South Wales Coalfield Collection

Local Leaders Study

Ref No. Description Dates
AUD/9 Interview of Beamish, Dick.
Recorded memoirs of Dick Beamish, Abercraf, concerning the 1925 Anthracite strike and the 1934 Taff-Merthyr strike. Included are his attitudes towards black-legs and the police force.
Covers period : 1925-1935 (c).
Running time : 27mins 5secs.
1972-1974
AUD/80 Interview of James, Archie.
Recorded memoirs of Archie James, Treherbert. Includes his working experiences as a young boy in the mines, and the influence of Ned Evans and others on his politics; role of the workmen's institutes and libraries in the communities; influence of the South Wales Miners' Federation and trade unionism, and his experiences as Lodge and SWMF Executive member; the position and role of the combines, particularly Cory Combine; problems of non-unionism; influence and power of Powell Duffryn; relations with local mining politicians; and the Spanish Civil War and his brother Sid James' volunteering.
Covers period : 1920-1973 (c).
Running time : 1hr 16mins 48secs.
14.11.1973
AUD/88 Interview of Williams, Jack and Mrs.
Atgofion Mr a Mrs Jack Williams, yn ymdrin yn bennaf a tad Mrs Williams, Gwilym Richards, gan gynnwys ei ran mewn materion lleol o ddiweithdra, iawndaliadau, ac erledigaeth; effaith ei weithgareddau ar y teulu; amgylchiadau yn ystod Streic Fawr 1926; a amodau gwaith yn y pyllau glo.
Recorded memoirs of Mr and Mrs Jack Williams, mainly regarding Mrs Williams' father, Gwilym Richards. Included are his involvement in local issues of unemployment, compensation and persecution; the effects on the family of his activities; conditions during the General Strike 1926; working conditions in the pits.
Covers period : 1920-1940 (c).
Running time : 39mins 57secs.
5.6.1973
AUD/97 Interview of Nicholas, Thomas.
Recorded memoirs of Tommy Nicholas, Neath. Included are his observations and role in the 1925 Anthracite strike; his work experience in various collieries and tin works; playing rugby; being a conscientious objector during World War I; local elections; change in village life; trade unionism and political actions; his role in the General Strike and lockout 1926; prison experiences; involvement in the 1936 hunger march; action in the Spanish Civil War. See also AUD/678.
Covers period : 1906-1940 (c).
Running time : 2hr 21mins 3secs.
16.5.1974
AUD/98 Interview of Llewellyn, Mavis.
Recorded memoirs of Mavis Llewellyn, Nantymoel. Included are recollections of the influence of scab unionism, the combines and a stay-down strike in Nantymoel; pit accidents and effect on the community; the General Strike and lockout 1926; going to an all girls college to train as a teacher; political activities with the Communist Party, and the Working Women's Guilds; experiences as a teacher; recollections of Lewis Jones, and completing his book "We Live"; her observations on the Spanish Civil War; and police persecution of her family; World War II and evacuees.
Covers period : 1920-1940 (c).
Running time : 2hrs 10mins.
16.5.1974
AUD/99 Interview of Thomas, Evan ('Evan Pentir').
Atgofion Evan Thomas ('Evan Pentir'), Cwmgors. Yn ymdrin yn bennaf a'i brofiadau a gweithgareddau a Chyfrinfa'r Waun, ac fel ysgrifennydd iawndal.
Recorded memoirs of Evan Thomas ('Evan Pentir'), Cwmgors. Included are his experiences and activities on the Waun Lodge Committee, and as a compensation secretary.
Covers period : 1925-1960 (c).
Running time : 21mins 35secs.
15.5.1974
AUD/173 Interview of Davies, D J.
Recorded memoirs of D J Davies, Ystrad Rhondda. Includes his early family life; first day working in the pit; interest in politics; his personal objections to World War I and arrest and imprisonment in 1918; gained scholarship for the Central Labour College; experiences at college; difficulties gaining a job after college; running his own adult education classes in the Aberdare area.
Covers period : 1900-1973 (c).
Running time : 1hr 45mins 19secs.
3.11.1972
AUD/199 Interview of Lake, Will.
Recorded memoirs of Will Lake, Fforestfach. Includes the different jobs undertaken while working underground, and working methods; evening classes taken; closure of Garngoch No 2; issue of dirty coal; the custom of only filling eight trams of coal a day (until 1926); his sisters' work as domestic servants; removal of horses from the colliery during World War I; physical training in the army, and his army service in World War I.
