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UCAC Archives: Introduction to the Classes of Documents

The Annual Conference / Y Gynhadledd Flynyddol 1941 - 1988 (cyn)

The main policy body for the union is the Annual Conference. The Annual Conference is attended by representatives of the branches, the county organisations, and the National Executive and its various sub-committees. These delegates are responsible for discussing and deciding UCAC's policies. During the conference there are reports by the National Executive, the union's Sections, and the county organisations on their work during the year.

The collection includes a large body of documents related to the annual conferences between 1941 and 1988. The files are divided into minutes on the one hand and correspondence on the other, where these apply (see the National Executive classes for publications, statements/memoranda and the union's research). The collection is patchy for conferences of the 1940s, with hardly one file per year. The collection is fuller for the 1950s to the 1970s, when two files often are held per year. Amongst the annual conference's 'Minutes' files are the full conference programme, the minutes, and the decisions on motions for the majority of the conferences, especially for the 1950s onwards. A common feature of a lot of these files are handwritten notes on the margins of the pages as the debates progressed, as well as drafts of motions. In the 'Correspondence' files of the annual conference there is correspondence about the organisation of the conference and other matters. Newsletters were sent to members and they include voting papers for the elections of the Deputy President and National Executive. There are frequent examples of correspondence with hotels, as union officials searched for appropriate locations for the conference, as well as correspondence with town mayors who could offer a civic reception to the conference.

The collection also includes documents which were drafted in the wake of the conference. There are statements on successful motions, as well as examples of guest speakers' notes and the union President's press statement. This section of the collection is fullest for the 1960s and 1970s.

The National Executive / Y Pwyllgor Gwaith, 1940 - 1990 (pg)

The National Executive (which has been called the Cyngor Cenedlaethol since 1976) is the main executive body of the union. Members of the National Executive are elected by the membership, and the result of the vote is announced in the Annual Conference. The National Executive implements decision of the Conference. The National Executive meets from time to time in different locations. There are 'Minutes' of these meetings in an almost unbroken run between 1940 - 1989.

The National Executive's officials, especially the General Secretary and National Organiser, were responsible for day to day administration of the union. In practice this implied a lot of correspondence, sent and received, with members and external organisations and individuals. In the union's early period are the 'Correspondence Books' of Gwyn M. Daniels, 1946-1957; there are also unbroken runs of files of correspondence between 1940 and 1989. The correspondence increases markedly in the early 1960s, and is at its fullest at the end of the 1960s and early 1970s, when one finds between 500 and 1,000 pieces of correspondence per year in the collection.

UCAC's 'Publications' are included in the National Executive class of documents. The files include unique publications and pamphlets by union officials, e.g., Dysgu am Hanes (1945) by Irene Myrddin Davies, and The Return of a Language, an experiment in the revival of Danish in South Slesvig (1954) by Dr. Ceinwen Thomas. There are also regular publications of the union, such as the Bwletin (1957-1978), and since 1970 the journal Yr Athro. The journal Yr Athro was founded in 1928 by the Undeb Athrawon Cymreig, namely a society for Welsh language teachers, which was not a union as UCAC intended to become. The aim of the journal was to provide articles and teaching aids for Welsh language teachers. Between 1951 and 1970 Undeb Cymru Fydd was responsible for publishing the journal. Yr Athro was adopted by UCAC in 1970. It continued to be a Welsh language journal of general articles on educational topics in the period 1970-1985. Yr Athro became the union's own publication in 1986, and so its main journal and source of news information for members. The union had an occasional publication, the journal Undeb-Unity, which was published between 1947 and 1968; the collection holds an extensive run of the title between 1947 and 1966.

The National Executive category includes two sub-classes which represent an important aspect of its work, namely Statements and Memoranda, and Ymchwil. There is a substantial collection of Statements to the press between 1942 and 1988. Also there is an important collection of memoranda on various educational and language matters, between 1940 and 1988. These memoranda were produced in the wake of the research undertaken by the members on behalf of the National Executive. A fair amount of this basic research material has been collected in the sub-file Ymchwil, and it includes a number of questionnaires by members and external bodies between 1944 and 1985.

In the final sub-class of the National Executive, namely Eraill / Misc., are newspaper cuttings from 1943 to 1989, collected by officials in the main office in Ty'r Cymry, and by officials of the South Glamorgan county organisation of the union. These files also include lists of union officials and members from 1940-1987. The lists of members is very patchy; lists of officials are held in other sources including Cyhoeddiadau / Publications of the union, and programmes and minutes of the Annual conference.

