Annual Meeting of Resolfen History Society

A Report on the Annual Meeting of Resolfen History Society

 The attendance was rather sparse in this year’s Annual Meeting with only 13 members in attendance. The Chairman, Mr Gwyn Thomas drew attention to the fact that even the Society President was absent owing to a long term medical condition and hoped that he would soon be able to attend meetings once again.

The Treasurer, Mrs Julie Hicks, gave a very positive financial report and noted that membership of the Society was very good value and stood steady at 33 full members. On another positive note the committee and officials agreed to carry on for another year en bloc.

In his address, Chairman Gwyn Thomas, thanked the officials and committee for their hard work during the year. He also stated that he had not played an active part in the Society over the preceding year owing to the final illness of his wife, Jean.

The meeting itself finished earlier than usual and in order to give the members some historical entertainment the Secretary read the first chapter of the autobiography of Joe Cookson, a resident of Melincourt during the early decades of the twentieth century. The fascinating story of Joe’s first day at work in Clyne Merthyr colliery in April 1920 brought another era back to life. It also sparked animated discussion on the days of the small private mines which proliferated in this area.

Members were also reminded that two open days will be held at Neath Abbey on the 29th and 30th of September with official guided tours of the site from 2o’clock in the afternoon

Trefor Jones

Funeral Notice for Mrs Jean Moran

Flag Raising Ceremony at Resolven Community Centre

Resolven Community Council held a Flag Raising Ceremony at the Community Centre to observe and honour Merchant Navy Day.


Chairman of Resolven Community Council Aylwin Jones was joined by deputy chairman Alun Morgan, past Chairman Trefor Jones, Clerk to the Council Cheryl Payne and the Rev. Fortunato Santos from Sardis Baptist Church.

Chairman Aylwin Jones began the Ceremony with the following words:

“The 3rd of September 1939 marked the outbreak of the Second World War.  However, not everyone is aware that it also marks the first major British maritime tragedy..  The SS Athenia was torpedoed just hours after war was declared, with the loss of 128 passengers and crew.  During the following years, hundreds of merchant ships and thousands of seafarers suffered the same fate.  The 3rd of September has been enshrined as Merchant Navy Day to honour the men and women who kept our nation afloat during both World Wars.

I would like us to stand together for a minutes silence to remember the fallen heroes”

The Rev .Fortunato Santos then brought the ceremony to an end with a moving prayer.















Sunflowers at Rhossili Bay from Mike Davies

I thought readers might like to see these images. I had known about the fields of sunflowers at Rhossili Bay, and as the days and weather are changing I decided to go and see what all the fuss was about, The flowers were starting to go over but nevertheless a superb sight to behold,

I tried different aspects of photographing them which I found to be quite a challenge as I wanted the iconic Worms Head in the distance,

It’s actually quite rare to see so many sunflowers in Wales. The Royal Horticultural Society has explained that countries with ‘long hot summers’ are better suited to them.  There are around 400.000 flowers

The ‘golden field’, as it has been called by the National Trust, has brightened up an already picturesque spot with Rhossili beach being known all around the world for its natural beauty.

Mike Davies RDN photographer


























































A Message from Resolven Community Council

Just to let you know that it is Merchant Navy Day on Monday 3rd September, and at 11 am we will be holding a Flag Hoisting Ceremony at the Community Centre in Resolven.

                                           The Merchant Navy Red Ensign– the “Red Duster”


If you know anyone who was or is in the Merchant Navy they are welcome to attend. 

 Cheryl Payne (Clerk to Resolven Community Council)








Community Flu Clinics

Additional walk in clinics will be available from Thursday 11th October, every lunchtime between 12:00 noon and 12:45pm in Glynneath and Resolven surgeries.

Both Community Pharmacies {Resolven & Glynneath} will also be able to vaccinate Vale of Neath Practice patients.

Clyne Mission Harvest Festival






Latest View of Building Progress on New Health Centre


Work in progress on  new Vale of Neath Health Centre

Photo  by MIKE DAVIES—-25th August , 2018




How does your garden grow?

Resolven District News would be delighted to see pictures of your gardens in full bloom.

