Troedyrhiw residents were concerned to notice some weeks ago that the stone gate piers at the entrance to the Saron site had suffered some serious damage and were in a dangerous condition. Friends of Saron immediately notified the Council’s Building Control Department, ward councillors and the leaseholder of Saron Graveyard. We were also worried that the iconic chapel gates might now be more vulnerable to the attentions of metal thieves.
Inspection by the Council confirmed that this situation posed a threat to public safety and that urgent action was necessary.
Friends of Saron decided that, if the permission of the leaseholder could be obtained, they would endeavour to facilitate necessary repairs using the services of a local stonemason supported by our volunteers.
The historic iron gates, possibly made locally at the Plymouth Ironworks, have been put into temporary storage to await conservation and refitting in the not too distant future.
Friends of Saron would like to thank the following:-
- Steve Collier without whose unstinting effort none of this would have been possible. He made all necessary contacts for the dismantling and rebuilding, was fully involved in the work and managed the entire process from start to finish.
- Councillor Gareth Lewis for his support throughout.
- Paul Kent of Keep Wales Tidy for his advice and support.
- Ken Bateman, Building Control Officer MTCBC for inspecting the damage, contacting the leaseholder and advising FoS of the need to obtain appropriate permission.
- The Union of Welsh Independents (Saron leaseholder) for promptly providing permission for FoS to carry out necessary work on their behalf.
- Days of Aberfan for supply of materials and, at no cost, heavy lifting equipment and the services of an operator to remove and reset the large capping stones.
- Brian Driscoll, the skilled professional stonemason whose high quality work can now be seen by all.
- Simon Collier, FoS volunteer, who provided his labour and ideas and is responsible for the skilled resetting of the original gate hinges using a traditional technique.
- Tommy Cunningham, FoS volunteer, who provided essential labour for some of the heaviest tasks.
- Keegan Whitehouse, FoS volunteer, who provided essential labour for some of the heaviest tasks.
- John & Margaret Jenkins, Saron neighbours, for their ongoing support and use of their power supply during this work.
- Steve Jones, FoS volunteer.
- Sheila Walker, FoS volunteer.
- Nicola Walker, FoS volunteer.
- Frances Collier, FoS volunteer.