November I paid a few visits to Merthyr Tydfil. "Good heavens,
why?" you may well ask.
Merthyr as an industrial producer has a glorious past, the traces
of which are hard to see today. It was also a place of dreadful
deprivation and contrasts in standards of living. Industrially
it was important as a supplier of rails for the world's railways,
it was a crucible of the Industrial Revolution. The first steam
engine in the world to run on rails ran here, that was in 1804
preceding Stephenson's 'Blucher' by 10 years. The first ever Labour
MP at Westminster, Kier Hardy, was elected by the people of Merthyr.
The town was of vital importance to many of the benefits and privileges
that we enjoy today.