New Life

Another delightful  image captured for us by MIKE DAVIES

Bowls Win for Resolven Mother and Daughter

Resolven Ladies’ Bowls players Carwen Thomas and her daughter Ceri Holmes had a good win in the first round of the West Glamorgan Pairs Competition this week. It was a home game and, as usual, our players had supporters!

Gareth Evans, Eddie Tucker and Roy Gillespie

Iris Thomas and Christine Twaite






In an absorbing  game against Carol Davies and Margaret Phillips from the Llansawel Ladies’ Club, they emerged victors by I shot  on an extra end after trailing for the whole match until the last bowl was delivered, giving them a close but deserved victory.

Well done and good luck in the next round!







Royal Wedding Celebrated in Style in Resolven Welfare

The royal wedding of Prince Harry and his bride Meghan was celebrated at the Miners’ Welfare, Resolven.

The ladies arrived from 10am onwards to watch the build- up to the big day and examine the outfits worn by not only the royal family but by the many celebrities and friends who attended.  There were smiles when the groom and his brother arrived and awes when the bride arrived with her entourage of young pages and flower girls. Everyone agreed the day was memorable and enjoyable for all the right reasons and toasted the bride and groom wishing them every happiness.









There was a cold lunch served prepared for the ladies who

were waited on by Diane Sims and Joshua Sims who

excelled in his first role as waiter for the day.















The youngest who attended was Roxy Clarke who was fascinated by the princesses but was more excited about the cakes that came with the lunch provided.








Hanging Baskets Competition

This will be the 5th year for RDN’s Hanging Baskets

Competition, and we are pleased to say that

Resolven Community Council is kindly sponsoring it again.

1st Prize-£50

 2nd Prize-£30

 3rd Prize-£20


The baskets will be judged on Tuesday the 3rd of July and the judges for the 5th year running, will be from Neath College’s Horticultural Department (seen above)


To enter, contact us at  the email address seen below,  with your name, address, phone number and let us know if your baskets are front or back of the house.


 Pop into Marcia’s (Post Office), Costcutters or the Library to sign the entry form

To get you up and going, here are some tips from Mark Cunningham, one of our judges, on how to make the perfect hanging basket.

 “Hanging baskets come in various shapes and sizes.  You have your moss lined ones where you line it with moss yourself.  There are wicker baskets which are made of willow or hazel.  You also have plastic baskets which come in a standard size but with various colours.

Mossed lined baskets

First place your basket.  Place moss at the bottom of the basket and create a bird’s nest half way up the basket.  Place a piece of plastic before putting in compost.  This will help to hold some water for the plants in the basket when they are growing.  Once you have done this you are ready to plant.  First place compost, a little bit of fertiliser and swell gel.  You can then place your trailing plants.  You are going to use 6 plants at this level.  These plants could be any trailer from Lobelia, Surfinia, Trailing Nepeta, etc. Place your first three plants at the position 12, 8 and 4.  Next place the other three at 6, 2 and 11.  This is your first layer done.

Your next layer will be under the top bar of the basket.  So fill up with moss but do not fill the centre.  Once you have done this fill with more compost.  You are now ready to plant your next three these will be planted with more trailers.  Your first three will be planted at 3, 10 and 7and the other three at 9, 1 and 5.

Once you have done this, get the moss and fill just slightly above the bar of the basket. Fill with compost to the line of the bar and have a slight dome in the centre.  Place an upright plant such as upright Geranium or Fuchsia in the centre of the basket.  Next place your next batch of trailers around the edge of the basket where you think there may be a gap.  Then to finish place 4 Bedding plants such as Begonias, Ageratums, Alyssums, etc. around the centre plant. All you have to do then is water it and keep it frost free and watch it grow.  Moss baskets when the plants are actively growing will require a liquid feed once a week will ensure your basket is tip top through the growing season.

Wicker Baskets and Plastic Baskets

 With wicker baskets and plastic baskets it is a matter of piercing the plastic line with small holes a few times for drainage.  Fill half full with compost, place fertiliser and swell gel in.  Then fill to the top and plant with an upright Geranium and trailing plants on the edge and place 4 Bedding plants such as Begonias, Ageratums, Alyssums, etc. around the centre plant.  Wicker baskets when the plants are actively growing will require a liquid feed once a week will ensure your basket is tip top through the growing season.”

Mark Cunningham














Report from Resolfen History Society


Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive’, Sir Walter Scott.


