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.
- 1 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
- 5 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
Scottish independence: Scots of Corby take matters into their own hands in mock referendum - and deliver overwhelming verdict
Protesters fight to save Arturo, the polar bear sweltering in baking hot zoo
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: Moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...
On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...
£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...