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Cwmgors a'r Waun

A genealogy/local history site embracing the villages of Cwmgors and Gwauncaegurwen
and the parish of Llangiwg, together with the Amman Valley  

 

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  Acknowledgements

 

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 Site Contents

 

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Alltwen/Cillybebyll/Gellinudd

Amman Valley/Betws/Llandybie

Baran/Gwrhyd/Rhydyfro

Brynamman/Cwmllynfell

Cwmgors/Gwaun-cae-gurwen/Tairgwaith

Pontardawe/Gellinudd/Cilybebyll/Alltwen/Ystalyfera/
Ynysmeudwy/Ystradgynlais

1871 census transcriptions for Llangiwg & Ystradgynlais - on Genuki

Old Ystradgynlais & District - on Alan Griffiths' site

1891 census transcriptions for Pontardawe Registration District - on Genuki

Description of Caegurwen hamlet based on 1871 census  - plus changes by 1891

Books and articles

Census place names in 1861

Chapels and Churches

Coal mining 

Farms

General

Local lettings and easements

Local people of note  

Local Railways

Local wills 

Maps

Picture Gallery

Rugby scrap book

Schools/Education

Swansea Canal

Timeline

Trade & Telephone Directories

Workhouse

**What's New **

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Books & Articles

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Most of these books have online name indexes, some are complete transcriptions, they are listed here in alphabetical order by title.

A geological Excursion of the Swansea valley by   Owen, T R        Published in  Gower vol 20 1969     On Welsh Journals Online

 

A 'High State of Perfection': Cox's  Hendreforgan Colliery, 1814-1833 by Paul Reynolds   (NLW's site)    Morgannwg 30  1986

"The farm of Hendreforgan occupies about 98 acres of land in the parish of Llangiwg on the south-west side of the Afon Llynfell. The colliery itself was situated on the bank of the river (SN749116). The farm was the property of John Jones of Brynbrain............."

Annibynwyr Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen by L C Huws 1942
[History of Carmel Independent chapel, Gwauncaegurwen and Tabernacle chapel, Cwmgors]
There is a translation and index by Gareth Hicks

Around Pontardawe. Compiled by the Pontardawe Historians 1996.
There is a name index by Gareth Hicks

Around Pontardawe; The Second Selection; Images of Wales series 1999. Compiled by the Pontardawe Historians.
There is a name index by Gareth Hicks.
This book has a feature on John Henry Davies, author of 'History of Pontardawe and District', who was brought up in Cwmgors where his father was a cobbler.

Betws Mas o'r Byd published by the Betws History Society in 2000.
There is a contents listing and a list of names by Gareth Hicks.
See also a Betws related extract from the book with reference to the Llyfrau Gleision [Blue Books]

Canu'r Pwll a'r Pulpud, by Dr H Walters, Swansea, 1987
A study of the Welsh culture of the anthracite coalfield before 1914 - particularly Brynaman, and the Aman Valley areas. There are chapters on folk-lore, growth of industry and population, nonconformity, the eisteddfod etc. It brought the author the Welsh Arts Council Prize for the best work of literary criticism in 1988, the Board of Celtic Studies Prize and the Sir Ellis Jones Ellis-Griffith Prize in 1989.
Click the above link to see a translation of the Introduction , and the Preface by Professor Caerwyn Williams --- on the GENUKI page for Llandybie parish.

Cynnwrf Canrif : Agweddau Ar Ddiwylliant Gwern, by Dr Huw Walters, 2004.
Published by Cyhoeddiadau Barddas, Abertawe. ISBN: 1900437678. Paperback, 372p.
A comprehensive collection of eight interesting and informative essays reflecting various aspects of the rich folk culture of the Aman and other south Wales valleys in the 19th century, written by a thorough researcher. Here is a review of the book by Tegwyn Jones (in Welsh)

Christian Temple. Eglwys Annibynnol Gellimanwydd. Rhydaman. 1782-1982.
A commemorative booklet by Rachel L Thomas.
There are some extracts.

Clydach     By J Christy Davies      Published in   Gower vol 33 1982        On   Welsh Journals Online

 

Cwm Aman.     By Hywel Teifi Edwards [ed], Gomer 1996.
There is a list of chapter headings and a list of photographs by Gareth Hicks

Ffair Llangyfelach          By Annie L Matthews.     Published in   Gower, vol 11  1958          On  Welsh Journals Online

 

Gellionnen and Llangiwg; a five mile walk    by S V Thomas.    Published in  Gower, vol 11  1958      On Welsh Journals Online

 

Growing up in a Welsh Valley by Kathleen Healy, 1999. 
About the Pontardawe area, period 1920-1940.
There is a name index by Jill Smith

Hanes Eglwys Cwmllynfell [The History of Cwmllynfell Church, an Independent chapel in Llangiwg parish]. By The Reverends J Dyfnallt Owen M.A , J D Jones and Ben Davies. Published by W Spurrell & Son, Carmarthen, 1935.
There is a name index by Gareth Hicks but no translation.
See Local people of note for an extract/translation of the sections relating to the Rev Ben Davies and the Rev J Dyfnallt Owen.

Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru (History of the Welsh Independent Churches) By Thomas Rees and John Thomas, published in 1873. The sections relating to Rhydyfro, Gwrhyd, Carmel are online on Genuki - with translations

Hen Gymeriadau Cwmgors a'r Waun o'r flwyddyn 1840 by Jonah Evans 1907
[Old Characters of Cwmgors and Gwauncaegurwen from the year 1840 ]
There is a translation and index by Jenni Hyatt

History of Coal Mining in the Amman Valley by Ifor Davies 2001
There is a list of chapter headings and photographs by Gareth Hicks 
Includes the Memorial Notice to the 10 miners who lost their lives at the Pwll Perkins/Cwmamman tragedy in 1884
See also Genuki for a list of names of the deceased, [photograph entry 15] . Also the mine photograph in Picture Gallery . See also a translation (and Welsh original) by Wyn Evans of an ode written by David Aubrey Lewis to commemorate the tragedy

History of Pontardawe and District by John Henry Davies 1967.
There is a name index by Gareth Hicks which includes --- Section Headings; Personal names ; Maps, Diagrams and Photographs ; Places, mountains, rivers, groups, companies, events, things.
There is also a summary of part of this book on A history of Caegurwen.
There are some historical snippets for Pontardawe, extracts from the above book, on Not everyone knows this

History of Y Gwrhyd by Joshua Lewis c 1897.
There is a name index by Gareth Hicks

Iolo Morganwg and the Rees family of Gelligron by W J Phillips . National Library of Wales journal. 1965, Winter Volume XIV/2

 

Landownership changes in a Glamorgan parish, 1750-1850 : the case of Llangyfelach   (NLW's site)  by Jeff Childs published in   Morgannwg 38 (1994)

 

Old Characters of  Bettws  by D Trumor Thomas 1894.
Translated by Ivor Griffiths.
There is a name index by Gareth Hicks.
There is also an extensive summary of the book

Old Characters of Gellinudd by John  E Morgan [Hirfryn] 1908.
Translated by Ivor Griffiths.
There is a name index by Gareth Hicks. There are some Hicks related  extracts on hicksfamily

On the American Frontiers: Amman Valley Emigrants in Texas, 1879-1880. By Bill Jones & Dr Huw Walters The Carmarthenshire Antiquary, 37/2001.
This article describes the background of the emigration to Texas of Hopkin Hopkin and his family from Gwauncaegurwen, a journey that started at Brynaman Station. Hopkin had links to Carmel, GCG; Bethesda, Cwmamman; and the famous Swansea Valley based choral society of Ivander Griffiths. They went to New Philadelphia under the scheme known as the Texas Freehold Farm and Emigration Company Ltd., one of whose key promoters was Mabon. They were in the first group from South Wales, the other family being that of George and Catherine Davies from Ton Pentre, Rhondda.There are quotations from letters from Hopkin home to GCG, published in Tarian y Gweithiwr; people they met in Texas included; in Dallas, Elias Thomas of Neath; in McAlaster(now in Oklahoma), John Williams of Glynbeudy, Brynaman; and in New Cambria (near Jacksboro), Morgan and Mary Hughes who had links to Ty'nywern Farm, Glanaman.
(Footnote; Hopcyn  Hopcyn was the precentor at Carmel, as mentioned in Annibynwyr Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen , see above] 

Penlle'rcastell  by J Bevereley Smith. Full article in   Morgannwg vol 9 1965 (on the NLW's site)

 

Pit Memories [Up and Under] by William John Evans 1989 . Dinefwr Press, Llandybie.   
Or in Welsh  "Atgofion y Pwll" [Lan a Lawr].
The book is bi-lingual, the two sections are not identical. There is coverage of Betws [Ammanford] Colliery but also some on the villages /mines of Brynamman,Tairgwaith, Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen and Cwmgors.
There is an index of photographs by Gareth Hicks. And a listing of chapter headings on Gareth's Help Page.
There are many local GCG/Tairgwaith/Brynamman/Cwmgors photographs in this book

Pits and Pit Boys in the Swansea area           Published in Gower vol 17 1966             On  Welsh Journals Online

The pits mentioned are;

  • Landore Colliery;  
  • Swansea Coal Co's  Weeg Colliery Llangyfelach;
  • Graigola and Parson's Collieries in Cadoxton;
  • Cwmllynfell Colliery of James & Aubrey

Railways at Gwaun-cae-gurwen        This article is by C L Mowat, it  appeared in the Railway Magazine dated December 1957.

Rhyndwyclydach; parish notes   by W R  Davies      Published in   Gower    vol 5 1952       On  Welsh Journals Online

 

The 1838 Gwaun-cae-Gurwen railway : an abandoned  feeder to the Swansea canal. By Paul R. Reynolds, Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, 32:7 (1998), 500-505. Publisher: Railway and Canal Historical Society. ISSN 00338834.  Full article

The 1851 Religious Census - Llangiwg. Contributed by Caryl Jones and utilising original data copied in the book
The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales. By I G   Jones & D.Williams.   Cardiff, 1976.

The Amman Valley & District, a Photographic portrait, by Brian Lewis 1996.
There is an Index by Gareth Hicks. This book has photographs of Cwmgors, GCG, Brynamman, Tairgwaith , Glanamman , Garnant, Betws etc.

The Amman Valley Long Ago [Dyffryn Aman 'Slawer Dydd] Compiled by David A Evans & Huw Walters ; Gomer 1987
There is the book's introduction  by Huw Walters and a list of photographs.

THE BUILDING INDUSTRY IN THE UPPER SWANSEA VALLEY AND ITS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RAMIFICATIONS, c.1750 1975.
By R.O. Roberts and J. Elizabeth Hall. Published by Edwin Mellen Press, 2000
The book's interest here is that it concerns the local building firm of   David Davies & Son of Alltwen which was founded by Henry Davies in 1875 and which had ceased trading by 1975.
This is a review only of this book by Paul Reynolds -  published in the Morgannwg journal, vol 45  in 2001

The Centenary History of Amman United Rugby Football Club, 1903-2003 (Roll Along, Amman United, Roll Along) Edited by Howard Gabe Davies, 2003. Here is a listing of the book's contents and also of the photographs in it by Gareth Hicks (March 2004)

The Fed; a history of the South Wales Miners in the twentieth century. Francis, Hywel & David Smith. Published by Lawrence and Wishart, 1980. Here is a contents listing, some appendices, name listing & place/subject listing. See the Coal mining section of this site for some extracts from it relating to local mining.

The Gilbertsons of Pontardawe     By  J M Davies             Published in  Gower vol 20 1969        On   Welsh Journals Online

 

The History of the parish of Llandybie  by Gomer Roberts 1939.
Translated by Ivor Griffiths.
There is a name index by Gareth Hicks. And a listing of chapter headings  on Gareth's Help Page

The History of Brynamman  by Enoch Rees  1883/1896.
Translated by Ivor Griffiths.
There is a name index to the English version by Anna Brueton and also one for the Welsh version  
There is a listing of section headings on Gareth's Help Page

See also extracts in the Coal mining  section

The history of Clydach (Clydach a'r cylch)  by T Valentine Evans, [Gorseinon] : [Translated by Ivor Griffiths], [1996]

The history of the Calvinistic Methodists in Clydach.  by the  Rev. D Davies,

 

The History of Pontardawe by John E Morgan [Hirfryn] 1911.
Translated by Ivor Griffiths. There is a name  index by Gareth Hicks .

On this site there is an extract of the initial introduction to the book plus a list of section headings

THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF A GLAMORGAN PARISH (Llangiwg) By Hugh Thomas. National Library of Wales journal Winter, 1975, Vol XIX/2 . pp 194-208. A complete extract of the first of three articles

THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF A GLAMORGAN PARISH (Llangiwg) By Hugh Thomas. National Library of Wales journal Summer,1976, Volume XIX/3.  pp 227-242. A complete extract of the second of three articles.

THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF A GLAMORGAN PARISH (Llangiwg) By Hugh Thomas. National Library of Wales journal Winter,1976, Volume XIX/4.  pp 345-361. A complete extract of the final of three articles.

THE LETTER-BOOKS OF W. GILBERTSON & CO. LTD, PONTARDAWE, 1890-1929
Edited by Peter Jackson. South Wales Record Society, Cardiff, and Glamorgan Archive Service, Swansea, 2001.

