Welcome to the Legacy of Longfields

A Heritage Lottery Funded project to examine and share the heritage of Longfields Association. A pioneering disability charity, established in 1952.

The association was set up by a group of parents whose children had been born with cerebral palsy. At a time of great social change, national policies were being introduced to address significant issues in society. However, for many of these children there was little or no provision for education. At its inception in 1952, the charity was known as Swansea and District Spastic Association.

The project recognises the part that the association played in the social history of Swansea and the wider disability movement and acknowledges the actions and hard work undertaken by the Association’s founders. Through community events and oral history interviews memories of Longfields have been gathered from individuals who attended Longfields, their family members, ex staff members and others who engaged with the organisation.

Research has examined the association’s impact from its inception in 1952 until its closure in 2011 considering changing attitudes and approaches towards disability.

Memories and materials gathered are being translated into an interactive sensory exhibition to be held in the Waterfront Museum from May 8th to June 3rd 2018. 

Images reproduced here are the copyright of Walsingham Support and South Wales Evening Post and are reproduced here by kind permission of them. We would also like to thank West Glamorgan Archive Service, who hold the images in their archives as part of the Longfields Association collection, for their co-operation and assistance.

Collaboration and partnership working is key to project success and support from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled the team to undertake this exciting project. The project is led by Dr Rebecca Clifford of Swansea University and is part of the Connected Communities Programme that researches and celebrates the history of communities across the Swansea Valley. The project has been developed by Teresa Hillier and Kate Spiller at the history department and the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) at Swansea University. Professor David Turner will bring expertise in disability history, public engagement and project management. The partner organisations are:

  • Swansea Vale Resource Centre which is where some of the individuals who attended Longfields now go.
  • West Glamorgan Archive Service which houses the ‘Longfields Collection’ and is a valuable resource for the project.
  • The National Waterfront Museum which is where the project exhibition will be held in May 2018.
  • Scope, the Disability Charity who are supporting the project by giving access to a network of disabled volunteers and by sharing their knowledge of disabled people’s history.
  • People’s Collection Wales who support community engagement activities and provide training for the digitisation of photographs.
  • Swansea Central Library Service who provide access to various sources available through the Local Studies collection. Archival copies of the South Wales Evening Post can be searched for press coverage of the association.
  • Dr. Angie Turner from Strathclyde University who will share her expertise in memory gathering and artistic sessions for individuals with limited communication.