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, February 11, 2014

Annual St David's Day Dinner

The Annual Dinner will take place at the Old White Horse, Pontneddfechan on Friday the 7th March. A bus has been arranged for 6:15. Anyone who has not given their names or menu choices to Mr David Woosnam should do so as quickly as possible or contact any member of the Committee.

A nostalgic look at the Chapels and Churches of Skewen

Calfaria Chapel,Skewen
This month’s speaker Mr Viv Griffiths, took the chapels and churches of Skewen as his topic. Mr Griffiths is a member of a group actively promoting the cataloguing the industrial heritage of the area, and he qualified his talk by stating that with the exception of the medieval Neath Abbey, the houses of worship were products of the industrialization of the area. Each one was testament to the struggles and tribulations of a unique society which was rapidly disappearing. However, ironically the public houses of Skewen were in a weaker state than the chapels with their dwindling congregations.

Mr Griffiths then showed a musical cd of the area, pointing out each of the dozens of chapels and churches which once dotted the large village. Each denomination of nonconformity was represented from the oldest to the newest chapels. The village also boasted three Anglican churches, though only St.John’s now survives. The newer Pentecostal style churches however are thriving in Skewen and one cause has even taken over a recently abandoned chapel. Each place of worship was illustrated by many photographs of the congregations at worship and at play.

Mr Griffiths finished the meeting with a showing of rare film archive of the building of the oil pipeline between Angle Bay and BP Llandarcy oil refinery in the 1960s. This revealed an industrial project, now largely forgotten, and a more relaxed view of industrial environmental change than that seen in our more media sensitive times.

Mr Trefor Jones thanked Mr Griffiths for his entertaining material and illuminating commentary.