A Saron Action Plan for 2015

The Friends of Saron Committee Meeting held on Thursday 20th November 2014 reviewed the progress made by this project so far. It was recalled that on-site improvements began in March and April 2012 with an initial clearance programme which took several weeks to complete. This was carried out, at Welsh Government expense, by the Council’s Tidy Towns team and with the agreement of The Union of Welsh Independents as Saron leaseholder and the Council. Having allocated a significant amount of public money to ‘kick start’ this project there was a clear expectation that Friends of Saron would work as a community group to facilitate the development of this project.

The Friends of Saron Committee

The Friends of Saron Committee

On the understanding that the leaseholder would retain ultimate responsibility for the site we have been happy to take this work forward and can, we think, claim that considerable progress has been made. With the active support of Keep Wales Tidy volunteers from the community have been clearing, conserving and restoring an ever expanding area of the graveyard. At the same time the group has successfully promoted a range of activities designed to engage various sections of the community in exploring our rich local heritage.

A view of Old Troedyrhiw

A view of Old Troedyrhiw

The meeting agreed to adopt a Saron Project Action Plan for 2015 which seeks to demonstrate the high quality of the work which is being carried out by our volunteers to put us in a position from which a successful funding bid for essential structural work can be made. The main points of this are:-

  1. To complete to the highest possible standard the programme of non structural work including infilling, levelling, tree and shrub removal and trimming, weeding etc which has been taking place in the identified improvement area.
  2. To complete the refurbishment and refitting of the historic iron gates.
  3. To carry forward the restoration of certain graves which have been identified as being particularly significant in historical and/or family terms.
  4. To begin the process of establishing a manageable wildlife habitat with access to graves across the site by seeding in appropriate areas with mixed grasses and wild flowers.
  5. To continue to involve members of the community in ‘living history’ activities which complement the work of the group towards returning the graveyard to a condition in which it will be a valuable community asset.
Old photograph of impressive monument on Rees family grave.

Old photograph of impressive monument on Rees family grave.

The late Mrs Elizabeth k.a. ‘Betty’ Williams of Bronheulog Villas, Troedyrhiw was an enthusiastic supporter of the Saron Project. Her mother, whom she never knew, was interred in the above grave in 1928 having died at the age of 31 soon after Betty was born . She had been born into the Rees family which ran a  local butchers business. They had  obviously been sufficiently prosperous to erect this monument which survives in a reasonable condition  to this day but is in need of some attention.

Rees monument before clearance work during November Volunteer Day.

Rees monument before clearance work during November Volunteer Day.

Rees monument following initial clear up.

Rees monument following initial clear up.

An earlier post on this blog describes the distress that Troedyrhiw man John Day had experienced at being unable to access his grandparents’ grave before this project made that possible and at the appalling condition it had fallen into. This grave is situated next to the Rees grave and monument described above.

Condition of grave of Arthur and Elizabeth Day as found.

Condition of grave of Mary and Arthur Day as found.

Grave of Arthur and Elizabeth Day after attention at November Volunteer Day.

Grave of Mary and Arthur Day after attention at November Volunteer Day.

 

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About davidjcollier

Originally from South Wales I have lived in Nottinghamshire for over forty years. I am married and have three grown up children and two grandchildren. Having worked in education for 43 years I will retire in July 2012. My interests include history (general, local and family), rugby union, swimming, photography, bird watching and gardening. For the benefit of anyone who may actually read this (extremely unlikely, I admit) please do not confuse 'interests' with knowledge or skill. My involvement in a community project which aims to rescue a graveyard from the effects of almost 30 years of neglect. also keeps me quite busy. View all posts by davidjcollier

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