2014 Commemoration of Llanelli Rail Strike & Uprising

 

The time is coming around again for the commemoration of the Great Llanelli Railway Strike and Uprising of 1911. In August 1911 the first ever British national rail strike took place. In Llanelli mass picketing took place and troops were called in. Two men were shot dead and many injured. Our annual commemorations of these dramatic events take the form of 1) an evening of music and poetry, 2) a round-table discussion in which writers and historians discuss the events, and 3) a march through the town where wreaths are laid on the graves of the two shot men.

The ‘Poems, Pints and Music’ evening will take place on Wed 13 August in the Queen Victoria Club, 4 Queen Victoria Rd, SA15 2 TL (01554 758318) 7pm for 7.30pm. There will be songs and poems about the strike and uprising, and also about the First World War, which of course we are also marking this year. There will be an open mic session, so if you wish to take part, please give your name to the organisers.

 

The Forum will be at 5pm in the Council Chambers of Llanelli Rural Council, Vauxhall Buildings, Vauxhall SA15 3BD (01554 774103) (Parking nearby) The theme this year will be “Did the First World War Stop A British Revolution?” Speakers will be Aled Eirug, who is writing a book on resistance to the war, John Edwards, Rob Griffiths and Tim Evans, all of whom have written on the strike and uprising of Llanelli 1911. There will be time for questions and contributions. The Forum will be followed by a buffet and drinks.

 

The march, with the Cambria Marching Band and Cor Cochion choir, will assemble 12 noon Saturday 16 August at Llanelli railway station, will progress via the site of the shootings, to rally in the town centre where there will be speeches. We will continue to Box Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony at the graves of the shot men.

 

For more information, contact Tim Evans on 07962 8044 52 or Sian Caiach on 07935 0302 79. You can go on our website on : http://1911llanellirailwaystrike.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our fundraising Musical Extravaganza was a great success – a fun night was had by all, the food was great, and we raised money towards our dream of having a mural of the 1911 rail strike put up in Llanelli. We would especially like to thank the songstresses of COR CURIAD, whose singing and harmonising, were, as always, outstanding. You can go to their Facebook page on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Côr-Curiad/111706692191665, or follow them on Twitter @cor_curiad

 

It’s not that long now until the Rail Strike Commemorations for 2014 commence, so clear your diaries for the following:

Wed 13 August – Poems & Pints – poems & music of working class struggle and resistance – 7.30pm  Queen Victoria Club, Queen Victoria Rd.

 

Thurs 14 August 5.00pm – ‘Did World War One stop a British Revolution?’ a debate hosted by Llanelli Rural Council, Vauxhall Buildings, Vauxhall. This will be our third annual round table discussion on the history and politics of the Llanelli Uprising and the Great Unrest. This year our panel of writers and historians will be looking at how the onset of war affected the rising wave of industrial unrest that started in 1910.

 

On Saturday 16 August we shall be assembling at 12 noon at the railway station for our annual march through the town centre with the Cambria Marching Band, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the graves of the shot men.

 

THE LLANELLI 1911 RAILWAY STRIKE COMMITTEE MEETS EVERY MONDAY AT 7.30 ON THE TOP FLOOR OF THE YORK PALACE WETHERSPOONS PUB (NEAR YMCA) – A FINE ESTABLISHMENT WHERE THEY HAVE A SELECTION OF 1911 PRINTS ON THE TOP FLOOR. IF YOU’D LIKE TO HELP US PLAN THE COMMEMORATIVE EVENTS FROM 13-16 AUGUST THIS YEAR PLEASE COME ALONG FOR A DRINK & A CHAT.


