Newsletter March 2011

Continuing our aims of gathering materials to archive, we have made considerable progress on achieving more local stories from a range of donors. The Website continues to attract hits from people interested in renewing contact with the history of the Valley and we are grateful for their additions. Membership is slowly increasing which is another gain.

We have been successful in gaining a grant from Bridgend Borough Council’s Communities Focus Schools (CFS) which has enabled the Society to develop a Schools Project centred around the theme of the forthcoming Census. The objectives being to demonstrate historical differences between life in a mining community in the early 1900s and the present time. The aims are to help the younger generation in Years 4 & 5 develop research skills related to local history by examining old Census records and seeing for themselves how historical documents can offer a range of interests that are much more than just statistical information.

The initial presentation has been made to the Ffaldau Primary School in Pontycymer, and we are most grateful to the staff of the school and the CFS Schools Co-ordinator for their support. The grant funds have enabled us to purchase additional display material; improve our computer capabilities and develop a more professional aspect of presenting the reasons behind Census information. It is hoped it will inspire children to ask questions of the older generations within their own families and hence help preserve social and industrial stories. It is intended to move to another school – Ysgol Cym Garw -in the very near future and repeat the exercise. Part of the programme is to hold a workshop for the whole community, not just the children, so everyone has an opportunity to participate.

Work on adding digital photographs to our archive continues, and we have purchased additional Web space to facilitate this.

Further exhibitions have been mounted within the valley; notably at the Greenmeadow Inn in Llangeinor. This produced a considerable degree of local interest and we are grateful for the support of the Landlord for offering us space. Consultation with Groundwork continues in the proposals for Gateway features along the Community Route, and we have also assisted in developing the design for a stone feature adjacent to the Llangeinor Arms, for which local schools designed tiles which are set in to the stonework. This feature records the old Drover’s route across the ridges.

The Society has been fortunate in receiving an offer of space in the LETS office in Pontycymer to provide a resource office where we can store our hardware. It is proposed to mount a small photographic exhibition within this facility and also use it for production of photographs and other records.

ROGER STOKES – Chairman

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