Oral History collection: a) David John Dixon; b) Iorwerth. Thomas (born a) 12 Jan. 1892, b) 12 Jan. 1904) interviewed by E.C. Williams and K. Morgan about (Cont. from TH25): Early life/growing up in Plasmarl; early memories - general and Swansea; WW1; Mannesmann Works, 1920s and 1930s.

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 216 TH 31
  • Dates of Creation
      March 1976
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 audio recording

Scope and Content

Track 1. [00:01:56] Community: Introduction of interviewers (Kevin Morgan and Colin Williams) and interviewees (David Dickson, born 1892, and Iorwerth Thomas, born circa 1904, of Plasmarl). [00:02:05] Community: Iorwerth Thomas recalls having a Saturday job at Davies the Bakers in Brynhyfryd and how the bread was delivered by horse and cart. [00:03:40] Community: David Dickson recalls working in Millbrook Street, Schofields shop on a Saturday and evenings after school. [00:04:24] Community: Iorwerth Thomas recalls how people was make their own dough, borrow baking tins from Schofield who would bake them in their oven for a small fee. [00:06:28] Community: David Dickson remembers working as a grocery delivery boy for Schofields and the hours that entailed. [00:07:22] Community: The 2 men recall boys selling newspapers, including how 'dow' was a slang term for dozen. [00:08:28] Community: Discussion of the newspapers local to the Swansea area. Memory of editor Dai Davies who became councillor of Landore. [00:09:15] Community: Recalling the time of the Boer war, how the soldiers used to wear red tunics, men returning from South Africa, reciting a popular song naming the Generals of the Boer war (Lord Roberts, Kitchener, French, Buller, White, Baden-Powell, Hamilton and Kruger). [00:14:08] Community: Recollection of celebrations following the relief of Mafeking and Ladysmith, including getting a day off school and streets getting decorated. [00:15:03] Community: Memory of the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, David Dickson and Iorwerth Thomas don't recall a 'mock' funeral being held in Swansea. [00:16:17] Community: Recalling seeing the World War 1 troops at Landore train station. [00:18:56] Transport: Describing the importance of Landore station in the Welsh rail network. [00:19:35] Industry: David Dickson discusses how he was exempted from military service during World War 1 as he worked in Mannesmann Tube Company at that time, making munitions including parts for Mills bombs. [00:21:13] Industry: David Dickson recalls getting a job in 1906 when he was 14 years old in Mannesman factory through a contact in the church choir, includes description of general duties, hours and pay. [00:24:01] Industry: David Dickson discribes moving onto the cutting machines. [00:25:43] Industry: Iorwerth Thomas describes working at Mannesmann Tube Company from 1919. Including detailed descriptions of how bars of metal would be rolled to required specifications and how tubes were manufactured by piercing techniques. [00:35:29] Industry: David Dickson describes cutting tubes for Raleigh bicycles. [00:37:24] Industry: David Dickson talks about becoming a Chargehand in the Mannesmann factory, then a deputy Foreman before becoming Foreman. Also dealing with insurance Inspectors in the factory. [00:39:58] Transport: Describing making parts for merchant and Royal navies, and railway companies around Britain and Africa, America, Canada, etc. [00:40:55] Industry: Describing what happened when Inspectors failed tubes. [00:41:35] Industry: Discussion of wages in the Mannesman Tube Company (pre-World War 1) and ruminations on comparisons to other factories. [00:43:10] Community: David Dickson describes the hard economic times between 1922 and 1939, the 'hungry 30s' and 'pegging' being the slang term for signing on the dole. [00:47:03] Community: Iorwerth Thomas recalls being luckier to have less unemployment during the 1920s and 1930s, and the 2 men discuss more of the 'hungry 30s'. [00:48:29] Community: David Dickson describes holidays during the 1920s and 1930s with the Church Lads Brigade and the lack of paid holidays and the being sent home with no pay if work was short. [00:50:35] Industry: Iorwerth Thomas describes salaries in 1925 for errand boys and how the 'war bonus' paid during World War 1 continued long after the war. [00:52:07] Industry: The 2 men recall the early days of Mannesman Tube Company, including name change during World War 1 and changes of ownership and the peculiarities of steel required for manufacturing tubes. [00:56:55] Industry: David Dickson recalls the worldwide market for Mannesman tubes, and the international inspectors that came to the Landore works. [00:57:34] Industry: Iorwerth Thomas recalls how highly regarded workers from the Landore factory were regarded in the industry. [00:58:30] Community: The 2 men recall and discuss the 'General Strike' between 4th and 12th May 1926.