Community Challenge 2022

Tai Tarian’s Community Challenge is back and looking for applications from not for profit facilities and groups in Neath Port Talbot.

 Three projects will benefit in 2022 and will see our staff and contractors descend on a community facility for a day to give it a makeover.  Painting, decorating, repairs or general maintenance are all things we can carry out.

Since 2012 we have helped projects in schools, community centres, playgroups and a host of other community facilities throughout Neath Port Talbot.

Applying is easy, we have a form on our website that takes just 5 minutes to complete. Community Challenge Application – Tai Tarian

The closing date for entries is 17th December with winners notified on 28th of January 2022.

Keep your Eyes Peeled at Halloween

If you come across unexpected litle crocheted gifts around the village, here’s the reason why

Resolven’s Random Acts of Kindness started when two friends started talking about what they could do to help brighten up people’s day. We both learnt to crochet during the first lockdown and we thought we would share some small projects to make people smile. We have all had a difficult year and half and we realised that some people live alone, some people may struggle and some people may feel alone and/or isolated.The main aim of Resolven’s Random Acts Of Kindness is for us to make the projects and hide them around Resolven and the surrounding areas. The crochet item will be hidden with a card that will include a positive thought for the day, quotes or sayings, we hope people find them and it helps people to smile, to know they are not alone and that people care. We crochet a small item such as flowers, butterflies, rainbows, hearts; these are just a few examples.

We have also made things to run along with calendar events, we recently hid Green ribbons as this was for Mental Health Awareness Day

 Our next items to hide will be around  the theme of Halloween.

If you find any of the items please feel free to take them home and keep them or pass them onto someone else to help brighten up their day and to make them smile.

Keep your eyes peeled and happy hunting!

Ghost Hunting With Resolven Welfare Ladies Group and Friends

Friends of Ynysfach Primary once again provided a pumpkin carving competition at the school , which gave the Welfare Ladies Group a perfect opportunity to show them off by transporting them from the school yard over to the canal.

 A pumpkin trail was made from the 1st lock to Ty Banc cottage. There were 97 pumpkins in all and every one if them individual and showcasing some very talented pupils (and parents). 


Recognise the artwork?–Panels from past productions by Resolven Operatic Society in the Welfare


The gatekeepers sold spooky torches and glow sticks at the start of the trail

The Ty Banc Canal  Volunteers joined in and created a terrifying witches’ hut that made a few grown- ups scream let alone the children!

And there were Halloween painted rocks hidden on the trail that children could trade in for treats at Ty Banc. 

Trade Off Point –Halloween rocks for Treats

How it all began in the Welfare
Packing the Treats

The Children’s Pumpkin Competition produced artwork of a superbly high standard too.

Here are a just a few of the 97 pumpkins displayed in all their glory along the Pumpkin Trail and on the wall around the Miners’ Memorial opposite Sardis.

Winner of Pumpkin Competition

The Pumpkin Trail event could only have been by achieved by team work and the  community  joining in the fun , and not forgetting the generosity of local businesses who never fail to support the village events to give the kiddies treats and smiles. So thank you to the Welfare and Resolven Chemist this time.

Special thanks to the Ty Banc Canal Group and the South Wales Adventure Company for their help and Ynysfach Primary and the Welfare Ladies make a formidable team don’t they?

Well done all

Poppy Appeal

Due to the loss of the local branch of the Royal British Legion, the Poppy Appeal is being organised this year by the Welfare ladies group in conjunction with Resolven Community Council. Poppies and badges will be distributed in local shops and businesses for sale to raise money for the British Legion.

Pin badges will be on sale too so look out for the Centenary badges celebrating 100 years of the Poppy Appeal.

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Spooky Halloween Images

Some images of ghostly apparitions at Resolven Canal Basin submitted to RDN recently by ‘Walk-aholic’

Ghostly Horse at Resolven Canal Tow Path
A Witch levitates above the Tow Path
A Ghostly boy glides along the canal Tow Path

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The original photograph in the cold light of day showing stage flats previously used at The Resolven Miner’s Welfare Hall at the Tow Path of The Vale of Neath Canal

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Halloween Week Starts Here!

