Llanelli
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Llanelli

Llanelli
Plas Llanelly 01.JPG
Llanelli town centre
Llanelli is located in Carmarthenshire
Llanelli
Llanelli
Location within Carmarthenshire
Population49,591 [1]
OS grid referenceSN505005
Community
  • Llanelli
Principal area
Ceremonial county
CountryWales
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLLANELLI
Postcode districtSA14, SA15
Dialling code01554[2]
PoliceDyfed-Powys
FireMid and West Wales
AmbulanceWelsh
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru - Welsh Parliament
Websitellanellitowncouncil.co.uk

Llanelli ("St Elli's Parish"; Welsh: [?a'ni] ) is the largest town in Carmarthenshire, and the preserved county of Dyfed, Wales. Located on the Loughor estuary[3] 10.5 miles (16.9 km) north-west of Swansea and 12 miles (19 km) south-east of the county town, Carmarthen, it was a market town that became industrialised in the early 19th century as the global centre for tinplate production.[4] Several communities nearby may be included colloquially in Llanelli.[5] The community of Llanelli had a population of 25,168 in 2011, estimated in 2019 at 26,225.[6] The local authority had previously been the Llanelli Borough Council when the preserved county of Dyfed was in existence, however it is now under Carmarthenshire County Council.[7]

Name

Llanelli or Llanelly

The spelling Llanelly is an anglicised form used until 1966, when it was changed to Llanelli after a local public campaign. It remains in the name of the local historic building, Llanelly House. It can also lead to confusion with the village and parish of Llanelly, in south-east Wales near Abergavenny.

Llanelly in Victoria, Australia, was named after this town of Llanelli using the then current spelling.[8][9]

Location

The town lies on the River Lliedi, on the north coast of the Loughor Estuary inlet, which opens out into Carmarthen Bay, and the Bristol Channel. Llanelli is within the western Welsh county of Carmarthenshire, and is situated to the north-west of the city of Swansea and to the south-east of the county town of Carmarthen.

History

The beginnings of Llanelli can be found on the lands of present-day Parc Howard. An Iron Age hill fort once stood which was called Bryn-Caerau (hill of the forts). Evidence suggests there were five hill forts from Old Road to the Dimpath. During the early medieval period, it is said a saint named Elli, or Ellyw,[3] who in legend is the son or daughter of King Brychan, established a church on the banks of the Afon Lliedi. The original church would have been a wooden or partly stone, thatched structure. It was not until the 1200s that the stone church was built. Its original tower stands to this day. The current church (excluding the tower) was built at the beginning of the 20th century. With the establishment of the church in the early medieval period, a market town grew. However, it remained relatively small compared with Carmarthen and Kidwelly, both in Carmarthenshire, until the industrialisation of Britain speeded up at the end of the 18th century.

Llanelli then became such a significant regional producer of tin, and even referred to as "Tinopolis" in the latter half of the 19th century. Lying near the Western fringe of the South Wales Coal Field, Llanelli played an important role in industry, with coal exported through three small docks along with the copper and tin produced within the town itself. Although Llanelli is not located within the South Wales valleys, coal from the Gwendraeth and the Loughor Valleys was transported to Llanelli for export. The Stepney Family and other prominant families (including the Raby family, Howard family and Cowell family), played an important role in the development of the town. Aside from industry, Llanelli is also renowned for its pottery, which has a unique cockerel hand-painted on each item. A collection of this pottery can bee seen at the Llanelli Museum in Parc Howard.[10]

Llanelli people are sometimes nicknamed "Turks", for uncertain reasons. One theory is that many Turkish sailors once called at the port on their voyages.[11]

Culture and language

National Eisteddfod

Llanelli hosted the National Eisteddfod six times between 1895 and 2014.[12]

Welsh language

In the mid-20th century, Llanelli was the largest town in the world where more than half the inhabitants spoke a Celtic language.[13] It is ranked as the seventh largest urban area in Wales. According to the 2011 UK Census returns, 23.7 per cent of Llanelli town residents habitually spoke Welsh. However, the area around Llanelli is a Welsh stronghold, in which 56 per cent do so in communities such as Llwynhendy and Burry Port.

