Fonds GB 0210 WEEKES - Philip Weekes Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



Philip Weekes Papers,


  • 1860-2003 (accumulated 1934-2003) / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.109 cubic metres (1 large box and 12 small boxes), together with 8 maps and plans, 1 placard and 4 posters, 99 photographs, 10 glass negatives, 5 audio cassettes, and 3 video cassettes.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Philip Gordon Weekes (1920-2003) was the National Coal Board's Area Director for South Wales from 1973 to 1985. A prominent and well-respected figure in the Welsh coal industry, he believed passionately in mining and the communities it supported.

Philip Weekes was born at Nant-y-B┼Ách near Tredegar on 12 June 1920 to Albert Edwin Weekes and Gladys Magdalene Jarrett. Educated at Tredegar County Grammar School, he was articled to the Tredegar Iron and Coal Company, whom he joined as a junior official in 1939. Whilst with the Company he was awarded a scholarship to attend the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire at Cardiff, from where he graduated with an Honours degree in mining engineering in 1942. During the Second World War he served with the Royal Air Force.

In 1946 Philip Weekes joined the Tredegar (Southern) Colliery Company, and was made manager of Wyllie Colliery in Monmouthshire at the age of only 26. Two years later, following the nationalisation of the coal industry, he was put in charge of the huge Oakdale and Waterloo Collieries. 1950 saw him seconded to the Colonial Office, serving in Nigeria for a year as an advisor on management and industrial relations in the mining industry. On his return to Britain, he took several managerial positions in various areas across the South Wales Coalfield.

In 1965 he was seconded to the National Coal Board's Staff College at Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire as the Director of Studies, and became the Deputy Director (Mining) for the South Midlands in 1967. Following a move to London in 1970, as Chief Mining Engineer at the National Headquarters, he rose to become the Director-General of Mining, 1971-1973. At his own request he returned to the South Wales Coalfield, as Area Director, in December 1973, a position he held until his retirement on 30th June 1985. During his managerial career he also served as a part-time member of the Board of the National Coal Board, 1977-1984, but left under Ian MacGregor's chairmanship. During the 1984-85 Miners' Strike, Philip Weekes was prominent in making sure that the dispute in South Wales was policed by local officers, unlike other regions where additional numbers were brought in from metropolitan areas, thus helping to largely avoid the violent clashes between police and pickets so noticeable elsewhere.

Philip Weekes was initially awarded an OBE in 1977, but was later advanced to CBE in 1993. He became a Fellow of University College Cardiff in 1982 and was also a Fellow of the Institute of Mining Engineers. After his retirement he made a welcome return to the coal industry when he took on the Chairmanship of Tower Goitre Anthracite Ltd in 1994. He was also a member of The Prince of Wales' Committee (South Wales Group), 1978-1989, the Broadcasting Council for Wales, 1976-1982, the Committee of the Institute of Business Advisers Wales, 1983-1990, and a Governor of United College of the Atlantic, 1981-1995. Philip Weekes died on 26 June 2003 at Llantwit Major.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by his widow Mrs Branwen Weekes, Llantwit Major, March 2004 and October 2005; 0200401969, 0200510578. The desk diary for 1980 was donated by his son Mr Gareth Weekes in September 2011.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of the late Philip Weekes, former Area Director of the South Wales Coalfield, comprising National Coal Board papers, 1947-1985, arising directly from his career with the Board; professional papers, 1911-[c. 2000], which are more generally connected with his work in the coal industry; a large amount of accumulated reference material, 1934-2003; numerous press cuttings, [1957]-2002; and a few historical documents, 1860-1980, collected by Philip Weekes and relating to mining and the South Wales Coalfield.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: The fonds has been appraised: details are given at the appropriate levels of description.

Some more personal items, such as newspaper cuttings relating to family and friends, a photographic copy of a letter to Philip Weekes from a relative in Canada, and a list of students enrolled at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire 1940-1941, have been returned to Mrs Branwen Weekes..


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged at NLW into five series according to the nature of the material: National Coal Board papers, professional papers, accumulated reference material, assorted press cuttings, and collected historical documents.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their readers' tickets.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

English unless otherwise specified.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Maps and plans (N10602601), a placard against the closure of Deep Duffryn Colliery and 4 educational posters (N10602609), photographs (N10602111), glass negatives (N10602614), audio cassettes (CM11909-11913), and video cassettes (VM6015-6017) connected with Philip Weekes are also at NLW. -- In addition a small collection of papers, 1939-[^Itc. 1952], mainly concerning Philip Weekes' early career at Wyllie Colliery, are held at the Archives of the University of Wales Swansea in 'Philip Weekes' MNB/PP/59.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Fonds title supplied from provenance, series and file titles supplied from contents.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Description compiled June 2005; amended October 2005 and April 2008.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Martin Robson Riley and J. Graham Jones.

Archivist's note

The following sources were used in the compilation of this description:

Archivist's note

V.I.P. Wales: Enwogion Cymru, 1992 (Pentrecwrt, 1992); Who's Who 1897-1996 on CD-ROM; and material from within the archive itself.

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Text: Philip Weekes Papers.