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.”

 

1,877 comments on “Elizabeth Andrews – Pioneering Welsh Social Activist

  1. I am not sure where you’re getting your information,
    but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.

    Thanks for fantastic information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  2. Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts.

    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?
    Thanks a lot!

  3. Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your theme.
    Thanks a lot

  4. What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I
    have found It positively useful and it has helped me out loads.
    I hope to give a contribution & help different users like
    its helped me. Good job.

  5. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super
    long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing.
    Do you have any points for newbie blog writers?
    I’d really appreciate it.

  6. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of
    your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  7. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!

    Extremely useful information particularly the last part :
    ) I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a
    very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  8. naturally like your website but you need
    to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
    A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it
    very troublesome to inform the reality nevertheless I will certainly come back
    again.

  9. It’s nearly impossible to find educated people about
    this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

  10. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your
    blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the
    info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my cell phone ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, fantastic blog!

  11. Hi there, I would like to subscribe for this website to obtain most recent updates,
    thus where can i do it please help.

  12. Thank you, I have recently been searching for info about this subject for a while and yours is the best I’ve came upon so far.
    But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the supply?

  13. When someone writes an article he/she retains the image of a
    user in his/her mind that how a user can understand it.

    Thus that’s why this post is amazing. Thanks!

  14. It’s wonderful that you are getting ideas from this article as well as from our argument made at this time.

  15. An individual are continue to, your viewers will stop visiting your. This sort of approach can enhance whole value of the videos on youtube and before major search engines.

  16. I actually wanted to write a brief word so as to express gratitude to you for some of the remarkable advice you are showing on this site. My extensive internet look up has now been recognized with professional suggestions to talk about with my pals. I ‘d believe that we visitors actually are undoubtedly fortunate to live in a notable network with many outstanding professionals with interesting methods. I feel very lucky to have used your entire web page and look forward to so many more brilliant minutes reading here. Thanks once more for everything.

  17. Hey! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  18. He should visualize how to obtain the video on the front page of YouTube. Maintain it simple whilst keeping it short, around two minutes is frequently enough. Now with regards to to your YouTube videos can be tricky.

  19. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  20. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

  21. My husband and i felt fortunate when Raymond could carry out his survey through the entire ideas he received out of your web pages. It’s not at all simplistic to just happen to be giving for free key points which often other folks may have been selling. We grasp we need the blog owner to give thanks to for that. Most of the illustrations you made, the straightforward website menu, the friendships you can help promote – it’s got many spectacular, and it is making our son and the family do think that content is fun, which is certainly extremely indispensable. Thanks for everything!

  22. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read more things about it!

  23. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am going through issues with your RSS. I don’t know why I am unable to join it. Is there anyone else getting similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!

  24. Get help to stop drinking. Helping women quit drinking alcohol. Coach Mary Wagstaff. Feel better, mind, body and soul. Mindfulness based coaching and alcohol recovery. Yoga for recovery.

  25. Well, there are a selection of solutions to make YouTube profitable anyone. I hope support you miss the headaches on YouTube views. You’ll get more video views should you this right and best of all, it’s all regulated free.

  26. A person essentially help to make seriously articles I would state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I amazed with the research you made to create this particular publish incredible. Great job!

Leave a Reply

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