During the 1950s, Trefor and Eileen Beasley campaigned to get Llanelli Rural Council to distribute tax papers in Welsh by refusing to pay taxes until their demand was met. The council reacted by sending in the bailiffs and selling their furniture to recover the money owed. The Beasleys' neighbours bought the furniture and returned it to them. The council finally reversed its policy in the 1960s, giving Welsh equal status with English.[14]

Economy

In 1991 Llanelli was a distinct Travel to Work Area, but a 2001-based revision has merged it into a wider Swansea Bay Travel to Work Area.[15]

Manufacture

Several firms, including Tata Steel Europe tinplate at Trostre and Dyfed Steels, are based in the Llanelli area and service the automotive industry.[16] The Technium Performance Engineering Centre was developed at Llanelli Gate as a business incubator for businesses in the automotive, motor sport and aerospace sectors.[17]

The traditional industries of Llanelli have gradually declined in recent decades. Local government has responded by seeking to attract tourism with developments such as the Machynys Golf Course, retail parks at Trostre and Pemberton, and the Millennium Coastal Park.[18] The core shopping area has now moved largely from the town centre to the Trostre/Pemberton area.

Brewing

The longstanding Felinfoel Brewery continues in Felinfoel, just outside the town.[19]

Rev. James Buckley was an ordained Methodist minister, born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1770, who after moving to Llanelli towards the end of the 18th century became involved in establishing a small brewery. After the death of the owner, Buckley gained possession of the brewery and changed its name to Buckley's. In 1998, the brewery was bought by Brains Brewery, which transferred production to its facility in Cardiff. However, Brains continues to produce The Reverend James, a bitter named in Buckley's memory.[20] However, the brewery has been partly demolished.

Leisure and tourism

In the past decade, the longstanding emphasis on heavy industry has shifted towards the tertiary sector employment in leisure and tourism. Ongoing developments include the new Llanelli Scarlets rugby stadium, the Old Castle Works leisure village (see below) and a National Hunt racecourse at Ffos Las near Trimsaran.[21]Machynys Ponds, a Site of Special Scientific Interest notable for its dragonfly population, lies a mile to the south.[22][23]

Religion

Nonconformism

Tabernacle Chapel
The interior of the Grade II listed Calfaria Baptist Chapel, which was built in 1881

From the early 19th to late 20th centuries, Llanelli was a major centre of Welsh nonconformism. Several of the chapels have now closed and others are in sharp decline. Their history was chronicled in a volume by the BBC journalist Huw Edwards.[24] Those of significance included Capel Als, where David Rees was a minister for many years in the 19th century. Llanelli had Independent (Congregationalist) chapels as Tabernacle, Siloah and Soar.

The Tabernacle Chapel built in 1872-1873 by John Humphreys of Morriston overlooks the Town Hall. It is built of brown rubble stone with extensive Bath stone dressings and a slate roof. There is a prominent four-pillared Corinthian arcade at the entrance. The building was Grade II* listed in December 1992.[25] It is used as a venue by the Llanelli Choral Society.[26][27] Other listed chapels include Bethel Baptist Chapel in Copperworks Road,[28]Park Congregational Chapel,[29]Zion Baptist Chapel at Island Place,[30] and Hall Street Methodist Church.[31]

Church in Wales

St Elli's Parish Church, Church in Wales.

The parish church of St Elli has a medieval tower, the main body being rebuilt by G. F. Bodley in 1905-1906. It is a Grade II* listed building.[32] Several other churches in the town are also listed buildings, but made redundant by the Church in Wales and now in private ownership. They include All Saints'[33] and St Alban's.[34]

Sport

Rugby union

The town's rugby union teams - the Scarlets competing in the Pro14, and Llanelli RFC in the Principality Premiership - play at Parc y Scarlets, which opened in November 2008 in Pemberton. Previously they had played at Stradey Park, home to Llanelli RFC for over 130 years and one site used for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, hosting the Argentina v Western Samoa game on 10 October. Stradey Park is being redeveloped.

The Welsh folk song "Sosban Fach" (Little Saucepan) is mostly associated with Llanelli RFC. Many rugby clubs have notable scalps collected from touring international sides, but on 31 October 1972, Llanelli claimed perhaps the greatest by beating the New Zealand All Blacks. The Scarlets side emerged 9-3[35] winners at Stradey Park.

