Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Who am I?

I was born Merthyr Tydfil where my father was an engineer at Cyfarthfa ironworks. It was there I learnt my trade there before moving to Ebbw Vale and then the Uskside Foundry in Newport in the 1840s.

There I married, had eight children, and worked hard and well enough to earn a seat on the board, a directorship of the Millwall Engineering and Shipbuilding Company in London, and credit for the business's worldwide acclaim for iron cladding wooden warships for the British Admiralty.

When the company received an order from Imperial Russia for the plating of a naval fortress being built at Kronstadt on the Baltic Sea, I sailed to the Ukraine with eight shiploads of equipment and around a hundred specialist ironworkers and miners, mostly from south Wales, to build a metallurgical plant and rail producing factory.

My factory gave its name to the settlement which grew in its shadow, and the town with the delightfully unlikely name of Hughesovka (Yuzovka) grew rapidly.

I am John Hughes and I am the latest Welsh Born Icon.

No comments: