the market internal(eg shipbuilding) and external (The Empire) Why did the coal and iron/steel industry grow in the nineteenth and early twentieth century? available and accessible raw materials available workforce
Coal has been mined in Britain since the Middle Ages, but before the 19th century mines were shallow and very small. This changed dramatically in the 19th century when Britain led the world in coal production. The coal industry Coal was needed in huge quantities to fuel the new steam engines which were powering machinery in factories, steam trains and ships, as well as heating people’s homes.
Machinery in early factories was powered by water wheels. Waterwheels were replaced by steam engines. These were far more powerful and could run more, heavier duty machines. Steam engines were used to operate lifts, to lower and raise men into the pit and lift the coal to the surface. Steam powered machines in the iron industry, such as the steam hammer, could shape huge pieces of iron for making machines, girders, ships or railway tracks.
coalfield Why did the coal industry prosper in the Valleys of South Wales? iron ore coalfield
Why did the coal industry prosper in the Valleys?
Iron making After 1860, steel production began to replace iron production. Steel was less brittle than iron.
Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr Tydfil was the centre of the iron industry. Grassed-over scarred hillsides (previous iron ore workings) near Merthyr Tydfil. Steel, which was more malleable and stronger than iron, eventually replaced iron as the main metal export.
iron ore River Tawe River Rhondda River Ebbw Bristol Channel coalfield Limestone from the Brecon Beacons Export of coal and steel from the port of Cardiff Why did the iron/steel industry prosper in the Valleys?
This industrial growth attracted immigrants looking for work. Terraced housing was the most efficient way to house people. The two narrow Rhondda Valleys were home to 170,000 by the 1920s.
Coal was mined in the Valleys of the Cynon, the Taff, the Ely and the Rhondda and then taken by train to the docks of Cardiff and Barry where it was exported. Coal production started in the Valleys in the 1840s and peaked at a tonnage of 57 million in 1913. Rhondda alone had 53 working collieries in the space of 16 miles. However, by 1960 production had declined and many pits closed over the next two decades. Maerdy, by 1985 the last pit in the Rhondda, finally closed in December 1990.
Why did the coal industry decline? Market declined The Empire declined and other forms of energy replaced coal. Raw material exhausted Only thin seams and inaccessible seams in South Wales. Competition from abroad Why do you think the iron and steel industry also declined in the area?
The decline of the market. High quality coal and iron ore became exhausted. Cheaper coal and iron ore could be imported from aboard. Small iron and steel works were inefficient especially since the processes of smelting and rolling were often located in separate plants. This meant high transport costs. Why did the iron and steel industry decline in the Valleys? Why were the small iron and steel works ‘inefficient’?
Molten STEEL oxygen rolling mill steel bars steel sheets steel pipes oxygen reduces the carbon content in the iron Blast Furnace Pig iron (coke, limestone, iron ore) It was more efficient for the steelworks to be located on the coast. These steelworks, such as Port Talbot, are called ‘integrated’ steelworks because all stages of manufacture take place on one site. Integrated steelworks
What was the impact of this industrial decline on the Valleys?
33% people in the Valleys have no qualifications compared to less than 25% for Wales. How are these statements related to industrial decline in the Valleys? Life expectancy in the Valleys area is amongst the worst in Europe. There is some evidence of water pollution such as the discharge of polluted water from abandoned mines.
Circle of Decline High unemployment People have more time and less money and fewer opportunities. Less taxes and business rates are paid to the local council. The local council invests less in housing, roads and education. Young people leave school with fewer qualifications. Petty crime often increases. Coal mines and iron and steel plants close. People have less money to spend on goods and services.
Lewis Merthyr Colliery, closed in 1983, now the Rhondda Heritage Park. The last pit was closed in the Rhondda in December 1990. New and remaining Industry
Tower Colliery in Hirwaun Tower Colliery is owned and run by the miners themselves and is the last deep mine in Wales.
Ebbw Vale Ebbw Vale had connections with the steel industry until recently. Corus had a galvanising plant and a tin plate plant located here. However, these plants closed in 2002. A new rail link from Ebbw Vale to Cardiff and Newport has been proposed to improve the accessibility of the area and to help workers commute to new jobs on the coast.
Ebbw Vale – Festival Park Shopping The WDA (Welsh Development Agency), local authorities and the private sector spent £60 million on converting the area from a wasteland of spoil heaps into the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival. Festival Park Factory Shopping Village is now located on this site.
Regional assistance in the Valleys WDA (Welsh Development Agency) UK Government European Regional Development Fund The Valleys are a Development Area. This means that industries are encouraged to the area by offering them incentives such as grants, reduced business rates, planning permission and premises. Sources of Regional Assistance
Who gains from regional assistance? Rhondda gains new jobs Fenner is closing its Hull and Peterborough factories to move its production to Maerdy. The company has been attracted to the Rhondda by £12 million in government grants. The factory is a godsend. Maerdy’s colliery closed in 1990 putting 400 out of work and male unemployment stands at 25%. The new factory will be built on this site. Eventually, the factory, which makes mouldings for the car industry, will employ 500 people. 1995 Why did Fenner move its production to Maerdy? Who loses and who benefits from Fenner’s decision?
Summary In the nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth century, the coal and iron and steel industries dominated the landscape of the _______ of South Wales. These industries prospered due to the accessibility of raw materials and due to the fact that Britain had an _______ which provided a ready market. These industries declined in the latter half of the twentieth century because Britain lost its Empire, the raw materials became exhausted and there was competition from abroad. In addition, coal is no longer the major source of _______ in Britain. Coal is an example of a _______ industry. Iron and steel is an example of a _______ industry. The raw materials that make iron are iron ore, _______ and _______. Steel production increased because it is stronger and less _______ than iron. primary tertiary secondary fuel malleable Empire coal limestone coast Valleys steel brittle