Covers period : 1900-1973 (c).
Running time : 59mins 52secs.
4.2.1974
AUD/202 Interview of Jones, David John.
Recorded memoirs of D J Jones, Forest of Dean. Includes moving to Gloucestershire from South Wales; working in tramming; weakness of trade unionism in the Forest of Dean, and becoming a part of the South Wales Miners Federation as a result; benefits of nationalisation on the Forest of Dean; opposition to closures; amalgamation of Norchard and Princess Royal Collieries; differences between the communities and collieries of South Wales and the Forest of Dean, especially Fernhill and Norchard Collieries, and also of Miners Welfare Institute facilities.
Covers period : 1910-1972 (c).
Running time : 57mins 52secs.
11.1972
AUD/203 Interview of Lewis, Jack Alfred.
Recorded memoirs of Jack Lewis, Merthyr. Includes his family background; education in Merthyr; awareness of social conditions while living in London, and interest in socialism; opposition to World War I, including his arrest and trial, and imprisonment in Warwick prison with six months hard labour; discusses the prison conditions, the effect of solitary confinement, and the attitude of wardens to political prisoners; his Independent Labour Party political education; and memories of ILP political personalities.
Covers period : 1900-1973 (c).
Running time : 1hr 7mins 59secs.
1972 (?)
AUD/204 Interview of Stanfield, Claude.
Recorded memoirs of Claude Stanfield, Merthyr. Includes the 1935 Merthyr election when he stood as a Parliamentary Candidate; means testing and tribunals; local public assistance; the Independent Labour Party and the Spanish Civil War; being an observer of a trial in Barcelona; being a conscientious objector in World War II; the Appelate Court for tribunals in Wales, including the case of Lance Rogers.
Covers period : 1918-1972 (c).
Running time : 1hr 8mins 2secs.
11.1972
AUD/205 Interview of Stanfield, Claude.
Recorded memoirs of Claude Stanfield, Merthyr. Includes his childhood and early working life; conditions after World War I; the organisation and structure of the Independent Labour Party in Merthyr; his involvement within the trade unions; coal owners, insurance and doctors; being persecuted while working in Plymouth Colliery; his involvement with the ILP; reactions of the men returning from fighting in the war to conscientious objectors and members of the ILP; the disaffiliation of the ILP; hunger marches to London, including women, and public assistance.
Covers period : 1910-1972 (c).
Running time : 2hrs 14mins 7secs.
11.1972 (?)
AUD/217 Interview of Edwards, O.
Recorded memoirs of O Edwards, Markham. Includes jobs undertaken as a boy, and beginning work in the colliery at fourteen; differences between Markham and Cwmbran Collieries; training as a painter and decorator under a Ministry of Labour scheme; his involvement in trade unions; the Labour Party and it's development; impact of nationalisation on various collieries; and differences between the Forest of Dean and the South Wales coalfields.
Covers period : 1903-1973 (c).
Running time : 48mins 38secs.
12.11.1973
AUD/250 Interview of Price, Leo.
Recorded memoirs of Leo Price, Abertridwr. Included are experiences of his various occupations, as a baker, butcher, and barber; becoming a member of the South Wales Miners' Federation, and working in various pits; his involvement with the local Communist Party, and their paper 'The Bedwas Rebel'; scab unionism; and his experiences in the Spanish Civil War.
Covers period : 1910-1945 (c).
Running time : 1hr.
17.5.1974
AUD/259 Interview of Rees, Will 'Post'.
Recorded memoirs of Will 'Post' Rees, Cwmtwrch Isaf. Includes his first experiences underground in Cwmllynfell Colliery, and his work as a lampman; the "twenty-one" rule in Brynhenllys Colliery, and work and employment practices; influence of the Welsh language; role and influence of the Lodge; local rugby and football teams; Band of Hope activities; nicknames in the pits; his involvement in Lodge activities; closures and redeployment of the workforce; sheepdog trials in the area; the role of the co-operatives; NUM education schemes; and experiences of working in the Perry Chain Company.
Covers period : 1925-1974 (c).
Running time : 1hr 23mins 17secs.
4.1974
AUD/261 Interview of Beamish, Dick.
Recorded memoirs of Dick Beamish, Abercraf, concerning his involvement in the Anthracite strike of 1925, and the 1934 Taff-Merthyr strike. Included are the actions and attitudes of the police force; attitudes towards black-legs, and boycotting of shops and cinemas; role and imprisonment of Edgar Evans during the strikes; also his role as a Lodge officer and on a combine committee.
