Report on Resolfen History Society’s April Meeting


The meeting began on a very sad note as the recent death of committee member Mrs Jean Thomas was announced. Jean had been ill for some time and had served on the committee for many years. A minute’s silence was then marked in her memory. Our sincerest condolences go to our Chairman Gwyn on his loss.

The speaker this month needed no introduction since it was none other than Resolven History Society member Mr Ken Thomas. Mr Thomas apart from being the dependable projectionist at Brynaman Public Hall for many years,had also made his living as a training officer in the manufacturing industry. He explained that as much of his work involved visiting various manufacturing works which guarded their secrets carefully, he had signed the Official Secrets Act which prevented him from going into any detail. To this effect he had produced a film on the glove industry of the UK,originally in VHS format the film had recently been digitalised. Despite the fact that he had written the script himself he had ensured that any claim on intellectual property had been settled before showing the film publically.

The talk began with a brief introduction to the clothing industry in the UK which was once enormous and had clothed the world, but was now largely a shadow of its former self. The Manchester area alone at the start of the last century employed over a million workers in textiles. Worcester was the centre of the glove industry and at its zenith employed over 50,000 workers.

The glove trade itself is ancient and its roots can be traced as far as the Romans. Gloves are essential in the protection of the hands against heat, cold, blades, filth and disease. It was stressed that the Queen always wears gloves when meeting the public to protect her from being poisoned (a fact which was made so real recently by events in Salisbury). The revolutionary change in the quantity of their production came with the invention of the sewing machine in the USA in the 1860s. It is normally assumed that this innovation was solely the work of Irwin Singer, however the originator of the sewing machine was actually a man named Elias Howe and indeed there was such bitter rivalry between the two, that they were given co-patency of its licence. The sewing machine, whether driven by handle, treadle or water wheel speeded up production though it was still largely a manual skill until the 1960s. The trade for gloves dropped off in the second half of the twentieth century owing to changes in fashion and its footloose nature allowed it to relocate to the cheaper west country of England around Yeovil, where Dent’s remained the sole manufacturer (now sole importer) of gloves in the UK. Owing to foreign competition from Asia no gloves are now produced in the UK, indeed the Glove Guild of the UK ceased in the early years of the present century.

The film itself was a gem and appeared far older than its fifty years. Some of the early handmade preparation could have been placed in the same workshop as the Anglo-Norman names given to the components of a glove. It was obvious that the workers were on a piece rate since they worked with both speed and efficiency. Even then, it was obvious that many of these practices were old fashioned even by the standards of the 1970s and the late introduction of mass production was unable to save it. Nevertheless, the loss of hundreds of thousands of well-paid and skilled jobs done by both sexes was a crying shame. Mr Thomas was of the opinion that the glove industry alongside other manufacturing trades had been sacrificed by Mrs Thatcher in the 1980s in order to gain aerospace contracts with those very same far eastern countries.

Mr Trefor Jones, deputising for Mr Gwyn Thomas gave a vote of thanks to fellow “Brynamanite”, Mr Ken Thomas for a most enjoyable evening.

Report by  Chairman Mr Trefor Jones








Daniel Jervis Wins Commonwealth Games Silver

What a brilliant race!   Daniel took 3 seconds off his personal best to finish second and win the silver medal in the 1500 metres Freestyle in the pool at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.   He won a great bronze at the 2014 Games in Glasgow, so to complete the set, will it be gold in Birmingham in 2022?  We could all go and watch there!

We are all  really proud of you in the village

Many Congratulations







Annual Duck Race Soon


The exact venue for the race is still to be decided (watch this space)  But it will take place on Sat 28th April at 2pm– weather permitting. Tickets are £1. and are available from Church members or Marcia – Post Office. The event is in aid of St David’s Church.


Children’s Art Competition– Results and Pictures



Ynysfach school children recently took part in a St. David’s Day Art Competition sponsored by Resolven Community Council.  The winning pictures were chosen by local artist Garfield Evans –what a task for him!   As you can see from the above drawing, the  standard was excellent  and a good crowd turned up at Resolven Community Centre on Saturday the 7th of April to see the prizes handed over by Council Chairman Trefor Jones, aided by Clerk to the Council Cheryl Payne.

Trefor and Cheryl ready to open the doors


Nathan Williams- Reception ( 3rd prize winner)

There were 3 classes involved this time—Reception Class, Year 3 and Year 6.