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MUSICAL EXTRAVAGANZA FRIDAY JUNE 6 2014 to raise funds for a 1911 rail strike mural in LLANELLI

1911 LLANELLI RAILWAY STRIKE COMMITTEE

PWYLLGOR STREIC REILFFORDD LLANELLI

 

COR CURIAD

Musical Extravaganza

in Remembrance of the loss of life on both sides

in the 1914-1918 War

Ticket/Tocyn £10 – includes chicken/vegetarian meal in interval

7PM FOR 7.30 PERFORMANCE

THOMAS ARMS LLANELLI FRIDAY 6 JUNE

TICKETS CAN BE GOT ON THE DOOR, OR RING/TEXT TIM ON 07962 804 452; OR SIAN ON 07935 030 279; OR JOHN ON 07779 772 770

THE LLANELLI 1911 RAILWAY STRIKE COMMITTEE MEETS EVERY MONDAY AT 7.30 ON THE TOP FLOOR OF THE YORK PALACE WETHERSPOONS PUB (NEAR YMCA) – A FINE ESTABLISHMENT WHERE THEY HAVE A SELECTION OF 1911 PRINTS ON THE TOP FLOOR. IF YOU’D LIKE TO HELP US PLAN THE COMMEMORATIVE EVENTS FROM 13-16 AUGUST THIS YEAR PLEASE COME ALONG FOR A DRINK & A CHAT.

(PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THAT THE POSTS BELOW REFER TO PREVIOUS YEARS’ COMMEMORATIONS & ARE THEREFORE NOT CURRENT – FULL DETAILS OF 2014 EVENTS WILL BE POSTED LATER)

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MARCH AND MEETINGS TO MARK STRIKE AND UPRISING

 

 

This August is the anniversary of the first ever national rail strike in 1911 which led, on the streets of Llanelli, to pitched battles between townspeople and the army.

 

Two men were shot dead and many other people injured by troops of the Worcester regiment, leading to widespread rioting, attacks on the railway company and the looting of the shop of the magistrate who many believed had called in the soldiers.

 

A soldier refused to fire on the crowd and deserted, sparking government fears of a wider mutiny. More people died when a torched truck of detonators exploded. For some days Llanelli was under military occupation

 

  • Our annual marking of the events takes place this year between Wed 14-Sat 17th August.
  • On Wed 14th there will be a FREE evening of music and poetry on the Uprising 7.30 till late at the Queen Victoria Club, Queen Victoria Rd Llanelli SA15 2TL.
  • On Thurs 15th at 5.00 pm there will be a round table forum: ‘From the Great Unrest of 1911 to the Global Rebellions of 2013’. Speakers will include Jonathan Edwards MP, Rob Griffiths and John Edwards, authors of books on the events, and others. This will be at Llanelli Rural Council Offices, Vauxhall, Llanelli SA15 3BD Tickets FREE but limited (ring Tim on 0796 2804 452 to reserve a seat)

 

  • The highlight of the week will be our annual march on Sat 17 Aug from Llanelli railway station (assemble 11.30 am) to a rally in the town centre and a wreath-laying ceremony at Box Cemetery at the graves of the two who were killed. The theme of the march will be ‘Resistance’ and there will be representatives from various campaign groups – Anti-Cuts, Anti-Bedroom Tax, Anti-Fracking etc, plus speakers from Labour, Plaid and trade unions.

 

Dramatic though these events were, very few people have heard of them. We in the Llanelli 1911 Strike Committee are dedicated to consciousness-raising about the Llanelli Strike and Uprising. We have produced books for use with school and college students, have visited schools and colleges and given talks to historical societies and other groups. We have written articles on the subject – one ‘The Great Unrest and A Welsh Town’ can be read here- http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=744&issue=131

For more details, contact Tim on > tim.l.evans@btinternet.com or 0796 2804 452

 

 

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AUGUST 2013 – A WEEK OF COMMEMORATION OF THE GREAT RAILWAY STRIKE & UPRISING

One hundred and two years since the great railway strike. One hundred and two years since troops opened fire on Llanelli strikers and their supporters, killing two & sparking an uprising against the bosses and military.

 

As every year, the Llanelli 1911 Committee is preparing to mark the occasion with a series of events:

 

WED 14 AUGUST

Poems & Pints – music and poetry of struggle & rebellion, with a railway strike theme! Beer & wine too!

