"Snapshots of history" - serious post from me here. - HotUKDeals
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"Snapshots of history" - serious post from me here.

taasda Avatar
8y, 8m agoPosted 8 years, 8 months ago
"Home on vacation in 1972, a photography student saw that the essence of his Welsh town was about to be torn apart by redevelopment. Now the social significance of his images has been recognised. Chris Arnot reports"

Came across this on The Guardian site. If you click on the "in pictures" to the right of the photo, there are some amazing pictures. I cannot get over the fact this was 1972 as it appears much older than that. Perhaps it's the black and white photography that does it.
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taasda Avatar
8y, 8m agoPosted 8 years, 8 months ago
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#1
#2
Wow! Having looked at the photos and read the 'blurb' you realise just how much of a story each photo holds.

Well worth spending a few minutes looking through the article & the photos.

Good find:thumbsup:
#3
Without knowing, you would put them in the 50's at the latest, wouldn't you?
Some characters there, but I would guess that the people of Merthyr Tydfil would not recognise the series of pictures as typical or representative. Rather more gypsies than you might expect and the photos suggest a run-down area - even on the new build. I think they are 'art' rather than 'history'.
Made me think.:thumbsup:
#4
chesso, Merthyr was (and parts of it still are) a run down area.

In my Dad's village the first people to get electricity in their house did so in the late 50's, & the rest of the village thought it was a 'passing fad'! My Aunt didn't get a bathroom until the mid 70's (her house had a metal tub in the kitchen - the kitchen door window had a curtain that you pulled across to stop people peeking!)
#5
cis_groupie
chesso, Merthyr was (and parts of it still are) a run down area.

In my Dad's village the first people to get electricity in their house did so in the late 50's, & the rest of the village thought it was a 'passing fad'! My Aunt didn't get a bathroom until the mid 70's (her house had a metal tub in the kitchen - the kitchen door window had a curtain that you pulled across to stop people peeking!)


Of course in the 50's things were run down, in Wales, the North, most everywhere. - post war rationing, post-war people, a country on the rocks and people working very hard at tough jobs. My nan and grandad had a tin bath in front of the range. Toilets were outside, beds were shared. Babies were put in an open drawer for the night!! It was usual.
I think that I didn't phrase my thoughts very well. I was probably trying to say that if the photos had been taken in the 50's that they would have been a pretty accurate representation but by 1972, things were definitely still run down (your Aunty) but not that run down. The photographer chose subjects that captured not 1972 but, already, an echo of the past. Maybe:?:
#6
chesso
Of course in the 50's things were run down, in Wales, the North, most everywhere. - post war rationing, post-war people, a country on the rocks and people working very hard at tough jobs. My nan and grandad had a tin bath in front of the range. Toilets were outside, beds were shared. Babies were put in an open drawer for the night!! It was usual.
I think that I didn't phrase my thoughts very well. I was probably trying to say that if the photos had been taken in the 50's that they would have been a pretty accurate representation but by 1972, things were definitely still run down (your Aunty) but not that run down. The photographer chose subjects that captured not 1972 but, already, an echo of the past. Maybe:?:


The photographer chose subjects that captured not 1972 but, already, an echo of the past. Maybe

