Coal House Diary by Gwen Cartwright
  

Synopsis

Coal House Diary by Gwen Cartwright

A personal diary by Gwen Cartwright, one of the children transported back to the south Wales coalfield of the 1920s for the BBC Wales living history series Coal House, on air in October 2007. This diary account shows the highlights (and occasionally the lowlights) of life in a 1920s mining community.

Reviews

Conditions in 1927, soon after the General Strike, were grim in south Wales coal mines, and when the BBC decided to replicate those conditions with three families, thirteen-year-old Gwen Cartwright kept a diary of her three weeks living in the Coal House. The programme proved immensely popular, and Gwens diary in its published form is a detailed and fascinating account of her feelings and reactions to the conditions around her. Without twenty-first century distractions, the eleven children involved in the project soon found new games to play, a distinctly different school experience, and just what it was like to have many chores to perform. Cooking was a considerable challenge for the mums, and the dads worked down the mines, which meant walking both ways to the pits. Money (the old kind) was very short, and make-do-and-mend was very much the order of the day. Accompanied by marvellous photographs (interesting to see the black-and-white photos one usually sees of the 1920s in glowing colour) and occasional bits of social history, the book is a well-written account of Gwen, her family and their neighbours experiences as they came to terms with uncomfortable clothes, the ty bach, and keeping pigs and chickens. Gwen seems cheerful throughout (she loves exclamation marks), even when faced with porridge each morning, and we are made aware of some of the stresses such families must have faced. Even if one has not seen the BBC programme, this book will still be enjoyable -- and not only for children. I certainly found it fascinating and highly evocative of a very different age. It belongs in every school library, and not just in Wales! Elizabeth Schlenther It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council. Gellir defnyddior adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru. -- Welsh Books Council

About the Author

Gwen Cartwright lives with her mum, dad and younger sister in Penarth. She enjoys reading and writing, has a great sense of humour and is very excited about seeing her first book in print.

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Other Formats

Book Info

Format

Paperback
142 pages
Interest Age: 9+

Author

Gwen Cartwright
More books by Gwen Cartwright

Publisher


www.wbc.org.uk/

Publication date

31st October 2008

ISBN

9781843239949


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