Covers period : 1925-1935 (c).
Running time : 1hr 4mins.
7.11.1972
AUD/262 Interview of Jenkins, Bryn.
Interview of Jenkins, Ann (nee).

Atgofion Bryn Jenkins, Ystradgynlais. Yn ymdrin yn bennaf a'r iaith a ddefnyddir yng ngwaith glo Yniscedwyn, a'i brofiad cyntaf yn y pwll; rhan y rheolwr yng ngoruchwyliaeth y pwll, a phrofiadau BJ fel swyddog y cyfrinfa; cyflwyno peiriannau i'r pwll, a'r ymgyrch yn erbyn cau y gwaith. Hefyd ceir atgofion Ann Jenkins (chwaer BJ) ynglyn a rhan merched yn y gwaith ac yn y cartref.
Recorded memoirs of Bryn Jenkins, Ystradgynlais. Included are his recollections of the language of Yniscedwyn Colliery, and his first experiences underground; role of the Lodge in the management of the pit, and BJ's own experiences as a Lodge officer; mechanisation of the colliery, and campaigning to prevent its closure. Appended is a brief interview with Ann Jenkins (BJ's sister) on the role of women in the workplace and in the home.
Covers period : 1930-1950 (c).
Running time : 49mins.
13.5.1974
AUD/271 Interview of Jeffreys, Len.
Recorded memoirs of Len Jeffreys, Cardiff. Includes his family background; working conditions in the pits, and miners attitudes to their work; his education, especially in Sunday School; the effect of the 1904 religious revival; labour movement activities; his decision to work in the pits rather than become a scholar; joining the South Wales Miners Federation, and becoming involved in union and Lodge activities; effect of World War I on the mining community, and his personal experiences in the army; political attitudes and propaganda, and activities of the local Independent Labour Party and night-class education; strikes in the pits; experiences as a navvie and the development of his interest in trade unionism; joining the Communist party and becoming their organiser in Cardiff; and his impressions of other local leaders.
Covers period : 1880-1926 (c).
Running time : 4hrs 31secs.
12.9.1972
AUD/272 Interview of Jeffreys, Len.
Recorded memoirs of Len Jeffreys, Cardiff, mainly concerning events, attitudes and political understandings and consciousness after 1926. Includes persecution of Communists; a seamen's dispute at Cardiff docks and LJ's arrest; attitudes and relations with the police; political activities and support of the Yorkshire woollen workers; his impressions and recollections concerning Arthur Horner; his working experiences in Russia; the demise of the Miners Minority Movement; the role of the Trades Councils and the National Unemployed Workers Movement; the effect of the hunger marches of the late 1920's; the role and policies of the Communist Party; his part in the International Class War Prisoners Aid Association, and imprisonment after a demonstration in Cardiff 1931, and other prison experiences, including sharing a cell with the petty officer who sank the Titanic.
Covers period : 1926-1933 (c).
Running time : 4hrs 14mins 33secs.
11.10.1972
AUD/280 Interview of Roberts, Jack 'Russia'.
Recorded memoirs of Jack 'Russia' Roberts, Senghenydd. Includes his political activities as an unemployed miner, due to victimisation against him and others, especially by Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Company; imprisonment of JR (and others) following his involvement in the Bedwas strike; election onto the council; various political influences and attitudes; welfare funds and benefits whilst imprisoned, and his experiences in jail; role and influence of Abertridwr Workmen's Institute and contributions, especially during strikes; general recreation; attitudes towards Powell Duffryn managers and officials; and the deterioration of the Institute.
Covers period : 1918-1940 (c).
Running time : 1hr 49mins 45secs.
19.5.1974
AUD/281 Interview of Jones, Josiah (Joe Brickman).
Atgofion Josiah Jones, (Joe Brickman), Cwmllynfell. Yn ymdrin yn bennaf a cefndir ei deulu; profiad o weithio mewn wahanol pyllau, a'i ddiwrnod cyntaf yn y pwll fel bachgen ar y drysau; ei addysg; dylanwad crefydd a Diwygiad 1904 ar y gymuned; storiau o "trampio" o amgylch y gwithfeydd glo; osgoi gorfodaeth milwrol yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, ac ymddgiad at gwrthwynebwyr cydwybodol; aros mewn llety, a gwario ei gyflog; rhan chwiorydd JJ o fewn y teulu; cyflogau a dylanwad Deddfau ar lleiafrif cyflog a dydd wyth awr; dylanwad Undeb Glowyr De Cymru, a cyfraniadau; ei ran mewn streics, gan gynnwys Streic Glo Caled 1925; dylanwad undebau'r perchennogion glo; a barn ar cau y pyllau.
