Head Shave for Macmillan in Resolven



Angie Chillingworth  “Braved the Shave” for Macmillan Cancer Support in  Hers and Sirs salon Resolven  this week  Before the razor began its work,  Angie said:

“Why I hear you ask??? Well I am doing this to pay respect to all those who have fought and lost the battle with cancer and for those brave soulss who continue to battle!

I am taking part in this fundraising event to raise money in memory of my mum, Patricia Pennell who passed away aged 81 after a short 2nd battle with breast cancer and for a dear friend who passed away on her birthday this year.

My mum was a very proud lady and didn’t like to make a fuss, she  had many illnesses in her life, from shingles to heart attacks and strokes, although she never gave in and would never complain. My dad passed away suddenly on the 19th December 2005, it would have been their 48th wedding anniversary on the 23rd of December, a little piece of mum died that day also, however she remained independent, she moved to Silian near Lampeter which was closer to my older brother although she was isolated and her decline was noticeable, she had had a breast lump for several years and not told anyone, she thought it was nothing, although in reality I think she knew what it was! The lump ulcerated and became an open wound, she was sent to see an oncologist who stated they could not operate or give her chemotherapy/radiotherapy as she had other health conditions which would make it impossible for her to get through it, her only option was an anti-cancer hormone tablet, which thankfully worked, and she was given the all clear a year or so later. I Also moved mum down closer to me.

Patricia,Angie and Katy Angie’s daughter


In April 2017 she had a really bad chest infection and she was admitted to hospital, during her stay they completed tests which sadly showed her breast cancer had returned, but also she had multiple secondary metastases in the liver, she saw the oncologist, a lovely man by the name of Mr Rolles, he sat her down and said, stop all your other medication and go home and have a glass of champagne, there was no treatment and he said she had about 3 months.  As my mum only lived a few yards from my husband and myself, I moved in with her. She declined rapidly, but . wanted to pass away in her own home, surrounded by her personal things, she did not want to be in hospital, The doctors at the Vale of Neath practice made this happen for her and I would like to thank them for all the support they gave both my mum and me, it was very hard to see her deteriorating and to watch a strong woman not even be able to feed herself.  Each day I would make sure she talked about the things that worried her or stories from her past, there were pictures of my dad and fresh flowers in her view  to! It was important to allow her time to reflect on the family she has and also the inevitable too! Mum sadly passed away on the 1st of October 2017 at home with her 3 children and our respective husbands and wives by her side.

During this difficult time a dear friend’s wife was also going through the awful trauma of ovarian cancer, again she was given a diagnosis that the cancer would end her life, she was still so young with much to live for, she died on the 21st May 2018, such a special lady with a fighting spirit, Dee her wife, will be making the 1st shave on Tuesday 30th October at 11,30am.”


Dee starts the job supervised by hairdresser Lucy

Lucy takes over









Husband Pete inspects

“People say to me you are ‘brave’ for shaving you’re hair off, my answer to them is simple, mine will grow back. and I will hopefully be here when it does. All those other people who are fighting cancer and lose their hair don’t always have that luxury, and if I can raise a few pounds to make their life a little easier, then what I am doing is not brave, it’s a pleasure and a privilege!!!”

All gone and still smiling

Well done Angie!  Hope you reach your £500 target

If you want make a donation to Angie’s “Brave the Shave”.- click on the link  below .




































People say to me you are ‘brave’ for shaving you’re hair off, my answer to them is simple, mine will grow back, and I will hopefully be here when it does, all those other people who are fighting cancer and lose their hair don’t always have that luxury, and if I can raise a few pounds to make their life a little easier, then what I am doing is not brave, it’s a pleasure and a privilege!!!”











Resolfen History Society November Meeting

Neath’s Great War Poppy Trail Oct 27th

The Poppy Trail took place on a bitterly cold day with a biting wind. The Women Suffragettes gathered in Victoria Park, ready to march through the town in part of the centenary celebrations, and aims to tell the story of a select few of those service men who lost their lives in the conflict

Images and presentation by RDN photographer Mike Davies






You tube link here


New Shop in Village


Emily Ridge and Lisa Stokes have opened for business on the Square selling take away food with many home made options on the menu.