The Branches / Yr Canghennau, 1942-1993 (can/g)

Since the foundation of UCAC, branches were formed in areas where there were union members. The collection shows that Cardiff its area, Glamorgan, and north east Wales were the early growth areas. The west and the north especially become more obvious in the 1960s. The membership lists show that a branch could be formed with a nucleus of keen members in a single school. The collection suggests also how branch activity could vary from area to area, with some branch's correspondence appearing regularly in the files, while others did not even leave one letter.

Above the individual branches is the county organisation. There is quite a change in this structure as the union increases its membership and sees the establishment of branches in new areas. These changes are recorded in the conferences and minutes of the first decade. After a brief period of separating Wales into two regions, north and south, it was decided to rationalise the structure according to local government counties, and to create county Organisations / Cymdeithasau sir (e.g. Glamorgan). With local government re-organisation which came into force in 1974, the structure was changed again to correspond to the new arrangement, through reducing the number of county organisations to 8 (e.g. Gwynedd). Local government re-organisation in 1996 did not affect the arrangement in the collection as it stands now.

The collection contains quite a variation in the umber of documents which relate to the branches and the county organisations. There is a substantial collection of correspondence, minutes, and statements/memoranda from some county organisation, Glamorgan and Caernarfon/Gwynedd especially. Other branches and county organisations remained fairly quiet. One reason for this is that a large proportion of branch correspondence is included in the National Executive correspondence. Another reason for the gaps is the variation in activity from branch to branch.

The Arrangement of Branches in the Collection

The short-lived regional arrangement was ignored, and the county organisation was adopted as the highest level of this part of the collection. Within the county organisation the branches were distributed according to the boundaries that are acknowledged in Gazetteer of Welsh Place Names (1967) and Welsh Administrative Territorial Units (1969). In the wake of local government re-organisation in 1974 the new counties were added at the end of the list of old counties (see below).

The union had its own arrangement for referring to branches, by numbering them 1-65. This system did not come into force until the 1960s, when a branch was established in every region of the country. It was not practicable to adopt that arrangement for the documents in this collection, given the county / branch structure of the collection.

The branches were arranged within the structure of the old counties. A letter is used to denote the county organisation (e.g. Glamorgan/Morgannwg = a), and a number was specified for each branch within the county (e.g. Cardiff branch= a1, Caerphilly branch=a4). Previously, with the Annual Conference and the National Executive, the first letter indicated material type, e.g. minutes=a, corrspondence =b, etc.; here the first letter indicates a branch, and the second letter indicates material type. So, UCAC can/a4/64/b/1 ,indicates for branch a4 (Caerphilly) for the year 1964, the 1st. file of correspondence (letter=b).

Each County Organisation and Branch will have its own unique number:

Cymdeithasau Sir : (can/g)
(Cyn -1974)

a = Morgannwg
b = Caerfyrddin
c = Penfro
d = Ceredigion
e = Meirionnydd
f = Caernarfon
g = Môn
h = Dinbych
i = Sir y Fflint
j = Trefaldwyn
k = Maesyfed
l = Brycheiniog
m = Mynwy
(1974 - )
n = De Morgannwg
o = Canol / Morgannwg / Ganol
p = Gorllewin Morgannwg
q = Dyfed
r = Gwynedd
s = Clwyd
t = Powys
u = Gwent
v = Canghennau Lloegr


Canghennau (can)

Morgannwg (a):
a1 = Caerdydd
a2 = Colegau Caerdydd
a3 = Y Barri a Phenarth
a4 = Caerffili
a5 = Rhondda
a6 = Pontypridd
a7 = Maesteg a Phen-y-bont ar Ogwr
a8 = Aberdâr a Merthyr Tudful
a9 = Aberafan
a10 = Castell nedd
a11 = Abertawe
a12 = Colegau Abertawe
a13 = Pontardawe/Cwm Tawe
a14 = Llwchwr
a15 = Taf Elái

Sir Gaerfyrddin (b):
b1 = Pen-y-groes
b2 = Llanelli
b3 = Caerfyrddin
b4 = Coleg Caerfyrddin
b5 = Cwm Gwendraeth
b6 = Sanclêr

Sir Benfro (c):
c1 Abergwaun


Ceredigion (d):
d1 = Llanbedr Pont Steffan
d2 = Tregaron

Caernarfon (f):
f1 = Pwllheli
f2 = Caernarfon
f3 = Bangor
f4 = Colegau Bangor
f5 = Uwch Conwy

