Monthly Archives: June 2011

If Tolpuddle can do it, so can Llanelli.

So, would any mention of the strike and riots scare off inward investment from Llanelli? Quite the opposite, I think. Heritage, leisure and tourism is big business now. With a bit of nerve, creativity and thinking ‘out of the box’, this could become a real money-spinner for the town. Look at the tiny Dorset village … Continue reading »

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Would commemoration of uprising scare off inward investment?

In the aftermath of the uprising it was the visit of King George V which was seen as being put in jeopardy. But even much later, other reasons were found for trying to keep the strike and shootings out of the public eye.   Was it simply ‘inappropriate’ to remember them? In 1986 members of … Continue reading »

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Petition

To the House of Commons: The petition of the residents and friends of Llanelli declares that: The shooting by the military of two men during the railway strike of 1911 was an unnecessary and unjustifiable act of violence. The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge HM Government to issue an apology for … Continue reading »

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Rail employees worked long hours for low pay

RAIL WORKERS AT LLANELLI STATION RECEIVED HALF A TINPLATE WORKER’S WAGE By 1890 south Wales had one of the most densely developed railway networks in the world. But this was run in a context of widespread poverty and hardship for railway workers.   In Remembrance of a Riot, John Edwards shows that at this time … Continue reading »

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Sosban Fach

“Sosban Fach” is Llanelli’s signature-tune. It’s more than a song, it’s an expression of a certain attitude. A quirky, determined, ‘ornery’ sense of identity. Without straying into Private Eye’s Pseud’s Corner, I really think it sums up so much about the town’s character. And the song has, I believe, been a channel for popular memory … Continue reading »

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Memories of an uprising

Although there has been little official recognition of the Llanelli Railway Strike, there is a rich vein of folk memories. Many families have one story or another. My grandmother used to tell me about how police dug up the back gardens of houses in Llwynhendy, looking for looted produce. She also recalled a speech from … Continue reading »

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John “Jac” John

John “Jac” John was 21 when he was killed. A mill worker at the Morewood Tinplate Works, he was a promising rugby player for the Oriental Stars. He was, according to a local rugby reporter, “one of the most popular young men in the town”. A photograph shows a youth with expressive features and dark … Continue reading »

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