Swansea Copper Stories
Oral History Project
The Swansea Copper Stories project is part of an exciting initiative to collect and showcase oral testimonies of peoples’ experiences surrounding the Hafod-Morfa site. Through community engagement it became apparent that a huge trove of historical information exists that has yet to be recorded. Over the next few years, Swansea University is seeking to develop a digital platform for collecting and cataloguing a range of stories and oral histories, enabling the public to access these at the site and upload their own responses to it.
The interviews give an interesting view into the lives of the people who engaged with the site. They are spoken by those who experienced the events first hand and come with an emotive and authentic record of their own experiences. The recollections are based upon the situation of the interview itself, but the interviewees were mostly free to talk on what they thought to be most pertinent. These interviews come from a wide selection of different projects stretching over the last forty years. Most of these have been kindly granted use by the West Glamorgan Archives Service. Included here are also interviews conducted recently by volunteers from the friends of Hafod-Morfa Copperworks.
The stories given are some short selections based around key themes relating to the copperworks and its history.
Click below to find out out more about a different topic
In addition to the material on this website, we have a YouTube channel where these oral histories are uploaded and arranged into similar themes. The buttons below will take you to the playlists as they appear on YouTube.
Swansea Copper Stories was created by Benjamin J.R. Jennings. He is a History masters student at Swansea University and a volunteer for this project. The material was selected, arranged and complied from interviews conducted from various oral history projects now held at the West Glamorgan Archives. Special thanks given to the Friends of Hafod-Morfa Copperworks, all the interviewees and their families for allowing us to use this material.
The Hafod Morfa copperworks is currently exploring ways in which these oral histories can be presented at the copperworks itself, within the broader theme of digital heritage. In coming years, it is hoped that visitors will be able to experience and understand these oral testimonies at the very place where they happened.
Do you have stories to share about your experiences of Hafod-Morfa copper works? Maybe you have a family member who used to work at the site?
If you have a story to share, or wish to help us collect and record these stories please get in touch.
You can contact us:
Through our Facebook page, by emailing Stuart Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone at 01792 602617
About the Interviews
Edmund John Alban; born 2/21913 of Plasmarl, Swansea. Interviewed by John Alban, 1975. Courtesy of West Glamorgan Archive Service. File: TH12-1
Bill Ball worked at the site from 1942, he was interviewed by Ray Collier and Geoff Dendle 09/08/2016. Conducted by the Friends of Hafod-Morfa Copperworks and held at the West Glamorgan Archive Service.
Ted Beaumont worked at the site until 1980, he was interviewed by Geoff Dendle and Ray Collier 02/08/2016, and again on 02/01/2017. Conducted by the Friends of Hafod-Morfa Copperworks and held at the West Glamorgan Archive Service.
Alfred George Clarke; born 24/11/1906 of Kilvey, Swansea. Interview by Barry Fagg, 4/9/1975. Courtesy of West Glamorgan Archive Service. Files: TH01-1, TH01-2.
David John Dixon, born 12/1/1892, of Dinas Street, Plasmarl, and Iorweth Thomas, born 12/1/1904, of Dinas Street, Plasmarl. Interview by E.C. Williams and Kevin Morgan 1975. Courtesy of West Glamorgan Archive Service. File: TH25-1
Matthias Dixon; born 15/1/1906 of Treboeth, Swansea. Interview by K.R. Morgan and E.C. Williams 15/2/1978. Courtesy of West Glamorgan Archive Service. File: TH63-1.
W.H. Grenfell, born 28/9/1904 of Mumbles. Interview by Barry Fagg 1975. Courtesy of West Glamorgan Archive Service. Files: TH14-1, TH14-2
Cecil John Crole Lewis; born 17/3/1902, of Sketty, Swansea, Interview by B.C. Fagg 21/4/1976. Courtesy of West Glamorgan Archive Service. File: TH34-1
Leonard Daniel Matthews; born 17/9/1910 of Lon Coed parc, Swansea. Interview by B.C. Fagg 12/11/1977. Courtesy of West Glamorgan Archive Service. File: TH42-1
Evelyn Pugh; born 24/1/1909 of Cwmrhydyceirw, Morriston, Interview by E.C. Williams 5/5/1977. Courtesy of West Glamorgan Archive Service. File: TH52-1
The pictures used are courtesy of Swansea Museum.