Sir Ddinbych (h):
h1 = Wrecsam
h2 = Dyffryn Clwyd
h3 = Colwyn a'r Cylch (Abergele)

Sir y Fflint (i):
i1 = Y Rhyl
i2 = Yr Wyddgrug
i3 = Glannau Dyfrdwy
i4 = Rhuddlan

Powys (t):
t1 = Maldwyn
t2 = Y Drenewydd
t3 = Machynlleth
t4 = Llanfair-ym-Muallt
t5 = Brycheiniog

Yr Adrannau, 1940-1991 (adr)
As well as the National Executive, members were appointed to serve in a number of Sections, Committees, and Sub-Committees. The Sections occur in the following sequence in the collection:
a = Adran y Trysorydd (Cyfrifon a Thaliadau Aelodaeth)
b = Adran y Gyfraith
c = Adran Lenyddiaeth
d = Cymdeithas y Colegau
e = Panel Iaith
f = Y Gymhorthfa
g = Cronfa Claf
h = Cronfa Cad
i = Cynorthwyon (Adnoddau) Clyweled
j = Cyngor Prifathrawon Ysgolion Cynradd Cymraeg

The Sections / Yr Adrannau, 1940-1991 (adr)

As well as the National Executive, members were appointed to serve in a number of Sections, Committees and Sub-committees. The Sections occur in the following arrangement in the collection:
a= Adran y Trysorydd / Treasurer
b= Adran y Gyfraith / Legal
c= Adran Lenyddiaeth / Publications
d= Cymdeithas y Colegau / Colleges
e= Panel Iaith / Language Panel
f= Y Gymhorthfa / Assistance
g= Cronfa Claf / Sick Fund
h= Cronfa Cad / Fighting Fund
i= Cynorthwyon (adnoddau) Clyweled / Audio Visual
j= Cyngor Prifathrawon Ysgolion Cynradd Cymraeg / Headteachers Association.

The collection shows the activity of the sections can vary markedly over the years, and therefore this class is patchy in places. Needless to say the Treasurer's Section was the most consistent and active, namely the section that dealt with financial matters, including all of the accounts of the union, and membership payments. The collection is thinner in the 1940s and 1950s, but fills out in the 1960s until the last entry for 1981.

In the files of the Adran Lenyddiaeth there is correspondence between officials of the sections and the National Executive, as well as draft articles for publications of the union itself and other publications including adverts for the press. There is a variable collection for the period between 1950 and 1987.

A section that saw particular activity since its establishment in 1965 was the Cymdeithas y Colegau. This section was a forum for discussing issues that affected further and higher education in Wales. In particular, the section played a leading role in the campaign to establish a Welsh medium College within the University of Wales in the 1970s. The collection contains various documents for the years 1960 to 1987, including correspondence, minutes and memoranda. It had a particularly busy period between 1970 and 1975.

The Panel Iaith was established to prepare materials that would support Welsh language teachers and pupils. The collection includes draft and final versions of Welsh language work plans and tests in specific study areas, including History, Geography, Scripture, Mathematics, English and Welsh. This, and the section's correspondence runs from about 1950 to 1963.

UCAC's aim was to function as a complete trade union, and a common aspect of the work of a trade union was to offer various financial services to its members. The union offered special terms for insurance, assurance, mortgages, pensions, health care, and other investments. These documents are collected together in the section Y Gymhorthfa, and this large selection of documents belong to the period 1940-1983.

Another aspect of a complete trade union was the financial support offered to members who suffered sickness. The Cronfa Claf was established by the union to provide these services. The section includes numerous documents, particularly the financial minutes from 1940 to 1993.

The final financial fund of the union was one established to supply the union or members in critical or special circumstances. This was the Cronfa Cad, and it includes only a small selection of documents for 1956; see also the union accounts for the Adran yr Trysorydd.

In several respects the Adran Cynorthwyon Clyweled was the successor to the Panel Iaith. The aim of the section was to produce Welsh language materials for audiovisual teaching, in the wake of the increasing use of audio-visual resources in the 1960s. A lot of papers of the enthusiastic leader of this section, Philip Lloyd, are included, as well as enquiries by members and teachers, and correspondence with external bodies for the period 1963-1976.

The section Cyngor Prifathrawon Ysgolion Cynradd Cymraeg includes few documents, mainly minutes and correspondence of a body established to air matters relevant to headteachers of the new Welsh medium primary schools; the documents date from 1966 to 1968.