This is a review only of this book -  published in the Morgannwg journal, vol 46  in 2002

Twenty 20 Memories By Hywel Gwyn Evans,    Carmarthenshire County Council, 2006.   A collection of personal memories of people who live(d) in the villages of Brynaman, Cefn-bryn-brain, Cwmllynfell, Cwm-twrch, Pant-teg, Rhiw-fawr and Ystradowen           Introduction, Contents listing, and list of photographs

Two Centuries of Pontardawe, 1794-1994 by Clive Reed 1994.
There is a name index by Phil Vaughan

West Glamorgan Farming, circa 1580-1620, by F V Emery. National Library of Wales journal. 1956, Winter. Volume I/X/4 & 1957 Summer. Volume X/1.
Embraces the lands of Gower, one of the medieval Marcher Lordships in South Wales, extending from the foothills of the Black Mountains in the north for thirty miles down to the Bristol Channel on its south coast

Ynysmeudwy Pottery 1845-1877  By Derek Harper        Published in   Minerva vol 3 1995          Welsh Journals Online

 

More books/articles of local interest;

  • Cadwalladr, T Graham. Record : history of rugby clubs in Amman, Dulais and Swansea Valleys. South Wales Voice, [1966]. p52
  • Canmlwyddiant Band y Waun = Centenary Gwaun-Cae Gurwen Band : 1892 - 1992. 1992. p35
  • Davies, Gwyn. Hanes y Tabernacl, Pontardawe. [Pontardawe] : [Eglwys Tabernacl], [1990?]. p32
  • Davies, Maurice. Hanes Eglwys Soar, Ystalyfera. Gomer, 1943
  • Griffiths, D Aneurin. Hanes Capel Pant-teg, Ystalyfera, 1921-1971. Abertawe : Gwasg John Penry, 1971. p51
  • Griffiths, James. Pages from Memory 1969
  • Griffiths, Rhidian. Dau gr : [Cr Dyffryn Tawe; Cymdeithas Gorawl Ystalyfera]. Cwm Tawe (Cyfres y Cymoedd) (1993), p. 188-210
  • Harries, P G H. Cwmllynfell Colliery: an early attempt to form a workers' co-operative. Llafur 7/2 (1997), p. 41-51
  • Hicks, Gareth. Margaret Davies, midwife of Cwmgors, Glamorgan. Glamorgan Family History Society Journal. 61 (2001), p. 34-36
  • Hughes, Bernant. Enwau sy'n gysylltiedig phentre Ystalyfera. Castell Nedd : Gwasg Morgannwg, 1988. p54
  • Hughes, Bernant. Stepping stones in the history of Ystalyfera. Ystalyfera : Bernant Hughes, 1990. p148
  • Hughes, Bernant. Ystalyfera memories. Ystalyfera : Bernant Hughes, 1996. p221
  • Jackson, P W. The letter-books of W. Gilbertson & Co. Ltd., Pontardawe 1890-1929. Cardiff : Swansea : South Wales Record Society ; West Glamorgan Archive Service, 2001. p420
  • Jones, David James. Hanes canmlwyddiant Seion, Cwmgors, 1891-1991 .[Cwmgors] : Seion, Capel y Bedyddwyr, 1991.p28
  • Jones, J R. The history of Pontardawe R.F.C. Llandybie : Salesbury Press, 1985. p128
  • Jones, Magdalen. Hanes Ebeneser, Eglwys yr Annibynwyr, Cwmtwrch Uchaf. Cwmtwrch Uchaf : Ebeneser, Eglwys yr Annibynwyr, Cwmtwrch Uchaf, 1993. p83
  • Lewis, Timothy. Camre canrif : sef hanes Eglwys y Gurnos Ystalyfera : 1857-1957. Abertawe : Gwasg John Penry, 1957. p41
  • Llyfryn dathlu chwarter canrif sefydlu Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera : 25 : 1969-1994. Ystalyfera : Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera, 1994. p72
  • Locksmith, W. T. H.  Ammanford: Origin of Street Names and Notable Historical Records, Cultural Services Department, County Hall, Carmarthen, 2001
  • Loyal Order of True Ivorites. Rules of the Lletty Cymydog Lodge, branch No.173 of the Loyal Order of True Ivorities, St David's Unity Friendly Society, held at the Provident Union Hall, Godre-Graigarw, Ystalyfera, Parish of Llanguicke, County of Glamorgan = Rheolau Cyfrinfa Lletty'r Cymydog, cangen rhif 173, o Urdd Freiniol y Gwir Iforiaid, Cymdeithas Gyfeillgar Undeb Dewi Sant, a gynhelir yn y Provident Union Hall, Godre-Graigarw, Ystalyfera, Plwyf Llanguicke, swydd Forganwg. Swansea : printed by E. Griffiths, 1863. p63
  • May, E. 'Labour, capital and the state in the South Wales coalfield 1912-1921 : the case of Gwaun-cae-Gurwen'. In Blanchard, Ian (ed.), New directions in economic & social history : papers presented at the "New Researchers" sessions of the Economic History Society conference held at Edinburgh, 31st March - 2nd April 1995 (Avonbridge, Stirlingshire: Newlees, 1995), 47-55.
  • O Lwch y Lofa. An anthology of poems by local miners compiled by Amanwy, 1923
  • Parry, Gwenfair. Pontardawe (Glamorgan). The Welsh language and the 1891 census p. 201-216 (WlAbNL)12299120
  • Peers, Donald. Pathway [autobiography] 1973
  • Pontardawe Rural District, Glamorganshire, official guide. Carshalton : Home Publishing, [1971]. p20
  • Rees, Enoch. The history of Brynamman. Translated in 1996 by Ivor Griffiths from original of 1894
  • Rees, Rod. Tunnell o rygbi : hanes Clwb Rygbi Cwmtwrch, 1890-1990. Cwmtwrch : Cwmtwrch RFC, 1990. p71.
  • Reynolds, Paul R. ' The 1838 Gwaun-cae-Gurwen railway : an abandoned feeder to the Swansea canal'. Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, 32:7 (1998), 500-505. Publisher: Railway and Canal Historical Society. ISSN 00338834.
  • Rogers, James. A Sketch of the Cholera Epidemic at Ystalyfera in 1866, Swansea, 1867
  • Thomas, Roger. Traethawd ar ddechreuad a chynnydd gweithiau haiarn a glo Ynyscedwyn ac Ystalyfera : yn nghyd sefyllfa naturiol a moesol y trigolion; buddugol yn Eisteddfod Ystradgynlais, Pasc 1857; wedi ei gyhoeddi ar ddymuniad rhai o brif foneddwyr y lle, yn nghyd ag ugeiniau o weithwyr y gymmydogaeth. Caerdydd [Cardiff] : Argraffwyd gan W. Jones dros yr awdwr a Mr. John Davies, Ystalyfera, [1857?]. p31
  • Thomas, William. Cofiant y diweddar Barch. Rhys Pryse, Cwmllynfell. Llanelli : Argraffwyd gan B. R. Rees, 1872. p144
  • Walters, Huw.   Amanwy , The Carmarthenshire Antiquarian, vol XXXV, 1999
  • Williams, Gereth. St. David's Church Ystalyfera : 1891-1991 : the first hundred years . Ystalyfera : St. David's Church, [1990].p68
  • Ysgol Gynradd Cwmgors 1912-1987. Cwmgors] : Ysgol Gynradd Cwmgors, 1987.p27
  • Ysgol Llangiwg 1886-1986. [Pontardawe] : Llangiwg County Primary School, [1986]. p73

 

Cwmgors/Gwaun-cae-gurwen/Tairgwaith

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Snippets from Newspapers

These are transcriptions by Gareth Hicks made from entries found on  the NLW site Welsh Newspapers Online by searching on Cwmgors/Gwauncaegurwen/Tairgwaith

Pwllywrach Woollen factory, Gwauncaegurwen - 1869 to 1918

This history has been compiled by Gareth Morgan of GCG who is descended from the factory's proprietors

Cymanfa Ganu etc

Data from booklets relating to events in the 1930s/1940s in Cwmgors, GCG & Pontardawe

Here is a transcription of the headstones from part of Hen Garmel graveyard

Gwauncaegurwen - what's in a name ? - from the excellent p lace-name etymology site by Deric John

Sources;

  • GWAUN CAE GURWEN
  • GWAIN CAEGURWEN 1832 MIERS DEEDS;
  • GWAYN KYGERWEN 1681 GLAM DEEDS;
  • GWAYN KEGERWEN 1574 GRO
  • MANOR OF KEGERWEN 1610 BAD 5;
  • LORDSHIP OF KEGERWEN 1607 CILYBEBYLL;
  • GWAYNE KEGERWEN 1607 CILYBEBYLL;

Many believe that GWAUNCAEGURWEN contains the elements GWAUN and CAE plus the personal name CURWEN or GURWEN.

The earlier forms however suggest a different etymology of GWAUN plus CEGER and WEN (feminine and mutated form of GWYN).

CEGER is the Glamorgan form of CEGYR / CEGID meaning HEMLOCK. (see Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru)

CEGER WEN is 'WHITE HEMLOCK'; GWAUN CEGER WEN is 'WHITE HEMLOCK MOOR' .

The significance of ceger wen was lost and the name was rationalised to cae gurwen.

The village is also called Y Waun, while some refer to it as GCG. Perhaps

GCG should change to a more etymologically correct GCW - Gwaun Ceger Wen.

5.11.2006

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And this note from John Phillips (Dec 2008)

"Gwauncaegurwen, yn ol pob tebyg, yw gwaun-cegyrwen.  Math o flodyn gwyn yw cegyrwen (water hemlock) a oedd yn tyfu un amser ar y comyn.  Ceir yr un elfen yn yr enw Banwen = pan waun.  Ceir 'pan' yn y gair 'pannu' , y broses o lanhau gwlan, ac yn pandy ( fulling mill). Felly mwy na thebyg darn o dir a blodau gwyn oedd yma hefyd.  'Pan oeddwn yn blentyn rwy'n cofio Mr.William Thomas, a oedd yn byw yn Clifton, yn dangos blodyn bach gwyn ac yn dweud wrthyf mai hwn oedd wedi rhoi ei enw i'r pentref."

Article by John Phillips (March 2009)

 

Articles by Tommy Vaughan of Gwauncaegurwen

 

A typical mining life and death ?   'Dai Tirbach' (1910-1966)

From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.

  • Caegurwen;  "A joint hamlet with Blaenegal, in the parish of Llanguicke, hundred of Llangyvelach, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 9 1/2 miles (N) from Neath. The population is returned with the parish. It is situated on the border of Carmarthenshire, where the country is extremely wild and rugged, and near the right bank of the river Twrch."

CROSSIN Y WAUN A translation by Wyn Evans of an amusing 'local interest' poem by his uncle, Oli Devereaux.

War Memorial  A listing by Bernard Garland of the names on it. See also photograph in the Picture Gallery

A history of Caegurwen. This is an overall summary of items that relate to the GCG/Cwmgors area from the book "The History of Pontardawe and District " by John Henry Davies. [see the Book section for Around Pontardawe;The Second Selection which has a feature on John Henry Davies, who was brought up in Cwmgors where his father William was a cobbler.]

The Manor of Caegurwen, a description, from "The History of Pontardawe and District " by John Henry Davies

Gwauncaegurwen - on Wikipedia

Band y Waun  "We start our story in 1884 - the year of the "Cutting of the Clod" at the new Maerdy pit which was to bring new employment to the village..."

Farms, a selection of census entries and historical snippets

Memories, personal reminiscences of Cwmgors by Gordon Rees

Midwife's Register of Cases 1906-1927. Approximately 475 births in Cwmgors, and some in Gwauncaegurwen, mostly by midwife Margaret Davies .The Register has been lodged with W Glamorgan Archive Service, there is a listing of entries and a potted history of Margaret Davies

Does misfortune run in threes ...? This is the story compiled from newspaper reports and family papers relating to two events, the first the multiple death tragedy of a fire at White Hart Inn, Llandeilo town on 14 September 1894 which involved the Edwards family ; and the second the son of the same family, Tom Edwards, who was not involved in the fire but became a bankrupt builder in Gwaun-cae-gurwen later in his life.

He didn't come home   Rees Jones [1881-1918]. The story of a local WWI soldier

Thomas Evans, Private in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Died on 15th August 1915 serving his country.

Adroddiadau. [Annual Chapel Reports]. These include the names and addresses of people who made financial contributions during the year, and a list of chapel officials.

  • Gwaun-cae-gurwen, Carmel Independent Chapel;  1988, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998    
  • Cwmgors, Tabernacl Independent Chapel; 1974, 1976, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995.  I also have a list of officials of this chapel in 1946  
  • Radnor Walk [Chelsea/London] Independent Chapel ; 1950

The home pages of Gareth Hicks relating to his Hicks and Davies families of GCG and Cwmgors

The DAVIES family of Cae-Isaf Farm, Gwaun Cae Gurwen   A photograph and story on the Welsh Family History Archive site

Nicknames from the mines of the Tairgwaith district    on the Coal Mining page - contributed by Roy Davies

Tairgwaith Workingmen's Club. A group photograph on the  Picture Gallery - some names

 

Amman Valley, Betws & Llandybie

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Beirdd eisteddfodol Cwmaman a Cwmtawe   by T J Morgan    Journal of the Welsh Bibliographical Society  vol 9/4 1965        Welsh Journals Online

 

Extract from the article re Ebenezer Independent Chapel, Swansea taken from Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru. By Thomas Rees and John Thomas; published in 1871+.
Referring  to Mr Davies, Llangeler, the minister there;

"The moral attitude in Swansea was utterly wretched when Mr. Davies started his ministry here. ........................ He had such an influence over the common people within a few years, that just his appearance was enough to quieten the most arrogant ungodly people. Take these facts as examples: - There were several butchers from the area of  Cwmaman and Llangiwc who held a market in Swansea. Every Saturday evening some of them, when they'd finished selling their meat, would go to the public houses, and would drink there until Sunday morning, when they started for home on their little horses. As they went out of the town, if they happened to meet Mr. Davies coming towards them on the road,  they would go back until they found a crossroads to turn into....................."

