'Able' o Lofa Glyncorrwg — ail yn Sioe Geffylau Merthyr, Mehefin 1955.

'Able' o Lofa Glyncorrwg — ail yn Sioe Geffylau Merthyr, Mehefin 1955.

Glofa Darran, Mynachlog Nedd, tua 1974

Glofa Darran, Mynachlog Nedd, tua 1974.

Stablau dan-ddaear, Glofa Penallta yn fwy na thebyg, tua 1940

Stablau dan-ddaear, Glofa Penallta yn fwy na thebyg, tua 1940.

Merlod pwll glo

Bu ceffylau'n gweithio yn y diwydiant glo ers y dyddiau cynnar. Byddent yn cario glo o'r glofeydd i'r cwsmer, yn gweithio injans dirwyn a phwmpio ac, yn bwysicaf oll, yn symud glo o'r ffas i'r siafft.

Ym 1878, cyfrifodd yr RSPCA bod dros 200,000 o geffylau'n gweithio mewn glofeydd ym Mhrydain.

Er mai 'merlod pwll glo' oedd yr enw cyffredin arnynt, ceffylau, yn hytrach na merlod, oedd y rhan fwyaf o'r rhai a ddefnyddid ym mhyllau glo Cymru.

Ceffylau 13 llaw

Fel rheol, roeddent tua 15 llaw o uchder (10cm yw 'llaw' ac mae ceffylau'n cael eu mesur i'r ysgwydd). Fodd bynnag, roedd rhai merlod, tua 13 llaw, yn cael eu defnyddio i dynnu llwythi ysgafn.

Er eu bod yn gwneud gwaith hanfodol yn y glofeydd cyn cyflwyno peiriannau cludo, bu'r defnydd a wnaed o geffylau yn y diwydiant glo yn ddadleuol iawn ar hyd y blynyddoedd.

Dadleuai perchnogion y glofeydd na ellid gwneud hebddynt yn y broses economaidd o gloddio glo ond roedd eraill o'r farn bod eu gwneud i weithio fel hyn yn greulon.

Offeryn propaganda

Yn y canol, rhwng y ddwy ochr, oedd y glowyr. Efallai eu bod nhw'n cydymdeimlo â'r ceffylau ond, yn aml, gallent anwybyddu creulondeb neu hyd yn oed fod yn greulon eu hunain pe bai eu pecyn pae o dan fygythiad.

Pa un bynnag ai cydweithiwr bodlon ynteu gaethwas truenus oedd y ceffyl, roedd yn rhannu'r un amodau a pheryglon â'r glowyr eu hunain. Cafodd y ceffylau eu defnyddio fel offeryn propaganda gan y ddwy ochr yn ystod anghydfodau diwydiannol; bu cannoedd farw o ganlyniad i gamdriniaeth, damweiniau a ffrwydradau ond, heb eu gwaith caled, ni fyddai'r chwyldro diwydiannol wedi llwyddo.

Atgofion

Rwy'n cofio Edgar, haliwr bychan, oedd yn arfer dweud wrth ei geffyl bob bore 'Wyt ti'n mynd i weitho i fi heddi?' Yna byddai'n rhoi afal iddo. Roedden nhw'n fwy o bytis (cydweithwyr) na gweithiwr a cheffyl!
Len Howell, Glofa Six Bells, 1960au.

Roeddent yn cael eu rhoi yng ngofal bechgyn hurt a fyddai'n camddefnyddio'r cyfrifoldeb a ymddiriedwyd iddynt heb ofni cael eu cosbi. Roeddent yn aml yn gweithio shifftiau dwbl o 16 awr yn ddi-dor ac yn cael eu cadw dan y ddaear am flynyddoedd heb weld golau dydd. Ni fyddent yn cael unrhyw archwiliad o werth ac roedd eu bywydau'n fanllef o brotest yn erbyn creulondeb ac anghyfiawnder.
The Animal World, Medi 1918.

sylw(6)

Doug Bowen
10 Mawrth 2019, 19:58
My father went down the mines when 14 in 1934 in Troed y Rhiw. The family plus my father moved to Blaendulais, called Seven Sisters after the Mine Owner's daughters indicating the power of the Mine Owners. He was very good mechanically but that did mean as a Fitter or similar call outs came at any time of the day or night to ensure the machines kept working. No mobiles etc - stones on the bedroom window indicated a 'problem;.
Every Summer the 'pit ponies' were brought to the field in front of the house for their August holiday, in fact they were huge Shire horses, They were so full of life and galloped around the field providing a wonderful sight, enjoying the freedom from the pits they wore eye guards to protect them from the sunlight.
One day my father announced he was leaving the mines, he'd seen miners killed but that particular day he had experienced a rock fall that killed a favourite horse of the mine. I never heard of cruelty to the horses as they were appreciated by the close knit community underground.
Hilary Jones
7 Chwefror 2019, 17:34
It doesn't seem to me that the horses had it any harder than the human miners (my ancestors). Possibly, from my experience of equine therapy for traumatised people, I could think that horses and miners made it more bearable for each other. But it's all part of capitalism, and the exploitation of the many (Welsh) for the benefit of the few (English) . Time for a change?
Mercedes
24 Mawrth 2016, 12:27
I have visited the Big Pit many times over the years, and each time I go I try to remember all the lovely names given to the pit ponies that lived underground. Could you remind me of all those wonderful names, of which I can only remember one - 'Welsh'!
Sara Huws Staff Amgueddfa Cymru
29 Chwefror 2016, 11:09

Hi there Keith,

To follow up your enquiry, our Curator of Coal, Ceri Thompson, responded with the following:

"We don’t have casualty figures for horses killed in service apart from when they are mentioned in disaster reports. The National Coal Board records are now held by the National Archives in Kew, they may have such records."

Thanks again for getting in touch,

Sara
Digital Team

Sara Huws Staff Amgueddfa Cymru
26 Chwefror 2016, 11:34

Hi Keith

I will pass on your enquiry to our curators and let you know. You may be interested in a book we published on the history of Colliery Horses in Wales, which is now on sale at a discounted price: 'Harnessed: Colliery Horses in Wales'

Many thanks for your enquiry,


Sara
Digital Team

Keith Jones
26 Chwefror 2016, 11:30
Can anyone tell me if any horses were killed at the deep duffryn colliery Mountain Ash in the 1950's or up to closure in 1979

Gadael sylw