Donetsk Welsh links
Tonight sees England play France in Euro 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine. It’s interesting to know that that Donetsk developed due to a Welsh man, John Hughes who founded an ironworks and mining town in the 1870s.
Hughes originally worked in Cyfartha Ironworks in Merthyr Tydfil in South East Wales. He later worked in Ebbw Vale and Newport, building a strong reputation by patenting a number of inventions in armaments and armour plating. This gained him a seat on the board and then directorship at the Millwall Engineering and Shipbuilding Company in London.
The worldwide famous company received an order from Russia and the 54 year old Hughes sailed to the Ukraine, along with his wife, eight children and around 100 specialist ironworkers and miners, most of whom were from south Wales.
He developed the settlement, which had many of the features of a Welsh valley town, including tea rooms, schools and a hospital. The town also had a church dedicated to the patron saints St George and St David.
Donetsk was originally called Hughesovka (Yuzovka) after it’s founder and remains one of the largest industrial centres of the former Soviet Union.