Full article on Genuki

From the Amman Valley to Kansas  By Rina Callingham            "Daniel Thomas Morgan was born on Tuesday 28th April 1835. He was the 5th known child of David and Mary Morgan (nee Griffiths) of Brynhynydd farm in the Carmarthenshire parish of Betws.............................."

On the American Frontiers: Amman Valley Emigrants in Texas, 1879-1880. By Jones, Bill & Dr Huw Walters. The Carmarthenshire Antiquary, 37/2001. This article describes the background of the emigration to Texas of Hopkin Hopkin and his family from Gwauncaegurwen, a journey that started at Brynaman Station. Hopkin had links to Carmel, GCG; Bethesda, Cwmamman; and the famous Swansea Valley based choral society of Ivander Griffiths. They went to New Philadelphia under the scheme known as the Texas Freehold Farm and Emigration Company Ltd., one of whose key promoters was Mabon. They were in the first group from South Wales, the other family being that of George and Catherine Davies from Ton Pentre, Rhondda.There are quotations from letters from Hopkin home to GCG, published in Tarian y Gweithiwr; people they met in Texas included; in Dallas, Elias Thomas of Neath; in McAlaster(now in Oklahoma), John Williams of Glynbeudy, Brynaman; and in New Cambria (near Jacksboro), Morgan and Mary Hughes who had links to Ty'nywern Farm, Glanaman.
Includes biographical notes on Hopkin Hopkin by Rina Callingham

David Henry Rees or 'D.H.'

".............. as he was often known was born in 1895. From 1917-1918 he was colliery checkweigher at Bettws Colliery. During the 1920s and 1930s he was politically active and in 1936 he was imprisoned in Swansea Gaol following disturbances in Crynant when the Anthracite Combine used blackleg labour to defeat the strike. His health began to declined dramatically from 1937 due to emphesema and he died in 1940 aged just 45.
The archive includes David Henry Rees' diary which records a Miners' Delegation visit to Russia in November 1934. Visits during the trip included factories, schools, hospitals and rest homes, sanatoria, collective farms, workers' flats and a colliery. The delegation visited Leningrad and Moscow and they were in Red Square for the 17th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution"   [From  Archives Network Wales]

THE ARCHAEOLOGY AND EARLY HISTORY OF AMMANFORD "...a brief summary of the archaeology of Llandybie, the Amman Valley, and Betws taken from the Amman Valley Heritage Audit prepared by Cambria Archeology in January 2003 (Report No: 2003/5), by Paul Sambrook and Jenny Hall).  The study area encompasses the modern parishes of Llandybie, Llanfiangel Aberbythych (Carmel), Cyngor Bro Dyffryn Cennen, Cwmamman, Llandadog and Quarter Bach (Brynamman) to the north of Ammanford and Llanedi, Betws and Gwaun Cae Gurwen to the south.."- on Terry Norman's site

Place Names in the Amman Valley - on Terry Norman's site

There is data for Llandybie, Ammanford, Betws, Garnant, Glanaman and area on The Carmarthenshire Roll of Honour site

Bettws 1841 census transcription  - on Genuki

Making hay when the sun shone. Reminiscences by Margaret Crittenden of life on a local smallholding in the middle of the C20th - Glynderi on the slopes of Mynydd Ddu between Garnant and Brynamman

"Glo-man is the papur bro (local Welsh language newspaper) for Ammanford and the Amman Valley, first published in September 1977. Issues 1-49 of 'Glo-man', 1977-1982; and calendars printed with reproductions of old photographs of the Aman Valley, 1981-1984 are held at Carmarthenshire Archives Services." [From Archives Network Wales]
"The Amman Valley Chronicle and East Carmarthen News was established in 1913 in Ammanford. It was absorbed by the South Wales Guardian Group, publishers of the South Wales Guardian, in 1959, which then became the South Wales Guardian and Amman Valley Chronicle. The newspaper is now part of the Newsquest Media Group. Copies of South Wales Guardian, 1983, and bound copies, 1969-1971; and copy of Amman Valley Chronicle and East Carmarthen News, 12 October 1950 are held at Carmarthenshire Archives Services" [From Archives Network Wales]

The history of Osbourne House in Garnant illustrates the way many small businesses struggled into existence and eventually faded away; the owner Mrs Margaret Evans was known as Mrs Evans Siop y Lamb

See also brief details of Gwaith Y Lamb mine

See the Garnant Collection 1 in the Picture Gallery

Cwmamman Auxiliary of the British & Foreign Bible Society - on Genuki. Subscribers' List from the 1931-1932 report, compiled by Rina Callingham

Cwmamman snippets from The Centenary History of Amman United Rugby Football Club, 1903-2003
"
At the WWI reunion parade on the 20th September 1919, all discharged volunteers from Cwmamman attended, and it is recorded that 400 men from the villages did volunteer for service, of whom 54 paid the supreme sacrifice.
There was one Military Cross, five Military Medals, and one Distinguished Service Cross Medal, and one Cross of Saint Stanislau awarded during this period to men of Cwmamman."

" Moving pictures were being developed and  December 1930 saw them introduced in the Workman's Hall and in January 1931 in the Palace."

"(1933)...was the year that Cwmamman Silver Band became West Wales Champions....."

"In the 1950s, three people closely associated with the (Amman United) club were killed in the Llandow Air Disaster where the plane returning supporters from the international match in Ireland crashed on landing, killing over 80 people, at the time the world's worst air disaster. The three local men were; Gomer Griffiths, Freddie Schofield, and Elwyn Davies. "

Glanamman - an extract from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833;-
"GLYN-AMAN (GLYN-AMWYN), a hamlet in that part of the parish of LLANDILO-VAWR which is in the upper division of the hundred of ISCENNEN, county of CARMARTHEN, SOUTH WALES, 8 3/4 miles (S. E.) from Llandilo-Vawr, containing 227 inhabitants. It is situated among the Black mountains; and the river Aman flows through it, forming in one part of its course the boundary line between Carmarthenshire and Glamorganshire. The poor are maintained by a separate assessment, the average annual expenditure amounting to 40.2."

A notable local entry from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site;

  • HERMAS LLEWELLYN MM Lance Corporal 2136378 275 Field Coy., Royal Engineers who died on Monday 15 February 1943 . Age 29 . Son of John and Martha Llewellyn, of Garnant.  
    Cemetery: TRIPOLI WAR CEMETERY Libya. Grave or Reference Panel Number: 11. E. 18.

Ammanford  Terry Norman's site, full of  local history and photographs

Coal mining in Gwauncaegurwen and Cwmgors  [Extracts from History of Pontardawe book] has details of an accident at  Garnant Colliery on Wednesday, January 16, 1884

The Raven Tinplate Works, Glanamman.
Paul Jenkins book "Twenty Four by Fourteen" (ISBN 1-85902-203-0) makes only a few references to The Raven Works at Glanamman.
It was in operation from 1881 to 1940.(pp 245) By the middle of 1939 the Raven Works, along with The Amman and the Glynbeudy Works, were requisitioned by the Government (Ministry of Supply?) for the storage of War materials.(pp. 221). At about this time the Llangenech Works was taken over by the Admiralty for use as a storage depot.It would appear however, that The Raven Works didn't actually produce tinplate. It, along with the Whitford Works at Briton Ferry, are described as Steel Sheet Works, not tinplate works.
The Grovesend Steel & Tinplate Works purchased the Raven Works in 1913. (pp. 47). The Raven Works figures in none of the tinplate production statistics in the book, again pointing to the fact it produced only steel sheet. [Peter Thomas 19 Feb 2002].

Raven Tin Plate Works - Glanamman. Extract from " Chronology of Tinplate Works of Great Britain"

  • Proprietors :- The Grovesend Steel Tinplate Company Ltd.
    Plant :- 5 sheet mills and a Galvanising Plant. Weekly capacity 350 tons.
  • Feb 1881 Concern started by Messrs. H Rees, D Morris and others as the Glanamman Tin Plate Co. The works having been erected by a Mr David Richards (who, in partnership with Mr James Jones, purchased the Dynevor Tinplate Works in August 1881)
  • They ceased  trading in August 1895 at which time the plant comprised four mills.
  • Oct 1895 Raven Tin Plate Company Ltd registered with 20,000 Capital and converted into a galvanised sheet works.1913 Share capital purchased by Messrs. The Grovesend Steel & Tinplate Co Ltd.
  • June 1939 Raven Tinplate Co Ltd ceased trading as a separate company and the assets were transferred to The Grovesend Steel & Tinplate Co Ltd.
  • 1941 Premises requisitioned by Ministry of Supply for storage purposes.
  • May 1948 Buildings and freehold site offered for sale. the machinery and  plant having been removed previously. [Pat 19 Feb 2002]

The Genuki sites for this general area are on Betws , Llandybie and Llandeilo Fawr

Newspapers in the Tawe and Amman Valley Contributed by Anna Brueton

This is an extract from the Llanelly section of Pigot's Directory of South Wales, 1844.

  • Conveyance by Railway; The Llanelly Railway & Dock Company's Trains leave the New Dock, for Cwm Ammon [sic] and Cross Inn, every morning at half-past six and nine, and afternoon at half-past twelve and three.
    Parcels and merchandise are forwarded from Cross Inn Station by Nathaniel Rees' Waggons, to Llandilo, Llangadock, Llandovery, and all places adjacent

Extracts from A History of Carmarthenshire Lloyd, Sir John E., (Ed.). 2 vols., Cardiff, London Carmarthenshire Society (1935, 1939)

The Later Middle Ages; Iscennen---The Commote

  • "Near the castle of Carregcennen were the demesne lands of the maerdref of its former arglwydd.........the commote west and south of the demesne and forest lands was divided into maenors. Maenors Vouwen and Gryngar, bordering on Kidwelly commote, corresponded roughly to the ancient ecclesiastical parishes of Llanarthney and Llanddarog;  Maenors Llys and Methennich to Llanfihangel Aberbythych and Llandybie; and, 'between Amman River and the lordship of Gower, bounded by Cathau brook and Lle'r Castell' was Maenor Bettws or Stryveland."
  • "............the gwestfa paying areas were peopled by descendents of the Welsh freemen. They also paid dofraeth; this was regarded as an imposition ' against the liberty of the men of Iscennen'..............there was also the tribute of the equivalent of forty cows paid triennially..............and the freemen 'beyond Amman' (that is of Maenor Bettws) paid a separate 'rent of assize'............."

Article in the Carmarthenshire Historian, 1978

Sin-eating in the Amman Valley  By HUW WALTERS, B.LIB. "....No doubt the proclamation of the Gospel and the elevated faith which its great truths bring in its train, broke the fascination, the charm and power of many of these superstitions, but they lingered even until the last forty or fifty years  - indeed the superstition of the sin-eater is said to linger even now in the secluded vale of Cwmaman in Carmarthenshire . ."  (Paxton Hood, Christmas Evans, the Preacher of Wild Wales, London, 1881.)

 

 

Brynamman & Cwmllynfell

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Community Archives Wales  There is a vast amount of material on this site contributed by  Treftadaeth Brynaman Heritage (look under Group/Medium)

"Treftadaeth Brynaman Heritage is a well-established group based in the library of Upper Brynaman Community Centre in the Upper Amman Communities First area. The group are very enthusiastic and have already undertaken a number of local history projects, the results of which are proudly displayed at the Community Centre. One member is currently co-ordinating a collection of photographs depicting Brynaman weddings and has gathered a wonderful array of photographs, invitations, bills and even a black wedding dress from 1890. The group has a membership of twenty-nine although only ten of these are very active within the group. For the Community Archives Wales project, the group are keen to research the changing nature of the shops and businesses in Brynaman, over the last century, and have a wide collection of photographs, billheads, letters and artefacts to digitise." (Sept 08)

James family of Brynamman (Neuadd estate), records - Detailed on Archives Network Wales   

"Records of the James family, 1734-1978, including deeds relating to properties in Llangiwg, Swansea, Llanwonno and Cilybebyll, Glamorgan, and Llandeilo Fawr, Llangadog, Bettws and Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, 1734-1962; leases, mineral leases, wayleaves, assignments and rent papers relating to the above parishes, 1808-1951; sale, lease and tenancy agreements, 1825-1948; wills, settlements and trust deeds, 1816-1972; records relating to a court case concerning the trustees of the estate of John Williams James, 1874-1922; miscellaneous legal papers, 1909-1977; surveys and valuations, 1911-1956; James Estate accounts, 1861-1973; Inland Revenue correspondence, 1877-1976; stocks and shares, 1887-1951; solicitor's bills, 1874-1942; correspondence, relating mainly to trusts and properties, 1844-1978; sales particulars, 1895-1963; records relating to various business interests, 1851-1967, including Amman Anthracite Collieries Ltd, 1930-1934, Amman Iron Company Ltd, 1859-1920, Birch Rock Colliery, 1867-1881, Cwmteg Anthracite Colliery Co. Ltd, 1899-1915, Amalgamated Anthracite Collieries Ltd, 1931-1936, Blaen Cae Gurwen Collieries, 1895, Cwmnantmoel Colliery, 1930, 1949, Henderson's Welsh Anthracite Collieries, 1936, Llwyncelyn, Penthugwint and Port Colieries, 1851-1860, National Coal Board, 1967, and Noyadd Colliery, 1901-1902; printed material, 1895-1957; maps and plans, 1811-1965"

The Farmers Arms, Brynamman. A feature on the Jones family who ran it in the C19th.

Brynamman - on Wikipedia

There is data for Brynaman on The Carmarthenshire Roll of Honour site

Hen Gymeriadau.
Roy Davies of Pontardawe sent me this amusing hand written treasure with the comment
"Several years ago I was given the attached document entitled 'Hen Gymeriadau' by someone who I can't recall who said that it had been written by an old lady living in the Rhydyfro area who hoped that it would be of some use to someone. "

It's in Welsh, apart from 2 of the 18 pages, and the characters mentioned mostly live in the Brynamman area.

