Historic Gathering at "The Judge's Hall." Mid-Rhondda's Welcome. Long before the Royal party were due at Tonypandy, dense crowds thronged the streets in the vicinity of the New Hall. Inside the Hall itself also were a great many people, and by 3 o'clock there was scarcely an available seat left. The Hall was profusely decorated. Leading from the floor of the Hall to the platform was a small staircase in the centre, with hand- rails oil either side, decorated with a material of red. Immediately in front of the platform lay a brilliant array of palms and flowering plants, while 011 the platform itself the large number of chairs were set in a background of tall palms. A small occasional table was placed in tiie centre of the platform, surmounted by a vase of lovely carnations, and on the walls above were noticed the Welsh Dragon in the centre and the Union Jack 011 either side. On the furthermost gallery and over the stage were the coat of armts bearing the words, LInfnr orfu Bobpeth." DUKE OF ARGYLL. In the gallery, the Mid-Rlionada Orpheus Glee Society, under the con. ductorship of Mr. Emrys Richards, took up their position, and enlivened the mono tony of the long waiting by rendering a choice Iselection of glees and choruses. Loud applause signalled the entrance of Mr. W. Abraham (Mabon), M.P., who took charge of the gathering. Mabon appeared to be in his best eisteddfod form, and lie continually had the audi- ence in a state of convulsive laughter. He at once gave instructions about the singing of "God save the King." They had been told that they were not to be very Welsh about it (laughter). And they were only to sing one verse. He did not know that there were to be any limita- tions about that, but they would see how they went on. There was a law on the spirit of singing, so they must see that they did sing (laughter). Mr. Emrys Richards then got his choir going. but at the sound of cheering out- side the hall, and the entrance of Lord Tredegar, with Mr. Forestier-Walker and several others, Mabon signalled for them to .stop. Everyone inside thought the Royal party were here and began to cheer. When the cheering had subdued, Mabon started the National Anthem, afterwards announcing, amidst laughter, I am only giving you a bit of practice." Then turning to Lord Tredegar, with whom he shook hands, he remarked, It is only my old brother, Lord Tredegar, who is here, and not the Princess (laughter, and cheers for Lord Tredeg.ar\ The Party next sang" Italian Salad." The Royal party were now considerably overdue, and on hearing more cheers out- side. Mabon stopped his amusing taJl, to exclaim in Welsh, (i Behold, one greater than Mabon cometh 1 (Laughter and applause). But it oroved only another fal-e alarm, and Mabon tided over the disappoint- ment by leading and conducting the entire company in singing a Welsh chorus, which was followed by a glee, conducted by Mr. Emrys Richards. Mi". John Jones, Trealaw, who was in the gallery, then seized the opportunity to recite some verses lie had composed in honour of the occasion, and the line, No harm will come to her, nor her man," caused much laughter. Mabon's comment was that they might laugh at it, and the author might not be at the top of the tree, but there was a lot of worse stuff, and virtue lies in the struggle and not in the prize." Mabon then sang (( Cymrn. Gwlad y Gan." Upon itsi conclusion the Royal party entered—at 4.20 p.m., or over an hour after the time expected. The audi- ence rose en masse and sung God save the King," afterwards heartily cheering the Princess, who was accompanied by the Duke of Argyll and Lady Victoria Russell. Those present also included members of the house party from Miskin Manor, Lord Aberdare, Lord Tredegar, Mr. Iestyn Williams, General Sir Ivor Herbert, M.P., Mr. Leolin Forestier-Walker, Mr. Leonard Llewelyn (of the Cambrian Col- lieries). Mr. Thomas Thomas. J.P. (chair- man of the Rhondda District Council"). Mr. W. P. Nicholas (clerk), Alderman Richard Lewis. J.P. (Pontv^ridd), Mr. W. D. Wight (Ystrad), Mr. Thos. Jones (Treorehv), Mrs. Williams, Mr. T. Wil- liams (Llwynypia). Dr. N. Davies, Mrs. Captain Rankin, Mr. T. P. Jenkins. J.P., Mr. Rees Williams, Mr. D. W. Davie?,
