Oral History collection: Olwen Owen (born 11 Nov. 1893, Ynysmeudwy) interviewed by Julie Barnett and Sue Northcotte.

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 216 D/D SCS 16/15
  • Dates of Creation
      23 Sep. 1986
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 audio recording on cassette; also digital copy in MP3 format

Scope and Content

Track 1. [00:00:01] Personal Details: Born Ynysmeudwy: 2 female interviewees, names unclear. [00:01:13] Canal: Barges took timber and coal to Swansea (pit props). [00:03:55] Canal: Two locks together. [00:04:43] Canal: One man with horse, one in barge. [00:06:40] Canal: Barges owned by White family, Fountain Hall. [00:08:24] Industry: Tin transported by rail (Swansea-Abercrave line). [00:08:48] Industry: Father was shearer in Tin works, 10 hour shifts. [00:12:47] Canal: Canal too dirty for swimming (iron ore). [00:13:30] Industry: Iron works extant in Ystalyfera, as chills. [00:13:44] GPO: Worked in GPO, counters then postwoman, twice daily deliveries, cycle then motorbike. [00:21:23] Dentistry: Interviewee's house parlour used as dental surgery, father used to take teeth out on lay basis. [00:22:12] Industry: Girl fell into coal rolls, killed. [00:23:22] Industry: Thick leather gauntlets for girls in mill, (many cuts on hands), clogs. [00:23:39] Industry: Many women in Tinworks labour force. [00:23:55] Industry: Clogs in works - protective against heat. [00:25:13] Industry: Age - most started age 13 or 14 in works, packing the plates. [00:33:20] Canal: Not used by 20th century, rail instead. [00:38:40] Retail: Train Pontardawe to St Thomas; tram to Cwmbwrla, on Saturdays, shops. [00:42:30] Industry: Tinplate workers - thirsty!. [00:44:04] Society: Wartime community spirit. [00:45:14] Religion: "Revival" memories, chapels full. [00:45:32] Holidays: Annual trip to Mumbles. [00:47:00] Industry: No Sunday work, bar maintenance.

Track 2. [00:00:25] Canal: No memories of fishing - too polluted, men paid 5 shillings pd to clean canal. [00:02:20] Canal: Horses - shire type. [00:02:55] Canal: Unharnessed for bridges. [00:04:15] Canal: Barges carried timber. [00:05:10] Canal: Barge speed - didn't return from Swansea same day. [00:05:49] Industry: Evans & Bevans Brewery, Neath. [00:07:50] Industry: Brewery and soft drinks works in Pontardawe. [00:08:51] Industry: Soft drink works in Ystalyfera, opposite Fine Fare location. [00:14:40] Canal: Canal banks used for walking, more than roads.