Mynd i'r prif gynnwys
Printable page generated Wednesday, 7 June 2023, 4:33 AM
Use 'Print preview' to check the number of pages and printer settings.
Print functionality varies between browsers.
Unless otherwise stated, copyright © 2023 The Open University, all rights reserved.
Printable page generated Wednesday, 7 June 2023, 4:33 AM

Ffynonellau ar gyfer Uned 6

Ffynh 6A

In the case of women, however, the hope of meeting the demand for ‘suitable’ employment seems hopeless, chiefly because these women war workers, were prior to 1914, either employed in domestic service, to which they will not return at the wages offered to them, or were at home with their parents. During the war they have had artificially inflated high wages, and they have not a sufficient grasp of economic factors to appreciate that the country’s post-war industries, now in a state of flux, cannot absorb them on the old abnormal wage terms. Human nature being what it is they decline to accept anything offered to them as ‘suitable’ and stick to the 25 shillings a week donation, on which they continue to enjoy their holiday... Thousands of young Welsh women from the south Wales are as went to the large munition districts. Now they have returned and claimed the donations, and unless new industries are established or old industries extended and developed these women cannot possibly be absorbed and the time is approaching when they must realize that domestic service, which they were originally engaged in, must again be their main source of livelihood, that is if they want to do anything at all. Seaside places and other holiday centres throughout the country are said to be now reaping a harvest from young women who are out for a good time on their savings as munition workers, and their donations.

(Western Mail, 20 January 1919)

Ffynh 6B

... I have just advertised for a domestic help in a Cardiff evening paper for 6 days specifying any requirements as to expertise, etc., but with no response whatsoever. I find that I am by no means the only sufferer in this respect. Most women and girls can do some domestic work and theremustbehundredsofCardiff householders who would be glad to get unskilled help. It seems evident that most of the 2000 women in Cardiff now in receipt of the unemployment donation prefer to remain as they are.

(Letter fromConstant Reader, Western Mail, 29 March 1919)

Ffynh 6C

Central committee on women’ straining and employment training in home craft and allied subjects: record of employment after training

The Hollies”, Maindy Crescent, Ystrad Rhondda 12 week course–end 14/6/1929
NameAddressAgePrevious employmentEmployment securedRemarks
Edith T.Treherbert17NilHousemaidRoyal Northern
£22 p.a.Hospital, N.7.
Margaret T.Treorchy19NilLaundressMr Ashley,

10/- per

week plus tips

Ashley’s Cafe,


Rebecca W.Treherbert16NilGeneralMrs N.Cox, 21
7/6 per weekCornwell
Gardens, Brighton
Mabel M.Treorchy16NilGeneral £20 p.a.Mrs Fuller,
Clifton, Bristol
Mary M.Treorchy17GeneralUnsatisfactoryNot Yet Placed
Mary D.Pentre19NilGeneral £2/10Mrs Powell, 87
per monthSunny Gardens,


(P.R.O. Ministry o fLabour , Lab/2/1365) Back to main text

Ffynh 6D

At one place I was only there one night... it was alive with bugs ...when I went to bed I lit the candle and oh my goodness I picked up the pillow like that and with out a word of a lie they were there scattering... I had never seen them before. I couldnt sleep on the bed so I spent the night on the boards...When it came to daylight I went downstairs... and I told her. Oh she said, you must have brought them with you... I left that place and went to my brothers... I was all lumps, oh I was in a terrible state. I couldnt even look for another job until all these had cleared... but then I went from the frying pan into there... I was starved to death there. She (her employer) locked everything up and gave me 3 lumps of sugar for one day and I had a small pat of margarine... and for my dinnereveryday I had half a bag of potato crisps for 3 weeks... and yet I was cooking for them but being what-do-you-call being slow, I suppose in those days I wouldnt think of taking anything. Thats one thing that was always drummed into us... dont you ever take anything that doesnt belong to you... She said her daughter was dieting... and she wouldnt diet if I ate...

(Oral interview, Mrs E.D., Rhondda, 1983)

Ffynh 6E

We have repeatedly drawn attention in the columns of the VIGILANCE RECORD to the very significant and disturbing migration,which has been in process for some years past, of Welsh girls coming to London to take up employment. The problem is not confined to Welsh girls, but it extends also to girls coming from the North-Eastern coal fields. It is, however, particularly obvious where Welsh girls are concerned, any visit to Paddington Station when the excursion trains come in will convince any of our readers. It is difficult to argue that girls should not go out into the world to earn their own living, particularly when family circumstances at home render their means of livelihood precarious in the extreme. But clearly there should be some limit of age, and desirably some limit of occupation. The National Vigilance Association, apart from its station work, which is of greater value from the preventive point of view than is commonly recognized, lays stress on two points. Firstly girls coming to London should assure themselves before hand that the situation to which they are proceeding is a safe and desirable one; second, since many social workers exist for the purpose of helping these girls, it is desirable that those social workers should do something more than offer through the printed word to assist them. Personal contact should be established by means of friendly visits. We have made enquiries for many years past,and an experiment in the manner of paying visits is now in process, since the names and addresses of a number of such girls are regularly given to the Central Council for the Social Welfare of Girls and Women in London and the London Welsh Girls Friendly Aid Society.

