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This programme gives an account of the nature of the communities which grew up around the pits. Above all, it aims to convey the experience of solidarity which was the striking feature of this soci...ety exposed to danger and hardship. The three key institutions of chapel, trades unions and working men' s clubs were manifestations of this unified feeling. Education in this setting had clear political links. From the mid-nineteenth century the schools were the focus of political contention: then, the issue was the suppression of the Welsh language. Later on they were to become the focus of an unusually vehement debate between the parental view which saw the schools as a way of escape, and the official view which required that they service the mining- industry. The programme ends with a question about dislocation in today's community - the theme which is to be the core of the subsequent films.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: E202, Schooling and society
Item code: E202; 07
First transmission date: 17-07-1977
Published: 1977
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:19
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Producer: David M. Thompson
Contributors: John Davies; Peter Woods; Annie Powell; Ceri Lewis; Kelvin Evans; Will Paynter
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Education; Mining community; Rhondda Valley; Chapel; Trades Unions; Welsh language
Footage description: All sequences in this programme contain stills of the old mining communities of the Rhondda. Opening shots show a pub crowd singing. Woods introduces the programme over film of present day Rhondda. Interview with John Davies, headmaster, who comments on the strength of the old community. Former NUM General Secretary Will Paynter describes the character of the mining community. Short extract from old film of miners. Return to pub song. In interview Annie Powell, a former teacher, describes the political beliefs of the old community. Film of an election in the Rhondda in 1920s or 30s. Davies comments on the hardship of this period. Woods comments on the issue of the Welsh language. Shots of a woman singing a Welsh song, which she explains in voice-over. In interview Professor Ceri Lewis describes the importance of Welsh to the old Rhondda communities. Lewis describes the suppression of Welsh by English educators. Extract from BBC Wales play 'The Welsh Knot' Lewis describes some 19th century English opinions of the Welsh language. Film of scenes around Rhondda, especially chapels. Woods and Powell explain the importance of chapels in the 20th century. Lewis and Powell describe the closeness of these communities. Newsreel film of mining dispute. Paynter explains the connection between political beliefs and education. Powell and Woods explain the high regard for education held by Rhondda people. Film of working class scenes from the Rhondda. Davies describes in detail the attempts of the British government to control education in Wales. Powell gives examples of the way school leavers used to be exploited. Paynter describes his own education, and his belief in Marxism. Davies comments on the contradictions present in the Welsh enthusiasm for education. Sixth former Kelvin Evans comments on the Rhondda tradition of education. Film of children at a Rhondda school. Davies describes modern educational values in the area. Aerial views of the Rhondda, over which Woods comments on the effects of change. Paynter, Lewis and Powell describe changes in the modern Rhondda community. Pub scene.
Master spool number: 6HT/72556
Production number: 00525_6152
Videofinder number: 566
Available to public: no