42 Striking Black and White Photographs Capture Everyday Life in Wales in the 1970s_top1

These photographs by Robin Weaver truly capture the essence of life in the South Wales Valleys in the 1970s. They don’t just portray the happy community events of four decades ago, they also capture scenes from an anti-racism protest on the streets of Cardiff and the moment men in Ebbw Vale learned that their steelworks was going to close.

“I roamed small towns and villages seeking out people and events for no other reason than a compulsion to seal the image of the place that was bound to change, perhaps, in parts, beyond all recognition,” Robin Weaver told Wales Online. “What really inspired me were the Welsh people, whatever they were doing. The sort of photographs I was required to take for the newspaper were often staged – very different from what I liked to take.”

Robin began his career as a press photographer in Newport more than 40 years ago and, in his free time, roamed the back streets of the Valleys, the seaside towns and the capital.

“I believe that old photographs develop a special character, a unique sheen imbued with the passage of time. Looking through these photographs today four decades later I find myself not only in a different time, but also in a different country.”

Pill, Newport


Children play in the remains of a demolished street in Pill


A Welsh rugby supporter at Wales v England at Cardiff Arms Park


Picnicking at the Barry Show




The Whitsun civic parade, Llanhilleth


A Salvation Army service, Bargoed


Rugby fans mock a street preacher outside Cardiff Arms Park


An Apostolic Church open air witness at Tenby beach


A male voice choir practising on the seafront at Porthcawl during the Miners’ Eisteddfod




Children playing on their way home from school, Rhymney


A girl plays with a baby in Splott, Cardiff


Shopping in Blaina


Shopping in Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil


Farmers’ wives at Abergavenny cattle market


The outdoor market, Newport




Band members relax at The Miners’ Gala, Cardiff


Carnival day at Blaenavon


A pancake race in Bettws, Newport


Waiting for a bus beneath the Duke of Wellington monument in Brecon


A corner shop in Splott, Cardiff


Philipstown, New Tredegar


A pancake tossing competition in Newport


Townswomen’s Guild conference, Newport


Riding the Ghost Train at Coney Beach, Porthcawl


Pensioners on a day trip to Aberavon beach


New Tredegar




Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil


Children smile for the camera in Dowlais


Ballroom dancing in Cwmbran


A Carnival Queen competition, Cwmtillery


Walking to chapel on Sunday evening in Blaenavon


Neighbors in Blaen-y-Cwm, Treherbert




A boy on a disused railway track in Dowlais


The Rogerstone Carnival


A bank holiday tug of war competition in Pill, Newport


People watch the carnival procession pass in Abertillery


Cwm Carnival