We wish them luck in their new endeavour and hope it’s a great success.

Watch this space for 2 more new shops opening soon!



New Debrillators for Resolven

Resolven Community Council are to be congratulated on acquiring funds from the Ffynnon Oer  Wind Farm Energy Project and from  Ynysfach W.I. to purchase a new defibrillator and three secure storage boxes from the charity Cariad.  Thanks have also got to be given to the Welsh Ambulance Service public access defibrillator scheme (especially our own Mr Lyn Evans and Mrs Jemma Langdon) for securing two defibrillators for the village.

The locations  of the defibrillators are:

  • The Church Hall
  • The Rugby Club
  • The Bowling Green
  • Sardis  (this defibrillator has been called upon four times since it was fitted)








Remarkable Sunset

 Remarkable sunsets could be seen in parts of the UK on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

Mike Davies RDN photographer went out to capture this amazing spectacle and

Mike would like to share them with our RDN readers



More Mist Pics From Mike–Resolven Canal




Photos by Mike Davies taken at Resolven canal


Resolven Welfare Autumn Fair

Autumn Mist in Our Valley

Mike Davies was out early to get these great photos for us in the Vale of Neath

New Opening Hours for Resolven Library

News from NPT Council re. Recycling and Refuse

The following information, from NPT Council, will be sent to all local households soon.


News from Resolven Seniors Club

Resolven Village Seniors are pleased to announce it has been awarded a grant of £800 from the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund CIC

The club meets every other week between 11 am and 12.15 pm in the Community Hall. There are  lively discussions, tea and biscuits, a game of bingo and the occasional guest speaker.  Annual cost to join is £5 and then £1.50 per meeting


Everyone is very welcome and the next meeting will be on Monday Oct. 29th



Mike Davies battles the elements to get some images of Storm Callum

Aberdulais Falls Entramce


Aberdulais Falls





Mike Davies, our RDN photographer, weathered conditions in the Neath valley and also went to Porthcawl, just after full tide, to try and record the storm, The weather conditions there were some of the worst he has experienced in a long time, so trying to photograph with storm force winds and lashing rain, he was fortunate to get a few images. 




All photos by Mike Davies

Click on link below to view his youtube presentation

Chinese Auction in Church Hall

Report from October Meeting of Resolfen History Society

The History of Skewen

This month’s speaker hardly needed an introduction since former Neath College lecturer, Mrs Carole Wilsher has been a resident of the Forest Lodge in Glynneath Road for thirty seven years. However, despite being well on her way to gaining her permanent -residency in Resolven, she described herself as being “Skewen through and through”.

She began her talk by given a brief account of why she had undertaken the work of producing a book on the history of her home village. The chief motive was the increasing march of globalisation in the modern world which was fast erasing the folk memories and even the buildings that had given rise to settlements in general.  At first, her family were sceptical as to why she wanted to embark on such an epic journey, but this was justified by her realisation that her entire family, back to her great grandparents had emanated from the Skewen  area. She praised the contribution of Gareth Richards, former proprietor of Gwasg Morgannwg in Skewen, for his encouragement and practical help in her endeavour. She started the work with an attempt to interpret the history of Skewen, by analysing the street names of the village, but failed when she realised that this called for some more serious research. The fruit of which was her book on the history of Skewen.

The story began with a look at the background to the development of the Skewen area.  In 1129, the Cistercians at Neath Abbey were granted lands amounting to ten square miles in order to clear and manage, a process known as “assarting” in Old English. The work of the monks can be seen today in the prefix “cwrt” or grange(self-sufficient farms) which are still evident in local place names. In the Skewen area many names included ‘cwrt’for example ,Cwrt-y –Betws; Cwrt -y – Clafdy; Cwrt Herbert; and Cwrt Sart ( in Briton Ferry) is a corruption of “assart”. (And of course, Melincwrt in the Resolven area, referring to a mill. Ed.)

