This film is part of Free


It’s a paradox that significant, enjoyable opportunities for women often occur during periods of dire stress for their men (e.g. WWII, the miners’ strike of 1984/85).

Documentary 1988 55 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Rachel Thomas, the archetypal 'Mam', is seen playing the role once more in this history of the Valleys' mother from the repercussions of the 'Blue Books' of 1847 through to the miners’ strike of 1984/85. Historians, mothers and daughters discuss the responsibilities and restrictions of this role, which women have not often had a chance to shape for themselves, and hope that certain freedoms so recently won will be retained and built upon by future generations.

Diana Bianchi, Angela John and G A Williams present the historical context for the notion of the mother as the 'angel in the home'. Actresses Rachel Thomas and Sharon Morgan enact various scenes to illustrate the lives of mothers over a period of 150 years and Rachel Thomas is also seen playing the part of a mother in clips from two films - 'Proud Valley' and 'Blue Scar'. Women from the valleys (Dora Cox, Lavinia Davies, Maggie Jones, Alice Boxall, Iris Waite, Esme Kitto, Sian James, Glynnis Evans, Pam Thomas, Jean Williams, Ellen Cronin, Julie Rees, Mair Francis and Shirley Powell) speak of their own and their mothers' lives in relation to, and as subject to, the politics of the time in which they live or lived.