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George W. Wilkinson

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George W. Wilkinson (c1846-1902)

1902 Obituary [1]

GEORGE W. WILKINSON died at Risca on January 1, 1902, aged fifty-six years. He served his time under his father at Aberdare, from 1863 to 1869, and after managing pits in the North of England, and in Staffordshire and Flintshire, he returned to Wales in 1880, to take charge of the Risca and Dunraven collieries, then belonging to the London and South Wales Coal Company.

After the disastrous explosion of 1878 at the Abercarn collieries, he was instrumental in forming a new company under the chairmanship of Mr. E. H. Watts, for the purpose of reopening them.

In 1884 he was appointed manager of the National collieries in the Rhondda, and these were amalgamated in 1891 with the Risca and Abercarn collieries under the name of the United National Collieries Company, of which he was made managing director.

For many years he was chairman of the Monmouthshire District Board of the Coalowners' Association, and was a member of the board of management of the Miners' Provident Society. He was made a Justice of the Peace for the County of Monmouth in 1883.

He was elected member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1888.

1902 Obituary [2][3]

He was the son of Mr. George Wilkinson, who began his mining experience at Monkwearmoutb Collieries, and about fifty years ago came into South Wales as colliery manager under Thomas Powell, the founder of the Powell Duffryn Collieries. Mr. George W. Wilkinson was first associated with the late Sir George Elliot in the North and the Midlands, then he was appointed by the London and South Wales Coal Company to the management of the Risca Colliery, prominent in Wales for several disastrous explosions.

  • The first occurred January, 1846, with a loss of 35 lives;
  • The second, March, 1853, 10 lives;
  • The third, December, 1860, 142 lives;
  • The fourth, 1880, 120 lives;
  • The fifth, 1882, 4 lives.

In addition to Risca, the late Mr. Wilkinson had the management of the Dunraven Colliery, in the upper part of the Rhondda Valley. In 1883 he undertook the successful re-opening of the Abeream Colliery, which had not been worked since September 11th, 1878, when 268 lives were lost. His engineering skill in freeing the colliery from water on the occasion of his taking control was highly commented upon.

In 1884 he was appointed to the management of the National Collieries in the Rhondda Valley, which in 1891 were united with those of Abercarn and Risca under the name of the United National Colliery Company.

He was a Volunteer since 1863, and an active member of the Coalowners' Association, of which he was chairman last year.

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