Dr Andy Croll
BA 1st Class Hons in History and Welsh History (Wales), 1990
PhD in History (Wales), 1997
I teach modules that reflect my interest in social, cultural and urban history. In class I get the chance to discuss with students a number of fascinating questions: what was it like living in a nineteenth-century slum? Can we ever know? Was the Victorian New Poor Law ‘cruel’? What was life like in a workhouse during the era of the New Poor Law? How should we approach the history of the American West and other global ‘frontiers’? What happened when invaders met indigenous peoples?
Module leader for:
HS1S008 Crime, vice and ‘lowlife’ in Victorian Britain
HS2S60 Poor Lives: Poverty, Welfare and History
HS3S033 Frontiers: A Global History(with an especial emphasis on the American West)
Monographs and edited collections
Andy Croll, Barry Island: The Making of a Seaside Playground, c.1790-c.1965 (Univ. of Wales Press, Cardiff, forthcoming July 2020).
Andy Croll, Civilizing the Urban: Popular Culture and Public Space, Merthyr c. 1870-1914 (Univ. of Wales Press, Cardiff, 2000).
Stefan Berger, Andy Croll and Norman LaPorte (eds), Towards a Comparative History of Coalfield Societies (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2005).
Refereed journal papers and chapters in edited collections
Andy Croll, ’“Reconciled gradually to the system of indoor relief”: the poor law in Wales during the “crusade against out-relief”, c. 1870-c. 1890’, Family and Community History, 20, no. 2 (2017), pp. 121-144.
Andy Croll, ‘Poverty, mass unemployment and welfare’, in Chris Williams and Andy Croll (eds), The Gwent County History: Volume 5, The Twentieth Century (Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 2013), pp. 207-227.
Andy Croll, ‘Strikers and the right to poor relief in late Victorian Britain: the making of the Merthyr Tydfil judgment of 1900’, Journal of British Studies, 52, no. 1 (2013), pp. 128-152.
Andy Croll, ‘A famished coalfield or a “healthy strike”? Assessing evidence of hunger in the South Wales “Coal War” of 1898’, Welsh History Review, 26, no. 3 (July 2012), pp. 58-80.
Andy Croll,‘Starving strikers and the limits of the “humanitarian discovery of hunger” in late Victorian Britain’, International Review of Social History, 56, no. 1 (April, 2011), pp. 103-131.
Andy Croll, ‘Local government’, in Chris Williams and Sian Rhiannon Williams (eds), Gwent County History, volume 4, The Nineteenth Century (University of Wales Press, 2011), pp. 291-307.
Andy Croll, ’Mabon’s Day: the rise and fall of a Lib-Lab holiday in the South Wales coalfield, 1888-1898’, Labour History Review, 72, no. 1 (April 2007), pp 49-68.
Andy Croll and Martin Johnes, ‘A heart of darkness? Leisure, respectability and the aesthetics of vice in Victorian Wales’, in Mike Huggins and J. A. Mangan (eds) Disreputable Pleasures: Less Virtuous Victorians at Play (Routledge, London, 2004), pp. 153-171.
Andy Croll, ‘Popular leisure and sport’, in Chris Williams (ed.), A Companion to Nineteenth-Century Britain (Oxford, Blackwell, 2004), pp. 396-411.
Andy Croll, ‘The impact of postmodernism on modern British social history’, Mitteilungsblatt des Instituts fur die Geschichte der soziale Bewegungen, 27 (2002), pp. 137-152.
Andy Croll, ’"People’s remembrancers" in a postmodern age: contemplating the non-crisis of Welsh labour history’, Llafur: the Journal of Welsh Labour History, 8, no. 1 (2000), pp. 5-17.
Andy Croll, ‘Street disorder, surveillance and shame: regulating behaviour in the public spaces of the late Victorian British town’, Social History, 24, no. 3 (1999), pp. 250-68.
Andy Croll, ‘Writing the insanitary town: G.T. Clark, slums, and sanitary reform’, in Brian Ll. James (ed.), G.T. Clark: Scholar Ironmaster the Victorian Age (Cardiff, Univ. of Wales Press, 1998), pp. 24-47.
Andy Croll, ‘From bar stool to choir stall: music and morality in late Victorian Merthyr’, Llafur: the Journal of Welsh Labour History, 6, no. 1 (1992), pp. 17-27.
Andy Croll, ‘Barry Island: The Coney Island of South Wales’, Western Mail, 18 April 2012, pp. 19-21.
Andy Croll, “How the Victorians invented the traditional Christmas”, Western Mail, 20 December 2010, pp. 16-17.
Andy Croll, ‘The coalition government’s Victorian values risk taking us back to the workhouse’, Western Mail, 18 November 2010, pp. 24-5.
Andy Croll, ‘Oh, for the good old days, when people knew how to behave…didn’t they?’, Western Mail, 6 October 2010, pp. 17-19.
Glamorgan County History trustee
Llafur: the Welsh People’s History Society
Thus far, my main interests have been focussed around the problems – and possibilities – generated by the growth of towns and cities in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. What was it like living in the slums of the Victorian industrial city? Can we, as historians, ever know? How did Victorians try to deal with the problems of urban poverty, disease and disorder? How effective were the attempts to ‘civilize’ the urban settlements?
Current research activity
I am currently in the ways in which the hunger and distress that could accompany lengthy industrial disputes in the late Victorian period was understood by contemporaries. On a different matter, I’m also writing a book about the social history of Barry Island as the ‘Playground of South Wales’. These, and other related questions, are currently keeping me awake at night.
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