Tonypandy Riots

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The Tonypandy Riots of 1910 and 1911 (sometimes collectively known as the Rhondda Riots) was a series of violent confrontations between coal miners and police that took place at various locations in and around the Rhondda mines of the Cambrian Combine, a business network of mining companies formed to regulate prices and wages in south Wales. The riots were the culmination of an industrial dispute between workers and the mine owners. The term "Tonypandy riot" initially applied to specific events on the evening of Tuesday, 8 November 1910 when strikers, impassioned by extended hand-to-hand fighting with the Glamorgan Constabulary, reinforced by the Bristol City Constabulary, smashed windows of businesses in Tonypandy.

Home Secretary Winston Churchill's decision to allow troops to be sent to the area to reinforce the police shortly after 8 November riot caused ill feeling towards him in south Wales throughout his life. His responsibility remains a strongly disputed topic.


The conflict arose when the Naval Colliery Company opened a new coal seam at the Ely Pit in Penygraig. After a short test period to determine what would be the future rate of extraction, owners claimed that the miners deliberately worked more slowly than they could. The miners at the seam, of which there were roughly 70, argued that the new seam was more difficult to work than others due to a stone...
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