Report on Resolfen History Society’s AGM

The squally showers and incessant rain associated with the death throes of Hurricane Dorian, which had last week devastated the Bahamas, had a similar effect on the attendance at this year’s AGM on Monday 9th September. The meeting was poorly attended owing to a combination of illness and late summer holidays. Fortunately a quorum was achieved and the meeting took place.

The meeting began by remembering members who had passed away during the year. It is no exaggeration that the loss of two such talented historians as Phylip Jones and William Willis was a massive blow. Phylip in particular was the motive force behind the establishment of the Society in the 1980s and had been the Society’s President for many years. Indeed it was often said at the annual meeting that only Fidel Castro competed in the role of “President for life”. William’s contribution to the archiving of the history of Resolven by the publishing of three volumes of pictorial histories will leave an invaluable legacy to future generations.

There was some movement in the roles within the Society, Trefor Jones will now become Chairman in place of the long serving Mr Gwyn Thomas owing to illness, and the Secretary role will now be split between Mrs Catherine Graham and Mrs Jill Saunders. Mrs Julie Hicks will continue as the hard working Treasurer along with Transport Officers Mr David Woosnam and Mrs Val Davies. The general committee will now be composed of Mrs Mary Evans, Mrs Caryl Rees, Mrs Carole Jeffreys , David Jeffreys and Mrs Olwen Woosnam. The President’s role will remain vacant for now.

The formal business concluded with a notice of motion from the Committee establishing the foundation of an annual Phylip Jones History prize for the local schools.

Following the AGM, Trefor Jones read a further chapter from the fascinating autobiography of Joe Cookson. This year it revolved around the reasons that the family had come to the Resolven area from Aston, Birmingham in the Edwardian era. It revealed a world which had many parallels with today and also some notable changes in social attitudes.

To conclude , the History Society has been active in Resolven for over thirty years and remember it is yours, please support it.


Neath Fair


Every year, we host an Historic Open Air Event, in the centre of Neath.  It attracts crowds from  far afield  and is recognised as the fourth largest Chartered Street Trading Fair in the UK.



This annual event has been going on in the busy centre of Neath for many hundreds of years and is a huge favourite with the locals. The fair we know today with its stalls set up through the streets and its vibrant Fairground rides are very different to the original fairs of 700 years ago.

Traders from the UK and recently Europe, have been attending this four day event. Products range from textiles, bulbs and plants, china, pottery and many more making the total of up to 140 stalls, around the streets of Neath Town Centre. Many of the shops will be open late to coincide with the Fair, giving people a chance to browse.


All car parks (with the exception of Milland Road) will be open with free parking after 6pm!
Neath Multi Storey car park’s opening times have been extended to 11pm.

 Neath Port Talbot Council




Clyne Mission Harvest Celebration


Neath Road Clyne SA11 4BW



‘Give thanks to the Lord for He is good’


———— Join us for our  ————



              Sunday SEPTEMBER 29th  11.00am & 6.00pm

Speaker: Pastor Peter Mitchell (Clyne)


Monday SEPTEMBER 30th  at 7.00 pm

Guest Speaker: Rev. Adrian Brake

(Carmarthen Evangelical Church)


Clyne Free Mission Evangelical Church SA11 4BW




News from Sardis Baptist Church


Sardis Baptist Church will be holding Harvest Thanksgiving on Sunday  22nd 0f September.   In the morning at 10 30 am there will be a Family Service and at 6 pm Sunday Worship.  Afterwards, the produce from the Harvest will be shared between Neath Food Bank and Teen Challenge Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Gorslas.

We all have so much to give God thanks for.  Come along.  We would love to see you


 The annual Macmillan Coffee Morning will be held on Friday the 27th of September in Sardis Vestry between 9 30 am and 12 noon

This is a very worthy cause that  we can all play a small part in supporting by  attending the Coffee Morning.


 Sardis Community Hall has been open now for over 12 months.  Do you know that it is available for hire?  The hall is spacious with tables, chairs, heating and a well equipped kitchen.