Where: ‘The Club’ Queen Victoria Rd

When: 7.30pm ‘til late FREE

 

THURS 15 AUGUST

‘From the Great Unrest of 1911 to the Global Rebellions of 2013’

Where: Llanelli Rural Council Offices, Vauxhall

When: 5.00 – 7.00pm

A panel of writers, politicians & others discuss the significance of the 1911 events and compare the uprisings and revolutions currently sweeping the globe. Speakers will include Jonathan Edwards MP, John Edwards (author ‘Remembrance of a Riot’), Rob Griffiths (Author ‘Killing No Murder’), Tim Evans (author ‘The Great Unrest & a Welsh Town’) Chair: Alice Greenlees (Unison steward) There will be plenty of time for questions & contributions from the audience. Free tickets are limited. Ring Tim Evans on 0796 2804 452 to reserve tickets.

 

SAT 17 AUGUST

March, rally & graveside ceremony. Assemble Llanelli railway station 11.30 am. March will visit where the shooting took place. Rally in town centre. Wreath-laying ceremony at Box Cemetery. Cor Cochion choir will perform. Afterwards meet in Stamps pub town centre for after-march social.

 

If you’d like to get involved, we can be contacted on tim.l.evans@btinternet.com

 

 

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One Hundred Years Ago

A shot rings out. The group of young men gathered by the garden wall stubbornly stand their ground. “Popeth yn iawn! It’s all right!” shouts one, “Blanc yw hi, bois! It’s blank, boys!”

Peidiwch a symud. Don’t move,” he confides to his friend. “Saethan nhw ddim. They won’t shoot.”

Another rifle crack.

“It’s all right, they’ve only got blank cartridges,” someone yells.

Suddenly, a bullet slams into the throat of a man sitting on the wall, driving him backwards into the garden. Everyone runs, someone shouts, “That’s a bastard shot!” Blood splashes the grass. One of the men cries out as a bullet glances off his thumb, bringing down the man behind him.

There is more firing. Three men are down. The two most seriously injured are carried into the house and are laid out, bleeding profusely, on the table in the middle room, where they die. The landlady of the house is weeping uncontrollably – some women have fainted. Men are cursing and shouting. Outside on the railway track Major Brownlow Stuart orders the soldiers of the Worcester Regiment, who have fired the shots, to withdraw to the railway station.

These events occurred not in some beleaguered war zone, but in the back garden of a house in the High Street, Llanelli. The date was August 19, 1911, a hundred years ago next year. It was the last time troops on the British mainland fired on workers during an industrial dispute: the first ever national railway strike, a real rank-and-file revolt over low pay while the railway company was making massive profits. After the shootings, strikers, their supporters and other local people rose up, fighting with soldiers and police in a protest at the injustice the community had suffered at the hands of the military.

Yet talk to anybody about the events of 1911, and you will find that often, even in the town, they will not have heard about them. The name Tonypandy has been seared into the consciousness of the Welsh working class as the epitome of a fierce class battle – and justly so.  But events at Llanelli a year later were arguably a much more serious confrontation. Many of us feel that with the centenary approaching it is time for us to reclaim our history. The 1911 Llanelli Strike Committee – formed this year – is working to ensure that we mark the events in a variety of different ways.  I hope to make clear why there is so much that we can be proud of in the dramatic events of 1911.

 

 

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Llanelli 1911 Railway Strike Centenary March 20/08/11- photos D. Kittay

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The panel at the 1911 Forum – 18 August 2011

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BBC Documentary on the Llanelli Strike

On Tuesday 16 August, BBC Wales premiered a new documentary, presented by Llanelli’s Huw Edwards, on the events of the Llanelli Strike.

You can watch this on BBC iPlayer here.

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75th. Anniversary Photos

Depicted, are speakers in the Spring Gardens, Llanelli, during the 75th. Anniversary of the 1911 Llanelli Railway Strike. They were the Llanelli MP, The Rt.Hon. Denzil Davies MP., Assistant General Secretaries of the Railway Trade Union,Aslef & NUR(RMT), And Joe Jones, Chairman of the 1911 Llanelli Strike Committee, at the time

Below, with the Aslef Banner, is myself, with Black hair, and moustache, along with other Railway Colleagues.

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Banner Design

Banner

Banner design Based on the original “badge” from 1911.

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