Funeral Notice for Mrs Gina Pedrick

April meeting of The Resolven History Society


Monday, 8 April 2024



St David’s Church Hall

Speaker is Mr Jeff Childs

Subject: ‘Sheet Steel and Tinplate in Pontardawe’

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Resolven History Society Report on the March Meeting

Huw Williams makes a glorious return

This was sixth occasion that Huw Williams of Merthyr had spoken to the Society, and despite the long break during the pandemic he had lost none of his enthusiasm and indeed his humour. He noticed that numbers were down on past years , however he maintained that the Society was doing well in comparison with other major societies which had crashed in recent years in the Cynon and Merthyr areas.

Mr Williams took as his broad canvas, which included recruitment for an imagined film, that Resolven stood on an apex historically between three varieties of Wales. To the west was traditional Welsh Wales, steeped in the Welsh language and chapel culture. To the east were the more anglicised valleys and to the south the “Americanised” coast. This was highlighted by the traditions of the anthracite and steam coal areas with their waves of migration coming from different directions, both to avoid the penury of agriculture in Carmarthen as against the Forest of Dean and Herefordshire. After all, a collier could earn more in a few weeks than a year as a tenant farmer, ensuring his diet of salted butter, cheese and fatty bacon. This was illustrated by comparing Resolven resident B.L. Coombes who had moved from rural Herefordshire to “Aberclwyd”, when he met the hymnal of Pantycelyn. This was captured in his book “These Poor hands”, and “Miner’s Day”.

The technological revolution in the valleys epitomised in the Railway age, saw Brunel’s Vale of Neath Railway carry coal to Swansea, usurping the monopoly of the Butes in east Wales. Similarly David Davies of Llandinam, had exported more coal through Barry Docks which fuelled the sea traffic of world trade. This was epitomised by Chaplin’s “Modern Times”, film.


Mr David Woosnam, thanked Mr Williams for a brilliant talk, and hoped he would speak on north versus south next year.

Trefor Jones.

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Ynysfach Primary School Exhibition

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