Mike Davies Captures Banwen Miners’ Hunt on Camera

Despite the damp grey skies there was, as always, a good gathering in Neath on Boxing Day to greet the Banwen Miners’ Hunt.









Report, pictures and video by MIKE DAVIES

you can find the video with live footage on youtube here











Resolfen History Society Meeting

Clyne Mission Carol Service

Carol Service in St. David’s Church Resolven

Resolfen History Society Christmas Members Night

Resolfen History Society Christmas Members Night

Some years ago the History Society made the decision to not have a formal speaker in the December meeting, owing to the many counter attractions during this festive month usually led to a lower attendance than usual. This year some eighteen members were present and hopefully the event was enjoyed by all.

The meeting began with a contribution by David Woosnam who had been researching his family tree. His family line despite being born in London was almost exclusively Welsh, as his family had moved to England during the 1930’s from the Garw valley as part of the huge movement of population during the Great Depression. His ancestry hailed from Llandinam, home of the famous industrialist David Davies, and also concurs with another demographic change as the rural population of Wales poured into the newly industrialised valleys of the south. However, when he and his Garnant born wife, Olwen, retired to Ewenny near Bridgend , his searches revealed that he was distantly related to his neighbour and also by marriage was related to the Llewelyn family of Resolven. 

Mrs Anne Morgan was the second contributor, and following on last month’s talk on Evacuees, she gave a fuller version of her experience as an evacuated child. Her father was a serviceman with the Welsh Guards at the outbreak of the second world war,and Anne spent her days being decanted from the South East of England to her grandmother’s house in Coronation Avenue. During part of this period she spent her time living with her mother in a huge mansion. It was fascinating to hear the difference in the standard of living encountered, with the mansion having many of the modern accessories which we now take for granted compared with the basic necessities in her grandmother’s basic though loving home. 

The third contributor was Trefor Jones who as a former head of a geography department and A Level examiner in Geography, decided to give a historian’s view of climate change. Mr Jones, showed by way of a powerpoint demonstration that changes (often very abrupt ones) are common occurrences in the geological record over the last two million years, when the earth has been subject to ice ages. Concentrating on the causes of climate change during the Holocene (the period since the end of the last ice age) he showed that periods of exploration and civilizations were coincident with warmer periods including the Roman Empire and the Renaissance. Whereas colder periods were usually periods coincident with war and famine, such as was shown during the last major cold snap known as the Little Ice Age, which ended in the mid-19th century. Without straying into the modern more contentious man assisted climate change in the week of the COP global conference in Madrid, he ended by saying that until the mid-1980s, climate change was based on a “dry as dust” approach by pioneers such as H.H. Lamb, who analysed the numerical data for what had definitely happened, however the modern and very popular approach uses computer models which give a projection of what is likely to happen. 

The last formal item included a brief history of Christmas as outlined in the December edition of St David’s Church magazine. Contrary to common belief, Jesus is unlikely to have been born on the 25th of December, which may have more to do with Roman tradition and the fact that both Charlemagne (800 A.D.) and William the Conqueror (1066 A.D.) were crowned on that date. Epiphany, on the 6th of January would seem to be a more likely date. In addition, Christmas has oscillated from being a largely religious to a largely secular revel, on several occasions. Indeed the Puritans including Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century banned Christmas for many years. Central to this is the fused character of Father Christmas and Santa Claus. St Nicholas was a bishop in what is now Turkey in the fifth century and spent the Christmas period doing good works, Father Christmas on the other hand is a secular character from the 18th century (usually portrayed in green) and is associated with the drunkenness and excess of the festive period. The fusion of both, may have more to do with marketing during the 19th century (possibly the red coat belongs to a well-known cola brand) and has lain the base for our modern version of Christmas.

Members’ night concluded with the annual quiz accompanied with mulled wine and minced pies. This year, it was decided that the teams would keep their own score, this led to a shambles (the wine?) and the chocolates for the winners was distributed between all the members!


