There are many references to Pontardawe in the 15 million Welsh and English language articles from Welsh newspapers transcribed by the NLW and viewable on Welsh Newspapers Online
Below are 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 The Cardiff Times dated 11th March 1876
"PONTARDAWE. THE NEW WORKHOUSE.—Mr John Bacon Fowler, architect, of Swansea and Brecon, is the successful competitor in draughting designs for the new workhouse at Pontardawe. Sixteen sets of plans were sent in, but only four were selected for approval by the committee. Mr Bircham Poor-law Inspector, has signified his approval of the design selected. "
- From the Weekly Mail dated 13th January 1883
"PONTARDAWE. CONTRIBUTION TO SWANSEA HOSPITAL. — The workmen employed at the iron and tin-plate works of Messrs. W. Gilbertson and Co. have contributed £15 to the funds of the Swansea Hospital. "
- From the Weekly Mail dated 28th January 1882
"PONTARDAWE. RHYDYFRO SCHOOL BOARD.—The first meeting of this board was held on Monday last, when there were present the Rev. D. Jones, vicar of Lianguicke, and Messrs. John Hay, Evan Jones, D. Williams, and Rees Morgan. The Vicar of Llanguicke was, on the. motion of Mr. Evan Jones, seconded by Mr. Hay, unanimously elected chairman of the board Mr.. D. Bevan Turberville was appointed clerk, and Miss Jones, of Garth School, treasurer. The business, which was of the usual routine character, was then proceeded with, it being arranged that the question of appointing a Schoolmistress to the schools should be discussed and settled at a future meeting of the board. "
- From the Weekly Mail dated 5th March 1887
"PONTARDAWE, SCHOOL BOARD.—The following gentlemen have been elected members of the Rhyndwyclydach School Board for the ensuing three years, viz.:— Messrs. Evan Davies, Clydach Vicarage, clerk in holy orders; Tom Valentine Evans, Clydach, Baptist minister; Frederick William Gibbins, Craigyfrab, commercial clerk John Jones, Clydach Post-office, merchant; and John Rees, Clydach, timber merchant. These gentlemen were selected out of fourteen candidates at a public meeting held on Monday evening. "
- From the Weekly Mail dated 14th October 1882
"PONTARDAWE. BOARD OF GUARDIANS.—The fortnightly meeting of this board was presided over on Thursday week by Mr. David Smith, a vice-chairman. The out- door relief lists showed a satisfactory reduction during the half-year. It was stated that there would be a reduction in the rate for the ensuing half-year of 3d. in the £. The number of inmates of the workhouse was 41, and the cost of their maintenance per week during the past year has been reduced to 3s. 9¾d. each. Directions were given to the surveyor (Mr. John Morgan) to prepare a specification of the repairs, painting, &c., required to be done at the workhouse. The balance in the bank was £2,010 13s. 4d."
