Ynysfach W.I. Say “Thank You N.H.S”

Closure of the Resolven British Legion Branch

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The Royal British Legion is the heart of a national network that supports our Armed Forces community, they are there through thick and thin ensuring their unique contribution is never forgotten.  The organisation is a registered charity and was founded in 1921 and whose objectives together with a network of partners and volunteers, is to give help and support to members of the Armed Forces wherever and whenever it’s needed.   This help and support consists of expert advice and guidance to recovery and rehabilitation through to transitioning to civilian life.  The Legion will be by their side every step of the way, not just members of the Armed Forces but their families too.  If their vast network cannot help they will know someone who can.


The Resolven British Legion Branch was founded in 1927
and it seems that the Institution was founded in 1950 and research reveals that the Annual Dinner was revived on 10th April, 1952 with the club filled to capacity.  The guest of honour being Mr. Helier de Carbery, a retired school master from Weston Super Mare who served as an officer in the 9th Welch during the First World War, he served with a number of men from Resolven and paid tribute to their fighting qualities and that it was an honour to serve with them.  Other guests included Captain V.J. Sankey R.N. Councillor and W. Kingdom Owen J.P. Neath.  Life Certificates were presented to Messrs G. Pickford and J. Evans both of Abergarwed, for completing 25 years unbroken service to the Resolven Branch.  The Club and Institute then had 600 members at this time with Captain Sankey being the President.


Many will recall not so far back when the officers of the club and Institute were President: Len Gully, Chairman: Roy Bowden, Vice Chairman: Glan Evans, Secretary: David Williams, Treasurer: Bob Langdon,  Standard Bearer: Aubrey Newton.  All these members were military men, as was most of the committee.  The club was run on military lines and had very few problems on matters of discipline.


Sadly, owing to financial difficulties the Club closed its doors for the final time on 29th June, 2012, this was a crushing blow to the communities of Resolven, Melincourt, Clyne and Abergarwed as the beating heart of the social life of the area was now lost forever, a team of volunteers resurrected the Branch on 1st November, 2012, but now unfortunately owing to the number of resignations and deaths of members the Branch became dysfunctional and out of compliance with the Royal British Legion constitution and as a result the Branch has now permanently closed after ninety four years service. In order to complete the closure the final rites took place at 12 noon on Sunday, 18th July, 2021 at St David’s church when the Resolven Branch British Legion Standard (Flag) was decommissioned by Father Andrew Davies during a short service.

Also present were the former officers – (Chairman) Roger Place, (Secretary) David Richards (Vice Chairman and Standard Bearer) Ashley Philbrick.


The outgoing officers wish to thank the very many people who had supported the Branch and Institute over the very many years, the loss of both amenities have been very sad days. 

REPORT by DAVID RICHARDS

Sunrise Over the Vale of Neath

Image by Mike Davies RDN Photographer on 23rd of July

Open Day Today

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Hir Fynydd – Sarn Helen Surprises by a Resolven ‘Walkaholic’

In search of The Stargazing Hare

As a boy I’d always played in the woods behind the school, up the ‘Tump’, over the ‘Lido’, up the ‘Burma’ or over the screens. Never did I venture to the other mountain to see what was going over there, it’s a walk that was inspired by this waterfall that was revealed during the forestry clearance.

I had no intention of being out too long, just a quick track from the side of ‘The Farmers’ and a steep climb to the top of the mountain, see the Roman road then return, easy right?

I found what seemed to be a tramroad and started following it. It runs parallel to the B4242 so I know I’m going the right way. I missed the steep track I wanted, so ended up in Abergarwed on the main road, never mind I’ll go up the forestry road on the other side of the hamlet. As you climb and zig zag with the road there are a few good places to view Resolven, more of the village unfolds as you get higher. I look at the map on my phone and see a trig point up here, it’s not too far I’ll head for that. The road zigzags again and again, I find the track I wanted to climb originally, it’s a swamp and I didn’t bring wellies. I eventually find Sarn Helen, the Roman Road on top of the mountain.

This section runs from Aberdulais to Banwen but there are sections at Ystrafellte and other places I’ve been to. It probably linked the port at Neath to Brecon which was connected to the rest of Wales, most importantly for the Romans was the Gold Mines at Dolaucothi and their baths at Caerleon.

