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I love to sit down with my older friends and listen to them reminiscing about a South Wales I barely remember. It was a world of heavy industry, steam trains, bustling shops, thriving pubs, music, poetry and culture; a world peopled with political radicals, sporting heroes, self-taught intellectuals, and legions of unassuming men and women who never made the pages of the history books.
I’ve been travelling through the valleys of South Wales for a number of years, photographing the visual legacy of this vanished world. But as time has gone on, I’ve become aware of the fact that the stories which accompany these buildings are also vanishing. My grandmother used to love reminiscing about her childhood in Hirwaun, and it’s to my eternal regret that I never wrote down her tales. Now, sadly, I’ll never be able to.
That’s why I’ve decided to try and pin down some of my older pals, and chat to them in an informal setting about ‘the good old days’ – always a good topic of conversation. I’ll be recording our conversations, and then editing them for publication here. I’ll be adding photos as well, some from my own extensive collection, and some kindly supplied by my friends.
If you have a relative or friend who’d be interested in taking part in this ongoing and open-ended project, please drop me a line at and I’ll arrange a convenient time to meet up. It’s not exclusively for older people, though – if you’ve got a story to share, then please get in touch as well.
Posted in History, Oral History, South Wales, South Wales Valleys, The Valleys | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment