Abertillery Women’s Support Group

Abertillery Women’s Support Group.
Some of the women of the Abertillery Support Group at the Abertillery Miners Institute.

The Abertillery Women’s Support Group.
In July 1984 a group of women from Abertillery, a varied group, some miner’s wives, others with miners in their families and some with no mining connections at all banded together to form the Abertillery Women’s Support Group. The founders of the group were Mrs Doreen Selway and Mrs Jaqueline Gundy, followed by Mrs Pearl Williams; Mrs Jen Mason: Mrs Eileen Liddington; Mrs Lenore McCarthy; Mrs Ann Jones; Mrs Susan Lewis; Mrs Diane Williams; Mrs Meryl Yeandle; Mrs Anita Hollings; Mrs Gwyneth Tucker; Mrs Janice Clayton and Mrs Monica Shannon and Dr Ann Delahunty: (I apologise if anyone is missing from the list, the story is fluid and as more information comes in it will be added to).

The women’s roles were varied, initially the Abertillery Women’s Support Group was established to set up a feeding centre at the Abertillery Institute, they acquired a small stove, and other cooking devices they received food donations, cooked meals on a daily basis and helped ease the hardship of the many miners’ families. The kitchen at the Abertillery Institute was initially providing sixty meals per day, the women worked on a rota basis at the kitchen between 4 and 5 different wives per day. Meals were served between 12.00pm and 2.00pm although the women worked there from 11.00am to 3.30pm preparing, cooking and cleaning, a great deal of work was involved. Later the number of meals cooked

Some of the individual members of the Women’s Support Group became more politically aware and apart from organising the kitchen, cooking, handling food donations and helping out in general they later attended political rallies and mass meetings, not only attending but occupying the stage and speaking in public, putting the plight of the miners’ strike over to the audiences from the women’s point of view with great effect.

Photograph copyright Mrs Jenny Barnes of Abergavenny.

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