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Both Allen and John wish you hours of informative Browsing of our History site on Aberafan the old Borough of Afan, trying to inform on the history of this very ancient borough. In the near future we will include other parts of the town such as Margam with Port Talbot as a whole and the Afan valley. If you want to contribute to this site, with an article Photograph or any information then please contact either Allen or John their contact details on the navigation page We intend to continue placing information on the web site to be available free to all it is not a commercial site but a site put together by people interested in the history of Aberafan / Aberavon.
We will be pleased to include information stories and any photographs from anyone who would like to contribute,
Disclaimer we cannot be held responsible for any perceived infringement of copyrights and we urge contributers to only send material that is not someone else's copyright.
A rough guide is copyright belongs to the person that wrote the story or took the photograph for his /her lifetime plus a further fifty years but in the case of photographs it is the lifetime of the person who took the photograph plus twenty five years after their death, after that time has elapsed it is in the public domain and anyone can use it, copyright does not belong to any person who then uses the material after it is in the public domain even if they were given the copyright by the person before their death . In other words photographs published in the nineteen thirties, if the photographer has died in the nineteen fifties then his photographs after the late nineteen seventies are in the public domain and can be used by anyone but they cannot claim copyright of that photograph even if it is included in a book they published and do own the copyright of. This copyright information is not offered as fact just a rough guide it is up to individuals to verify if the photograph or text is indeed in the public domain before using,
THE webmasters do Not take any responsibility for this information on copyright and and will not be held liable for any liability in regards to this item on copyright, you must take every precaution to verify that any material you use is in the public domain and not copyright..

News And Events

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Saturday, August 12th 2006.
The Swansea branch of the Glam,FHS. joined up with its other branches for the Family & Local History Weekend at Llancaiach Fawr Manor House.
Here they were joined by, other exhibitors including Glamorgan Record Office, Nelson & Llancaiach Family History Group, Gelligaer Historical Society and Caerphilly Local History Society.

The Swansea branch was represented on this occasion by, Pam Evans, Cherry King, and Allen Blethyn.
The event went well, even though the Manor House ghost did not make an appearance in the education block, where we were showing.
A fuller account of the day will be appearing in the Glam Journal written by those ever faithful ladies of the ARK Aberkenfig.

Click on name for Picture


On Show at
The Beach Festival
15th July 2006

After Months of preparation the festival had arrived, the day before the event we were busy even before the marquee’s canvas walls were completed we were hard at it erecting tables and putting them in position according to the plans that had been drawn up beforehand let us say just a few things before we delve into site business.
John Sparks and Allen Blethyn would like to thank all their many visitors,
Who showed a tremendous amount of interest, as we talked with them, at our stand in the show. We were both overwhelmed by the reception that we received by the people that stopped and asked questions, this is very encouraging for us, resulting in our determination to put even more effort into the production of our web site.
We had better state here at the beginning, that we are sure to miss out mentioning many people who were at the show to them we offer our apologies.
Raymond "The Birds" was running his charity raffle on the next table, he provided us with hours of humorous chat and banter about the old town, over the two days we were there, we had the opportunity to erect our own stalls on the Friday night as security was on hand twenty four hours a day, also Raymond he acted as the main guard by sleeping there over night.

I arrived at Eight O Clock to put the finishing touches to the display, Alan arrived soon after myself and we were pretty busy finishing our display and answering questions, from early on. We had on display photographs of local townspeople local Dignitaries townscape and River photographs we also had a small display of railway photographs on loan from the Cymmer Afan & District History Society. Also we had a number of Family trees on display as a taster for those who were interested. Also on display was the family history of the kings and princes of Afan we had various book folders, on display on Aberavon/Aberafan history that visitors to the display could browse through. Mr. Beany and some of his supporters were early visitors, Mr.Beany was eying the tins of veg on Raymond’s raffle stall, in the end he found yes tins of beans. I have bad news for Mr. Beany, his photographs have gone astray some where out in Beany space on sending them to the computer.
The friends of Margam Park were present at their table display, I had an enjoyable chat and banter with Will Perkins [ who is always keeping an historical eye out on his Margam walks ] and also Jeff [ Countryman ] Jones who is working hard on the friends setup. Half a dozen or so members of the Port Talbot Historical Society, called by our stand, I do hope that they report back their view’s of what they saw, to other society members, as the Society could be very helpful to our venture.
The visitors to our stall exceeded all our expectation every minute we were there, we were engaged in conversation with someone interested in either local history or how to go about looking up their family history, a steady stream of visitors filed in and around our display the comments we received were very positive about our choice of display we were invited to take our display to other events all this was very flattering and our ego’s were on high.

Sandra Evans was a Welcome visitor; Sandra is involved in the Family History Club at Morrison Rd. library. Thanks Sandra for calling by.
A lady from the Neath Port Talbot Council, burials department, ex Aberavon House, now Clydach. She was excited by the fact that we already had the grave monumental inscriptions of St.Joseph`s Aberavon on our web site. And that the "people’s St. Mary’s yard" was ongoing, the first part of which, will be on our web site within days.
As we said at the start, all the individual visitors are too numerous to include due to the space available here, but we did hand out 1500 leaflets to interested people.
We were continually on the go visitors asked questions on the railway display, the family trees and the local photographs, Allen and I started to weaken by mid afternoon our voices had become hoarse.
To say that our stall was a success is a huge understatement the visitors to our display were interested in where their families had come from originally and settled in Aberafan, The Southwest counties were very evident as were the Irish both of us were answering questions on the industrial history of the Afan Valley that had first brought their families ours included my family originated in Devon even further back it was Chester. One thing I was very pleased to hear when I was a lad the old training pier in the Afan had sections of top decking when I have told people they have been sceptical but two men were looking at the ruin of the pier and one told the other this used to have a top deck and also had rails if for no other reason the success of our display was in that moment when I found someone else who had actually walked that top deck as I had.
All that remains to be said is that we wish to thank the organizers of the Beach festival of 2006 for putting on such a wonderful event and to others Please keep on coming back to-
with your comments.