- From the Weekly Mail dated 3rd November 1883
"PONTARDAWE. THE NEW READING-ROOM in connection with the Pontardawe Tin-plate Works was opened on Saturday last by Mrs. Arthur Gilbertson, who very kindly provided tea for all the females in the employ of Messrs. W. Gilberison and Co., numbering about 100. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Gilbert-son and Miss E. Gilbertson were present on the occasion, and after tea a very enjoyable evening was spent in singing by the girls. Mr W Lewis (Llew o'r Alit) also gave a song, and played a few selections of music on the harp. "
- From The Cambrian dated 9th March 1900
"PONTARDAWE. [BY OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.] DISTRICT COUNCIL. The monthly meeting was held on Thursday, 1st inst., Mr. T. Jones, C.C., presiding. LOCAL CROSSINGS. The Merthyr and Graigola Company were to be asked to place two gates at each of their crossings at Clydach and Lone, to pitch the road level with the rails, to repair the highway between the gates and rails; the same to be done within the fortnight and to the satisfaction of the Engineer, or proceedings would have to be taken. GILMANGWYN RESERVOIR. The Engineer produced drawings of this storage reservior. Its capacity was million gallons, equal to 10 gallons per head per day for a population of 4,000. The springs had been gauged after two months' drought, and showed an issue of 28 gallons per minute; after four months' drought 12 gallons per minute. The estimated cost would be about £4,000. ESTIMATE EXPENDITURES. The amount of calls from the various parishes for the six months ending September 30th next, was £5,090, made up as follows: Cilybebill, £713; Llanguicke, £1,565; Mawr, £623; Rhyndwyclydach, £ 852; Ynisymond, £143; Ystradgynlais Higher, £222; Ystradgynlais Lower, £803. PURCHASE OF LAND. The Midland Railway Company refused the offer of £6 from the Council for the small plot of land required for widening Graig- road, and asked for £10. The Council decided to grant the amount asked for.—The Engineer estimated that the total expense of widening this bit of road would be £260. BYE-LAWS. The reading of the Bye-law as to the distance from the front of new houses to the middle of the road caused a great deal of discussion and diversion of opinion. It was eventually decided to meet the committee in a fortnight's time, and go into the question again. INCREASE OF WAGES. An application for increase of wages was received from the Road Men. The Surveyor was instructed to supply a list of their ages and wages paid by next meeting. EASTERN DIVISION MEDICAL OFFICER'S REPORT. Dr. Thomas submitted his annual report. Births registered 274, as compared with 353 in 1898, equal to a birth-rate of 29.21 per 1,000. Deaths, 130, compared with 143 in 1898, a rate of 13.S per 1,000. The death-rate for England and Wales being 18.3 per thou- sand. INFANT MORTALITY. Of the total deaths 40 were infants under a year old. In 1898 the number was 52. The following were notified under the Notification Act, 1899:—Scarlet Fever, 7; diphtheria, 4; croup, 3; fever, 3. The Scarlet Fever cases were principally at Gwauncae Gurwen, and of a mild type. "
- From The Cambrian dated 26th May 1899
"PONTARDAWE, (BY OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT). SEQUEL TO THE ALLTWEN CHURCH SCANDAL. The Rev. J. A. Rees, curate of the above church, was recently away on his holidays, and his place was taken by the Rev. Mr. Rees, Pontlottyn, under whom the present curate of Alltwen formerly worked, and from whom he seems to have learned Ritualistic practices. The reverend gentleman from Pontlottyn rather overstepped the bounds, and he annoyed the young men of the choir. They left him to conduct the service alone in the evening as well as last Sunday, when the curate was back at his place. It appears that at a meeting of the choir and curate some straight talking was indulged in on both sides. The Rector, Mr. Jones, has now a strong following and it will be a matter for surprise if the Bishop, who licensed Mr. Rees in opposition to the wishes of the rector, does not take immediate action to restore peace in the parish."
- From The Cambrian dated 12th January 1900
"PONTARDAWE. (BY OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT). STREET LIGHTING. Now that the lighting of the streets is an accomplished deed, the residents are loud in their praises of the progressive policy of the District Council, whereas previous to the accomplishment of the work many demurred as to the necessity of the undertaking, using the grand-motherly argument, that if their fore- fathers managed without light why should they be burdened with increased taxation. No doubt the locality has suffered in the past very considerably by the lack of light on the streets; and many times has Pontardawe been referred to in the public press as that "benighted village in the Swansea Valley." No longer will anyone be able to point the finger of scorn at the little town on the Tawe. Thanks to the foresight of the Council's Engineer, Mr. Morgan, who sought for the latest improvements in the gas lighting system, assisted by the enterprise of the Bryncelyn Gas Company, Pontardawe, it has outshone the lighting in Clydach. The gas lamps are fitted with the Kern incandescent burner, giving a light of 70-candle power. The centre of the village, known as the Cross, has a lamp 150-candle power. So far only thirty lamps have been erected, but it is hoped that 30 more will be put up, on the Ynisymedw and Trebanos roads. The lamps have been lit since the 22nd ult., but on Thursday, the 4th, the lighting of the public streets with gas was celebrated by a public dinner at the Dynevor Arms. ......"