There are a few markers and a sculpture I passed, this one scared me.

Anyway my goal is to find this trig point. Ordnance Survey over 80 years ago placed these pillars all over the country to map it. Each one had a fantastic view and usually marks the highest point on a mountain, each trig point has to be in line of sight with another 3 trig points so our country could be mapped accurately. This trigpoint is a little off the road, it’s in a little clearing and even with GPS it’s a bit tricky to get to. There’s no view from here as the trees all around have grown, still a pleasant place to visit.

Like a numpty I open the wrong map app on my phone and Google, not too far away is a ‘Stargazing Hare’ what on earth is that? “I’d better take a look.”

The path from Sarn Helen to the Crynant side is a bit waterlogged in places, stretches of places that you have to walk on an embankment on the side of the path, “don’t fall in now” is the only thing I keep repeating to myself. I joined another forestry road and that makes walking much easier, I’ve not got too far to go and there’s a row of trees either side of the road, this Hare isn’t going to see much. Then it happens, the trees have been cut, there’s a clear opening and the view is amazing. Looking South you can see Mumbles lighthouse and to the North the bleak beauty of the Black Mountains. What a lucky hare to be looking at this forever! At the moment I could only imagine what the view at night must look like, I think something like this.

After being amazed by the hare, it’s time to return. My phone battery is low, it’s getting dark and I have no idea what road goes where. I walk what I see is the quickest route back, all on forestry roads and end up at Rheola.

This was supposed to be a quick hour stretch, instead it was a five hour expedition, totally worth it for seeing the Stargazing Hare.

Resolven Walkaholic

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Bowls in the Sun

‘Hot’ Music from the ‘Indonesian Architects’

On a very warm Sunday afternoon in July (in the middle of a much needed short ‘heatwave’ with temperatures reaching over 30 degrees in some places in Wales) and with the Sun shining through the tall trees of the stunning setting of the Resolven Canal, with the kayaks sailing silently by, making the most of the canal, and the sound of children cooling off with a ‘dip’ in the river which runs nearby, it was also an idyllic location for the ‘Indonesian Architects’ to set up and give us an afternoon of light music, and they were indeed in fine song.

They had learned some new material and sitting in the shade, under the trees, provided a wonderfully cool setting and atmosphere which was a treat for those who were lucky enough to be there.

It was also a delight and an unexpected sight for the people passing while enjoying a Sunday afternoon stroll on the canal towpath which is, of course, a naturally beautiful area at any time of the year but especially during the summer months.

Well done and a big thank you to the Indonesian Architects for a lovely afternoon’s entertainment. 

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A couple more photographs showing the beauty of the Vale of Neath Canal

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Photo’s / text by Hugh & Lorna Lewis

Spotted Flying Over Resolven

Eagle- eyed Natasha Williams spotted this paraglider and took these pictures yesterday (17th July) — Great! But Natasha wonders did anyone see where it landed?

Film Setup at Melyncourt Waterfall

Message from Cllr Dean Lewis

I was lucky enough to have a look at the filmset up Melyncourt Waterfall.

So I thought I would share some photos I took.

The filming is for a six part Russian Spy series staring Oscar winning actor Mark Rylance, award winning actor and Director Simon Pegg and many others.

I hope you like them.

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Get your Jab! 18 to 39 year-olds

– Covid Vaccine Newsletter from Swansea Bay University Health Board

Introduction:

There’s been a huge amount in the news about the proposed end of Covid restrictions in England later this month. But any changes to restrictions in Wales will be decided and announced by the Welsh Government next week.

Many of us are eager for things to finally get back to normal, but we can’t forget that cases of the Delta variant, now the dominant strain in Wales, continue to rise.

This week the Welsh Government’s chief scientific advisor for health, Dr Rob Orford, described the situation as a race between the growth of the Delta variant and the vaccines – which will determine how soon we can “live with Covid”.

He said vaccine uptake will make a big difference going forward and urged young people in particular to “grab the opportunity” of getting jabbed to protect themselves and others, despite the lower risk of being seriously ill.