There are some historical snippets for Cwmllynfell on Not everyone knows this, under Llangiwg.

Upper Brynamman, Gibea Congregational Chapel, Dyfed FHS have published an index of Memorial Inscriptions for this graveyard.

Tributes to Former Ministers of the Union of Welsh Independents.
This site which no longer works (http://annibynwyr.members.easyspace.com/saesneg/dtudur.htm) includes tributes to the following local men;

  • Thomas: David John (1916 - 1999) He was born at Goleufryn, Lower Brynaman, .........
  • Davies: Dewi Eurig (1922 - 1997) . It was at Cwmllynfell, where his father, the Revd. T. Eurig Davies, was minister, that Dewi Eurig was born on February 5, 1922. In 1927, the family moved from Cwmllynfell to Lampeter.............
  • Thomas: Eifion (1912 - 1999) Eifion was a native of Cefn Bryn Brain, Cwmllynfell. He was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Tom Henry Thomas..........
  • Williams, Meurwyn (1940 - 1998) Meurwyn was born at Brynaman....He was brought up to the ministry at Bethania, Rhosaman. Following his secondary education at the Amman Valley Grammar School, Ammanford...........

A Walk on the Black Mountain A Walk on the Wild Side by John Fenna.
"This part of the Brecon Beacons National Park is a long way from the crowds, erosion and queues found around the more 'honeypot' areas such as Pen-y-Fan, yet offers what I personally consider to be superior walking and superb views"

Brynamman related extracts from Wild Wales, Its people, Language and Scenery by George Borrow

The Clatworthy family of Glamorgan - with Brynamman/Pontardawe links. A photograph and story on the Welsh Family History Archive site

 

Gwrhyd, Rhydyfro and Baran

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The Howell Family of Nantmoel Uchaf farm on the Baran Mountain  - Rina Callingham's site

The History Of Baran Chapel 1805-2005. Written and contributed by Eugena Hopkin

Baran Chapel, in Llangyfelach parish.
Glamorgan FHS have published an index of Memorial Inscriptions for this graveyard.

The Baran Chapel, an article by Islwyn Davies, 1999/2000

Full transcription of the booklet Capel y Baran 1805 -2005 produced for the chapel's 200th  anniversary in 2005

There is a section on the Baran Chapel and Rhydyfro in the History of Pontardawe book by John Henry Davies

Capel y Gwrhyd Independent chapel.  
Glamorgan FHS have published an index of Memorial Inscriptions for this graveyard.

Penlle'r Castell,what is it ? When was it built, by who ?

Rhydyfro, Saron Chapel Welsh Congregational, a private database of the Memorial Inscriptions is available for lookups on the South/West Wales Lookup Exchange

Rhydyfro - An excerpt from the book The History of Pontardawe by John E Morgan [Hirfryn] 1911. Translated by Ivor Griffiths.

The James family of Godre'r Garth farm, Rhydyfro   A photograph and story on the Welsh Family History Archive site

Saron (Rhydyfro) Operatic Society  see under the Pontardawe entry

 

Pontardawe/Gellinudd/Cilybebyll/Alltwen/Ystalyfera/Ynysmeudwy/Ystradgynlais

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Alltwen - from the book The History of Pontardawe by John E Morgan [Hirfryn] 1911. Translated by Ivor Griffiths.

Gellinudd - From Old Characters of Gellinudd by John E Morgan [Hirfryn] 1908. Translated by Ivor Griffiths.

Arthur Graham Owens (later known as Arthur Graham White)    -    born in Grove Rd, Ponterdawe in 1899

See Mail Online
"Revealed: The extraordinary life of Britain's first double agent... and how his Hollywood movie star daughter hushed it up for years.
Given the codename Johnny O'Brien by his Nazi paymasters, to MI5 he was known as Agent Snow.
Helped crack Germany's Enigma military codes.
Seen by Nazis as a master spy, he enabled MI5 to capture numerous agents sent by Berlin to Britain.
Daughter became Hollywood actress Patricia Owens who starred in sci-fi classic The Fly. ........................"

And Wales Online
A new book about a Welsh spy and double agent who played a major role in winning World War Two is published today by Cardiff author Madoc Roberts and the renowned espionage writer Nigel West. For the first time, the full story is told about how Pontardawe-born Arthur Owens known as Snow became Britain뭩 most significant spy.
"In the autumn of 1935 a Welsh inventor named Arthur Graham Owens walked into the German Embassy in Belgium and offered his services.
He had put everything he owned into selling his new system for improving batteries but no-one in Britain was interested. Having spent every penny he had, he was now running up huge debts, so he turned to the Germans in the hope that they might be interested. He walked into the German Embassy as an inventor but he came out as the German spy 밓ohnny O묪rien. ................."

Llysenwau Pontardawe a'r Cylch   (Nicknames of the Pontardawe area) Contributed by Steve Williams of  Pontardawe

Mrs. M. Jenkins' memories of Thomas Street, Pontardawe   Lots of names mentioned

Here is the initial introduction plus section headings to the book The History of Pontardawe by John E Morgan [Hirfryn] 1911. Translated by Ivor Griffiths.

Pontardawe & District Operatic Society   Newspaper report from the late 1930s

Pontardawe War Memorial, see here for a list of names, see also the Picture Gallery.
See also the various Indexes from the book Two Centuries of Pontardawe, 1794-1994 by Clive Reed

Nisien Jones who lived in Brecon Road Pontardawe passed away in Nov 2004 and his son Rhodri and daughter Sarah have kindly agreed to allow this letter, first published in the South Wales Voice on 10th April 1943, to be placed here. Driver Nisien Jones RASC, Middle East Forces was writing during WW2 to his father, Mr. Ben Jones, headteacher of Ystalyfera Grammar (Intermediate) School.
See Pontardawe 11 in the Picture Gallery for the letter, a photograph and memorial card

See Memorabilia in the Picture Gallery for material contributed by Mrs Hettie Davies of Cilmaengwyn, Pontardawe

Pontardawe Online - a site with lots of links and a photograph gallery

Pontardawe - on BBC Wales

Pontardawe Library; The Archive Service holds two sessions a month in Pontardawe Library, which is situated on Holly Street. Tel 01792 636589 for information and reservations. Opening hours: First and third Wednesdays each month 2-5pm.

Captain Daniel Nicholas of Ynysmeudwy     Contributed by Eugena Hopkin of Craigcefnparc
A lot of interesting material, connection to Jemima Nicholas of 'Last invasion of Britain' fame 

Community Archives Wales    There is a vast amount of material on this site contributed by the Ystalyfera Heritage Society (look under Group/Medium) "The Ystalyfera Heritage Society is a well-established group based in Ystalyfera Development Trust. The group also holds larger meetings at the British Legion Club in Ystalyfera. Members of the group have a great deal of local knowledge which they are keen to share and the society has gathered a wonderful collection of photographs. The group's aim is to encourage and promote an interest and awareness of all aspects of local heritage and to make their collection available to the local community and to the wider community on the World Wide Web"

Ebenezer Rees of Ystalyfera was the printer and founder editor of Llais Llafur (Labour Voice) which he started up in Ystalyfera in 1898 - he was  also the grandfather of Donald Peers, the popular singer of the 1950s

Ystalyfera - Llys Enwau Ystalyfera. A list of nicknames contributed by Roy Davies  

Ystalyfera History

Includes churches/chapels, war memorials

Ystalyfera   
Four generations of clockmaking in the Swansea valley

Ystalyfera Chamber of Trade.
A list of members as shown in the South Wales Voice, Dec 15 1928

Ystalyfera -  a feature on the Iron and Tinplate Works

Ystalyfera - the Genuki page

Swansea Canal, Ystalyfera 1947  - on the Gathering the Jewels site (use search box)

Tareni Colliery, Ystalyfera  on the Welsh Coal Mines site

Ystalyfera - the cholera outbreak of 1866

Some aspects of life of the canal workers may be gleaned from Roger Thomas's humerous verses submitted to the National Eisteddfod in Ystalyfera in 1860

Ystradgynlais

Palleg Manor & Farm Estate      c.1500 BC - 1935 AD
"This report attempts to determine the origins of the manor of Palleg and it뭩 farms within the boundaries of Ystradgynlais. It also expands upon the history, tenants and land owners of such until the present day. Researched, compiled and edited by James M Burton 2012.  

Ystradgynlais War Graves

Beirdd eisteddfodol Cwmaman a Cwmtawe   by T J Morgan    Journal of the Welsh Bibliographical Society  vol 9/4 1965        Welsh Journals Online

 

General

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Llais Cwmtawe - Papur Cymraeg Cwmtawe (The Swansea Valley Welsh Newspaper)

"Newyddion pentrefi: Abercraf, Ystradgynlais, Ystalyfera, Cwmllynfell, Cwmtwrch, Yr Alltwen, Rhos-Cilybebyll, Pontardawe, Rhydyfro, Clydach, Felindre, Craigcefnparc, Trebannws ynghyd ag erthyglau amrywiol am natur, hanes, digwyddiadau a chymeriadau'r cwm"

The first edition of the  News of the World newspaper dated 1 October 1843 carries a report summarised as follows;

A meeting of farmers has been held at Cwm Twrch ............ between 500 and 1000 farmers and others with Mr John Jones of Bryn Amman elected to the chair......... called with a view to try and discover the causes from which so much distress pervaded the whole county, why it was that so many of the people found it so difficult to obtain a living. Speakers included; Mr B Allen, farmer;Mr Williams, farmer; Mr H Herbert, farmer. The main points at issue were;  tithes - paying one sixth against the one tenth they 'ought to pay, blamed the Commutation Act. Also rents were raised because they competed against each other when farms came up for rent. Also the restrictions on imports which brought about higher rents and kept the price of land high. Also the 'infamous poor laws which were most unnatural' leading to higher rates on the farmers with too much going to 'management expenses'. They wished 'these laws to be abolished, and corn laws also' - A petition to the Queen was ultimately agreed, embodying the above sentiments.

The Swansea Directory (Purriers) for 1913 -  the complete book is viewable on the Internet Archive  - has  Pontardawe, Ynismudw, Glais, Clydach, Ystalyfera, Ystradgynlais - and Amman Valley trade and professional sections

http://gloman.blogspot.com/

A blog by Edwyn Williams  -  "The Welsh Language Community Newspaper for the Aman Valley"

Llais Llafur

  • The Llais Llafur was a weekly newspaper edited, printed and published at Ystalyfera in the upper reaches of the Swansea Valley between 1898 and 1971. ..............With the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Ystradgynlais Family History Society is having the complete run of the newspaper put on to microfilm and deposited in Ystradgynlais Library ........" (Oct 2007) 

    The NLW have now digitised the newspaper which can be viewed on http://welshnewspapers.llgc.org.uk/en/title/view/3977363  
    Issue dates: 3 January 1914 27 December 1919 (311 available issues)  (Sept 2014)

The Llais

  • In February 2008 the 300th issue of the 'Llais' - the Swansea Valley Welsh language monthly newspaper- will be printed. This will be the 30th year of its existence and since it's inception monthly copies have been lodged at the National Library of Wales Aberystwyth as have all other 'papurau bro' (local area publications) produced throughout Wales.
    The paper is a non commercial publication, run by local volunteers, and is distributed locally by hand and by post to various subscribers world wide. The area covered by the publication includes all the Swansea Valley villages from Penycae and Cwmllynfell in the north  to Clydach and Graigcefnparc as well as Rhos and Rhydyfro. Relevant information and photographs is collected by and submitted by individual volunteers in every village. Schools and other organisations also provide information and the organisers are always pleased to receive any new submissions from any source.
    The Llais organisation, as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations, will be producing a Calendar for 2008 which will include old photographs of the region.

Excerpts from the the Amman Valley Chronicle and East Carmarthenshire News .  Contributed by David Smith.

Mynydd y Gwair photographic gallery

For a comprehensive historic description of how the parish of Llangiwg developed over  the C19th, this article is a must read;
THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF A GLAMORGAN PARISH  (Llangiwg). By Hugh Thomas, National Library of Wales journal Winter, 1975, Vol XIX/2

See here for particular references of interest

Diagram of Pontardawe Rural District   (1967)

Geology of the Pontardawe District   Section from Carreg Cennen Castle to Rhos, Pontardawe

Both from History of Pontardawe & District by John Henry Davies, 1967

Llangiwg, St Ciwg . Baptisms 1685-1892 , Marriages 1677-1837, Burials 1685-1881 & Pontardawe Chapel of Ease  Baptisms 1862-1915. These indexes have been published by Glamorgan FHS

Llangiwg - the GENUKI  page for this parish

Places, villages, farms etc within Llangiwg parish  as shown on the parish map on the CD of  Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.).  (

Photograph of Llangiwg church on the Gathering the Jewels site

Rounded hills, and eroded valleys

The Tinplate, Steel, and Coal Industries See this Genuki page for references to local tinplate works

Uk villages site Most of these villages have a page on this Post Office site - just type in the village name in the search box.

Carreg Cennen Castle.  Photographs on the Gathering the Jewels site
It was a tradition in my family for youngsters to walk from Cwmgors to the Castle on Whit Mondays

Dyfed Family History Society

Glamorgan Family History Society

 

Picture Gallery

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Many of these photographs detailed below are from original postcards, many are undated and suggestions for dating them would be gratefully received.

