Clive Henley 1936 - 2021
It was with great sadness that Plaid Cymru in Pontypridd received the news that one of our most active members over a number of decades passed away this month.
Clive was Pontypridd to the core. He was a native of the Graig, Pontypridd. He started his career as an engineer apprentice before moving to Brown Lenox, the famous chainworks of Pontypridd where he spent many years.
In the 60s and 70s Clive was Plaid Cymru Pontypridd. The Labour party was unchallenged and Plaid Cymru was regarded as a fringe movement of those who opposed events such as the investiture in Caernarfon. Clive stood many times to represent the people of Maesycoed in the local elections. Despite never winning an election, his big success was to attract a group of young Plaid supporters with his ability to inspire. His affable personality and his mischievous humour were great assets to befriend his new supporters.
There was no structure to the Plaid Cymru movement in the area at the time and no-one had stood ever for Westminster, but with Clive’s inspiration we started meeting as a branch in the White Heart and the YMCA. One faithful member of there meetings was Miss Prothero who always wore her Sunday School hat. She was the retired Welsh teacher at the Girl’s Grammar School Pontypridd and there were decades between her and the rest of us.
Anything Welsh in language or description meant a great deal to Clive. He wasn’t a Welsh speaker himself but decided that his three children would attend Ysgol Pont Siôn Norton which wasn’t easy for the family living a mile and a half away and no car.
During the Pont Siôn Norton campaign against the local education authority that opposed the growth of Welsh medium provision Clive was at the helm. He also lobbied tirelessly not only here in Pontypridd but also in Westminster,
Clive was proud of his part in the campaign to prevent the drowning of Tryweryn. Later, the local authority decided to demolish Carmel Chapel and graveyard, Graigwen to build a new road, and Clive became very concerned about the plight of Evan James’ grave who wrote our national anthem. Again, he worked tirelessly writing to scores of people here in Wales and beyond to raise money to have the grave moved to Ynysangharad Park, next to the memorial of the father and son who gave us our national anthem.
We send our most sincere condolences to his widow, Pat, and to his two daughters, Siân and Sharon. Clive’s passing is a huge loss not only to the family but also to the Welsh identity here in Pontypridd and to the whole of Wales.