Elizabeth Andrews – Pioneering Welsh Social Activist

E Andrews
Elizabeth Andrews

Elizabeth Andrews was undoubtedly a woman before her time. From the opening years of the 20th century, she worked as an untiring advocate for miners, their wives and children. She played a key role in ensuring that pithead baths were introduced for miners.

She was born in Penderyn (of Welsh whisky fame) in south Wales in 1882 to a Welsh-speaking household, and was the eldest of 11 children. Forced to leave school at the age of 13 to help at home, at age 17, her parents sent her to learn a craft and she spent a year learning needlework and she soon had her own workshop.

Elizabeth and husband Tom
Elizabeth and husband Tom

Over the next 15 years, she married Thomas T. Andrews, a founder of the Rhondda Independent Labour Party and became active in politics. She started a branch of the Cooperative Women’s Guild; became a suffragette and was elected to the Rhondda Labour Party executive.

In 1919 she, together with two miners’ wives, presented evidence about the lives of women in mining communities to the Sankey Commission established to investigate wages, working hours and conditions in the pits. She cared passionately about the suffering she saw around her and vowed to change the lot of miners’ wives in the South Wales valleys. Her evidence made a compelling case of the importance of having pithead baths to reduce the pressure on women and the mortality rate among children. The families were living in overcrowded houses, with poor sanitation and a high death rate among their children. The women had to boil water to wash clothes and for their husbands to bathe, because the houses had no boilers. The strain of lifting heavy bowls of water resulted in many premature births and serious illnesses among the women. Many children were scalded by the boiling water carried by their mothers. In addition, drying clothes in small kitchens was having a seriously detrimental effect on the health of the children.

Following women’s suffrage granted in 1918, the Labour Party appointed their three first women organisers. Elizabeth Andrews took up one of the posts and an early task was translating leaflets from English to Welsh encouraging women to use their newly-won vote. She remained in this post to 1947.


She worked tirelessly to improve health and education services for Welsh, opening the first nursery school in the Rhondda in 1938 and was elected a member of Glamorgan executive health committee by Aneurin Bevan in 1948.

Glenys Kinnock unveils Blue Plaque
Glenys Kinnock unveils Blue Plaque

She was awarded an OBE in 1949 for her public service and died in 1960 aged 77. A Blue Plaque commemorating her achievements was unveiled by Glenys Kinnock at her former home in Bailey Street, Ton Pentre on 24 April 2009. Glenys Kinnock paid a moving tribute: 

“One personal motto of Elizabeth Andrews was ‘education, aggravation, organisation’, something that I’ve tried to emulate when seeking to get things changed,” explained Mrs Kinnock MEP.

“She tried to teach women not to be afraid of freedom at a time when women’s voice in politics and life was heard much less frequently. Elizabeth Andrews’s life and work is deserving of such recognition and personally I’ve found her to be inspirational.”

 

5,510 comments on “Elizabeth Andrews – Pioneering Welsh Social Activist

  1. My husband and i ended up being quite cheerful that Albert could complete his investigations by way of the precious recommendations he grabbed while using the web site. It’s not at all simplistic just to choose to be giving away ideas that many most people may have been selling. And now we keep in mind we’ve got the writer to be grateful to for that. Most of the explanations you made, the straightforward web site menu, the relationships you will make it easier to create – it’s got most spectacular, and it’s leading our son and the family reason why this theme is thrilling, and that is exceedingly important. Thanks for all!

  2. I must express my thanks to the writer for bailing me out of this particular incident. Right after surfing around through the online world and coming across ideas that were not powerful, I assumed my life was done. Being alive minus the solutions to the problems you have solved through this report is a serious case, as well as the ones that might have badly affected my career if I hadn’t discovered your web blog. Your own personal talents and kindness in touching all the pieces was valuable. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a point like this. I am able to now look forward to my future. Thanks a lot very much for the expert and amazing help. I won’t be reluctant to recommend your web sites to anyone who should have guidelines on this problem.

  3. I simply wished to thank you so much yet again. I’m not certain what I would have carried out without those pointers provided by you relating to such a concern. Certainly was the terrifying case in my view, but taking note of a expert fashion you resolved that made me to weep with happiness. I will be happy for the advice and even pray you recognize what an amazing job you were doing teaching other individuals through the use of a blog. Most likely you have never come across any of us.

  4. It is in reality a great and helpful piece of info.
    I am happy that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. It’s a envious article. It’s very wonderful and brand-new. Who happen to be you to write this specific special article?

  6. Hi there! I just want to offer you a huge thumbs up for the great information you have here on this post. I’ll be returning to your blog for more soon.

  7. Hi, the whole thing is going well here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s really excellent, keep up writing.

  8. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the
    same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  9. Right here is the perfect web site for anyone who wishes to
    understand this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a new spin on a subject that has been written about for years.
    Wonderful stuff, just great!

  10. Hey, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, very good blog!

  11. I used to be suggested this blog by means of my cousin. I am no longer sure whether this put up is written via him as no one else know
    such specific about my trouble. You’re wonderful!
    Thanks!

  12. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find
    It really useful & it helped me out a lot.
    I hope to give something back and help others like you aided
    me.

  13. you’re really a excellent webmaster. The website loading velocity
    is incredible. It kind of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick.
    In addition, The contents are masterpiece.
    you’ve performed a great process on this subject!

  14. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  15. I am commenting to make you know of the cool discovery my friend’s girl had checking yuor web blog. She learned so many things, which include how it is like to possess an awesome giving heart to get other individuals just know precisely various extremely tough things. You undoubtedly surpassed our own desires. I appreciate you for churning out those warm and helpful, trustworthy, informative and also fun thoughts on that topic to Tanya.

  16. I needed to create you a very small observation in order to thank you very much once again with the breathtaking guidelines you have shown above. This is really strangely open-handed with you to present unreservedly exactly what many people could have offered for sale for an e book to generate some profit for themselves, principally now that you might well have tried it in the event you desired. These principles in addition acted as a easy way to realize that other people online have similar desire much like my personal own to learn more and more in terms of this problem. I am sure there are thousands of more pleasurable instances ahead for people who looked over your blog.

  17. I wanted to put you the tiny note so as to say thank you yet again regarding the wonderful methods you’ve documented here. It’s simply incredibly open-handed of you to grant freely all numerous people could possibly have sold for an ebook in order to make some dough for themselves, mostly considering that you could possibly have tried it if you ever decided. These principles likewise worked to provide a fantastic way to be sure that other people online have the same eagerness much like my personal own to realize many more when considering this problem. I believe there are millions of more pleasant situations in the future for individuals that read through your website.

  18. I simply wanted to write a small note to be able to thank you for those stunning concepts you are placing at this site. My long internet look up has at the end of the day been recognized with awesome points to exchange with my companions. I would state that that many of us website visitors are really lucky to be in a decent site with so many brilliant individuals with useful pointers. I feel very fortunate to have seen the weblog and look forward to some more exciting moments reading here. Thanks once again for a lot of things.

  19. I’m very happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

  20. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks

  21. Wow, the articles are so sexy. How may My partner and i write like an individual? My partner and i want to have the exact same writing skills as you.

  22. Magnificent site. A lot of helpful info here. I’m sending it to some buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you on your sweat!|

  23. Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is just great and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *