Tag Archives: wales

Young Community Volunteers


VolunteerWe are looking forward to young people from the community helping to improve the habitat value of Saron Graveyard, Troedyrhiw this Thursday 31 May. Well done Willows Youth!


Friends of Saron A.G.M.

Thank you to everyone that attended the Friends of Saron AGM at the Willows Centre, Troedyrhiw last Friday. Since the project to rescue our historic graveyard was launched in 2009 following the presentation of a 1,250 signature petition from the people of Troedyrhiw to the Council a great deal has happened. Our small but highly motivated group of volunteers have made significant improvements to the condition of the graveyard but there is much still to be done. Our main challenge is to unlock funding for some major structural work on the boundary walls. For reasons associated with the conditions of the lease and the leaseholder’s objections to approaching the Heritage Lottery Fund the usual sources of funding are closed to us. We are hopeful that the landowner and their tenant will be able to come up with a solution to this problem. Meanwhile, this group will continue to work hard to realise our vision of creating a Memorial and Wildlife Garden on the Saron site. PLEASE GIVE US YOUR SUPPORT.

Troedyrhiw and Revival – A powerful but little known story

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Those attending last Thursday’s meeting of Troed-y-rhiw Local History Forum were treated to an interesting and absorbing talk on the Religious Revival of 1904 – 1905 including its impact on the village.  This was delivered in a most entertaining and passionate way by guest speaker David Pike, a Revivalist and Revival historian who has family links to Troedyrhiw.

Amongst the things that David covered were the following:-

  • From the mid-18th century onwards Wales, had experienced many revivals and the 1904 – 1905 spiritual awakening became particularly significant because of its effects across the mining valleys and the extensive coverage that was given to this in the newspapers of the time.
  • From its beginnings in West Wales when many were converted, the Revival progressed under its most prominent leader Evan Roberts from Loughor, a former miner and trainee minister. He claimed to have had visions during which he had been instructed to  save 100,000 souls and, as a result, he embarked on a tour of the South Wales valleys.
  • The arrival of Evan Roberts in a community was characterised by huge crowds turning out to greet him and chapels filled to overflowing. Meetings often carried on until the early hours of the morning and involved spontaneous outbursts of fervent prayer, vivid personal testimony and passionate singing with often very little preaching.
  • Some were shocked by what they saw as a ‘sham revival’. The Reverend Peter Price from Dowlais wrote a lengthy and virulent attack which was published in the Western Mail and claimed that a genuine revival had been under way for some time before the ‘bogus revival’ led by Evan Roberts began.
  • The reception that Evan Roberts received in Troedyrhiw was extremely warm and supportive following the above attack on him. A letter from J. D. Jones of Canton House protesting against Rev Price’s attack had aleady been published in the press and large and sympathetic crowds turned out to receive the Revival leader. Highly successful meetings were held at Carmel and Saron chapels at both of which there were emotional scenes of prayer, praise, repentance and conversion. By February 1905 it was reported that there had been some 455 conversions in the village. A notable feature of the Revival in Troedyrhiw was that, despite the scepticism of many in the established church, the Revival seems to have made an impact even at St John’s.
  • The story of Evan Roberts ends sadly as he became exhausted and suffered a nervous breakdown. He lived for many years in seclusion and eventually died in Cardiff in 1951.
  • When the 1904 – 1905 Revival had run its course chapels and churches in Wales were, for a while, fuller but thereafter, as the effects of changing social conditions and the Great War were felt, the level of religious observance fell sharply. There has, however, been a positive legacy particularly in the growth of Evangelical and Pentecostal churches in many countries including the UK.


David Pike has created and maintains the well known ‘welldigger’ online blog which contains two items on ‘Troedyrhiw and Revival”. These can be viewed here http://daibach-welldigger.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/troedyrhiw-and-revival-1-1904.html


Friends of Saron AGM 2018


This group has worked hard since 2009 to rescue an historic and sensitive part of the village from the effects of many years of neglect.
We will hold our AGM on Friday 27 April and, if you are able to make it, your attendance will be greatly appreciated. You will be sure to receive a warm welcome. Light refreshments will be provided.

What happened in your village 114 years ago?

What was it like in Troedyrhiw 114 years ago?

This was a boom time for the coal industry and a time of great social change in South Wales.

Why did a powerful Religious Revival happen at this time and what were its dramatic devotional and emotional consequences?

Find out about this and more at the next meeting of Troed-y-rhiw Local History Forum.Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 09.58.17

The work at Saron goes on. Can you help in some way?

It was a cold and crisp day at Saron Graveyard, Troedyrhiw last Saturday but our volunteers soon warmed to their tasks. Our group remains as determined as ever to take the programme of improvement work as far as we can. Our workers may be small in number but they have many skills and, when necessary, are not afraid of hard physical work. Saturday’s achievements included:-
* removal, not for the first time, of a considerable amount of fly-tipped domestic waste which had been thrown into the graveyard and strewn beside the adjacent footpath – WE SOMETIMES DESPAIR!;
* some early planting including Lily of the Valley;
* laying of flowers on the family grave of Doris White nee Thomas of Southampton, formerly of Troedyrhiw, who died recently at the age of 98;
* laying of flowers by visitors who, although unable to locate a family grave, wished to leave a token of their respect for those who have been laid to rest in this special place;
* stabilisation of a number of headstones.

If you feel that you might be able to help us in any way please drop in for a while to our next Volunteer Day which will be held on Saturday 24th March from 10.00am. You will be made most welcome.
Thanks for last Saturday’s efforts must go to Steve C., Simon, Clive, Sheila, Steve E., Andrew, David, Phil, Mike and Diane. Your input and support were most appreciated.

2018 – A good year for local history & heritage

Thank you for your interest and support through 2017.

Let’s make 2018 an even better year for celebrating the local history and heritage of Troedyrhiw.Happy New Year

Your invitation to the Annual Charity Concert at Carmel, Troedyrhiw

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Please support this seasonal event if you can. It will certainly help you to get into the ‘Christmas mood’ if you’re not there already:-

The ANNUAL CHARITY CONCERT at CARMEL.WYNDHAM STREET, TROEDYRHIW is taking place at 7.00 p.m. on 19th December in aid of the national Salvation Army appeal

Tickets for adults are £2 each. Children need a ticket, but payment is discretionary. All proceeds will go to the charity.

Spare a thought this Christmas


In Finland, it’s appropriate for people to visit a cemetery over Christmas. It’s a beautiful sight as hundreds of graveside candles are lit and glow in the snowy woods. Lighting candles at the graves of deceased relatives is a long-standing Finnish tradition for those who go to church, and those who don’t. “As many as three-quarters of Finnish families visit a cemetery at Christmas, mostly on Christmas Eve, and we even have to make special traffic arrangements to accommodate the crowds,” says Risto Lehto, who manages six cemeteries run by the Parish Union of Helsinki. People will visit a local graveyard at Christmas even if no relatives are there, because it is such a beautiful and tranquil setting.
This Christmas please spare a thought for our own graveyard at Saron, Troedyrhiw and for all of those who have lived in our village before us.

A quotation from Gladstone to ponder

Gladstone (1)
“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?