The Factory Girls is a body of work by photographer Walter Waygood showing at the World Heritage site at Blaenavon and are to be viewed for the very first time since the camera's shutter button was pressed in the late 1970's.
Walter Waygood's documentary The 'FAMILY OF MINERS’, a National Museum of Wales permanent collection of photographs, can be seen at the Pit Head Baths, National Coal Museum, Big Pit. Just over a year ago these same pictures were used as a backdrop for the BBC programme, 'The Miners Who Made Us' . This programme portrayed the life of the Welsh Miners with a balanced history that was devoid of romantic, nostalgic sentimentality. The pride and dignity was shown through a variety of personalities which acted as a memorial to the men who worked in this hard industry. Women, the miners wives, were mentioned in the background especially during the Miners Strike campaign in their supportive role. On reflection, Walter wanted to redress a picture portraying working class Valley culture and present a more comprehensive family view of the men and women who made us. In reality it was the men, women and even the children who worked in these heavy industries that formed a complete family unit and out of this unity came the camaraderie and hard working ethos that formed the backbone of community life.
After a twenty year exile in Hampshire and a retirement from lecturing, a return to his spiritual home of Merthyr Tydfil allowed him to edit and archive images taken 40 years ago.
The FACTORY GIRLS exhibition at the World Heritage Centre, Blaenavon runs 1-27 May 2019.
Check the website for opening times - www.visitblaenavon.co.uk
The FAMILY OF MINERS permanent display is on show at the National Coal Museum, Big Pit, Blaenavon.
The book MINERS & FACTORY GIRLS can be purchased for £9.99 by contacting the photographer at: firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase.
Walter Waygood will also be a speaker at the MERTHYR RISING festival 25th May with a talk: ‘ART, POLITICS and PHOTOGRAPHY’. Followed by a Q&A session with David Owen, journalist at WalesOnline.