Ebbw Vale Works Museum

Amgueddfa Gweithfeydd Glyn Ebwy

 Ebbw Vale Works Archival Trust:  Charity Commission for England and Wales Registration Number 1107515

   

A museum with an extensive archive that celebrates the history of the former steelworks, iron and coal industries, the land and the people who lived and worked in the area.

We have tens of thousands of documents, photographs, films, industrial artefacts and memorabilia dating back hundreds of years.

Whether it's information for a research project or local interest, our experienced volunteers will help you find it and discover more.


We are currently open for visits on Monday 10:30-15:30, Wednesday 10:30-15:30 and Friday 10:30-13:30.

Entrance to the museum is free. Donations are always welcome.

 

 

The Museum

  The Ebbw Vale Works Museum is the only intact steelworks archive in the UK. It is without doubt a collection of National importance and makes a vital contribution to the historical heritage of Blaenau Gwent.


The museum is located at The General Offices in Ebbw Vale, a Grade 2 Listed Building which also houses the Gwent Archives and teams from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

 

Visitors to the Ebbw Vale Works Museum will find an eclectic collection of artefacts and archived material covering the evolution and development of coal, iron and steelmaking in the area from the 1700s, through numerous stages of development, up to the works closure in 2002 and its subsequent demolition. The museum also provides access to a considerable amount of material relating to the social aspects of the lives of the community.

 

The museum is an independently Volunteer operated facility which relies on support, funding and donations from visitors and official bodies, ensuring the collection is maintained for posterity and supports the education of the public for generations to come.

Opening

The Official Opening of the Museum by Lord Brookman took place during October 1998. 

Present at the opening with Lord Brookman were:  M. McOrmish, J. Powell, D. Horne, A. Dunbar, and the curators J. Gaydon, B. Caswell and M. Warrender.


The General Offices were refurbished and officially opened by HM The Queen in 2012 and is shown here clearly enjoying her visit to the museum.


 

Photographs of the General Offices during refurbishment can been seen External link opens in new tab or windowhere 

Photographs of the General Offices after refurbishment can be seen External link opens in new tab or windowhere


More information about the General Offices can be found on their Facebook page External link opens in new tab or windowhere 


The museum would like to thank our visitors, friends and volunteers, past, present and future for their continuing support. Our best wishes and hope to see you again in the future.


 

Aims of the Museum

The Ebbw Vale Works Archival Trust was created by a Deed of Trust signed by representatives of Corus and the First Trustees on 11th November 2004. However, the collection was started by Barrie Caswell, John Gaydon and Mel Warrender, with the permission of the then Works Manager Mr Andy Dunbar, some years before the final closure of the works was announced in 2002 .


The Trust Deed's main objective is to support the education of the public by the establishment of a museum to preserve and put on public display the Ebbw Vale Works Archival Trusts Collection.

We have been very fortunate to become a Charitable Trust and have been supported by donations from visitors when visiting the museum. The committee is also thankful for the continuing support given by Tata Steel, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Welsh Assembly, CyMAL (Museums, Archives & Libraries Wales), Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales and the Association of Independent Museums.




 

 The Archive

Documents

 The archive contains a large number of legal and estate documents dating back to the 17th century, including the original agreements on farmland purchases for building the first furnaces and documents relating to the acquisition of ironworks and collieries during the periods of industrial expansion. The collection also has information relating to the mineral rights, water reserves, maps, plans, balance sheets, minutes of shareholder's Annual General Meetings and records on the development of processes and products, staffing and the changing skills of the personnel of the works.


Photographs & Films

An extensive photographic portfolio dating from the turn of the 20th century has been preserved which records fascinating changes to the area and the industrial landscape, the development of equipment and processes throughout the years, and looks at the lives of the people who lived and worked in the industry. Also, images record the works' industrial development, its growth and its demolition. We also have a library of archival film which has been largely digitised and includes operations from 1918 up to the closure in 2002.


Memorabilia

The collection holds a complete set of company magazines, periodicals, books, catalogues, and extensive newspaper cuttings. We also have an eclectic mix of furniture, paintings and industrial artefacts. On display are pieces of engineering instrumentation, equipment, tools and industrial memorabilia. In the collection we have examples of hot rolled materials, tinplate and galvanised steel with many samples of the end products for consumers and commemorative pieces from the early 1920s onwards.


With so many detailed documents, remarkable images and fascinating artefacts in the collection, you will discover more than you imagined when visiting the archive, searching our database and talking to our volunteers.


 

Rooms

The museum is based in rooms G3 G5, G6 and G7 at the General Offices. Each room contains different aspects of the archive and our volunteers will help you locate material referenced in our extensive database.


Room G5

Room G6

Room G7

Room G3

Rooms G5 and G6 are at the north end of the building, in what was the General Managers Office and the Boardroom.

We also have articles in common areas including display cabinets and wall mounted photographic displays in corridors.


