Oral History collection: Cecil John Crole Lewis (born 17 Mar. 1902) interviewed by B.C. Fagg about Work experience as a copperman - Morfa and other copperworks. (NB. Poor quality recording initially - side 2).

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 216 TH 34
  • Dates of Creation
      21 Apr. 1976
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 audio recording

Scope and Content

Track 1. [00:00:08] Community: Barry Fag introduces Cecil John Crole Lewis on 21st April 1976. [00:00:19] Community: Being born in Birmingham in 1902 and moving to Swansea 2 years later. [00:01:05] Transport: Describing journey to work from Foxhall to Morfa, including using the tram, crossing the river via the White Rock ferry and seeing horse-drawn barges on the canal. [00:03:49] Industry: Working in the Morfa works, including details of wages, hours and getting sporting facilities via the Boys Welfare Association. [00:06:09] Transport: More description of the canal including seeing coal transported on it. [00:07:06] Industry: Description of the pumping function of Callan's Pit and how it was closed by Tirdoncyn Pit, Copper Pit, Mynydd Newydd and Pentre collieries refusing to pay for pumping, consequently they were all flooded and went out of business. [00:07:52] Industry: Describing construction work in Morfa Refinery undertaken by Zammetts of Llanelli and the problems with the high water table. [00:08:34] Industry: Describing how Landore became copper piping and tubing specialists in the 1960s. [00:10:17] Industry: Memories of first day working in Morfa as a 14 year old boy in 1916. [00:12:25] Industry: Preparing orders of copper sheets for shipping to India. [00:13:24] Transport: Using horse-drawn wagons, supplied by William Mitchell and Company of Plasmarl, to take copper from the factory to the docks. [00:15:56] Industry: Describing the importance of India as a customer and a discussion on the manufacture of brass. [00:17:05] First World War: Describing the recycling of spent cartridges. [00:18:37] Industry: Describing the mixing of a paint to write customers name and destination onto completed orders. [00:19:19] Industry: Moving from the warehouse to becoming a copper refiner in Middlebank works. [00:20:53] Industry: The surprise at being trained into copper refining as it was normally a closed, family based process. [00:22:52] Industry: Memories of copper refiners Charlie Dirk and the Morgan families, including a detailed discussion of the copper refining process. [00:29:11] Industry: Memory of how 'the Hafod gang' of copper refiners were adulterating copper with lead in order to finish work early. [00:31:58] Industry: Discussing the skills required, the terminology and process used in the production of copper. [00:38:32] Industry: Describing the design, construction and maintenance of the factory roof. [00:40:38] Industry: Describing work environment and equipment around the rotary converter. [00:42:18] Industry: Describing the disposal of waste products, ash and clinker and one employee who would illegally dump into the river. [00:43:38] Industry: Describing the tidiness of the work area and the age range of the workers there and the nature of the work involved. [00:45:00] Industry: No retirement age for workers, memory of new management bringing in retirement at age 65. [00:47:02] Industry: Explaining the skill of a copper refiner, and learning the skill from Billy Davies. [00:51:52] Industry: Relations between copper refiners and organisation of the copper industry in the Swansea area. [00:53:50] Industry: Describing firebox plates via the hammer forge. [00:55:19] Industry: Describing the highest paid and the highest status jobs in the copper foundry. [00:56:10] Industry: More duties of the copper refiner. [00:57:23] Industry: Memory of 'Ben the Mason' and 'David Davies The Post', Editor of the Evening Post in 1926.

Track 2. [00:01:28] Industry: Security at the Silver Works. [00:02:19] Industry: The family that ran White Rock Works 1930. [00:04:12] Industry: How the ore came into the White Rock Works, what was made from the ore. [00:05:08] Industry: Getting silver from led, the size of the works, amount of employees in the 1920s. [00:06:00] Industry: Describing the processes at the lead works. [00:09:29] Industry: Discussing the structure of the White Rock Works building, how the fumes from the lead were diverted, cleaning the culverts out. [00:00:00] Industry: Memories of working at White Rock Works Silver Works. [00:13:38] Industry: Discussing the health issues of working in the works. [00:15:04] Industry: Morfa Works - the construction of the bridge in 1914 over the river linking the two works, what went over the bridge. [00:17:58] Industry: How the bridge opened to let boats through, how the boats got to the works, it closed around 1935. [00:19:14] Industry: The method of making copper sulphate, what copper sulphate was used for, what boats collected the product and when. [00:21:14] Industry: How barrels of copper sulphate where loaded on to the boat. How the barrels were filled with copper sulphate and what the barrels were made of. [00:25:06] Industry: The boats that brought copper to the works. The fender along side the Morfa bridge where the boats were fixed. Changes that were made for the works railway. [00:27:12] Industry: A Garret engine on the railway. [00:28:12] Industry: Landore dock - where coal was loaded directly into the ships. [00:28:30] Industry: How the river was after the First World War. [00:29:16] Industry: Morfa tips 1953, where they took the excess material. [00:32:55] Industry: The tips by the Upper Bank Works. The Acid tips between Morfa works and Hafod works. [00:37:09] Industry: Describing the tips - Upper Bank, Middle Bank and Lower Bank. [00:37:51] Industry: First Munts metal that was ever made and why it was developed. [00:39:31] Industry: Continuing to describe the Upper, Middle and Lower Bank tips. [00:39:43] Industry: The Upper Bank zinc extractor plant. How the zinc was extracted and how difficult the working conditions were. [00:44:39] Industry: Memories of The Upper Bank tip. [00:47:42] Industry: Memories of Llys Newydd pond and the land around it. The Blue Stone works north of the Morfa bridge. [00:48:33] Industry: Memories of a commercial firm making zinc oxide around 1940. [00:51:33] Industry: Industry beneath the viaduct. [00:52:12] Family: Cecil John Crole Lewis discusses where he was born. Talks about his parents and where his Father worked. [00:53:44] Community: Where he Cecil John Crole Lewis and his parents lived in Wales and childhood memories of the first aeroplane that ever came to Swansea. [00:58:24] Community: Discussing where people use to congregate on the old Swansea Sands and the entertainment and amusements that were there.