In this podcast, historian Dr Andy Croll talks about his latest research project – a social history of Barry Island, ‘The Playground of South Wales’.
He discusses how Barry Island has long been a place to visit. Indeed, there is evidence that it was thought of as a sacred site as far back as the Bronze Age. In the 1890s, the laying of railway tracks connected the island to the mainland and Barry to the wider world of South Wales. Suddenly, Barry Island became the seaside resort of choice for tens of thousands of working-class South Walians not to mention sizeable numbers of day-trippers from the English Midlands and elsewhere. But, as Andy points out, Barry’s relationship with its Island has not always been an easy one…
Wales prides itself on a tradition for equality and political activism. But here, Professor Chris Evans claims when it came to ending the slave trade, these qualities were often notable by their absence.
The Western Front of the First World War was an industrial battlefield. The extensive fire-power of modern weaponry resulted in horrific head wounds and in men suffering serious injuries to the jaw and the soft tissues of the face (maxillofacial injury). In previous wars these men would have died but the medical advances of the early twentieth century ensured that more and more of these men were able to live, albeit with painful, enduring and unsightly wounds. There is no ready, colloquial term for these men in English but they were known as les gueules cassées (men with smashed faces) in France. You can read more about Fiona’s research on this topic here