Oral History collection: William Edwards and Mary Edwards (born 1901 and 1901, Craig y Merched, Ystalyfera, and Pontardawe) interviewed by Julie Barnett and Sue Northcotte.

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 216 D/D SCS 16/14
  • Dates of Creation
      16 Sep. 1986
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 audio recording on cassette; also digital copy in MP3 format

Scope and Content

Track 1. [00:00:13] Personal Details: Mary(M) and William(W) Edwards. [00:00:41] Industry: M: work in 1915, age 14, in pickling. [00:01:09] Industry: M: thrown out of house for this. [00:03:00] Industry: M: pickling process work. [00:03:41] Industry: M: 3-vat process: acid, warm, cold water. [00:04:41] Wages: M; 10 shillings pw, 7am-5pm M-F, 7-12 Sat, gained a "shilling or two" on transfer to water. [00:06:27] Personal Details: M: eldest brother blacksmith at Gilbertsons (M is 2nd oldest of 5, 3 younger sisters), mother d when M 11. [00:07:57] Career Options: M: Industry or Service, latter 1 day off pcm, 2/6d pw, scullery maid. [00:11:41] Industry: M: Gilbertson's "very hard work". [00:12:30] Industry: M: Worked in rolling section, finishing process, heavy lifting and carrying, moved to sorting. [00:15:50] Industry: M: moves to mill, process description of mill team, similar hours as before. [00:18:22] Industry: M: piecework, job and finish. [00:18:48] Wages: M: up to £3 pw, paid by weight, age early 20s: 1924-25. [00:22:26] Industry: M: work dependent on product quality, ditto wages. [00:22:49] Industry: M: 6 mills, 3 girls each. [00:25:40] Social Attitudes: M: snobbery v tinworks/industry girls. [00:27:30] Industry: M: Girls also in sorting section, pickling sections, elsewhere. [00:29:57] Industry: M: Works canteen, cheap. [00:32:30] Recreation: M: Works outings. [00:34:45] Transport: M: saw first motor charabanc in Pontardawe in 1912. [00:39:09] Canal: Lock next to Gilbertsons exit. [00:44:10] Canal: W: Canal dredged frequently, used as tip, dredger horse-drawn.

Track 2. [00:00:19] Canal: W: Lock operations. [00:01:20] Canal: W; Fishing (eels). [00:02:09] Canal: W: Grandmother stories of coal barges. [00:02:41] Canal: W; 6 or 7 locks below Ystalyfera to Swansea. [00:04:54] Canal: W: canal bridge at Ynysmeudwy named after Captain Nicholas, seafarer. [00:07:17] Personal Details: W: born Ystalyfera, moved around, b1901. [00:13:16] Housing: House bought 1938 for £380, on dole, 5% interest. [00:18:07] Industry: Glantawe: sporadic work, 3 months on/off, W on dole. [00:19:37] Industry: Gilbertsons refused cartelisation. [00:21:20] Roads: W: Tarmac worker. [00:22:40] Roads: M: married 1926, W on roads, first good tarmac surfaces then. [00:24:37] War Industry: Glantawe: naval stores, WW2. [00:25:50] War Industry: W: in charge of stores at Glantawe. [00:27:59] Reserved Occupations: Sons: reserved, building apprentices. [00:40:36] Industry: M: Work clothing. [00:41:20] Industry: W: Salt water to harden hands.