The Mayor of Oxford's Mining Distress Fund (Oxford House Educational Settlement, Risca)

Scope and Content

Collection includes: Annual reports, newspaper-cutting transcripts, accounts and miscellaneous papers 1928-1939. Also brief description of activities (photocopy), undated c 1931.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Mayor of Oxford's Mining Distress Fund originated in a private visit of help to Risca by Mr R.P. Jordan in 1928. He returned to Oxford reporting on large-scale unemployment and deprivation in the Risca area. His report led to an appeal by the Lord Mayor and the setting up of a committee with the aim of focusing efforts on Risca and contributing relief and support to members of the Risca community. A representative of the Oxford Fund, Mr Vyvyan Richards took up residence in Risca. In 1931 the offer was made to the Committee by the Education Settlements Association of a yearly grant to be used to establish an Educational Settlement in Risca. The Committee was reorganised and in September of that year Mr and Mrs David-Wills took up the posts of Joint Wardens at the new Educational Settlement, Oxford House, Risca. The Settlement was intended for use by all sectors of the community, both the working and the unemployed, housewives and all religions and political parties. Unemployed Men's Clubs were established by the Settlement, entirely autonomous and located in different premises from Oxford House. Members were given access to facilities enabling them to mend boots or make things in the carpenters shop and classes, lectures and recreational activities were organised. Boy's Clubs and Girl's Clubs were also established as time went on, as well as a Women's Sewing Group, a Dramatic Society. Classes in a wide range of subjects, including WEA, LEA and YMCA courses were made available and camping trips and film shows were organised. Extension work was also carried out beyond the confines of Oxford House and Risca itself.

Access Information

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.

Geographical Names