There are many references to Gwauncaegurwen in the 15 million Welsh and English language articles from Welsh newspapers transcribed by the NLW and viewable on Welsh Newspapers Online
Below are mainly English language articles that have been re-transcribed and extracted randomly to illustrate what is available, there are many that are not extracted here that include names of local people
These are not in any date or subject order
- From Tarian y Gweithiwr - 5 Jan 1877
Y mae eisteddfod flynyddol Wauncaegurwen eleni eto yn mhlith y pethau a fu. Cynaliwyd hi yn ysgoldy y lle, dydd Nadolig. Yn absenoldeb Dr. Rees, Tirbach (yr hwn, am nad oedd yn gallu bod yn bresenol, a anfonodd 10s. at wasanaeth y pwyllgor, a diolch yn fawr iddo), cymerwyd y gadair gan Mr Thos. Jones, manager, Rhosaman. Wedi cael araeth fer, bwrpasol ganddo, a chael anerchiadau gan y beirdd, awd yn mlaen fel y canlyn a gwaith y oyfarfod - Ton ar yr harmonium gan J. D. Evans. Canu "Can mewn gofid," gan fechgyn dan 15 oed, goreu T. Bevan, Craigcefn Park. Adrodd "Newyrth Dafydd," goreu T. Bevan. Deuawd," Y Teiliwr a'r Crydd," goreu, John Rowland a'i gyfaill, Cwmtwrch. Beirniadaeth y gan "Y V(?) sydd ben yma," rhanwyd y wobr rhwng Gwydderig a Gwilym Curwen. Canu "Wyres Fach Ned Puw," goreu Magie, Rhydyfro. Beirniadaeth y Ffyn, goreu, John Thomas, Waunleison. Canu "Yn mreichiau fy Ngwaredwr," ac " Y mae bywyd trwy edrych," gan gor o blant, goreu cor Blodeu yn Curwen, dan arweiniad Richard Hicks. Beirniadaeth y llythyron caru, goreu Jonah W. Evans. Solo," Cledd fy nhad," rhanwyd y wobr rhwng John James a John T. Rees, Gwauncaegurwen. Beirniadaeth y gwobr gydau, goreu Miss Gwen George, Ty mawr. Beirniadaeth yr englyn Bedd- argraff i T. D. James, gynt o Corsto, yr hwn a gyfarfyddodd a'i ddiwedd mewn tanchwa yn Califfornia, goreu E. Thomas, Drumyrych, Cwmaman. Triawd, "Duw bydd drugarog," goreu D. Evans a'i gyfeillion, Gwauncaegurwen. Beirniadaeth yr alaw ar y penillion i'r dynion chwech a dwy, goreu D. Lewis, Brynaman. Canu "Let the hills resound," gan barti o 16, goreu, Cor Curwen, dan arweiniad W. Thomas. Beirniadaeth y 60 llinell ar "Ddystawrwydd," goreu, Gwydderig, Brynaman. Cana "Dafydd y Gareg Wen," goreu Miss Griffiths, Gwauncaegurwen. Canu y prif ddarn corawl, "O'r dyfnder y llefais arnat." Dau gor dynodd am y dorch, sef Curwen a Cwmtwrch, a rhanwyd y wobr rhyngddynt. Felly terfynodd un o'r eisteddfodau goreu fu ar y Waun erioed. Arweinydd, Parch. John Jones, Llangiwc; beirniad y canu, Mr D. Buallt Jones; y farddoniaeth, &c., Mr D. James [Dewi Iago].
Cynaliwyd oyngherdd yn yr hwyr, pryd y gwasanaethwyd gan y beirniad, Howel Thomas, J. James, Rees Davies, Mrs Rees, and Miss Griffiths, factory; a Mr H. L. Edmonds.
Rhoddwyd testyn araeth yn yr eisteddfod i'w thraddodi yn y gyngherdd, sef 'Yr Eog:' naw yn areithio, a'r goreu oedd Enoch Rees, Brynaman. Rhoddwyd testyn i'r beirdd hefyd, a'r feirn- iadaeth i'w darllen yn y gyngherdd, a dyma fe, 'Dr. Rees, Tirbach, yn gosod careg sylfaen Carmel newydd.' Daeth naw i mewn, ac eiddo Gwydderig, Brynaman, oedd y goreu Lleihawyd £10 ar ddyled y capel.
DARLITH.- Nos Fercher, Rhagfyr 13, traddodwyd darlith yn ysgoldy y lle ar "Ddyn," gan Robert Evans, Aberdar. Yr elw i Eleazar, mab John Morris, Gwaith y Waun, yr hwn sydd yn gystuddiol er ys rhal blynyddoedd. -- AP O
- From the Carmarthen Journal and South Wales Weekly Advertiser - 5 August 1910
GWAUN-CAE-GURWEN. SINKING OF A NEW PIT. - The Gwaun-cae-gurwen and Brynamman Company are making preparations for the sinking of the East Pit. The winding engine for sinking has been assembled, and there is now ready the pit headgear, etc. The sinking contract has already been given out, but it is not known at present when a start will be made. The management of the Gwauncaegurwen Collieries have decided to adopt electricity as a motive power for the whole of their machinery excepting the winding engines of the pits
- From The Cambrian dated 15th April 1910.
"Garnant Gas Co's Bill Passed. Garnant Gas Co's Bill was before the Chairman of Committee, Lord Onslow in House of Lords as an unopposed measure on Tuesday. The company seeks to supply gas to Garnant, Glanamman, Brynamman, Gwaun-cae-Gurwen, and Cwmgors, forming parts of the parishes of Llandilo Rural, Bettws, Llangiwg and Quarter Bach, in Carmarthen and Glamorgan. It was passed and ordered for third reading."
- From The Carmarthen Journal and South Wales Weekly Advertiser dated 29th October 1909
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN, LECTURES.—On Wednesday night, a lecture, under the auspices of the local branch of the Independent Labour Party, was given at the Public Hall by the Rev. E. Stitt Wilson, M.A., on "Socialism." The chairman was Councillor J. James, Cwmgorse. Before the lecturer commenced, Mr. Willie Price Rees sang a solo. He also sang at the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Arthur Moses, A.L.C.M., being the accompanist.—Another lecture was given on Saturday at the same place by Mr. Dennis Hird, late Principal of Ruskin College, Oxford, to an attentive audience. Mr. Joseph Williams, Gwauncaegurwen, presided. "
- From The Carmarthen Journal and South Wales Weekly Advertiser dated 11th November 1910
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN, DISPUTE AT G.C.G. COLLIERIES. - On Tuesday week the workmen employed at the Gwaun-cae-gurwen Collieries, to the number of about 1300, handed in to the management a month's notice owing, it is alleged, to the illegal dismissal of one of the hauling enginemen and the question of non-Unionists "
- From The Carmarthen Weekly Reporter dated 3rd April 1903
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN. An accident occurred at the Cawdor Colliery on Saturday, when a portion of a loaded journey became detatched and ran back, causing serious injuries to a man named David Llewellyn. Dr James was immediately on the scene. On Friday the summonses against 47 Gwauncaegurwen colliers, for leaving work without notice, were again adjourned."
