This film is part of Free

Craig-cefn-parc: Mine, School and Christmas Cake

A stunning record of life in Craig-cefn-parc, Swansea, showing the local mine, the chapel (Pantycrwys), the school and the community.

Home movie 1948 14 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


In the days when everyone smoked and women always wore aprons – and rode side-saddle on the back of motorbikes – Joe Ivor Davies of Craig-cefn-parc took his camera out and about, recording his community from men at dangerous work in the local colliery (Clydach Merthyr, aka Nixon's) to children in the schoolyard, a woman washing a shop doorstep and a farmer with dog. A very cute kitten and the postman also feature, and a curious incident involving two men and a Christmas cake!

Clydach Merthyr Colliery (known locally as Nixon's), located at Craig-cefn-parc, was unusual for its almost total absence of gas, its underground blacksmithy and the boilers that were used to raise steam for haulage engines. In 1945, it employed almost 600 people. 16 years later, however, coal production ceased but the colliery was kept open until 1978 to provide ventilation and pumping for the nearby Graig Merthyr Colliery. The schoolyard scenes include shots of Alan Jones (b.1938) as a boy – he went on to play for Glamorgan County Cricket Club (1957-83), achieving renown as a phenomenal run-scorer and, later, an excellent coach.