Marjorie Chaplin, Left Book Club

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Material relating to a survey of living conditions in the South Wales valleys, c1939.  

Administrative / Biographical History

Marjorie Chaplain of the Left Book Club (founded 1936) decided that Club members should not just read about the working-class movement but experience life in distressed areas for themselves. She and a miner Cliff Wallace led a group of Club members on a tour of South Wales. The group met unemployed people in the area and trade-union leaders. The idea developed into a series of 'schools' visiting areas such as Merthyr, the Rhondda, Cardiff and Pontypridd. In 1938 two such schools were organised, one at Pontypridd and the other in Swansea. They led to the development of a 'Distressed Areas Group' responsible for the schools. The Group also worked out actual budgets of several families. SOURCE: Lewis, John 'The Left Book Club. An Historical Record' (London: Victor Gollancz 1970) pp.58-59.

Conditions Governing Access

Access unrestricted unless stated otherwise.

Other Finding Aids

A card index is held at the repository.

Archivist's Note

Description by Helen Briscoe. Submitted to the Archives Hub as part of Genesis 2009 Project.

Custodial History

Special Collections is a large body of historical and archival material which was collected by the South Wales Miners' Library. The collections were transferred to the archives of the University of Wales in May 1990 where they are currently located.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names