Corrections, Inclusions and Useful Asides
Since completing Hands Off Wales, I have discovered both a few irksome errors and received information which for obvious reasons, was not included in the final draft. Should I receive further information, I will update the website for your notice.
- Although it is very clear reading the text that the explosion at the Tryweryn Reservoir construction site occurred at 3.15 a.m., on Sunday, 10th February 1963, I have, on five occasions, stated it was the 11th. These occur: on the inside book sleeve jacket (top of the page); page ix in the Introduction (3 lines from the top); page 64, (9 lines from the bottom of the page); page 388 (18 lines from the bottom of the page) and page 403 (3 lines from the top of the page). These were all errors on my part.
- Contrary to information which, as I recall, I received from Emyr Llywelyn Jones, in which he stated that he was accompanied by Gwilym Tudur Jones to see Saunders Lewis in Autumn, 1961, (see, Hands Off Wales, page 402, (Autumn 1961). On Tri Tryweryn, ITV Wales Production. S4C, 5 February 2013, Emyr Llywelyn Jones claimed that he was accompanied by Aled Gwyn instead. Can I hereby apologize to Emyr Llyw. Jones, for any misunderstanding on my part regarding this discrepancy.
- Please delete ‘be’ – 11 lines from the top on page 325. Also, ‘not’ – 14 lines from the top, page 363. Sentence should read: ‘Finally, it appeared that the intangible qualities of a ‘living community’ had been considered and valued. Yet, how much more susceptible and appreciative…’. Also delete ‘the’ – 5 lines from the bottom, page 289. On page 122, replace ‘issue’ – 15 lines from the top with ‘subject’. The sentence should read: ‘The subject of Welsh water had now become a divisive and major political issue’. On page 364, 4 lines from the bottom of the footnote, it should read: ‘…when the chief says we do this and it’s proved to be wrong…’. On page 367, delete ‘been’, 6 lines from the top.
- Also on Tri Tryweryn, Hugh Roberts (See Hands Off Wales, most notably pages 64-65) stated that he was informed by the three occupants of the Red Vauxhall Victor saloon (later identified as Owain Williams, John Albert Jones and Emyr Llywelyn Jones) that ‘they were returning to London’. This, Roberts had thought ‘strange’. On being approached by the police, having discussed meeting the three traveller’s days before, Roberts was taken to Aberystwyth, where he claimed he failed to identify E. Llyw. Jones in an ID parade, following his arrest on 18th February. Nonetheless, for giving evidence at Jones’s trial, Roberts allegedly received threatening letters. The events of that night have played on his mind – and perhaps his conscience – ever since. But as Roberts, just eighteen at the time, further explained: ‘I had seen them, what could I do?’.
- This information was received by WT from John Jenkins in late 2012. During the bombing campaign, Plaid Cymru was contacted by Birmingham City Council/Water Committee with assurances that the party would receive ‘a nominal amount of money if it stopped the bombings’.
- During an interview on the S4C programme Cadw Cymru with John Hardy on 7th January 2013, Owain Williams claimed that while reconnoitring the Tryweryn Reservoir construction site, he and John Albert Jones, while wearing yellow workman’s overalls, tried to gain employment there. Left alone briefly in the site’s office, Williams and Jones saw a layout of the construction site on a notice board; here they discovered the location of the transformer which they and Emyr Llywelyn Jones later targeted with explosives.
- A useful source regarding the trial of the FWA etc – and one which I forgot to include in the Bibliography of the thesis and the book – is John Mortimer’s book entitled: Murderers and Other Friends. Despite some rather colourful depictions of the period he spent in Wales during the trial, Mortimer highlights the legal defence strategy he adopted through the proceedings – most notably when summing up. He tried to prove the ineffectiveness of the FWA as a body able to instil fear through its behaviour, which, in part, brought it into conflict with the Public Order Act, 1936. It was apparently a line of defence angrily denied by Mortimer’s own client (Dennis Coslett) and others on trial. See pages, 37-40.
- Anonymous quote regarding Cayo Evans: ‘I always found him very personable. I liked him and my mother liked him. He was always very pleasant to her. He quite enjoyed the reputation of the ‘great gun slinger, moseying into town’. I found his stories very funny and interesting. He liked to entertain. Kids in pubs that we’d be speaking to would say: “If my Dad knew I was talking to you he’d throw a fit”. And he’d say, “well, you have to weigh it up for yourself”. But I think he quite liked that: the aura of people being a little nervous of him. He never tried to brain wash you, or recruit you to get you to think what he was thinking. I never found his views that extreme. He’d calmed down a lot by this time of course. He used to fight outside pubs with knives, I think. But by this time, he was a lot calmer: just very good company’.
- Despite much speculation that the FWA was actively involved in the 1960s militant campaign, in November 2003 – and further to John Jenkins’ testimony in The Reluctant Revolutionary? pp.142-3 – Dennis Coslett confirmed the extent of the group’s militant activities. ‘We were involved in the attempt to hit the pipeline near Llandrindod in March 1967. The device was attached to an inner tube of a mini and lowered into the pipeline. But it didn’t go off…We didn’t connect it up properly. It was the only time we [FWA] attempted a militant attack’.
- A useful source regarding police action over the Investiture and surveillance of Plaid Cymru activists in the early 1970’s, is, Tony Bunyan, The Political Police in Britain, London, Julian Friedmann Publishers, 1976, pp.148,149.
- A very useful source regarding the controversy which surrounded the issue of ‘Welsh Water’ throughout much of the twentieth century is: Out of Time: Welsh Water, Taliesin Production for BBC Wales. Screened, March 1997.
- An extremely informative and very well-written account of Welsh History (and one in which my PhD appears in the bibliography) is: Wales Since 1939, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012) by Dr Martin Johnes.
- In response to those who believe that Elystan Morgan played a pivotal role in ensuring the FWA received harsh treatment while imprisoned, see Hands Off Wales, (page 322, top 5 lines), John Davies in A History of Wales (page 671, 19 lines from the top) offers another view of Morgan’s influence at this juncture: ‘It was his efforts, above all, which led to the government’s decision in October 1968 to establish a royal commission on the constitution…’. (As recorded in Hands Off Wales, page 257, 15 lines from the top).