Category Archives: Latest News

A quotation from Gladstone to ponder

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“Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high ideals.”
What do you think of this well known quotation from 19th century prime minister William Gladstone?

Is it wrong to exercise in a graveyard?

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The vision of the Saron Project, Troedyrhiw is to rescue an important part of the historic fabric of the village from the effects of many years of neglect by creating a low maintenance memorial and wildlife garden as a well-loved resource which can be appreciated and used by the local and wider communities.

Are there any activities that are not appropriate for a burial place? Follow this link

and let us know what you think by emailing

Get your heritage Christmas cards here!

Xmas Cards

Christmas cards with images of bygone Troedyrhiw are now on sale at Peter the Butcher and other outlets in the village. Or email for details.

Volunteers spending an odd hour at Saron Graveyard

Small jobs keep the Saron Graveyard Project moving forward.

Troed-y-rhiw Local History Forum

Unfortunately, there will not be another meeting of Troed-y-rhiw Local History Forum before Christmas. Several meetings are, however, planned for the early part of 2018. Watch this space for further details.

LHF Early 2018 Mtgs

The History of The Willows, Troedyrhiw


Another well attended meeting of Troed-y-rhiw Local history forum was held last Thursday at Carmel Chapel.

Brian Barnett made an extremely interesting presentation on the history of The Willows. His talk touched on:-

  • early interest from the Council in creating a recreation ground on what was boggy land which was drained, raised and levelled by tipping domestic ash and rubbish;
  • the opening, in 1931, of the Welfare Ground which was then maintained through a levy on colliers’ wages;
  • the establishment, in 1932, of a Boys’ club for over 16’s;
  • the importance of football over many years as a mainstay of the Willows including the glory years of the late 1940’s when games against Merthyr would attract crowds in excess of 3,000;
  • the use of the Willows by a whole range of other village groups and as a focal point for numerous events and celebrations including the 1951 Festival of Britain, 1952 Festival of Music & Art and 1953 Coronation.

Brian, who has been associated with Troedyrhiw Boys’ and Girls’ Club for over 50 years and, in 2006, was awarded an M.B.E. for his work, described how what was originally a boys-only   organisation grew from humble beginnings. He explained how, despite setbacks including three serious arson attacks, it was possible to raise the support and funding required to build the splendid Willows Centre which operates as a youth and community centre for the benefit of the whole community.

In his closing remarks Brian referred to the fact that the current trustees of The Willows are all aged over 65 and explained that the committee desperately needs new members to ensure that this vital community asset remains in the ownership of residents.

If you can help in any way please contact The Willows Centre, Troedyrhiw on Tel: 01443 692198 or Email:

What’s next at Troed-y-rhiw Local History Forum?

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Brian Barnett M.B.E. will be giving a talk at Carmel Chapel next Thursday 28 Sept at 7.00pm on ‘100 Years of The Willows’. You are warmly invited to attend.

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Many ‘unseen gems’ that are not usually open to the public along with very well known Cadw sites will be open and welcoming thousands of visitors; a chance to really discover the inside stories of these incredible sites with guided tours on offer at many venues.

With over 300 places to choose from why not take a look at the Cadw website at for more information on a full list of sites taking place and the access times?

Cadw monuments require you to register for a free ticket via Eventbrite in order to enter the site, please visit the page and register for yours today!

Merthyr Tydfil, The Crucible of Modern Wales

If you are interested in our local history then please put this date into your diary and turn up to what is sure to be a very interesting event which will be held at the Red House (old Town Hall) in Merthyr.

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Anyone for cake?

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Friends of Saron volunteers spotted these curious fungal growths on an old ash stump in the graveyard.

They turn out to be the fruiting bodies of a fungus which is variously called the coal fungus, carbon balls, cramp balls or King Alfred’s Cakes (Daldinia concentrica).

King Alfred was a terrible cook. In fact (but really in legend) while hiding from the Danes, he’d left a whole batch of cakes in the oven. They were suitably burnt and naturally ruined. So we can only guess he went to the woods and scattered them everywhere on dead ash trees to try and cover up his mistake and pass them off as some kind of fungus. Or something!