- From the South Wales Daily News dated 6th March 1877
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN, PLOUGHING MATCH.—A ploughing match took place on Thursday last, at Cwmdrysien Farm, when there were 11 competitors for the prizes offered. The following were the successful competitors :—1st prize £1 John Williams, Bryncethin; 2nd 18s, Jonathan Morgan, Bodust; 3rd 15s., John Thomas; 4th 12s, Timothy Evans, Neuadd; 5th 10s, Daniel Davies, Nantygaseg; 6th 8s, Samuel Williams, Cwmgorse; 7th 6s, Thomas Rees, Cwrtybarwn; 8th 4s, Samuel Morgan, Maerdy. The other three competitors were considered unworthy of prizes. The judges were Mr Griffiths, Glynhiruchaf; Mr Thomas, Glanddu: and Mr Davies, Gellyonen. A large number witnessed the ploughing, and when the work was over all retired to the Caegurwen Arms, where refreshments had been provided by the committee"
- From the South Wales Daily News dated 2nd June 1887
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN, LIBERAL ASSOCIATION.—Tho annual meeting of the Caeegurwen branch of the West Glamorgan Liberal Association was held at Carmel Vestry on Tuesday evening. Mr W. Davies acted as chairman pro tem. The following officers were appointed for the ensuing year; President, Dr H. Rees, J.P.; vice-president, Mr I. M. Price; secretary, Rev T. Selby Jones; treasurer, Mr J. Evans. In addition to the officers, the following were appointed representatives to attend council meetings of the association:—Rev J. Rees and Mr L. Rees, Cwmllynfed; Messrs E. David and D. Harries, Brynamman; Messrs J. Rees, D. W. Davies, S. Jenkins, and D. Morgan, Gwauncaegurwen."
- From the South Wales Daily News (Third Edition) dated 21st April 1896
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN. SUCCESS IN MINING.—The following persons from this place sat at the recent mining examinations held at Cardiff, and all were successful in obtaining certificates — Thomas B. Morgan obtained first-class manager's certificate, Evan T Jones, and John D. Daniel obtained second class. The two former are colliers, the latter a fireman and working at the Gwauncaegurwen Collieries."
- From the Weekly Mail dated 10th August 1901
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN COAL. AND THE MEN WHO WORK IT. MINER'S GRAPHIC STORY. On one of the eminences of picturesque Amman Valley in Carmarthenshire is situated Gwauncacgurwen. It is far removed from the great centres of population, and is to all appearance an insignificant village; yet its name has travelled far, and it is universally known from the rich coal that is brought from beneath its surface. The Waun Collieries, which yield a great output of "dusky diamonds," stand well on the brow of the hill, from which several lines of railway proceed for convenience in carrying the coal to all parts. When a representative of the "South Wales Press" visited the scene a group of miners, with their swarthy faces and sombre clothes, were going home to rest after their weary toil. The colliers are brave men, who display deeds of heroism in times of disaster at the mines, and among the groups that walked homeward were some old men whose locks have grown grey in the work. The bent frames of some middle-aged men showed signs of premature old age; yet, taken as a whole, the health of the men is fairly preserved when the difficult nature of their work is taken into account. WILLIAM H. BOUNDY. (photograph not copied). The reporter interviewed a young man employed at the collieries, and gained an interesting insight into the work of the miners. The youth in question was William Henry Boundy, Twynrefail, Gwauncaegurwen. In his white-washed cottage home was his young wife ministering to the wants of two little ones. Mr. Boundy and his little family seemed perfectly happy, though their early married life was clouded with ill-health. which, fortunately, passed away. Mr. Boundy explained the circumstance to the reporter as follows:—"Yes, I am twenty-four years of age now, and have for nearly two years enjoyed excellent health. Two years ago I was employed as striker to the smith at the Waun Collieries, and, in consequence of having to work double turn, I became greatly 'run- down' in health. The beginning of it all was a bad cold, and I had erysipelas in the face. I was attended by a very kind doctor, who told me that rheumatism was the cause of my sufferings. He gave me medicine, but it did not seem to do me any good. I grew very weak; my stomach was completely out of order; I could eat nothing, and was a martyr to acute indigestion. When I had been nearly four months from work, I happened to read in the "Cardiff Times" of the many cures brought about by Dr. Williams' pink pills for pale people. So I wrote to London for a box and took the pills according to the directions given. I cannot say that I felt much better immediately, but I procured a second box of the pills, which worked a wonderful change in me. My appetite increased, and I grew stronger, and after I had taken the contents of the two boxes I was able to start work.' The cure was permanent, for ever since I have been in excellent health, and my appetite to-day is as good as ever. I am now engaged as a smith at the collieries, and I have recommended the pills to my friends. I feel so much indebted to Dr. Williams' pink pills that I am quite willing for you to make any use you like of my statements to you." Mrs. Boundy now joined in with aI hearty corroboration of her husband's story, and the reporter left with the conviction that Mr. and Mrs Boundy possessed boundless faith in Dr. Williams' pink pills, and were grateful that they had tried them. "
- From The Cambrian dated 27th December 1907
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN LINE. INSPECTION BY BOARD OF TRADE. Col. Yorke, R.E. (H.M. Inspector of railways under the Board of Trade) left Swansea on Thursday in a special train, accompanied by Mr. W. T. Dunsdon (GWR. Divisional Inspector), and other officials, to inspect the Gwaun-cae-Gurwen new railway, which is to be opened for passenger traffic on January 1st. The Colonel formally approved of the new undertaking. "
- From The Cardiff Times dated 18th April 1903
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN COLLIERIES. Over 300 Notices Tendered. Owing to the considerable delay of Messrs John Williams, of Gower, and H. Eden discussing the new list of prices and wages to the workmen, the company have tendered individual notices to over 300 colliers to terminate their emplovment in 28 days, and unless some amicable settlement is arrived at between Messrs Williams and Eden during this period, over 1100 workmen will be thrown out of employment. "
- From The Cardiff Times dated 1st August 1903
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN HAULIERS. Probable Settlement. The hearing of the adjourned summonses issued against the six Gwauncaegurwen hauliers for breach of contract, and for which a claim of £5 damages against each was made, will not, it is thought, now take place on Friday as arranged, a settlement having practically been effected through the instrumentality of Mr D. Randal, the men's solicitor. It is understood that the company will not press the matter further if the hauliers pay £1 each and costs. The matter is not defintely settled, but it is not likely to occupy the time of the court. "
- The Carmarthen Weekly Reporter dated 25th April 1919
"Gwauncaegurwen Crash. FOURTEEN WORKMEN INJURED Three men were seriously injured, and 11 other slightly so, in a crash between workmen's coaches and coal trucks near the East Pit at Gwauncaegurwen on Saturdiay. Several of the coaches were telescoped, and 14 men in these were injured and rendered unconscious. An alarm was raised, and the whole of the men employed at the two pits adjoining the scene of the accident immediately ceased work and proceeded to the spot. P.S. Jenkins and a number of first-aid helpers rendered valuable assistance pending the arrival of Drs Timothy and Corkey. After having been attended to the sufferers were conveyed home in ambulances. Three men most seriously injured were Arthur Thomas, 50, a colliery inspector, broken leg and dislocation of the hip; Griffith Lewis, 17, severe injuries to the body and legs; John Elias Evans, 40, fracture of the leg and injuries to the arm. The other 11 suffered chiefly from shock and minor injuries .... "
- From The Cambrian dated 31st May 1907
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN CHAPEL. FOUNDATION STONES LAID ON THURSDAY. Foundation stones of a new Methodist chapel at Gwauncaegurwen were laid on Thursday by Mrs. Henry Gape, Ystalyfera; Mr. Jay Williams, London; Mr William Davies, Garnant; and Mr. Daniel Evans, Garnant. ........(Other names of local in attendance not extracted)...........The building will be a massive stone structure, with seating accommodation for 450 persons. It will contain an organ chamber, and will have heating apparatus, and will be lighted by electricity. The front will be holed stone work with massive Bath stone tracery windows, copings, etc. The total cost will be about £ 2,450. Mr. Tom Edwards, contractor, Gwauncaegurwen, is carrying out the work from plans prepared by Mr. A. S. Williams, Llandilo."
