B L Coombes

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Manuscripts, typescripts and papers relating to B L Coombes' works. Includes These poor hands: the autobiography of a miner working in South Wales, Castell Vale, Home on the Hill, various plays, radio plays and short stories.

Various books and magazines such as The Fortnightlycontaining works by B L Coombes (1943-1953).

Personal papers relating to B L Coombes' life including St John Ambulance certificates (1926-1929), National College of Labour Colleges certificate (1937), a certificate from the National Eisteddfod Caerphilly (1950), and Sir Arthur Marteham Memorial Prize, University of Sheffield (1947, 1957, 1959-1960).

Administrative / Biographical History

B L Coombes was born as Bertie Lewis Coombes Giffiths in 1893 in Wolverhampton. He was brought up in Herefordshire, but later moved to South Wales, settling in Resolven. Working in the mines before World War 1, he turned to writing when he was in his 40s, and was a protg of John Lehmann.

B L Coombes' works were responses to events and attitudes, he became a self appointed guardian of the truth about the mining industry and communities. The social, political, cultural and industrial context in which he was living must be understood to understand his writings and their impact and significance. Through his writings he spoke for the miners and families everywhere.

The works he best known for are These poor hands: the autobiography of a miner working in South Wales(London 1939), These clouded hills(London, 1944), Miners Day (Harmondsworth 1945).

For more information on B L Coombes please see With Dust Still In His Throat, A B. L. Coombes AnthologyEdited by Bill Jones and Chris Williams (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1999), and B L CoombesBill Jones and Chris Williams (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1999).

Arrangement

Divided into 3 subfonds; Manuscripts and typescripts, Personal Papers, and Printed works.

Conditions Governing Access

Please contact the repository regarding this collection.

Note

Finding aid encoded by Julie Anderson July 2003 with reference to B L CoombesBill Jones and Chris Williams (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1999).

Other Finding Aids

A paper list is available.

Conditions Governing Use

A photocopying service is available. Contact repository for details. No publication without written permission from the Archivist.

Personal Names