There is a strong junior rugby core, including club sides such as Felinfoel, New Dock Stars, Llangenech and the Llanelli Wanderers. In 2005, Coedcae School won the Inter-Schools Cup of Wales with an 8-5 victory over Brynteg Comprehensive.

Rugby league

Llanelli's West Wales Raiders play in the Rugby Football League's League 1 competition. The club is based at Stebonheath Park.

Association football

Stebonheath Park is the home of football club Llanelli A.F.C., which plays in the Cymru South. The town has many active local teams and tournaments such as the 2018 Challenge Cup, where West End United beat Trostre Sports AFC.

Bowls

Llanelli hosts the annual Llanelli Open Bowls Tournaments, the oldest and most prestigious of which, the Roberts-Rolfe Open Singles event, has been run since 1926 and has a first prize of £600. The contests are held from July to September in Parc Howard.

Golf

The Llanelli area has two golf courses: the Machynys Peninsula Golf & Country Club which hosted the Wales Ladies Championship of Europe from 2005 until 2008, and Glyn Abbey Golf Club, which was named Welsh Golf Club of the Year 2009.

Snooker

Llanelli is the birthplace and home of Terry Griffiths OBE, snooker world champion in 1979 and runner up in 1988. Now a coach and snooker commentator, he runs The Terry Griffiths Matchroom in the town centre.

Media

Llanelli is home to Tinopolis, one of Britain's largest independent media producers. It has subsidiaries that produce over 2,500 hours of broadcast television, including English language programmes such as Question Time for the BBC and Welsh-language television programs such as Wedi 7 for S4C.[36]

Coverage of local affairs appears in two local newspapers, the Llanelli Star founded in 1909 and Llanelli Herald launched in 2015,.[37] Online coverage is found on Llanelli Online.[38] The main county-wide radio station is Radio Carmarthenshire. Other stations covering the area are 96.4 The Wave, Swansea Sound, Swansea Bay Radio and Radio BGM, which serves the Prince Philip Hospital and the local community via an online service[39]

Local attractions

Some local attractions include:

Leisure

The Ffwrnes Theatre opened in late 2012, replacing the Theatr Elli, which was part of the Llanelli Entertainment Centre.[42][43] A multi-screen cinema opened in October 2012. Much is being spent on regenerating the central shopping district.[44]

Llanelli holds festivals, carnivals and events throughout the year. They include:

  • Welsh International Open, a competition of the World Bowls Tour (February)
  • Into the Future Festival -- educational event about the environment and technology, organised by the county council[45] (August)
  • Llanelli Big Day Out -- pop and live music event[46] (August)
  • Llanelli Beer Festival -- official CAMRA event[47] (August)
  • Llanelli Christmas Carnival (November)
  • Llanelli Ramblers Festival of Walks, an annual walking festival, late Spring Bank Holiday weekend (May)
  • Llanelli Pride, first Saturday in August

Transport

Llanelli is linked to the M4 motorway via the A4138 and to Swansea via the Loughor Bridge on the A484. It is served by regular bus services between Swansea and Carmarthen and a National Express service to London.

Services from Llanelli railway station on the Great Western Crescent south of the town centre connect with Fishguard Harbour and Swansea along the West Wales Line. It is the terminus of the Heart of Wales Line for Craven Arms and Shrewsbury. There are daily Great Western Railway services with London Paddington and regular services with Cardiff Central and Manchester Piccadilly. The district is also served by stations, at Bynea, Llangennech, Pembrey & Burry Port and Kidwelly.

Llanelli is connected to the National Cycle Network from the north on NCR 43, and along the coast from the east and west on NCR 4.[48] These routes link with a cycle path to the town centre.

The nearest passenger airport is Cardiff Airport, 50 miles (80 km) away, although Pembrey, 2 miles (3.2 km), provides air charter services.[49] October 2016 saw the 20th anniversary of Pembrey Airport, which during that period trained 9,500 military pilots jointly with the MOD range at Pembrey Sands.[]

Education

Primary and secondary

The first Welsh-medium primary school, Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant, was established in Llanelli in 1947. The English medium secondary schools are St John Lloyd, Bryngwyn and Coedcae; the only Welsh medium secondary school is Ysgol y Strade. St Michael's School is a private school for ages three to eighteen. Ysgol Heol Goffa is a special school for children with disabilities.

