By the late 19th century mine owners had become conscious of their responsibilities for the education and intellectual welfare of their workers and the worker’s families. Normally miners’ institutes were built by colliery owners, often funded by a weekly contribution from miner’s wages or from the Miners’ Welfare Fund. In Newbridge things were different as in 1898, a group of miners formed themselves into a committee to establish an association.
They met in the Coffee Tavern at the top of Main Street. The Coffee Tavern was owned by the Colliery company and the rooms were given rent free, but the men quickly realised they needed their own premises and more space to provide a viable alternative to the pub.
The original Institute was built using funds from a private mortgage and though its function and facilities are typical of other Miners’ Institutes, we believe the Celynen Collieries’ Institute is unique in that the mine workers built it themselves. If you know of anywhere else built by the men themselves in south Wales, please get in touch.
The Celynen Collieries' Workingmen's Institute formally opened in April 1908. The Institute had a library, reading and billiard rooms and from the 1960’s was used as a social and drinking club.