce-cpl. Emrys Jones, had been killed on the 19th April. De-ceased was 21 years of age, and prior to volunteering in November, 1915, was employed at the Cardonnel Tinplate Works, Skewen. Comment: A true hero considering the British Government never introduced conscription until March 1916 because voluntary enlistment could no longer meet the army’s need for recruits. Emrys Jones, would have probably been exempted from the draft anyway, due to his occupation where many classes of industrial worker were not required to join. But he chose to defend and die for his country. Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder. National Library of Wales. Archive