Copyright Notice re Photographs

I make no representations whatsoever regarding the copyright position of any site material, especially photographs. In any event the latter are not available for copying by any method whatsoever without my prior agreement.
There are some photographs where I have been unable to determine current copyright ownership to seek permission to use the material on the site and I would welcome contact from anyone who can clarify this for me

Gareth Hicks

 

  • Ammanford
    Ammanford Station
    Ammanford Colliery Halt
    Quay Street
    Ammanford Colliery & Brickworks pre 1920
    Bettws Drift Mine
    The Square, Ammanford in the 1940s
  • Amman Valley
    Amman Valley Boxing Club in 1925
    Bettws Cricket Club in 1930
  • Brynamman Collection 1
    17 pictures with descriptions
  • Brynamman 2
    Gibea Chapel c 1905
    Brynamman station
    Bethania Chapel, Rhosaman Celebration
  • Brynamman Silver Band Collection
    Various
  • Brynamman 4
    War Mem./Public Hall/Garw Valley & river/Station Rd/Amman Rd/Greetings Card/Sunrise from Black Mountains
  • Brynamman 5
    Mountain Road c 1932
    Brynamman Council school in 1922 and 1923
    Mouth Organ Band 1933
    General view, Brynamman
  • Brynamman 6
    Brynaman Home Guard 1939 -1945
    Brynaman Carnival 1951
    Jack Rees of Barry Rd, Brynaman
    HMS Stonehenge (submarine)
  • Brynamman 7
    Gibea Chapel Brynamman Band of Hope 1920
    Cor Cymysg Brynaman / Brynamman Mixed Choir 1930's
    Nativity Play, Ebeneser Chapel Brynamman 1960
  • Clydach/Ynystawe
    Railway Station and Glanyravon Works
    Clydach Saw Mills, Weight Ticket 1901
    View from Vera Road c 1905-1910
    View of River Tawe, Garth near Ynystawe
    Football Team starting off for Cup Final 1912
  • Clydach/Ynystawe 2
    The Flying Flea
    Main St, Clydach-on-Tawe
    High St and Hospital, Clydach
    Mond cyclists
    Railway Station & Glanyravon Works, Clydach
  • Clydach/Ynystawe 3
     Hebron Congregational chapel, Clydach
  • Cwmgors Collection 1
    22 pictures with descriptions
  • Cwmgors 2
    Cwmgors Colliery
    View from tip
    Ladies at Carnival
    Gors Street
    Disused railway track
    Pantyfedwen houses
  • Cwmgors 3
    Cwmgors Working Men's Club Jubilee
    Cwmgorse Cricket Club 1924
    Llanfair Church
  • Cwmllynfell / Cwmtwrch
    Cwmllynfell Colliery tip - 'Y Clinc'
    Gwys Station - Upper Cwmtwrch * 2
    Bethel Ind. chapel, Lower Cwmtwrch
    Temperance Hall, Upper Cwmtwrch
    Cwmtwrch Operatic Choir

 

  • Glais
    Birchgrove Rd 1912
  • Godre'r Graig/Ynysmeudw
    Cwmtawe Ganol farm c 1908
    Tinplate Rollers at Bryn Tinplate Works 1930
    First petrol pump in Ynysmeudwy c 1937
    Men outside Hannah Jones' shop c 1938
    Haymaking at Cwmtawe Ganol Farm c 1938
  • Godre'r Graig/Ynysmeudw 2
    Godrergraig Infant School  1931
    Godregraig Council School  Form 1  1928
    Godrergraig School   Standard IV   1925
    Godrergraig Chapel WW2 Memorial Service
    Sympathy letter from King George VI
    Godrergraig Chapel Band of Hope
  • Gwaun-cae-Gurwen 16
     Demolition of GCG Welfare Hall 1995
     Welfare Hall pre demolition
     Various of GCG railway by Paul Reynolds
  • Gwaun-cae-Gurwen 17
    GCG Welfare Amateur Choral & Operatic Society - The 1954 Chu Chin Chow production
  • Gwaun-cae-Gurwen 18
    Various receipts/bills relating to local businesses
  • Gwaun-cae-Gurwen 19
    Gwauncaegurwen Horticultural Society proceedings
  • Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen 20
    Main Road view c 1900?
    "Y Blodyn Glas" production in 1930s
    Cor Urdd, Gwauncaegurwen in 1937
    Cwmllynfell Operatic Society  - Production of The Student Prince
    Ysgol fach y Waun, dosbarth 1 a 2, 1957
    Ysgol fach y Waun in 1955
  • Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen 21
     1924  boat trip coming back from Ilfracombe
     Yr Urdd, GCG - May 19th 1937
  • Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen 22
      Pte Stanley Reginald Protheroe of GCG
  • Memorabilia 1
    Embroidered Xmas Card - WWI
    Embroidered Greetings Card c 1913
    Reference letter 1908
    Fire Guard's Service Certificate 1942
  • Memorabilia 2
    Rate demand 1910
    Ground Rent Receipt 1913
    Loan Note 1910
    Midwife's Licence 1905
    Poor Rate Receipt 1881
    Rent/Rate Receipt 1880
  • Memorabilia 3
    Rees Jones's WWI letters home
  • Memorabilia 4
     Various WWI embroidered greetings cards
  • Miscellaneous
    General Booth at Aberayron 1907
    Carmarthen Workhouse 1906
    Shani-pob-man, New Quay
    Carreg Cennen Castle from the air
    Pembroke Castle crossing Landore Viaduct
    Carreg Cennen Castle 1888
    H.M Submarine No 2
  • Miscellaneous 2
    (a set of aerial views)
    Port Talbot Steel Works
    River Towy
    Llyn Llech Owain
    Betws mountain
    Paxton's tower
  • Pontardawe & Llangiwg Collection 1
    18 pictures with descriptions
  • Pontardawe 5
    WWII Memorial Plaque at Library
    Pontardawe Tinplate Works
  • Pontardawe 6
    Surveying Class, Pontardawe Tech. Inst. 1931
    Pontardawe & District Operatic Society
    View towards James St c 1945
  • Pontardawe 7
    Pontardawe School - 1924
    Pontardawe School WW2 Memorial Service
  • Pontardawe 8
    Ynysfechan Colliery site redevelopment
    Pontardawe Foundry - due for demolition
    Fire at old Pontardawe Grammar school building
    Demolition of above (several photographs)
    Site where Pontardawe Welsh School stood
    Pontardawe Grammar School and Technical College sites
  • Pontardawe 9
    Alltwen and Pontardawe Cooperative Society
    Rev Seiriol Williams

 

  • Tairgwaith
    St David's St and Brook Terrace
    Brook Terrace
    Glanyrafon & Leigh Arms before demolition
    The cut, Tairgwaith
    Old Tairgwaith
  • Tairgwaith 2
    Tairgwaith Working Men's Club
  •  Ystalyfera
    Panteg Road
    Xmas Card 1943
    Church Rd/Tyle'r Mount 1909
    Former Royal Mail Delivery Office, Old Tram Rd, Ystalyfera
    Gurnos Ind. chapel, Ystalyfera

 

Maps

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If you click on the map/diagram on the opening site page this takes you to a map of the general area on the Multimap site. In addition, once the required map is visible, clicking on the link Aerial Photos link in the left hand Navigation Box will bring up an aerial photograph of the area.

For a map of a village as it was in the mid C19 go to Landmark , I recommend using  the County Gazetteer option  

These two maps are on this site;                                                                                                                                                


Newspapers in the Tawe and Amman Valley

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Ebenezer Rees's first attempt in 1884 to set up a newspaper based in Cwm Tawe was shortlived. He tried again in 1898, starting the newspaper entitled Llais Llafur, which had a strong following in the area. However many people felt that there was a need for a local paper in the Amman Valley.

In 1909, Gwilym Vaughan, who lived in Brynaman and ran a printing business in Ammanford, started the Amman Valley Times. This was not a great succes and folded after a few months.

GV was not deterred. In 1913 he founded the weekly Amman Valley Chronicle, under the editorship of Thomas Davies (Awstin), an experienced journalist. This time the newspaper was a popular success, and GV was able to promote his favourite causes, the local rugby team and male voice choir, and also the Liberal Party (he was elected as Carmarthenshire county councillor during his period of control). The English language predominated, though there was a fair amount of Welsh language material also.

Unfortunately he was less successful as a businessman, and when a catastrophic fire destroyed the printing works in 1915, he was forced to sell out. The paper continued under new management until 1959, when it was absorbed into the South Wales Guardian Group.

A set of copies on microfilm can be found in Carmarthen Library.

(partly based on an article in the Journal of the Amman Valley History Society by Huw Walters)

[Anna Brueton April 2001]


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Llyfrau Gleision

[Blue Books]

The Report of the Commission of Enquiry into State Education in Wales, 1847

 

 

"In the most Southern Iskennen Hundred lies the parish of Betws. This parish contains a few agricultural labourers. The cottages are chiefly those of colliers. The farms are small and farmers are obliged to work on their own lands. Wages are 9 shillings a week with food and accommodation of the labourers own finding, or 8 pennies a day with food. Colliers earn about 18 shillings a week. The people are industrious and more sober than their neighbours in Llandybie parish. There is a fair school room in the village but the place is too poor and thinly populated to support a master. There is a prospect of very extensive works being carried out there."

Betws Dame School;

"This school is held by an old woman in the end of the school room newly erected in the village. Not one of the scholars present could read a single word in the new testament accurately, indeed from what I heard from herself, I doubt whether the school mistress could read a chapter with any degree of accuracy."

NB, the new testament would have been in English and in 1847 Welsh would likely have been the only language understood by the children.

[This extract from ' Betws Mas o'r Byd ]


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Trade & Telephone Directories

 

 

 

These extracts for local villages/parishes from various trade directories are to be found on the pages of Genuki. All those from Kelly's are taken from Cds published   by Archive CD Books


Local Wills

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See also Farms for census and other details of various farms mentioned

The wills of these people are featured below;


Daniel Jones

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Contributed by Margaret Jones.

Daniel Jones of Cwmnanthopkin Isha died in 1841 and his will specifies in part:

"I give and bequeath unto my wife Mary Jones my two cows and a horse I also
give and bequeath unto my said wife the use of all my household furniture
during the term of her natural life if she shall so long continue my widow
and after her decease or intermarriage which shall first happen I give and
bequeath the same unto my daughters Hannah Hopkins and Mary Bevan equally to
be divided between them amongst them share and share alike I also give and
bequeath unto Margaret Jones the illegitimate daughter of my son Daniel
Jones the sum of Twenty pounds to be paid her on her attaining the age of
twenty one years but without any interest in the mean while And as to all
the rest residue and remainder of my personal estate and effects whatsoever
and wheresoever and of what nature quality or kindsoever the same may be I
give and bequeath the same unto my said daughters Hannah Hopkins and Mary
Bevan their executors and administrators and assigns equally to be divided
between and amongst them share and share alike And lastly I do hereby
nominate constitute and appoint my son in law William Hopkin of Goitre Garth
in the parish of Languicke and William Bevan of Twll y Gwithil in the parish
of Langavelach joint executors of this my last will and Testament. In
witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty eighth day
of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty one. "

Witnesses were Evan Jones and John Rees and the estate was declared at under 20 pounds


Llewellyn Bevan

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Contributed by Margaret Jones.

From the will of Llewellyn Bevan written in 1827:

"I do ordain and apoint my Dear wife ann to posess and enjoy all that
tenement of land commonly called and known by the name of Nantygaseg isa
During her life time wit the lese of twllygwyddyl and after her life the
benefit or profit of the afore said lese to my son William Bevan, and I do
order him to pay six pounds yearly and evry year to my son Hopkin Bevan, &
to Rachel Evan the sum of four pounds yearly and the hay of a spot caled
truan and the little field that join her Hous down til the river, and one
pounds yearly to Mallt the wife of John Hopkin, and two pounds yearly to
Elizabeth wife of Evan Johnes.
farther I Do order my son Evan to possess and enjoy that tenement of land
caled nantygaseg ise forever after his mother time, and the said Evan to pay
the undermensioned terms of money to the several persons hereafter named to
John Bevan gelywren ise forty pounds, to the Congregation of Christiance
meeting at Tynnycod twenty pounds, to John Philip twenty pounds, twenty
pounds to the widdow of Coedy falde, and ten pounds for John Cook and Eighty
pounds for my son Hopkin, and twenty pounds to my Dater Rachel and the hay
of wain fach dan gercwan Every year During her life and to my three Daters
of my first wife nine pounds to be equally Devided between them Farther that
half the stok and crop of twllygwiddul to my wife."

Noah Jones

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Contributed by Caryl Jones whose ancestor John Harris owned Cwmbach subsequently

 

The will of the Rev Noah Jones - proved January 1776

THE FIRST DAY OF JULY AND  IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FIVE

I SO HEREBY GIVE AND LEAVE UNTO MY NEPHEW AND HEIR APPARENT JOHN JONES OF

THE PARISH OF BETTWS IN THE COUNTY OF CARMARTHEN YEOMAN ALL THAT TENEMENT

BUILDINGS AND LANDS COMMONLY CALLED TIR Y CWMBACH IN CAGURWEN HAMLET IN THE

PARISH OF LLANGUIKE IN THE COUNTY OF GLAMORGAN WHICH IS COPYHOLD OF TO (SIC)

LIVES UNTO MY SAID NEPHEW JOHN JONES HIS HEIRS AND ASIGNS FOREVER ACCORDING

TO THE CUSTOM OF THE MANOR OF CAEGURWEN IN WHICH THE SAID PREMISES ARE

SITUATED.


John Thomas of Cwmnanthir

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Contributed by Rina Callingham (April 2006), copied with permission from the National Library of Wales

 

Manor of Kaegurwen in the County of Glamorgan

At the Court Baron of Capel Hanbury Leigh Esquire Lord of the said Manor Let in and for the said Manor at the Dwelling house of Evan Bevan on Thursday the seventeenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty five before Alexander Cuthbertson Gentleman Deputy Steward of the said Manor.

