Cardiganshire Labour Party was established in 1918, first contested a parliamentary election in 193 I and captured the seat from the Liberals in 1966, only to lose it eight years later. The election of a Labour M.P. had always been its chief aim, but the party also played a significant role in local politics by nominating councillors, mostly in Aberystwyth, and by nominating persons to serve on the magistrates' bench, as well as serving as a pressure group. The "labour movement" existed locally some years before 19 18, first in small union branches and from 1912 also in the North Cardiganshire Trade Union and Labour Council, which had a declared political as well as an indust- rial role. When precisely the first trade union branch was formed in Cardi- ganshire is not known. Some stonemasons in Aberystwyth were members of an old-established union, the Operative Stonemasons' Friendly Society, in the early 1880s, apparently after a stonemasons' strike in the town in 1879 against a proposal of the masters to add two hours to the working day.1 In June 1898, Aberystwyth railwaymen formed a branch of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, 2 1 being transferred from an existing Machynlleth branch and 20 new members joining. Their first chairman was an engineman, Edward Jones, and the first secretary a checker, Edward R. Ellis. Cambrian Railways and the Manchester and Milford Railway then served Aberystwyth, the former having a bad record of intimidation of employees and of dangerous overworking. In the face of company opposition, the union branch dwindled to about half-a-dozen members who kept their membership a virtual secret. The national rail strike of 191 changed all this, local membership rising to more than 100 and a sub-branch being formed for 40 men at Lampeter. On the weekend of the strike, all trains in and out of Aberystwyth were halted and thousands of holidaymakers stranded. About the same time, branches were formed by the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) and the Railway Clerks Association. A few months later the ASRS became the National Union of Railwaymen. After the railwaymen, the teachers were the most important group to organise. A county association of the National Union of Teachers was formed in 1903 by existing local associations Lampeter, Llan- dysul, Aberaeron, Cardigan and North Cardiganshire.8 David John Saer, headmaster of Alexandra Road School, Aberystwyth, was the first county secretary. The association was formed partly to obtain rep- presentation on the new Cardiganshire Education Committee. It demanded that salaries should be paid by the county treasurer directly