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Disgrifiad

Maerdy Workmen’s Institute, Ceridwen Street, Maerdy. In 1905 the old Coffee Tavern was replaced by the Workmen’s Institute. It was the largest and most central building in the community and contained on the upper floor a large hall and balcony capable of accommodating over a thousand people, the building cost nearly nine thousand pounds to build and contained one of the finest libraries in South Wales. Local legend has it that Arthur James ‘A.J.’ Cook presented it with a vivid red and gold banner which he had accepted on behalf of the British miners and their wives from the working women of Krasnaya Presna, Moscow. He had been in Moscow during the lock-out to acknowledge their financial support. ‘A.J.’ Cook is reputed to have said that the most appropriate place to keep the banner was ‘Maerdy Hall’. It was likely that the banner was brought back by Dai Lloyd Davies, secretary of the Mardy Colliery Lodge, who had also been to Russia, towards the end of the lock-out. In any event, the banner was given pride of place with a commemorative photograph being taken of it soon after its arrival. Crowded into the photograph were all the local Communists, their children, and a life-size portrait of Lenin in the background. The banner was to be used only on such special occasions as Communist funerals when it draped the coffins. 1905. In 1905 ‘Maerdy Hall’ had a gymnasium – Two reading rooms, one especially for ladies and one for men. Official opening of the Institute. Mrs W.H. Mernton of Essendene, Penarth officially opened the Institute at Maerdy Workmen’s Hall on 19th February 1906.

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