May Meeting of Resolfen History Society

Peter Guard’s Table Tennis Memories

I recently read articles on your site and the article written by Gareth Evans, who I know has been involved on the Resolven Table Tennis scene for an extremely long time. I started my table tennis at the YMCA in the late 40’s early 50’s and later played for the old Welfare Team who were then an established and well respected Swansea Premier League team.

After serving in the Forces, I took up the sport again at the YMCA and together with Rennison Edwards and Len “Dog” Jones we entered a team in the Swansea League. I believe this was about 1964.The following season we entered a B Team consisting of Conway Rogers, Idris James, Keri Guard and myself. Conway was a young teenager whilst Idris and Keri were barely in their teens. I was probably included because I had a car and provided transport. The team went through the season with a 100% record with Keri, Idris and Conway finishing in the top three of the division averages. In addition, Idris and Keri represented Swansea Juniors including a trip to Ireland. Sadly, Rennison and Len are no longer with us.


Mike Captures Baby Swans

I have been watching these swans for some time, both partners build the nest. The female is on the nest most of the day, so it was about time I went there and see if anything was happening,

I sat on the bank which seemed to be ages The female gets up and tidies the nest, and then sits back down,
i could see her getting agitated and she rises up just enough for me to capture the baby swans.



My guess is there are more to come

Mike Davies— RDN photographer

Storm Hannah Hits Porthcawl

Gusts of up to 82mph (132km/h) have battered the UK as Storm Hannah caused power cuts and disrupted travel, with Wales the windiest part of the country.

Mike Davies, RDN photographer, spent a few hours in Porthcawl to get these images



List of Candidates for Election -Resolven Ward Neath Borough Council

Neath Port Talbot Borough Council is holding an election to  appoint a councillor to represent  the Resolven Ward.

Polling Day is Thursday the  23rd of May.

To see the list of candidates standing for election, CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW

Dan Does the Double

What an achiement for our  local star swimmer Daniel Jervis !  Dan won two gold medals in the British Swimming Championships  in Glasgow last week.



First of all he won  the 400 metres freestyle and then the 1500 freestyle, with  a time that makes him the second fastest in the world at that distance-and he’s a lovely boy with it!  In an interviw after the event he was quick to thank his coach, tell his parents”I’ve done it Mam and Dad”and tell eveyone listening that he’s from a little village called Resolven

Dan we are so pleased for you and so proud of you. Look out World Championships in South Korea in July.  Here comes Daniel Jervis from Resolven!







Open Day On Bowling Green Great Success

Toddlers and grandparents and all in-between enjoyed themselves immensely at   Resolven Bowlers Open Day on Easter Bank Holiday Monday




There was blazing sunshine. There was coaching from international bowler Andrew Hopkins and Hugh Lewis who coaches international squads.  What more could you ask for when  starting off in a game that captivated Sir Francis Drake so much, that he finished his game before tackling the Spanish Armada?

Ieuan Ace heped with coaching as well as manning the free barbecue





If you are not hooked yet, the bowling green, team members and coaches are there to welcome you anytime this summer..







Mike’s Mystery Photo

My brother was sent this old image from our cousins in Leominster who are on our granddad’s side. How they had the photo we have no idea and I ‘m wondering if anyone can let us know if it’s a Resolven band.

I knew our dad played the ukulele in his early years, he is on the bottom left, 2nd on the left is Bill Evans (Cadoxton) There was a music teacher Mrs. Noble  who gave  me and my twin Pat piano lessons, Is she the young woman in the picture?  The man next to her could be her husband who played the violin.

Can RDN readers come up with answers to solve the mystery?

Mike & Pat Davies

Easter Greetings


Happy Easter to all our readers from the RDN team 

Image by Mike Davies 

Childhood Memories of Resolven From Nik Samuel

Nik Samuel, formally of Cory Street, shares some childhood memories with us in these charming verses

Sweetman’s Field

This is looking good

Mr Morgan just came in

He smiled at Miss Norton 

And she gave him a grin

He did that thing he did with the chalk

I think he thinks it’s funny

But all I can say 

Is that if he was a magician 

He wouldn’t make any money

Anyway, she looked our way

And announced to us all 

That Mr Morgan wants us in the hall 

So we put away our books

And shuffled in behind her

While Bill Lloyd carried on playing best slider 

Now Reggie was a lovely man

Full of nonsense and fun

He always had a joke or a pun

But that day he declared it was too hot for school

And told us we could go 

On a ramble

And we let out a great roar

Mrs Lewis made sure we had some pop

Because it was a fair old walk to the top

We held hands and off we went

Over the stile and over the stream

There was no chance at all of coming home clean

We passed Bluebell Island 

It looks the same today 

I go there now to look 

But we went then to play

We were told don’t pick the foxgloves 

They were poison Miss Vasil said

They weren’t really but they made you’re hands go red

“How far is it now, Miss?” 

