Victorian shearers
Sewing machinists 2002

How has working life in Powys changed since 1891? Some things remain the same - farming is as important to life here as it was back then. We look at Radnorshire farmer John W Stephens who kept a pocket book in the 1890s detailing his tribulations and successes, and we look at the life of farmers, smallholders and other people working in the farming industry today through their diaries. How have their experiences changed since John W Stephen's' time?

We look at shopkeepers, then and now, and look in particular at the shops, hotels and other businesses in Broad Street, Newtown and how these have changed. And how does life compare for a rural postman then and now? And what of those in service? We look at the make up of a large household in 1891, and the day in the life of a cook in 2002.

The occupations of the residents of two Ystradgynlais streets can be set against the wide variety of jobs and professions of our diarists today, and their fascinating descriptions of their working lives.