Powys Digital History Project

Elan Village 7
Village people

A self contained community
The new Elan village grew steadily, becoming totally self-sufficient with a post-office, stores, community hall, public baths, washhouses, and even a gymnasium all being provided for the workers and their families. Newspapers and books were provided in the recreation room, and writing classes were laid on to help workers to keep in touch with friends and families.
Many workers were itinerant men who stayed a while and moved on. A contemporary report noted that "the navvy leads a peculiarly roving life". Over 50,000 men were employed on the construction sites over the 13 years of the waterworks scheme.
By March 1895 the population of the village had reached around 1000, growing to more than 1500 some three years later.

Residents of
the model village
in Elan Valley

Photographs by
kind permission of
Radnorshire Museum
Llandrindod Wells

Village residents,c1900A group of residents living in the temporary Elan Village are seen here outside one of the accommodation huts. All the buildings in the village were constructed of wood, and only the chimneys and hearths were of brick or stone.
The numbers of closely packed wooden buildings meant that a village fire station was essential, and this was sited in the middle of the community. The village fire brigade carried out regular night patrols. Note the fire bucket which can be seen attached to the wall of the hut.
The location of
the Elan Valley dams
and reservoirs
is shown on the
sketch map.    
A shop in the village, built of timber and ofShop in Elan Village
corrugated iron, is pictured on the right. The nameboard reads 'Elan Stores' and the range of goods displayed outside includes metal buckets, mats and clothing.The rows of wooden accommodation huts can be seen on the left beyond the shop.

In the heyday of the life of Elan Village the community even had its own brass band, and travelling entertainers were occasionally brought to the village to provide a bit of variety for the residents.

There are 7 pages on Elan Village. Use the box links below to view the other pages.  

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