Kathleen Evans starts us off  off with a lovely display in her garden .in Resolven





Why not add your own pics to our 2018  SUMMER GALLERY  by emailng us at:,uk

and attaching the photos



Mike Davies Swan Hunting

I went for a walk along the local canal as I knew the swans were building a nest. The male gets the reeds from the canal and hands it over for the female to make the nest.   I left them alone to carry on their duty,  The female lays up to seven eggs between late April and early May both parents will take it in turn to incubate the eggs which is approx 35-41 days,

A few weeks later I went back to see how they were getting on and to my surprise they had eight cygnets cwtched in the nest.  What a family!



I let them be and went back in 4 months to see that the cygnets have grown into swans 




Not long now before they fly the nest














Ynysfach W.I. May to July-What Have They Been Up To?


May began with a trip to see the newly opened Trago Mills Store in Merthyr – what an enormous shop which seemed to sell everything! We all enjoyed a good browse followed by a bite to eat in the cafe. We all went home laden with goodies we never even knew we wanted!


Our meeting this month was our annual meeting, in which the committee and President were elected by the members to serve for the coming year, and we debated this years resolution which was to campaign for parity between physical and mental illness. Our members voted unanimously to support this resolution. This was followed by a slide show illustrating all our trips and activities over the last year and a well-earned cup of tea and cake.

The 2018 NFWI Annual Meeting took place in the Motorpoint Arena on Wednesday 6th June and thousands of members for all over England, Wales and the Islands came to Cardiff for this prestigious event in the Woman’s Institute calendar. Among them were over three hundred members from Glamorgan Federation. Ynysfach’s Jenny Colley attended as delegate for the Cwmnedd group of WI’s.

The meeting began in true WI fashion with the singing of Jerusalem and this year Glamorgan’s Mrs Norma Morris of Catwg WI  had the honour of accompanying the members on the piano. A truly awe-inspiring sound!

Guest speakers during the day included Dame Stella Rimmington and  Huw Edwards. Both speakers were most entertaining . Stella Rimmington told how she came to be employed by MI5 and eventually became the first female Head of the Service – apparently the model on which Dame Judy Dench based the character of ‘M’. Huw Edwards told of his more humble beginnings in LLanelli and his journalistic career that has led to his being the anchor of the BBC News. He spoke too of his nervousness at facing the WI – he had recently presented the royal wedding to 14 million people around the world but talking to 5,000 WI ladies was more scary!

Everyone agreed that it had been an excellent day and they were looking forward to 2019 when the meeting will be held in Bournemouth.

At our monthly meeting in June our speaker was Elizabeth Belcham, a local historian, who told us of ‘The bad girls of Swansea’. A most interesting and informative illustrated talk about crime and prostitution from 1870 -1914. Told through the lives of the women brought before the Swansea Police Courts from Swansea, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath, and Aberavon, and imprisoned in Swansea, this was  the story of life in the port of Swansea’s backstreets.

On 22nd June we had a trip to Porthcawl on a lovely sunny day, if a little windy! We all thoroughly enjoyed some free time to explore the shops and stroll along the front with a large ice cream. In the early afternoon we went to the Great House Hotel at Laleston for afternoon tea followed by a relaxing sit in their garden with a glass of wine – its a tough life!




July started with the Resolven Carnival. Eight members of Ynysfach WI took part in the parade dressed as Suffragettes, to celebrate the centenary of the first women to be granted the vote. They looked magnificent with their banners and sashes and did well to march in the scorching weather in their long skirts – a good job that we hadn’t chosen to wear the corsetry of the time too! Next year maybe we’ll go as bathing belles if its going to be so hot.



On the carnival field the rest of our valiant members were manning the cake stall – always the busiest stall. In soaring temperatures they cooked welsh cakes all afternoon and frantically tried to keep the rest of the fancy cakes from melting. We raised a good few £s for our funds and lost a good few lbs in the process!

Well done to all who took part in a very successful village event.