Abraham Thomas of Bailyglas Isha in the parish of Languicke in the County of Glamorgan Yeoman came this day into open Court and in a kith oath and saith that John Thomas late of Cwmnanthyr in the parish aforesaid in the County aforesaid Yeoman now deceased did on the first day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty four duly sign seal and publish and declare the paper writing hereunto annexed as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of the said Deponent and Moses Thomas and Owen Jones Yeomen both of the parish of Languicke aforesaid in the County aforesaid and that the said Deponent and Moses Thomas and Owen Jones did severally subscribe their names to the said paper writing as witnesses to the due execution thereof in the presence of the said Testator and of each other and the said Deponent further saith that the name "John Thomas" set and subscribed near to the seal affixed thereto as the party executing the same is of the proper hand writing of the said John Thomas the said Testator and that the several names " Moses Thomas, " Owen Jones," and " Abraham Thomas" also set and subscribed as witnesses attesting the due execution thereof are of the several and respective hand writing of the said Moses Thomas and Owen Jones and of this Deponent and that the said Testator John Thomas at the time of executing the said last Will and Testament was of sound and perfect mind and memory and understanding

Sworn in open court this seventeenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty five - before me

Alex Cuthbertson
Deputy Steward

 

The Will

In the name of God Amen I John Thomas of Cwmnanthir in the Parish of Languick and County of Glamorgan Yeoman being sick in Body but of perfect mind and memory make and Ordain this my last will and Testament in manner and form following

First I give and devise and bequeath unto my Dearly beloved wife all that Messuage and Tenement of Lands called Cwmnanthir in her possession to assign over unto John Hopkin of Gould in the Parish of Cadoxton juxta neath already sold by me John Thomas and if John Hopkin will not completely finish as before mentioned to any other person I authorise her set over and sell and assign the Provision to some other Person

All the rest of my effects I give unto her and I appoint her the sole executrix of this my last will and Testament revoking all Others in witness whereof I put my hand and seal in the presence of us this 1st Day of March 1824.

                                                                                                                            John J Thomas

Witnesses
Moses Thomas
Owen Jones
Abraham Thomas

 

This will was produced before me the 26th day of August 1824 by the written named Testatrix - Mary Thomas and the personal estate of the Testator was sworn to be under the value of fifty pounds.

David Prothero. Surrogate

Notes

Transcribed as seen - with the original punctuation (or lack of it) and highlighting of  parts of the documents.  
Copy of will obtained from National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Note of interest:   
Capel Hanbury Leigh, the Lord of the Manor of Kaegurwen, was the great grandson of the John Hanbury who introduced the rolling method of producing tinplate at Pontypool.  Capel inherited the Manor of Kaegurwen through his marriage to Lady Molly Ann Mackworth - the young widow of Sir Robert Mackworth of Gnoll Castle.  Molly Ann was herself the daughter of John Nathaniel Miers of the Ynyspenllwch tinplate works near Clydach.

The Court Baron was the means by which the administrative business of the Manor was organised and conducted for the benefit of the Lord of the Manor and his tenants.  It was overseen by the Steward.


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Pontardawe and District Operatic Society

 

 

 

Also see Saron (Rhydyfro) Operatic Society

See also  Picture Gallery (Pontardawe 6)

I have extracted these details from an undated newspaper cutting.
(Colin Richards tells me that he thinks it was in 1938 or 1939 - his uncle, Ross Richards, a well known singer in the Swansea valley, and a former member of the Carl Rosa Opera Company, took the main part of the Mikado, and Colin's  father, Oswald Richards, who also had a fine voice, is listed in the article as a member of the men's chorus.)  

Pontardawe Operatic Society

Presentation of the Mikado

Successful First Venture

It is not often that a newly formed operatic society undertakes for its first presentation, a work of such quality as Gilbert and Sullivan's 'The Mikado', but members of the Pontardawe Society were ambitious enough to feel that they could do ample justice to this comic opera, which for many years has appealed to all lovers of music.

And their ambitions were realised to the full; for the Society gave a presentation of 'The Mikado' that would have been hard to beat in any of the larger provincial towns of the country.

.......................the president of the Society is Mr Charles G Gilbertson JP........joint hon. secretaries were Mr E P Hopkin of Smithfield, Pontardawe, and Mr Idris Jones of Brecon Rd, Pontardawe.............Mr E Thissen was producer....... Mr Trevor Davies of Clydach was musical director......... Mr Percy Chapman was the accompanist.

The cast list was;

In the article all the principals are praised for fine performances but to give an example I will quote fully the section that relates to my uncle Rees Davies (Rhys Tirbach) from Rhydyfro (originally  Cwmgors).

"Nanki-Poo, the Mikado's son, first seen as a wandering minstrel, sang his way into the hearts of all. Mr Rees Davies is a singer of rare quality, and although the demands made on him were many, he rose to the occasion each time. Especially good was he in the recitative, 'And have I journeyed for a month' sung with Pooh-Bah, and the duet 'Were you not to Ko-Ko plighted' sung with Yum-Yum..."

The choruses also came in for fine praise and they are listed here.

Ladies chorus;

Men's chorus;

The orchestra was complimented on its splendid playing, the members names are not extracted here although listed in the article, they were also members of the Swansea Festival Orchestra.

The article concludes;

"The performances were of the first order, and one trusts that this will not be the last appearance of a society that promises to do much to to improve the culture of Pontardawe and district.

 

Saron (Rhydyfro) Operatic Society

 

 

 

Extract from an undated newspaper article (but see above).

Esther the Beautiful Queen

A Capital performance

In undertaking the presentation (at the Public Hall, Pontardawe)  of the sacred cantata 'Esther the Beautiful Queen' (by William B Bradbury)  the Saron, Rhydyfro, Operatic Society revealed ambitious desires, for the work is one that demands good individual singing and acting and a blending of the union choruses.

That it was portrayed in so able and convincing a manner is a tribute to the society; and their performance, without any exaggeration, can be labelled first class.

Two of the characters were outstanding.........Miss Hettie Rees of Clydach fulfilled the role of Esther ...... in almost 'the manner born'........Mr W H Davies of Ynismeudw portrayed Haman......created the most favourable impression................... with Mr A Gwyn Davies of Trebanos ......doing exceedingly well in the role of King Ahaseurus, a meticulous portrayal.......the same can be said for Mr Rees Davies of Rhydyfro who enacted Mordecai the Jew, the possessor of a more than useful tenor voice he can look back with pride on his share of the entertainment........Madame Annie Smith, also of Rhydyfro portrayed Zeresh wife of Haman and her rich contralto was one of the features of the evening..

Other cast members to be complimented were  Madam J Phillips of Rhydyfro, Mr Edwin Clement of Rhydyfro, Mr Sid Jenkins of Rhydyfro, Miss Winnie Jones of Rhydyfro, Miss Esther Ann Rees of Rhydyfro, Mr Ezer James of Rhydyfro, and Mr S James.

The chorus and orchestra were also complimented on fine performances.
The latter comprised David Price, S Sammals, W Kersey, David Davies, T Jones, A Palmer, C Francis and J Carpenter.

The Chairman, the Rev Idwal Jones, pastor of Saron, to which cause the proceeds were to be donated, thanked the audience in the interval. The chairman of the committee was Mr David Davies of Llyscoed, treasurer Mr Evan Williams of Baily Glas, and secretary Mr Edwin Clement of Glannant. ...

 


Corner Shopping

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(From 'Through the Decades' ISBN 0 9524554 04 ) 

The extract  is abbreviated to the original data supplied by the family;

The history of Osbourne House in Garnant ................

Owner Mrs Margaret Evans was known as Mrs Evans Siop y Lamb or even Mrs Evans Siop Fach.
Her story began more than half a century earlier. In 1891, the mother of five children, she lost her husband after an accident in the tinworks. At that period, there was no compensation in such cases. The young mother brought up her family alone.

Margaret tackled the task with great energy and enterprise. When the railway line and viaduct were being constructed behind her house, she rose very early to bake individual small loaves, which she sold, with butter, cheese and cans of tea, to the navvies for their breakfasts.

A billiard room was built alongside. Siop y Lamb became noted for such things as quality confectionery, lovely Belgian dolls - and other toys - at Christmas.

Although she prospered commercially, Margaret Evans was not finished with tragedy. In 1895, one of her daughters died suddenly, a few days after her eleventh birthday. Another daughter died in 1913 at the age of 30, leaving an eight-year old son to be fostered. Her only son was killed in a car crash at the age of 34.

Margaret Evans survived until November, 1945, keeping an active interest in the business until the end. The shop remained open until January 1966, when it closed after the sudden death of Mrs Evans' daughter, Mrs Maggie Hanson.

No trace of the business now remains. The building was sold as a dwelling house. The billiard room has been pulled down to make room for a garage. Mrs Evans' descendants are scattered throughout Wales, England, Scotland and even New Zealand.

And yet the memory of the enterprise is not dead. There are several people who still treasure tea-sets and other articles of china from Siop Mrs Evans.


Gwaith Y Lamb

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See photographs in Garnant section of Picture Gallery

There seems to be very little written about the coal mine named after the adjoining Lamb pub in Garnant.

The book History of Coal Mining in the Amman Valley by Ifor Davies mentions it in a short list of  'small mines in the area .... not having a long life......or employing many men...'.

It isn't listed by Joseph T. Robson, H.M.Inspector for the South Wales District in his Report for 1896.

Quite obviously, Osbourne House was there before the mine. It's hard to think that anyone would build a house knowing it would end up surrounded so closely on 3 sides by mining buildings, railway, dust and noise; indeed, the third photograph below shows clearly how the fabric of  Osbourne House's outbuildings had suffered.

The mine itself was on the Lamb side of the main road, a drift mine, under Betws Mountain. The overhead tramway allowed coal to be taken to the screening machines and then on to the trucks on the railway tracks below.

Additional comment from John Miles (12/04)
From what I know about the anthracite coalfield collieries, they were relatively small (the east Glamorgan mines often employed over 1000 men and this is typical for other parts of the UK), were fairly cheap to set up because they were slants on the outcrop and seem to have gone broke or changed ownership fairly frequently so this mine is typical

Further information;

Bobby Hunt from Garnant, who is now over 80 years, old remembers playing billiards in Mrs Chart's family billiard hall shown in the photo; he says it contained two billiard tables.
He also remembers Gwaith y Lamb working and says that it was on three levels.
One level was at the level of the railway line shown with the large trucks , another was at the same level as the shop (i.e.road level) and one overhead level which is shown in another picture.
The winding house is the large brick building shown behind the car in another picture. This winder pulled drams up from two drift mines, which constituted Gwaith y Lamb, as far as the winder itself. Men had then to manually push the drams across the road on two levels to the screening shed and also had to manually tip the coal from the drams when they arrived at the screening plant. The screened coal would then be tipped into the trucks waiting on the lower level.
The track and sidings on which these trucks operated ran to the main GWR line which was situated about 100 yards away from and behind the winding house.

Not far away there was another colliery called the Doctor's Colliery which was situated near Doctor's Road and the piece of land which was between the winding house and some cottages further along the road was used as allotments by the people who lived in the neighbouring cottages.
Further down the road some inhabitants of Bryncethin Road used to be able to dig best quality Peacock Vein coal from outcrops in their own gardens.


Ystalyfera Chamber of Trade.

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A list of members shown in the South Wales Voice, Dec 15 1928

Contributed by Anna Brueton

On page 6 - 7 is an article on Trade at Ystalyfera

Members of the Ystalyfera Chamber of Trade (Page 8)

There are photographs of all the above shops except the last 2, with an explanatory note:  "We greatly regret that through an unfortunate accident, we have been unable to include the photo blocks of the premises of Messrs T.C. Arnold and Son, and  Messrs Hunt's Stores - Ed. S.W.V. " ;  and advertisements for all except Mr Luther Lloyd (which may appear elsewhere in the paper).


Ystalyfera - the cholera outbreak of 1866

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For a more general coverage of the subject (with Swansea/Neath area coverage) see also Cholera in Wales by G Penrhyn Jones, National Library of Wales journal Vol X/3 Summer 1958.

 

From History of Pontardawe & District by John Henry Davies, 1967

It has been taught that cholera was caused by Vibrio cholera (Koch, 1886) and there was no reason to suppose that it was air borne.
At Ystalyfera, beyond all doubt, the culture ground of the Vibrio cholerae was the human body, and the discharges from it were the source of contagion. They infected the ground, the water or the immediate surroundings of the patient, the poison finding the entrance into the bodies of the healthy by means of food and drink, which became contaminated in various ways, e.g. by flies. Contaminated water was the most important, particularly in places without a public water supply. The dangerous species of cholerae was found " in excreta, contaminated water, soil, or sewage "

Dr. James Rogers, Ystalyfera, in 1866, described Ystalyfera;

" As a village on an abrupt hill side without any drainage, with very few privies, nearly all being on cesspools, many of them on higher ground than the neighbouring houses, were loathsome nuisances, percolating their contents into the soil below them; and in the instance where the first case of cholera occurred, the pavement of the back premises was ' squashy ' from this cause."

" That water supply was very scanty in quantity and very uncertain in quality, being little better than surface water, percolating through the shale tips and the drainage of the coal seams and colliery workings; so scarce was the water in the Iron Works that it was a common practice with the men to drink largely of the canal water, which was conveyed in pipes through various departments for the purposes of the Works. This water received the surface drainage of nearly all the houses in the village. In one house - an inn, the landlady fell a victim to the disease, and it will not appear surprising when I state the fact that in the yard at the back of the house, less than thirty feet square, were two pigsties, two privies on cesspools, fowl houses and a well; the said yard being wholly undrained, and it could have been effectively done for a less sum than five pounds - the poor woman had been warned of the dangerous condition of her premises - she had ample means, being a wealthy woman of her class, and one of the most cleanly women in her house I had ever met with. An open gutter running from this same yard into a field adjoining alongside the hedge, in front of a row of houses gave off a noisome stench. In these houses, several cases of the disease occurred." ( A Sketch of the Cholera Epidemic at Ystalyfera in the Autumn of 1866 by J Rogers, 1867)

The graveyards, some of them crammed with the dead, in one case, that of Pant-teg, standing on higher ground and surrounded by houses, the others unfit for the purpose of burial, became marked centres of virulence during the course of the epidemic. It was said that many bodies were conveyed to Llangiwg Church cemetery to be buried as cholera victims after being refused in other cemeteries. The poor who died in the Pontardawe workhouse were also buried there.

