VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 27 POSTED ON: 2/29/2012
The changing face of South Wales A quick review and then to carry on Wales 2 Watch as the labels turn green Raw Energy Labour materials Government Market Transport Policy Location Capital Environmen and site t 3 • At first coal was used mainly in the iron industry. But south Wales coal was of such high quality that it became popular all over the world. By the middle of the 1800s two major developments in transport provided a great boost to the industry. • A rail network was built throughout Britain and Europe - the steam trains ran on coal and south Wales coal was in much demand. The rail network made it easier to transport coal to the rest of Britain. Railways in far away British colonies such as India and in Africa used coal from Wales. • Ships switched from sail to steam power. As early as 1851 the British navy decided that Welsh coal was the best coal for its ships. Navies and merchant ships around the world used coal from south Wales. 4 • In the early 1800s canals were used to transport coal from the valleys down to the dock. But when rail replaced canals the industry really took off. Railways from the Rhondda valley and other coal-mining valleys ran fairly short distances down to the booming docks at Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. • Notice how the river valleys naturally provided routes down to the coast. By 1870, 50% of the coal was being exported overseas. • The basic physical geography of south Wales had given the region a great advantage over other coal-producing areas. The river valleys gave transport routes and the steep valleys made it easy to mine down to the coal. 5 Watch as the labels turn green Raw Energy Labour materials Government Market Transport Policy Location Capital Environmen and site t 6 • Coal mining depended on hard, physical labour. The industry was hungry for workers. The Labour boom in the south Wales coal industry attracted people to move to the area from other parts of Wales and from the rest of Britain. • The Rhondda valleys became the centre of the coal industry. In 1860 they had a population of around 3,000 people. • This had jumped to 160,000 by 1910. People migrated from the rural parts of Wales, but also in great numbers from Ireland, Scotland and England. • The English speakers far outnumbered the Welsh speakers. The south Wales coalfield became a "melting pot" of different cultures and people. 7 Watch as the labels turn green Raw Energy Labour materials Government Market Transport Policy Location Capital Environmen and site t 8 After 1914 … • Confidence in the future of coal was still high in 1914 but it was soon shaken. A royal commission on the coal industry reported in 1919 that: "The prosperity of south Wales is entirely dependent on the export trade in coal." • This dependence was very real. The industry relied on exporting 70% of its production. The whole area, mining settlements and the docks, depended on coal. But demand for coal was falling and there were few other industries in south Wales. Iron and steel making, and the manufacture of other metals, were also in decline because other countries had developed their own industries. • The 1920s and 1930s were decades of economic depression and poverty in the coalfields. There were long strikes and bitter disputes between the company owners and the miners. The companies wanted to keep up their profits but often at the expense of miners' wages and jobs. 9 This is what happened • In 1934 unemployment rates of 60% were recorded in parts of the south Wales coalfield. People started to move away. Between 1931 and 1939, 160,000 people migrated from south Wales to look for work in the new industries being developed in other parts of Britain. • The decline continued after the Second World War up until the present day. The coal industry was nationalised in 1947 - that means it was taken over by the government. To modernise the industry, machines were needed instead of manual workers. Many of the coal seams in south Wales weren't suited to the use of modern mining machinery. • Coal was the vital fuel of the 1800s and early 1900s. But it is much less important now and has been largely replaced by other forms of energy. 10 Explain the reasons for the decline 11 Impact of closures • At its peak nearly 300,000 miners had been employed in the coal industry. In 1945 there were 125,000 miners working in 135 pits in south Wales. By the early 1980s that had shrunk to 22,000, and by the early 1990s to below 1,000. • Whole communities were devastated when their pit closed. Families lost their income and without the miners' wages, shops and businesses lost trade. People moved away to look for work, and those who stayed found it hard to find a decent job. • Ever since the 1930s the government has been trying to attract new industry to the valleys. The Welsh Development Agency continues this work today. But the valleys offer few attractions as a location for modern factories. • New companies setting up in Wales over the last 20 years or so have chosen locations near the M4, rather than in the narrow, built-up former mining settlements such as the Rhondda valley. • Today, the visible signs of the coal industry have largely been removed. Collieries have been replaced by supermarkets and small industrial units; the old slag heaps of waste rocks have been landscaped and planted with grass and trees. 