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Local History-Llanell-South Wales
Machynys 1950's - 1960's

Machynys History Photo-Gallery

The Lost Communities of Machynys and Bwlch y Gwynt

Reminescinces and Storys from Machynys and Bwlch y Gwynt

People of Bwlch y Gwynt Photo Gallery

Featured Photos
winner of the welsh urban section of the bbc's picture of britain competition 2005



Machynys 1950's to 1960's

To the south of Llanelli is an area called Machynys, and legend has it that Machynys was once a Island, but these days it is part of the main land.
There have always been people living and working on Machynys but most of these were farmers. There was a rumour that at one time there was a Monastery on the Island of Machynys.
During the mid to late 19th century things changed when the factory's for the Heavy industries of steel and Tinplating for which Llanelli became famous were built on the land of Machynys. With the factory's came houses for the factory workers ans so the communities of Machynys and Bwlch y Gwynt came into being.
Much of the Industrial and maritime history of Machynys can be found in the book "The Industrial and Maritime History of Llanelli and Burry Port 1750 - 2000" by R. S. Craig, R. Protheroe Jones and M. V. Symons Published by Carmarthenshire County Council (ISBN 0906 821 584).
Many of the photographs on the History Photo Gallery and the Machynys AV on the Digital AV page were taken by local photographer David Hopkins (1932 - 1970 ) son of Ted and Harriet Hopkins late of Maliphant Row, Machynys
The photographs show the heavily industrialised heart of Llanelli, without which the town would have never existed. They also represent the communities that have now, sadly, disappeared; communities of people that now live only in the memories of the few that remain. But it can be said that these people built the foundations on which the present town now stands, men and women who truly paid the price in blood, sweat and tears to keep alive the communities that were built around the steel and tinplate industries that once existed here.
Much has been written about the South Wales Coalfields, but the only reason why the mines around Llanelli came into being was to feed the nuerous blast furnaces.
The women who also worked in these places put in a day's work that would, today, be classed as slavery and this would be before returning home to carry out the tasks that were requied to keep a home. This it must be remembered was before the invention of the washing machine, vacum cleaner etc. The people of the communities of Machynys and Bwlch y Gwent were such people and although, sadly, many are no longer with us now, the memory of them is still strong amongst the few that remain.
They, like the area that once stood, will long be rememberd with fondness that belies the toil and hardship that these people endured to keep their communities alive.
Now that this area around Machynys has been cleared of the industry that once stood here, an outsider to the area would never believe that these places and people had ever existed but to us, that remember them they will never be forgotten and will live on for ever.

 

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Digital Derek - Digital Photography
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