My name is Bleddyn Penny, a Carmarthen born English and History teacher at a state secondary school in Cardiff. I was awarded my PhD, a post-war history of Port Talbot and its steelworkers, in 2016 from Swansea University, where I was also a History tutor. Before I moved to Swansea to start my PhD, I completed my MA in Welsh History at Cardiff University in 2011 and History BA at the University of York in 2010.
Researching the history of Britain’s steel industry and steelworkers is an ongoing labour of love. Several generations of my father’s family, both men and women, worked at the Ebbw Vale steelworks and the many older local iron works that predated it. Much of my research has focused on exploring the history of steelworkers’ communities, political organisations and workplaces. More broadly, my historical interests include, modern British social and political history, war remembrance and commemoration, industrial paternalism and the development of industrial societies and communities.
My media contributions on the steel industry’s past and present include several interviews with BBC Radio Wales, Radio 5 Live and Radio 4. I have also contributed articles to the Western Mail and History and Policy as well as giving talks at academic conferences and local history societies.
‘The Affluent Striker: Industrial Disputes in the Port Talbot Steelworks, 1945-1979’, in Louise Miskell (Ed), New Perspectives on Welsh Industrial History (Cardiff, University of Wales Press), 2020
“The City of Steel”: Port Tablot’s Steel Industry, from ‘Treasure Island’ to Crisis, History and Policy, 2016, < http://www.historyandpolicy.org/opinion-articles/articles/the-city-of-steel>
‘Where Welfare Holds the Key to Prosperity? Industrial Relations and Industrial Paternalism in the Ebbw Vale Steel Industry, 1944-1962, North American Journal of Welsh Studies, Vol. 8, 2013.
Framing Grief: War Memorials and Public Commemoration in York, 1914-25, York: Borthwick Paper 112, 2012.
Class, Work and Community: Port Talbot’s Steelworkers, 1951-1988, Unpublished PhD Thesis, Swansea University, 2016. (Digital copies available on request)