South Wales Miners’ Museum became part of Afan Forest Park in 1972 when a group of coal miners decided they wanted to preserve the industrial heritage of the South Wales Coal Field, that was sadly declining due to pit closures. The coal miners started a collection of coal mining objects and memorabila and formed South Wales Miners’ Museum.
The museum was the first coal mining museum in Wales, located just 6 miles from the town of Port Talbot. We hosted an official opening in 1976 with Lord and Lady Heycock. However the museum had been open since 1972 and we celibrated our 50th Anniversary August Bank Holiday Weekend 2022.
In 2008 the museum gained funding and was able to build a new museum where volunteers worked to produce outstanding exhibits and became an Accredited museum in July 2018.
The volunteers have worked extremely hard over the years winning numerous awards for their dedication to the museum. With the enormous amount of volunteering hours, the museum has thrived and always had fantastic team of volunteers to help keep promoting the industrial heritage.
The museum is a fantastic tourism venue which gives a unique experience and consists of detailed indoor and outdoor exhibits where our knowledgeble guides take you on a journey back in time through the life of a South Wales Coal Miner and the hardship both adults and children of the time would endure.
We also take you back to the days of steam with our minature steam train named Glyndwr. This was named in memory of Mr Glyn Thomas former Director and Secretary of SWMM.
50 years later we still have coal miners volunteering their time and experiences at the museum, they all have many a memory to tell, the good, the bad and the funny stories. The banter these guys had underground still happens at SWMM and its an honour to work alongside them.
A 50th Anniversary is a fantastic achivement and we are very proud of South Wales Miners’ Museum and all it has achived since 1972.