To-day, great improvements in water-supply and sanitation have nearly abolished waterborne diseases, such as cholera, dysentery, enteric fever and the like.

In 1849, cholera swept scores of important persons at Brynamman, and the first who fell a victim to the disease was William Herbert, Cwmnantmoel.
In the same period, cholera took many at Ystalyfera and people hastened to the chapels for refuge.'
In 1866, cholera took the lives of hundreds in the villages. People, terrified by the suddenness with which cholera claimed lives, attended chapels and scores of men and women became members of Pant-teg Independent chapel. At Craigcefnparc in the choleric epidemic of 1866, eighteen cases occurred, of which only one died.


 

THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF A GLAMORGAN PARISH

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The article THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF A GLAMORGAN PARISH (Llangiwg); By Hugh Thomas, National Library of Wales journal Winter, 1975, Vol XIX/2 has the following references of particular local interest;

Population/occupations

"The progess of coalmining inevitably had its consequences for the parish. Population increased significantly from the 829 of 1801 to the 2,813 of 1841, largely as a result of immigration into the parish for by the latter year 946, nearly one-third of the parish's inhabitants, had been born outside the county of Glamorgan. There was a marked change in the occupational pattern of the parish --- between 1801 and 1831 the numbers of families dependent upon occupations other than agriculture had risen from 41 to 126.   
This change is illustrated by the baptismal register of the three Independent chapels of Pantteg, Carmel and Alltwen. The last named is in the neighbouring parish of Cilybebyll, but it is possible to identify those parents who were inhabitants of Llangiwg. Between 1826 and 1837 the minister of these three chapels, Rev. Philip Griffiths, recorded the occupations of 190 fathers whose 325 children he baptised. The largest group among them were the colliers who totalled 96, although 21 of these were first recorded as labourers. It would appear that these latter either started their working lives or came to the district to work as labourers but during these eleven years changed their occupations to coalmining.
The following are the parental occupations represented in the baptismal registers: Colliers-96*; Labourers - 48*; Farmers -- 43; Carpenters -- 5; Tailors -- 4; Weavers, Publicans, Cordwinders -- 3 each; Engineers, Hauliers - 2 each; Shopkeepers, Masons-- 1 each. (*Contain the 21 men who transferred from labouring to coalmining.)   
While it cannot be claimed that this occupational breakdown is comprehensive it does indicate the changes taking place and agrees closely with the pattern which emerges from the enumerators' census return for 1841.  By this year the total population of the parish had grown to 2,813 of whom 946 had been born outside the county. Worthy of note also is the fact that the most significant growth had taken place in those parts of the parish which had witnessed the most mumerous coalmining undertakings, Alltygrug and Caegurwen. In the case of the former the 197 inhabitants of 1801 had grown to 1,078 in 1841, while the latter's 224 had increased to 843 during the same period."

 

A closer examination of the changes which occurred within the parish of Llangiwg illustrates very clearly the nature of the impact of industrial growth upon population change. Of the four hamlets of the parish, Blaenegel was only marginally affected by industrial development, Parcel Mawr was subjected to the industrial undertakings of William Parsons and then William Gilbertson, in Caegurwen there was considerable expansion in coalmining and less substantial development in ironworking; but far and away the most conspicuous industrial growth was that associated with the Ystalyfera ironworks in the hamlet of Alltygrug. These variations are clearly reflected in the population changes which occurred within the parish during the first seventy years of the nineteenth century. During this period the population of Blaenegel did not quite double itself, that of Parcel Mawr increased almost six-fold; in Caegurwen the number of inhabitants increased by seven times; in Alltygrug, however, the increase was far greater for its population grew over twenty-fold. The following table shows the differences in growth rates within the parish

Population of the parish of Llangiwg, by hamlets

 

Blaenegel

Parcel Mawr  

Caegurwen

Alltygrug

Llangiwg

1801

111

   297

   224

   197

    829

1841

182

   710

   843

1,078

2,813

1851

200

   897

1,316

1,816

4,229

1861

204

1,339

1,461

4,919

7,983

1871

202

1,706

1,586

4,818

8,312

Housing

"In 1801 the number of inhabited houses in the parish was no more than 161, of which some 120 were farmhouses. The remainder consisted of the few places of business which existed at the time, most of them inns or public houses, the houses and places of work of local craftsmen, weavers, blacksmiths and miners, and there were the cottages of labourers. The parish was thinly populated, its inhabitants living for the most part in isolated farmhouses and cottages. Only where a few dwellings were clustered around a min or inn were there any concentrations of population and these were very few. By 1871 there had been a radical change in the settlement pattern of the parish. The number of dwellings had increased more than ten-fold and their distribution had altered significantly. The expansion in house building obviously reflected the progress of industrialization in the different parts of the parish. The progress made in the different parts of the parish is shown in the following table: "

       Houses in the parish - by hamlets

Hamlet

1801

1841

1851

1861

1871

1874

Allt-y-grug

41

204

350

933

949

963

Blaenegel

30

36

35

 35

34

41

Caegurwen

50

165

256

289

318

320

Parcel Mawr 

40

136

176

273

336

352

 

"A small number of the dwellings which had made their appearance in the parish by the middle decades of the century were substantial houses built by the works' proprietors and, in the case of the larger of them, their managers, the few professional men and affluent businessmen. There were, of course, the older farmhouses and the places of business with living accommodation attached. Only at Ystalyfera in the hamlet of Alltygrug were there tenements in substantial numbers. The vast majority of the dwellings were recorded as cottages, small and with sleeping accommodation frequently in the roof or attic. The following table shows the different categories of dwellings recorded in the parish in 1863: "

 

 

Farm- houses

Public-houses,etc

 Houses & shops

Houses

Cottages

Tenements

Alltygrug

25

19

44

30

712

130

Blaenegel

17

  -

  -

  1

  22 

   -

Caegurwen

36  

 8

  2

  8

244

   -

Parcel Mawr 

34

16

10

16

205 

    1 

 

 "With the exception of the farms, these were concentrated for the most part in close proximity to the ironworks and collieries. By this time the parish had assumed in large measure the settlement pattern which prevailed into the present century. The former small centres of population had expanded and joined together to form the villages of the parish.
The largest of these, the village of Ystalyfera, was the product of a number of such centres --- at Craig Arw and Craig-y-merched overlooking the ironworks, at Pantyffynnon and Ystalyfera Uchaf on the southwestern and north-western extremities respectively of the ironworks and these were joined together by the settlement at Gwern Fawr on the lower slopes of the Allt-y-grug Mountain.
The village of Pontardawe was the product of the merger of the settlements at Ynysgelynen, the Cross, Maes lago, Tir-y-bont and Craig Llangiwg, all linked together by smaller collections of dwellings.
In much the same way, Cwmllynfell was founded on the settlements at Tir Owen Gwyn, Llwyncelyn, Hendreforgan and Cwmllynfell; Brynaman on the settlements at Gwter Fawr, Clynboidy and Brynaman itself; and Gwauncaegurwen on those at Mairdy, Pwll-y-wrach, Cwmddrisien and Mount Pleasant.

Villages

The following table will give an indication of how the emerging villages of the parish increased i n terms of dwelling places during the third quarter of the nineteenth century:

 

1854

1863

1874

Ystalyfera

335

810

856

Pontardawe

89 

145

187

Gwauncaegurwen

66

80

89

Cwmllynfell

47 

77

78

Cwm-twrch

40

83

85

Cwm-gors

19  

20

51

Ynysmeudwy

25 

63

69

Rhyd-y-fro

12

15

The above figures do not give a complete picture of the urbanisation of the parish or of the size of the villages for in the case of a number of the latter there was considerable settlement outside the bounds of the parish. The villages of Brynaman and Cwmllynfell, for instance, included settled areas within the neighbouring parish of Llangadog, a substantial portion of the village of Cwm-twrch lay within the parish of Ystradgynlais and the village of Pontardawe extended into the parish of Rhyndwyglydach."

 


  Cymanfa Ganu etc

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Data copied from 5 booklets relating to musical/choral events in the 1930s/1940s in Cwmgors, GCG and Pontardawe
The booklets appear to have belonged to various members of my Tirbach Davies family, Cwmgors

 

1937, Feb 9th & 10th

Welfare Hall, GCG
Presentation of Dr Joseph Parry's Opera "BLODWEN"
By the Carmel Chapel Operatic Society: Augmented by an Orchestra

Conductor - *Mr Dd Roberts, A. Mus., LCM (GCG)
Accompanist - *Mr Cyril Howells BA (GCG)
Producers - Mr W M Thomas (Clifton) & Mr T H Griffiths BA
Dance Instructor - Mr Joe ap Morgan

Chairmen

Tuesday Night - Mr Glyn Meredith BA (Solicitor)
Wednesday Night - Mr Cyril Davies ME, Agent, AAC

Chairman of Committee - Mr Morgan Hicks
Treasurer - Mr Wm Thomas
Secretaries - Mr D Rowland Jones BA & Mr Kenneth James BA

Dramatis Personae

  • Blodwen - *Madam Jenny Evans-Jones, soprano, Gwynfe
  • Ellen - *Madam Ruth Jones-Morris, soprano, GCG
  • Lady Maelor - *Madam Teify Jones-Thomas, contralto, Garnant
  • Sir Howell Ddu - *Mr Emlyn Burns (National winner), tenor, Nantyffyllon)
  • Arthur of Berwyn - *Mr Emlyn Jones (National winner), baritone, Cwmllynfell
  • Iolo - *Mr Owen Morgan, bass, GCG
  • A Monk - Mr Rhydderch Davies
  • Rhys Gwyn - Mr Tom Watkins
  • Messengers - Tim G Jones, D Rowland Jones BA, Maldwyn Jenkins, Meurig Rees, Mel Llan Davies

*There are photographs in the pamphlet for those people marked *

 

Llun y Pasg, Ebrill 10, 1939

TABERNACL, CWMGORS
RHAGLEN
CYMANFA GANU UNDEBOL
Dan nawdd eglwysi y Tabernacl, Carmel a Seion
I'w chynnal yn y capel uchod
Llun y Pasg: Ebrill 10, 1939

Arweinydd : Parch. Thomas Rosser, Aberdyfi
Organydd - Mr D J Evans C.R.A.M., Cwmgors

Llywyddion y Gymanfa:

  • Parch. T M Roderick, Tabernacl
  • Parch. Ll C Huws, BA, Carmel

Llywyddion y Dydd:

  • Bore - Parch T M Roderick, Tabernacl
  • Prynhawn - Parch LL. C Huws BA, Carmel
  • Hwyr - Mr T Glen Jones, Seion

Swyddogion y Pwyllgor:

  • Cadeirydd - Mr Evan Lloyd, GCG
  • Trysorydd - Mr David Edwards, Cwmgors

Ysgrifenyddion:

  • Mr D J Davies, 21 Llwyn Rd, Cwmgors
  • Mr David J Jones, 23 New Rd, GCG

 

Trefn y Rehearsals

  • Ionawr 29
    • Seion. Arweinydd;  Mr Dan Lloyd, Seion
    • Carmel. Arweinydd; Mr Trefor Jenkins, Tabernacl
  • Chwefror 26
    • Seion. Arweinydd; Mr Idris Smith, Carmel
    • Tabernacl. Arweinydd; Mr Dan Lloyd, Seion
  • Mawrth 26
    • Seion. Arweinydd; Mr Trefor Jenkins, Tabernacl
    • Carmel. Arweinydd; Mr Idris Smith, Carmel
  • Ebrill 9
    • Tabernacl. Arweinydd; Y Parch Thomas Rosser

Arweinyddion y Blynyddoedd Dilynol;

  • 1940 - Mr W J Evans, Aberystwyth (gynt o Aberdar)
  • 1941 - Mr John Williams, FRCO., ARCM., Bangor

Beirniaid

  • Y Don - Parch Tom Rosser, Aberdyfi
  • Yr Emyn - Mr Emlyn Evans ( Emlyn Aman), Brynaman

Hymns

  • Stella.   Glyntaf.   Mae'r Byd yn Llawn o Degwch.  Ymbil.  Blodau's Iesu.  Holwyddoreg.  Am Waed yr Oen.  Cysgod y Gorlan.  Yr Ysgol Sul.  Pwy Sydd ar Du'r Arglwydd ?  
  • Ely.  St Joseph.  Talfryn.  Gerontius.  Llanybyther.  Dowlais.  Cymod.  Prague.  
  • Penfro.  Salome.  Rachel.  Silyn.  Bryngogarth.  Dinbych.  Mwl.  Trefor.  Finlandia.  Emyn Buddugol Cymanfa 1938.  Mornington.

 

There is a balance sheet for 1938 at the back of the booklet showing Receipts of 34.4.3 and a balance in hand of 17.19.8.
They are signed by;

  • Ysgrifenyddion; Lewis Jones (Seion) & W D Jones (Carmel)
  • Trysorydd; David Edwards (Carmel)

And certified as correct by;

  • Thos Bartholomew (Carmel) & E Myrddin Thomas (Seion)

 

Rhaglen Goffa: Dr Joseph Parry 1841 - 1941

RHAGLEN GOFFA :

 DR JOSEPH PARRY 1841 - 1941

"Swn ei gan sydd ar y mynydd, swn ei gan sydd yn y fro."