(The Vigilance Record, January 1930)

Ffynh 6F

When I first went there (the tin plate works) I was terrified. It was dirty, noisy. It was hot but you still work edit, because you were born to it – we practically lived next door to the place.

(Oral interview, B.W., Llanelli, 1982)

Ffynh 6G

I am the wife of a miner, and many of my people are engaged in the mining industry. I have lived all my life in the mining areas, and as a member of the Women’s Co-operative Guild, and of the Labour Party, have had many opportunities of discussing the conditions with other women.


Women acquiesce in bad housing in Wales because they have no alternative, under the present circumstances due to the extreme shortage of houses, a shortage which was very acute in industrial are as long before the war. The statement made that women acquiesce in bad housing because they like low rent I strongly resent on behalf of the women, as they have had to pay a very big increase in rent this last ten years for the same houses and conditions. I quote Rhondda, for example, being one of the largest mining are as in Wales.

Population: 165, 051 (1918 estimate) Number of in habited houses: 28, 384 Number of miners: 44,460 (estimate)

The estimated need for houses at present is 1,500 to 2,000. Houses that have been condemned before the war (notfit for human habitation) are still occupied owing to the shortage, and most of them occupied by large families.

(Evidence of Mrs Elizabeth Andrews, Report and Minutes of Evidence of the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry, Cmd. 359, 360, 1919)

Ffynh 6H

Housing accommodation and the rent paid for it are of the utmost importance to working women, and that they have taken a keen interest in these matters has been evidenced by their views expressed at many housing Conferences held in different parts of the country, and by the issue of pamphlets setting forth the requirements of a working woman’s home. In these home the children are born, brought up, and are nursed through their illnesses. All the family life is lived with in its four walls, and within them the woman does the washing, the cleaning, the cooking ,the mending, and the housekeeping, with its bewildering problem of making both ends meet, besides looking after the needs of each member of the family. It is little wonder, therefore, that the Central Committee and the Sectional Councils of the Women's Co-operative Guild, representing 52,000 wives and mothers, have passed a resolution declaring that the housing of the people at rents within their capacity is a matter of vital national concern,and that if any improvement of real worth is to be made, it is absolutely necessary for the Government to tackle the question on a large scale for the whole of the country.

(The Vote, 9 February 1923)

Ffynh 6I

I think it maybe said that the following points embody the demands of women, particularly of working women, for better housing.

  1. Houses should not be built in rows, but semi-detached or in blocks of four. Fortunately the former arrangement is now a thing of the past.
  2. The typical house should contain a parlour, but in every scheme there should be a small proportion of single, large living-room houses.
  3. A bathroom separate from the scullery should be supplied and, in most areas, preferably an upstairs bathroom.
  4. The w.c. should be in a separate room from the bathroom.
  5. Each house should have an efficient supply of hot water to sink, bath and lavatory basin.
  6. The entrance lobby or hall should be large enough to accommodate coats,umbrellas and small type of pram.
  7. No living-room should be less in area than 170 sq.ft., no parlour less than 120 sq.ft., no scullery less than 80 sq.ft.
  8. If the w.c. is downstairs the house should be so planned that the living-room is not a passage-way between the bedrooms and the w.c.
  9. The scullery should be planned to provide convenient space for sink, copper, cooker, and a table.
  10. In addition, there should be storage space, either off the back lobby or outside the house, for cycles, garden tools, etc., so as to preserve tidiness in the back premises.
  11. Three bedrooms should be the minimum, and in every scheme a certain proportion of four-bedroomed houses should be provided. The floor area of the largest bedroom should not be below 150 sq.ft.,nor the smallest below 65 sq.ft.

(The Welsh Housing and Development Association Year Book, 1921)

Ffynh 6J

245.Llanberis–Houses in some instances are so wet that the walls cannot be papered. Sacking has first to be nailed to the walls,and paper is then pasted on to the sacking. In some houses, layer after layer of paper has been pasted on to the sacking, and these conditions harbour germs and dust. One house was so damp that it could not bepapered,andinsteadit was tarred inside. There are houses where sacking is laid under the ceiling so as to catch the dust, and there the dust has collected in such quantity that the sacking sags. In some cases the roof is leaking,and buckets have to be used to catch the water when it rains.

