AHEAD of Theatr Clwyd's production of Mold Riots next month, local historian and author David Rowe has written a booklet about this important part of the town's history.

The booklet, produced in partnership between Mr Rowe and The Book Shop in Mold, offers "an outline" of the events leading up to the 1869 riot - which resulted in the deaths of four people.

Caroline Johnson, of The Book Shop, said: "With it being the 150th anniversary of the riots and Theatr Clwyd doing a show, I thought there isn't anything available at the moment on the background.

"I contacted David to ask he he had anything prepared - and he said he had. So I got in tough with the Print Centre in Mold and we have been able to produce this booklet to give people the information, especially when the come to see the show throughout the town."

Speaking of her motivation behind the scheme, she continued: "This is our history - the whole area was surrounded by mines and I think it is important for local people to know what conditions people lived and worked in. "We're trying to bring this local history to more people.

"David has done a lovely job on it, and the Print Centre has done a marvellous job printing it."

Mr Rowe told me he has come into contact with the story of the riot many times in the past, explaining: "I have known the story for a lot of years.

"I have lived here since 1984. My interest is in social history generally and this story is something that appeared through the years as I was doing other research. "More and more detail come in and built up this story. On the basis that this is the 150th anniversary, it seemed an ideal time to pull all of that together and use it to deliver a talk and also to produce a booklet.

"Because many people may have heard of it, but they perhaps do not know the background."

Caroline added: "What really struck me about David's research, as a retailer, was the effect this had on the retail economy in the town.

"A lot of the business owners were on the inquest jury and the protestors didn't like the verdict. They actually took their business away from the town."

Mr Rowe said: "The book will give you an outline of the circumstances that gave cause to the actual riot, but riots were nothing new in Mold and Flintshire for all sorts of reasons." Describing some of the events leading to the riot, he explained: "What is specific about this is, it was Leeswood Green Colliery, where an English under-manager is brought in and a team of English miners came in.

"It is said they were given the best seams, to the detriment of the local miners.

"John Young (the manager concerned), from all accounts and letters and papers at the time, appears to have gone against some of the normal standard practices in the colliery, which seems to have favoured this particular group.

"This particular thing appears to have come to a head when they were informed on May 1, 1869, they were told that there was going to be a reduction in wages. "Bear in mind, they were not extremely well paid anyway - you would have whole families having to work and taking in lodgers to make ends meet."

From there tensions heightened, he explained, leading to the riot - the events of which are captured in the booklet.

It also details the response to the riot, which saw thousands of people descend on Mold - at a time when Mr Rowe said Flintshire Constabulary had less than 40 officers.

And the booklet may have even paved the way to tell a hitherto unexplored chapter in the history of the riots, Mr Rowe explained.

He told me: "Five rioters were given ten years of penal servitude. As a result of what we have been doing, I was approached by the family of one of the rioters.

"They have given me all the prison records and what happened afterwards - that is something we are looking to follow that up. "We're not aware that anything has been published on the five once they went to prison.

"Most books stopped at the riots and the immediate aftermath. "Like anything in local history, it is lovely to find an new angle, new facts and details. "That is what makes it interesting for me and I know Caroline shares that."

The booklet costs £2.75 and is available from The Book Shop in Mold.

Theatr Clwyd's Mold Riots will run from October 21 to 26.

It will be a promenade show through the streets of Mold.

More information about the Theatr Clwyd production can be found at: www.theatrclwyd.com