- From The Cardiff Times dated 2nd June 1906
"NEW HALL FOR GWAUNCAEGURWEN.
On Saturday afternoon in the presence of a large number of people Mrs F. W. Gilbertson, of Glynteg, Pontardawe, formally opened a new public hall at Gwauncaegurwen. The building, which was greatly needed, will obviate the holding of various meetings and entertainments in the different places of worship. It has seating accommodation for about 1,000 people and it has been erectcd at a cost of about £1,000. There is a library attached to the building and this should prove of great good to the large number of young men in the neighbourhood. Before performing the opening ceremony Mrs Gilbertson, who was presented by Mr Thomas Jones, the contractor, with a silver key, congratulated the people of Gwauncaegurwen upon securing such a spacious building. The meeting which followed in the hall was largely attended and Mr William Evans, of Glanyllyn, presided. Speeches were delivered by Messrs F. W. Gilbertson. J.P., C.C., John Williams, M.P., J. Jay Williams (London), R. D. Sails (Swansea), C. E. Cleeves (Swansea), D. T. Jenkins (Cardiff and London), and others. A grand concert was held at the hall in the evening. About £600 has already been subscribed towards the cost of the building.
- From the Evening Express (Extra Special Edition) dated 9th June 1906
"Thrown from the Cage ACCIDENT TO GWAUNCAEGURWEN COLLIERS. At Gwauncaegurwen Colliery last night through the breaking of a part of the winding gear two men sustained severe injuries. The day shift was being brought to bank and repairers were descending, when one of the sheaves broke, causing the rope to fall with a jerk. The rope proved equal to the sudden stress, but the violent jolt to the cage threw out both its occupants, Rees Jones, blacksmith, and Dan Hughes, hitcher. Fortunately the winding had nearly been completed when the sheave gave way, and, therefore, the men had not far to fall, and it was still more fortunate that the mishap had effect on this cage and not the ascending one, which contained eight men and was then near the surface. Jones and Hughes were picked up, and were found to be suffering badly from the shock, and they had also sustained severe cuts and contusions. "
- From the Weekly Mail dated 12th February 1910
"ECHO OF THE ELECTION. HOW GOWER CANDIDATE WAS TREATED. Eleven Gwauncaegurwen youths were summoned at Pontardawe on Friday for throwing missiles on the highway at Gwauncaegurwen on January 11. It was an echo of the recent election, when at Gwauncaegurwen. Mr. Percy R. Simmer, the Unionist candidate for Gower, was pelted with snowballs, which were said to be loaded with stanes, when windows of the Gwauncaegurwen Public-hall were smashed, when the motor-car containing Mr. Simner and Mr. F. W. Gilbertson was attacked and damaged, and when both Mr. Simner and Mr. Gilbertson were, among others, struck by the missiles. Defendants pleaded not guilty, ..........(remainder not extracted)..........."
- From The Cardiff Times dated 27th February 1909
"ANTHRACITE MINERS' ASSOCIATION. Disputes Pending and Arranged. At the Anthracite Miners' Association meeting on Saturday at the Bush Hotel, Swansea, there were 46 delegates, representing over 12,000 miners. Mr John Rees, Cwmtwrch (presi- dent) was in the chair. A vote of condolence with the relatives of the miners who lost their lives in the Durham disaster was passed. Mr J. D. Morgan (agent) reported that Mr Thomas Harris, Rhondda, and Mr Charles Eden, Swansea, the conciliators appointed by the Conciliation Board to revise the price list at the Brook Colliery, Gwauncaegurwen, had met and taken evidence, and the decision was now awaited. The price list at the Ammanford No. 2 Colliery, where the men sought improvement, had again given trouble. Some concessions had been offered the men, but these were unsatisfactory. The matter, therefore, had been relegated to the Executive Council. The 500 men locked out at Wernos and Rhos Colliery were still out, with no prospect of settlement. The price list dispute at Gwauncaegurwen, which had lasted 12 months, had been satisfactorily arranged by Mr W. H. Morgan, Rhondda miners' agent, and Mr T. Seymour, Pontyberem. The dispute about the minimum wage at Caeglas Colliery, where the men had been locked out over four months, had now been settled, the minimum wage having been conceded. The matter in dispute at Dyffryn Amman Colliery, where the men were to give notice on the first of the month, had been amicabiy arranged. The meeting gave permission to men at a certain colliery to tender notices against non- Unionists. It was unanimously decided to seek to recover damages for alleged illegal stoppage of the miners at Gwauncaegurwen and Cawdor Collieries during the firemen's strike. It was agreed to grant a scholarship of £50 each to two students at Ruskin College, Oxford."
- From The South Wales Daily Post dated 30th November 1910
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN COMPANY'S ENTERPRISE. The Gwauncaegurwen Colliery Company are at present sinking a new pit which they anticipate will cost altogether some £70,000, and looking at their balance-sheet (says a correspondent) it is quite possible that they will complete this expenditure without making a call upon the holders of the new shares. When finished the new pit will add considerably to their output, and in view of the great and increasing demand for anthracite coal and the limited area in the United Kingdom from which it is obtainable, there is every reason to anticipate a prosperous time for the company for many years to come. "
- From The Cambrian dated 8th September 1905
Electric Light in Swansea Valley. At the inclusion of the Pontardawe Council meeting on Thursday, Mr. Johnny James, Gwauncaegurwen, said he wolud like an explanation. Earlier in the day a letter had been received from the Brynamman and District. Electric Lighting Supply Company, offering to light Brynamman, Gwauncaegurwen, and Cwmgorse, and the clerk had been instructed to write and ask for terms per lamp. Mr. James wanted to know why terms were asked for from a private company, when the Council had an electric lighting scheme for the whole of Swansea Valley, a report on which had been published, but which had not yet been considered by the Council. Dr. Jones and Mr. Francis pointed out that the figures supplied would be very useful for the Council to compare with. Mr. Johnny James remarked it was a general impression at Gwauncaegurwen that their scheme had been smothered without being considered, and that it was because of this that the request of the private company had been made to the Council. The report of the electrical engineer on the Council lighting scheme is to be considered at the next meeting."