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Visit of Princess Louise and Duke of Argyll Enthusiastic Crowds Line Streets. Numerous Presentations and Addresses. Black-faced Vocalists. Scenes unparalleled in the history of the Rhondda were witnessed on Friday last, when H.R.H. Princess Louise, ac- companied by her husband, the Duke of Argyll, paid her long-expected visit to the Valley. Thousands of spectator:; lined the route from early afternoon, the brilliant colours of the ladies' summer dresses being humorously varied at points by the grimy faces of colliers' who had stopped on their way home from work to watch the Royal procession. Bunting was everywhere displayed with a profusion that has never been equalled" the whole route, extending from Pontypridd to Pontrhondda in the Rhondda Fawr, and to Mardy in the Rhondda Fach, being one continuous line of streamers, Union Jacks (sometimes flying as signals of di,s- tress!) and every conceivable form of decoration that the enthusiastic brains of the loyal population could conceive. Near the Great Western Colliery, Tre- hafod, was erected an arch of tsteam coal, very artistically arranged; whilst a Gothic arch, erected by Messrs. Poole, and representing" Porth," the gate to the Rhondda, adorned the entrance to the lower end of Hannah Street, Porth. Hannah Street itself was one blaze of colour. Flags of all nations, and of no nations, waved merrily in the breeze. At the top of the street flew a long streamer bearing the words: "Porth, the Gateway to the Rhondda," and a triumphal arch near the Porth Hotel proudly bore: Welcome to our first H.R.H. PRINCESS LOUISE. Royal Visitor." The Taff Vale Railway Station was also very prettily decorated under the direction of Mr. Blackmore, Cardiff. At Tonypandy, the decorations were even on a grander scale. Venetian masts and the crimson-draped standards of the tramways infused a warm colour to the scene, while festoons. of flags of myriad colours added to the gay effect. Private and public buildings vied with each other in expensive display, a particularly appropriate design being that on the front of the Theatre Royal, where the Argyll coat of arms, with the crest, Do not forget," attracted no end of curiosity and comment. The "Rhondda Leader" Offices were also conspicuous with a very pretty piece of ornamentation, consisting of a quartered shield and battle-axes on a ground of crimson.
The Princess at Porth. It is estimated that nearly 40,000 people had assembled near the Porth Square to await the Royal procession. A platform had been erected on the Square, on which stood the Porth and Cymmer Male Voice Party, under the conductor- ship of Mr. Rhys Evans, who rendered selections at intervals during the long wait. A smaller platform, carpeted in red, was placed immediately underneath, and among those present waiting, to re- ceive the distinguished visitors were Mr. and Mrs. T. Griffiths (Cymmer), Alder- man W. H. Mathias and Miss E. G. Mathias, Dr. R. D. Chalke. M.A., Messrs. Wm. Evans, J. Thompson, J. T. Jones, D. Jenkins (the Tynewydd Disaster survivor), W. Phillips (Registrar of Mar- riages), Councillor W. T. Davies. Dr. Lionel Lewis, Rev. W. Thomas (vicar), Mr. E. Samuel, M.A., and Mr. A. Orchard. It was nearly four o'clock when the Royal party motored up to the stand, to the ringing cheers of the assembled thousands, and the Porth and Cymmer Glee Party immediately struck up "The Men of Harlech." Mr. Thos. Griffiths, J.P., as chairman of the Recep- tion Committee, introduced Miss Gwen Mathias, daughter of Alderman W. H. Mathias, J.P., who presented the Prin- cess with a bouquet of orchids, which was graciously acknowledged by Her Royal Highness. Mr. Griffiths introduced Mr. David Jenkins, the oldest survivor of the Tynewydd inundation disaster of 1877, who presented a gold lamp contain- ing an address in vellum. The lamp is of superb workmanship and excellent finish. It is a reproduction of the Davy lamp reduced to eight inches, the mechanism having been strictly observed, the gauze, glass, oil receptacle, and lock- ing apparatus being perfect. On the lamp is the coat of arms of the Princess in repousse. The idea was conceived by Mr. W. T. Davies, solicitor, Porth, and carried out by a London firm at a cost otJESO.
