TV Programmes

Creu Cymru Fodern with Huw Edwards

Documentary

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Huw Edwards charts the astonishing changes which have created modern Wales over the last 250 years. The country was rich in copper and iron, slate and coal – but it was people who drove the industrial revolution forward. And in order to understand this human story, Huw follows the fortunes of one particular family – his own.

In the first episode, the focus of Welsh life turns from the farm to the furnace. There’s a revolution underway - in commerce, employment, education and religion. By 1850, more people were working in industry than in agriculture – Wales was the first industrial nation.

In the second episode, Huw traces the story of his grandmother’s family, as they move – along with tens of thousands of others – from the rural West to the Valleys Coalfield. By 1914, a quarter of a million men were at work in Welsh collieries.  This new society needed champions to protect its old and sick and poor – and one Welshman came to the fore in the battle for justice. But it was the workers themselves, their families, their unions and their communal values which set the tone of the era.

And in the final episode, covering the troubled period since the Second World War, the country has changed more rapidly than ever. Yet, somehow, in a world of international trade and global communications, our sense of ourselves as a nation has survived and strengthened. Huw traces the story of his family through the last 70 years, as they move home again, and change the kind of work they do. They witness at first hand the events which have shaped the nation and created our modern Wales.