Cymdeithas Hanes Resolfen History Society

A web log for the Resolven History Society which publishes articles and stories related to Resolven and the immediate surroundings.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

More Images of Neath


A Report on the November meeting of Resolven History Society


November often proves a dismal month and it is no surprise that many cultures respond by firework displays to dispel the dark evenings before Christmas decorations illuminate the scene. Indeed , the weather has been so inclement that an occasional Christmas tree was  in a window as the last of Guy’s fireworks rained down. On a rather wet evening a small but interested group came together to hear Mr Keith Tucker of Neath Antiquarians , conclude his pictorial tour of Neath and its environs through a historical lens.


Mr Tucker began with a photograph of local industrialist and early photographer, Dillwyn Llewelyn, who along with the Fox Talbot’s of Margam,was among the early developers of photography. He then took the audience on a fascinating tour Neath and its vale, with photos emanating from the quite recent to the 1890s. Inevitably, the audience tried to add to the explanations of Mr Tucker and they were frequently incorrect or inspired, in turn.


Before the commencement of his talk, Mr Tucker explained that it was currently the centenary of Neath Antiquarians. To celebrate, they had produced an immense tome titled the “The Neath Antiquarian, Volume IV”. The cost of the book which runs to over 500 pages was huge, but with the help of a local authority grant, this was reduced greatly and would be a fabulous Christmas present, especially as it is a limited edition of only 300 copies. It is available from the Mechanics Institute in Neath .


Mr David Woodham thanked Mr Tucker for a memorable talk, and hoped he would return in the future to address the Society.


Trefor Jones.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

November meeting: more images of Neath.


Tuesday, October 10, 2023

John was most definitely a very bad king!!!


A Report on the October meeting of Resolfen History Society

A small if enthusiastic audience attended this month’s speaker which featured Anne Marie Thomas of Swansea. Mrs Thomas has specialised in the history of Gower and has spoken to the Society on two previous occasions. However, this year’s talk strayed from Wales to England, the Angevin kingdom of what is now most of France , Ireland and Scotland. The fascinating story included the machinations of the de Breos family and King John, ending in the establishment of a permanent settlement in the Magna Carta at Runnymede, in June 1215. Mrs Thomas pointed out that the famous joke about the Magna Carta being signed at the bottom was incorrect , since it was “sealed”, because it is doubtful if the erratic King John was literate at all.

King John has had a bad press, however when Mrs Thomas began researching his character, she found he was far worse than that. He was the youngest in a family of four boys and his three older siblings were killed enabling him to ascend the throne, though he disputed the right to the throne with the son of an elder brother, Arthur of Brittany. This was crucial to the tangled tale told in her book the “Broken Reed”, in which William de Breos fell in and out of favour, and the feudal tangle involved Llewelyn Fawr (the Great) who was in turn married to King John’s daughter.

Mr David Woosnam thanked Mrs Thomas for a fascinating tale, and hoped she would return next year to speak on the subject of the Magna Carta itself.

The next meeting of the Society will be on Monday 13th November at 7:00 when Mr Keith Tucker of Neath will conclude his fascinating talk on the “Images of Neath”.

Trefor Jones

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

October Speaker


Annual Meeting


 Cyfarfod Blynyddol / Annual General Meeting

Cymdeithas Hanes Resolfen History Society 11/9/23


10 members attended the meeting

The Chairman David Woosnam welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Apologies:  Pat Mackintosh


Past Members: A minute’s silence was held in memory of Gwyneth Williams, a faithful and valued member of the Society


.Minutes of previous AGM:  were read and found to be correct. Proposed: Julie Hicks

                                                                                                                    Seconded: Ken Williams

Matters arising:  It was accepted that the membership fee would rise to £<< in 24/25 being the first rise in 10 years.


Financial Report – once again a very comprehensive written report was given once again by the Treasurer who reported that the current balance stood £<<<<<< in September 2023. This represented a small profit for the year.


Election of OfficersPresident: Vacant

                                      Chairman: Mr David Woosnam

                                      Treasurer: Mrs Julie Hicks

                                     General Secretary: Trefor Jones

                                     Speaker Secretary: Jill Saunders

                                     Transport Officer: Vacant

Committee: Barbara Harris, Caryl Rees, Val Davies, David Jefferies.


Chairman’s report: The Chair thanked everyone for their efforts during a difficult year. The challenge lay in getting numbers attending meetings up to the level of yesteryear, and the rise in the fee reflected the inflation of everyday costs.


The meeting concluded with some readings form Resolfen Recalled and a discussion on the role of Welfare Halls in Wales.


The meeting closed at 7:45

Monday, August 28, 2023

New Season Beckons / Tymor newydd o'n blaen

 On the 11th of September the Society's Annual Meeting will be held at the Church Hall. I believe that the next season, our 40th is rather a make or break situation. We have a full speakers' list and plans for more activities including the restoration of the St David's Day dinner which will double as a 40th Anniversary event. However, despite  the interest in local history we need willing hands to continue our activities and to spread new ideas as to how the Society develops in a digital age. 

Croeso i bawb!!!

Friday, February 24, 2023

March Meeting


Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Old photos bring old memories and some false recollections in February meeting


A Report on the February meeting of Resolven History Society

It was pleasing to see quite a few new faces in this month’s meeting, which points towards the fact that the Society is recovering after the travails of the pandemic and hopefully will be back on an even keel by next year.

This month’s speaker was Mr Keith Tucker of Neath Antiquarians who spoke on the eclectic theme of looking at images of the Neath area. He began by outlining the activities of the Antiquarians who were close to celebrating their centenary and outlined how their activities could be followed both online and in print. The illustrated talk involved showing a number of old photographs which the audience were invited to make comment on. Luckily, Mr Tucker had the biography of each slide and some photos were subject to selective memory as to the correct location. Quite a few of the photographs were of the upper Neath valley, and included a Royal visit to Cwmgwrach, Melincwrt Chapel and the visit of the National Eisteddfod in 1994. Such was the enthusiasm of the audience,  hat Mr Tucker had barely reached half way through the archive before the clock brought the meeting to a close. He will return next year with the other two thirds to show to the Society.

Mr Trefor Jones, deputising for Chairman David Woosnam, thanked the speaker for a most interesting talk.

Next month’s intended speaker is unable to attend and therefore the Society will have a St David’s themed evening including a quiz, when all the questions will be bout Welsh History.