For more details contact 01639 711398 or 07737076957


 Every Monday morning during school term, Rainbow Tots, a parent and toddler group for 3 years old and under meet in Sardis Vestry from 9.15 am till  We have lots of toys for the children to play with, books etc. as well as song time- also breakfast.

Come along and meet other parents and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a chat together.


Resolven residents cross the Irish Sea for baptism of Eira Monica Day

The recent August bank holiday was cause for great celebration in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.  Thirty six people from the Resolven area travelled over to celebrate the baptism of Eira Monica Warren Day. Eira is daughter of Carl and Jen ,sister to Aoife and granddaughter of Hugh and Janice Day, Rugby Road

. A beautiful service was held at Temples ambo Church of Ireland by Rev Ian Cruickshank.  Maddison Morgan, daughter of Edward and Adele had everyone in tears with a stunning a Capella of Calon Lan.

A great weekend was had by all, the weather was fabulous which enabled the large group to do some sightseeing with trips to Curracloe beach and The Hook lighthouse and not forgetting sampling some nightlife at a traditional Irish music session





Memories of a Resolven childhood from Nik Samuel


This is something I wrote about My Old Pal William Willis…


Memories of Childhood with “Willy Stamp”


“Oye you two, be quiet!  . I’m trying to do the balancing”

It was Victor, William’s Dad and The Balancing wasn’t some sort of Circus act, but balancing the books, which he did every Friday evening at The Post Office.

Anyway, we didn’t take much notice we were too busy fighting Germans in North Africa, in a Jeep made of pillows and cushions from The Willis’s best G.plan three piece suite.  We’d moved on from last week in France, Poland and Japan.  This was very much helped by a very nice unseen Japanese Lady who’d left us rations of biscuits and pop.

These were the winter months and all though fulfilling our childish imagination, we longed for the summer months, when we would build dens behind The Farmer’s and up Henllyn.We would build armies of Action men with Cuzy and Glynn. We had an envy of Melissa, who had a talking Action man and a Jonny Seven This was before The Comp years, where we would discover The Goodies and Monty Pythons Flying Circus( again nothing to do with The Circus)We had acquired a cassette recorder and joined by Glynn and Robert Richards started to write and record little sketches.

It was at this time that William came up with the idea of scaling the road between Sardis to the canal basin.  We plan a Friday assault starting outside the stables next to Sardis, along the pavement to the bridge and a sneaky manoeuvre at the bridge to the basin where it was only a short hop to Glynn’s house for refreshments.

We used our pocket money to purchase line rope from Place’s hardware shop and I made crampons from Welsh cake cutters sellotaped to my daps.  The rope was laid out along the pavement ahead of us and we began the crawl, with the thought of biscuits and pop ahead.  This was a Friday like I said and timing wasn’t good at a few points– Sylvia and Mervin from John Street had to step over us shaking their heads and tutting.  A bit further on, John and Ann, Wilky’s Mam and Dad did the same.  Hunger and light took over at some point and we agreed We would attempt it again the week after and abandoned that first attempt.

If all this sound a bit far fetched Glynn filmed it all on William’s Dads super eight. I know William kept the tapes (audio and film) and I hope one day that Jo, Williams wife finds them and is able to watch them with their kids and see how wonderfully daft we were.

As teenagers, we took different paths, `me with my music and William with his many talent-. writing and painting, having success with both and I remember how proud I was to be present at two recordings of his radio plays D.I.Y…and I have every book He published and signed for me.  He also did Angie and me the honour of hand writing our wedding invitations- about a hundred and fifty of them as our wedding present.

We kept in touch over the years and talked about our daftness and our adventures. He even encouraged my Son William to pursue His creative ways and was very proud when I told him that he and his work mates had won a Bafta Cymru.

I spoke to him back earlier in the year and talked about a story we were thinking about and also, putting a book of verse together using some of my few poems and the newly discovered talent of Geeky, also some of William’s words.