The girls began to shout

“Not far cariads. We’re nearly at the top 

We can have our picnic when we stop”

The sky was clear and the sun was hot

It really was a wonderful spot

We played best fallers

Some girls joined in

The others played rounders 

And the teachers sunbathing 

Some places had some funny names 

Like The Tump, The Dram Road

Cockle Alley and The Turn

But this was Sweetman’s Field 

A place of adventures all to learn

They lived in the house and let us play

And as far as I know they live there today


Fun at Pentwyn 

Oh that really hurt

I’ll try not to cry

I’ll have another go when I clear my eye 

I knew I was going too fast

When I went through the gap in the railing

But all the Gang said it was spectacular

Even with the brake failing 

Good effort though

I never been down this far

Would have gone even further if it weren’t for that car


So what do you need to build one?

 Well some pram wheels

And some planks

And maybe an orange box

Some rope and a bolt to steer

And a stick to help you stop 

Some were painted

Some were named

We had one called “Lightening”

And it shot around the lanes


There was even one called

“Shit Streak”

And anther “Tommy Gun”

But it didn’t really matter

They were just so much fun


If you built one for a kid today

They would stare in dismay

But give me “a go”

And I’d “gambo” every day


Cockle Alley

There’s a place in the valley, it’s called Cockle Alley

I played there as a child, we played and we smiled

It was a magical place where the brook met the river 

And sometimes we’d shiver

A romantic name from a romantic past

Visions of ladies getting off the “half past”

Them washing their wares and sometimes their cares

In the cold clear water

Even as a child there were shells all around, some in the brook and some on the ground

All gone now but still in my mind the sound of the brook

The shells under feet and the damming of the stream in the warm summer heat

All lovely memories from when I lived in my street….


Thanks  for the delightful trip  Down Memory Lane, Nik




Mike’s Full Moon

April’s full moon has been labelled the Pink Moon but it may not appear in the night sky the same colour that its name suggests. 

Named after a distinctive spring flowers that appear in April, the Pink Moon will reach its peak on Friday just after midday. 


I captured this full moon and the motorway at 4am April19th 2019






Meet Karen Teal–Talented Village Newcomer

Hi, I’m Karen Teal and I have been an Art and Textiles teacher for 33 years. I am passionate about all forms of art and textiles and about working with learners young and old to develop skills, concepts, understanding, creativity and confidence.


Karen in workshop

I come from North Wales originally but I’ve lived and taught art and textiles in China for 4 years and Switzerland for two years before returning home to Wales and a move to Resolven in August 2018. to join my partner Simon Pierce..

I hold workshops for small or large groups and I’m holding workshops locally in Glynneath, Bridgend, galleries in Swansea and Neath as well as  one open to all in Resolven.

Along with practical workshops I give talks to groups on my trips to Asia and the textiles that abound in those areas.  I also continue to  volunteer at a school in Uganda and can give an interesting insight into the life of the people there, volunteering and supporting staff and students in a small village school in Nabugabo.






DANIEL JERVIS Goes for Gold….Again

DANIEL JERVIS Goes for Gold….. Again



At only 22 years of age, Daniel (from our village of Resolven) continues to gain a reputation with his successful career in the swimming world.

His list of swimming achievements is already an impressive record to be proud of.



He gained the title of European Junior Champion.

He has held several British Titles over the past few years.

He won gold medal in the Men’s 1500 Free Style British Championship in April 2018.

He was a Medalist in the Commonwealth Games held in the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in Australia in 2018.


The British Swimming Championships of 2019 is being held in The Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow and only the best in the swimming calendar will have the necessary qualifying times to compete.

Daniel’s schedule at Glasgow is as follows:-


Tuesday 16th April 2019

Session 1                      Men’s 400 Freestyle (Heats)

Session 2                      Men’s 400 Freestyle Final


Thursday 18th April 2019

Session 6                      Men’s 1500 Final (Daniel is due to swim at 6.30pm)


Sunday 21st April

Session 11 (a.m)           Men’s  200m. Freestyle (Heats)

Session 12 (p.m)          Men’s  200m. Freestyle Final

~ ~ ~

To see The British Swimming Championship LIVE STREAM

In your Browser type in

{The following are screen captures/grabs, NOT Links}

Scroll down and click on


Scroll Down

Click on the ‘PLAY’ Triangle

~ ~ ~

RDN wishes Daniel every success in his quest to be the best.

~ ~ ~


Presentation by Lorna & Hugh {RDN Team}


Easter Services Clyne Free Mission



 ‘And that believing you may have life in His name

 ———— Please join us for our  ————


    GOOD FRIDAY 19th April  at 7.00 pm

   Speaker: Pastor Peter Mitchell


EASTER SUNDAY 21st APRIL  11.00am & 6.00pm

Speaker: Pastor Peter Mitchell (Clyne)


Clyne Free Mission Lletty Dafydd Clyne SA11 4BW


Resolfen History Society April Report

The Remarkable tale of the Coombe Tennants of Cadoxton

Before commencing on the report it is only fair to note that the meeting began in sombre mood following the death of Society President and founder Phylip Jones. In the absence of Chairman Gwyn Thomas, the Society’s Secretary Trefor Jones, after a minute’s silence, gave a short address regarding Phylip’s contribution to the study of history in the village.  

