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, December 13, 2016

Was it a meeting or a party?

Members’ Night

The History Society brought down the curtain on its activities for 2016 with its annual “Members Night”, also known as the Christmas party!! Originally, the December meeting was used for this purpose owing to the small attendance at the meeting and the distractions of the Christmas period. However, in recent years attendance has been very good and a full hall looked forward to the mulled wine and minced pie!

The evening began with a showing of a short film “Coal in their blood”, which was a documentary of the work in a small mine in the 1980s. The mine was the Crugau small mine on Hirfynydd and the technology of the period used in the small private mines which proliferted locally was almost Victorian in nature,literally a “mandrel and shovel”, operation. This contrasted with the nationalised mines which had guaranteed prices for their coal with the CEGB, some £20 higher than that of the small mines. This would lead to a court action against the government, which with hindsight was rather academic since nearly all the mines were privatised and silent by 1995. The film also feature some well known local figures including Eddie Thomas  the well repected Chairman of the Resolfen Miners’ Welfare and Rhys Jeffreys of Crynant. The now disbanded Crynant Male Voice Choir also featured. If anyone would like to borrow the film, they should contact the Secretary.

Colin Evans, followed with a short reading of the programmes used in the productions of noted Resolfen writer William Willis. Much of William’s work has featured on Radio Wales and one of the productions took place in the nearby Welfare Hall.

The meeting concluded with the annual Christmas Quiz, where the members compete for a sweet for a correct second question and a Christmas cracker for a third. Competition was fierce at times, thougn ironically the chocolates headed for the diabetic as against the academic!

Mr Gwyn Thomas thanked everyone who had assisted during the evening and wished everyone a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous new year.

 Anyone interested in the ancient tradition of Plygain might be interested in the playing of a clip from You Tube , which features our President Mr Phylip Jones singing alongside his son and grandson at a concert last year in Ammanford. The plygain tradition involved singing verses ( usually unaccompanied) in three part harmony at the break of dawn on Christmas day. The word is a corruption of Cunebelinus – literally the cock’s crow. The tradition in recent decades was mainly found in Mid Wales but is becoming increasingly popular now in most parts of Wales.

“Tramwywn ar gyflym adenydd”, Triawd y Tair Cenhedlaeth ttps://



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