Obituary: Mogg Williams
Thursday 16 January 1997
Born David Morgan Williams in Ogmore Vale in 1928, he left school at the age of 14 and followed the traditional route of those times by working underground. A pit accident forced him to leave the mines after some 20 years and he took to writing.
"Spin blind wheel", he wrote in his poem "The Pitwheel",
You bastard spin
From boy to man
I have seen you win.
A stream of coal from the
Into the running light of day.
The titles of his collections include Poets, Pitwheels and Apples (1975), Mogg's People (1985), Of Breads, Gods and Men (1987) and Ropes of Smoke (1992). He published much of his work himself and gave away any profits to good causes, particularly those which helped to sustain mining communities.
At the 1974 South Wales Miners' Eisteddfod he was presented with a silver miner's lamp in recognition of his contribution to Wales's working-class culture.
Williams's work was frowned on by the stiff necks of Wales's cultural establishment; it was their loss. Undeterred, he roamed the valleys reading poetry in public houses and social clubs.
During the 1984-85 miners' strike his readings verged on the inspirational, helping to satisfy the embattled valleys' thirst for relief from the hardships of picketing and making ends meet. He played a similar role a decade later when the miners of Tower Colliery, in the Cynon valley, waged a successful campaign to buy their pit, which has just celebrated its second anniversary as a profitable co-operative.
Some of his poetry and prose was broadcast on radio and television and his first stage play, On Wordberry Hill, was directed at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff by Karl Francis, now head of drama at BBC Wales, in 1980.
David Morgan ("Mogg") Williams, poet and miner: born Ogmore Vale, Glamorgan 15 February 1928; married 1949 Joyce Barrett (one son, one daughter); died Ogmore Vale 11 January 1997.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...