Historical documents unearthed during Swansea excavation

The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust has been carrying out an archaeological watching-brief during the construction of the Urban Village development on High Street, Swansea for the developers, Coastal Housing.

 The watching-brief, which has now been completed, discovered a series of small stone chambers, probably 18th and 19th century cesspits for the cramped slum dwellings and commercial properties that ran down each side of High Street. However, from the basement of one of these buildings a collection of documents were recovered.
The documents were all job applications and references of young women, aged between 15½ and 21, applying for the position of Junior Clerk during the height of the Great Depression. The job was advertised in the October 9th 1931 edition of the Daily Post.

The names of the applicants were:

  • Constance Thomas of Pinewood Road, Uplands
  • Jenny James of Richmond Villas, Swansea
  • Joan Thomas of Delhi Street, St Thomas
  • Gwladys Williams of Cydach Road, Morriston
  • Sarah E Davies of Ernald Place, Uplands
  • Mary E Edmonds of Milton Terrace, Mount Pleasant
  • Sarah Margaret Rees of Tanyfron, Penywern Road, Ystalyfera
  • Claudine Price of Glanbrydan Avenue, Uplands

The Trust is interested in tracing the decedents of these women in order to return the letters and would be delighted to hear from any relatives of the applicants. Unfortunately, the position of Junior Clerk was filled some time ago!

A selection of some of the documents, showing the beautiful handwriting of one of the applicants 'Dear Sir' a close-up of one the letters

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