First prize was a voucher for £20. Second prize was £10 and 3rd prize was £5.

When the first young winner was handed his envelope with money inside he raised a laugh in the hall by handing it straight back to Trefor!  Tempted though he might have been, Trefor didn’t keep it and assured the young man that the money was all his. Another young artist thought she was in the hall to receive a raffle prize and was a little bemused as she didn’t recall buying a ticket!  But she and all the others who took part deserve great praise for their art work.



List of winners:

Reception 1st Skyla Evans-Howells 2nd Amber Rose Sims 3rd Nathan Williams

Year 3      1st Leon Davies 2nd Neurin Griffiths 3rd Cyran Church

Year 6      1st Lilia Gladwin 2nd Kadie Newth 3rd Iestyn Ace

Lilia Gladwin Year 6—1st prize


Neurin Griffithe Year 3 (2nd prize)



Iestyn Ace Year 6 (3rd prize)


Skyla Evans Howells– Reception (1st Prize)


Amber Rose Sims –Reception ( 2nd prize)


Year 3 artists-Cyran Church (3rd prize) Leon Davies (1st prize)











UFO Clouds Spotted Over Vale of Neath

Lenticular clouds— sometimes called UFO clouds– seen at sunrise over the Vale of Neath 

Mike Davies






Another Cup Success for Resolven Footballers

Reserve Division 2 Cup Final —Mond FC v Resolven FC MARCH 7th 2018


For the 2nd time in 2 years the 2nds win the Reserve Division Cup in front of a good crowd of supporters that all made the journey in heavy rain.  The support for the team was fantastic throughout with the stands turning green and white for the night.




Michael Grinter


Gregory Arnold

Daniel Wellstead

Lee Chambers

Sam Wills


Joseph Beale,Sean Hirons,Cam Cox, Jonathan Williams

Aaron Shead-Phillips (C)Christian Arthurs

Subs – Dean Thomas, Ashley Bevan, James Whitney, Ashley Oates, Chris Oates

Resolven dominated play first half but failed to capitalise on many chances created by the quick attacking play

Half time 0 – 0

2nd half was once again dominated by Resolven and the breakthrough came on 65 minutes when a cross to the back post found C Arthurs who headed back across goal and found the bottom of the net. 1 – 0! It was another 10 minutes before Arthurs once again scored after receiving the ball out wide and scored a sensational goal into the top corner 2 -0 !

The celebrations were barely over when C Cox volleyed with a dipping shot from 25 yards . 3 – 0 and the crowd went wild! The game was put to bed with 10 minutes to go when Cox pounced on some poor defending and finished well from inside the box . 4 -0 !!!!

Final score Mond FC 0 – Resolven FC 4–Man of the match C Arthurs



Every Resolven player had a really good game and the supporters showed their appreciation.

Well done Resolven FC !



Table Tennis Teams Doing Well

Just a few words on table tennis-with the season going into the second half of the Swansea League the Cam Gears teams are doing well

 The A team of Ceri Higgon, Morgan Siddley and Martin Evans are 4th in the Premier division.

The B team consisting of Gareth Evans, Michael Policht and Cerys Evans are 4th in Division 1 

The C team of John Jones, Graham Butler, Tom Vale and But Wong are 7th.

The D team of Paul Gillespie, Malcolm Davies and David Davies  are also 7th in Division 2.


The club has also played well in the Tudor Jones Cup with the A,C and D teams reaching the semi finals.

The C and D teams were drawn against each other with the D team winning 15 – 6 after receiving a handicap start of plus 7–Malcolm winning 6 – 1, Paul 5 – 3 and David 4 – 2.

The A team were drawn against Penyrheol D who had a handicap start of plus 11, unfortunately for the A side Penyrheol played really well and used the handicap to full advantage to run out worthy winners 13 – 8.

For the A team Morgan played really well and won his games 6 – 1.


The final between Cam Gears D and Penyrheol D will take place at the end of the season, the date to be arranged.










Mike Meets Mountaineers


The roads on the Brecon Beacons were excellent, although  the snow had gone into large drifts in places. 



The peaks were covered in mist and I had to dodge a few hefty hail squalls, but I particularly wanted to take these falls as they were frozen over.



I was very fortunate that a few lads came there all geared up for the ascent which made the images come to life.






