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South Wales Evening Post column, April 12, 2024

Robert Lloyd PR, Media and Marketing Consultancy News, Newspaper columns South Wales Evening Post column, April 12, 2024

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South Wales Evening Post column, April 12, 2024

Posted By RobertLloyd58

THE Welsh word ‘Cawr’ (meaning giant) was invented for people like David Gravell, a businessman who stood like a colossus over the motor industry in Wales.

His passing this month will be felt by all those who shared his passion for the Welsh language and Welsh culture. The pain will be felt most sharply in his home town of Kidwelly, a place synonymous with the name Gravells, the motor dealership where David was chairman.

It is an impossible task to fit all of David’s achievements into one column. I was glad to call him a friend and an evening in his company was always an education – and always amusing.

In 2018, he was honoured with a British Empire Medal for his charity, sport and education work.

He was presented with the award by HM Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed Sara Edwards at a ceremony in Parc Myrddin, Carmarthen, with his sons Ian and Jonathan in attendance.

He was a founder member of Cefn Sidan Rotary Club (now Pembrey and Burry Port Rotary) in 1971 and was awarded a Rotary Citation in 2004 for raising £200,000. He held Rotary’s Highest Award, the Paul Harris Triple Sapphire Award.

The list of charities he supported is too lengthy to record here, but he was always keen to help Diabetes UK in memory of his late cousin Ray Gravell, the British Lions, Wales and Llanelli star who became a celebrated broadcaster.

In 2007, when Ray was honoured with the nearest thing we will ever get to a state funeral in Wales, it was David who rang around every Renault dealership in the UK to make sure the funeral procession contained a fleet of matching grey vehicles.

He loved male voice singing. He was a Past President of Cor Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir and Dyffryn Tywi Male Voice Choir. He also supported Morriston Orpheus. Once, when Gravells sponsored a concert in Llanelli, we shared a private joke when he challenged me to name as many Renault cars as possible during my compere stint. I think I got away with six, by cheating and talking about a singer called Megan.

In 2015, David was inducted into the Gorsedd order of the Blue Robe at the Royal National Eisteddfod in Meifod. The Eisteddfod citation read for ‘Services to the Community’.

David had joined the Gravells business in 1959 at the age of 18, having left Llandovery College after what he always admitted was a ‘poor end of term report.’

David was proud of his chapel up­bringing and his seat as an elder in Morfa Chapel in Kidwelly.

His public service included a 20-year stint as financial trustee of Llandovery College and a role in the building of the Princess Gwenllian Centre in Kidwelly, which opened in May 2001.

Today, the Gravells brand remains an integral part of the community in Kidwelly, creating employment opportunities at the group’s headquarters and operating further afield in Bridgend, Swansea and Narberth.

Gravells remains one of the largest private companies in Carmarthenshire, with a Welsh language motto of ‘Ni Yma o Hyd”.

David passed away peacefully on April 2 at Towy Castle Care Home, aged 82.

David’s wife Indeg died in 2016, just shy of the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary. David leaves daughter Jayne and sons Ian and Jonathan and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

David Gravell’s funeral is on Wednesday, April 17. Public service at Morfa Chapel, Kidwelly, at 11am followed by a service at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth, at 1.45pm.


IF you have time this weekend, then say a prayer for me; I might need help.

As you read this, I will be en-route to Glasgow for a Stag weekend with a group of more than 20 thirty-somethings.

The guest of honour is my son, who is getting married in June. As you might guess, I will be the oldest member of the tour party.

Having been declared fit to attend, I travel with a full box of medication and with the determination to approach the task in the manner of a Grand National contender running on heavy ground – s-l-o-w-l-y.

It is comforting to note that most members of the Stag party are, like my son, medical people, so I am in good hands.

My son has (helpfully) provided a full list of the runners for the Stag Weekend and the odds on their reaching the finish line. Apparently, I am attracting some attention as a 75-1 each-way bet.

The itinerary (the whole thing has been planned like a military operation) includes a tour of Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery and the Strathclyde Distillery in the Gorbals district.

There will be a helpful break from the alcohol with some golf before a trip to a trip to a German beer hall and a famous pub called Waxy O’Connors.

The main event on Saturday sees a Sub Crawl. Imagine the old Mumbles Mile (does anyone still do that, by the way?) with the added twist of a journey around an underground subway metro.

The Clockwork Orange metro offers up the chance of taking in 15 stations and 15 pubs on a circular route of the third oldest underground in the world.

Along the way, I’m told we may sample Pizza Crunch (don’t ask!).

Wish me luck. If I survive, I will return to tell the tale next week.

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Written by RobertLloyd58

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