We never did finish the assault on Glynneath Road,

We’ll leave that till We meet again, see you later butty …

The are many other adventures I could share about William, like the bonfire nights we’d have down John Street with

Diane Evans

Stephen “Cuzy” Cousins

Glyn “Crocket” Davis

Lyn”Goyle” Hardwick

Wayne”Tom Cat” Thomas

Nigel Thomas

Marie Wrona

Sian Thomas

Marcia Davis

Melissa “Lisa” Andrews

Leighton “Wilky” Wilcocks

And I know I’ve missed many of William’s friends and they must have other memories of William …


Ref: Willy Stamp.—, William  lived at The Post office…


“Cadoc and the Drowned Boys”-New Play Coming to St Cadoc’s Church Glynneath

Play based on USW research explores ancient tale of Welsh saint

A comedy drama based on research by a University of South Wales professor seeks to unravel the history of St Cadoc, the founder of Christianity in Wales.

Cadoc and the Drowned Boys is a play written by award-winning playwright and director Vic Mills, inspired by the research and poetry of his brother, Professor Kevin Mills, and explores the life of the 5th century Abbot.

The play  opened at Blackwood Little Theatre on Friday 5 July, before touring seven churches across South Wales which were named after St Cadoc.





Local Male Voice Choir Concert

Resolfen History Society AGM

Another Report on the Duck Race

The Duck Race

After much deliberation as to where to hold this year’s Duck Race it was decided we would try Clydach Brook that runs through the village of Resolven.  To get down to the stream was not as easy as previous duck race venues having to climb over the railings, shimmy across the ledge and then climb down the ladder by the water station but it was thought with it being more central, more people being able to come along and watch the fun.  And it was fun, especially for those of us in the stream.

With the help of my nephew, Adam we set up the race course and the, all important, Duck Barrier – so we could ensure that no duck escaped.  We positioned the final line several metres up stream for the duck barrier and in between the two we had many duck collectors ranging from the ages of 3 (nearly 4) to 59 (nearly 60) with carrier bags, nets and laundry baskets.  Further up-stream Huw was strategically positioned on the blue bridge to launch the ducks.  Then from the launch position to the winning line Chris and Adam covered the length of the race course ensuring that no ducks went astray or got stuck behind a stone.  There were to be 4 races of 100 ducks each with the 1st five from each race going through to the final race.  That would be 5 launches in total, however Huw must have lost count or thought that a trial final was needed before the Grand Final took place, so we had 6 duck races in total.

The winning ducks were        1st       £30      Tracey Edwards

2nd       £15        Brenda Wykes

3rd        £5      Natalie Thomas

I would like to thank everyone who helped, those in the stream, those who sold tickets and bought a duck, Tracey for recording duck numbers, supporters and photographers.  But a special thank you for my little helpers who made the capture of the ducks much easier than in previous years – Sonny Challoner, Myllie Jones, Marci Jones, Mei Gillespie and Lola Challoner. And for the record none of us fell in the stream and all ducks have been returned safely and resting for their next race.

With donations received the Parish raised £400.

Tnank you, Ruth Jones


Who won the Duck Race ?

Ruth Jones, the indefatigable organiser of the annual Duck Race on Clydach Brook in Resolven  and her super- efficient assistant Tracey Edwards, took a good look at the list of contestants.  There were 400 of them quacking on the starting line and Ruth’s husband Hugh Jones had the mammoth task of launching them from the blue bridge



Father Andrew and Co. kept pace with the ducks as they bobbed their way downstream- (all the proceeds from the race go to the Vale of Neath Parish )

The youngsters were hoping their ducks would be winners..  First prize was £30, second prize £15 and £5 for third duck over the line

Is that one mine?


The water level was low, so  the contestants needed a little help from Chris Edwards in order to  circumnavigate the stones and pebbles.


Chris described himself as “the duck poker” but assured me that no ducks were harmed during the race and the event  was run along RSPCA  guidelines!!!!



Ruth Jones and Mair Hambly had some terrific young  catchers helping them scoop up the ducks at the finish.





