Mayor 2014 - 2015
Councillor Brian Mansbridge
Councillor Brian Mansbridge was inaugurated to the office of Mayor of the County Borough of Merthyr Tydfil on 14th May 2014. He has represented the Merthyr Vale Electoral Ward since 2008. Brian lives in Edwardsville with his wife Brenda.
As First Citizen of the County Borough of Merthyr Tydfil, Councillor Mansbridge’s duties include chairing full meetings of the Council and representing the Council at formal and ceremonial occasions within the County Borough, regionally, nationally and internationally. He welcomes visitors to the County Borough and attends and supports events organised by local people and organisations.
During his year of office, the Mayor will be busy raising funds for his chosen local charities, which are the Alzheimer’s Society & PHAB (Physically handicapped and able bodied). All funds raised will go towards the wonderful work these charities have already undertaken in our County Borough. All monies raised will be used solely for the benefit of our communities and we look forward to working closely with both charities during our mayoral year.
The Past Mayor, Councillor Graham Davies made over £23,000 for his chosen Charities, Cancer Aid and Macmillan Cancer Support.
It has always been the assumption that the Mayor’s Chain and Medallion, is made from pure gold, mined in North Wales.
The Regalia used at the Investiture of Prince Edward at Caernarfon Castle in 1911, (comprising of Chaplet, Ring, Verge and Clasp) was also made from the same gold, as was the wedding ring of the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, Princess Diana and most recently Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Source of the Gold
Pritchard Morgan was born in Monmouthshire in 1844 and emigrated to Australia in 1864. There he qualified as a Barrister, and fought two unsuccessful elections for a seat on the Queensland Assembly. Whilst in Australia he took an active part in many gold mining ventures.
On his return to this country he divided his time between Gold Mining in Merioneth and the House of Commons where he sat as a Liberal Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare, his fellow Member being the Late Lord Rhondda. Later losing his seat to Keir Hardie.
The mine, later called the Prince Edward Mine, north east of Trawsfynydd, was worked up to 1911 when the gold was purchased by Pritchard Morgan and presented to the Crown. As an M.P. for Merthyr Tydfil during the time that efforts were made to obtain Borough status, it seems fairly safe to assume that this is how the Mayoral Chain was made of this gold.
The Medallion was designed by Sir W. Gascoine John R. A. (As was the 1911 Investiture Regalia). The chain and medallion weighs just short of 2 lbs in weight. The medallion includes the Borough Coat of Arms, an enamel inset of Cyfarthfa Iron Works, an enamel inset of Trevithicks Engine, the Prince of Wales Feathers and Coat of Arms of the Old Welsh Prince Owain Glyndwr plus a large ruby.
Most past Mayors had had their names and year of office inscribed on various parts of the Chain. Space is now limited there being only the links giving any further spaces.
On Civic Occasions, the Chain is worn broadly across the chest tied on the shoulders with red braid. For other functions it now has an added gold link chain, supporting it across the back of the neck.
The Late Lord Camrose presented this dainty chain to the council in 1935.
Lord Camrose, one of the famous men of the Borough, was the son of the late J. M. Berry, Merthyr Tydfil.
His brother, Lord Buckland instituted the Buckland Trust.
His Brother, Lord Kemsley on receiving the Freedom of the Borough, presented the Mayor and Members of the Corporation with a complete set of Civic Robes.
In 1935, the Mayoress to the late David Davies, Treharris, was Miss Mary Edwards, Treharris and a member of the teaching profession.
The Merthyr N. U. T. added an additional cross-link to the Chain, with an enamel circle, bearing the word “Mayoress”.
The Chain which has over the years been “mounted” on blue velvet is made up of twenty eight gold roses and small medallions linked together with gold chain, ending in a medallion bearing the Coat of Arms of the County Borough.
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Coat of Arms
The description of the County Borough Arms granted the 17th August 1906, is as follows:-
‘Azure a figure representing Saint Tydfil the Martyr, in Chief Two Crosses patee fitchee all Or’.
Upon becoming a Borough the Corporation commissioned Sir Goscombe John R. A. to design a Coat of Arms. The motto ‘Nid Cadarn ond Brodyrdde’ is taken from an Old Welsh manuscript, ‘The Sayings of the Wise’ and means ‘Not force but Fellowship’. There is nothing so strong as the bonds of brotherhood.
Merthyr Tydfil owes its name to the daughter of a 5th Century Chieftain, Tydfil and her family were massacred by a band of marauding Picts and it is generally believed that she died on the site of the Parish Church, which bears her name. The shrine of St. Tydfil the Martyr soon became a place of Christian pilgrimage and as the years passed by a village grew up around it.
The Borough Coat of Arms bears a likeness of St. Tydfil as the central motif. The distaff she is bearing in her hands signifies the industrial history of the County Borough of Merthyr Tydfil, and the daggers are meant to remind us of how she met her death.
Tydfil was the daughter of Brychan, a Welsh Lord who had been converted to Christianity. One of her brothers, Cadoc, became the Patron Saint of Brittany.
Please see the List of Past Mayor of Merthyr Tydfil for a full history dating back to 1905.