Dulais Higher                    Family Histories

Dulais Higher


1960s.  Dai Francis (1911-1981), born in Onllwyn, and notable Communist leader of the South Wales NUM is pictured second right.  His son Hywel was instrumental in the creation of the South Wales Miners’ Library at the University of Swansea and became MP for the Abervaon constituency. Hywel passed away in 2021.  

Photo source: WT Davies, Now and Then series.

   •    Cwm Dulais History Society

    •    Dulais Valley Heritage Trail

    •    South Wales Miners' Library

    •    Real Wales - Introduction
by Peter Finch

    •    George Brinley Evans | Parthian Books
Local author from Banwen

    •    Welcome to Cadw
Welsh Government's historic environment service

    •    After Coal
Comparative project between South Wales and Appalachia, USA

    •    Nantyglo, Wales, mining photos
Remarkable collection of mining photographs from LIFE magazine, 1940s-50s.

    •    Ystradgynlais Family History Society

    •    The Banwen Miners Hunt - Cwn Hela Glowyr Y Banwen

    •    Coflein Mapping
Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments of Wales

    •    Map images - National Library of Scotland

    •    Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru - National Library of Wales : Historical Newspapers and Journals
Old Welsh newspapers

    •    Swansea - West Glamorgan Archive Service

    •    The Coal Mining History Resource Centre

    •    Geograph Britain and Ireland - photograph every grid square!
Photographs of (nearly) every grid square in the UK.

    •    Powys Family History Society

    •    Breconshire Local & Family History Society

    •    Welsh Labour | Llafur Cymru

    •    Llais Llafur Newspaper

    •    Coflein
Superb aerial photographs centred around the Roman camp at Coelbren.

    •    BBC Wales - Coalhouse - Your memories Working at Banwen Colliery
George Evans relates his experiences at Banwen Colliery.

    •    Welsh Coal Mines
Informative site detailing almost every colliery.

    •    RootsWeb: Genealogy Mailing Lists: Wales : POWYS
An invaluable source of information from other family historians.

    •    Nonconformity
The Welsh Religious Buildings Trust

    •    Ystradgynlais fallen of the First World War (WW1)

    •    When miners and gay activists united: the real story of the film Pride | Film | The Guardian
The film Pride (2014) was based on events in the Dulais Valley during the miners' strike of 1984-5

    •    The Silent Village (1943) - YouTube
Allegorical second world war propoganda film set around Seven Sisters and Ystradgynlais, reflecting the real events, in 1942, in the Czech mining village of Lidice. Most parts were played by local people.

    •    Watch Dulais Valley - carnivals, wedding, playground, swimming, majorettes online - BFI Player
Fascinating film of what for many was the highpoint of the year for the villages; amateur carnival footage from the 1960s-70s. Community events in Onllwyn and area filmed in colour from the 1950s-70s by Master Baker John Dillwyn Williams of Duffryn Bakery, Onllwyn. There are carnivals with floats, majorettes, women dressed up as Charlie Chaplins and Diddy Men, and an accordion player in action, and there are colliery playgrounds/pools at Seven Sisters and Onllywn. The Queen passes through Hirwaun in 1953 and the majorettes in the final carnival, at Onllwyn, have had spectacular costumes made. The first carnival seen is at Dyffryn Cellwen c. 1976. The accordion player is Ted Boyle and local artist George Brinley Evans, who worked at Banwen Colliery and had his first book published in 2000 at the age of 75, is present. Hywel Francis, later Labour MP for Aberafan, can be seen as a boy by the paddling pool at Onllwyn. The ‘Diddy Men’ were used by Liverpudlian comedian Ken Dodd in his act – they were little men from the Treacle and Jam Butty mines of Knotty Ash, Liverpool.”

    •    Coelbren Schhool 1
Powys Digital History Project for schools: Coelbren School

    •    Britain from Above


 Your name

 Your email


Copyright © the text and authorial photographs Gareth Jones 2015-23