Is this a mermaid in Clydach Brook?  No!   Team Jones is complete with daughter Sian getting”stuck in”

 Father Andrew, Ruth and Mair were  delighted with the sucess of the Duck Race. It rased £400 for the Vale of Neath Parish .

The winning duck owners were:

Tracey Edwards-1st Prize of £30, Brenda Wykes- 2nd Prize of £15. and Natalie Thomas- 3rd Prize of £5





Resolven Success at Welsh Finals

Since 1932 bowls has been played in the Resolven Park and there have been many successes over the years.

In 2019 Resolven Bowls Club was again very well represented in the West Glamorgan County finals recently held in Brynhyfryd BC, Neath.




Shaun ‘Ned’ Kelly won the 2 wood Singles County title for the second consecutive year.





After reaching the County Finals of the Over 60’s Triples, Aylwin Jones, John Fryer and Randall Sims, were eligible to play at Llandrindod Wells in August to represent West Glamorgan.

Lt to Rt: Aylwin Jones, Randall Sims, John Fryer & Spencer Evans

Unfortunately Randall Sims was not well enough to play in the Welsh Finals in August and Spencer Evans replaced him.

It was a winning combination again, as they played really well and won the three games to reach the Final.

This was a thrilling close game and they were encouraged by lots of support from Resolven BC members and their families who travelled to Llandrindod Wells to see the Final.

Photo’ taken during the Final

The opponents from the Vale of Glamorgan fought well and the score was very close all the way through the game, but on the penultimate end, Resolven scored three to lead by one, 19 shots to 18 and the successful result after 18 ends was 21-18 to Resolven, making them Welsh Champions of the Over 60’s Triples, a brilliant achievement for Resolven BC boys.

Presentation of the Cup by The Welsh Bowling Association President Mr Will James

Well done to Aylwin, John and Spencer not forgetting Randall who played in the West Glamorgan Rounds and at the County Finals at Brynhyfryd.

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Also from Resolven BC representing West Glamorgan in the Welsh Finals were the County Open 4’s Champions.

These photographs show the County Open 4’s Champions who then went on to play in the 2019 Welsh Bowling Association Finals in Llandrindod Wells.

They came up against a formidable Mid Glamorgan four who after winning that game and another, lost in the Semi Final by 1 shot to Mid Wales who went on to win the final 28 shots – 6 shots.

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Congratulations to all concerned.

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Article by Lorna & Hugh Lewis, RDN Team

Vale of Neath Medical Centre Open Day

The new Vale of Neath Medical Centre  held an Open Day on the 14th of August, and our  RDN photographer Mike Davies  was there to take some pictures  Mike joined   members of the public who were given a tour of the building by a team from Swansea Bay University Health Board..

The entrance and waiting area for appointments with doctors 



Rooms on ground floor



There is a lift, as well as stairs,  to the first floor as Gill  Francis from the  Patient Participation Group  pointed out to  another Resolvenite, Margaret Arnold.




First floor rooms


Waiting area-first floor








Parking for about 70 cars -or get on your bike!


Thanks to Mike for the great  pictures and the team who showed him around-Mel Jones, Sarah Antonio and Teresa Stonehouse from Prmary Care, Swansea Bay Health Board

Opening Day for the Vale of Neath Medical Centre is Monday the 19th of August










Information about the Relocation of The Vale of Neath Practice

Information about the Relocation of

The Vale of Neath Practice

The Vale of Neath Practice is moving to the premises shown in the above photograph and will be open on

Monday 19th August 2019.

The Surgery is located within the new health centre.

The full address is: 

Vale of Neath Medical Centre,  Glynneath Road,  Glynneath,  SA11 5AT

Telephone No:  01639 509050

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The Practice Patient Participation Group in conjunction with the Health Board has been working to secure a patient car transport service in association with DANSA to help with transport to the new site.

The table below shows Pick Up times and Locations.

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Information Supplied by Vale of Neath Practice, PPG & Health Board

Photographs by Hugh Lewis, RDN Team


Sunflowers Return to Rhossili

A few images of the sunflowers at Rhossili— Aug 2nd 2019

Mike Davies RDN photographer