That's probably it.
I think the vast majority of us have a far greater standard of living today but have we lost something?
I was working for a company that promoted me and sent me to The Rhondda Valleys to work - a place I had never visited. I now consider that time a privilege in the way that I was able to see a part of living history. My memories are the very long streets where all the doors were open and every householder insisted you had a cup of tea. The other memory that stands out were the number of men who were home disabled due to mining accidents. The number of houses that had oxygen bottles in their living rooms and the number of men that had blue scars on their bodies. The main memory, though, was the community spirit and,in my case, how they welcomed strangers. I can only assume that mining communities all over the UK were the same. Today, we live better but perhaps more isolated.
#7
It’s a tricky one isn’t it? The standards of living and health have improved, of education – I doubt it. Of happiness and a feeling of community, I feel that the surveys reflect real fear and isolation that people feel.
In smallish communities based around one industry – mining, steelworks, big factories - there was a coherence through the generations in families and welfare groups and unions to take care of everyone. There was also a strong political will and a self assurance that any reasonable need would be provided for. That is not to say that there were not fights and criminals and massive amounts of alcohol-related violence and discrimination against women and a lack of understanding that the world was moving rapidly on, so frustration with minority groups. The smashing of the miners in the 70’s was a victory for the elites and, I think, started the decline into the isolation that even those with close families and friends somehow still feel.
So, this is what I reckon, somehow we all yearn to be loved and cared for, we tend to see that associated with the past – when we were children or young adults – and there were many good aspects of communities in the past but those same communities were exploited, rabble-roused to war, physically damaged and disadvantaged – they did the best they could, they banded together and there was great kindness and that is what we admire.
The photographer caught that, I think.
Steps down from the chapel pulpit!!:oops:
#8
chesso
It’s a tricky one isn’t it? The standards of living and health have improved, of education – I doubt it. Of happiness and a feeling of community, I feel that the surveys reflect real fear and isolation that people feel.
In smallish communities based around one industry – mining, steelworks, big factories - there was a coherence through the generations in families and welfare groups and unions to take care of everyone. There was also a strong political will and a self assurance that any reasonable need would be provided for. That is not to say that there were not fights and criminals and massive amounts of alcohol-related violence and discrimination against women and a lack of understanding that the world was moving rapidly on, so frustration with minority groups. The smashing of the miners in the 70’s was a victory for the elites and, I think, started the decline into the isolation that even those with close families and friends somehow still feel.

So, this is what I reckon, somehow we all yearn to be loved and cared for, we tend to see that associated with the past – when we were children or young adults – and there were many good aspects of communities in the past but those same communities were exploited, rabble-roused to war, physically damaged and disadvantaged – they did the best they could, they banded together and there was great kindness and that is what we admire.
The photographer caught that, I think.
Steps down from the chapel pulpit!!:oops:


I am glad you stopped to draw breath.:-D
Well put though.
#9
chesso
The standards of living and health have improved, of education – I doubt it.


Dunno if I read that right- but my experience of teaching in a number of Valleys schools is really positive. The WA and LEAs are well funded (to a point) and much time and thought is put into community education. Many (most?) of the teachers in the schools of small communities have lived there all their lives (perhaps few would choose to move to remote communities for work) and so the nature of local society is well known and kept as part of the ethos of the schools. Of course, it can easily be seen that the education is either pointless- few new local jobs for school leavers to go into when they finish education- or indeed dividing, as the keenest learners will most likely have to leave their local communities in order to progress in life.

Looking at somewhere like America, there are 'ghost towns' which were once thriving mining communities- many were centered around gold mines of the 1800s. With no way to make money once the deposits were exhausted, the towns became deserted. Once the mines of Wales were closed, I guess the Government had the problem of either suggesting major rehousing or- as happened- paying benefits and not really having any ideas for how to regenerate the locales. The thing is that it isn't just these smaller communities; I feel that events such as the Bridgend suicides are linked to the general feeling of 'no future' in the teenagers of quiet towns around the country. That's the feeling I get from teaching- the younger pupils presume they'll be famous and rich, the tweenies think they are about to get there, and the mid teens think they are failing in some way.

Anyway, back on topic- It's interesting that we think that these photos look really dated, but back in 73 when I was born (in Bristol to my pretty middle class parents), we were five or six years away from our first fridge, five years away from our first car, all the local kids played together out in the back of our starter home estate up by the garages, and we were ten years away from getting a Vic 20! We had a coal fire and no central heating, and probably four sets of clothes. Holidays were a week in a rented cottage in Wales, no more than 50 miles from our house (we were middle class- most of my school pals never got a holiday away). 73 may be only 35 years ago, but it was entirely different to 2008- much closer in terms of what we had and expected from life to the 40s/50s than modern times. Ya dig?
#10
billyX
Dunno if I read that right- but my experience of teaching in a number of Valleys schools is really positive.