- From the South Wales Weekly Post dated 26th April 1919
"TRAIN SMASH. Alarming Accident in Amman Valley. An alarming crash took place near the East Pit. Gwauncaegurwen, on Saturday, resulting in serious injuries to a number of men. As the coaches containing a couple of hundred workmen were being pushed up from Gwauncaegurwen Crossing towards the pit the points near the latter place had not been properly adjusted, with the result that the train ran on to a siding and collided with loaded trucks of coal. Several of the! coaches were telescoped and fourteen of the men in these were injured and all rendered unconscious The men employed at the pits adjoining the scene immediately ceased work and proceeded to their assistance. P.S. Jenkins and a number of helpers and Drs. Timothy and Corkey, the manager, Mr. Tom Jones, and officials, all rendered aid after which the sufferers were conveyed to their homes in ambulance and on stretchers. The three men who were most seriously injured were Mr. Arthur Thomas (50), coal inspector, Graig-road—broken leg and dislocation of the hip; Griffith Lewis (17)—severe injuries to body and leg and internal injuries. John Elias (40), ripper, broken leg and injury to one of his arms. The other eleven men suffered chiefly from shock and minor injuries."
- From the South Wales Daily News (Third Edition) dated 21st January 1899
"LOCAL WINDING-UP NOTICES. The London Gazette of last night states that at an extraordinary general meeting of the members of the Cwmgorse Colliery Company Limited, recently held at Gwauncaegurwen, Glamorgan, it was resolved and duly confirmed that the company be wound up voluntarily. Mr Daniel Jenkins, of Gwauncaegurwen aforesaid, has been appointed liquidator for the purposes of such winding up. "
- From the South Wales Daily News (Third Edition) dated 15th October 1894
"GWAUNCAEGURWEN. A very well-attended meeting was held under the presidency of the Rev. T. Selby Jones, at Carmel vestry at this place, on Friday evening, to bear an address on the Local Government Act, 1894, by the Rev. Towyn Jones, Cwmamman. The South Wales Liberal Federation was accorded a hearty vote of thanks for sending Mr Towyn Jones and others to the rural parishes to instruct the people in the provisions of the Act, and to rouse them to fight the parish council and the district council elections on political lines. The Rev. J. Thomas, B.A., curate, and Messrs W. Williams (Bryncethin), Samuel Jenkins, John Jenkins, Morgan Abel James, and others took part in the proceedings"
- From the Carmarthen Journal and South Wales Weekly Advertiser - 25 July 1913
BRYNAMMAN NOTES. [By "Park Lane")
The date July 21st, 1913, will in future be a memorable one in. this district. On that day the first tram of coal was wound up at the East Pit, one of the Gwauncaegurwen Collieries.
The very first coal-wind was made by Mrs. Hargreaves, the revered wife of Mr. Joseph Hargreaves, the general manager of the collieries. As calm and collected as any engineman, Mrs. Hargreaves manipulated the levers so well that the multitude of onlookers were perfectly astounded at the precision with which the huge cage, containing two trams of coal, was wound to the surface.
The next duty was to weigh the coal. The first tram was weighed by Miss Alice Hargreaves, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hargreaves, and the second one by Mrs. Fred Hargreaves, the help-meet of Mr. Fred Hargreaves, the assistant general manager. All was witnessed and lustily cheered by the workmen, who had left off work in order to view the happy scene. This being over, there came brief speeches from the group of principal officials, which included Mr. R. L. Sails, J.P., of Swansea. The writer is informed that the addresses were almost as greatly enjoyed as the distribution of "largess"' which was made on a generous scale towards the end.
- From Llais Llafur - 20 December 1919
HANES Y WAUN. By J. H. Davies, M.E.F.G.S.
The strength of Gwauncaegurwen lies in its coal, and the steam engine above all other agencies has been the means of bringing it from the great depths to the surface. The secret of coal power discovered, a thousand inventions followed. With the industrial revolution the population increased rapidly as the means of subsistence multiplied. Gwauncaegurwen's magnificent stone of coal is, then. the secret of its rise to wealth. We have seen the swift progress of Gwauncaegurwen through unlocking its coal seams illustrated by the rise of its population. There are some people today who, seeing nothing but evils and the shortcomings of machine industry, imagine that the industrial revolution brought death with it. The truth is the reverse. The growth of power based on coal is the giver of life. There were large families in the past, but what became of the children? Brynamman is older than Gwauncaegurwen, because the valuable coal seams and ironstones crop out there. The rocks dip gently towards Gwauncaegurwen, and the depth of the Big Vein which crops out at Brynamman is 200 to 300 yards at Gwauncaegurwen. A valuable and comparatively thick seam crops out at Cwmgors, and this was worked at an early period. Jeffreys, the owner of Llwynrhidiau Farm. opened a level where the clay pit of the Cwmgors Brickworks is situate at present. This was opened in 1833, afterwards Mr. Joseph Thomas opened out a level into the Red Vein, and this was locally known as "Level Joseph" and officially as Llwynrhidiau Colliery. Both collieries were very small at this time; "Level Jeffreys" only employed four colliers, and Joseph Thomas' level, 84 years ago, employed two colliers and four boys. The coal was sold to the country people for lime burning.
About this time Roger Hopkin, of Gwauncaegurwen, sank a shaft near Caeglas-terrace, and at the same time made a railway from the pit through Cwmgors towards Pontardawe. The shaft was a failure and had to be given up before reaching valuable coal. Later, in 1837, Roger Hopkin sank the "Old Pit" to a depth of 173 yards 1 foot, and 12 feet diameter. The Peacock or Brass Vein is exactly at the same height as the mean sea level at Swansea. This shaft was sunk with the aid of picks, sledge hammer, wedges, hand drills and shovels. High explosives had not been invented at this time. Blasting was done with loose gunpowder, and homemade squibs. Now, powerful high explosives shatter the rock and electric exploders are also used. By turning a handle a number of shots are fired simultaneously. This was the only opening from the surface to the seam, and it served for extracting coal, raising and lowering workmen, pumping, and ventilation. These were the days before the Coal Mines Act, which requires at least two shafts or outlets, with which every seam for the time at work in a mine have a communication, so that shafts or outlets shall afford separate means of ingress and egress available to persons employed in every seam, whether the shafts belong to the same mine or to more than one mine. How was it possible to ventilate the Old Pit before No. 2 Pit was sunk? Ventilation is a double process - replacing foul by fresh air. How could this be done without a shaft for the return airway? A partition was placed in the shaft and a fire near the top of the return air. One shaft then served for winding men, intake and return, as well as a pumping shaft. On one occasion the pump rods broke and the wooden partition was smashed - then an explosion of firedamp occurred underground. There were 80 men underground at the time, and they collected to the bottom of a slope, the fresh air was very limited, so they decided to put out their lamps. All the workmen were in darkness and without any means of escape, but fortunately every one came up alive. The ventilation in all the collieries at this period was very bad, and it was a common thing to find comparatively young miners suffering from collier's asthma, etc.
