The 1960s saw the development of new 'super pits' at Abernant, Brynlliw and Cynheidre Collieries as well as the reorganisation of existing collieries such as Coegnant, Deep Navigation and Merthyr Vale.
The decade also saw all British mineworkers brought onto the same pay rate. Both management and trade unions broadly welcomed this agreement, although many men saw a substantial fall in their incomes.
The Agreement forged a greater sense of unity between UK coalfields, which paved the way for the national strikes of 1972 and 1974, which were fought over wages, the latter dispute bringing about the fall of the Conservative government.
The final years
By the early 1980s the British mining industry had become one of the safest and most efficient in Europe. However, a new Conservative government was in place and a new round of pit closures announced. The Welsh coalfields were especially vulnerable due to the age of the collieries and the difficult geology.
Although closures had been reluctantly accepted in the past, the lack of alternative employment led to calls for industrial action. The last great miners' strike began in March 1984 and lasted a year. The defeat of the miners paved the way for the final destruction of the Welsh coal industry.
The next ten years saw the end of coal as a nationalised industry. In 1994, Tower Colliery, the last remaining deep coal mine in Wales was closed by the NBC, (renamed British Coal). However, convinced that the mine was still economical, 239 miners bought the colliery with their own redundancy money and the mine remained operational until it's final closure on 25th January 2008, bringing to an end 200 years of deep coal mining in south Wales.
This article forms part of a booklet in the series 'Glo'produced by Big Pit: National Mining Museum. Download here