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Historic videos show Swansea of yesteryear

Historic footage of Swansea has emerged that shows how parts of the city looked in the 1950s and 1970s.

Castle Street 1952

The footage, discovered by Swansea Council staff at the West Glamorgan Archive Service, includes videos of Castle Street, the closing of South Dock, and motorists on a local stretch of the M4. 

Businesses that can be seen in the 1952 Castle Street video include Morsmith Motors, where Pizza Express is now based, and Hawkins Cottons in the former Inspirations shop building on the corner of Castle Square. Shops called Paige and Cavendish can also be made out in the footage.



The 1971 video at South Dock shows how Swansea Marina used to look, prior to its regeneration and the construction of the Civic Centre site.



Recorded in 1972, the footage of the M4 shows the type of vehicles that were using the road on the way to events like Wales rugby internationals at the National Stadium when stars including Mervyn Davies, Gareth Edwards and Gerald Davies were in the team.



Kim Collis, West Glamorgan Archivist at Swansea Council, said: "These videos make for terrific viewing because they show how Swansea has changed over the last 70 years or so, not just in terms of the type of vehicles and businesses on our roads, but also in terms of how areas like the former docklands have been regenerated.

"They're among a rich collection of videos, documents, maps, photographs, films and sound recordings that are available at the West Glamorgan Archive Service in the Civic Centre for people's enjoyment and research.

"This vast collection is also an extremely useful resource for people looking to discover their family tree or explore the local area's fascinating history."

Statistics show more than 7,000 visits to the West Glamorgan Archive Service in 2015/2016. Over 10,000 documents were issued in the Swansea search room.

The figures also show more than 1,500 teachers and pupils attended archive education sessions. Participating schools included Gors, Townhill and Cefn Hengoed.

Have a look at www.swansea.gov.uk/westglamorganarchives for more information or call 01792 636589.


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