The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion

Recognising the contribution of Wales in contemporary society

The Transactions

home > Transactions > Volume 18 - 2012 > London and the Miners’ Strikes of the Twentieth Century

London and the Miners’ Strikes of the Twentieth Century

In preparing this lecture, I was reminded of that warning to all governments of the twentieth century: there are two bodies you take on at your peril, the Brigade of Guards and the Miners’ Union. I am often asked in the House of Commons by Conservative Members, when they see my red and black Aberavon RFC Wizards tie, ‘I didn’t know you were in the Guards?’ What would they do if I also wore my father’s South Wales Miners’ Saltley Gates 1972 commemoration badge? Give me a wide berth, I guess.

Forty years ago, my wife and I, and our one-month-old daughter Hannah, were in the Hayward Gallery next to the Royal Festival Hall to see the Arts Council Exhibition entitled ‘Art in Revolution’. One of the volunteer attendants, a Cockney in his late 80s, told us he had been to Wales only once, to a place called Tonypandy in 1910 or 1911. He had been one of Churchill’s troops.

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