A Hall For All: Connecting Community through the History of Tylorstown Welfare Hall
Tylorstown Welfare Hall and Institute is a multi-functional building with a rich and varied history. Built in 1933, it is the last remaining Miners' Welfare Hall in the Rhondda Fach and very much still at the heart of the community, offering a range of activities, events and opportunities for local people, and is home to the Pendyrus Male Voice Choir.
The Hall was closed for a year in 2019 following an internal flood, and was only open for one month in 2020 before access was restricted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period, it has become clear that the hall plays an important role in the community.
Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund's 15-Minute Heritage Scheme, staff and volunteers from the Hall have been working with staff from the Richard Burton Archives and South Wales Miners' Library at Swansea University on a project to capture memories - through oral history and photographs - about the Welfare Hall and Institute, and show case the outputs through an online exhibition.
Tylorstown is named after Alfred Tylor, from London, who purchased the mineral rights of Pendyrus farm in 1872 and shortly after, sunk the Pendyrus Colliery. This led to the growth of the village and by 1881, Pendyrus Colliery employed 800 men. The colliery was purchased by David Davis & Sons in 1894, later coming under the ownership of Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company. On 28 January 1896, an explosion in the colliery killed 57 men. A report into the cause of the explosion, conducted by Prof Haldane, was instrumental in the introduction of canaries to detect the presence of carbon monoxide in mines. The last pit in Tylorstown closed in 1960.
The Hall is located on East Road in Tylorstown (Welsh: Pendyrus) in the Rhondda Valley.