Robin Weaver’s stunning photos of South Wales in the 1970s capture a different era in Welsh culture – faces and places that are no longer with us, images frozen in time before the onset of the hyper-connected world we live in today.
South Wales 1970s
After leaving Newport College of Art in the 1970s Robin worked as a photographer for the South Wales Argus. Aside from his day job photographing mayoral visits and rugby matches, Robin followed his passion of documentary photography – capturing the everyday lives of people in and around the valleys of South Wales.
Robin “These photographs have developed a special character, It’s a unique sheen imbued by the passage of time. Looking through these photographs today, decades later, I find myself not only in a different time, but also in a different country.”
The evocative images in our gallery below highlight a simple life for many living in the Welsh valleys, though it wasn’t without its hardships. In 1970s South Wales de-industrialastion impacted many, including the workers of Ebbw Vale Steel Works who faced redundancy after the closure of their plant in 1975.
In Blaenavon – famous for its Big Pit Colliery and Ironworks, Robin documented everyday life in the town and the last residents of the ironworkers’ cottages. The cottages now form part of the Blaenavon Ironworks museum within the UNESCO World Heritage site.”
Robin “I was doing some moody shots of the row of empty cottages and was surprised when Mr Parfitt (aged 84) came out of one of them. His wife invited me in for a cup of tea. They were the last residents and due to be rehoused but were very proud if their neat cosy home.”
“This is a corner shop in Splott, Cardiff, 1974. It’s one of my favourite photos which is full of little details, things you don’t see anymore – like bacon slicers and glass milk bottles. The girl is probably spending her pocket money on a comic and some sweets and I love the look of pleasure on her face.”
All photos © Robin Weaver, all rights reserved.