Oral History collection: a) Mrs. Ada Sanders; b) ?; c) ?. interviewed by Mrs. Margery Knight about a) Various memories of youth; experience as a victim of WW2 air-raid; b) Various recollections of Swansea during the war; general life. c) Coal industry; diseases and compensation; labour relations (1940s onwards); involvement in Miner's Lodge Committee; NCB. Back to Mrs Sanders' memories.

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 216 TH 68A-B
  • Dates of Creation
      c. 1978
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 audio recording

Scope and Content

Track 1. [00:00:06] General: A female interviewer (Marjorie) introduces Mrs Ada Saunders. [00:00:16] Community: Mrs Sanders describes how her parents moved the family into the Swansea family in the 1900s to work in a music shop (Gwyn Brader?). [00:00:44] Industry: Mrs Sanders gives details of her Father's work, maintaining organs and pianos in the locality's chapels. [00:01:00] Community: Mrs Sanders tries to remember where the family lived (Derwen St?) and renting a house once owned by Major Routley (?) who served with Nelson. [00:02:39] Community: Trying to recall school and starting work in a High St shop, above the railway station. [00:03:28] Industry: Mrs Sanders spent some time managing Bowden's cake and biscuit stall in Swansea market. [00:04:37] Community: Going to Gorse Chapel, built by her Father, where Mrs Sanders played the organ. [00:05:24] Industry: Mrs Sanders gives more details of her Father's work with musical instruments. [00:05:42] Second World War: Mrs Sanders recalls how her Father built her an organ, which was destroyed in the Swansea Blitz. [00:05:54] Second World War: Mrs Sanders recalls the family home in Dyfed Avenue being destroyed by bombing while she was in bed, getting buried in the rubble and rescued, sent to Cefn Coed Hospital as all others were full. [00:07:51] Second World War: Hazy memories of wartime rationing and queuing (till recording ends 08m 27s).

Track 2. [00:00:00] General: Recording starts abruptly, halfway through an anecdote, no indication of who the female voices are (interviewee could be Mrs May Kelly). [00:00:15] Community: Taking over a Billiard hall and turning it into a house which became the matrimonial home. [00:00:48] Community: Giving up work when getting married, and comparing this unknown time to the 1970s. [00:01:17] Community: Most people rented rooms, not houses, when they married. [00:01:45] Community: Having a family, and some of her family background. [00:02:10] Community: As the eldest child, recalling her Mother's subsequent pregnancies, and the differences between sex education then and the 1970s. [00:04:23] Community: How illegitimate pregnancies were viewed years ago, Chapel rejection of marrying pregnant girls. [00:05:51] Community: A female childhood included helping out with housework, a 'training' for becoming a housewife. [00:07:08] Community: Comparing standards of cleanliness and differences in labour-saving devices between then and 1970s. [00:08:02] Community: How her husband helped out with domestic chores when he was unemployed. [00:08:50] Community: More details of the work entailed in keeping home, blacking grates, etc. [00:10:03] Community: Bathing in the tin bath in front of the fire, referencing to joining the Common Market. [00:11:01] Community: Perceptions of being 'poor'. [00:11:27] Community: Changing attitudes to women going to pubs. Also visiting her husband who was working in Redditch and meeting other Welsh folk in pubs there. [00:12:31] Community: Drunkeness then, and women meeting husbands on payday to stop it going into the pub. [00:13:45] Community: Large families on low levels of pay, cheap cost of living then and women and smoking tobacco. [00:14:15] Community: Popularity of growing own vegetables, a male preserve. [00:15:57] Community: Different attitudes to girls and boys. [00:17:00] Community: How people didn't have lawns then, all gardening was for produce. [00:17:40] Community: Girls didn't pursue sporting activities then. [00:18:53] Community: Sunday School outings to Sennybridge and Tenby, differences between holidays then and in the 1970s. [00:20:20] Industry: How Mrs Kelly's Sister went into domestic service in London. [00:20:54] Industry: Mrs Kelly worked in the Tinworks, considered she had more freedom than working in domestic service. [00:21:43] Education: Working part-time while still at school and lack of educational provision. [00:22:40] Community: Magazines were a luxury, newspapers would be taken daily and getting 'gifts' for buying the papers. [00:23:43] Community: Getting married in Pontardawe Registry Office and setting up home. [00:25:30] Industry: Management in the Tinworks, and mischief amongst the girls. [00:26:59] Industry: Lunchtimes in the Tinwork, and cleaning duties. [00:27:54] Industry: How the toilets in the factory would empty directly into the river. [00:28:27] Community: Miners bathing in a tub in front of the fire, and perceptions of the hard work of the sexes. [00:29:19] Second World War: Memories of the breakout of the war, and how her daughters went to work in the munitions factories. [00:30:16] Second World War: How the bombing of Swansea could be felt in Cwmtwrch. [00:30:44] Second World War: Evacuees coming to Swansea, some of them learning Welsh and keeping up links long after the war. [00:31:17] Second World War: Women, including married women, being required for war-work. [00:32:10] Community: Funerals, 3 month mourning periods. [00:34:21] Politics: Women getting interested in politics during the war, but lack of free-time to attend meetings and join associations. [00:35:28] Education: How children needed to pass exams to pass from one school year to the next. [00:35:46] Politics: Mrs Kelly had no interest in local elections, Labour always won. [00:36:33] General: Another pondering on Britain joining the Common Market. [00:36:48] Community: Changes in community feeling, and local midwives (recording ends 37m 39s).