249.Criccieth A house,occupied by a husband and wife, three children over ten and five children under ten. The accommodation is one livingroom, one sleeping chamber, one attic bedroom or grog-loft,and two shelters in the garden. The attic room or grog-loft, was described to us by the witness as a hell-hole. It was occupied by the children, who were stated to have been lying there all day long up till quarter to half-pastfive on the day when he visited it. Five of the children are on the dispensary register as contacts,and one of them has been at a sanatorium.

(Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Anti-Tuberculosis Service in Wales and Monmouthshire, 1939)

Ffynh 6K

A woman in Caerphilly has five children, the eldest 13. Her health is good except for teeth. She says she is on her feet for 16½ hours a day, sometimes more, and about leisure she writes–‘After my children go to bed, I gets two hours rest, if call it rest, I am mending my children's clothes and tidying in those few hours I get.'

(M. Spring Rice, Working Class Wives :Health and Conditions, 1939, reprinted London, 1981, p.111)

Ffynh 6L

The outstanding fact about many of these homes was that the men in them appeared to have higher standards of personal cleanliness than those reflected by their living conditions. It seemed,very largely, their women folk who had lost all pride in personal appearance and the appearance of the home. Men folks were obliged to go out of doors, even if only to the Employment Exchange; this was a reason for washing and dressing up. The women had not this incentive. Their outings extended little beyond the small shops at the corner of the street, and to these they could ‘slip-down’ without washing. To them there seemed little point in washing the children, as they just got dirty anyway. All this is highly regrettable and, quite apart from unemployment and bad housing conditions, many of the women, even if given the opportunity and money for improved standards, would find it an exceedingly difficult task to breakaway from their acquired habits. But we must face the fact that to live constantly on a depressed standard of living, where life is a hand-to-mouth existence, is, except for the bravest souls, to experience the bitterness of defeat.

(Pilgrim Trust,Men Without Work, Cambridge,1938)

Ffynh 6M

As soon as the whistle went they put chairs outside their front doors and sat there waiting till the men came up the Hill and home. Then as the men came up to their front doors they threw their wages, sovereign by sovereign, into the shining laps, fathers first and sons or lodgers in a line behind.

(Richard Llewellyn, How Green Was My Valley, 1939, New English Library edition, 1984, p.7)

Ffynh 6N

Mrs C. livesina ‘nicely situated villa’ in a ‘nice quiet spot’ in Caerphilly. She has one child and her husband is a collier. Her housekeeping is £210s.0d. from a full working week but she says her husband is delicate so she sometimes only gets 30/-. She is 29 years old.

Below is her average of living per week,when times are good:

Clothing Club16
Boot Club16
Groceries (on the average)186
Sunday meat (about)26

Breakfast: Bread and butter for all, but porridge for change. Dinner: Fresh Veg. when possible to get with potatoes and little meat, sometimes suet pudding.

Tea: Bread and butter and cake when possible with little jam. Supper: Very little supper. Very little tinned food used.

(M. Spring Rice, Working Class Wives: Health and Conditions, 1939, reprinted London, 1981, pp.178-9)

Ffynh 6O

Mrs L.C. of Cardiff, says she has been ailing since marriage. She was a housemaid in private service before and was never ill. She is now 39. She has had six children (all still living at home) and one miscarriage; she has a fairhouse but no bathroom or hot water, which she missessadly. She is badly constipated and has piles and has had bad backacheever since herfirst confinement which was a difficult one.She now has also palpitation and cardiac pains. For none of these has she consulted anyone, but she listens to the wireless talks on health. She makes no complaints and after her remark about the lack of hot water and a bathroom she says hopefullythings will ease up a bit soon when the children grow older.She is however only 39 and her two youngest children are 4 and 3!

(M. Spring Rice, Working Class Wives: Health and Conditions, 1939, reprinted London, 1981, p.79)

Ffynh 6P

Miss Megan Lloyd George well deserved all the congratulations she received after she had made her maiden speech last Monday on the Government’s new Housing Bill. She welcomed that Bill as a new crusade against slums because it dealt with the problem in rural areas. She thought it was not possible to over-emphasize the problem of housing in the towns, but they could and did under-emphasize the gravity of the problem in the rural areas; and she mentioned the fact that the agricultural worker was still the lowest paid worker in any industry. Referring to are port made some years ago in her own constituency of Anglesey, she said it was shown that the death-rate from tuberculosis among women was the highest but one on the list for the whole of the administrative counties in England and Wales, and yet the death-rate of the men came only twenty-second on that very blacklist. There could be only one explanation of that–bad housing. The greater risk to health was for the woman who spent the greater part of her life in those squalid, dark, ill-ventilated cottages, and, of course, what applied to the woman also applied to the young children. She also welcomed the Bill because she felt that it was the largest scheme for unemployment that had yet been put forward.