 

Shop

We have a number of items for sale at the shop which all go to provide extra funding for the museum. Please contact us for more information.


Supplements

2007 - 2008 Supplements 1 and 2
2008 - 2009 Supplements 3 and 4
2010 - 2011 Supplement 5
2012 - 2013 Supplement 6
2014 - 2015 Supplement 7
2018 Supplement 8

Supplements  can be purchased for £3.00 each, 2 supplements for £5.00.


Books

"A History of Ebbw Vale" by Arthur Gray-Jones at £5.00 each.
"Industrial Archaeology in Blaenau Gwent" by John Van Laun at £5.00 each.
"An Odyssey" from Ebbw Vale to Tyneside by Raymond Hicks at £3.00 each.
"The Boy from Ebbw Vale" by Raymond Hicks at £3.00 each.
"A History of Development of the Ebbw Vale Works Railway System Link to the Docks at Newport: 1790-2020" by Mel Warrender at £6.00 each
"Memoirs of an Ironmaster: Sir Frederick Mills Bt, D.L., JP at £10.00 each.

Leaflets

"Beaufort Ironworks" by T. Eric Davies.
"Ebbw Vale & District - Immigration of Workers in the 19th and 20th Centuries" by T. Eric Davies.
"Crawshay Bailey" by T. Eric Davies.
"The Ebbw Vale County Grammar School" by T. Eric Davies.
"Ebbw Vale Works - Wrought Iron to Steel Production" by T. Eric Davies.

DVDs

"The Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal Co Ltd" at £7.50 each.
"Ebbw Vale, The Works" at £5.00 each.
"Pattern For Progress" at £5.00 each.
"The Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales" held at Ebbw Vale 1958, original archive film at £5.00 each.
"R.T.B Christmas Pantomimes & the Duffryn School Choir" at £5.00 each.
"The Works Pantomimes" plus "The Works Pantomimes Booklet" at £8.00 each.


Join Us

Friends of the Ebbw Vale Works Museum

 It was decided that one way of ensuring the means of raising monetary support for the museum was by creating a scheme called "Friends of the Ebbw Vale Works Museum" and there would be a annual subscription of £5.00 per year for those wishing to join.

 

By becoming a member of the scheme, you will receive two "Friends of the Museum" booklets yearly, which will keep you up to date with what is happening within the museum as well as a new article on a historical subject about the works.

 

To help generate funds the museum has also introduced "The Friends of the Museum Newsletter" published internally and available for a nominal sum.

All contributions go towards the maintenance and upkeep of the facility during these difficult financial times, thereby keeping the museum open to the general public.


To become a Friend of the Museum, please contact us on 01495 350941


Volunteers

The museum's volunteers without whom the Museum would not be open for the general public, dedicate much of their time to helping visitors research information and artefacts. The museum would like to thank them for their time and enthusiasm, ensuing the archive remains active and accessible. The volunteers in turn would like to thank all past and future visitors for their support and continuing interest.


Whether you worked in the steelworks, surrounding industries, live locally and have a passion for supporting the community, or just want to help out and would like to become a volunteer, give us a call and arrange to pop in and have a chat.


 

Contact Us

Please contact us using the form below or ring us on 01495 350941 and we will be happy to help.


Visit Us

 Visiting the museum is currently by appointment only on Monday 10:30-15:30, Wednesday 10:30-15:30 and Friday 10:30-13:30.

 Unfortunately we are closed on weekends and bank holidays.

 To make an appointment please telephone the museum on 01495 350941


By Car:

Travelling from the West on the A465 at the Ebbw Vale roundabout take the 3rd exit the A4046 (College Road). Follow the signs "The Works"

Travelling from the East on the A465 at the Ebbw Vale roundabout take the 1st exit the A4046 (College Road). Follow the signs "The Works"

 

At the next roundabout take the 1st exit continuing on the A4046.

At the next roundabout take the 1st exit continuing on the A4046.

At the traffic lights carry straight on taking the B4485 (Steelworks Road).

At the next roundabout after the stone arched bridge take the 1st exit continuing on the B4485 for about 400 yards and you will reach the General Offices on your left-hand side.

 

Travelling from the South on the A4046 carry straight on pass the Ambala Hotel, at the next roundabout take the second exit, travel along this road for 1/2 mile at the next round about carry straight on for about 1mile and you will reach the General Offices on your left.

 

 The free car parks are to the south and east of the building.

  

By Train:

There is a regular train service between Cardiff General Station and Ebbw Vale Town Station which terminates at the Free Car Park at south end of the General Office.

During weekdays the trains leave Cardiff General hourly at 35 minutes past the hour and return from Ebbw Vale Town hourly at 37 minutes past the hour.

The train picks up and drops off at Cardiff General, Pye Corner, Rogerstone, Risca & Pontymister, Crosskeys, Newbridge, Llanhilleth, Ebbw Vale Parkway and Ebbw Vale Town.