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Home / Latest News / Can you help track down information of these Ely pictures from the 1970s?

Can you help track down information of these Ely pictures from the 1970s?

Are you in these pictures documenting life in a city community in the 1970s?

Historian Nigel Billingham wants help to shed light on the photographs of life in Ely during the decade.

Nigel, 64, who used to run photography workshops in the area, photography classes for children, young people and vulnerable adults for 15 years and estimates hundreds of people took part in the sessions, which were based at Ely’s community shop on Caerau Lane.

Participants learnt how to use cameras and compose photographs, as well as developing their own pictures in a darkroom.

When the project moved premises eight years ago, Nigel offered to store the prints in his attic so the memories would not be lost and now, he hopes to reconnect the community with its past by identifying some of the individuals in the images.

Retired charity worker Nigel said: “The photographs were a bit dusty, but most of them are in good condition.

“I felt it was worthwhile to do something positive with them, rather than letting them get thrown in a skip.”

View gallery

View gallery

After dusting off two large boxes of photographs, along with display panels and collages, Nigel started to research the photographs last summer and has since identified a handful of individuals.

He hopes more people will come forward to discuss their memories of the workshops, with the aim of putting together a small exhibition to share their recollections.

Nigel said: “I am hoping more people will come forward. I don’t want to do it on my own because the spirit of the project was always about enabling and empowering local people. The more people the better.

“The best part for me is getting to meet up with people I haven’t seen for 20 years. It’s fascinating to see how people have changed.”

Dave Horton, community development coordinator for Action in Caerau and Ely, said: “It’s been really interesting talking to some of the folk who have been identified in these photos and who are still living in the area.

“It’s not just history – their stories and memories are providing inspiration for the many community members currently working hard for Ely’s benefit.”

The local historian, who has published three books about the history of Ely, hopes to organise a series of informal meetings to allow residents to discuss the pictures and share their memories.

For more information or to take part, contact Dave Horton of Action Caerau and Ely (ACE) on 029 2059 4708 or email

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