Huw Llywelyn Rees


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11th September

user image 2013-09-11
By: Huw Llywelyn Rees
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The first Women's Institute meeting in Britain was held in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch on 11 September 1915

The WI movement had begun in Canada in 1897 for the wives of members of the Farmers' Institute.  In the UK,  it was originally set up to revitalise rural communities and to encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War.  After the first year, there were 40 WIs across the UK and has since grown to become the UK's largest women's voluntary organisation. There are in excess of 200,000 members in over 6,500 branches, offering women the chance to take part in a range of  various activities and to campaign for important  local issues.

The Abercarn colliery disaster occurred following an explosion within the Prince of Wales Colliery in the village of Abercarn, on 11 September 1878, killing 268 men and boys.

Shortly after midday, the inhabitants of the valley were startled by the reverberation of three distinct explosions, followed by the sight of fierce flames and dense  smoke issuing from the mouth of the shaft.   The colliery’s steam whistle blew, signalling an emergency  and in a remarkably short space of time the roads leading to the pit were crowded with men, women, and children hastening to ascertain what had happened. Search parties were organised without delay.  The rescue was hampered by the fact that  the explosion had caused significant damage to mine’s roadways and supporting timber structures, the shaft was full of smoke and overturned trams were strewn all around.  By the faint light of the safety lamps rescuers saw dead human bodies intermingled with those of  horses, but incredibly there were survivors.  Badly shook and severely burned,  82 colliers were  drawn up the shaft to the safety of the open air.  But the rejoicing of those outside was short-lived, as most of the survivors were suffering from the effects of the toxic after-damp and death soon released them from their sufferings 

The cause of the disaster was assumed to have been the ignition of firedamp by a safety lamp and it is the third worst for loss of life to occur within the South Wales Coalfield.

Today is the feast day of Saint Deiniol (died 584)  the first Bishop of Bangor.

Saint Deiniol  was the grandson of Pabo Post Prydain a King of Yr Hen Ogledd, and when the family lost their land in the North of England, they were given land by the King of Powys, Cyngen ap Cadell.  Deiniol is said to have studied under St Cadoc and to have been later given land by Maelgwyn Gwynedd to found a monastery on the site where Bangor Cathedral now stands.  He attended the Synod of Llanddewi Brefi c.545 with Saint David and was also consecrated by David the same year. He is buried on Bardsey Island and is also venerated in Monmouthshire, Herefordshire and Brittany.

On September 11th 1297, The Battle of Stirling Bridge occurred.  It was the scene of William Wallace's greatest triumph against the English.

The 'name' Wallace is an old Scots term meaning Welsh speaking or 'of Welsh stock' and although William Wallace was born and raised in Scotland, it is almost certain that his ancestors were Welsh. The Wallace's left Oswestry, which up until that time was in Wales, for Scotland around the year 1170.

The town of Stirling was the key entry point to the north of Scotland and a mighty English Army under the command of the Earl of Surrey, had arrived in Stirling on a mission to put down Scots resistance to English rule.  The Scots waited until half of the English force had crossed the bridge. Then William Wallace led a charge that cut into the unprepared English, splitting their army in two, and reinforcements from the far bank could only be sent in twos across the bridge. Most of the men who had crossed were killed by the Scots and the English baggage train was captured. Surrey fled south to Berwick. 

Wallace went on to lead a destructive raid into northern England and by March 1298, he had emerged as Guardian of Scotland. His glory, however, was brief, for Edward I, who had returned from Flanders, led a force north himself.  The two men finally met on the field of Falkirk in the summer of 1298, where Wallace was defeated and forced to go on the run.

Wallace evaded capture until 5 August 1305 when he was turned over to the English and transported to London, where he was tried and found guilty of treason.  In his defence, his stated that he was never Edward's subject and, therefore, could not be a traitor. However on 23rd August 1305, he was stripped naked and dragged through the city at the heels of a horse to the Elms at Smithfield, where he was hanged, drawn and quartered, released whilst still alive, emasculated and his bowels burnt in front of him.  He was then beheaded and his preserved head (dipped in tar) was placed on a pike on top of London Bridge.

Born on this day 1977  in Carmarthen

Matthew Stevens  - Professional snooker player. Stevens has won the Benson and Hedges Masters (2000) and the UK Championship (2003).  He was also  runner-up in the World Snooker Championship in 2000 and 2005.




46 people, including 14 from South Wales, died on 11th September 1982 when a Chinook helicopter crashed into a motorway in Mannheim in Germany. 

Members of the Swansea Skydiving Club had been invited to take part in an air show to celebrate the 375th anniversary of the city of Mannheim.  They were part of a group trying to set a free-falling world record. 

Thousands of spectators gathered to watch parachutists from the twinned cities of Swansea, Mannheim and Toulon in France, trying to form the largest ever joined-circle of free-falling skydivers.  However, the helicopter developed problems and an emergency landing was attempted when the rear rotor blade detached and the aircraft crashed on a nearby motorway.

Claire Wylde
09/15/13 11:35:04PM @claire-wylde:

Why punish children for the idea of patriotism? Desks are purchased with American taxes, not invasions of other countries. Hopefully, these students will learn to think for themselves.

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