In the Merthyr area and elsewhere many historic sites and structures from our rich industrial past have, sadly, been lost.
I was recently reminded of one such example when I came across an interesting article from the Merthyr Express dated 30 September 1976. This describes a ‘balance sheave’ which had stood in a quarry above Troedyrhiw and, from the 1830’s-40’s until the 1920’s, had been used to lower trams loaded with building stone down the mountainside.
I have clear memories of the remains of the balance sheave still being in place while I was growing up in the village through the 1950’s and 60’s and this seems to have survived until after extensive landscaping was carried out in, I think, the late 1970’s. Does anyone know how and why this important part of our heritage was allowed to disappear?
A worrying report on the BBC Wales website explains that gravestones in cemeteries across Wales are being classed as ‘unsafe” following a number of incidents including fatalities in various parts of the UK. This could lead to memorials being removed, laid flat or staked. In some cases gravestones have been wrapped in yellow plastic carrying warning labels including “danger”, “unsafe” and “keep away” causing at least one visitor to remark that this made the situation look like a “crime scene”.This is clearly a very emotive subject for affected families but it also raises questions about how a civilised society should treat its burial places, both those that are still in use and others that are closed but are part of our cultural heritage.
With extensive structural work on the boundary walls in the pipeline for next year our volunteers can now concentrate on completing improvement work on the interior of Saron Graveyard, Troedyrhiw. We also need to ensure that the project leaves a lasting legacy which will require arrangements to be made for future maintenance, accessibility and use. If you are interested in your local heritage then please show your support by popping in to one or both of these events in Troedyrhiw next week. PLEASE NOTE AMENDED DATE FOR MEETING – Friday 15th NOT Thurs 14th.
As well as being important in the process of recycling dead material and in other ways fungi can be beautiful. These impressive ‘fruiting bodies’ of the honey fungus were recently found growing on a tree stump in Saron Graveyard, Troedyrhiw.
Another Volunteer Day was held at Saron Graveyard, Troedyrhiw last Saturday. As reported in a separate post we began the day by collecting in much of the fly-tipped waste that has been dumped on the nearby path. We added a small ‘pollinator garden’ and rockery to the ‘sensory garden’ and stumpery/fernery that are already in place. Also, we reset a number of headstones and began to repair a couple of graves that have ceramic and polished granite surrounds that had become detached. Our hardiest volunteers were still working by torchlight at the end of the day!.
Volunteers were very pleased with the results of their recent efforts to improve the condition of some of the graves in Saron Graveyard Troedyrhiw. And so was the 7-spotted ladybird that decided to lay its eggs on one of the gravestones!
The Saron Graveyard Project, Troedyrhiw could do with some additional support. If you would like to find out about some major reconstruction work on a retaining wall that will begin soon and discuss the future direction of the project then please come to one of the meetings that are advertised on this page. To show your interest or to help with some of of the on-site work (it’s not all heavy!) then please pop in to one of our Volunteer Days’ which are also advertised here.
MEETING – THURS 27 JUNE; 6:30pm; ANGEL INN, TROEDYRHIW VOLUNTEER DAY – SAT 29 JUNE; FROM 10:00am; SARON GRAVEYARD, TROEDYRHIW
Friends of Saron held their Annual General Meeting last Friday at the Willows Centre, Troedyrhiw. The bad weather limited the number attending but this was a very positive meeting. The main points of discussion arose from the welcome news that urgently necessary structural work will soon be carried out on a retaining wall at the expense of the leaseholder. It was strongly felt that the project needs greater support from the community to achieve its goal of creating a low maintenance memorial and wildlife garden on the Saron site. Much time and energy and a certain amount of money have been invested in the restoration programme – but this will count for nought unless the local community values the graveyard as an asset.
Full minutes of this AGM will, in due course, be posted in
the ‘Documents’ section of the Friends of Saron blog at https://friendsofsaron.wordpress.com/
(access from the foot of the home
Many thanks to the volunteers of Saron Graveyard Project, Troedyrhiw who had made themselves available for last Saturday’s Volunteer Day only for it to be cancelled due to the bad weather. This is only the second time since the project began that this has been necessary. A quick look into the graveyard recently showed that many of the plants that we have put in are doing well but so, unfortunately, are the weeds! We would like to see as many helpers and supporters as possible at our next scheduled session on Saturday 1st June.