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.

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Nia's Mum, Grandad and Aunt

Dead End Photos

By: Nia Evans, 2008

"I'm back to square one now, back to a pile of dead-end photos." Nia wants to learn more about her family.

Archive image of miner and pickaxe

Miner's Wife

By: Lilian Hobbs, 2008

"It's not until they talk about it that you suddenly realise what conditions they did work in."

A wall mounted gas lamp

The Gas Lamp

By: Judith Stevens, 2008

"It was at this gas lamp that most of us congregated - first to play, and as we got older, just to meet and chatter."

kids on a roof

Three Dreams

By: Derek Andrews & Alan Williams, 2008

"A Tale of Three Houses, and how three friends built them."


The Miners' Struggle

By: Les Rees, November 2007

"It was the one day in the year when they brought the horses to the surface." Les tells his story about the Ferndale Carnival of 1926.

Rhondda landscape


By: Catherine Craven, 2007

"We would be off first thing in the morning and back in the evening without a care." Catherine remembers walking everywhere with friends in her childhood.



By: Jackie Davies, 30 November 2007

"Now I've got blue scars on my left leg." Jackie Davies, from Porth, finds that certain smells trigger memories of the Rhondda.


A Stitch In Time

By: Patricia Jones, November 2007

"There were about five different kinds of welts and pipes and flaps and patch pockets." Patricia went from making toys and clothes to modelling them.


The Young, The Old and The Rhondda

By: Lawson Jones, November 2007

"Once you've been there, you'll remember it for the rest of your life." Lawson has found a few sporting stories while researching his family history.


The Start of My Journey

By: Hugh C Baker, November 2007

"A fitter with us caught his arm between a belt and a roller."

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About Rhondda Lives!

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.

When 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 Rhondda Lives! were made by people at a workshop at Valley Kids' Soar Centre in Penygraig in 2007 and 2008. A team from BBC Cymru Wales facilitated the digital story making with its many parts; storytelling, audio recording and assembling the visuals.

If you are interested in the project, please contact Katrina Kirkwood, the Community Media Co-ordinator at Valleys Kids, 1 Cross Street, Penygraig, CF40 1LD, or 01443 420870 or katrina@valleyskids.org

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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