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History documentary


This year, the people of mid-Rhondda will be marking the Centenary of one of the most important clashes in industrial history - the Tonypandy Riots.

In this ground-breaking approach to history on television, a group of ordinary local people will encounter the drama, tension and violence of the Riots - and examine the ideals, ideas and tactics involved in the Cambrian Combine strike which sparked the conflict - by approaching the story through the eyes of their counterparts from a century ago.

Tonypandy Riots remembered in TV documentary

Over the Rainbow star Sophie Evans is one of four Tonypandy residents who will be commemorating the 1910 riots in a new BBC Wales documentary.

Violent clashes between striking coal miners and police ended with hundreds injured and the death of a collier.

Sophie plays a music hall singer who sings All The Nice Girls Love a Striker while three other locals examine other aspects of the riot.

Presented by Eddie Butler, the programme revisits the events of 1910 that saw protests over pay descend into mayhem on the town's Dunraven Street, with hundreds of miners looting shops and smashing windows.

Recreating a popular music hall hit of the time, Sophie dresses in full period costume to perform the miners' favourite All The Nice Girls Love A Striker - a parody of the song All The Nice Girls Love A Sailor.

Fellow Tonypandy resident David Jones - a senior emergency planner for the Welsh Ambulance Service - uses his 2010 expertise to explain how crowd behaviour can get out of control during mass demonstrations, such as those in 1910.

To commemorate the anniversary, Julie Atkins from Tonypandy Community College organised 400 children to march through Dunraven Street.

The film follows the march as the children fall silent in memory of those injured and killed in the long history of Rhondda mining.

Derwyn Nicholas draws on his family's mining heritage to investigate what happened from the colliers' point of view.

Programme producer John Geraint said: "This is an epic clash of massive proportions. The intervention of Winston Churchill - then Home Secretary - was crucial. He'd initially held back troops despite a request from Glamorgan's Chief Constable. But then he did send troops in. The controversy about that decision has echoed down the whole century since."

Link to full BBC Wales News Article


a vivid picture of what it was like to live, work and strike in a society that was on the brink of massive social change.

‘Tonypandy Riots', Western Mail

Link to full Western Mail Article