This month’s speaker was Mr Bernard Lewis of Cimla, a local historian who has written several books on an eclectic variety of topics including Neath Rugby Club and the workhouses of Swansea. His topic, the Coombe Tennants of Cadoxton Lodge revealed a remarkable tale of mysticism and valour, summed up in the title of the talk “From Cadoxton to Carnage”. In particular, Mr Lewis focussed on the fortunes of the sons of Charles and Winifred Tennant, Christopher and Henry.

Mr Lewis began by explaining how the Tennant family came to the Neath area, when in 1817 George Tennant a Lawyer, bought what was then a redundant canal and extended it to Swansea at Port Tennant where a fortune was made in exporting the industrial goods of the area. The Tennant Canal remains in the possession of the Tennant family and still supplies water to a local tissue works. In 1895, Charles Tennant (notice the name Coombe did not appear until the year1929) married Winifred Margaret Pearce Serocold a well-connected local woman, JP and friend of David Lloyd George the future prime minister.

In 1897 their first son, Christopher was born and at aged nine he was sent to a preparatory school near Winchester. It appears that Christopher was a very sensitive child and he was badly bullied and very homesick. His academic prowess was mixed and he missed out narrowly on a place at Cambridge. His parents bought him a commission in the Welsh Guards (he was a tall man) however, before he could take up that post he had to attend Sandhurst in 1916. In 1917, he went to the Tadworth Army Camp where he drilled troops and acted as the paymaster. Following a visit home, he was sent to the Western Front. His mother, a noted spiritualist, was convinced that she was able to contact the deceased and that the human spirit survived death. She convinced her son that whatever happened in the War they would remain in in contact. In fact Winifred spent over thirty years of her life in disguise as her alter ego under a pseudonym, Mrs Willett.

He was posted to Belgium, and fought in the most deplorable conditions. He was not devoid of initiative and once on the orders of his superior had to inspect the forward positions twice in one night thus crossing “no man’s land” and returning twice! His luck however was about to run out since in September 1917 he was killed by a stray shell, ironically while crossing the duck boards on his way to some leave in Paris, at only nineteen years of age. Back at Cadoxton Lodge (now the housing estate Stanley Place) his distraught mother tried to contact her son via spiritual “automatic writing”. Memorials were placed to him in several places including Ypres and at a restored church near the spot of his demise in Flanders.

Mr Lewis now turned to the life of the far more charismatic Henry Coombe Tennant, the story also takes a more bizarre twist compared to that of his sibling. Firstly, Charles was not the natural father of Henry, who was born in April 1913. Winfred hosted the luminaries of the day at Cadoxton including H M Stanley, Lloyd George and Gerald Balfour (brother of former Prime Minister A J Balfour). Gerald was indeed henry’s natural father and had been “instructed”, by the spirits to perform the deed in order to spawn a “New Messiah”. It appears that Charles who was very hard of hearing was present in the house at the time! The secret was not discovered by Henry until 1941.

Henry proved a very precocious child and even described himself as “the wise one”. Following Eton, where he taught himself Chinese, at Cambridge he studied under Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Maynard Keynes. He also went on a tour of China in the 1930s, a very dangerous place, in the company of renowned polymath journalist and diplomat/spy Gareth Jones. Jones was himself a very interesting character who had exposed the great famine in Russia much to the wrath of Stalin, and also met Hitler. He was later killed by bandits in China.

After graduating with a double first from Cambridge, Henry could have chosen any career he wished, including that of a professional pianist. However, perhaps in deference to his late brother followed him into the Welsh Guards and served at Gibraltar. In May 1940, the Welsh Guards, in a crumbling Europe were posted to the Netherlands in order to hold the road between the Hague and the Hook before the blitzkrieg of Hitler. In doing so, they rescued the Royal Dutch gold. Later, the Guards were sent as the rear-guard at Boulogne to fight to the end to stop the Germans reaching the main British force at Dunkirk. On the 25th of May, Henry was captured by the Germans and sent to an Officers POW camp at Warburg. He then played a notable part in a break out from the prison when, 50 prisoners scaled the wire following the fusing of the camp’s lights and escaped into the darkness in teams of three in August 1942. Remarkably, Henry was only one of three who managed to make their way back to Gibraltar and home via an underground network of resistance fighters. Remarkably, the driver who met Henry Coombe Tennant to drive him was none other than a certain Princess Elizabeth, where he was entertained at Sandringham.

This was not the end of Henry’s military service, since he volunteered for the SOE (fore runner of today’s SAS) commando and became a member of an elite within an elite – the Jedburgh team. In 1944, in extreme weather he parachuted into the Ardennes in order to link with the resistance. This proved to be less successful, though there were several skirmishes with the Germans. He later re-joined the Welsh Guards and was involved in an attempted attack at Colditz. Following the war, he was posted to Palestine, helped in the formation of NATO and went to the Hague. He later joined MI6 where he worked with the traitor Kim Philby and ended his work with a deployment to Baghdad.

Remarkably, after such a full action packed life, Henry underwent a religious conversion and reverted to researching the spiritualism of his now dead mother. He finished his life as a monk, dying in 1989 – what a life!!

Mr Trefor Jones, thanked Mr Lewis for a very memorable talk which had indeed been a mystery to him until the meeting.