In the 1600s, the now dissolved monastery was acquired by the Hobby family and later bought by Lord Dynevor. Parcels of land were leased for the use of both industry and the concurrent agricultural revolution. In 1801, the famous Neath Abbey Ironworks was established in the Skewen area, and copper works were situated along the river Neath. Another catalyst in the development of the settlement was the building of the Tennant Canal by George Tennant (1821) which took products to the docks at Swansea (Port Tennant).  However, the first embers of a sizable settlement came with the opening of the new turnpike road in 1830 to Swansea. This now forms the main thoroughfare through Skewen, as against the “old road”, which runs now to Llandarcy passing the Abbey.

It is difficult to give an exact date to the birth of Skewen, however, Mrs Wilsher showed that the area was almost exclusivel y farmland in 1770, however in 1816 a newspaper report on a robbery refers to the area as “Skewen Hill”, for the first time.  By 1801, Coedffranc  Parish ( still the name of the community council, Ed.) had some 50 scattered dwellings and in the 1811 census the area had 454 residents. The important aspect here is that instead of individual holdings, houses were now being built in clusters, surrounding industrial enterprises alongside the existing tracks on Skewen Hill, especially around the Crown Copper Works (There is a Crown public house to this day, Ed.). An estate map of 1838, shows that commercial premises were also being established in Skewen, and  Mrs Wilsher noted that her family were residents at that time. Living conditions were squalid and epidemics of cholera (1840s), smallpox (1872) and Scarlet Fever (1890) were endemic. By 1871, Skewen was firmly established as a community with 2,500 residents.

The next period of development surrounded the coal industry and the main railway line. Edward Ackland Moore and his son ( brother in law of Neath entrepreneur  Howel Gwyn) bought and ran a large colliery at Cwrt Herbert. In addition, large railway sidings were built nearby  in order to transport the coal via Birchgrove to Swansea. They also acquired the Cwmdu estate in Skewen, but changed the name of the emerging settlement to Mooretown, which gave rise to a nascent” upper” as against “lower”, Skewen. This is a distinction which persists to this day. All Saints Church was built at this time.

The dawn of the twentieth century saw a massive boom in the population of the village, with the population in 1901 standing at 5, 410, this increased exponentially to 8,125 by the next census of 1911. The reason for the explosion is obvious since the Main Colliery Company had opened two new pits in Skewen , in 1903 and 1904. New houses were built for the workers along Dynevor Road ( formerly Coronation Road) , thus joining upper and lower Skewen for the first time. The streets were built on a typical grid pattern and organised by the Coombe- Tennant family, indeed Stanley Road refers to the famous H.M.Stanley ( a friend of the family) and Christopher Road is a son of the Coombe-Tennants. However, this blossoming development came to a crashing halt with the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. The Skewen collieries failed to gain an Admiralty contract for their coal which sent them into permanent decline, closing in the early 1920s. Another unwelcome guest at the time was the Spanish flu which decimated the population.

The saviour of Skewen without doubt was the coming of a large oil refinery in 1920 to nearby Llandarcy.  This undoubtedly saved the village economically, and it was considered one of the wealthiest settlements in Wales because of the 3,000 well paid and varied jobs which came from the refinery.  This is noticeable in the prevalence of mainly 30s style detached and semi-detached houses along Crumlin Road and Wern Road. The vast Skewen Park was established alongside the nine acres of Tennant Park. The Ritz cinema opened along with a dog track for racing and other notable buildings. The Refinery was a target during the second world war but mercifully was not badly bombed.

After the war, a period of council housing saw one hundred and fifty new houses in Skewen and also a move to clear the derelict land was undergone by Coedffranc Community Council following the Aberfan disaster of the mid-1960s. Another development was the setting up of new private estates following the closure of Llandarcy . Indeed, the only two original shops which are left are the Italian café run since the early twentieth century by the Cresci family and the Jeffreys Stores ( now Arborne) which was opened by a Jewish family.  With a population of 8,500, Skewen is recognised as the largest village in Wales if not the UK.

Following a lively question and answer session, Mr Gwyn Thomas thanked Mrs Wilsher for a memorable evening.

(All proceeds from the book are donated to theTŷ Olwen Hospice, and remaining copies are still available from Mrs Wilsher at a cost of £12).

REPORT by Trefor Jones