Saturday July 1st.2006.
The Glamorgan FHS. Open day at Llantrisant Just my reflections on my day out at the event.
It was up early, to head down the M4 for Llantrisant,I had loaded my car up with all the necessary equiptment and books etc the night before

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I arrived at the Llantrisant Liesure Centre about 8-45am, unloaded the car and carried it all into the centre to our tables.
As usual,all the familiar different branch members were busy doing the same setting up process,but we all found time for a few words in passing.
Within the next 15 minutes Pam our Swansea branch secetary and my friend Cherry King had arrived from Swansea.
So, we we ready for the start as the first visiters began arriving, in the already hot surroundings, I do feel that the month of July is not the best time for such an event.
With having three of us at our tables, it meant that I was able at times to wander the hall talking to my many friends and fellow Glam members, over the years attending such events, its suprising the number of people one becomes familiar and friendly with, they are to many to list here.
I took a number of photographs at the event, but hope nobody will be offended by me only showing a few here relating to my nearest interest owing to the space available.
I dont intend naming all of the Glam. branch helpers, but special attention I feel is necessary in the case of the ARC. team.I am sure that all Glam.FHS members would like myself, like to thank them for all their hard work, not just on the show days, but throughout the year as they work tierlessly on.
As for myself at the show, I was pleased to have had about a dozen quiries regarding my own patch of the Port Talbot Area.
I was very glad to see Mr.Glyn Bowen, so that I could supply him with the bapts at Margam, of his Harman family, long over due, sorry Glyn.
Then a very interesting new lookup required by Mr.Ron Woolmer who asked my if I could give him any information on a Grey [Gray] family of Margam, he was able to tell me that the family were involved as mining engineers there.
That was enough to set my mind racing to Underhill House, Taibach, which was their home for many years, while they worked as engineers and managers of the Morfa Pit.
Of course it would not have taken Ron long to have found out about his family at Taibach, but I am glad that it was I that could point him, to the many records and books that he may consult.
Then came a real suprise treat for me, when Mrs.Joan Howell [Deere] of Poole,Dorset turned up at our table. Joan being an old friend, and fellow researcher of the BLETHYN family of Cadoxton and Neath Abbet Neath.
Joan and I had been out of regular touch for about a year, due to E.Mail address changes. Of course we shall now catch up with our new notes on that subject by the internet, as I could not give Joan the full attention that she desevered on the day.
A regular that turned up then, was David Cedyn Thomas of Maesteg, David is a great grandson of Mary Thomas an old Key Holder of Llangynwyd Church.
Hello Dave said I, what are you after here today, well he replied I mainly came to see the lovely helpfull girls on the ARK table, reason being is that I wanted to give them a fresh supply of Paracetamol, to make sure that they will be in fine form once again to help me on my next weekly visit to the ARC.
I had better end it there, to get on with outstanding lookups from the event.

Glamorgan Family History Society Swandsea Branch


July 10th. ` My grandmother- a remarkable woman `

Speaker: Mrs. Ann Norling.

August 14th. Members Night : Research : Other things, watch this space :

: All new people welcome, even non-members, give it a try.

September 11th. A.G.M. Followed by ` Swansea Mariners `.

Speaker: Mr. Brian Richards.

Brian has for many years, worked hard on his Web Site by this title.

Be sure that he will add some interesting stories picked up on his voyages

during his extractions of the hundreds of archive boxes.

October 9th. ` Old Swansea in Pictures `

Speaker : Mr. Roy Kneath.

November 13th. ` Hussey Vivian `

Speaker : Prof. David Farmer.

December 11th. Christmas Social. Watch this space.

All at County Hall, Swansea. 2nd floor Committee room 2.
6-30 for 7-00pm.

This Years Beach Festival will be held on the weekend of 15th July, last year there were 5000 plus visitors to the festival, this year promises to be even better than last years event with Motorcycle stunt teams, and rides on Hovercraft along the beach sands amongst its many attractions we will have a stall at the festival.

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February 2006 will mark the centenary of the formation of the Labour Party. The Aberavon Constituency Labour Party are planning to celebrate the anniversary by holding a week long public exhibition and compiling an in-depth written history of the local party. They are asking residents to help them by digging out any old newspaper cuttings, photographs, or election leaflets that they may have that tell the story of the Labour Party in the constituency over the past 100 years. Dr Hywel Francis MP said, “Following the 1906 General Election, the Labour Representation Committee, as it was then known, was transformed into a real parliamentary force with 29 MPs. To mark the occasion, the group was renamed the Labour Party, as it has remained to this day.” “We are looking for the stories of the men and women who set up local Labour Party organisations, put up candidates, fought and won local council seats, sat on Boards and governing bodies, campaigned, recruited and knocked on doors.” if you have anthing to contribute contact.

The Cymmer Afan and District Historical Society
We meet on: the first Monday of the month. Exceptions to this being when there is a Bank Holiday on that Monday, we then meet on the second Monday. We meet at: Brynsiriol Senior Citizens Centre the building with the clock.Cymmer at 7 pm
The secretary can be contacted at byrongage@freenet.co.uk
The Glamorgan Family History Society holds its branch meetings at the County Hall, Oystermouth Road, Swansea from 6.45 pm every second monday of the month.