DEPT/SUBJECT AREA - Urban History
SUPERVISOR(S) - Professor Louise Miskell & Dr Martin Johnes
RESEARCH DEGREE - PhD
THESIS TITLE - Identity, Ambition and Influence: The Development and Establishment of Urban Middle Classes in Aberavon, 1830-1915
This research examines notions of identity and ambition within the small, Welsh coastal town of Aberavon as it developed through the nineteenth century and into the twentieth and assesses how the decisions and actions of individuals with influence impacted on that development. Original documents such as Council minute and inspectors' books, letters to and from the Town Clerk, pollbooks, Burgess Rolls, the Vestry Minute Book, census annexes, trade directories, and papers relating to incorporation in 1861 add texture to the study, as do articles from local newspaper The Cambrian. The work includes reference to the significance of paid public officials as members of the new middle classes and analyses the extent of their influence in realising or thwarting ambitions. It contributes to studies of the British urban middle classes by providing a new, Welsh perspective on this fascinating period and giving wider relevance to research on how the Victorians and Edwardians negotiated their urbanisation.