When Shaft No. 2 (Pwll y Fan) was sunk in 1847, it went into a bed containing water. Work was suspended for many years, and afterwards re-opened and sunk to the Big Vein. It total depth is 155 yards. A connection was made to the Old Pit and No. 2 Shaft served as an upcast. Instead of placing the fire at the top of this shaft, a furnace was placed at the bottom, the shaft when acting as a chimney, and on rainy days when the atmospheric pressure was low the gas was expanding out of the gobs to the furnace, and it was an usual thing to see blue tongues of flame 30 feet long going through the shaft. The G.C.G. Collieries have been comparatively free from explosions. Ignitions of firedamp occurred frequently. All the miners knew well that coal parted with a portion of firedamp. The gobs left in the old workings were very often filled with gas, which by mingling itself with the common air, converted the whole atmosphere of the mine into a magazine of firedamp. On the approach of an open light it was in an instant kindled, the expanding gas driving before it a whirlwind of flaming air which tore everything in its progress, scorching the men if they did not lie flat on the ground immediately. This took place generally on Mondavs, after the mine had been idle for some time, and many women kept their homes scrupulously clean on Mondays for fear their sons or husbands would be carried home severely burnt. The men who went down this furnace shaft through the great heat and fumes were only protected with old sacks. Mr. William Williams, Bailyglas Uchaf, whilst going down to the stables in a roadway between No. 1 and No. 2 Shafts was killed by an explosion in 1878. Another serious accident occurred on September 1, 1847, when the enginemen lifted the cage above the keps the rope broke, and six men inside the cage were dropped down into the inky blackness of the shaft, nearly 200 yards deep, and were smashed beyond all recognition. This accident cast a gloom throughout the whole district. Winding ropes were not so well made then as at the present day. The first ropes used by Roger Hopkin were flat hemp ropes. and in 1840 he introduced iron ropes. Although much heavier loads are hoisted from greater depths and at higher speed at the present day, such accidents are very rare. A similar accident to the above took place in Pwll-y-Garnant on January 16, 1884, when ten men were killed instantaneously.
- From Llais Llafur - 6 December 1919
HANES Y WAUN. By John H. Davies, M.E.F.G.S
We who have been brought up in the era of railways, ocean-going steamships, aeroplanes, and airships, hardly realise the change which the older people have seen, or how great and far reaching those changes, are. It is only necessary to go back as far as 1780, when Mr. Parsons' pack-mules were carrying pig iron over the Common to the Black Mountain to Forge Llandyfaen for a comparison. There were no roads or railways in the locality at this period. The mules, were relieved of their heavy loads at Carreg-Ffylfan (a corruption of Carreg-y-Ceffyl-fan) and put on others which met at this large stone left by the erratic ice of the glacial period. This stone was about half way between Yniscedwyn Ironworks and Forge Llandyfaen. The history of the roads has been given in a previous article.
There was no railway in the district 83 years ago, but that fact does not signify that it was a more backward place than others, for there was not a single railroad to London at this period. About this time Roger Hopkin, of Gwauncaegurwen, sank a shaft near Caeglas-ter- race, and at the same time made a railway from the pit through Cwmgors towards Pontardawe. His idea was to take the coal to the Swansea Vale Canal thence to Swansea. The embankments and cuttings can be traced through many fields, and some of the old plate rails are used for fencing the fields at the present day. They were fixed to wooden sleepers by means of wood plugs. This first shaft was a failure, owing to the large quantity of water met with in the hard bed of sandstone in the shaft, and it had to be abandoned before reaching the valuable coal.
The Llanelly Railway and Dock Co., made their railway to Garnant in 1838, and the first steam engine came over it in 1840. An old wag, who had great faith in horses, seeing the locomotive going down the line for the first time exclaimed that it would never return, because it was grunting terribly when going down hill! This railway was extended to the river Gwrach, Gwauncae- gurwen, and the railway across the Common to the Old Pit were made. The trucks used were not as big as those in use at the present day. Horses were employed to draw the empty trucks from the top of the incline to the pit, and the full trucks in their downward progress pulled the empty ones to the top of the incline. This was effected by fixing a wheel at the top of the incline underneath the road, around which a steel rope passed. To one end of the rope the full trucks were attached, and to the other end the empties. The wheel was provided with a powerful brake, so as to control the speed and the incline was steep at the top and nearly flat at the bottom to enable the load to start quickly and to be easily stopped. The service of the horses was done away with when the first steam locomotive came up the incline in 1869, and the incline in turn was suspended by the new G. W. Railway from Gwauncaegurwen to Garnant.
Almost all the people went by the "L.R.D." (Llanelly Railway and Dock Co.) to Llandilo fares - Ffair Gwyl Barna (21st June), and Ffair Calan Gaeaf (12th November), and they had to pass through the Prince Hotel, Garnant to the platform. During these fairs, there were not enough coaches, which were somewhat similar to cattle trucks, but with neither roof nor seats. The travellers thought they were wonderful people! "Whirr, whirr! All by wheels! Whizz, whizz ! All by steam !"
In 1862 the Swansea Vale Railway was started from Ystalyfera, and it was opened in 1864. The Midland Railway Co. bought it in 1874. The L.R.D. was extended to Brynamman in 1846.
The Gwauncaegurwen Collieries Co. made a railway across the Common to meet the Midland Railway at Cwmllynfell in 1888. The collieries embrace an arear(sic) of nearly 4,000 acres, and are served on the one side by the Great Western Railway. In August 1901, a branch was opened to New Cwmgors, and in 1908 the first passenger train left Gwauncaegurwen by the G.W.R. Prior to this the nearest stations were Garnant and Brynamman.
- From Llais Llafur - 22 November 1919
GWAUNCAEGURWEN GWMGORSE & TAI'RGWAITH YOUNG PEOPLE'S GUILD.
A very successful beginning has again been made at Tabernacle Chapel in connection with the Guild. The session was opened on Wednesday evening, Oct. 29th, when the president, the Rev. T. M. Rodrick, delivered an interesting address on "Work and Play," followed by a miscellaneous programme. The following week a debate was conducted by Mr Clifford Williams and Mr John J. James, the topic being, "Which is the better company, a book or a friend." The debate was opened with two excellent papers and followed by a very high standard of discussion. Last week the programme consisted of the following short papers: Johnny Lewis on "Christ-mas Evans"; Phillip George on "Abraham Lincoln'' Tom Jones on "Watcyn Wyn"; Maggie May Morris on "Long-fellow"; Bessie M. Williams on "Pantycelyn" Tom George on "Walter Raleigh"; Morgan Lewis on "Robert Herrick"; David Edwards on "Robert Owen" Bessie J Williams on "Florence Nightingale"; Elwyn James on "Benjamin Evans, Llwynrhydie" Amy Edwards on "Huw Parry"; Maggie Hicks on "St. Margaret of Scotland"; Bessie Davies on "Shakespeare"; and Osborne Morgan on "William Pitt". The papers were all very good, especially in view of the youth of the authors. The Guild is well arranged by an energetic committee, of which the officers are.- Treasurer. Mr Tom Griffiths, and secretary, Mr Clifford Williams.
