Unveiling of John Graham Chambers Blue Plaque - Llanelly House
It was a very important day for the town of Llanelli on 23rd October 2014 in more ways than one. Not only was Llanelly House celebrating its 300th anniversary but it was almost a year since the historic town house opened its doors to the public.
Perhaps as importantly the day was marked by the unveiling of a Blue Plaque by Colin Jones, the Champion Boxer from Gorseinon, to commemorate the birth place of John Graham Chambers.
Colin was the British Commonwealth and European Welterweight Champion who, before turning professional, represented Great Britain in the 1976 Montreal summer Olympics. Colin also has a family connection with the town as his father was from Llanelli.
Llanelli Community Heritage Chairman John Wynne Hopkins opened the proceedings briefly mentioning the publication of the new Llanelli Blue Plaque Town Trail booklet, a trail which starts at Llanelly House.
John went on to introduce the sponsor of the John Graham Chambers Blue Plaque Dr J. David Davies. Dr Davies talked about Chambers and the importance of his involvement in the history of world sport. Dr Davies is an eminent author and historian from Llanelli specialising in the history of the Stepney and Chambers families. Ref: The Olympics:Made in Llanelli? and The Grave of John Graham Chambers
John then invited the Boxing Champion to speak. Colin spoke about his career in boxing emphasising the importance of John Graham Chamber's connection with the rules of the sport, particularly the famous Marquess of Queensberry Rules of which Chambers was the author.
The rain that had threatened to dampen the ceremony returned and so the assembled company withdrew to the sanctuary of the Great Hall of Llanelly House where a welcome table of tea and sandwiches was laid out by the celebrity chef of Llanelly House, Anna Brown.
Within the confines of the famous building the Chairman John thanked those who helped with the project and the event, particularly local businessman, Mr George Parker, sponsor of the Llanelli Blue Plaque Town Trail booklet and Mr Paul Brookfield who organised the day's event.
John C Williams, a trustee of Llanelly House, then invited Anna to surprise everyone with a birthday cake, suitably illuminated with one candle, marking the anniversary of the opening of Llanelly House.