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.”

 

14,670 comments on “Elizabeth Andrews – Pioneering Welsh Social Activist

  1. I don’t know if it’s just me or if everyone else encountering problems
    with your site. It looks like some of the written text in your posts are running off the screen.
    Can someone else please provide feedback and let
    me know if this is happening to them too?
    This might be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this
    happen before. Appreciate it

  2. Great beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend
    your website, how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.
    I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

  3. Next time I read a blog, I hope that it won’t fail me as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, but I genuinely thought you would probably have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.

  4. Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering
    which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting sick
    and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and
    I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point
    me in the direction of a good platform.

  5. Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad
    and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop,
    just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  6. Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

  7. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been conducting a little research on this. And he actually bought me lunch due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this issue here on your site.

  8. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely helpful information specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot.
    I was looking for this particular info for a
    very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  9. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who was conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me lunch simply because I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this matter here on your website.

  10. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS. I donít understand why I cannot join it. Is there anybody else getting similar RSS problems? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  11. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want?HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  12. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you should publish more on this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but usually folks don’t discuss such topics. To the next! Many thanks!!

  13. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who had been doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me dinner due to the fact that I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this subject here on your web page.

  14. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want?HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  15. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  16. You need to take part in a contest for one of the best sites on the internet. I am going to recommend this web site!

  17. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you might be
    a great author. I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come
    back in the future. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue
    your great job, have a nice evening!

  18. Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

  19. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much,
    However I am experiencing problems with your RSS. I don’t understand
    why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having identical RSS issues?

    Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  20. My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right.
    This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much
    time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  21. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I?d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this
    website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between usability
    and appearance. I must say you have done a excellent job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Internet explorer.
    Exceptional Blog!

  23. Fantastic post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject?

    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Thanks!

  24. Hello, I believe your web site may be having internet browser compatibility problems. Whenever I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Apart from that, great blog!

  25. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy.

    I have learn this publish and if I could I wish
    to recommend you some fascinating issues or suggestions.
    Perhaps you could write subsequent articles regarding this article.
    I want to read more issues approximately it!

  26. Having read this I believed it was rather informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

Leave a Reply

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