Judging by events at the Gwauncaegurwen Collieries since the re-opening of the Maerdy Pit, there still seems to exist considerable dissension between the company and the workmen. One might ask, What is it all about? And why the continued state of unrest? Other collieries do not seem to be subject. to the same disease, nor is there any evidence of symptoms which indicate functional disorder. I hear that Mr. W. L. Cook's diagnosis of the disease has not been satisfactory, and that his medicine contains ingredients obnoxious to the workmen's palate. On the other hand the company find that the diagnosis is correct, and that the medicine is palatable. So much for cause No. 1. Next come the instructions that the medicine must be taken, and in order that it might be made more palatable, a few sweet drops are offered to the work- men. I hear that it is highly probable the workmen will accept, the offer; but it is equally highly probable that the few sweet drops will not alter the objection of the workmen. Next week I will endeavour to explain the conditions by which, in my humble opinion, the continued state of war might be brought to an end.
GCG Touring Club
The G.C.G. touring club recently established in the place has been the subject of much severe criticism, mostly on account of the business of the club being conducted on licensed premises. I am told that the Rev. B. D. Davies, Carmel, made some powerful remarks the other Sunday night deprecating the project the club had in hand in utilising public houses to further the objects of the club. He was supported by the deacons, who thought that Mr Davies' remarks were very timely While, obviously, it is the duty of the church to aid in pre- serving public morality and good conduct it should (leave the doors of) the ante-rooms and vestries open as an antidote to the practice condemned.
If an improvement is to be effected by way of removing the committees and clubs that meet in public houses to transact business pertaining to art unions, touring trips. football; Buffs, concert, sports, etc., it is certainly desirable that the church must exercise its functions with considerably more activity than has been the case in the past. There is considerable weight of opinion that would have the church use its power and influence against social wrongs as well as against the valgarities of the street and the tavern.
"Awr yn nghwmni'r Saint."
On Monday evening last at Nebo, Tai'rgwaith, Mr David Thomas (Bryn- fab), delivered a lecture on "Awr yn nghwmni'r Saint." There was a fairly large attendance, and the lecturer dealt with the subject in a. very effective manner. Those who attended speak very highly of "Brynfab" as a lecturer. He is a poet of no mean ability and his poems are greatly admired.
Sale of GCG farms
At the Hotel Metropole on Wednesday, Messrs. Stephenson and Alexander, of Cardiff, conducted a sale of surface and mineral farms situated in Gwauncaegurwen.
The following were sold:—A freehold farm of 46 acres, Ty'r Isaf, Gwauncaegurwen, in the occupation of Mr Daniel Jenkins at an annual tenancy of £23 3s 6d., sold for £900 to the tenant.
The freehold farm of Gilfach, containing about 123 acres, in the occupation of Mr. Wm. Hughes at an annual rent of £ 54 per annum, was sold for £1700 to Mr. W. N. Jones.
The freehold farm of 93 acres, Gelly-Rodyn Isaf, in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Roberts at a rental of £67 per annum, was sold for £ 2,100 to the tenant.
The freehold farm of 23 acres, Gelly- Rodyn Uchaf, in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Roberts, at a rental of £ 17 per annum, was knocked down for £800 to Mr. Evan Anthony.
The freehold ground rent of £ 1 5s. per annum of Mynydd Bachan, leased to Mr Evan Anthony for 99 years from September 29th. 1900, was sold to Mr Anthony for £425.
Freehold accommodation pasture land of eight acres in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Roberts at £6 per annum was sold to Mr. E. Anthony for £ 280.
- From Weekly Mail - 22 Sept 1906
GWAUN-CAE-GURWEN BAND CONTEST. A brass band contest and quoit match was held at Cwmgors, Gwaen-cae-Gurwen, Mr. George Morgan being the president. Four bands appeared in Section A and three in Section B. The adjudicator was Mr. H. Muddiman, F.G.C.M., Long Buckley.
Results: - March (own selection). - Class A, Tycroes; Class B, Ammanford.
Selection. - Class A, "The Daughter of the Regiment" (Donizetti): 1st Ystalyfera Tem- perance; 2nd, Gwaen-cae-Gnrwen Silver; 3rd, Cwmtawe. Class B: 1st, Alltwen; 2nd. Ammanford; 3rd, Brymamman Volunteers. The winners in the quoit match were:- 1st, William Davies, Cwmgors; 2nd. Daniel Arnott, Pantyffynon; 3rd, Evan Jones, Cwmgors. Mr. Morgan Williams adjudicated.
- From the Cambrian - 11 Feb 1910
GWAUNCAEGURWEN COURT LEET.; PRESENTATIONS MADE RESPECTING ALLEGED ENCROACHMENTS.
"A general Court Baron of the Manor of Kaegurwen" was held at the Mountain Hare Inn, Cwmllynfell, on Thursday, when "all persons owing chief rent, suit, and service claiming admittance to any hereditaments holden of the said Manor or having any other business to transact at the said Court" were required to attend. Mr C J C Wilson, deputy steward of the Manor, presided, and there were also present Messrs. H N. Miers, C. A. Branfill (lords of the manor), Jno. Rees, S. Jenkins, D. Jenkins, J. Evans, Wm. Davies, B.Evans,. T. Evans, T. Howells, S. Morgan and Rd. Morgan, copyholders of the manor. Mr. Thos. Evans was chosen as Reeve, in succession to his father, Mr. Jenj. Evans. The jury, of which Mr. S. Jenkins was foreman, made presentment of the following encroachments of the common land;- Thos Price, collier, erection of large shed; Wm. and Ann Hopkins erection of tin sheds; Hermon Congregational Chapel enclosure of piece of land for burial purposes; - Davies, Brynaman, erection of shed; Pontardawe District Council erection of urinal; Amman Bill Posting Co., erection of three boardings.
Messrs. John Rees and Thos Howells were appointed to collect a fine of 2s. 6d. from all copyholders who, though summoned had not attended. Mr. Thomas Davies proposed that they should get the Pontardawe Council to take over a road on the common but it was explained by the chairman that efforts had been made to persuade them to do so, but they could not agree as to the terms. It was decided to get the local member to bring the matter up again before the Council. It was stated that the disagreement was over the mineral lessees being allowed to cross the road with their tram lines.
Mr. H. N. Miers also offered to see the Chairman of the Pontardawe Council on the matter.
An application was made by Mr. Isaac, the schoolmaster, for permission for the Midland Railway Co. to erect a gate at Cwmllynfell Station. It was explained that the people in the neighbourhood were subjected to a great deal of inconvenience at present owing the fact that heavy parcels had to be carried up an incline to the I station, a distance of 50 yards. The com- pany wanted an easement over the old parish road, and if this was granted they were prepared to erect the gate at their own expense, for the convenience of the public.
The foreman of the jury suggested that the permission may be given, but the Chairman was of the opinion that it would be better to consider the question thoroughly and see what was the best course to adopt in the interests of both parties.-This was agreed upon.