On 12th July some of us enjoyed a murder mystery evening hosted by our County Federation-a most entertaining event which involved a delicious two course dinner while trying to unravel a tale of trouble at the village fete when someone took the baking competition a little too seriously and bumped off the judge! Who done it? We didn’t guess the right answer but thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Our July meeting featured a talk by another local historian, Viv Griffiths,  who came to tell us all about the ‘Churches of Skewen’. However a technical hitch brought the slide show to a halt so we had a different one on the woollen mill at Neath Abbey. It was a most interesting subject, especially as a few of our members recognised some of the faces in the pictures and could add to Mr Griffiths story.

Finally July 21st saw our Annual County Show held at North Cornelly. We entered 18 items in to  10 classes and came away with 8 prize cards! Liz Jones won first prize for her small cakes and ‘best in show’ for her sugarcraft model of a market stall which was absolutely exquisite; Carole Jeffrey won second prize for her fabulous bookfolding item; Christine Davies was third in the preserve class and highly commended for her bag made from recycled denim; Jenny Colley was first in the bread roll class and joint third with Christine in the preserves. Ynysfach WI came second in two co-operative classes – the basket of homegrown vegetables and the ‘Farmers Market’


                                                                                          Co-operative Class



                                                                        Carole’s Bookbinding


                                                                               Liz’s Cakes

Congratulations to all who entered the show, it is a real achievement to win any prize up against the best in the County!

REPORT  by JENNY COLLEY ( President Ynysfach W.I)








Mike Davies Shoots a Rainbow

A rainbow opposite the rising sun over the A465 at Resolven.

This is an image not often seen as there was no rain to form a rainbow
the following text from Google:

“A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky.
It takes the form of a multicoloured circular arc.  Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the sun.”


IMAGE and REPORT by Mike Davies







Resolven Women Bowlers Win Local Derby

Resolven Ladies Bowls Club faced Glynneath Ladies last week in the annual Shield game and walked off the green as winners.


As usual, there was an extra special bowls tea afterwards.









The event serves a double purpose. It is played as a West Glamorgan League game too.  So Resolven picked up important points by winning on 2 rinks and losing by just 1 shot on one rink.

But the history behind the shield contest goes back to 1987, as Martha Cowley sec. of Glynneath Ladies who was there at the time explains.

“A touring team of men and women bowlers from Milton Regis  were due to play  at the Gnoll in Neath and were disappointed to find the club had no women’s team at  the time.  But the Gnoll club sent out a plea for help to local ladies’ clubs and  Glynneath and Resolven  responded, providing a rink each.. The  tourists had brought along a shield to present to their hosts, but who was to receive it  Resolven or Glynneath?  Problem solved!  We decided to ‘fight for the honour ‘ every year.”



Iris Thomas, President of Resolven Ladies Club, who provided the current Shield when the three previous ones ran out of space, presented it to vice- captain Ceri Holmes, who was delighted to receive it on behalf of her team.

PHOTOS by Max Gillespie


















Resolven Bowling Success in 2018

Resolven was well represented recently in the West Glamorgan County Bowling Association semi-finals and finals days at Brynhyfryd BC green, Neath.


After many previous rounds played Home and Away, eleven Resolven Bowls Club members represented RBC in the Open and Senior Singles, Pairs, Triples or Fours.

They are Shane James, Lionel Stock, Adrian Bradley, Randall Sims, Hugh Lewis, Martin Addis, Shaun Kelly, Gareth Evans, Ieuan Ace, John Fryer and Aylwin Jones.

All mentioned above are in the Resolven Bowls Club photograph below.

Despite challenging bowling green conditions at Brynhyfryd due to a very long dry and hot period of weather, the standard of bowling was generally high.

This tournament was played over two days, therefore some successful participants in more than one event had to play 3 games of up to 3½ hours per  game, in one day with only 15 minutes rest allowed between games, which was challenging for senior bowlers and was the case with some Resolven BC members.

Shaun Kelly


Shaun Kelly, a valued member and Captain of Resolven BC this year, was successful against Martin Legg, BSC Landore, winning 15-14 in the Two Wood Singles Final to become West Glamorgan Champion.






In the Senior (60 years & Over) Fours event Resolven members Adrian Bradley, Randall Sims Martin Addis and Hugh Lewis were winners in the Semi-Final against Swansea Vale BC bowlers and Parc Llewellyn BC, Swansea bowlers in the 2018 Final.

