Calling all Port Talbot steel experts

7 May 2016

Port Talbot Historical Society is appealing for the help of steelworkers as they try to identify the scenes in more than 1,000 photographs of steelmaking from the 1930s to the 1950s, for the Visions of Steel project.

Do you know what's going on in this photograph of Port Talbot steelmaking? Visions of Steel needs help to describe and date more than 1,000 photographs of Port Talbot's steel history

Do you know what’s going on in this photograph of Port Talbot steelmaking? Visions of Steel needs help to describe and date more than 1,000 photographs of Port Talbot’s steel history

The Historical Society saved more than a thousand glass negatives saved from being lost, and now, working in collaboration with the People’s Collection Wales Programme and National Library of Wales volunteers, the images have been digitized.

But many of the scenes depicted in the photographs have not been identified, and the project needs help from local people with knowledge of the steel making process in Port Talbot.

Damian Owen of the Historical Society said: “The photographs depict steelmaking people, places and processes from the 1930s to the 1950s – a crucial era when the town’s traditional steel plant was modernised and transformed to accommodate the new Abbey Works.

“But we need your help to date the photographs and to identify the people and places represented in them. If you have knowledge of Port Talbot’s steel industry, past and present, we would love to hear about it.”

The society is hosting several exhibition events where you can see some of the photographs and share your knowledge.

Two events will be held:

  • 7 May: Aberavon Shopping Centre 10am–2pm
  • 12 May: Blanco’s Hotel, Port Talbot 6.30pm–8.30pm

He added: “Your contribution could help interpret this important visual record of Port Talbot’s steel industry for future generations. We look forward to hearing from anyone who could help.”

You can contact us via email at visionsofsteel@swansea.ac.uk, or view and comment on the photographs online.

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