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.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The founding of a Miners Memorial at Resolven

Mr Ron Evans at the Lyn Colliery (small mine) in 1990
I had discussions with a local historian regarding the foundation of a memorial to the miners of Resolven in 1992. He, Mr Bill Downing, provided the names and details and I raised the finance for the project.

Following a meeting with the directors of Ryan Mining, they offered to partly finance the project, the remainder of the sponsorship was raised from Neath Borough Council. After discussions with the Forestry Commission, a stone slab suitable for the project was found on the local mountain ‘Hir Fynydd’.

Arrangements were then made for a religious dedication in 1993. The service was performed by the Vicar of Resolven, the Reverend Norman Hadfield and the flag of the South Wales Miners was unveiled by the Mayor of Neath, Cllr. David Davies and the Director of Ryan Mining. Many other local organisations were also represented including the Community Council, local chapels and churches both at St.David’s Church and at the memorial plaque.

The memorial is the only one of its kind in the whole of the Welsh coalfields. It lists the miners killed in local pits including Glyncastle, Ffald-y Dre, Garth Merthyr , Ynysarwed and local small mines between 1852 and 1988 . In total, 87 men lost their lives and this fact is noted dramatically in its Welsh version on the memorial:

“Yn ystod hanes dyrus mwyngloddio yn Resolfen collodd llawer eu bywydau’n echdynnu’r aur du. ”

Dennis Williams

Post script – sadly, the original plaque was badly vandalised in subsequent years. However, Resolfen Community Council arranged for a new memorial to be placed on the wall of Y Ganolfan (the Community Centre – formerly Sion Chapel). This was unveiled in a public ceremony covered by the BBC in 2005 and happily Dennis Williams was still Vice – Chair of the Council. There is a picture of the monument elsewhere on the website.


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