I was born and brought up in Ebbw Vale when it was a thriving coal and steel town on the north eastern rim of the South Welsh coalfield. That place, and the ways that is has changed over the years since, made a great impression upon me. I have held posts at the Universities of Bristol, Durham, Manchester and Cardiff and I have always written about the people and places near to where I have lived and worked.

When I was in Durham, I helped to set up a community publishing group called Strong Words and was involved in the production of a number of books, pamphlets and exhibitions based on the words and experiences of local people.

I have written or edited 20 books and received a succession of grants from the Economic and Social Research Council. I was elected to the Academy for the Social Sciences in 2000 and in 2010 was one of the founding Fellows of the Learned Society of Wales. I was awarded the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences from Manchester University in 1999  and an  Honorary Doctor of Letters by Durham University in 2013

I was made an Honorary member of the National Union of Mineworkers in 1985.

One thought on “About

  1. Just reread working for Ford after 30 years. What then seemed totally relevant to me now seems miles away in the far distant past. I was studying in the evenings for a degree at Liverpool poly and my journey home to garston after classes past group after group of men in Ford’s blue overalls waiting for their lifts on the street corners of park road. Most of them are by now retired or dead, worn out by the demands of industry. At one time or another four of my late husbands brothers worked there, he refused to work on the line, as a tradesman he worked there during shut downs installing equipment, he preferred to make things from drawings rather than repetitive work, the price paid for more interesting work was total lack of job security, long stretches of unemployment alternated with working 24/7 no sick pay and an early death from pulmonary fibrosis from breathing in metal dust with no safety equipment. No winners then except the owners and managers .

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