This closed the business of the Court.
Subsequently the lords of the manor entertained the homagers to a dinner that was splendidly served and cooked by Host Samuels, Mr. H. N. Miers presiding
Mr. S. Jenkins proposed the health of the lord and ladies of the manor, and expressed the hope that the Leet Courts would be continued regularly in the future.
Replying for the lords and ladies of the manor Mr. H. N. Miers said there were a number of old laws passed four or five hundred years ago, when the condition of life in the country were vastly different to those of the present time, and, they experienced some difficulty in carrying these laws out. If our forefathers were to come back to life and looked upon the Amman Valley they would see what a great change had taken place, and how industries had sprung up everywhere. It was essentially in the interests of the community that care should be taken with regard to the working of the minerals, because it was upon these, after all, that the prosperity of the community would depend. (Applause.)
Mr. Ben Evans proposed the health of the steward of the manor and Mr Dan Jenkins seconded.
Mr.Wilson, replying on behalf of the steward, Mr. A. T. Williams, said that in regard to certain proceedings against a resident of the locality who had encroached upon the common land, the order of the Court would have to be enforced. When, however, this had been done, he hoped that there would be no ill-feeling, as he wished to see them all friends. (Applause.)
Mr. Thomas proposed the health of the agent of the estate, and Mr. C. A. Branfill replied.
A toast to the Press concluded a most enjoyable function.
- From the Amman Valley Chronicle - 13 January 1916
A benefit performance in aid of Mr. Jonah Harris, Caenewydd, who has been ailing for a considerable time, was given at the Picturedrome last Wednesday, through the generosity of Mr. Russell Hatton, the genial manager.
The local "Grand Juvenile Revue," under the conductorship of Mr. W. Llan Davies, Waunleyshon, was performed at Cwmllynfell last Saturday night. The production was well received and thoroughly enjoyed by the crowded audience.
Mr. Jonah Evans, Dyffryn Clwyd, was in his element last Saturday night as conductor of the competitive meeting at Carmel. His quips and jests kept the crowded audience in fine humour. His quaint remarks on "Will you meet me at the top?" were most apt and enjoyable.
The death took place last Sunday of. Mrs. Margaret Davies. Llwyncelyn Cottages, Tai'rgwaith. Deceased was 76 years of age, and had resided in the locality for a large number of years. The interment took place last Wednesday, at Old Carmel Cemetery, the Rev. B. D. Davies, Carmel, officiating. "Heddwch i'w llwch."
A most interesting and successful quarterly meeting of the Sunday School was held at Carmel last Sunday under the presidency of Mr. W. T. Price, Waunleyshon. The following took part in the afternoon :-
Muriel Thomas, Morgan Watkins, Tom Morris, David Rees Hicks, Gwenfril Mary Price, Melfyn Thomas, Ed Hicks, Handel Hicks, Mayveril Jones, Bessie Jones, Keri Edwards, Doris Edwards, Elfed Rees Jones, M. Thomas, Mrs. Mary Hicks, Sally Thomas, Gwennie Thomas, Winnie Rees, Annie May Wilcox, Annie Jones, A. Jones, Sunday School Choir (under the conductorship of Mr. Isaac Morris, precentor) Tom Price, Mrs. Mary Price, and David Morris;
in the evening— Mrs. Francis James, David Thomas, Mary Davies, Keri Edwards, Mary Watkins, Mrs. Dinah Morgan, Annie May James, Mrs. Mary Davies, Oswald Davies, Margaret Ann Jones, Dinah Hicks, Rosie Phillips, Lloyd Evans, Jane Evans, and Bessie Wilcox. Mr. D. Roberts presided at the organ. Great praise is due to Mr. W. T. Rees and Miss Anne Davies for their splendid efforts as superintendents during the quarter.
Last Saturday evening, a most successful competitive meeting was held at Carmel under the auspices of the Carmel Sunday School. The competitions were most keen, whilst the number of competitors far exceeded even the most sanguine of expectations. The adjudicators were - Music, Mr. J. Jones, Brynamman; literature, Mr. Charles Williams, Rhydyfro; whilst Messrs. Joshua Jones and Dd. Thomas ably accompanied. The awards were as follow - Children's choir: Divided between "Cyfeillion," Gwaun-cae- gurwen; and "Cyfeillesau," Gwaun- cae-gurwen, conducted respectively by Miss Maggie Rees, Waunleyshon, and Master David Morris, - Cwmgorse. Champion solo: Curwen Jones, Gwaun- cae-gurwen. Solo for girls under 16: 1st, Hannah M. Jones, Brynamman; 2nd, Nellie Davies, Brynamman. Solo for boys under 16: 1st, Dd. Morris, Cwmgorse; 2nd, Johnny Williams, Garnant. Solo for girls .under 13: 1st, Dinah Hicks, Gwaun-cae-gurwen; 2nd, Millicent James, Brynamman. Solo for boys under 13: 1st, W. Lloyd, Cwmgorse; 2nd, Dd. Morris, Cwmgorse. Duet for children under 16: Blodwen and May Thomas, Brynamman. Pianoforte solo: lst, Willie E. Rees, Brynamman; 2nd, Maggie Ray Davies, Gwaun-cae-gurwen. Chief recitation: David John Walters. Capel Hendre. Recitation for children under 16: 1st, Sarah A. Jones, Pontardawe; 2nd, Bessie Roderick, Gwaun-cae- gurwen; consolation prize, W. J. Williams, Garnant. Recitation for children under 12: 1st, Gwladys Jones, Ynismeudw: 2nd. S. A. Jones, Pontardawe. Recitation for children under 8: 1st, Annie Jones, Waunleyshon; 2nd, Gwenny Thomas, Brynamman; consolation prize, Lucy Anne Jones, Cwmgorse. Four verses on "Isaac" John Rees, Garnant. Essay on "Jubal" D. Brynfab Thomas, Brynamman. The duties of secretary and treasurer were successfully carried out bv Messrs. Arthur Henry Davies and W. J. Rees respectively, whilst Mr. Jonah Evans presided. Great praise is also due to the lady members of the Sunday School for valuable assistance.
- From the Amman Valley Chronicle - 29th June 1916
Out of numerous competitors, Madame Ceinwen Thomas proved victorious in the contralto solo competition at the Cwmllynfell Eisteddfod last Saturday.
Anniversary services were held at St. David's Church, Tairgwaith, last Sunday. The special preacher for the occasion was the Rev. Aldred Williams, B.A., Vicar of Golden Grove.
At the request of many Curwenites I have been asked to inform Butts," the Brynamman correspondent that Mr. Arthur Moses - the able conductor of the invincible children's choir of Bettws - is a Curwenite.
On Friday, Mr. John Williams, father of Mr. John Williams, contractor, Cwmgorse, and of Mrs. Jenkins, wife of Mr. Samuel Jenkins, J.P., Cwmgorse, passed away at the ripe age of 89 years.
On Saturday evening, at Seion, Cwmgorse, Mr. Johnny James, miners' agent, delivered his lecture on "Robert Owen." The proceeds of the lecture went to the support of Mr. Thomas James, Cwmgorse, who has been in failing health for several years.
