Plaid Cymru History

  • The Life of Wynne Samuel

    Pioneer Patriot – The Life of Wynne Samuel

    ‘A man of immense talent who worked heart and soul for Wales’ – that is the thumbnail sketch of Wynne Samuel, one of Plaid’s early champions.  It comes from the opening lines of this portrait of a pioneer nationalist – at one time considered a potential leader of Wales’ national movement.

    This tribute by Plaid History chairman Dafydd Williams traces the course of Wynne’s extraordinary career, and for the first time publishes a number of new photographs and documents.  It is based on an illustrated lecture delivered at Plaid Cymru’s conference in Cardigan on Friday 5 October 2018, but has been substantially amended and expanded.  You can read it here.

    Link > Life of Wynne SAMUEL

    More 06/01/2019
  • The Syd Morgan Interview

    Syd Morgan has been closely involved in Plaid Cymru’s struggle for five decades – since the days he ran a nationalist magazine in Swansea University in the 1960s.  He gave up a post in university administration to become a full-time organiser for the party in the Rhymney Valley – and one of the councillors who formed one of the first Plaid administrations in the South Wales valleys.  You can hear more about his work for the national movement in this interview with Plaid History chairman Dafydd Williams here.

    Syd Morgan (on the left, above), Plaid candidate in the Pontypridd by-election, February, 1989  

    More 14/11/2018
  • Tribute to John Harries 1925 – 2018

    Tributes have been paid to John Harries, Tycoch, Swansea, a long-standing member of Plaid Cymru, who died in August at the age of 93.  John became an RAF pilot towards the end of the Second World War when he saw service in the Far East before returning home to qualify as an architect, working in London and later, Swansea.  He was appointed resident architect to the University in Swansea, where he worked until his retirement in 1982.

    His family roots are in Dinas Cross in North Pembrokeshire, and John liked to remind people that he was the most senior member of Capel Tabor in the village.  He was brought up in a number of places in south and west Wales before his family moved to London, where he was educated in Streatham school. 

    He married Gwenda, his first wife 1956 ...

    More 23/10/2018
  • 1967 Rhondda By-election Remembered


    Many thanks to the family of the late Vic Davies, Rhondda, for donating to Plaid History a truly inspirational collection of material concerning the Rhondda West by-election that took place over half a century ago.

    The collection includes a scrapbook of press cuttings that recall the dramatic contest in 1967 when Vic Davies succeeded in slashing Labour’s towering majority from seventeen thousand to just 2,306 votes, a swing of 29 per cent to Plaid Cymru.

    1967 Rhondda By-election

    There are a number of valuable telegrams and letters, including congratulations from Plaid Cymru president Gwynfor Evans, who had been returned as MP for Carmarthen the previous year.

    1967 Llongyfarch Vic Davies

    The collection also includes a letter from the SNP’s Dr Andrew Lees of Bearsden near Glasgow inviting Vic Davies to travel to Scotland to support Winifred Ewing’s campaign in the Hamilton by-election – in particular by accompanying her ...

    More 02/12/2018
  • Geraint Thomas 1950 – 2018

    Geraint Thomas was a larger than life character who left an indelible impression on all who knew him. A Plaid supporter from a young age, probably his first political victory – as a 12 year old – was ensuring that the scout group of which he was a reluctant member in Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, ditched the union jack in favour of the Ddraig Goch. Of such victories are activists forged! Along with contemporaries Sharon Morgan, Sian Edwards, Dai Rees, Tony Jenkins and others, he was very much part of the enthusiastic groundswell of young Plaid members who contributed so much to Gwynfor’s by-election victory in 1966.

    Geraint was blessed with a profound intellect (hence his nickname – ‘Prof’), a sharp wit, and an insatiable interest in the world around him. A voracious reader, he would engage everyone and anyone in lively and ...

    More 29/10/2018
  • New Novel Charts Course To Devolution

    New Novel Charts Course To Devolution

    Book review by Dafydd Williams, Plaid Cymru General Secretary, 1971-1993 and Chairman of the Plaid Cymru History Association

    If you want to know about the crucial decades leading up to the successful 1997 devolution referendum, this is the book for you.  ‘Ten Million Stars Are Burning’ is the enigmatic title of the newly published novel by the well known writer and political commentator John Osmond. 

    Osmond sets himself an ambitious task – to tell how the people of Wales struggled to come to terms with their identity during the last quarter of the twentieth century; and in particular how the disaster of 1979 turned into the hard-won victory of 1997.

    To accomplish this, he uses the vehicle of a documentary novel, with two main fictional characters – along with a host of real-life players, who speak to us from the past in their own words, as recorded in ...

    More 23/10/2018