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Wimpey, Bryn Pica, O.C.C.S.


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Mark Williams
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Wimpey, Bryn Pica, O.C.C.S.

Post #1 by Mark Williams » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:11 am

Hello Everyone,
This was a long running open cast coal site,from the 50s to the mid 1980s,although,there was different contracts awarded to Wimpey over the complete time of the site,which also included a site to Wimpey on the boundry,called Bryn Dafaid,in the early 70s.We will talk about this later in the story.
I will tell my story,from the early 70s up to 1983.
My father was a chargehand fitter over the Eucs on this site for around 5 years,in the late 70s.
The site was above the town of Aberdare,South Wales & could clearly be seen when doing your shopping on the weekend.The over- burden tip was massive,from the long time duration of the job & went all the way up the valley,to the small village of Llwdcoed.
There was a new contract awarded to wimpey in the early 70s,to carry on from the existing one & new plant was ordered.
The navvys on site were a new Marion 195M dragline,a used RB-150 shovel & a used Lima-2400 shovel.There was 11 brand new Wimpey orange Terex R50 dump trucks,2 x Caterpillar D8H dozers & an Aveling Barford super 500 grader.You could hear the roar of the V6 V71 Detroit Diesel down town,especially when the exhaust was blowing.
The coaling machines were 2 x RB 38 shovels & 2 x Mustang hydraulic backhoes.The coal lorries were Wimpeys own fleet of Leyland Bisons.The coal was transported by road from the Llwydcoed top entrance of the site,up to the Baverstocks hotel & down the A465 heads of the valleys road to the Onllwyn washery.
Wimpey carried out its own drilling & blasting on site.Wimpey operated a few BE 40R Blasthole drills,but I don,t think they were used on this site.
Wimpey had its own workshops,which were green quansit style huts,where there was a black gang,for the navvys & tracked machines.A Euc shop & a transport shop.I can remember the transport shop & have always been impressed,that when one of the coal lorries,for instance was worn out,the fitters would strip that lorry down to the bare chassis & it would be over- hauled,engine,gearbox & diffs,Painted & new tires fitted.
I can remember one summers night I was sitting on the side of the tip,on the opposite side of the site near Abernant & one of the Euc drivers shouted to me to jump the fence & come in for a ride with him.We were reversing to tip off & it was the days when tip men were employed.I was watching out of the back window as we tipped & could not believe the dip @ the end of the tip which the back wheels were in.It was very scary.The Cat D8H,would only have to push the tip over,about once every hour,because of the skill of the tip man.
One of my uncles was a banksman on the RB 38 coal shovels & he likes his pint of beer.Well you can imagine his upset on night-shift, especially. On a Friday night as a treat,when all things were quiet,my uncle used to hop over the fence & right on the boundary of the site was the Rosswenallt pub.He would go to the hatch,have a quick pint of beer & order 2 x flagons of cider,1 for him & 1 for the RB 38 operator.As he looked through the hatch,who should be in the bar,was the Wimpey General foreman & the section foreman.My uncle told me that with his overalls & wellies on,he was like Sebastian Coe running back to site,clearing the fence.
The Bryn Pica site is used today,as the Rhondda Cynon Taf Landfill site & has been rejected on many occasions for additional coal contract extensions.The mountain is full of high quality steam coal,but the local residents wont allow it to proceed.
The small Bryn Dafaid site,was controlled from Bryn Pica.I can remember,I was about 10 years old & there was a Lima 2400 dragline,a Cat D8H & an RB 38 shovel.Im almost sure I can remember a RB-22 dragline there as well.Its been a long while. :dizzy:
The site had previously been worked after world war 2, by an American company,who operated a Monighan 3W walking dragline on it.You can still see old wire ropes off it,on the site,I have been trying to find the name of this American company,but have come up blank with nothing.
Celtic Energy are @ present trying to obtain planning permission to gain approval to work this site.I hope they have lots of luck.
I hope this interested you,
Regards,
Mark Williams.


Jeremy Rowland
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Re: Wimpey, Bryn Pica, O.C.C.S.

Post #2 by Jeremy Rowland » Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:48 am

Thank you Mark all good stuff :thumbup: it's always great to hear about other peoples memories and experiences, part of what CMN is about. :thumbup:

Jeremy

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Re: Wimpey, Bryn Pica, O.C.C.S.

Post #3 by FOWLER MAN » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:33 pm

Hi Mark,
Thank you for these posts, I'm finding them very interesting.
I worked on Bryn Pica a few times myself, I used to do a lot with Wimpey at one time.
We worked on Crouches site at Abercraf too and at the Onllwyn Washery, so I can identify with a lot of what you post. :thumbup:
Keep posting please :!: :!:
Fred


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Re: Wimpey, Bryn Pica, O.C.C.S.

Post #4 by Mark Williams » Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:10 am

Hello Fred,
With regards to the Derek Crouch site @ Onllwyn,a close friend & colleague of mine, that I worked with @ Taylor-Woodrow,Brynhenllys,his father was the plant manager on this coal site.His son David Lewis served his plant fitters apprenticeship on Wimpey,s Onllwyn site.
I am quite familiar,with the history on the Crouch site,even though I was very young,maybe you would be prepared to post a history on this forum,Fred if you had some spare time.I know there was a good write up in Classic Plant magazine on this site,but a lot of the details are missing.
Regards,
Mark Williams.


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