Right then youngster!!! Joking.
Problem isn't with the effort or finance or teachers or ........... , in fact I don;t know what the problem is but for some reason lots of kids can't read and write adequately, or do sums. That must reflect to some extent the standard of education as achieved by the pupils.
Also, I was ranting more in general about working class communities, than specifically about Merthyr or anywhere else.
Interesting second paragraph and I agree with your third.
#11
Cheers chesso- nice response. I meet and talk to a lot of people who think that youngsters can't read and write, but tbh in twelve years of teaching Primary I honestly haven't encountered this. Many pupils who are 'behind' or 'not interested in learning', (all of whom get one to one 'catch up' tuition) but not a single pupil who has left Y6 unable to function at a reasonable level- apart from the pupils we only see a few times a term, whom we are unable to assess due to their continued non-attendance. I've worked in a heck of a lot of schools, from Private schools to schools where the Head has told me 'the parents don't give a **** about their kids'. I've worked in Manchester and Cardiff and the Valleys, so have seen a fair bit- but obviously not everything. I do know that schools not hitting ability targets hit problems quickly- dismissals, special measures, knee jerk reactions, some might say. The opportunity to let pupils leave school unable to read seems to no longer be there. As a teacher, if I ended a year with just one pupil not hitting the appropriate targets, i'd be very worried.

I think you'll probably be interested in my opinions as a teacher, so here goes-
the problems:

The curriculum is too full nowadays- three Rs plus ICT, DT, extended RE, the insane idea of five hours of cultural trips a week and five hours of sport can't fit into a five hour teaching day.

Teachers are expected to be able to use all the technology provided after attending a few one day courses. That's fine for me, but for those who are 50 and don't have a PC at home- forget it.

Language is changing because of technology and teaching isn't allowed to reflect this. In a few years I honestly believe that 'txt spk' will be the norm for quick communication, and voice recognition will cover the rest. Should we, as teachers, embrace this imminent change?

I'm coming round to the idea that maths should be a vocational skill. Volume, fractions, and algebra are things that i've not used since secondary school. I've never taught a KS2 pupil who was unable to add, subtract, multiply, and divide by the time they were in Y3. Does the average worker need to know more than that?

Finally- the real 'hot potato'. I think that every child should have an hour of ICT a day- rather than one a week- and it should be pupil-led. Every child will end up working with computers no matter what job they take, and I have never met a child who does not enjoy time in the ICT suite. ICT seems to lead directly to everything; if you're coding, you will develop your maths skills. If you're posting on a forum, you're using your language and communication skills. A good site will require an amount of artistry, and potentially communication across borders; Geography, Religion, and even History is combined here. It's an interesting debate, and unfortunately the nature of the construction of Education means we can't react quickly to the rapid changes that the internet is imposing on us.

As a country, we're in decline. No real industry, worshiping of false idols, increasing debt and a complete paradigm shift from the values we held in the 70s. Blimey, it's bad!
#12
billyX
Cheers chesso- nice response. I meet and talk to a lot of people who think that youngsters can't read and write, but tbh in twelve years of teaching Primary I honestly haven't encountered this. Many pupils who are 'behind' or 'not interested in learning', (all of whom get one to one 'catch up' tuition) but not a single pupil who has left Y6 unable to function at a reasonable level- apart from the pupils we only see a few times a term, whom we are unable to assess due to their continued non-attendance. I've worked in a heck of a lot of schools, from Private schools to schools where the Head has told me 'the parents don't give a **** about their kids'. I've worked in Manchester and Cardiff and the Valleys, so have seen a fair bit- but obviously not everything. I do know that schools not hitting ability targets hit problems quickly- dismissals, special measures, knee jerk reactions, some might say. The opportunity to let pupils leave school unable to read seems to no longer be there. As a teacher, if I ended a year with just one pupil not hitting the appropriate targets, i'd be very worried.