04/03 /2018—–BRECON BEACONS







Snapped in the Snow and Ice

Two of our RDN  team, Diane Sims and Mike Davies, have been out and about  capturing images of our valley in the icy grasp of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma.

Clydach Brook in Clydach Avenue (Diane Sims)

Clydach Brook-whirlpool (Diane Sims)

Melincwrt Waterfalls (Mike Davies)

Rheola Lake (Mike Davies)

Send us YOUR storm pics by emailing  them to us us on:

Mike captured this charming image for us before the storms arrived.




Remembering Redvers-54 years a councillor

Following the sad passing of Redvers Davies on the 12th of February here follows the contents of an article placed in the One Voice Wales monthly on line newspaper last year. I worked with Redvers Davies on the Community Council for twenty seven years and it is remarkable that I do not recall us ever falling out on an issue. A remarkable man, a full life and active to the end and we will all miss him.

Trefor Jones (Chairman) , Resolven Community Council


                                                       Redvers-54 years a councillor


Solomon Northup was recently portrayed in a feature film as someone who had been “Twelve Years a Slave”, against his will. This is counterbalanced by the feat of Resolven Community Councillor Redvers Davies who, at the age of 90 has completed fifty four years in public life quite voluntarily. This makes him the oldest serving councillor in England and Wales.

            Redvers at the opening of Resolven Skate Park

Redvers was born in the small village of Pontwalby near Glynneath on the 30th May 1927. He was educated at Glynneath Boys School and Neath Technical College. During the 1939-45 war, he served as a Bevin Boy at the Rock Colliery, Glynneath. He recalls vividly, that having lost his father at only seventeen years of age he was given special dispensation to look after his mother by working locally. After the War he attended night school at the Trefforest School of Mines, which sometimes led to a very long day having to return to work a night shift at the Empire Colliery, Cwmgwrach. Subsequently, he became a fully qualified mining engineer and worked across the South Wales coalfield in an array of collieries. When the coal mining industry started its long decline, Redvers began a new career working for Calor Gas at Aberdulais where he worked for twenty five years until his retirement. In March 1952 he married his wife Jean, a nurse, in St. John’s Church Skewen.

His political career in local government started in 1963, when he was elected on to the Neath Lower Parish Council. In 1984 following the advent of community councils, he began representing Abergarwed on the new Resolven Community Council a seat which he holds to this day. In that time he has been Chairman and vice Chairman a total of six times, which is quite a feat. He then took on duties at national level, holding several committee posts with NALC and was also Chairman of the Wales Council for two years. Following the establishment of One Voice Wales after devolution Redvers became a member of the Executive committee as well as chairing a number of other committees. He has very recently been re-elected Chairman of the Neath Port Talbot Area Committee (they will soon say that life begins at 90!!).

He also has an interest in the field of Health and was a Welsh Assembly  member of the Community Health Council for ten and a half years as well as serving as a member of the Statutory Reference Group of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Authority.  Redvers combines this with an active interest in the local CVS as a trustee, secretary of the Abergarwed Welfare Fund, Chairman of the Neath Port Talbot Tinnitus Group and in his “spare”, time volunteers for work as an assistant librarian in the Resolven Cyber and Resources Centre.

Redvers also maintains an interest in sport. It should not be shouted from the Resolven rooftops that as a young man, Redvers Davies captained Resolven’s arch rivals Glynneath RFC at rugby. He also has an interest in cricket which he followed avidly with his late wife, before her death in 2010.

In the age of Twitter and Facebook it is remarkable that the community of Resolven managed to keep the fact that Redvers had a surprise birthday party lined up for him at the Miners’ Welfare in Resolven. On a sweltering evening, Redvers ( in his best clothes) had been told by his daughter that he was being taken for a family meal only to be surprised by a rousing “Happy Birthday”, sung by over sixty guests ( in casual clothing) including his two grand-daughters and three great-grand-daughters. He was then presented with a plaque by the Chair of Resolfen Community Council, Trefor Jones, noting his remarkable achievement. This was all the more noteworthy in that Redvers had the distinction of being the longest serving, if not quite, the oldest councillor in England and Wales.



The message is clear, if you want to live a long and prosperous life, keep active. If you want it to be even more interesting and worthwhile become a councillor!!!!


Post script: Redvers was to be recognised at the AGM of One Voice Wales in October, unfortunately he was in hospital following a fall at home.