Welcome Address. The address is surmounted by the Welsh Dragon, with the motto, Y ddraig goch a ddyry gychwyn," and was couched in the following termis:- To Her Royal Highness Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, upon the occasion of her visit to Porth, July 23rd. 1909. May it please your Royal Highness graciously to accept this brief but fervent expression of true Celtic loyalty on this, your first visit to our impor- tant industrial centre. We, the inhabi- tants of Porth and district, are honoured by your presence, we unite in one common chorus of welcome, we rejoice in this opportunity of expressing our unswerving allegiance to the Royal Family, of which you are so illustrious a member. From the rugged hill slopes of the Rhondda we bring you our tribute of affection and regard. In a district like ours, associated as it is with the perils of colliery life, accidents, unfortunately, are inevitable. We thankfully recognise the sympa- thetic interest you have always mani- fested in those institutions which have for their object the alleviation of human suffering. Your visit to Porth will always remain an incident of supreme pleasure in our lives, and we trust that when you leave us it will be with the fuller consciousness of the heartfelt and en- during devotion of the inhabitants of one of the busiest mining centres of the world. Long, may you live to enjoy the esteem and confidence of all true-hearted sons of GwaHa. Signed on behalf of the inhabitants of Porth and district. THOS. GRIFFITHS, J.P., Chairman. W. T. DAVIES. WILLIAM EVANS. A. J. ORCHARD. JOHN THOMPSON. Hon. Sec. Addressing the Princess on behalf of the inhabitants of Porth, Mr. Griffiths said —" May it please your Royal High- ness.—It is with great pride and pleasure that I welcome your Royal Highness, and his Grace the Duke, on behalf of my fellow-townsmen, to the Rhondda Valleys. This is the first occasion upon which Royalty has honoured these valleys with a visit, and we feel deeply grateful to you for your condescension in thus coming amongst us. The unswerving loyalty of the people of these valleys to His Majesty the King, and your Royal House, is already well assured, and your Royal Highness' visit will further deepen this devotion to the Throne. There is pro- duced annually in the valleys some ten million tons of the best steam coal in the worlds necessitating the daily use by the miners of about fifty thousand safety- lamps, and aR a memento of your Royal Highness' visit we ask your gracious acceptance of a lamp similarly designed, together with a short address, from the inhabitants of Portli and the district. Thirty-two years ago, about 200 yards north of this spot. a terrible disaster occurred, when a number of men were entombed in a mine for ten days—one of the survivors is here by my side, and will now present the lamp to your Royal Highness."
Veteran's Reminiscences. The veteran miner, in handing the gift to the Princess, si (I Yotii- Royal Highness, on behalf of the inhabitants of Porth and district, I have much plea- sure in asking you graciously to accept from my hands this lamp as a memento of your welcome visit to this part of the South Wales coalfield. It will, I am sure, interest your Royal Highness to know that I am one of the five men who were entombed for ten days in the Tynewydd Pit in the year 1877, and I shall never forget to my dying day the kind inquiries your good mother then made about us. For your mother's sake, I heartily wish you a long life and continued happiness." The Princess seemed to be much affected by the veteran's earnestness of expression. On the platform was a mas- sive photo of the rescued and rescuers of the Tynewydd disaster, which was ex- hibited and explained by Alderman Mathias to the Princess and her husband, who seemed to be much interested.
Royal Reply. Her Royal Highness, in reply to the kind expressions uttered, said that she had spoken to His Majesty the King as to her proposed visit to the Rhondda, and his words were, '• By all means, adding I have been very much touched by the kindness I have received and by I' the words of Mr. David Jenkins and the kind reference made to my mother." A bouquet was also presented to the Princess by Miss Hettie Thompson, daughter of Mr. John Thompson, Porth, who liacl acted as election agent for the Duke (then Marquis of Lome) as a Par- liamentary agent when he contested the Central Division of Bradford in 1895. During the brief proceedings a number of women fainted in the crush, a pathetic incident being the removal of a mother and her three months old babe to a place of safety. There was considerable push- ing and jostling, and eventually a num- ber of colliers in their working clothes got almost abreast of the Royal car. The police, however, under the able control of Inspectors T. Williams (Porth), B. Davies (Caerphilly) and other officers, soon effected a clearance, and the Royal party moved away to the accompaniment of resounding cheers and the waving of hats and handkerchiefs. Assisting the police in keeping the large crowd under control were the Porth Fire Brigade, under the command of Capt. Edgar Thomas. The Lewis Mertliyr, Cymmer. and Ynyshir Ambulance Brigades, were also in atten- dance, under the command of Superin- tendents O. Woodruff and H. Jackson, and attended to many cases of fainting. A squad of Territorials and Scouts lined the route at Trehafod. The piano used by the Porth and Cymmer Male Voice Party during the proceedings was supplied by Messrs. Waddington, Cardiff and Porth.