Further and higher education

Coleg Sir Gâr (Carmarthenshire College), with its main campus at Graig near Pwll, provides a college education for most of the town's further education students and some vocational undergraduate degrees through the University of Wales. There are sixth form colleges at Ysgol Gyfun y Strade (Welsh medium) and St Michael's (English medium).

Prince Philip Hospital has a postgraduate centre for medical training run by Cardiff University's School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education.[50]

Government

Llanelli (Political)
Mayor Cllr. Roger Price
Carmarthenshire County Council
Leader Cllr. Emlyn Dole
County
Councillors
(Ward)
Cllr. J. Edmunds (Bigyn)
Cllr. E. Morgan (Bigyn)
Cllr. J. P. Jenkins (Elli)
Cllr. J. Prosser (Glanymor)
Cllr. L. Roberts (Glanymor)
Cllr. R. James(Lliedi)
Cllr. S. Najmi (Lliedi)
Cllr. S. Curry (Tyisha)
Cllr. A. McPherson (Tyisha)
United Kingdom Parliament
Nia Griffith Labour
National Assembly for Wales
Lee Waters Labour

Llanelli is in the Llanelli parliamentary constituency, currently represented by the Labour party member Nia Griffith MP, and by the Senedd constituency of Labour's Lee Waters MS. Llanelli is run on a community level by Llanelli Town Council and Llanelli Rural Council (depending on the area of town) and Carmarthenshire County Council at local government level. Llanelli Rural Council addresses some part of the town, but mainly the Llanelli Rural community. Llanelli's politics has been Labour-dominated for decades. Its geographical location has led to a sense of exceptionalism in relation to the rest of Carmarthenshire, which is dominated by Plaid Cymru. In reaction to this, there have been calls to reinstate the local government district of Llanelli either as a county or as the City of Llanelli.

The community of Llanelli is bordered by the those of Llanelli Rural, Llanrhidian Higher and Llanrhidian Lower, the latter two being in the City and County of Swansea.

Twinning

Llanelli is twinned with France Agen, France.[51]

Town areas

Towns and villages near Llanelli

Current developments

Llanelli Waterside

Llanelli Waterside, a joint venture between Carmarthenshire County Council and the Welsh Assembly Government, aims to transform the waterfront into a business, leisure and residential community. There are two seafront housing developments under construction. Pentre Nicklaus Village, located on the Machynys Peninsula has been criticised for being above the price range of local people. Pentre Doc Y Gogledd (North Dock Village) in the historic North Dock area is nearing completion by David McLean homes.

Notable people

See Category:People from Llanelli

Notable Llanelli people with a popflock.com resource page in alphabetical order by section:

Art, media and entertainment

Government and politics

Sports

Rugby Union

Darts

Association football

Other sports

Other categories

Further reading

  • The Llanelli Landscape, by D. Q. Bowen, 1980. ISBN 978-0906821015
  • Llanelli, Story of a Town, by John Edwards, 2001. ISBN 9781859835517
  • Capeli Llanelli, Our Rich Heritage, by Huw Edwards, 2009. ISBN 978-0-906821-77-0, ISBN 978-0-906821-78-7
  • Real Llanelli, by Jon Gower, 2009. ISBN 978-1-85411-506-5
  • Homes of Historic Interest in and around Llanelli, by William & Benita Afan Rees, 2011.

