About this site

Photo: ITV Wales

THIS WEBSITE tells the story of the outbreaks of Smallpox in Britain in 1962, with particular emphasis on the impact of the disease in Wales, where 19 people died and 900,000 were vaccinated.

The outbreak began in January 1962. To mark the 50th anniversary content was added to this site beginning in January and ending in May 2012, 50 years after the ‘all clear’ was given.

The site is the work of James Stewart, who made a documentary about the outbreak for ITV in 2002.  While he was teaching at the University of Glamorgan, a small group of students joined the project to record the memories of people affected by the outbreak in 1962.

CLICK on the tabs in the menu to follow the story in different locations.

If you have memories (or pictures) from the 1962 outbreaks, please get in touch by adding a comment. Your contributions will be added to the site.

Click HERE to see people’s comments and add your own.

(See also: ‘What do you remember?‘)

Contact the project by e-mail: info@smallpox1962.org.uk


Recent Posts

Contact tracing for Covid-19 – lessons from 1962

Nimrod Griffiths – Health Inspector in the front line in 1962. Photo (c) ITV Wales

Controlling the next phase of the 2020 coronavirus outbreak is likely to depend on contact tracing – tracking down anyone who has been in contact with a person showing symptoms of the virus.
It will involve tracing anyone who has come into close contact with someone who has tested positive and advising them to self-isolate to stop further spread.
There are lessons to be learned from one of the last big contact-tracing exercises – carried out almost 60 years ago during the smallpox outbreak of 1962.
The BBC published this report on 7 June 2020.

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