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Brace's History


In the early 1900's George Brace,  was employed as an engine driver at Cambrian Colliery in the Rhondda village of Clydach Vale.  He began trading in the Blackwood area from a small bakery at Pontllanfraith with a loan from his family.  While he continued to work at the Colliery, his family helped to develop the bakery business. 

Following the horrific mining disaster in 1905, which claimed the lives of 31 men, George did not return to work at the Colliery, but instead devoted his time to developing the business. However, the time he spent at the Colliery remained close to his heart and when he built a house next to the bakery, he called it Cambrian House.  The office block at Croespenmaen bakery has also been named Cambrian House in memory of the miners who lost their lives.

George Brace had five sons and two daughters, each of whom he encouraged to open their own bakery in the surrounding valleys.

George's brother, William Brace, was a miners' activist who fought for many causes, including a successful bid for miners to win the right to get paid for small coal. By the 1900s he had become the first Liberal Labour MP and persuaded the owner of Oakdale Colliery, Tredegar Iron and Coal Company to hand the franchise of the bakery in the village over to George's eldest son, Ernest, who had just left the Royal Flying Corps. 

Ernest Brace's bakery business was a huge success and in the late 1930s, George Brace & Sons was incorporated into it.

The company was eventually passed to Ernest's son, Colin, and has now been handed onto the next generation of the Brace family Mark and Jonathan Brace.