John Jones - Maker of the Pontyberem Lamp

Further to the web publication of the earlier article on the subject of Pontyberem lamps we have received some additional and invaluable information on the subject. A direct descendant of the maker of the Pontyberem lamps informs us that John Jones (1879-1966) is listed in his family records as a Colliery Chief Mechanic, living in Llanon Row, Pontyberem. He, together with other family members worked at Pentremawr Colliery.

Still existent in their family are several pieces which were made by John Jones for other close family members. The picture below shows the upper half of Pontyberem lamp No. 95 made by John for his mother, Dianna. It is date "1901" and is the second earliest of John's lamps know to survive to date.


In addition the picture below shows a tobacco tin made by John Jones for one of his brothers, Walter Jones, a Colliery Under manager.

The family photograph below (c.1913) shows John Jones (back row centre) and
Walter Jones (back row, end right). Other family members are (back row from left to right) Dafydd Jones, Colliery Checkweigher; David Jones, Colliery Engineer; Gwilym Jones, Colliery Fireman. Front row from left to right - Mary Jones; John Jones, Collier (Father of group); Dianna Jones (Mother of group); Margaret Jones.

Its is understood that John Jones, who died in 1966, was one of eight children born to second generation collier John Jones and his wife Dianna. John Jones (junior, the lamp maker) married  Margaretta Henry in 1886. In total they had nine children one of which went on to become a local Vicar.

Given that John Jones is now known to have been born in 1878 we can say for certain that he was making his now famous lamps by the age of 21 if not possibly slightly earlier. The earliest Pontyberem lamp so far recorded is one of the candle types which is date "1900".


We are grateful to Henry Jones (via Mark Smith) for providing the above information together with the photographs. From all the information so far obtained, it would seem that the original query regarding the maker of the Pontyberem lamps has now been resolved. But of course, we would still be pleased to receive any further information.

David Shaw. August 2004.


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