Arthur Lewis Jones was born in Ferndale, Rhondda, in 1916. A committed Communist and trade unionist all his adult life, he moved to Merthyr at the outbreak of the Second World War to work on aircraft engines in Rotax. He married Dorcas Fletcher in 1942. They had two children Ceinwen and David. Ceinwen was the first girl from Galon Uchaf to go to University.
Arthur was renowned for his good humour. He was once described in a magazine article as ‘the man with a laugh like a low-flying jet’. He stood as a candidate for Merthyr Borough Council nearly 20 times before he was finally elected as a councillor in 1968.
He led the opposition to the then education secretary’s decision to abolish school milk and it was he who coined the slogan ‘Maggie Thatcher, Milk Snatcher’. He stood for Parliament, too, but never against Merthyr MP S O Davies for whom he had great respect.
He lived on the Galon Uchaf estate for more than 40 years and never turned away anyone seeking help. He wrote hundreds of letters each year – and kept carbon copies of them all. In 1986 he was presented with a certificate to mark 51 years of membership of the Amalgamated Engineering Union. He was Branch Secretary of Merthyr No 2 Branch for nearly 40 years and was elected for many years to serve on the union’s Final Appeal Court. Dorcas died in 1987 and Arthur in 1988. Ceinwen lives in Reading and works at the University. David works for the Department for Education and Employment in Runcorn, where he is an active trade unionist.
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