I think you'll probably be interested in my opinions as a teacher, so here goes-
the problems:
[COLOR="Red"]Yes. I'm a secondary science teacher myself, so I am interested[/COLOR]

The curriculum is too full nowadays- three Rs plus ICT, DT, extended RE, the insane idea of five hours of cultural trips a week and five hours of sport can't fit into a five hour teaching day.
Y[COLOR="red"]es, and citizenship, leadership work experience, vocational studies ....[/COLOR]
Teachers are expected to be able to use all the technology provided after attending a few one day courses. That's fine for me, but for those who are 50 and don't have a PC at home- forget it.
[COLOR="red"]As it happens, I am quite old but being a scientist I suppose that thissort of stuff is up my street - not to the taste of everyone though, I have to help out the 30 year olds in my dept,Also my hubby is pretty tech hot.,[/COLOR]
Language is changing because of technology and teaching isn't allowed to reflect this. In a few years I honestly believe that 'txt spk' will be the norm for quick communication, and voice recognition will cover the rest. Should we, as teachers, embrace this imminent change?
No[COLOR="red"], because the standard is the standard. Text is accpatable when there is limited space/capability - as on a mobile. It is not an excuse for slack useage. I have seen your other posts on this and acknowledge the difficulties but we are the barrier!![/COLOR]
I'm coming round to the idea that maths should be a vocational skill. Volume, fractions, and algebra are things that i've not used since secondary school. I've never taught a KS2 pupil who was unable to add, subtract, multiply, and divide by the time they were in Y3. Does the average worker need to know more than that?
[COLOR="red"]Yes, because numeracy is intrinsic to a capitalist society and practising it exercises the brain.[/COLOR]
Finally- the real 'hot potato'. I think that every child should have an hour of ICT a day- rather than one a week- and it should be pupil-led. Every child will end up working with computers no matter what job they take, and I have never met a child who does not enjoy time in the ICT suite. ICT seems to lead directly to everything; if you're coding, you will develop your maths skills. If you're posting on a forum, you're using your language and communication skills. A good site will require an amount of artistry, and potentially communication across borders; Geography, Religion, and even History is combined here. It's an interesting debate, and unfortunately the nature of the construction of Education means we can't react quickly to the rapid changes that the internet is imposing on us.
[COLOR="red"]Wouldn't disagree for a moment. Almost all my lessons have plans based on white-board or practicals or alternative IT research - if only my school didn't hog all the computers for IT lessons.[/COLOR]

As a country, we're in decline. No real industry, worshiping of false idols, increasing debt and a complete paradigm shift from the values we held in the 70s. Blimey, it's bad!


[COLOR="red"]So, we at least are the ones who are talking to the next generation. Let's make it good !!![/COLOR]
#13
I think you are both great and whether you like it or not, you are our future. I hope you can give what you want to give and not what others want. Thank you for your efforts.
#14
taasda
I think you are both great and whether you like it or not, you are our future. I hope you can give what you want to give and not what others want. Thank you for your efforts.

Thanks taasda, for the interesting thead as well.
No pressure on us teachers then - just the fate of society and all our children:roll:
#15
chesso
Thanks taasda, for the interesting thead as well.
No pressure on us teachers then - just the fate of society and all our children:roll:


Exactly but a job you are well paid for. :whistling:
I really wish.:)
#16
Really interesting to read the above.
If I might be so bold as to add my beliefs.