- From The Cambrian dated 4th May 1900
"Pontardawe. FOOTBALL. On Saturday afternoon Hamilton (Morriston) visited Pontardawe to play a Rugby game against a picked XV. The game was of a very scrambling nature. The visitors showed superior combination, and their full back played a remarkably good game. The game ended in a win for Hamilton by 1 penalty goal and 2 tries to nil. The proceeds of the gate were devoted towards wiping off the deficit of the Association Club. The attendance was poor, so that the object of the game was not very materially assisted. PRIORTON AND YNISDERW.—These two clubs meet at Pontardawe on Saturday next to decide the question of superiority in the League competition. "
- From The Cambrian dated 27th October 1882
PONTARDAWE. WATER AND LIGHT.—Pontardawe is bestirring itself just at present in more ways than one, and in ways not incommendable. It says that it wants clean water at a moderate price. Those whose business is is by law to see that want supplied do not say they won't give it and in fact some ages ago set about the business on a small scale, and succeeded so far that all doubt was removed that the completion of the job required nothing else but the will to peg away in the same direction, and that by little and little it would be accomplished. But it would seem that the success begot in the powers a taste, an ambition for greater things—some grand scheme likely, possibly, to see the light in a few centuries hence. But what strikes sojourners at Pontardawe as a strange characteristic of the dwellers therein is not their distaste for foul water, as their love, or, at all events, their tolerance of darkness. Still, Pontardawe has been in possession of gas for many years, and the gas is not to blame it is good enough, but it will not give light when it is not burning. It lights indoors generally, and very well; but out of doors, In the streets, it does not shed a ray, because Pontardawe disdains, disowns, all share in public light. No means exist, no means are sought to give the streets glimmers, even just sufficient to make the "darkness visible." As things have been, are and are likely to be at Pontardawe. The ear must be, as' it is at present, the only available sense of sight, in the majority of winter days from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.' But to tell the deaf to "look out" is cruel mockery. What a lot of money is devoted at Pontardawe to the purposes of moral and similar enlightenments. This is, of course very desirable; but might we not get a little of the energy and the money directed in some way to secure a few gleams of artificial light to shine in the dreary darkness of moonless, starless, foggy nights of the months now commencing? In the absence of the provisions of the Watching and Lighting Act. might not a few coppers be got by means, say, of popular entertainments and other ways of genteel begging. Many people patronize amusing entertainments simply on the ground that the "object is so good." ...........(large part not extracted) ..................This matter want of good water and darkness—now constitute a Pontardawe trinity of troubles. "
- From the Weekly Mail dated 19th August 1882
"PONTARDAWE. POSTAL FACILITIES—We are glad to learn that additional postal facilities have been granted to this rising little town. Some time ago we announced that, through the instrumentality of Mr. W. Samuel, B.A., a North Mail delivery was obtained. In addition to this great boon, arrangements have now been made for opening a sub- office at Alltwen on the 21st inst.. which will be conducted by Mr. W. Rees, draper, and the wall-box at present at that place will be removed to Graig-road. In the Rhydyfro district the delivery of letters will be extended to Garth, and a wall- box will also be erected there. POSTAL FACILITIES.—Mr. Wm. Samuel, Tanyrallt House. Pontardawe, writes :—Please allow me to say in reference to the paragraph which appeared in your issue of Tuesday that the part I took in the matter was no more than the merely preliminary one. We owe our ultimate success to the warm and persistent efforts of Sir Hussey Vivian, M.P., who seems ever ready and willing to aid all sections of his constituency in public matters bearing on their interests. I do not think it impertinent that I should take this opportunity of saying that both Sir H. Hussey Vivian and Mr. Maitland, M.P. for Breconshire, are now interesting themselves in another postal re-arrangement, equally as useful to the people of the Swansea Valley as the second delivery (North mail) has proved, and which they are now enjoying. "
- From The South Wales Daily Post dated 15th January 1910
"PONTARDAWE. Last Saturday Pontardawe were visitors at Mumbles. The homesters won by two goals to one. Pontardawe were very unlucky to lose. Pontardawe have now had the assistance at Groggins. He is a very powerful player. Last season he did good work for the Mond, He was undoubtedly one of the best men on the field on Saturday. His goal was a regular beauty. Of the forwards, Gribble was the pick. Powell and Mundy played a good defensive game at back. Rouse, in goal, gave an excellent account of himself. He Is one of the best goalies in the district. "
- From The Cambria Daily Leader dated 31st August 1917
PONTARDAWE, we are asked to say that at the Gwaun- cae-Gurwen horticultural show, the 1st and 2nd prizes for pansies were awarded to W. H. Howell, 13, Quarr-road, Pontardawe, as were also the prize for the collection of wart-resisting potatoes, and the 1st and 2nd prizes for violas. All these entries were in the open cottagers' classes."
