The show must go on … the railway

A major collision on the railway near Pontypridd a hundred years ago had a small part to play in the ongoing Tonypandy coal miners strike 1910/11, with a senior union official killed in the incident. (I don’t have the details of the person to hand as my copy of the ‘Tonypandy riots’ book  is currently on loan.*)

National Archives have marked the anniversary (23rd January) by making the records of the subsequent Board of Trade inquiry (document RAIL 1057/2707) available for free for a month – see their news item for download link (if you haven’t done it before, note that this is a multi-stage process).

In the inquiry record, the Taff Vale Railway’s notice of special arrangements for the week (which includes resulting engineering works) has a fascinating little section on “Theatrical Companies and Musical Hall Artistes etc by Ordinary trains”. Presumably this was a regular occurrence before everything theatrical went by road vehicles. Sunday November 26th 1911 sees both Musical Hall Artistes (2 compartments reserved) and “Girl without a Name ” Co (3 compartments) travelling from Tonypandy.

Apart from this, there’s probably not much in the records of immediate relevance to family history in the Rhonnda but it should be worth a read later.

* UPDATE: Book is back with me, and it merely states fourteen people were killed including three members of the Executive of the SWMF (South Wales Miners’ Federation). For some reason they have the crash as being March 1911, but this is clearly the same event.

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