The curriculum is too full nowadays- three Rs plus ICT, DT, extended RE, the insane idea of five hours of cultural trips a week and five hours of sport can't fit into a five hour teaching day.
[COLOR="Red"]Yes, and citizenship, leadership work experience, vocational studies ....[/COLOR]
[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]RE should be dropped and included into citixenship. School hours should be extended.[/COLOR]
Teachers are expected to be able to use all the technology provided after attending a few one day courses. That's fine for me, but for those who are 50 and don't have a PC at home- forget it.
[COLOR="Red"]As it happens, I am 56 but being a scientist I suppose that thissort of stuff is up my street - not to the taste of everyone though, I have to help out the 30 year olds in my dept,Also my hubby is pretty tech hot.,[/COLOR]
[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]Surely Teachers like the rest of us have a responsibility to keep up with technology if we wish to function in the changing world. It's not like the technology is specific to schools in the main.[/COLOR]
Language is changing because of technology and teaching isn't allowed to reflect this. In a few years I honestly believe that 'txt spk' will be the norm for quick communication, and voice recognition will cover the rest. Should we, as teachers, embrace this imminent change?
[COLOR="Red"]No, because the standard is the standard. Text is accpatable when there is limited space/capability - as on a mobile. It is not an excuse for slack useage. I have seen your other posts on this and acknowledge the difficulties but we are the barrier!![/COLOR]
[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]Agree with Chesso totally[/COLOR]

I'm coming round to the idea that maths should be a vocational skill. Volume, fractions, and algebra are things that i've not used since secondary school. I've never taught a KS2 pupil who was unable to add, subtract, multiply, and divide by the time they were in Y3. Does the average worker need to know more than that?
[COLOR="Red"]Yes, because numeracy is intrinsic to a capitalist society and practising it exercises the brain.[/COLOR]
[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]I agree with billy on this one. Basic Maths yes, all that other stuff that never gets used by the majority of people should be an option I think[/COLOR].

Finally- the real 'hot potato'. I think that every child should have an hour of ICT a day- rather than one a week- and it should be pupil-led. Every child will end up working with computers no matter what job they take, and I have never met a child who does not enjoy time in the ICT suite. ICT seems to lead directly to everything; if you're coding, you will develop your maths skills. If you're posting on a forum, you're using your language and communication skills. A good site will require an amount of artistry, and potentially communication across borders; Geography, Religion, and even History is combined here. It's an interesting debate, and unfortunately the nature of the construction of Education means we can't react quickly to the rapid changes that the internet is imposing on us.
[COLOR="Red"]Wouldn't disagree for a moment. Almost all my lessons have plans based on white-board or practicals or alternative IT research - if only my school didn't hog all the computers for IT lessons.[/COLOR]
[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]Totally agree with both[/COLOR].

As a country, we're in decline. No real industry, worshiping of false idols, increasing debt and a complete paradigm shift from the values we held in the 70s. Blimey, it's bad!
[COLOR="Red"]So, we at least are the ones who are talking to the next generation. Let's make it good !!![/COLOR]
[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]I think kids still look up to and respect Teachers nowadays and in some respects more than in the past. The problem lies IMO in the lack of discipline seemingly allowed. Kids will always push as far as they can , it's natural. Just seems like nobodies reigned them back in for years now. All this softly softly rubbish does tem no good.
Children like discipline, it makes them feel safe and secure, they like to know just how far they can push things and I've never met a kid yet who didn't except that if they crossed a line they would have to accept the punishment.
We need to brings those lines back to a healthy level of discipline.

Right, like it or not there you have an ignorant parents point of view !

Greatest respect to both of you and all teachers out there. Passion is a good word at this time of the year :)[/COLOR]
#17
I think, hottoshop, that the kids are pretty tired after 5 x one hour lessons, so extending the school day might be a good social idea but shouldn't be more of the same - more like a youth club maybe??

I would bet that 99% of people - teachers/parents etc - would like a firm but fair approach. An ex-pupil of mine was in the other day, to do with a family member being bullied. She knew the bullier and I said, jokingly something along the lines of - I'd go and have one of my words with the bully and frighten them.
She (and she was one who tended to get into trouble at school) said 'I was never frightened of you but I always behaved in your lessons, because I respected you. There's a big difference.' I was both pleased (and surprised from this particular lady) but it is a sentiment that I hear a lot.
#18
chesso
I think, hottoshop, that the kids are pretty tired after 5 x one hour lessons, so extending the school day might be a good social idea but shouldn't be more of the same - more like a youth club maybe??

