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.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March Meeting of Society

A Report on the March meeting of Resolfen History Society

Mr Jeff Childs has been a regular speaker to the History Society for well over a decade. However, this year he came as Chairman of the Swansea Valley History Society, and attracted quite a few Pontardawe residents to swell the large audience. His talk was a continuation of his lecture in 2008 on the parish of Cil-y- Bebyll as he continued his illustrated journey towards Alltwen and Pontardawe.

One of the many successful aspects of Mr Childs’ lectures is his attention to detail all given without the aid of notes. Each farm, homestead or industrial works is covered with an immense amount of detail which betrays a lifetime of careful research. His talks also use the ecclesiastical map of the area as general backdrop. However the weft and weave of his talk is always the influence of people both ancient and modern, humble and grand.

On reaching Alltwen and Rhos the influence of industry became apparent. Coal, steel, tinplate, chemicals, foundries and mills were all represented within the current confines of the current settlements. It was fascinating to note how much of the industrial archaeology was now masked by the ubiquitous presence of a Tescos and how much the area has changed within only a few decades. Mr Childs also discussed the role of chapels and pubs in the area and the role of the entrepreneur Howel Gwyn in the development of Alltwen and Pontardawe.

Mr Gwyn Thomas thanked Mr Childs for his talk and remarked that it was a tragedy that so much of our heritage is masked by new development which hides the past.

Members should note that the date of next month’s Lecture will be Monday April 6th since our normal meeting date falls on Easter Monday.

Trefor Jones

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Y Tri Doethur Cerdd

Just a quick note to state that the plaque to the Three Doctors of Music is now placed on Y Ganolfan ( the Community Centre). The money was raised by a combination of our Silver Jubilee Concert and a grant from the Community Foundation in Wales. There will be an official unveiling later in the spring.

Le jour de Saint Davide

St.David’s Day Dinner 2009
Game, what game?

Wales had played France in a rugby union international 85 times before our dinner on Friday 27th February, however much to the chagrin of the members the century old tradition of playing the game on a Saturday ( or even Sunday) had come to an end. The Committee had innocently made an error, the game was to be played on a Friday for the first time with the kick off just before the main course. How could the WRU, IRB and any other sane organisation not realise that we always have our dinner as near as possible to St. David’s Day. Jim Kent recalls Wales' marvellous win over England!

However, the evening turned out to be a resounding success. The meal at the Crown and Sceptre was excellent, company very convivial and the visit to the toilets rather more frequent than normal since this required passing a widescreen set so the score could be relayed to the diners. As it happens Wales lost, and if one was given the choice of a long chat after a marvellous meal or braving the mean streets of St. Denis at midnight then there is only one real decision.Many thanks to Margaret and Val for the organization of a great evening.
The quiz might as well been in French!

It was also great to see the flag of our patron saint flying over the Community Centre. Congratulations to the Community Council.
Photos: Gwyn Thomas