Recorded memoirs of Josiah Jones (Joe Brickman), Cwmllynfell. Includes his family background; experiences working in various collieries, and his first day in the pit as a door boy; his schooling; influence and role of religion in the mining community, also the 1904 revival; his tales of "tramping" around various pits; dodging conscription during World War I, and attitudes to conscientious objectors; lodgings, and spending his wages; the role of JJ's sisters in the family network; wages and the influence of the Eight Hours and Minimum Wage Acts; influence of the South Wales Miners' Federation and contributions; his role in strikes, including the 1925 Anthracite strike; the influence of scab unionism; and closures.
Covers period : 1890-1972 (c).
Running time : 2hrs 11mins 40secs.
23.10.1972
AUD/288 Interview of Williams, John.
Recorded memoirs of John Williams, Banwen. Includes his education; the communities of Upper and Lower Cwmtwrch, and the local pits of Brynhenllys, Pwllbach, and Tirbach; influence of religion and coal owners in the community; pit customs and wage bargaining; comparison of various pits; studying as a mining engineer, and then becoming a colliery manager at Onllwyn No 3 Colliery; influence of Evans and Bevan Ltd; introduction and effect of mechanisation and nationalisation; conflict between the doctors in Banwen; and the closure of Onllwyn Colliery.
Covers period : 1910-1960 (c).
Running time : 1hr 50mins 30secs.
23.7.1974
AUD/307 Interview of Nelmes, G C.
Recorded memoirs of G C Nelmes, Aberbargoed. Includes his family background, and their move from the Forest of Dean to Bargoed; the influence of religion on GCN; his involvement in politics and trade unionism; the rise and impact of Company Unions after the 1926 General Strike; the Surfacemen's Lodge at Bargoed, and problems during the establishment of the Lodge; the effect of nationalisation on the relationship between management and workers; and his involvement with the international interests of the South Wales Miners' Federation.
Covers period : 1898-1973 (c).
Running time : 1hr 1mins 46secs.
13.9.1973
AUD/309 Interview of Protheroe, George.
Recorded memoirs of George Protheroe, Merthyr. Includes a discussion of the jobs undertaken as a boy; influence of religion within the family; impact of the 1904 religous revival; his involvement as one of the founders of the Workers Union; his general involvement in trade unionism and politics; attitudes of management to trade unions; the anti-war spirit during World War I in Merthyr; his opinions of Noah Ablett, S O Davies, Harry Morris and Wal Hannington; the persecution of his brother who worked in the pits; his involvement with the Independent Labour Party; and helping conscientious objectors.
Covers period : 1907-1972 (c).
Running time : 1hr 10mins 45secs.
10.1972
AUD/314 Interview of Jones, Goronwy.
Recorded memoirs of Goronwy Jones, Ynysybwl. Includes his family background; his initial reaction to working underground; opinions of World War I, and serving in the Navy; his involvement with trade unionism and politics; treatment of black-legs; attitude of management to GJ as a militant within the pit; the Ocean Combine Committee, and the mechanisation in the Ocean pits.
Covers period : 1900-1972 (c).
Running time : 58mins 58secs.
10.1972
AUD/322 Interview of Jones, Griffith.
Recorded memoirs of Griffith Jones, Merthyr. Includes his childhood; his fathers support for Keir Hardie, and his own political consciousness; the closure of Fochrhiw pit and Bedlinog Collieries; involvement in the Communist Party; demonstrations to oppose means testing; fascism in Dowlais; opposition to scab unionism, and the treatment of black-legs.
Covers period : 1910- 1972 (c).
Running time : 1hr 10mins 22secs.
23.11.1972
AUD/323 Interview of Taylor, W H.
Recorded memoirs of W H Taylor, Blaenafon. Includes experiences of first working underground with his father; working methods, including the flexible hours of work before the use of safety lamps, smoking down the pit, and accidents and first aid underground; the installation of conveyors in Big Pit; mining examinations and classes; being a member of the accident rescue brigade; his duties as a shotfirer; the relationship between the National Association of Colliery Overmen Deputies and Shotfirers and the South Wales Miners' Federation; safety work undertaken during the 1926 General Strike; social life associated with the church; public houses in Blaenafon; and the impact of the 1904 religious revival.
