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The Sands of Swansea

Early bathing in Swansea Bay ] The Slip emerges ] Swansea Slip : the place to be... ] Swansea Slip: The place to be (continued) ] Swansea Slip:decline and fall ] Swansea Slip: Cleaning up the act ] Swansea Bay : The cleanup starts here ] Building a bridge at Swansea Slip ] [ The Swansea Slip Bridge ] Bert and Dick at the Beach ] Early Swansea sewerage schemes ] Swansea's Main Drainage Scheme ] Swansea's Main Drainage Scheme (Continued) ] A Map of Swansea's Main Drainage Scheme ] Swansea's sewerage system under Mumbles Head ] The Mumbles Head sewer outfall ] Slip Statistics ]

Up ] Things We See At Swansea Slip ] [ The Sands of Swansea ]

A Bert Thomas cartoon from 1905 gives a vivid impression of life at the Slip. Contrasting 'Romance and Reality', Bert is reflecting on the public debate over upgrading the sea front which dominated public thought at the time. There was a great deal of public support for a grand seafront promenade with Brighton style piers and elegant parks and fountains. That is until the cost of the scheme was revealed to alarmed ratepayers!

The reality was very different. Many traders preferred to set up their stalls near the Slip as they were assured of considerable numbers of people in fine weather.

'The Sands of Swansea'  South Wales Daily Post, 19 August 1905.

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SHW Microhistory: 3. The No.10 Lantern, Union Street

Probably the most enigmatic survival of early twentieth century Swansea.

It never ceases to amaze me that this lantern still hangs outside the No.10 pub in Union Street. When you consider the years of road traffic, the redevelopments, the Blitz, the refurbishments of the pub and its eventual conversion into a health food shop and this lantern still hangs there with the original glass. The No.10 imp seems to have been a Bert Thomas invention and was probably Swansea's most distinctive trademark in the years before the First World War. The lantern was part of the elaborate design of the front of the building and was certainly well known by 1906 as the cartoon on the right shows.

The lantern was a clever idea. In the early 1900s, Union Street was a mass of signs of all shapes and sizes, far more than would ever be allowed today. Finding something to make the No. 10 stand out in the street for customers to spot would have been quite a task. The lantern and the imp became a much loved and easily recognised symbol of an enjoyable Christmas.

More SHW Microhistory

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