Tape recordings: the Swansea Valley Historical Research Project. The Swansea Valley Historical Research Project (Prosiect Ymchwil Hanesyddol Cwmtawe) was established by the Swansea Canal Society in 1986, with funding from the Manpower Services Committee Scheme (MSC) and with support from West Glamorgan Community Services Council. Three people were appointed to oversee the project, a coordinator and two researchers, who were based in Pontardawe, initially at the Cross Community Centre, and later at the Public Hall and Institute. The scheme began on 8 April 1986 with Derek John and Julie Paton in post. There were various changes in personnel during the summer, and the project was reactivated in August 1986 with Julie Barnett, an experienced researcher, as the coordinator and Sue Northcotte as the researcher. Sue Northcotte left in December 1986. The project was again reactivated in January 1987 with Jeff Thomas and Ann Morris as researchers, but it failed to retain funding for 1987, and was wound up in the February of that year. Between April 1986 and early 1987 the team carried out a series of taped interviews of elderly residents of the Upper Swansea Valley. The tape recordings were transcribed by the Swansea Canal Society. The recordings are a very important heritage source for work and everyday life in the early to mid-twentieth century. The collection also includes recordings of talks given to the Swansea Canal Society on local history. The original recordings are on cassette tape; in most cases there is a file to accompany it, with a précis or transcript, and some extra background information about the interviewee and interview. As two copies were found in most cases, one copy of each was compiled into a volume, which is listed below as D/D SCS 16/35. In two cases there was no cassette and only the transcript survives. All the oral history interviews (as opposed to the recordings of talks and lectures) have been converted to MP3 format and can be accessed through the West Glamorgan Film and Sound Archive.


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