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Royal Visit 1912

King George V and Queen Mary visited Dowlais, 27th June 1912.    


Their visit to South Wales extended to three days and the primary reason for their visit was to lay the foundation stone of the National Museum of Wales in the City of Cardiff, on the 26th of June.


The Royal couple had expressed a wish to see thesocial conditions of the area and Sir W.T. Lewis (later Lord Merthyr)  arranged a tour.


On the 27th of June they travelled on the Royal Trainfirst visiting the Lewis Merthyr Colliery, Trehafod, then on to the Mines Rescue Station at Dinas. The tour  then continued by train through Pontypridd, Llancaiach, Bedlinog, Cwmbargoed, to Caeharris (Dowlais) Station, then into the Dowlais Works.


They entered the works on foot, through the "Coal Arch" which had been specially constructed by Dowlais Works' Craftsmen for the occasion. Luncheon was served in Dowlais House, the old home of the Guest family. The Distinguished guests were entertained during lunch by the Penywern Male Voice Choir, conductor Edward Thomas.


They were then conducted around  the works by Sir W.T.Lewis   and Mr. Arthur Keen. Visiting the Blast Furnaces, the Bessemer Plant, Goat Mill, Sleeper Mill, Sole Plate Mill, Fishplate Mill, and the Siemens Plant.


The King and Queen then left Dowlais Works through the "Steel Arch" which had also been specially constructed by Dowlais Works' Craftsmen for the occasion, and proceeded to Merthyr in their own Daimler car, to arrive at the Town Hall steps at 4:00 pm where Sir W.T.Lewis presented them to the Mayor and Mayoress, Mr & Mrs J.M. Berry.



Royal Visit 1912 - Programme

Royal Visit 1912 - Menu

Royal Visit 1912 - Ticket


The Coal Arch

From inside the Works.

(Postcard courtesy of Mrs Gill Thomas, West Grove)



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More Photographs of the

Coal Arch



Dowlais built engines are prepared for the visit.

Dowlais_Works_Sandyford_KingGeorgeV_27_6_1912.JPG (149854 bytes)


Dowlais Locomotive No.79 - Name 'No. 42 Queen Mary'

Seen here in 1912 awaiting naming by Queen Mary on her visit to Dowlais Works 27th June 1912.

(Photograph courtesy of the John Owen Collection)




The Blast Engine House is decorated for the event


Dowlais_RoyalVist_27-6-1912_EngineHouse.JPG (215995 bytes)


The King and Queen arrive and enter the works through the Coal Arch.

Flanked by cinematograph cameras, walk up past Dowlais House to the seating area.

(Postcard courtesy of Mrs Gill Thomas, West Grove)


Grandstand Seating Area

(Postcard courtesy of Mrs Gill Thomas, West Grove)

Awaiting the arrival of the Royal visitors

Dowlais_AwaitingArrivalOfRoyalty_rogerWilliams_Cyfarthfa.JPG (150900 bytes)


Looking towards the seating area, with Dowlais House to the left and the Blast Engine

House to right. The red carpet leading up to the decorated pavilion that has been

erected as shelter for the Royal visitors


King George V waves to the Crowd

(Postcard courtesy of Mrs Gill Thomas, West Grove)

The King and Queen walking past Dowlais House

The King and Queen at the coke ovens, Dowlais Works

The King and Queen stop to watch a demonstration by workmen


Royal Shift - 1912.

(Photograph from the Merthyr Express)


The Steel Arch

This was erected at the Lower Gate (Goat Mill Gate) to mark the royal visit and was where the King and Queen exited the Works.

These photographs were taken inside the works and is looking on to the High Street.



The Steel Arch

(Postcard courtesy of Mrs Gill Thomas, West Grove)

Her Majesty underneath the Steel Arch


The King and Queen leaving Dowlais Works through the Steel Arch on to Dowlais High Street.

(Postcard courtesy of Mrs Gill Thomas, West Grove)


A Grandstand was erected on the junction opposite the Town Hall

 for invited guests to view the Royal's visit to the Town Hall.



The Royal couple also visited the Lewis Merthyr Colliery, Trehafod and Dinas Mines Rescue Station in the Rhondda  that day, The Royal Train is shown here at Porth Station.

Third from the right is Henry W. Gage, who worked at the Taff Vale Yard as a Coach

Trimmer and Painter and had upholstered the Royal Coach.

(Photograph courtesy of Ian Gage, (Henry's Grandson), Abercynon.)

The King and Queen leaving the Mines Rescue Station at Dinas, Rhondda.


The King and Queen Arrive at Treherbert.

(Photograph Courtesy of Martin Green)

Plaque Cast to Commemorate Royal Visit in 1912


Do you have any photographs or information relating to the Royal Visit to Merthyr Tydfil in 1912?

If so, please click the 'Contact Us' button.


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