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17 October 2014

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Rhondda Lives!

An engaging mix of archive 20th century film of the Rhondda Valley from as early as 1926 and the stories, memories and reminiscenses of people who live there.

This is a Valleys Kids Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, BBC Wales and the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales.

showing items 1 to 9 of 9
  • PatriciaA Stitch In Time

    Patricia Jones
    "There were about five different kinds of welts and pipes and flaps and patch pockets."
  • NiaMam Collins

    Nia Evans
    "Don't know if it was an old person thing but she always used to wear an apron."
  • LesThe Miners' Struggle

    Les Rees
    "It was the one day in the year when they brought the horses to the surface."
  • LawsonThe Young, The Old and The Rhondda

    Lawson Jones
    "Once you've been there, you'll remember it for the rest of your life."
  • JeanThank You Mr Gibbs

    Jean Pike
    "To earn money to buy this toothpaste, I ran errands."
  • JackieHome

    Jackie Davies
    "Now I've got blue scars on my left leg."
  • HughThe Start of My Journey

    Hugh C Baker
    "A fitter with us caught his arm between a belt and a roller."
  • GillianHiraeth

    Gillian Thomas
    "Homesickness is too weak; you feel hiraeth."
  • GeraintThe Conductor

    Geraint Rhys Davies
    "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing imperfectly."
showing items 1 to 9 of 9

There's another Rhondda Lives! story, in the Welsh language, by Catherine Craven on the Cipolwg ar Gymru website.

When people see places they recognise on a screen, memories flood back, and stories demand to be told. Valleys Kids wondered what would happen if those reactions could be captured and made into new, screenable material. In the vaults of BBC Wales and the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales lies footage from the last 80 years or so. A partnership was formed, Valleys Kids secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and researchers dug through the records to find material showing the Rhondda.

Last September, some of the clips were screened at a public event in Penygraig, Rhondda. You could hear the "ooohs" and "aaahs" of delighted recognition as the clips rolled.

The the first ten Rhondda Lives! stories you can see here were made by people at a workshop at Valley Kids' Soar Centre in Penygraig in November 2007. A team from BBC Cymru Wales facilitated the digital story making with its many parts; storytelling, audio recording and assembling the visuals.

As well as being published here, these stories are being shown at public screenings, on a touring video kiosk and face-to-face around the Rhondda. More digital stories are being made by Valleys Kids during 2008. If you are interested, please contact Katrina Kirkwood, the Community Media Co-ordinator at Valleys Kids, 1 Cross Street, Penygraig, CF40 1LD, or 01443 420870 or

Rhondda Lives! is a Valleys Kids Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, BBC Wales and the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales.

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