See also

References

  1. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report - Llanelli Built-up area (W37000409)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ "Llanelli - UK Codes - The Phone Book from BT". Thephonebook.bt.com. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Llanelly" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 829.
  4. ^ J. Paxton (1999), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Places, 3rd ed. London: Penguin.
  5. ^ "Carmarthenshire County Council: Area and density of Community Wards". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  6. ^ City Population. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  7. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report - Llanelli Parish (W04000519)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ Kirsty B Carter; Joe Harrison (11 December 2020). "Llanelli: An abandoned Welsh town in Australia". BBC Travel.
  9. ^ Kirsty B Carter; Joe Harrison (17 August 2020). "Forgotten Places: The abandoned Welsh town in the middle of Australia" (video, 5 mins 37 secs). BBC reel.
  10. ^ Jones, Bill; Lewis, Ronald L. (May 2007). "Gender and Transnationality among Welsh Tinplate Workers in Pittsburgh: The Hattie Williams Affair, 1895". Labor History. 48 (2): 178.
  11. ^ Waller, Robert; Criddle, Byron (1999). The Almanac of British Politics. Almanac of British Politics. Psychology Press. p. 326. ISBN 978-0-415-18541-7.
  12. ^ "National Eisteddfod held in Llanelli for sixth time". BBC News.
  13. ^ The Welsh Academy Encyclopedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press 2008.
  14. ^ "Tributes paid to Welsh language activist Eileen Beasley, who died age 91". WalesOnline. 13 August 2012. Archived from the original on 17 November 2012. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ "National Statistics, Introduction to the 2001-based Travel-to-Work Areas" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2009.
  16. ^ "DISTRICT SPECIFICATION AND LOCAL INFORMATION FOR SOUTH WEST WALES". Archived from the original on 27 September 2011.
  17. ^ "Technium Performance Engineering". Archived from the original on 28 December 2008.
  18. ^ "Strategic Development Project: Overview of Progress". Retrieved 2018.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Champion Brewers o Felinfoel Brewery". Felinfoel Brewery.
  20. ^ "Gorseinon: An odd name for a pub". Archived from the original on 20 July 2006.
  21. ^ "Racecourse launch at ex-mine site". 11 July 2007 – via bbc.co.uk.
  22. ^ "MAGIC Map Application - Machynys Ponds". DEFRA MAGIC Map. DEFRA.
  23. ^ "Site of Special Scientific Interest, Carmarthenshire, Machynys Ponds" (PDF). Natural Resources Wales.
  24. ^ Edwards, Huw (2009). Capeli Llanelli: Our Rich Heritage. Carmarthenshire County Council. ISBN 0906821789.
  25. ^ Good Stuff (3 December 1992). "Tabernacle Chapel,including Forecourt Railings - Llanelli - Carmarthenshire - Wales". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2016.
  26. ^ "News". Llanelli Choral Society. 8 June 2013. Archived from the original on 11 February 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  27. ^ "Swansea: The latest news, sport, what's on and business from Swansea and Gower". www.llanellistar.co.uk. Retrieved 2018.
  28. ^ "Bethel Baptist Chapel & Schoolroom, including Gates & Railings to Entrance, Marine Street, Llanelli". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2016.
  29. ^ Thomas Lloyd; Julian Orbach; Robert Scourfield (2006). Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. Yale University Press. p. 281. ISBN 0-300-10179-1.
  30. ^ "Zion Baptist Chapel, including Forecourt Railings, Upper Park Street, Llanelli". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2016.
  31. ^ "Hall Street Methodist Church, Hall Street, Llanelli". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2016.
  32. ^ Cadw. "Parish Church of St. Ellyw  (Grade II*) (11888)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 2019.
  33. ^ "Church sale set to pave way for revamp project". Llanelli Star. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 2016.
  34. ^ "St. Alban's Church, Llanelli". Coflein. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Retrieved 2016.
  35. ^ 10-3 in today's scoring system.
  36. ^ "Home". Tinopolis.
  37. ^ "Pembrokeshire Herald to launch two new sister titles - Journalism News from HoldtheFrontPage". HoldtheFrontPage.
  38. ^ [1]
  39. ^ "Radio BGM through the Night (2013-02-10)".
  40. ^ [2] Archived 9 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ "Parc Howard Museum". Archived from the original on 26 September 2006.
  42. ^ Gar, Theatrau Sir. "Theatrau Sir Gar".
  43. ^ "Swansea: The latest news, sport, what's on and business from Swansea and Gower". www.llanellistar.co.uk. Retrieved 2018.
  44. ^ "Gwasanaethau bws". Archived from the original on 27 May 2007.
  45. ^ "ItFF 2006 website". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  46. ^ "LBDO 2006 website". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  47. ^ "LBF 2006 website". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  48. ^ "Homepage".
  49. ^ "Pembrey Airport - Charter flights throughout UK and Europe". www.pembreyairport.com. Retrieved 2018.
  50. ^ Llanelli Postgraduate Centre Archived 1 October 2004 at the Wayback Machine test
  51. ^ "Llanelli Town Council". Archived from the original on 11 March 2014.

External links


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Llanelli
 



 



 
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