Saturday, October 20, 2007

The coal house - living in 1927 in Wales

BBC Wales are scheduling a historical programme over the next 3 weeks where 3 families will return to 1927 and live in 3 miners cottages as families of that time.
The families will have to work together, the women and children during the day while the men are working 8 hours, underground in the coal mines. There will be no heating, no computers, no washing machines and a garden with some vegetables like curly cale, parsnip etc. This programme will not only show the hardship in that period of history but might give us an indication of what life could be like without electricity and fossil fuels easily accessible. The men will be paid by the amount of coal they haul up which will determine the food on the table.
What I noticed was the lack of stuff they have and the space limitation. Families will each have the same amount of space, 2 rooms down and 2 rooms up and one family has 6 children including baby and toddler. The programme can be accessed on BBC Wales. You can look at some pictures about the coalhouse here.

In the meantime, Kate Rusby's song about my young man shows you some pictures of coalmining and set the scene. Communities were destroyed in the 1980's when a large proportion of coal mines shut down a fate not dissimilar to what is happening in the farming and manufacturing in the UK.


gary said...

The Coal House series looks interesting. Hope it makes it to Australia.

Regards, Gary

Downshiftingpath said...

Thsi programme is not available to all UK viewers unless you have cable or satellite but maybe they will make a DVD about it in the future who knows. I am interested to find out how they will manage day to day without electricity and only a limited set of clothes.

Anonymous said...

There was a Canadian show like this a number of years ago that returned two families to a pioneer existence. They were required to clear the land and build their cabin, plant a garden, raise and breed livestock and make alliances with neighbours to learn the skills they didn't have. They lived on their homesteads a year. It was really a great show.

Wimblejigs said...

I've never heard of Kate Rusby before - being largely ignorant of folk music, but this is stunning. Thank you so much for this clip!