1958 Conference by Philip Lloyd

The Plaid Conference and Summer School were held in Merthyr Tudful in 1958. The location was the grammar school in Cyfarthfa Castle, the old home of the Crawshays, where the family could look out across the valley on their profitable business, Cyfarthfa iron works.

The three photographs show discussions at the conference in the school hall. Sitting at the table on the stage are Dr R. Tudur Jones (Vice-President, Blaid), Gwynfor Evans (President), J.E. Jones (General Secretary) and Emrys Roberts (Assitant Secretary). Although this conference was held during the period of the ban on Plaid Cymru from Radio and Television by the Labour Party and Tories, there must have been some attention given in the media; the BBC microphone can be seen in each photograph.

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Llun 1: Unknown speaker. Anyone know who he is?

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Llun 2: the speaker is Trefor Beasley, I believe. Am I correct? On the table beyond the stage are the translators, Meirion Lloyd Davies and Chris Rees. Meirion told me later that there was no simultaneous-translation equipment available at that time: the translators would take notes while the speech was in progress and after it was finished the translator would rise to give an English summary for the non Welsh speaking members.

Meirion was a Prebyterian minister throght his life. Chris had fought Gower in the 1955 General Election. He moved to Swansea East for 1959, when we were both teachers at Ysgol Glan Clwyd, Y Rhyl. And when Blaid had a brief five minutes on the radio and television in 1965 he was responsible for the radio brodcast with Gwynfor on the televison.

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Llun 3: the speaker is Arthur Donaldson, SNP representative (he became leader in 1960). On the wall behind Emrys Roberts there is a poster announcing a public meeting organised by the Blaid against the H-bomb, to be held during the conference in a chapel in the town, with speeches by Dr Glyn [O.] Phillips, Gwynfor Evans and Michael Scott from the Direct Action Committee against nuclear war . The Direct Action Committee (1957-1961) was a pacifist group established in response to one on the H-bomb tests on Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean between 1956 and 1967. The aim was ‘the conducting of non-violent direct action to obtain the total renunciation of nuclear war and its weapons by Britain and all other countries as a first step in disarmament’.

Empire Games Cardiff 1958, by Philip Lloyd

The Plaid’s main office was upstairs in a building on Queen Street, Cardiff at that time. A supply of programmes was obtained for sale to the public with the proceeds going to the Blaid. In the picture Glyn James can be seen selling at the entrance at the bottom of the stairs. Note the English name of the Blaid.

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