Glyn James: an inspiration to so many
Plaid Cymru President Jill Evans MEP has expressed her great sadness at the death of Rhondda’s Glyn James.
Born in Llangranog, Glyn came to the Rhondda to work in Tylorstown and then Lady Windsor collieries.
He first stood in Ystrad Rhondda in a by-election in 1959, losing by only 4 votes. He overcame the disappointment by winning the first ever seat for Plaid Cymru in the Rhondda the following year. He was re-elected many times and served as Mayor of the Rhondda.
Glyn was a campaigning councillor. He chained himself to Llwynypia hospital in a protest to keep services; he climbed onto the roof of the council offices to call for more services for the Rhondda Fach; and he broadcast on his pirate radio station, ‘Radio Free Wales’ from Penrhys Isaf farm. He stood for the Rhondda several times in general elections and will be remembered, too, for the smoke-breathing dragon on the back of a lorry that was typical of the way he got his message across.
Jill Evans said,
“Glyn was a close friend and colleague. He was a major figure in the Rhondda and in Plaid Cymru and a real inspiration to me. He loved the Rhondda and Wales with a passion and his enthusiasm was reflected in his colourful and exciting campaigns. He never stopped campaigning. He was the eternal optimist who never doubted that Wales would win its freedom. It is this, most of all, that I will remember about Glyn and that will continue to inspire so many of us in Plaid Cymru for many years to come. He was a great man and I will miss him very much. On behalf of Plaid Cymru I offer our deep sympathy to Hawys and the family.”