In August the successful four will be travelling to Llandrindod Wells to represent West Glamorgan County in the Welsh Bowling Association Finals.

Adrian Bradley, Martin Addis, Randall Sims & Hugh Lewis


As County finalists in the Senior Triples, Adrian Bradley, Ieuan Ace and Gareth Evans will be playing in the Welsh Finals at Llandrindod Wells in August.

John Fryer, Aylwin Jones, Gareth Evans & Ieuan Ace


This is the second successive year that the County  Senior Fours event has been won by Resolven bowlers. Here we see last year’s winners.



~ ~ ~





Resolven Bowls Club play the sport home and away with mid-week and weekend games.

Resolven Bowling Green Pavilion

If you don’t like contact sports or have stopped playing them you can still enjoy playing the sport of Bowls. Play from the age of 8 to 88+ years of age.

Like any sport you have to work at it to play it well.

~ ~ ~


Hugh Lewis (RDN Team)




Resolven Chemist – The Future

The following text is information from Ross the Pharmacist at the Resolven Chemist to clarify their position after closure of the Resolven Surgery.


I have had many enquiries recently regarding the future of Davies Chemist in Resolven after the surgery in Resolven closes and moves to its new site in Glynneath.

I wish to reassure our customers and patients that it is our intention to remain in Resolven and continue to provide the village and surrounding areas with all its pharmacy needs.  I appreciate that we have fiercely loyal customers and would like to repay that loyalty by continuing to provide Pharmacy services long into the future as we have done for the last 29 years.

I have been fortunate enough to be the pharmacist in Resolven for the last 10 years, I have even made the village my home.  I will continue to put Resolven pharmacy forward to deliver new pharmacy services such as the flu vaccine service started last year and more recently ‘Choose Pharmacy‘.  It is important to me that the people of Resolven and the surrounding areas have access to all NHS pharmacy services, which include:

Dispensing NHS prescriptions

Stop smoking service

Medicine Use Reviews

Discharge Medication Reviews

MAR chart scheme

Emergency contraception

Emergency Supply service

Choose Pharmacy (minor ailments)


We also have other services available such as our free delivery service.


One of the biggest concerns that I am asked about is the ordering of repeat prescriptions.

I have foreseen that this was going to be a big worry for many patients.  As a result, for the last few years I have been perfecting a repeat prescription management service, with the backing of the Vale of Neath Practice, in anticipation of the surgery move.  The service involves Resolven pharmacy staff helping patients manage their repeat prescription re-ordering.  The advantages are that patients can re-order items in the pharmacy in Resolven, we will then take the orders to the new surgery in Glynneath and collect the prescriptions and dispense them ready for collection or delivery.  So, unless you have an appointment in the new health centre, you won’t need to go there, we’ll do all the back and fore.


As I have already mentioned we have worked hard in the last few years with selected patients to ensure the service is robust and fit for purpose.  I feel that it is a very effective way of managing and synchronising repeat prescriptions, reducing medicine waste and unnecessary hoarding of medicines at home.  Feedback from patients has been excellent and very encouraging.

Please pop into the pharmacy to find out more and even enrol now in anticipation of the surgery move.

I intend to have a prescription drop off box in the new surgery which will be emptied a few times a day.

Vale of Neath Health Centre/Surgery
{Austin-Smith:Lord, John Weaver Contractors}

So, if you’re in the surgery and have a prescription in your hand you can either bring it to us, as many patients do at present, or, you can drop the prescription into the box and collect the dispensed prescription in Resolven pharmacy later that day or have it delivered free of charge.


Finally, for those patients who find it difficult to get to the pharmacy through mobility or due to work commitments, we are launching a dedicated prescription re-order phone line 01639 711100.  Simply give us a call to re-order any repeat prescription from the surgery and we’ll do all the rest!


I would like to take this opportunity to thank all patients for their support.  I urge all patients to act now and talk to us about the best way we can help to manage your repeat prescriptions.  By doing this, by the time the new surgery is operational the disruption will be minimal, thank you.



Contact information:

Telephone 01639 710248



Compiled by Hugh Lewis (RDN Team)