Known by the locals as Ponty, Pontypridd is the county town for Rhondda Cynon Taf, even though its population is slightly smaller than nearby Aberdare. Luckily scenes of local daily life were photographed and filmed many times over the past century, so we can see how the Welsh town changed over time.
Pontypridd Through The Ages
An hour and eighteen minutes of old photographs of the town through different decades. Numerous people and places appear.
The Town In The 1940s and 1950s
This British Pathé film was made in 1948, three years after the end of World War II.
It heavily features the hilltop memorial to the men of the 5th Battalion – The Welch Regiment who were killed or missing in the First World War and the Second World War.
The memorial is close to the Hertogenbosch Stone, but in a different location to the Ynysangharad War Memorial and the Falklands War Memorial, which are both located in the Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.
Down below in the town, you can see the giant gas storage tanks which used to feature in every urban landscape.
The shops, streets and market are bustling with people in this HuntleyFilmArchives black and white footage from the 1950s.
Pontypridd In The 1960s
⏯ A Portrait of Pontypridd, 1963
From ITV Cymru/Wales Archive @ NLW, this short black and white film shows a huge number of people going about their daily lives. The narrow pavements are difficult to negotiate with all the shoppers, and we see mothers carrying around heavy babies and toddlers through the oncomers.
In the 1960s, Gwyn Thomas visited Pontypridd. As with all his other short films about life in South Wales, the writer and broadcaster brought into the narrative his own experience of growing up in the area in the 1920s.
The footage shows hundreds of local people of all ages going about their daily lives.
Fascinating colour footage of the town in the 1960s. Many different streets were captured on this home cine film, along with buildings in the process of replacement.
More colour footage of the town in the 1960s, including from a drive in the car.
The Town In The 1990s
With much of the footage taken from a high vantage point, you can see a lot of the town as it was in 1990.
“Video filmed in and around Pontypridd in about 1990 before the relief road was constructed. Includes how the Broadway once was. Also includes overlooking the town from the common and also overlooking Hawthorn, Rhydyfelin and Treforest.”Patrick Downes on YouTube
Into The 21st Century
In December 2007 RhysGriff92 uploaded what he described as “just a random vid bout my home town”. Photographs of key locations, with location titles added. Useful for people who don’t know the town well, including family historians.
After years of mild winters, the depth and longevity of the snows of 2010 surprised everyone across the UK. John Wake’s compilation from December 18th 2010, beautifully fits together photographs, film and nice music.
The final episode of the series about the town’s regeneration. It’s the run up to Christmas, and many local people are out and about on the streets.