Feb 15, 2015

William Hazell's Gleaming Vision


In his lifetime, William Hazell was a leading figure in the co-operative movement of South Wales, but since his death in 1964 he has been all but forgotten. In this book, Alun Burge has unearthed an authentic, but previously unknown, working-class voice of the South Wales valleys. This book charts the journeys of Hazell and the Ynysybwl co-operative movement through strikes, lockouts, personal tragedy, political turmoil, and two world wars. It is a unique and absorbing account of life in a South Wales village which also sheds a much-needed light on the forgotten history of the co-operative movement in Britain.

William Hazell is a key figure belatedly emerging from the history of the south Wales coalfield. His lifelong commitment to the co-operative movement was inspired by his vision of co-operation as a means of building a better future. He epitomised the deep and loyal relationship that developed between the people of the Valleys and their co-operative societies, and which became a central part of their way of life. A writer and a thinker, as well as a man of action, his powerful and articulate voice still resonates half a century later.

'....a most impressive, important and original historical work which reconstructs a culture in its fullest sense.Neil Evans, Cardiff University


Alun Burge is a historian of the co-operative movement. He has worked with co-operatives since 1985 in a variety of national and international roles, including five years living in Nicaragua. After returning to Wales, he worked in the Welsh Government's Department of Social Justice.

Ynysybwl in south Wales. Home of the co-operative movement.

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