The above quote is often mistakenly attributed to Shakespeare, when in fact it comes from a poem by Sir Walter Scott on Flodden field. Yet it is very apt to describe the fascinating talk given by Phil Davies on the ‘suspected’ assassin of President John F Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald. This was the third talk given by Mr Davies on the subject, yet the question as to who ultimately shot Kennedy is still very uncertain,

Mr Davies began his talk by stating that the poster advertising the talk had been incorrect and the “J”, might refer to Lee’s elder brother (joke, Ed). However, in his view the assassination would rank with most of the world shattering events of the last century. He mused as to how the late twentieth century would have panned out had he not been shot. Possibly, there would not have been a Vietnam War, a Nixon Presidency, Watergate, Chinese détente or glasnost. He then turned the focus of his talk on to the mercurial Lee Harvey Oswald, on whom there is little evidence that he actually pulled the trigger.

Oswald was born in New Orleans in 1939, his father, Robert Lee Oswald, left his unstable mother and two older siblings. In the absence of a father figure, Oswald came under the influence of an uncle who was a minor figure in the New Orleans underworld. He in turn was known to Carlos Marcello, the father figure of the Sicilian Mafioso in New Orleans. Robert Kennedy, brother of JFK had attempted (unsuccessfully) to extradite Marcello to his native Colombia, and it is possible that this played a part in his assassination.

Oswald was rather a misfit as a child as well as being dyslexic. It did not help that his mother who worked as a care worker moved schools thirteen times, which did not help him make friends. He had an above average IQ ( 118) and was prone to seek attention, a feature of his character which would remain with him until his ultimate demise. It is also probable that he was influenced by the television programme “I have Three Lives”, which featured the “Reds under the beds scare”, of Joseph McCarthy. Oswald empathised with the victimhood exemplified at this time.

In 1954, Oswald returned to New Orleans and joined the Air Cadets, where he was trained by a rather strange character David Ferry. Ferry, suffered from alopecia, wore a wig and was a homosexual, yet was involved in the JFK shooting some eight years hence.  Oswald began reading avidly, especially military manuals and he also had an interest in the writings of Karl Marx. Ironically, he attempted to join the American Socialist Party at this point when also enlisting in the US Marine Corps. He trained in Mississippi and California where he was trusted with classified information. He was then transferred to Osaka, Japan, where the evidence points that he was in the process of defecting to Russia. He may have had a role in the downing of the U2 spy plane. In Osaka, Oswald became fluent in both Japanese and Russian , in addition he became involved with a beautiful geisha who inevitably was a Russian spy. Following a series of disciplinary incidents, Oswald was forced to leave the Marines and then began a bizarre series of events whereby he moved to Le Havre, London, Helsinki and then Stockholm. He gained a visitor’s visa to enter Russia and appeared on Russian television.

At first, the Russians viewed him as an embarrassment yet allowed him to overstay his visa when he slit his wrists in protest. Following a stay in a psychiatric hospital he went to Minsk, where the Soviets began to view him as a ‘useful idiot’. There he worked in a radio factory where he learned photographic skills, a skill which would help him identify fake photos when he was arrested after the Kennedy shooting. He married the daughter of a KGB Colonel, Marina. Yet, getting bored with life in the USSR he demanded to be sent back to the USA.

In 1961, Oswald and his wife arrive back in the USA, where he felt slighted that his return did not get much attention from the media. He then went to Fort Worth, Texas, where he was befriended by an oil magnate, a white Russian emigre who was also a covert agent for the CIA (he was not thought to be a material witness in the ultimate investigation into the assassination). Oswald then had a series of menial jobs and was very cruel to his wife who left him taking the two children with her. Oswald at this point buys two rifles for $29, using aliases and safe boxes in classic spy style. It is thought at this point that he tried to assassinate a right wing US general, whom he missed as an easy target, a doubt then arises as to how he would have been able to shoot Kennedy with crack accuracy. Bizarrely, he also left the USA for Mexico City where he visited both the Cuban and Russian embassy, Oswald even had time for an affair with a Russian attaché. Another twist to the tale is that five weeks before the assassination of Kennedy, the file held by the FBI on Oswald was ordered to be destroyed by J Edgar Hoover.

The events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, on Friday, November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m., also indicate that Oswald, though part of the plot in some way, was unlikely to be the killer. To begin with he could not drive and took the bus to the centre of Dallas. After the assassination he took a taxi to his lodgings after a visit to the cinema, he also passes a policeman without arising suspicion. After lurking in a doorway it was a shopkeeper that alerted the Police to his whereabouts in the cinema. Despite the fact that the rifle belonged to Oswald there is no evidence that he shot it.