I would bet that 99% of people - teachers/parents etc - would like a firm but fair approach. An ex-pupil of mine was in the other day, to do with a family member being bullied. She knew the bullier and I said, jokingly something along the lines of - I'd go and have one of my words with the bully and frighten them.
She (and she was one who tended to get into trouble at school) said 'I was never frightened of you but I always behaved in your lessons, because I respected you. There's a big difference.' I was both pleased (and surprised from this particular lady) but it is a sentiment that I hear a lot.


I think pupils should start earlier. To be honest in an ideal world I would like to see children given the option of breakfast at school but I doubt that would ever happen.
Anyway as I say, start earlier and not after 8am, 2 x 1 hour lessons, half hour break, 2 x 1 hour lessons, 1 hour break , 2 x 1 hour lessons.
8am to 3:30pm.
1st lesson warming up so very much an interactive lesson to get the juices flowing.
Last lesson, again something interactive to keep the attention and avoid tiredness setting in.

Once into the swing of things they wouldn't suffer any ill effects, kids have more energy than any other age group providing it is nurtured correctly.


As for discipline, as I say I've yet to meet a child that doesn't react well to positive discipline. They may whinge and moan about it at the time but take it away and replace is with anarchy and they will hate it.
10 times out of 10 they would vote for a disciplined environment in my experience.

To be honest I think the majority of adults behave in the same manner. It's a natural instinct.

This country is paying dearly for a lapse in discipline and the ridiculous movement towards non blame and PC. The kids are confused because their parents allow them to have and do anything they want and then society shouts and screams at them, calls them vandals and deadheads.

I believe they are crying out for positive fair benchmarks to be put in place for discipline. They want to be taught what is right and wrong and they want to be praised and rewarded when they get it right and expect to be punished when they do wrong.

We've just lost the ability to do this overall in a flurry of political correctness and so called do gooders coupled with the worst parenting this country has ever seen.

All just my opinion and probably too much of a rant. I'd love the time and ability to be able to explain myself better, lol.
#19
hottoshop
I think pupils should start earlier. To be honest in an ideal world I would like to see children given the option of breakfast at school but I doubt that would ever happen.
Anyway as I say, start earlier and not after 8am, 2 x 1 hour lessons, half hour break, 2 x 1 hour lessons, 1 hour break , 2 x 1 hour lessons.
8am to 3:30pm.
1st lesson warming up so very much an interactive lesson to get the juices flowing.
Last lesson, again something interactive to keep the attention and avoid tiredness setting in.

Once into the swing of things they wouldn't suffer any ill effects, kids have more energy than any other age group providing it is nurtured correctly.


As for discipline, as I say I've yet to meet a child that doesn't react well to positive discipline. They may whinge and moan about it at the time but take it away and replace is with anarchy and they will hate it.
10 times out of 10 they would vote for a disciplined environment in my experience.

To be honest I think the majority of adults behave in the same manner. It's a natural instinct.

This country is paying dearly for a lapse in discipline and the ridiculous movement towards non blame and PC. The kids are confused because their parents allow them to have and do anything they want and then society shouts and screams at them, calls them vandals and deadheads.

I believe they are crying out for positive fair benchmarks to be put in place for discipline. They want to be taught what is right and wrong and they want to be praised and rewarded when they get it right and expect to be punished when they do wrong.

We've just lost the ability to do this overall in a flurry of political correctness and so called do gooders coupled with the worst parenting this country has ever seen.

All just my opinion and probably too much of a rant. I'd love the time and ability to be able to explain myself better, lol.

Fine rant, with which I agree, in general.
Lots of schools, including mine, do breakfasts now.
I think that the older kids could handle your revised school day but the little ones (11-13) would stuggle and I definitely would.
Also,I think that there's only so much new stuff you can absorb in a day.

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