Funeral Notice for Mr Michael Morgan

Resolven Ladies’ Bowls Club Presentation Lunch

The awards for the Resolven Ladies’ Bowls Club 2019 winners were presented during a festive, lively and much enjoyed Christmas lunch in the Lamb and Flag, Glynneath on the 9th of December.

Audrey Grifiths/Christine Twaite/ Ceri Holmes

2019 Club Members

The proceedings began with an apology for absence from Club President Iris Thomas who is in Neath Port Talbot Hospital at the moment.

“I’m sorry I can’t be there today.  I’m otherwise engaged.  My one regret is is not being able to present Brenda with her trophy-one of the oldest winners.  Have an extra drink for me!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”

We were all delighted to get Iris’s message and all hope she gets better soon.  But in her absence all the awards, bar the one for Club Champion, were presented by Club Chairman, Brenda Rees.  The  Club Champion trophy was presented by Anita Morgan, because Brenda herself  was the winner and  at 83 became  the second oldest to pick up the award.


Anita and Brenda

Club Championship Runner-up Sec/Treasurer Carwen Thomas and Brenda


Two Woods Champion , Club Captain Ceri Holmes and Brenda


Two Wood Runner-up Carwen Thomas and  Brenda

Carwen appears  to be kissing the  trophy, maybe thinking  ”I wus robbed” in the Final against her daughter Ceri. It was a great game finishing on an extra end when the game was tied.  Ceri took  the end by one shot.

The final presentation was of 4 Hot Shots Certificates, presented by Brenda to the rink that scored all 8 shots available in one end in a league game against another club.

Audrey Griffiths/Christine Twaite/Maureen Colmer/Janis John (with Cnairman Brenda Rees)


Watch this space for news of the 2020 season

All the Fun of the Fayre

Resolven Community Events Group organised another delightful “getogether” for the village on Saturday-the Christmas Fayre.  The weather was dull and gloomy outside, but inside St. David’s Church Hall there was a kaleidoscope of colour and smiling faces.  RDN photographer Mike Davies was there to capture these images for us.










IMAGES by MIKE DAVIES (RDN photographer)


Local Food Bank Opens


Salvation Army Band at Clyne Free Mission

Funeral Notice for Mrs Kim Chambers

Christmas Concert by Ladies’ Choir

The concert was held on Monday the 2nd of December in Noddfa Newydd, Tonna and the choir can be heard in the Aberafon Shopping Centre on Saturday the 14th of December at 11.am.

The choir was formed in May 1981 and six months later made their concert debut at the Gwyn hall Neath, with the band of the South Wales constabulary, The choir does a lot of charitable work, and has helped to  raise funds for various charities.

The choir has appeared in concerts in England, Ireland, Holland, and many parts of the Principality, with international artists such as Della Jones, Jason Howard, Anthony Stuart Lloyd and Gordon Back,. The choir  has also taken part in BBC programmes including Songs of Paise at the Millennium Cardiff, also Lenny Henry Goes to Town. They have shared the stage with the Morriston Orpheus and Pontarddulais Male Voice Choirs, exchanged visits with the Wexford, South Woodham Ferrers, the Park Hall and the Stoke-on-Trent male voice choirs.

The Neath ladies inspired the ladies of both Wexford and South Woodham Ferrers to form choirs of their own, and the three ladies’ choirs have also met up to perform tri-choral concerts in Neath, Essex, and Ireland. The choir always have a busy programme of concerts, and weddings and charitable work.

The choir are always delighted to welcome new members it is a good way of making new friends, as well as making music.  New choristers are welcome

Rehearsals Monday at 7pm Noddfa Newydd Tonna

Choir contacts

Chairperson—Mrs Maureen Davies 01639 644608
Treasurer——Mrs June Davies   01639 771224
Secretary——Mrs June Wilkinson  01639 890333


Valley Sunrise

Sunrise over the Vale of Neath

Taken on the 1st of December, 2019

MIKE DAVIES (RDN photographer)