Friday, 23 December 2022


 The Forgotten Decade: Political Upheaval and Industrial Strife in 1980’s Wales.   Gwynoro Jones. Alun Gibbard.

The 1980s - a decade of considerable upheaval and change which saw industrial tension during the Miners Strike, social unrest and riots on the streets, seismic political changes and Cold War nuclear tension. This book is a chronological account of political, economic and social events that unfolded in that decade.

This is a powerful and relevant reminder of the pain and turmoil of a decade that changed many of our communities forever, of the roots of still current inequalities, and of the obstacles that our political system places in the way of progressive change. It also benefits from being the account of an engaged and passionate witness. 

Geraint Talfan Davies.  Chairman Institute of Welsh Affairs 1992-2014.

Margaret Thatcher won the General Election on 4 May 1979, the day the Eighties began. The Conservatives were creating their new order. Labour had to respond to the electoral failing and the damage done to them by a series of strikes. From this Labour unrest, the SDP was formed, the first major new party in British politics for decades.

The main section of The Forgotten Decade is a year-by-year account of the 1980’s, from the 1980 of Thatcher’s early days through to the 1989 of the fall of the Berlin wall, political and social changes in Wales are documented, with extensive use of newspaper cuttings from Gwynoro Jones’ personal archive. This section is book-ended by a look at the decade leading up to the 1980’s and an analysis of what has happened in the decades since the ‘80’s.

With the publication of The Forgotten Decade, videos that were made in 2016, and have remained 'private' on Gwynoro's YouTube channel since then are now being made 'public'.

All of them were recorded live and are uncut or edited. No pre recording preparation took place for any of the 1980s videos, it was just Gwynoro's on the spot recollections of events. Because of that, inevitably there will be some errors of fact regarding personalities, events, dates and timelines. The authentic record however is chronicled in the book.

This video is about events in 1984/5 and concentrates mainly on happenings in Carmarthen when Dr Roger Thomas, the then MP, faced considerable pressures and turmoil. 

This book provides us with an informative and eyewitness account of unfolding events of The Forgotten Decade of Welsh political evolution. Written in a semi diary style the book is ideal as a memory jogger for those that lived through this period themselves or for historians or the general readers who wish to learn exactly what was happening at the heart of Welsh politics in the 1980s.

Professor Russell Deacon

Also available of Wales Books Council site