South Wales Coalfield Collection

Miscellaneous Interviews

Ref No. Description Dates
VID/30 Interview of Francis, Dai.
Interview of Dai Francis in which he talks about nationalisation, the run down of the mining industry in the 1960's, relations between the National Coal Board and the National Union of Mineworkers, pit closures and the economic and political reasons for them, National Coal Board policy and mistakes made by them, the effect of oil imports, the role of Lord Robens, the Wilson government and pit closures, nuclear power, the Tripartite Committee, the problems caused by not having an integrated national fuel policy and the future of the National Union of Mineworkers.
Covers period : 1945-1975 (c).
Running time : 42 mins 2 secs.
17.11.1980
VID/37 Interview of Griffiths, Arfon.
Interview of Arfon Griffiths former Colliery Manager at Aberpergwm, Tower, Blaenant and Pentreclwydau. He discusses moving men from other pits to work Pentreclwydau, the possibility of returning to Glyncastle to work the coal reserves there, the lack of long-term planning in the 1960's, the closing of collieries, the money invested at some collieries, the problems sometimes caused by men originally from different collieries working at the same one, the lack of trust between miners and the National Coal Board, the National Power Loading Agreement, South Wales Power Loading Agreement and Daywage Agreement and the future of coal mining in Wales.
Covers period : 1945-1980 (c).
Running time : 24 mins 11 secs.
10.11.1981
VID/39 Interview of Morgan, (Miss).
Memoirs of Miss Morgan - her family, Abercraf Farm, the industrialisation of Abercraf, the role of the Swansea Canal, the collieries in the Abercraf area, what she remembers of her father, the arrival of the Spanish in Abercraf, life for the family after her father died, her education, going to Bermuda to teach, returning home at the outbreak of World War II, joining the Women's Royal Naval Service, getting jobs at Pontypridd Grammar School for Girls and then Barry Training College, Ellen Evans, the Principal at the college and her influence. The last 15 minutes of the interview is a brief summary in Welsh of some of the main subjects covered in English.
Covers period : 1760-1967 (c).
Running time : 66 mins 56 secs.
(nd)
VID/42 Interview of Thomas, John.
Interview of John Thomas. He talks about why his family emigrated to Australia in the 1920's, life in Queensland, returning to Wales in 1937, his education, working at Crynant and Brynteg Collieries, being in the Navy during the war, moving back to Australia in 1950, working in collieries in New South Wales and Queensland, mines being a closed shop, resigning because of the introduction of scab labour, his retirement due to silicosis, the present state of the mining industry in Australia, mining in Wales in comparison with that in Australia, politics in Australia, the possibility of the industry being nationalised and National Coal Board investment in Australian mines. The second half of the interview is a question and answer session with various lodge members asking Mr Thomas questions on some of the subjects mentioned above.
Covers period : 1928-1981 (c).
Running time : 57 mins 55 secs.
15.9.1981
VID/43 Interview of Thomas, Terry.
Interview of Terry Thomas. He talks about why he entered the mining industry after having been in the merchant navy, his impressions of Garngoch Number 3 Pit and Brynlliw Colliery and the workforces there, training to be an engineer, his attitude towards management, being on Brynlliw lodge committee, consultation with management, the crisis at Brynlliw, National Coal Board policy towards pits and pit closures, the unofficial strikes of 1969 and 1970, the strikes of 1972 and 1974, frustration with union leadership, the reintroduction of piece work, Joe Gormley the president of the NUM, the future of the NUM and the power of the media.
Covers period : 1945-1980 (c).
Running time : 71mins 22secs.
6.10.1980
VID/47 Interview of Pentreclwydau Miners.
Interview of three men who worked at Pentreclwydau Colliery - Dane Hartwell, Albert Harris and a man called Harry. They talk about why the pit lasted such a short time, the pit being in the wrong place, the low morale in the pit, working conditions as compared to those at other pits, the pit-head baths being so far away, other collieries closing to man Pentreclydau, the problems of integrating the workforce, militancy in the pit, management at the pit and how things could have been different if there had been better planning.
Covers period : 1955-1965 (c).
Running time : 35mins 20secs.
12.1981
VID/109 Interview of Jones, Mary Jane.
Memoirs of Mary Jane Jones - she discusses working as a dressmaker, how poor people were, the lack of jobs for women, working on farms, accidents in the mines and the development of Merthyr Vale.
Covers period : 1900-1980 (c).
Running time : 15mins 5secs.
1980 (c)
VID/127 Interview of Hughes (Mr).
Interview of Mr Hughes who worked in the building which came to house the South Wales Miners' Library. He talks about working at Cefn Coed Colliery and why he left, the setting up of the South Wales Miners' Library, an incident at the Eisteddfod, how he felt when young miners began to use the educational facilities and what he will miss when he leaves.
Covers period : 1950-1980 (c).
Running time : 18mins 24secs.
1982 (c)
VID/175 Interview of Ales (Mr).
Interview of Mr Ales. He talks about when he started working at Seven Sisters Colliery, the number of collieries there used to be in the area, the effect open cast mining has had on the landscape, private mines, the effect the decline of the mining industry has had on the community, how the Dulais valley looks now and what should happen in the future.
Covers period : 1920-1982.
Running time : 8mins 36secs.
3.1983
VID/182 Interview of Alexander, Rhys.
Interview of Rhys Alexander discussing the history of the Abercraf area before the industrial changes of the 19th and 20th centuries. Includes a geographical "tour" of the area, around the farms, villages and pubs in the area. Also the development of the canal between Swansea and Abercraf, and the tramways. Also discusses religion and the various chapels and schools in the area including his own childhood recollections. Discusses cosmopolitan Abercraf, especially the Spanish community.
Running time : 42mins (approx).
VID/184 Interview of Watkins, Annie.
Interview of Annie Watkins discussing her family background in Abercraf, and the family wool mill business, working on looms and the processes involved at the wool factory, the migration of some of her family to the United States. She also talks about the Spanish community in Abercraf, farming in colliery areas eg each colliery owning a pig, women in the community, her own interests especially knitting and making her own wool and the effect on the community of the closure of Abercraf Colliery. She then explains about the tapestry in her front room and then gives a summary in English of what she has said.
Running time : 40mins (approx).

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