John Edwards has written the first-ever comprehensive history of Llanelli. Originally written in Welsh, it was commissioned by Carmarthenshire County Council as a gift to the National Eisteddfod 2000 at Llanelli. The Llanelli Star is grateful to the County Council for permission to publish an English version prepared by the author by spring 2001. The story takes us from the Ice Age to the dawning of the Third Millennium. The first thousand years or so follow the fortunes of the Celts and Romans, through early Welsh history to the coming of the Normans and the loss of Welsh independence. The beginnings of Llanelli centred around the Parish Church and we see the influence of three landed families, the Vaughans, the Stepneys and the Mansels, in the development of the town. Coal and shipping were the earliest industrial enterprises and these date from the 16th century. Iron makes it appearance at the end of the 18th century when Alexandra Raby steps on to the scene and copper comes next with the huge contribution of the Nevill family. From the mid-19th century, it is the production of tinplate which takes pride of place, making Llanelli's tinplate production the largest of any town in the world. The second part of the 20th century sees the demise of heavy industry with Llanelli facing up to a new future based on tourism. The story the author tells is no dry recital of facts, however. You will meet a varied selection of colourful characters and read of dramatic incidents which happened in the town. There is romance in the development of roads, railways and shipping and much excitement in social and religious affairs. John Edwards is Llanelli born and bred and Llanelli through and through. He has lived there all his life with the exception of naval service and university study. He holds the town in the very highest regard and his pride in Llanelli shines through the entire book.