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News > Christ College Archive > Archives in action

Archives in action

Learning about the Brecon Flood of 1979 - retro-style!
Mr Goodrich and Year 7. June 2023.
Mr Goodrich and Year 7. June 2023.

There will be quite a few Old Breconians who remember the whirr of a slide projector and the speckles of dust that stretched from the light source to the screen in a darkened classroom. The forward movement of technology means that the slide projector experience, often recalled with fondness by older OBs, is no longer a regular part of the classroom experience.

However, the Geography department, led by Barney Goodrich (Donaldson’s 1991-93 and now Subject Leader for Geography and Head of Humanities), recently revived the experience for Year 7 with help from the Archive.

With a slide projector thoughtfully donated to the Archive some while ago, and slide photographs of the Brecon flood 1979/80 taken by Edward Parry (Staff 1975-99) and photographs of the 1960 flood taken by A V A Thomas (SHB 1954-61), pupils enjoyed the clack of the carousel as slide after slide showed the extensive damage caused to familiar places before the Brecon flood defences were constructed. Already engaging because of its content, the lesson enthralled pupils in the darkened arena of the mezzanine (the RJB Boulton Archive Room).

It was amazing. The projector was really atmospheric. We’d learned about flooding in class but seeing slides really helped me understand the effects of the floods on places we know.  

It was certainly a memorable way to learn about the devasting effects of flooding on the local community. And it revealed that even the most ‘retro’ of equipment can still find a place in the learning experience of pupils more used to ‘slides’ in variations on a PowerPoint.

Photo. Flood in Llanfaes 1960. The houses to the right of the spectators were demolished to widen the entrance to Silver Street. Christ College Archive. From the AVA Thomas Collection. 


Photo. The aftermath 1980. The entrance opposite the Dairy. The house in the background is now the Dairy. Christ College Archive. From the EGP Collection. 


Can you help us make future showings even more memorable? We have quite a lot of formal material written about the Brecon floods over the years, but we’d really like to share with pupils the experience of OBs who were there. If you have a ‘Brecon flood’ story to share, please post a comment or let Felicity know. Future Year 7s would love to hear from you! 




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