Covers period : 1903-1973 (c).
Running time : 1hr 39mins 18secs.
8.1973
AUD/329 Interview of Abrahams, Phil.
Recorded memoirs of Phil Abrahams, Nantyglo. Includes the method of recruitment of volunteers for the International Brigades; his imprisonment after a riot in 1935, and the effect of this imprisonment on him; his involvement in the Communist Party; the effect of his religious upbringing on his morals; attitude of the Government to hunger marches; fascism in Ebbw Vale; and his change in political allegiance to the Labour Party.
Covers period : 1930-1974 (c).
Running time : 1hr 3mins 37secs.
14.1.1974
AUD/330 Interview of Abrahams, Phil.
Interview of Brown, George.

Recorded memoirs of Phil Abrahams and George Brown, both of Nantyglo. Includes prison experiences following their arrest at riots, and the witnesses and jury at the trials; the collapse of coal owning companies and closure of pits in 1921; moving away from South Wales to find work; pits which they worked in during their careers; their family backgrounds; survival of families during the depression; involvement in politics; organisation of the National Unemployed Workers Movement; an account of the 1935 Blaina riot, and an account of a hunger march to the TUC at Bristol in 1931; and their opinions on trade unionism as the "new" religion.
Covers period : 1910-1972 (c).
Running time : 2hrs 34mins 26secs.
5.1972
AUD/332 Interview of Lloyd, Clarence.
Recorded memoirs of Clarence Lloyd, Abertillery. Includes his early family life, and his first day working underground; influence of the church on miners' privileges; conflict with his father due to his father's commitment to religion; means testing and its implications on society; police attack on demonstrators in Blaina; his trial and imprisonment; his reasons for participating in the hunger marches; joining the Fascist Party and reporting to the Communist Party; and his volunteering to fight in the Spanish Civil War.
Covers period : 1910-1974 (c).
Running time : 2hrs 41mins 49secs.
17.5.1974
AUD/333 Interview of Parry, Cyril.
Recorded memoirs of Cyril Parry, Pontardulais. Includes his training from being a collier boy to a collier; control of coal owners through housing; closure of Brynlliw Colliery, the transfer of workers to Morlais Colliery, and its effect on the militancy of the Lodge; recruitment of the Special Police for the Ammanford riots, the persecution of Lodge Committee members, and the trial of Tom Mann and Harry Pollitt.
Covers period : 1915-1974 (c).
Running time : 1hr 7mins 32secs.
20.5.1974
AUD/334 Interview of Thomas, Ivor.
Recorded memoirs of Ivor Thomas, Bridgend. Includes his family background; underground working systems in Pembrokeshire collieries; payment of collier boys by the company; his involvement in trade unionism and local government; conditions in the Pembrokeshire mines; his involvement with the National Unemployed Workers Movement; his role as a representative in tribunals; his persecution and consequent unemployment; poaching when unemployed; differences between Pembrokshire and Ogmore Vale; the structure and role of the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation in the South Wales area; and the closure of institutes in the area.
Covers period : 1907-1974 (c).
Running time : 1hr 37mins 36secs.
21.5.1974
AUD/335 Interview of Watkins, Tom.
Recorded memoirs of Tom Watkins, Ynysybwl. Includes his family background; dietary habits, and alcohol resulting in poverty to families; training as a farrier; his duties as a shoe smith and an ostler working in the colliery; horses underground; increased productivity during World War I; impact of religion on the community; the position of the Welsh language in Ynysybwl; and changing attitudes to work.
Covers period : 1909-1972 (c).
Running time : 1hr 36mins 39secs.
23.10.1972
AUD/453 Interview of Williams, D J (Mrs).
Recorded memoirs of Mrs D J Williams, concerning her political career, which began in Scotland. Included is her role as an organiser in the National Federation of Women Workers; activities in the Independent Labour Party, and involvement in elections; career of her husband, D J Williams; moving down to the South Wales coalfield; attitudes to World War II; her husband's illness, Parliamentary work, and retirement.
Covers period : 1910-1950 (c).
Running time : 1hr 10mins.
14.8.1973
AUD/678 Interview of Nicholas, T.
Transcript only available. NOT FULLY CATALOGUED. Memoirs of T Nicholas concerning his imprisonment in Swansea jail; his career in the tin plate works; his involvement in trade unionism; the impact of the 1904 Religious Revival. See also AUD/97.
Covers period : 1915-1973 (c).
1973 (c)

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