USEFUL ASIDES

With regards the issue of John Jenkins’ illegitimacy, you may be interested to know that until the nineteenth century a child born outside wedlock was not entitled to support from either parent.  But as early as 1842, it was recognised in relation to an agreement between the mother and father of an illegitimate child, that the latter should pay the former maintenance for the child – and that this was now actionable.  The consideration for the father’s promise has been variously stated:  it is usually recognised as a counter-promise on the mother’s part to maintain the child herself…  or to refrain from taking proceedings.  Although the Poor Law legislation cast upon the mother the obligation of maintaining her illegitimate child, she could still not recover the expenses of maintenance from the father in the absence of any contract to that effect between them.  It was not until the Poor Law Amendment Act 1844, that the mother was given the power to apply for an order of maintenance to be paid to herself.  The law was amended and consolidated in the Bastardy Laws Amendment Act 1872 (and again in the Affiliation Proceedings Act 1957).  Under the legislation, the right of unmarried mothers to claim from alleged fathers was circumscribed.  For example, applications could only be made to magistrates’ courts, applications had to be ‘single’ mothers, claims had to be brought within three years of the child’s birth (unless the father was voluntarily paying money for the child) and the mother’s evidence had to be corroborated.  Nigel Lowe & Gillian Douglas, Bromley’s Family Law, Tenth Edition (OUP, 2007), pp. 914, 915, 917,955.

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Speaking on 26 June 1969, just days before the Investiture, and asked if he had been concerned at the level of protest, and indeed militancy in Wales surrounding both his arrival in the country to attend UCW Aberystwyth during the summer term in 1969, and the ceremony itself, Prince Charles replied that he had naturally read the reports with some foreboding.  But the that the picture [in Wales] was not as bad as initially feared.

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Page 60 (John Jenkins: The Reluctant Revolutionary)  Asked if he had frequented prostitutes while serving in Germany in the early 1950s, John replied: ‘No, I never did anything like that.  But as I say, owing to the privations, anything and everything was available for a few cigarettes, and so some of the British servicemen I was with in Berlin did’.

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If some regard the militancy as exercised by John Jenkins as requiring bravery, another form of courage was surely exemplified by John’s brother Keith, who suffered a serious mining accident.  Keith Jenkins: ‘Because of a rood collapse, while working below ground, I suffered significant injury.  The experience was terrible, terrible.  You can’t describe it’.

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The pipeline at Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, targeted by Jenkins and Alders on 30 September 1967 to reconvene MAC’s militant campaign, carried 12 million gallons of water every day from Lake Vyrnwy to Liverpool.

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John Jenkins: ‘I did hear, as the bombing campaign against the water pipeline issue intensified, that Birmingham Corporation unofficially contacted Plaid Cymru offering to give the party a not insignificant amount of money, if it intervened to stop the pipelines being targeted.  Plaid Cymru was not in the position to stop us [MAC] targeting them’.

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Testimony as anonymously provided by a Caernarfon resident: ‘I believe the bomb that injured Ian Cox was placed in what used to be an Ironmongers – it is now Carlton Bakery.  Locals say it was in the back yard of this shop, and that fits perfectly with the other description of the location you received from a Caernarfon town person.  Also, and I don’t know whether this has been commented on before, the back yard (which is now built upon) would have been more or less opposite the Institute Building – the home of Caernarfon Royal Town Council, which was such a fervent supporter of the investiture – a suitably symbolic location [to be somewhat targeted]?  Though the back end of the yard would have been some way back from the main road, you can see that the shop wold have been only a pavement-width from the route of Charles’ carriage’.

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‘There were 2,500 police on duty in Caernarfon during the Investiture – and they came from everywhere.  There were 1,000 in plain clothes and 1,500 in uniform’.  Dai Davies, former Royal Protection Officer.  This ensured there was a security presence every 2.5 yards of the processional route, with an equal distribution of police facing both the crowd, and officers facing the route to the castle as the royal party went passed.

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Testimony as anonymously provided by a Wrexham resident: ‘I first met John when he led the cadets’ marching band in Wrexham.  It was 1969 and I was 14.  I was so shocked when he was arrested.  I would never have guessed he was involved in anything like that.  He was such a quiet, reserved man.  But I do remember that shortly after his arrest, the police searched the building where we, the band, practiced, and where the instruments were stored.  I’m not sure if the police were being thorough in their search for anything, or if they were being malicious, but they made a right mess of the instruments’.

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Former Shrewsbury Unit member, Raymond Kendall: ‘I stayed on in Shrewsbury for about a year after the Investiture’.  [After John Jenkins and Ernie Alders were arrested in November ’69 and sentenced to 10 years and 6 years respectively in April ’70, no further arrests and convictions of MAC members followed].

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5 March 2019 – Prince Charles’ coronet features a gold-plated ping pong ball… coronet that graced Prince Charles’ head 50 years ago on his first investiture.  Elle article by Daisy Murray.