Oral History collection: Cecil John Crole Lewis (born 17 Mar. 1902) interviewed by B.C. Fagg about (Cont. from TH34): Early memories of Swansea - fairground on beach/bioscopes/plane at Blackpill, etc.; opening of King's Dock; work as copperman in Morfa and other copperworks; Swansea Trams. .

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 216 TH 35
  • Dates of Creation
      21 Apr. 1976
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 audio recording

Scope and Content

Track 1. [00:01:13] Transport: Remembering the Mumbles train and seeing it on the day that the Kings Dock was opened. [00:02:02] Transport: Describing how the Kings Dock was 'opened' by a ship, the SS Polyphemous. [00:03:29] Industry: Describing construction of the Kings Dock by Topham, Jones and Railton. [00:05:05] Community: Recalling an area known as 'Fabian's Bay' which lent it's name to a Church in St Thomas and also Fabian Way. [00:05:30] Community: Describing wandering the docks and boarding ships as children, seeing Chinese sailors. [00:06:10] Community: Remembering Sullivan's Tavern, and the café they opened for the dock workers. [00:07:25] Community: Describing the 'one o'clock gun', a cannon fired in Swansea at 1pm every day. [00:08:00] Industry: Discussion of hours worked in the docks and describing some of the physical labour undertaken in dock and ship work. [00:09:06] Transport: Describing the profession of 'a block and spar maker'. [00:09:44] Community: Cecil recalls his Grandfather, a Methodist lay preacher in Old Mount Tabor Chapel and playing in the Chapel as a boy. [00:00:00] General: Barry Fag Introducing Cecil Lewis 17/05/1976. [00:00:12] Entertainment: Recalling Wind Street and 'Magic Latern' shows in the Star Theatre in Edwardian Swansea. [00:11:43] Community: Describing how some of the streets in St Thomas were named after battles in the Crimean War. [00:12:10] Transport: Describing the widespread use of horse-drawn vehicles and the loading of cargo into the ships. [00:13:23] Community: Recalling the docks at night being lit by blue electric lights. [00:14:50] Industry: Remembering a neighbour, Mr Blythe, who was a deep sea diver. [00:15:04] Transport: Describing the 'Ha'penny Bridge' at the bottom of Wind Street, and Mr Lawson / Lawton the toll-keeper. [00:16:10] Transport: Recalling the bridges that would open to let the ships to pass and the disruption that this could occasion. [00:17:00] Transport: Remembering the hydraulic bridge and the North Dock. [00:17:45] Industry: Describing the goods that came in and went out of the North Dock. [00:19:02] Industry: Recalling the Ice House. [00:19:35] Community: Describing the Mackworth Hotel and the fruit markets. [00:20:38] Industry: Describing the Metal Exchange in York Street and describing the business process that went on there. [00:23:15] Transport: More details on the North Dock and its place in the industrial infrastructure of Swansea. [00:24:23] Transport: How the Kings Dock superceded the North Dock and allowed for biggers ships and how grain cargos were unloaded. [00:25:58] Industry: Recalling Weavers mill. [00:27:32] Community: Remembering the May Day show where companies would display their horses and wagons. [00:28:45] Industry: Recalling the Blacksmiths and Farriers in the town, like Mr Gig in Wassel Square. [00:29:15] Education: Discussion of levels of illiteracy in industry at the time. [00:30:07] Community: Remembering the Ben Evans store from very early C20th, including how some staff lived on the premises. [00:35:25] Community: Describing how the castle and Bishop's palace ruins were mistreated. [00:37:24] Community: Recalling Wind Street on a Saturday night, including how shops were sometimes open until 11pm. [00:39:32] Entertainment: Remembering the drinking and the theatres in the town, the Empire, the picture houses and early cinemas like the Star and the Palace. [00:41:21] Entertainment: Recalling the pre-cinema days, the annual visit of Poole's Myriorama, a moving panorama show depicting things like the sinking of the Titanic. [00:43:15] Entertainment: Remembering the Albert Hall in Swansea and some of the people who appeared in it and the functions it was used for and the Patti Pavilion. [00:44:55] Community: Describing how Swansea was a shopping destination from people much further afield, such as Treorchy, Ystradgynlais, etc. [00:47:37] Community: Recalling High Street at the time, including Pope the Butchers, Panks the sportswear shop, and Cockle-sellers. [00:50:08] Transport: Remembering the trams. [00:54:50] Community: Describing the development of what was to become Townhill, starting with Garden Village. Includes some mention of the workhouse. [00:58:15] Community: Recalling some of the old streets and courts of Swansea. [00:59:50] Community: Memories of the workhouse, which functioned also as a geriatric hospital (recording eventually runs out).