Blaenavon in old picture postcards

Blaenavon in old picture postcards

:   Roger Bowen
:   Torfaen
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2269-6
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Blaenavon in old picture postcards'

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9. A group at the Blaenavon Cornpany Pattern Shop in the 1890s. The works as a whole were highly self-contained, and they included locomotive sheds, tyre mills and fitting shops. The work of the Pattern Shop consisted chiefly in the production of wooden moulds for use in the manufacture of machine parts.

10. A view of Blaenavon Works in the 1920s gives some idea of the se ale of the operation. The pithead winding gear can be seen just to the right of the second stack from the left. Local people will easily recognise the Coity houses near Coity Pit (which was used as a ventilation shaft for Big Pit). In the lower half of the picture can be seen the works laboratory which was built for Gilchrist Thomas's experiments. Visitors to Blaenavon today will find the scene greatly changed.

11. A rare view of the ladle tipper at the Blaenavon steelworks. It was used to convey mo1ten slag and other materials to the oompany's slag tips, which grew in time to almest mountainous proportions. The tip ping process would illuminate the night sky, and with it the entire town; some older residents of Blaenavon reeall that is was possible to stand in the main street at night and 'read a newspaper' by the glow from the tips? ! MI. Frederick Keen, the great-grandfather of the collector of these photographs, was killed while working at the tipper in 1901 - an incident which helps to illustrate the dangers which existed in industriallife at the time.

12. The ironworks at the New Side had taken over much of the tewn's iron production by the 1870s, although some sourees suggest that parts of the North Street site continued working until well into the 20th century. The furnaces at the old site were stripped in 1911, and the stone was used to build a new church (St. James's, near Bunker's Row), The gang involved in this work is shown here.

13. These female munition workers employed by the Blaenavon Company illustrate the important part played by women in the war effort between 1914 and 1918. Such was the quality of Blaenavon's work that a high commendation came from no less a person than the Welsh Wizard himself - David Lloyd-George, the Prime Minister of the wartime coalition. After enjoying the relative independenee of industrial work few women wished to return to dornestic service after the Great War had ended. The donor of this photograph, Mrs. Whitcombe, is one of the group shown.

14. These Blaenavon Brickyard workers were photographed in the last decade of the 19th century. Of special interest is the headwear of the men, which in many cases denoted their status in the works. The bowler-hatted gentlemen were presumably the 'gaffers'.

15. The supply of refractory bricks for furnace linings was vital to the steel industry of the valley, Blaenavon Brickyard, near the Bunker's Row workers' cottages, employed many women. Often they had to work in appalling conditions - sornetimes, according to contemporary reports, wading deep in the clay mixture used in the manufacturing process. Girls of under ten, in fact, were sometimes engaged in arduous work of this kind, the hardship of which seems to be reflected in the grim faces of the group pictured here. This photograph, incidentally, has been mentioned in the 'London Evening Standard'.

16. One of the many general-purpose steam locomotives which were maintained by the Blaenavon Company. The company had its own Wagon Shop for making and maintaining rolling stock, and it also had a Locomotive Shed for repairs to the engines. The driver (Mr. Coombes) and his latchman take an evident pride in their work. Some of the engines were christened affectionately with girls' names.

17. Another of the Blaenavon Company's steam engines - Llanfoist - is seen here in an early study taken at Pwlldu. Unlike the 'drams' used for conveying raw materials it ran on narrow-gauge track.

18. Gilwern quatry workers on site in 1890. Although their work was both arduous and dangerous (with many horrifying accidents on record), it was vital that limestone should be supplied for use in the iron-rnaking process in Blaenavon. Just visible in the background are a steam engine and 'drarns' (or 'trams'), which were used to convey the materials to the Blaenavon works by way of the Pwlldu tunnel. The tunnel also linked the iron works to Garndyrus rolling mills and to the canal.

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