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Societies for Welsh immigrants into the rest of the United Kingdom had developed in the London area in the early nineteenth century.

Societies for Welsh immigrants into the rest of the United Kingdom had developed in the London area in the early nineteenth century.

There appears to have been an upsurge in the Yorkshire area from the 1880s. Many Welsh people came to work in the coal and steel industries. Most of these settled in the Doncaster and Sheffield areas. A large group of workers came to the Huddersfield area when a wool mill burnt down in Newtown, Mid-Wales. There was a distinctive Newtown Society until the 1920s. Relatively small numbers came from Wales into the Bradford area into the iron industry (for example Low Moor Iron Works) and into textiles. Welsh numbers were always small in Bradford by comparison with the Irish population.

There was a a Welsh Society in Sheffield from the 1880s and in Leeds from 1890. The Bradford and District St. David's Society was formed in 1902. There was a Welsh Society in Huddersfield from around the same period. However it must have ceased to function at some point - because the current Huddersfield Welsh Society dates back to 1948. Other Welsh Societies existed in Halifax, Harrogate, York, Doncaster, and Barnsley.

There were at one time 4 Welsh chapels/churches in Yorkshire - Carlton in Barnsley; Noddfa in Leeds; and others in Doncaster and Sheffield. The last of these, Noddfa, Leeds closed in about 1995. Welsh services were being held in the 1950s and early 1960s in the Presbyterian Church (near Houghton Street), Bradford a building which later became the Bombay Restaurant.

The Bradford and District St. David's Society provided a point of contact to which new arrivals in Bradford could turn in the early 1900s. There was a Welsh Mission in the pre-1914 period which almost certainly had a meeting place in Houghton Street off Hallfield Road in Manningham. It must be remembered that in the early 1900s there was no support for the unemployed, either financially or through institutions like Labour Exchanges/Job Centres. Therefore new arrivals had to depend on other people they knew or were their "kith and kin" to get jobs and accommodation.

There were many Welsh preachers/ministers in Bradford; the prime among them was Rhondda Williams who preached until about 1909 at the Greenfield Congregational Church on Lumb Lane. Rhondda Williams was a strong advocate of providing help for those who were in need through activities of both church and state. He was supported in this by numerous Welsh preachers who were present in Bradford in the early 1900s