- From Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder dated 3rd January 1914
"PONTARDAWE. The Christmas of 1913, which is now over, is said to have been one of the quietest for many years. The weather probably had much to do with this. Apart from a concert at the Public Hall in connection with Alltwen Chapel, there was practically nothing to induce people to leave their homes on Christmas night. The concert was well attended, and was very successful in every respect. As far as the tradespeople were concerned, they did not do so well as usual, but nevertheless they have nothing to complain about. The stoppage at Tarreni where about 700 men were rendered idle for a fortnight, had a detrimental effect upon trade generally. However it is pleasing to find that work has been resumed at the colliery this week."
- From the Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder dated 7th March 1914
"PONTARDAWE. At Last.-The new boys' school in Smithfield, which has been formally opened for some months, was occupied for the first time by the boys from the Pontardawe School on Monday. The boys in charge of Mr. John Roberts, headmaster, and his staff, marched in procession from their old headquarters in Brecon-road to their new home. The new building is the very Last word in school construction."
- From The Cambria Daily Leader dated 15th January 1918
PONTARDAWE. Mr. Vincent Banks, chief inspector under the Board of Agriculture, gave demonstrations at the Public Hall, Pontardawe, on Monday afternoon and evening on "Fruit and vegetable drying and preserving," under the auspices of the Pontardawe and District Gardeners and Allotment Holder Association. The Rev. Joel Davies and Mr. C: G. Gilbertson presided."
- From the Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder dated 4th November 1916
"PONTARDAWE. The Pontardawe and District Milk Sellers' Association has decided to increase the price of milk to 6d. per quart from Nov. 6th. "
- From the Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder dated 7th October 1916
"PONTARDAWE. As a result of the recent Gellionen Sheep Dog Trials £39. 14s. 11d. has been forwarded to the Prisoners of War Fund,, together with £20 5s. Id., which was the subscription given by Mr. Evan Lewis, M.E., colliery proprietor, of Glais, this bringing the total up to £60. 7s. "
- From the Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder dated 18th July 1914
"PONTARDAWE. The masons' and bricklayers' strike at Pontardawe has been settled after a stoppage of about eight weeks. This was brought about as the result of a joint Meeting of the masters and men held al. the Victoria Hotel."
- From the Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder dated 1st September 1917
"PONTARDAWE. The Pontardawe Tribunal sat on Tuesday, Mr. Morgan Davies presiding. Mr. Frank Charles was the military representative present. A Clydach labourer employed at the Mond Works said he had been rejected on three occasions, but when the Travelling Medical Board came round the other day he was placed in Class A. Applicant said he had a bad leg, but he declared that the members of the Board had not examined it. The case was adjourned in order that applicant could be again examined. A Cwmgorse stone mason appealed on personal grounds, while his employer appealed on business grounds. He said that he was a married man with two children, while he supported his father and mother, with whom he lived. Military Representative: "I think you ought to be glad to get into the Army. You also ought to get a home V.C". (Laughter.) He was given three months on business grounds. Two young men who had been combed out from a tinworks said they had been rejected for the Navy, but later, when they appeared before the Army Medical Board. they were passed in Class A. They now said they were dissatisfied with this classification, and asked to go for another examination. Several members thought this was only a game of bluff in order to kill time. Both were refused. Out of 50 appeals about 14 were refused."