Heartiest congratulations to Miss Elsie Davies, daughter of the Rev. B. D. Davies, Carmel, on her success in completing the Preliminary Examination for the Certificate. Miss Davies sat for the first part last December, and having negotiated that successfully, she sat Part II. last March, and now she has had the pleasant news that she has been successful in that part again.
Wednesday was a red-letter day in the life of the Rev. T. M. Roderick, the popular minister of Tabernacle Chapel, Cwmgorse, for it was the occasion of his wedding to Miss Daisy Thomas, daughter of the Rev. Tawelfryn Thomas, Groeswen, Cardiff. The ceremony took place at Groeswen, where Miss Thomas was organist, and was performed by the bride's brother, the Rev. Penry Thomas, Cardiff. The honeymoon is being spent at Cardiff. We all wish Mr. and Mrs. Roderick a long life of happiness and prosperity.
With the deepest regret we have to record the death, which took place on Friday morning, of Mr. John D. Morris, Gate Street, after an illness which had prevented him following his employment for a long time. It is sad to think that Mr. Morris was not able to enjoy the fruits of the successful concert which had been given for his benefit on the previous Wednesday night. Amid many manifestations of sorrow the remains were laid to rest on Tuesday afternoon at Old Carmel Cemetery. The Rev. B. D. Davies officiated.
Quarterly meetings were held at Carmel Chapel on Sunday afternoon and evening. The work produced shewed that the Sunday School is in a very flourishing condition, and reflects great credit on the energetic superintendents, Mr. John Davies and Mrs. Mary Davies.
The presidents were Mr. Jonah Evans and Mr. Morgan Abel James, and Mr. David Roberts, A.Mus.L.C.M., presided at the organ.
The following contributed to the programme in the afternoon:-
Solos, Sally Roberts, Evelyn Jenkins, Mary Jenkins, Nancy Samuel, Melvyn Thomas, Tom Morris, Muriel Thomas, Mrs. Mary Hicks.
children's choir; recitations, Handel Hicks, Lilian Rees. Evelyn Williams, Nellie Davies, Annie Morgan. Margaret Ann Jones, Mrs. Mary Price.
At the evening meeting the following took part: - Recitations, Annie Jones, Elfed Jones, Lizzie James, Mary Watkins. Mrs. Mary Davies. Bessie Jones. Mayfril Jones, Annie Davies, Hannah M. Rees, Dd. Rees;
solos, David Morris, Dinah Hicks. Archie Lewis, Curwen James, Beatrice Howe. Morgan Watkins;
duet, Annie and Dinah Hicks:
quartette. Annie Hicks. Gertie Lewis, Nellie Price, and Maggie Rees.
On Wednesday evening, at the Public Hall, a grand benefit concert was held, the proceeds of which went to support Mr. John D. Morris. Gate Street, who has been unable to follow his employment, owing to ill-health, for a very long time. Great credit is due to all the artistes for their generosity in giving their valuable services gratis. Everyone was at his best, and apart from the good cause to which the money went, everyone in the crowded audience was more than fully satisfied with the excellent entertainment provided. Great credit is also due to Mr. Tom Thomas, Caenewydd, the energetic secretary, and the committee, for they left no stone unturned in order to make the concert a capital success in every sense. The Rev. B. D. Davies made an able conductor, while Mr. Daniel Thomas, M.E., ably filled the role of chairman, in the unavoidable absence of Mr. Morgan Abel James. Mr. D. J. Evans, C.R.A.M., presided at the piano. The following artistes contributed to the programme:-
Sopranos, Miss Mary Davies, Brynamman, and Miss Rosy Davies, Cwmgorse; contralto, Madame Ceinwen Thomas, Tai'rgwaith; tenor, Mr. W. Pryse Rees, Gwaun-cae-gurwen; bass, Mr. Tim Jones, Gwaun cae gurwen; penillion, Messrs. Richard and Herbert Morgan, Brynamman, and Mr. John Evans, Cwmgorse; elocutionists, Mr. Oswald Davies and Mr. Dan Evans, Gwaun-cae-gurwen; instrumentalists, Mr. Tal Morris and Mr. Willie Edwards, A.C.I.A.M., Brynamman.
- From the Amman Valley Chronicle - 29th March 1917
On Sunday afternoon and evening, an excellent quarterly meeting was held at Carmel Chapel. The standard was very high, and reflected great credit on the efficiency of the Sunday School.
The meetings were presided over by the Rev. B. D. Davies, while great credit is due to the energetic superintendents - Mr. John Thomas, Glanant, and Mrs. J. Howells, Graig Road.
The following contributed to the programme: -
Recitations, Gwen Williams, Jane George, Rees Thomas, Nellie Davies, Gwynrudd Williams, Mary Davies, Edgar Hcks (Hicks), Jane Davies, Myrddin James, Catherine Evans, Maggie Rees, Handel Hicks, Doris Edwards, Gwen Price, Haydn Davies, Orwen Edwards, Mrs.William Price, Mrs. Frances James, Mary H. Howe, Catherine Lewis, Annie Jones, Bessie Wilcox, Evelyn Jenkins, Bessie Jones, Maggie Morgans, Mayfril Jones, Rebecca Davies;
solos, Edith Lewis, Melfyn Thomas, Muriel Thomas, Tom Morris, Mrs. Benjamin Hicks, Annie Williams, Annie Hicks, Gertie Lewis, David Morris. Dinah Hicks, Beatrice Howe, Lizzie Howe, Baden Evans, Annie Hicks and friends.
The Juvenile Choir rendered some selections.
Mr. David Roberts presided at the organ.
- From The Cambrian dated 29th November 1901
"PONTARDAWE. GWAUN-CAE-GURWEN COLLIERY DISPUTE. At the Pontardawe Petty-sessions on Friday (before Mr. Herbert Lloyd, chairman, Dr. Griffiths Messrs. G. H. Strick, C. Benthale, F. Gilbertson, and Daniel John), Dd. Lewis, chairman of the workmen's committee, and about 640 other colliers employed at the Gwaun-cae-Gurwen Colliery were summoned by the company for having wrongfully absented themselves from work without due notice from the 1st to the 23rd of October last. Mr. Lleufer Thomas (instructed by Mr. Nicholas, Llandilo) appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Arthur Lewis (instructed by Mr. Powell, Neath) defended. As the magistrates were acquainted with the facts of the case, the Chairman (Mr. Herbert Lloyd) suggested that Mr. Frank Gilbertson and himself should privately confer out of court with the counsel and representatives of the company and men. This suggestion was agreed to, and the conference was held in another room. Finally it was arranged that the summonses be dismissed, each side paying its own cost on condition that the workmen agree to the re-instatement in a non-official capacity of the overman, Davies, whose dismissal the men had demanded on account, it was said, of his having endangered their lives by striking a light underground and also that the men carry on their work without further dispute in the matter. The Chairman, in announcing this arrangement, said that although the men, were reasonable in asking the employers to dismiss Davies for this breach of the rules, yet he thought they were wrong to leave work without notice, thereby causing inconvenience to the company."