Picture taken by our trembling but fearless photographer Mike Davies

Mike has an Intruder

I had to go the hospital, and on my return, I looked through the window to see if all was OK.  It was not, as I had an intruder and he had the devil in his eyes.

It was not a human.  It was a sparrow hawk and he was up to no good.

Sparrowhawks are birds of prey. They’re adapted for hunting birds in confined spaces like dense woodland, so gardens are ideal hunting grounds for them.

Photograph by Mike Davies

Vale of Neath Parish – Contact Information

Resolven Post Office Temporary Closure

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November Meeting of History Society

A Fond Farewell to Father Andrew

The Reverend Andrew Davies conducted his last service as Vicar of Resolven on the 26th of September and has now retired. We all knew him as Father Andrew.  He was with us for 9 years and was well liked in the village for his warm, down-to-earth and cheerful presence at social gatherings and the comfort of his words when burying loved ones. He will be much missed by the community.

Mrs Julie Hicks, as Vicar’s Warden, knew him very well and says:

’’At the end of the day, Father Andrew was a valley boy.  He was born in a valley; he came to our valley and became one of us. He never pretended to be anything but what he was. You could talk to him about anything—he was the people’s priest.’’

Here are some of Father Andrew’s memories of his 9 years with us.

When I arrived at the Benefice of the Vale of Neath, like every other parish you serve in, you never know what to expect. My motto has always been you only get out what you put in

When looking at the attached photographs I know I’ve received a great deal from the parish over my 9 years. As with all ministries there is always a mix of great joy and sadness.

But my overall experience has been one of great joy, if you look at the photograph of the teas whether it was the summer or Christmas tea, it was an immense joy and privilege to see the community come together and also to be a small part of all the hard work that the ladies put in for the preparations, not only the ladies but also husbands in the weightier preparations of placing tables.

There were the Chinese Auctions, the Ukulele and other musical events held in the hall. Too many to name but many to remember and look back in with so many happy memories. The Carnivals, and Christmas Fayre. 

The Remembrance Day services ably arranged by The Royal British Legion and the pride in being invited to share those days both in Resolven and Clyne. Also, the involvement of Year 6 from Ynysfach Primary and Clyne Primary in the reading of the names on the Cenotaph.

As you can also see from the photographs the chance to take up bowls, in one I look professional and was told that my stance was good, only to be quickly followed by groans as the bowl left my hand (I made an amateur look good).

However, these are particular events held at particular times, and they only make up part of being a parish priest. It was the days walking around and sharing time with people brought the greatest joy, because it was at these unguarded times that people would share with me their joys and sadnesses, concerns, and worries, and it is at times such as these that makes it such a privilege to be a parish priest.

I end this little article with a heartfelt THANKS to all of you who live within the parish boundaries of the Vale of Neath, for allowing me to minister to you, wherever you live whether it be Clyne, Resolven, Ynysarwed, Abergarwed, Glynneath, Cwmgrach/Blaengwrach or Pont Walby; because without your love, support and prayers, I wouldn’t have had so many happy memories of my time spent with you in the privileged position of being your priest.

I Andrew.will always keep you in my prayers.

Father Andrew

Resolven History Society Meeting

A report on the meeting of Resolven History Society on Monday 11th October

Mao Zedong, as well as having his name appearing in several different versions is also misquoted as saying that “the first step in a long journey is the first”. He actually said that the first step was the first in 10,000 to take over the country which you may agree has a slightly different meaning. However, the first step of reviving the activity of the Society took place this week following the pandemic, which is the worst to hit the world in a century and a historic event in itself.

Not surprisingly, the audience in the church was far smaller than normal, and Covid-19 restrictions meant that the layout of the hall was different, however the engine had started and we were on our way. As speaker, Bernard Lewis from Cimla remarked, he had spoken to smaller audiences in the past and so long as those present enjoyed what was said, then he had done his part in the proceedings.

