Corrections, Inclusions and Useful Asides

  1. Speaking on Drowned – The Flooding of a Village, the BBC Wales podcast aired across seven episodes during spring 2023, Owain Williams declared: ‘I had the brilliant idea (having undertaken the protest at the Tryweryn Reservoir construction site) that we wouldn’t go back [to Pwllheli] through Bala, “Cause the police are there and [people] coming out of the pubs now.”  So, we went up the road towards Cerrig-y-drudion … where the road was getting higher and higher and narrower and narrower, and the snow was thicker and thicker.  So eventually we got stuck’.  At the side of the road was a van. It’s the local butcher’s van and the butcher’s lad, a teenager, Huw Roberts, has decided to leave the van and walk the last mile home through the snow to Cerrig-y-drudion.  Huw has not spoken very much about what happened that night and his part in the story.  For having given evidence against those on trial, Huw received criticism from some in the local community.  But as Huw points out he was compelled to do so.  Speaking on Drowned – The Flooding of a Village and translated from Welsh: ‘Having parked the van, I started walking, walking on top of the snow drift … And then I saw the lights of a car coming.  I couldn’t understand who it could be … it was closed everywhere … I thought it was a neighbour.  They got stuck and I went back to help’.  Owain Williams: ‘There was a fellow stuck in a van before us.  He was stuck and we were stuck.  We couldn’t go anywhere. So, what was our next move?  What do we do now?  It was a dilemma.  How do you get out of this.  So, I say to Emyr and John, “Leave it to me.”  I used to be, I thought I was pretty good at accents.  So, I step out of the car, went over to him [Huw] and said, “um, what happened here then?”  And he said, “Well, I got stuck in the snow” in this Meirionnydd accent.  So, I said, “Oh blast.  We have to make it back to London tonight.  Get out of this blasted country!”  Haha!  And of course, he pushed the car with us and we managed to turn it round and drive back to Bala.  Huw: ‘Three people came out of the car, speaking English.  They wanted to get through to the A5 – to get themselves back to London.  So, I helped them to get the car out’.  Having attended the crime scene at the reservoir construction site, the police are desperate for a breakthrough in their enquiry.  It comes from an unlikely – and pretty unwilling – source.  Huw Roberts has thought no more about the people he saw stuck in the snow, until he hears about the blast.  Translated into English: ‘The next day, Monday, I went back to work at the butcher’s in Cerrig-y-drudion.  And everyone was talking about it [the explosion], and I said what I had seen – about these lads.  And then the butcher, my boss, was going through Corwen, and he went to tell the police in Corwen.  At around ten o’clock a sergeant came up.  He wanted me to make a statement, of what I’d seen.  He’d been told the story, and I had no choice.  I had to do it’.  Huw’s statement is crucial.  Detective Sergeant Glanmor Hughes is part of the police investigation and he follows the lead of the suspicious red car spotted that night.  Speaking on Drowned – The Flooding of a Village, Glanmor Hughes, stated: ‘We circulated the description of the red car widely in Wales and very quickly I had a response from Det. Const Morris at Aberystwyth, and he said to me, “Glanmor – I’ve got that bloody red car, [it was] hired to a student.”  On arriving at the garage in Aberystwyth, the boot of the car had quite clearly palm prints, where someone would normally have applied pressure if you were pushing the car out of the snow.  There was a match.  The car had been hired by a student by the name of Emyr Llywelyn Jones.  We got the warrant and raided Emyr Llywelyn Jones’ flat in Aberystwyth’.
  2. On Tri Tryweryn, ITV Wales Production. S4C, 5 February 2013, 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?’.
  3. 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’.
  4. During an interview on the S4C programme, Cadw Cymru with John Hardy on 7th January 2013, Owain Williams claimed that while reconnoitering 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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’.
  7. 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’.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).