Taken to the Chief of Police in Dallas, he is questioned for 14 hours, yet there is no written record of the deliberations. The press were outside and on occasion Oswald was seen, where he referred to himself as a “patsy”, slang for fall guy. Later when attempting to be moved to the city penitentiary a series of unfortunate events gave Jack Ruby, an Italian Jew with connections to the mafia, a clear view of Oswald whom he shot dead. Ruby was arrested and the body of Lee Harvey Oswald was taken, ironically, to the same Parkland Hospital where the corpse of JFK lay.

So who shot JFK? After three talks it is still a mystery. Even Donald Trump, who promised to release the files, found that some would never be declassified.

Mr Gwyn Thomas thanked Mr Davies for a most interesting talk.


The History Society will now take a break until September. The Annual trip has been moved to Saturday 20th October, and details will be available in the AGM on the second Monday in September.

REPORT by Mr Trefor Jones










Who Won the Duck Race?

Over the last few weeks, with Huw’s help I have been preparing for the Duck Race. Huw had ordered the nets and the ducks whilst Sian, Huw, and myself had made various site visits to choose the most suitable, accessible and safest course with the ultimate aim not to lose any ducks. So, with a risk assessment in place and adequate barriers set up to prevent the little yellow ducks from joining last year’s 70 escapees we were ready to go. Also, I was keen not to add to the world’s plastic pollution.

I had planned to run 8 heats (50 ducks in each) with the first 4 going into the final. This also made it more of an event to watch but also easier behind the winning line to capture the ducks. With all the heats over and all ducks accounted for it was ready for the final. As soon as all 20 ducks entered the water they sped to the finishing line, each duck now knowing the pitfalls along the way. It was a closely fought race with the first 3 ducks hot on each other’s tails as they raced toward the winning line. There was no need for a photo finish as each duck won by a beak.






The result:   First 273, Second 63, Third 294

The five of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves that afternoon, Amber too and with most of the money in we have raised over £300 for Church funds. Thank you to all who helped – producing the tickets and posters, everyone who sold the ducks, to all who bought a duck and to Huw, Chris, Tracey and Sian for helping on the day.

Ruth Jones (Report)

Ruth and daughter Sian (photos)


Pink Moon Over Vale of Neath

The PINK MOON graced the night sky over the vale of Neath last weekend-the final weekend in April.

The name of this full moon  comes from the pink coloured flowers wild ground phlox, one of the first spring flowers.

Image by Mike Davies





Fire in Local Scrapyard


A large fire broke out at a metal scrap yard in Neath Port Talbot on Saturday evening. South Wales Fire said it received the first of dozens of calls about 19:20 BST reporting the blaze near the the A465 at Skewen. Three fire engines were  in attendance at the scene but there was not considered to be a risk to life.

images and live footage by Mike Davies

 you tube link

What’s Ynysfach W.I been up to lately?

Church Hall ready for St. David’s Day

March began with a trip to Abergavenny for a little retail therapy and a browse around the wonderful indoor market. We set off amid snow flurries and a bitingly cold wind – some of us wondering if perhaps we would be better off staying at home! However we braved the elements and had a thoroughly enjoyable day – shopped ’til we dropped, enjoyed a good lunch and back home in time for tea!

March is also the month in which we take part in the annual skittles competition between four local WIs. Our first match was against Catwg WI and it turned into a real nail-biter! We won the first round comfortably, we narrowly lost the second leg – so all was even as we broke for refreshments. Suitably refuelled we began the final round, all went well up to the last , then Catwg’s last player need to score more than seven to win the game! The first ball missed…….the second knocked three skittles down…….the last ball of the match scored five! Shame,  we had really enjoyed the evening but that was the end of the competition for us for another year. Catwg went on to play Glynneath in the final when Glynneath won the trophy.

Our monthly meeting in March is always our Welsh night when the hall is decorated to celebrate St David’s Day. We had a lovely supper of leek and potato soup made by Maureen followed by Bara Brith and Welshcakes made by members of the committee. We enjoyed a game of ‘handbag bingo’ and some comical Welsh stories read by June. We rounded the evening off with a rousing sing-song which wouldn’t have disgraced the Millennium Stadium!


Waiting for the singing to begin

In April we had a trip to the Grand Theatre to see the musical ‘Evita’ which we very much enjoyed.

We were entertained later in the month by Catwg WI who had organised a concert in St Catwg’s Church, Cadoxton , for the local WI groups. The group of young singers called Allegro performed many songs from the shows which we all enjoyed very much, it was lovely to see youngsters really relishing the chance to entertain. All the money raised by the concert was donated to Ty Hafen.

