Huw Llywelyn Rees


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22nd September

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By: Huw Llywelyn Rees
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In the early 18th century, Wales was the centre of an educational movement that was taking the world - by storm. 

On 22nd September 1731, Griffith Jones (Llanddowror) wrote to the  Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) proposing that a Welsh school be set up at Llanddowror. This marks the beginning of the circulating schools movement.

Griffith Jones (1684 – 8 April 1761) was a minister of the Church of England and while a curate at Laugharne he became a teacher at the school there and when made rector of Llanddowror, became concerned about the illiteracy of his parishioners.  He wanted people to read so that they could read the Bible, so in 1731, he came up with the idea of Circulating Schools, which were held in one location for about three months before moving  to another. Schools were run in barns and storehouses and, in one case, a windmill.  The language of instruction was Welsh, the language of the people and the teaching was done mainly through religious texts. 

The idea was met with enthusiasm and he received significant support from Madam Bevan, a local landowner, who continued to run the schools after Jones's death in 1761.  It is estimated that the system educated over 200,000 in 3,500 schools throughout Wales.  The system also received interest from other parts of Britain and also from Russia, where Catherine II commissioned a report on the activities of the schools in 1764, with a view to creating a similar system in her own country

It is strongly argued that Jones helped to make Wales into a more literate and literary nation.


The Gresford Disaster occurred on 22nd September 1934 at the Gresford Colliery, near Wrexham.

This remains one of Britain's worst ever coal mining disasters, which resulted in the death of 266 men and boys when a massive explosion ripped through the mine. There were only 6 survivors and only 11 of the victim's bodies were ever recovered.

The cause of the disaster was never proven, but the inquiry suggested many contributory factors, which included poor mine management and safety procedures.  



The London-based Welsh Society 'Y Cymmrodorion' was established on 22nd September 1751.  The name is taken from the Welsh: cyn-frodorion, meaning earliest natives. 

The Society was founded by the Morris brothers (Lewis and Richard) from Anglesey, mainly as a philanthropic, social group to promote Welsh culture and literature within the Welsh community living London, however, its membership is open to all, with currently, two-thirds of its members coming from Wales.  


Ruth Jones (born 22 September 1966 in Bridgend) is an actress and writer, who co-starred in and co-wrote the award-winning TV comedy series, Gavin & Stacey.  She also starred as Hattie Jacques in TV movie Hattie and as Stella in the TV series Stella.  In 2008, she and her husband David Peet co-founded the TV production company Tidy Productions.   


Dirty Sanchez: The Movie, a reality film based upon the original TV series, was released on 22 September 2006. It features Welshmen, Matthew Pritchard, Michael Locke and Lee Dainton, with Londoner Dan Joyce.

The film features stunts even more extreme than those shown on their TV show and also contains a battle between Dirty Sanchez and the Japanese team, the Tokyo Shock Boys, in which the Dirty Sanchez boys are victorious.