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MPs we Have Known

With a General Election soon to be upon us, you amy be wondering who has represented this part a may of the country during the past 125 years. They are a motley lot! Politicians are going through a bad patch at the moment, and there is much apathy among the voters. But l vividly remember the excitement of general elections when I was a schoolgirl; we all had a picture of our favoured candidates. stuck under our desk lids, and there was much shouting and banging of doors. We had no idea of what we were talking about, but, my goodness, we were keen… For many years this constituency was known as Denbighshire West. Following the 1884 Representation of the People Act, when the franchise extended to householders and lodgers (but not to women!), our MP was
Colonel William Cornwallis West of Ruthin Castle. He was a toof—and rich to boot (MPs were not paid, so only the rich could enter parliament). One of his daughters, Daisy, became Princess of Plesse; the other, Constance, married the Duke of Westminster; his son, George, married Jenny, the mother of Winston Churchill. It was rumoured that George’s father was Edward VII, a regular visitor to the Castle. In 1892, Cornwallis West lost his seat to the Liberal, J. Herbert Roberts, a descendant of the prominent Hughes family of Sarffle, Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog—one relative was the poet Ceiriog. He joined two other brilliant Welshmen in parliament, T E  Ellis and David Lloyd George. He was elected unopposed until 1918 when the boundaries were changed and he was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Clwyd. Fast forward to the famous 1945 election with the shock Labour victory under Clement Atlee. This constituency was then still represented by a Liberal, Dr J.H. Morris-Jones, who had been a member since 1929 and chief whip. He was one of 12 doctors elected in 1935. Within living memory, there was a sea change when Garner Evans won the seat as a national Liberal (allied to the Conservative party) in 1950. He was nearly beaten by the academic Glyn Tegai Hughes, whom many of us remember as director of Gregynog, the residential education and conference centre in mid Wales. Evans, the son of a Llangollen saddler, was a colourful character, once arrested in Nazi Germany for making anti-fascist remarks. He was followed in 1959 by Geraint Morgan. This was the first time that there was a Plaid Cymru candidate, in the person of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, a consultant psychiatrist at the North Wales Hospital in Denbigh who later did much good work beating soldiers with post traumatic stress. Geraint Morgan, a barrister, learnt to speak Welsh perfectly. His obituary in the Independent noted that ‘to be a Conservative and Welsh is to be a member of a minority. To be a Conservative, Welsh and Welsh-speaking is a rarity'.
They’re a motley lot, said HAFINA CLWYD, in April 2010