Edwards, Huw T. (Huw Thomas), 1892-1970

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Edwards, Huw T. (Huw Thomas), 1892-1970

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Huw Thomas Edwards ('Huw Pen Ffridd', 1892-1970) was a trades union leader, Labour politician and poet. He was born 19 November 1892 at Ro-wen, in the Conwy valley, Caernarfonshire. He received little formal education; from 1907 he worked at the Penmaenmawr quarry, Caernarfonshire, and in the coal mines of the Rhondda valley, Glamorgan. After serving in World War I he returned to work in the quarries of North Wales, and helped to set up branches of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) and the Labour Party. He was the agent of Thomas ap Rhys, the Labour candidate for Caernarfon Boroughs in the 1929 general election. In 1932, he was appointed a full-time TGWU official, based at Shotton, Flintshire, and served as area secretary for North Wales and Ellesmere Port, 1934-1953. He became the first Chairman of the Council for Wales and Monmouthshire in 1949, and produced important reports on devolution and on depopulation in rural Wales. He resigned from the Council in 1958, when the Macmillan Government failed to implement the Council's recommendations regarding the appointment of a Secretary of State for Wales. He chaired various other bodies including the Welsh Tourist Board, and served as a member of the Board of Directors of Television Wales and the West (TWW), the National Broadcasting Council of the BBC, Gorsedd y Beirdd, and the Council of the National Eisteddfod. He was a director of Gwasg Gee press, Denbigh, and a Vice-President of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion. He owned the periodical Y Faner in the 1950s and was the president of the Welsh Language Society. He was a long-time member of the Labour Party, apart from a period as a member of Plaid Cymru, 1959-1965. For many years he served as the Chairman of the Flintshire Labour Party and the North Wales Labour Federation. Huw T. Edwards also wrote both poetry and prose. His autobiographies, Tros y tresi (1956) and Troi'r drol (Denbigh, 1963), were translated into English as Hewn From The Rock (Cardiff, 1967). He edited a poetry anthology Ar y cyd (Bala, 1962), and published his own volume of poetry Tros f'ysgwydd (Denbigh, 1959). It Was My Privilege (1957) was a history of the trades unions in North Wales. He married Margaret Owen in 1920, and, following her death in June 1966, he spent his last years at his daughter's home in Sychdyn, Flintshire. He died on 9 November 1970 at Abergele hospital and was cremated at Pentrebychan, Wrexham.


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