So, as we have been doing for the last few weeks, we will be offering people aged 18 to 39 the chance to get their first dose Pfizer vaccine at drop-in sessions over three consecutive weekends at the Bay Field Hospital Mass Vaccination Centre.

First dose drop-in sessions Our next scheduled Pfizer first dose drop ins for ages 18 to 39 at the Bay Field Hospital MVC are listed below. Please note:

.     Bring photo ID such as a passport or driving licence if you have it. Or proof of name and address such as a bank statement or utility bill.

.     If you are part of our homeless or migrant communities and don’t have identification or proof of address don’t worry. We will still vaccinate you and put measures in place for you to have your second dose.

.     Temporary residents including temporary workers, students and those staying in the area to care for a loved one ARE able to attend our drop-in sessions. But you will need to register with a GP in the Neath Port Talbot or Swansea area within 14 days as we would need to notify them of your first dose and that is how your second dose appointment will be generated.

.     If you live within the Swansea or Neath Port Talbot county boundary but are registered with a GP under Powys Teaching Health Board OR Hywel Dda Health Board you ARE able to access our drop-in sessions – just bring proof of address.

.     Please adhere to social distancing guidance at the venue.

Schedule

.     Saturday, July 17th – Time: 9am – 7.40pm.

.     Sunday, July 18th – Time: 10am – 6pm.

.     Saturday, July 24th – Time: 9am – 7.40pm.

.     Sunday, July 25th – Time: 10am – 6pm

.     Saturday, July 31st – Time: 10am – 6pm.

.     Sunday, August 1st – Time: 10am – 6pm.

Bay Field Hospital, also known as the old Ford factory, near Amazon on Fabian Way, SA1 8QB.

Directions

From junction 42 of the M4 – head south on A483 Fabian Way. Turn right at roundabout and bear left onto Ffordd Amazon. The Bay Field Hospital is signposted. You will pass Amazon on the left. The Bay Field Hospital is next left.

From Swansea head north on the A483 Fabian Way and turn left at the large yellow sign for Corner Park garage (there is a smaller red sign for the Bay Field Hospital). Bear left and proceed onto Ffordd Amazon. Continue for half a mile or so and the Bay Field Hospital will be on your right. 

New number for Bay Field Hospital bus The First Cymru bus which runs from Swansea city centre bus station to the field hospital has become part of Service 9A for Fabian Way Park & Ride. It is still a FREE service. The bus was previously number 51.

Service 9A runs from bay D in the bus station to Bay Field Hospital every 20 minutes from 7.25am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday.

Music and Picnic up the the Canal-Postponed until Sunday 18 July

Invitation from Councillor Dean Lewis

Myself and the rest of the Indonesian Architects will be putting on a performance up the canal this Sunday 18th July, from around 2pm free of charge outside Ty Banc House.   If you would like to join us  that would be great ! Maybe even bring a picnic?

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‘My Place My Space’

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Heron at large in the Vale of Neath Canal at Resolven

Our thanks to Jamie Bowen for these two photographs taken recently

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A new look perimeter for the Park

The old fencing around the Resolven park is being treated to a much needed new coat of green paint and it is all due to the efforts and energy of Community Councillor Aylwin Jones and his wife Fran. They have been working tirelessly painting the fence for the past few months, but of course they have had to wait for days of dry weather without Resolven rain.

Resolven is indeed fortunate that we have a Councillor and his wife who are willing to give of their time serving their local community.

Fran and Aylwin during a very quick photo’ break

This project for Aylwin and Fran has been a ‘mammoth’ task, in terms of figures, there are over 2900 vertical rails and posts, and two horizontal bars along the full length of over 400 metres (approximately a quarter of a mile).

Up to today, 21st June 2021, the whole of the rear of John Street, Cross Street and two thirds of Vaughan Avenue have been completed. They also intend painting all the entrance gates in a contrasting shade of green.

This is an extraordinary achievement that they can be very proud of.

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Before painting the fence, here is Aylwin strimming the grass edging

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Our thanks to Aylwin and Fran for a job that is being well done, it’s a definite improvement to the park.

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Swimming Lessons for Cygnets

Swimming trials as the parents watch over their youngsters

Images taken by Mike Davies for RDN