A petition started by Rhondda AM Leanne Wood urging a pub chain to change its name has gathered more than 600 signatures.
The Penygraig-based leader of Plaid Cymru is calling upon Crown Carveries to call the Lord Tonypandy pub something else following a series of programmes on the peer’s controversial role in the aftermath of the Aberfan disaster. She has invited the people of the Rhondda to come forward with an alternative name.
Lord Tonypandy, who was Secretary of State for Wales when the disaster claimed the lives of 116 children and 28 adults in the Merthyr Vale village, coerced survivors into giving up more than £100,000 - donated to their fundraising appeal from across the world – to put towards the cost of clearing up the tips.
Ms Wood, who called this act the “cruellest of all ironies,” said it was time for the Rhondda to stop honouring Lord Tonypandy.
“With a series of television programmes recently, we were all reminded of the terrible tragedy that happened in the community of Aberfan 50 years ago,” she said. “The sorrow that community felt at such a devastating loss of life is unimaginable.
“What made matters even worse is that this grieving community had to foot some of the bill of clearing up the tips that robbed them of their sons and daughters.
“It was the cruellest of all ironies; and the so-called Secretary of State for Wales at the time was the main driving force behind this awful decision. It was a reprehensible act that can neither be forgotten or forgiven.
“Many people in the Rhondda are sick and tired of being associated with Lord Tonypandy and the programmes aired recently showed why they are justified to feel this way.
“It is time his name was removed from places like the Lord Tonypandy pub - his legacy is nothing to be proud of. Crown Carveries has indicated that they will be willing to consider a name change when they refurbish their premises. It would be great if the people of Rhondda could come forward with suggestions for an alternative name.
“To keep the pressure on and ensure this happens, I would like to add to the 600 plus signatures we have already collected. If anyone agrees with me that it is time for the Rhondda to ditch the hero-worship of Lord Tonypandy, they can sign the petition by clicking the link below. Thanks.”