Track 3. [00:00:20] Industry: Social Insurance to help after industrial accidents and illness. [00:01:21] Health: Taking cases to tribunal and getting comensation. [00:02:00] Health: Silicosis was the only disease recognised as being due to coal dust. [00:03:20] Health: In Llandough Hospital coal dust was actually used to treat Silicosis!. [00:04:08] Health: Names all the diseases due to dust, now called Pneumoconiosis. [00:05:20] Health: Legislation that was passed dealing with Social Insurance 1942. [00:06:50] Health: Continues to talk about significance of legislation and compensation for Miners. [00:08:07] Health: Procedure for getting diagnosed ith Pneumoconiosis then and now. [00:11:05] Health: 1948 Social Insurance was taken from the coal owners and given to the Government. [00:12:00] Health: This meant that there was a neutrality in granting compensation claims. [00:14:00] Health: The Quinn Quinnell Report. [00:15:02] Health: The way that compensation was paid was to see if the men could get jobs elsewhere, even if they lost limbs. [00:16:36] Health: If men had Pneumoconiosis they were suspended immediately from the mines. If they got work elsewhere they did not get compo. [00:18:05] Health: Some men continued to work when suspended as there was no other work and the shortage of workforce. [00:18:20] Health: They had to work as they lived in coal owners houses and had young families. [00:19:54] Health: Very bitter about legislation as it was weighted in favour of the coal owners. It forced men back into work. [00:21:10] Health: Saddened that successive govenments have not carried out the wishes of the pioneers. [00:22:29] Health: The Butler Cuts. [00:22:50] Health: Introduction of prescription charges. [00:24:04] Social: The National Union of Miners today. [00:25:53] Health: Today, concern over the scurge of Pneumoconiosis - should be extended to include Brochitis and Emphysaema. [00:27:04] Health: Deaths recorded as being due to Pneumoconiosis. [00:28:01] Health: What the widows have to do to nurse their husbands who have chest diseases. [00:29:06] Health: Legislation that allowed men back to work who have 10% or less Pneumoconiosis. [00:30:10] Industry: 1951 re-employment scheme - many died after returning to the pit as they became a higher percentage of Pnuemo. [00:31:50] Industry: Waun Tarw Pit - men were to be trabsferred to another Pit so Miners resisted it. 15,000 went on strike, but to no avail men were transferred to Llnharan Pit.

Track 4. [00:00:10] Industry: Waun Tarw was subsequently closed and Llanharan soon after. Plenty of coal still in ground. [00:01:21] Industry: Union would not back the strikers. [00:02:10] Industry: Miners went to conference to vote on this but the bus carrying the delegates broke down so they did't get there to vote for Waun Tarw.