12 Impact of closures • But the scars on the community are slow to heal, and most former mining communities face a range of social and economic problems. • Geographers at Cardiff and other universities have recently conducted a study of former mining communities in several coalfield areas in Wales and England. • Explore the diagram below to learn what the researchers found out. 13 Meanwhile the steel industry had moved on too • Can you explain why? 14 • The local raw materials ran out and they needed to be imported from other countries • Proximity to ports were needed for bulk imports/exports • Steel works (as against iron works) need a lot of water for cooling and other processes • New steel works were integrated – a lot of different processes on one site – need a lot of space 15 Why was Margam located where it was? 16 Did we get all these? 17 So what happens next? • The deep mines are all closed, although one was kept open for a few years and run by the miners themselves – Tower Mine closed in January 2008 • There are a few opencast mine in Wales still – altogether an environmentally a very dubious activity. 18 It is back in Ffos-y-Fran, Merthyr Tydfil There are notes under this slide if you cannot remember 19 But this is the exception • Unemployment is still very high in these areas. • High tech industry is not attracted despite government activity to encourage it. • The valleys are too narrow and road and rail transport too crammed to encourage footloose industry. • While the old mine workings have been cleared of toxic materials, the space is just not there for TNCs to expand. 20 But over to the East … • .. Where the land is flatter, and there is access to the M4, a motorway along which a lot of high tech industry and R&D has concentrated. It is these parts that have received the inward investment from TNCs. • Other advantages include easy access to Britoil University and a bit further on to Oxford and Reading Universities, good train links to London and hence to the channel tunnel and also Heathrow Airport. 21 What is that? But Wales is trying to re-image itself with the help of the Welsh Assembly • They are concentrating on becoming greener than other countries - they are investing in small green start-up business in the hope that something small will grow. • The WDA (Welsh Development Agency) had four objectives: furthering the economic development of Wales, promoting industrial efficiency and international competitiveness, developing employment and improving the environment. 22 Sustainable technology • Wales is now focusing on sustainable technologies and its academic capability is recognised as providing leading Research and Development in relation to low carbon vehicle technology. • Wales' focus on sustainable transport goes beyond vehicle technologies to encompass all associated issues such as: • integrated transport • energy storage • future fuel/charging infrastructure technologies & related transport planning • Wales is recognised as a European Leader in Research & Development of low-emissions technology. 23 • Access Wales is a new pilot project that offers hi tech and knowledge based companies the opportunity to test the market before making any long term decision about expanding into new markets. Access Wales is a new service from International Business Wales- the trade and investment arm of the Welsh Assembly Government and participating businesses will have access to the Assembly Government’s fully integrated business support service. • Qualify for free desk space for up to 12 months in a choice of 15 high tech innovation centres but a unique package of benefits tailored to the needs of emerging technology companies. 24 • This free service includes fast, straightforward access to information, advice and support on grants and finance, property, innovation support, technology, marketing assistance, sourcing suppliers and skills development. • In addition companies are also eligible for specialist business support from professional consultancy partners worth in the region of £10,000. • This covers areas such as business strategy, market and competitor intelligence, sales consultancy, Intellectual Property, recruitment, HR and training, health and safety as well as access to local business networks. • The 15 innovation centres each specialising in particular aspects of hi-tech business such as digital media, performance engineering, sustainable technologies, opto- electronics, biosciences, IT and software, and bioscience. The desk spaces offered come equipped with telephones and high speed internet connection and are typically located within open-plan shared business units with access to shared facilities such as reception services, meeting rooms and conference facilities. 25 End of unit question -Hints and pointers • When asked to look at a map and then about the location of X in relation to Y – use information only from the map you are given – if the map has a compass point and/or distances – use them both! • When asked to Compare the locations of the two, make sure you use similarities and differences in the form: Both X and Y are… Or While X is ….., Y is …. • Do not fall into the trap of X is .. and … and Y is … and … and 26 End of unit question -Hints and pointers • Explain why (technical term) applies to …. • A mark will be given for explaining the technical term and a mark why it applies • Blah,blah. Do you agree with this statement? (6) • Chances are it partly right but mostly not. Make sure you explore both when it is correct and when it does not apply with examples if you can. • Last of all, read the question and make sure you only answer what you have been asked for! 27
"The changing face of South Wales"