Disgraceful disturbance at Llanidloes
This report appeared in The Montgomeryshire Echo on 23rd July 1892 concerning a rather unfortunate incident at Llanidloes Railway Station involving Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones and his wife. Sir Pryce had just been elected as the local MP and there was much hostility towards him by the local Liberals.
SIR PRYCE PRYCE-JONES MP MOBBED AT THE RAILWAY STATION
On Monday evening last Sir Pryce and Lady Pryce-Jones visited Llanidloes. They arrived by the 5-12 train, from Machynlleth, and proceeded direct to the Trewethyn Hotel. On their way thither they were recognised by some school children who hooted them. The news quickly spread that Sir Pryce was in town, and about half past six a crowd assembled in the vicinity of the hotel, who gave vent to their feelings of disapprobation by groaning and hooting.
About 7.30 Sir Pryce and Lady Pryce-Jones left the Hotel, and apart from being hooted they were allowed to enter the 'bus preparatory to being conveyed to the station, without molestation. As they drove from the Hotel to the station they were accompanied by the crowd, which had considerably increased in numbers by this time, and was composed chiefly of factory girls and children, who alternately gave hearty cheers for Mr Hanbury-Tracy, and hooted the occupants of the 'bus.
Just as the 'bus arrived at the Station one of the supporters of Sir Pryce-Jones, apparently annoyed by the hoots and jeers which assailed him, was observed to pick up stones, and assuming a defiant attitude, dared them to touch him. This act aroused the temper of the lads, several of whom rushed at him, but he, no doubt deeming discretion the better part of valour, ran away and sought refuge in the booking office, leaving Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones in the lurch.
After Sir Pryce had alighted from the 'bus, he came in for some hustling, but he made his way through the waiting room, and on to the platform without receiving anything worse than a little pushing about, and this ebullition of feeling on the part of the crowd was undoubtedly caused by the unwise conduct already referred to of one of his supporters.
Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones and his wife then went into the refreshment room to await the arrival of the mail train, whilst the crowd of people who had made their way onto the platform, gathered around the door and windows of the room and indulged in groaning and hooting.
Upon the arrival of the train, Sir Pryce and Lady Pryce-Jones emerged from the refreshment room, and began making their way through the crowd to the railway carriage, he acted in a very defiant manner, striking with his stick at those near him most recklessly. This aggravated the crowd and in his passage from the refreshment room to the railway carriage he was somewhat roughly hustled and jostled about.
After Sir Pryce had succeeded in getting to the carriage door, and Lady Pryce-Jones had entered, he continued to brandish his stick about, and struck a little girl who was standing near a severe blow just above the eye which made the blood flow. This act enraged the crowd so much that their attitude towards him became very hostile and he came in for some rather rough treatment, whilst several persons made unsuccessful efforts to obtain possession of his stick.
Police Inspector Lake acted in a most commendable manner throughout, and tried by every means to appease the now infuriated crowd and persuade Sir Pryce, who was now standing on the step of the carriage, to go inside. At length he entered the carriage but again appeared at the door and savagely struck at the people, but upon Inspector Lake catching hold of his stick and requesting him to be quiet he desisted. The crowd continued to hoot him and there were cries of "Remember Welshpool" but no sticks were used by anyone in the crowd, the only persons possessing them being Sir Pryce and Inspector Lake.
As the train steamed out of the Station Sir Pryce shook his handkerchief defiantly at the crowd standing on the platform, who responded by vigorously hooting him. The children then proceeded down into the town carrying Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones's hat, which had fallen off in the scramble and was now in a somewhat battered and dilapidated condition. One boy in the crowd rushed into the backyard of a prominent Conservative in the town, and securing the clothes prop hoisted the hat upon it, and in this manner it was borne aloft through the principal street of the town by a crowd of small boys. Ultimately it was burnt amid the laughter and cheers of the children.
Sir Charles Hanbury-Tracy, 4th Lord Sudeley, had been Pryce-Jones' opponent
in the recent election. He was of a very distinguished family, owning Toddington
Manor in Gloucestershire and Gregynog
Hall in Montgomeryshire. For more information, visit Lord