(Miss Megan Lloyd George's maiden speech, reported inThe Vote, vol. II, April 1930)

Ffynh 6Q

We are told that the high maternal mortality in Wales is receiving the special attention of the Department. It should surely receive the special attention of the citizens throughout the Principality. Whereas in other directions mortality rates are decreasing, we are in Wales losing mothers at a preventable rate, and continuing year by year to do so. The problem cannot be solved through one approach, since the contributing causes are many. The apathy of certain among the public bodies (upon which women are for the most part conspicuous by their absence),the insanitary conditions due to bad housing and to over-crowding, the lack of an adequate supply of trained midwives (especially in scattered rural areas), the lack of the provision of facilities for ante-natal work, the prejudices and ignorances in some cases of the women themselvesall these are contributing factors. There are others which are as yet imperfectly recognized, but what ever the causes the scandal of maternal mortality in Wales is a challenge to every thinking woman and should convince public opinion of the urgent need of the greater co-operation of women in public affairs.

(The Woman’s Leader, 12 December 1924)

Ffynh 6R

South Wales, 22 March 1921.

What I would like to know is how I can save having anymore children as I think I have done my duty by my country having had 13 children9 boys and 4 girls and I have 6 boys alive now and a little girl who will be 3 years old in May. I buried a dear little baby girl three weeks old who died from the strain of whooping cough. I have not had much time for pleasure and it is telling on me now I suffer very bad from varicose veins in my legs and my ankles gives out and I just drops down. I am pleased to tell you that I received one of those willow plates from the News of the World for mothers often.

(Letter from Mrs R. G. to Marie Stopes, in R. Hall (ed.) Dear Dr Stopes: Sex in the 1920s, 1978, pp.1718)

Ffynh 6S

How often in this tour have elderly women not said, ‘You’ve come too late to help me, Comrade, but give me some papers for my girls. I don’t want them to have the life I’ve had.’

(Stella Browne,The New Generation, January 1924)

Ffynh 6T

There can be no question that a large number of married women are anxious to obtain reliable information about methods of preventing conception’, stated Dr Ralph M. F. Picken, medical officer, reporting to Cardiff Health Committee to-day.

He anticipated, however, that the establishment of a birthcontrol clinic would alienate 20 percent of the women and children who were served at the present clinics, and therefore, if the city council decided to establish a birth control clinic, it should be in separate premises.

'Some members may want to consult their constituents and others their consciences, said the chairman, Alderman John Donovan, adjourning the decision till next Monday, in view of the importance of the subject and the feeling which would be roused.

'It has been maintained', said Dr Picken in his report, that the use of contraceptives is associated with damage to health.

Advocates of birth control clinics claim that their methods, if the advice is properly given and strictly followed, are not attended by such results.

On the other hand, it must be remembered that an alternative to birth control is being widely practised, namely, self-induced abortion, and leads not infrequently to death, and still more commonly to permanent damage.

(Daily Herald, 21 April 1932)

Ffynh 6U

The deputation took place yesterday. The chief constable heard our complaints about the wholesale distribution of and selling of contraceptives in the town (Merthyr) by means of a slot machine and packing of sheaths in packages of cigarettes, sweets, etc.

(Family Planning Association Archive)

Ffynh 6V

For over a quarter of a century I have spent the summer in that queen of Welsh watering places, Aberystwyth. Walking along the promenade one day this summer I saw the welcome announcement that the Women's Freedom League had arrived and were going to hold theirfirst meeting that night on the promenade. My thoughts went back to some seven or eight years ago,when Miss Clark and Miss Munro held their first meeting in Aberystwyth educating thepublic to the just claim of votes for women, and the violent opposition they met with, and how, inspite of the most hostile reception at several meetings, the opposition was eventually broken down and enthusiasm reigned instead.

For three summers the Women's Freedom League have not held a campaign in Aberystwyth, and I waited with eagerness for their first meeting, punctually at 8p.m. Miss Clark taking the chair,she spoke of the great strides women had made during the past four years. It was a deplorable fact that it had taken a European war to make the country realize the capacity of the women; it had been there all the time, and only wanted the opportunity. She pointed out that since the last campaign in Aberystwyth several millions of women had been enfranchised, and hoped that the enfranchised women were going to use their vote for their unenfranchised sisters and work for full equality and equal opportunity between men and women.

('An impression of the Aberystwyth campaign' by 'A Visitor' in The Vote, 26 September 1919)

Ffynh 6W

Once I was living in Wales and could see much more clearly the absolutely humiliating and devastating effect of unemployment on people particularly in the valleys, where all hope seemed to be gone. Men were standing on the street corners, pale, in mufers and absolutely not knowing what to do with themselvespeople really hungry. Well you couldnt not take part in any activity which would make people themselves feel that at least they were ghting back and also you felt it was absolutely essential to get other people to understand the enormity of the situation.

(Oral interview, 1985, with Dora Cox, participant in the 1934 Tonypandy to London Hunger March)