The Barry Urban District Council, disaster relief funds and civic society, 1913-1934

Ann-Marie Foster

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The early twentieth century witnessed some of the worst mining disasters the UK has ever seen. Towns and cities leapt to the aid of bereaved families, raising tens of thousands of pounds in aid. Yet, while the effects of disaster funds on the locality in which they were administered have been the focus of scholarly work, little attention has been given to how these funds were created in constituencies outside of the disaster zone. The Barry Urban District Council (UDC) responded to the call for help after the Senghenydd (1913) and Gresford (1934) disasters, opening relief funds to aid the affected. The funds blurred the line between charity and local government, with the Barry UDC reliant on functions of civic society to aid its philanthropic turn. Their reaction offers insights into the charitable role of UDCs, reflecting on how they used these opportunities to further civic activity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalUrban History
Early online date03 Aug 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 03 Aug 2020


  • local government
  • Charity donations
  • Disasters


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