Plaid Cymru History

  • 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
  • Plaid Remembers Wynne Samuel

    A special session will take place in next month’s Plaid Cymru annual conference to honour the memory of the late Dr Wynne Samuel.

    Born in Ystalyfera in the Swansea Valley, Wynne Samuel helped lay the foundations of Plaid Cymru in the South Wales valleys and became one of the party’s first ever councillors when he won a seat on Pontardawe Rural District Council in 1946.

    He went on to become a barrister and a leading expert on local government, and at one time was considered alongside Gwynfor Evans as a potential leader of Plaid Cymru.  In 1965, he was appointed as Town Clerk – or chief executive – of Tenby Borough Council in Pembrokeshire, and later on he became secretary and driving force behind the Association of Welsh Community and Town Councils.

    Wynne Samuel’s service will be commemorated in an illustrated lecture organised by the Plaid Cymru History Society and delivered by the ...

    More 19/09/2018
  • 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
  • Remembering Phil Williams A tribute by Cynog Dafis

    At a special meeting in the Cardiff National Eisteddfod on Thursday, 9 August 2018,  Plaid Cymru celebrated the life of the late Professor Phil Williams, the party’s candidate in the Caerffili by-election fifty years ago.

    At the meeting, organised by the Plaid Cymru History Society, tributes were paid by Dafydd Williams and Cynog Dafis with a contribution by Dafydd Wigley.

    Remembering Phil Williams

    A tribute by Cynog Dafis

    I could speak all day about Phil, wondrous polymath as he was, but I have only a brief 15 minutes and I want to concentrate on his very particular contribution to green issues – the most crucial subject – if I may  venture to say, of every subject in the world.

    But there is no way I can omit some special memories.

    I have a clear recollection of the first time I ever saw him – in the Plaid Summer School ...

    More 17/08/2018