Mr Lewis, who has visited the Society twice before ,took “Swansea during the Great War” as his topic and explored several aspects of everyday life in the (then ) town.

On the fourth of August 1914, Charlie Chaplin’s latest film was about to be shown at the Albert Hall in Swansea. The showing was interrupted by a notice that war with Germany had commenced. The Mayor , Thomas Taliesyn Coaker , immediately made a plea for the formation of a “pals battalion” and requested a force of 1200 men. However, many had already volunteered with other regiments and despite recruiting attempts such as military bands, it stood at only 500 men, before being sent to Rhyl to prepare for the front.

Swansea has many conscientious objectors during the war. Some, such as John Oliver Watkins, a Quaker, opted instead to act as a stretcher bearer by joining the “Friends Ambulance” in France. He eventually joined a French equivalent and was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his bravery.

Enemy aliens who were in Swansea, such as Carl Oscar Roth a sausage factory owner were rounded up and many were sent to the Isle of Man as internees. Conditions were not good and resulted in riots in Douglas with several deaths. Refugees from Belgium , began arriving and there were 350 in the town by 1915, housed in Maesteg House and the YMCA. The YMCA also acted as a hospital with 20 beds. Penrice Castle was used as a convalescent home for Australian officers as demanded by the Talbots of Margam for an unclear reason.

Despite being a port, Swansea’s traffic in merchandise dipped terrifically during the war, since the U Boat campaign was ravaging the merchant fleet. This caused inflation in the price of goods and food, with stagnant wages leading to strikes in local factories. Indeed Lloyd George came to Swansea to implore the workers to return to work. This was accompanied by the introduction of rationing by 1916, with shortages of butter, flour and margarine. Potatoes were also in very short supply and were sold in lots of 4lb. However, the Belgian fishermen ensured that there was still plenty of fish! Swansea Council introduced a “Grow your own”, scheme and a “make do”, effort for the population to make the best of their plight. Pigs were allowed to be kept in gardens and rabbits were sought all over Gower as a source of meat. Owing to conscription, there was shortage of bread since the number of bakers had halved.

As on the second world war . The role of women changed completely as they were brought into the factories and even formed a version of the police force , to stop “giddy young girls “, being lured by soldiers returning from the front in the rough streets of Swansea. As today, women’s football became popular and drew large crowds.

The population were busy in raising funds for the war effort. Carnivals an whist drives were popular, and free entry to special clubs for servicemen to be fed were common, with the YMCA feeding some 30,000 during the war, by day and night. !00,000 cigarettes were sent to the front and sometimes the prizes from raffles were rather bizarre, such as “ten tons of slag”. Wounded sioldiers also attended the college in Swansea for retraining.

Two VCs were awarded to men from Swansea during the Great War. Thomas Fuller , was the soldier who carried the dying Mark Rider Haggard of Rheola House from the front. Haggard’s name is featured on the war memorial in Resolven, and was from the same family as the author of “King Solomon’s Mines”. In all, some 3,000 casualties of the war came from Swansea, though the war memorial in the now City, only shows 2,300 owing to the fact that so many served in other regiments.

Mr David Woosnam, thanked Mr Lewis for a memorable talk. In a lengthy question and answer session it was noted that many of the mistakes and lessons of the Great War were adopted early in 1939, such as rationing and conscription.

Trefor Jones.

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Covid Memorial Plaque

Many of you will have noticed the Covid Memorial Plaque commissioned by the Community Council and placed on the large stone adjacent to the War Memorial.  

We are hoping to have a dedication ceremony on 13th November 2021 at 11am.

Families and friends of those in Resolven and Clyne and Melin Court who have sadly passed away due to Covid are invited to attend.  There will be refreshments in the Resolven Community Centre following the dedication.

We are also mindful that Covid has not gone away and there may be more sadness following the dedication, so this Memorial is for all those in the past, present and future who have succumbed to this dreadful disease.

We would be grateful is we could have some idea of numbers who wish to attend.

Many thanks for all the support you have given each other during this pandemic.


Neal Francis

Chair Resolven Community Council