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image for Lecture item typeThe Welsh Coal Trade to France by Brian Davies at Big Pit: National Coal Museum

  • Visit Wales VAQAS
  • Green Dragon Environmental Scheme

Lecture, Sat 14 Apr 2018, free entry

Big Pit: National Coal Museum

Big Pit: National Coal Museum

Big Pit: National Mining Museum of Wales


To celebrate Big Pit’s 35th Anniversary and to deliver this year’s Annual Lecture, we are honoured to welcome back Brian Davies, Big Pit’s first Research Assistant and Education Officer. The lecture will look at what Welsh coal was used for and where it was exported.

South Wales exported a larger proportion of its coal than any other British coalfield, and for three quarters of a century its main market was France. Miners’ wages went up or down depending on the selling price of coal at Cardiff docks, so when the French exports were doing well miners were well paid. This trade began the link between Cardiff and Nantes that eventually led to the twinning of the two cities. The coal export trade to France was essential for South Wales, and this is the story of how it started.

Brian first worked at Big Pit for four years from 1983 as a Research Assistant then Education Officer. During this time he established the first collections and wrote the first education pack. After a brief spell away Brian returned to Big Pit in 1986 as Curator before moving to Pontypridd Museum as Curator until 2014. Brian is now secretary of the Great Western Colliery Preservation Trust which has restored the steam winding engine at the Hetty Pit Hopkinstown and is slowly making progress with making the site fit for opening to the public.

Baby changing facilitiesCoach parties acceptedDisabled toiletsFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopOn-site cateringOn-site light refreshmentsPublic toiletsWheelchairs available

Event details

Dates Times
Sat 14 Apr 2018 13:30


Free entry

Events at this Venue





Plan route to Big Pit: National Coal Museum using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SO 237087  Lat: 51.77175 Long: -3.10718

By Public Transport:
Buses run from Newport daily (Monday to Saturday) number X30.
Bus times from Newport: 8.45 am; 10.45 am; 12.45 pm ; 2.45 pm.
Return bus, leaving Big Pit: 10.55 am; 12.55 pm; 2.55 pm; 4.55 pm.

By Road:
Follow signs from the A465 and the M4 (J26 eastbound and J25 westbound)

Parking: free

Accessible by Public Transport: 0 miles from Newport station


  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site cateringOn-site catering
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Wheelchairs availableWheelchairs available