Swansea History Web. Questions answered.

More questions answered. If its not here yet we're either still working on it or someone's building up the courage to say they don't know the answer!

Chris Osment's query is rather specialised. We did wonder if anyone from Swansea Industrial Archaeology Society could help... 

"I am interested in the railways of Swansea and especially their signalling and signal-boxes. I have three questions in particular:
1. Are there any good photographs of the two signal-boxes at Swansea Bay station (both exterior and interior)?
2. The automatic block indicators on the Mumbles line were mounted on the posts which carried the overhead traction cable. Does anyone have any drawing or good close-up photograph showing the type of finial fitted to those posts?
3. Although much has been written about the main Mumbles railway, little is mentioned about its branch up the Clyne valley. Does anyone have details on the workings to/from the connection with the ex-L&NWR line at Mumbles Road station?" Any ideas?

Simon Thomas is asking about the clock that used to appear on the tower on the surviving castle building (By the way many thanks for your kind comments Simon. We're still trying to track down some details of the clock. We think it was the first public clock in Swansea but we hope to confirm this soon.
Alex Lawrence wanted some information on post 1945 tourism in Swansea. This is a rather difficult period for research. Early tourism is nicely covered in David Boorman's book Brighton of Wales. The post-war history of local tourism is largely dominated by the creation of Gower as an AONB in 1956 and the ramifications of the Countryside Act of 1949. The launch of Swansea Festival in 1948 could be interpreted as an intention to re-invent Swansea as a tourism destination. The twinning with the German town of Manheim in 1957 probably indicates the start of the gradual change in perceptions from a manufacturing to a service type economy with the consequent idea of tourism as a major input into the local economy. Tourism as an issue in the local economy certainly appears from the mid-1960s.

The West Glamorgan Archive Service holds considerable material belonging to the County Borough of Swansea for the period 1945 to 1974 and we suspect that the issue of tourism may have been the responsibility of one or more of the committees that were active in the regeneration of the town. There will undoubtedly be good quality resource material in the Archive but you may have to do some digging to find it. A good general start might be Chapter 16 in City of Swansea Challenges and Change

Marilyn Osment  wanted some information in October. There is a study of Swansea's Oxford Street School being completed at the moment and should be finished at the end of February. More then.
Colin Macmillan has been pondering over the Blitz photos:

'I believe the picture of ""General Damage"" is taken from Castle St. looking north towards High st. The round ornament on top of the right hand distant building appears to be on the Woolworth building (formerly the Cameron Hotel)and also the lampost in the foreground with it`s attached signholder appears to confirm this. See photos in ""Images of Swansea"" published last year by the ""Post"" p.20,26,115.

and staying up very late?

'I love these picture puzzles! The picture ""Further damage"" appears to be from the bottom of Temple St. looking North up Goat St.(however sometimes there seems to be confusion in books showing bomb damage, between Goat St. and Waterloo St.). The set of chimneys in the top right of the picture corresponds to chimneys at the North end of what is probably David Evans shop. Possibly with the ruins of the Wesley chapel at the distant right. See ""Swansea at War"" published by the ""Post"" 1988. p.31 (chimneys to left of flagpole), and p.29 to the top left area showing ariel view of David Evans with chimneys at left end and beyond that, the Wesley chapel. By the way, further to picture of ""General Damage"" the White structure high on the left is probably the clock on top of building at junction of Castle St. and College St. See p.133. ""Images of Swansea"" 1988 published by the ""Post"". Any more pictures to puzzle over? Colin'

Thanks Colin. You did far better than we could!


Geoff Clayton is looking for turn of the century  information on Walter Samuel (MP for Swansea West in the 1920s). So far we have been unable to find any background to his legal career, although we came across this poster from his 1922 election attempt.

Steve James wanted to know about the Cutty Sark. As far as we are aware, the Cutty Sark came into Swansea at least once in July 1919, but by then she was known as the Ferreira. See picture below:

(From the South Wales Daily Post 24 July 1919)

U. William wanted some information on the Blind Institute in Swansea. The Swansea Blind Institution in Picton Place was opened as workshops for blind people in 1865. There is a photograph of the Instutute in the early 1900s in W.C. Rogers' 'A Pictorial History of Swansea'.  The Welsh Regiment had a recruitment office inUnion Street in 1914, but it did not exclusively recruit for the Welsh Regiment as men with specialisms would be placed in other units. `

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The View for Sunday 4 December 2000

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