Our speaker at our April meeting was Clare Revera from ‘Out to Learn Willow’. She gave a talk and slideshow describing the ancient craft of willow weaving, an art practised in all countries of the world since forever it seems. Clare also brought with her baskets that she had made including a basket based on an historical design made only in Penclawdd as a cockle asket



. Following the talk Clare demonstrated how  to make a bird feeder out of willow and we all had a go at making our own. Clare had, of course, made it seem so easy but certainly my piece of willow had a mind of it’s own! We all succeeded in the end with a bit of expert tuition. A very interesting and challenging evening!

Jean Hill with her bird feeder



On a sad note we have had to say goodbye to two of our members during this period , Betty Harris and Jean Thomas.

Betty was one of our founder members and had been part of the group for almost 45 years, she was great fun and always enjoyed being part of all we did.




Jean was a very talented lady, a wonderful quilter, a painter, a singer and she made the most

delicious cakes.



We will miss these two good friends.

Report by Jen Colley (President Ynysfach W.I.)



































Resolven Young Performers Delight Audience with Latest Show


On Saturday April 2ist, I sat in the audience to watch the latest offering from Resolven Young Performers.  The group has grown over the years and this year they performed their pantomime in Cam Gears Club instead of the Miners Welfare to accommodate the larger cast and what a show they gave us. The lights went low and the stage came to life and it was non stop singing dancing and lots of comedy.


The prince and his princess (jack Roberts and Ella Charles ) gave  regal and commanding performances along with their royal entourage along with a most excellent and enthusiastic ‘Silly Billy’ played by Carlie Harris, who interacted with the children in the audience keeping them enthralled .



Dame Trotty played by Josh Sims entered the stage and the panto really came alive.  Along with her son Jack (Harley herring) who was so full of energy and enthusiasm continuously, and daughter (Casey Sullivan) who was at the end of Dame Trotty’s sharp tongue throughout.  The comedy never stopped and in true panto style the Dame became the focus for the night and gave a performance worthy of any stage.














Then came the wicked witch (Libby Herbert) who both thrilled and scared us with her excellent acting and singing. All this was linked beautifully by the good fairy (Gracie O’Sullivan) who gave an impeccable performance.
















No panto is complete without a chorus and when you remember that the groups ages span from 3 to 17 it was a challenge to the leaders of the group (Christina James and Chris Edwards) to teach the many scenes dances and songs needed to make this night one to remember and I can vouch that the challenge was met and achieved beyond all expectations.
















Notice of Council Vacancies












NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to Section 87(2) of the Local Government Act, 1972 that casual vacancies now exist in the Office of Community Councillor for the above stated council.


If, within fourteen (working) days after the date of this Notice, a request for an election to fill the said vacancies in each community ward is made in writing to:-



The Returning Officer

Chief Executive’s Office

Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

Civic Centre


SA13 1PJ


By TEN electors for each community ward an election will be held to fill the vacancies in the Community Ward(s); otherwise, the vacancies will be filled by the Council.







HYSBYSIR TRWY HYN yn unol ag Adran 87(2) o Ddeddf Llywodraeth Leol 1972 bod swyddi wag yn bodoli yn swyddfa y cynghorydd cymuned yn y cynghor a enwyd uwch ben.


Os gwneir cais, o fewn pedwar diwrnod (gwaith) ar ddeg o ddyddiad yr Hysbysiad hwn, am etholiad er mwyn llenwi’r swyddi wag ym mhob ward cymuned a grybwyllwyd uchod trwy ysgrifennu at:-


Y Swyddog Canlyniadau

Swyddfa’r Prif Weithredwr

Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Castell-nedd Port Talbot

Y Ganolfan Ddinesig


SA13 1PJ


Gan DDEG etholwyr am pob ward cymuned cynhelir etholiad i lenwi’r swyddi wag yn y ward(iau) cymuned; fel arall, caiff y swydd ei llenwi gan y Cyngor.




Resolven South 1
Abergarwed 1


DATED: 26th April 2018

Ms. C. Payne
  Clerk to the Council / Clerc i’r Cyngor

Gardening Club Open for Business

Spring has sprung and Tommy Blanchard, Chairman of Clyne and Resolven Gardening Club, has already opened the gardening supplies shed in Clydach Avenue, Resolven (near the blue bridge).



Tommy is there every Saturday morning between 11 and 12 to serve all customers not just members (though joining the club won’t break the bank —just 50 p!) and the club stocks a wide range of gardening supplies. You can buy almost anything from grow bags to slug pellets, compost to weed killer.  The only thing Tommy can’t provide is ideal gardening weather and he reckons because everything is about a month behind after our harsh winter, we need to be extra careful before planting out.

Remember this a few weeks ago?  A photo of frozen Clydach brook taken near the blue bridge by our RDN reporter Diane Sims












Resolfen History Society’s May Meeting

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