CYMANFA GANU UNDEBOL .
Eglwysi Carmel, GCG; Seion (B) a Tabernacl, Cwmgors
I'w chynnal yn y
TABERNACL, CWMGORS
Llun y Pasg, 1941. Am 10.30, 2 a 6 o'r gloch

Arweinydd: John Williams Ysw, FRCO, ARCM, Bangor

Organydd: D J Evans Ysw, CRAM, Cwmgors

Llywyddion y dydd:

  • Bore - Y Parch Ll C Huws, BA, Carmel
  • Prynhawn - William Moses Ysw, Seion
  • Hwyr - Y Parch T M Roderick, Tabernacl

Swyddogion y Pwyllgor:

  • Cadeirydd -Mr D J Jones, Carmel
  • Trysorydd - Mr Myrddin Thomas, Seion
  • Ysgrifennydd - Mr D J Davies (Llan) 21, Llwyd Rd, Cwmgors

Arweinyddion y dyfodol:

  • 1942 - John Hughes Ysw, Mus.Bac., Treorci
  • 1943 -  Gwilym R Jones Ysw, Rhydaman
  • 1944 - Idris Griffiths Ysw, FRCO, LRAM, Llanelli

Rehearsals

Arweinydd: Mr Idris Smith, Mr Trefor Jenkins, Mr Dan Lloyd,
Organydd: Mr E Henry, Mr D Roberts, Mr D J Evans

 

Beirniad : Y Parch Gerallt Jones, BA, Brynaman

 

Hymns

  • Glanceri.  Emlyn.  Sammah.  Dim ond Iesu.  Eirinwg.  Clawdd Madoc.  Hereford.  Gorffwysfa.  Atgyfodiad.  Rhondda.  Foelallt. Myrddin.  Nantgau.  Llan Baglan.  Trewen.  Craig y Pal.  Meinir.  Corda.  Hyfryd Lais.  Gweddi yr Arglwydd.  "Fe Welir Seion Fel y Wawr".  "Eisteddai Teithiwr Blin".  Nid oes neb rhy fach i'th garu.  Dyma Feibl Annwyl Iesu. Dewch i'r Ysgol.  Ysbryd Sanctaidd, Gwrando.  Cenhadon Bach ym Ni.  Gwynfyd y Nef.  Gosteg. For.  Neb ond Ti.  Moli'r Iesu.  

There is a balance sheet for 1940 at the back of the booklet showing Receipts of 38.8.2 and a balance in hand of 17.13.8.
They are signed by;

  • Ysgrifenyddion; D J Davies (Llan) Tabernacl & David J Jones, Carmel
  • Trysorydd; David Edwards, Tabernacl

And certified as correct by;

  • Rhys Morgan, Carmel & T Jenkins, Tabernacl

 

Llun y Pasc, Ebrill 2, 1945

"Pob Perchen Anadl, Molianned yr Argwlydd"

TABERNACL, CWMGORS
Rhaglen
CYMANFA GANU UNDEBOL
Dan Nawdd Eglwysi:
Tabernacl, Seion (B) a Charmel
 I'w chynnal yn y Capel Uchod
Llun y Pasc, Ebrill 2, 1945
Cyfarfodydd i ddechrau am 10.30, 2 a 6 o'r gloch

Arweinydd: J ALBAN JENKINS Ysw, BA, LRAM, Rhyl

Organydd: D J Evans, CRAM, Cwmgors

Llywyddion y Gymanfa

  • Parch T M Roderick & Parch LL C Huws, BA.

Llywyddion y Dydd:

  • Bore - Mr D J Evans
  • Prynhawn - Parch LL C Huws BA
  • Hwyr -  Mr Willie Rees, Seion

Swyddogion y Pwyllgor:

  • Cadeirydd - Mr Willie Rees, Seion
  • Trysorydd - Mr Myrddin Thomas, Seion

Ysgrifenyddion:

  • Mr D J Davies (Llan),  21 Llwyn Rd, Cwmgors & Mr J Angus C Roderick, Y Mans, Cwmgors

Beirniad - Parch Mr J Alban Jenkins, BA, LRAM, Rhyl;   Parch Mon Williams, BA, Brynaman

 

Hymns

  • Emyn Buddugol Cymanfa 1943.  Criccieth.  Gweddi Plentyn (Joan).  Adnodau'r Plant.   O ! Am fynd i'r nef i fyw.  Sweet is the promise.  Cambria.  Aylwin.  Brynhaul.  Arweiniad. Flemming.  St Mary Magdalene.  Coronamento.  Aurelia.  Llanidloes (1).  Edith.  Bryn Cynlais.  Nerquis.  Llanbrynmair.  Rotterdam.  Lilian.  Melincwrt.  

 

There is a balance sheet for 1944 at the back of the booklet showing Receipts of 28.8.5 and a balance in hand of 19.6.5.
They are signed by;

  • Ysgrifenyddion; D J Davies (Llan)
  • Trysorydd; Myrddin Thomas

And certified as correct by;

  • D Glyn Davies,Tabernacl & Dd Emlyn Smith, Carmel

 

Celebrity Concert, November 11th, 1942

Public Hall, Pontardawe
Programme of Grand Celebrity Concert
In Aid if the Pontardawe Central Comforts Fund
Armistice Night, Wednesday Evening, November 11th, 1942

Artistes:

  • *Ruth Naylor: the celebrated operatic and concert soprano
  • *Heddle Nash: the famous English tenor
  • *Robert Easton: the celebrated bass
  •  
  • The Pontardawe Male Singers (Conductor, Mr David Daniel)

At the Piano: Mr Trevor Davies

Doors open at 6.00 pm; to commence 7.00 prompt

NO SMOKING PLEASE

*There are photographs in the programme for the 3 principal solo artistes

 

Programme

Part 1

" God Save the King"

  1. Chorus. " New Quay Fishermen Song" (D Mackenzie).  - Pontardawe Male Singers
  2. Solo.  " All Hail Thou Dwelling" (Faust/Gounod) - Heddle Nash
  3. Solo. Antonia's Aria from 3rd Act " Tales of Hoffman"  (Offenbach) - Ruth Naylor
  4. Solo. " Arise, ye Subterranean Winds" (Purcell)  - Robert Easton
  5. Duet. " Ah! Love me a Little" (Madam Butterfly/Puccini) - Ruth Naylor & Heddle Nash
  6. Chorus.  " Uncle Ned" (Stephen Foster) - Pontardawe Male Singers

Interval (Five minutes)

Part II

  1. Chorus. " Soldier's Chorus" (Faust/Gounod) - Pontardawe Male Singers
  2. Solo.  a) " When I Come Back Home" (Rizzi)  b) " The Church Bells of England" (Kennedy Russell) - Robert Easton
  3. Solo. " Mami's Aria" (La Boheme/Puccini)  - Ruth Naylor
  4. Solo. a) " When the Bloom is on the Rye" (arr. Gerald Moore)  b) " La Danza" (Neopolitan Tarantella/Rossini)  - Heddle Nash
  5. Chorus. Selected. - Pontardawe Male Singers
  6. Trio.  " Holy Angels"  (Faust/Gounod) - Ruth Naylor, Heddle Nash & Robert Easton

 

" Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau"

 

Acknowledgment

Concert Organisers and Secretaries: Misses S J James, S R Williams, C Chilcott, and Mr Richard Cooper desire to express their thanks for your support.

 


What's New

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2014

February

 

2013

August

June

March

  • Pontardawe 8   Pontardawe Grammar School and Technical College sites

February

2012

October

  • Llais Cwmtawe - Papur Cymraeg Cwmtawe (The Swansea Valley Welsh Newspaper)

May

  • Pontardawe 8 - further demolition pictures of old Grammar School and Technical College site

February

  • Ammanford
    The Square, Ammanford in the 1940s
  • Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen 21
     1924  boat trip coming back from Ilfracombe
     Yr Urdd, GCG - May 19th 1937
  • Gwauncaegurwen 20
    Cor Urdd, Gwauncaegurwen in 1937
    "Y Blodyn Glas" production in 1930s
    Production of The Student Prince1950/60s
    Ysgol fach y Waun, dosbarth 1 a 2, 1957
    Ysgol fach y Waun in 1955

 

2011

December

  • Brynamman 7
    Gibea Chapel Brynamman Band of Hope 1920
    Cor Cymysg Brynaman / Brynamman Mixed Choir 1930's
    Nativity Play, Ebeneser Chapel Brynamman 1960
  • Cwmllynfell / Cwmtwrch
    Cwmtwrch Operatic Choir, 1924

September

 

August

July

June

  •  Pontardawe 22        Photographs of Gelligron Rd and James St before and during road works   

May

April

March

  • Pontardawe 20   The Candle Factory;   The Gilbertsons Employees Ambulance;   James Street;   & South Wales Transport Company Depot
  • Pontardawe 5    An update photograph on the Pontardawe Tinplate Works site clearance
  • Annibynwyr Gwaun-Cae-GurwenThe history of the chapels of Carmel, Gwaun-cae-Gurwen and Tabernacle, Cwmgors. By Llywelyn C. Huws 1942.
    Here are the 8 photographs from the book

February

  • Pontardawe 18          8 various 'old Pontardawe' scenes
  • Pontardawe 19          7 various 'old Pontardawe' scenes

January

  • Pontardawe 17      Pontardawe Operatic Society. 'Mikado', 1949

 

2010

December

October

 

2009

November

October

  • Cymanfa Ganu etc Data from booklets relating to musical/choral events in the 1930s/1940s in Cwmgors, GCG & Pontardawe. Contributed by Gareth Hicks

July

  • Three photographs by Paul Reynolds of the GCG railway, taken c 1973

May

  • Photograph of 'Godrergraig Chapel Band of Hope on stage at the Coliseum Theatre Ystalyfera circa 1948' -  contributed by Mrs Hetty Davies, Riverside Court, Pontardawe via Roy Davies

March

February

  • The following article has been added to this site with the kind permission of the publishers and author;
    Reynolds, Paul R. The 1838 Gwaun-cae-Gurwen railway : an abandoned  feeder to the Swansea canal.   Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, 32:7 (1998), 500-505. Publisher: Railway and Canal Historical Society. ISSN 00338834.
  •  
  • Ten local photographs sent in via Roy Davies, covering Ammanford/Bettws; Black Mountains; Brynamman; Cwmllynfell; Cwmtwrch; GCG; Tairgwaith. Contributors were Mr and Mrs William John Evans, Gwauncaegurwen; and Mrs Lilian Ray, Gwauncaegurwen

    2008

September

July

February

  • Graveyard plan for Baran chapel - compiled by Roy Davies
  • Rees, Thomas & Thomas, John. Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru.   (History of the Welsh Independent Churches), 4 volumes, 1871+.  On Genuki  are now the ( Welsh) extracts from this book relating to Gwrhyd; Rhydyfro; Pantteg - all now with translations

January

 

 

2007

December

November

September

August

  • Photograph of site next to St. Peter's Church where Pontardawe Welsh School used to stand - contributed by Mr John Jones of Pontardawe (Pontardawe 8)

June

  • Photograph from John Jones of Pontardawe - burnt out canal barge (Pontardawe 15)
  • Photograph from John Jones of Pontardawe - Demolition of part of old Pontardawe Grammar school building (Pontardawe 8)

May

  • Schools - A new section on education/schools in the district  - by Gareth Hicks
  • Photograph from Roy Davies - fire at old Pontardawe Grammar school building  (Pontardawe 8)

 

April

 

March

 

 


2006

February

  • Details of the Bevan family who lived at Nant-y-gaseg Isaf farm in 1841          -    Contributed by Rina Callingham

March

  • Brynaman rugby photographs, various -  plus Home guard/Carnival/Jack Rees on  Brynamman 6          -    Contributed by Brian James/Roy Davies
  •  
  • A  transcription by Gareth Hicks of some data from the headstones from part of Hen Garmel graveyard from a copy document contributed by Rina Callingham

 April

 May

 June

  • Gellionen chapel  - in front of it can be seen the sinking of the natural gas pipeline running  from Milford Haven to storage tanks in Aberdulais.   -   Contributed by Roy Davies

  August

  • Update by Rina Callingham of her research article re the Rev Roger Howell (Baran)

November

 


Acknowledgements

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The whole point of this site is to bring together on the internet as much local historic material as I can get hold of.
There are two books that I have so far relied on quite heavily in this respect and I would comment as follows;

  • History of Pontardawe and District by John Henry Davies, published in 1967 - this book is within copyright.
    I can only remotely justify copying  extracts from it because John Henry's g grandfather, David Davies, was my ggg grandfather. It is my belief that he wrote the book out of love for and interest in his district and would be content that his work is now being made freely available to the wider public through the medium of this site.
    The local road network diagram on the site's front page is from the above book
  • The History of Pontardawe, by John E Morgan (Hirfryn) 1911; and Old Characters of Gellinudd, 1908 by the same author. Both books have been translated by Ivor Griffiths. No copyright problem here and the translator has very kindly agreed to my using material from the translations. I would  like to record my particular gratitude to John Morgan for including the section about my gg grandfather, John Hicks, who was also his grandfather.

There are many named contributors to the site who I am indebted too but  I would particularly like to record my sincere thanks to Roy Davies of Pontardawe who has and continues to find much suitable material for the site.

Gareth Hicks

Copyright notice

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Text data anywhere on this site may be copied for personal research purposes ONLY

However, I make no representations whatsoever regarding the copyright position of any material, especially photographs and the latter are NOT available for copying in any form without my prior agreement

Should anyone have an ownership interest in the copyright of any material on the site please contact me

See also the separate copyright notice on the Picture Gallery page.

Gareth Hicks

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