Whats On


Saturday18th April 2015, 10am, Saron Graveyard

Weather permitting


Excellent progress is being made on creating a ‘showpiece area’ to demonstrate what the whole site will look like when completed. We hope that funding providers will take note!

The more community support this project has the better so please turn out on this date to see what we are doing and, if possible, to give us an hour or two of your time.


Date:   Friday 17th April 2015

Time:   6:30pm

Place: Scout Hall, Bridge Street, Troedyrhiw

You are warmly invited to attend this meeting to;

  • find out more about the progress which is being made,
  • learn about plans for the next phase of the project and the long-term vision,
  • express your views about the project and its direction,
  • make any constructive comments or suggestion you may wish.

We look forward to seeing you on 17th April.


Saturday 22nd November 2014

Begins 10.00am at Saron Graveyard, Troedyrhiw

Some volunteers at the Volunteer Day held in September

Some volunteers at the Volunteer Day held in September

We realise that the weather conditions could be problematic at this time of year but feel that it will be well worth holding a Volunteer Day in the winter months for the first time.

As usual we regret that we can only accept the help of adults who are willing to work under the guidance of Friends of Saron and/or Keep Wales Tidy.

We look forward to seeing you on the day as a worker or simply as an interested visitor and supporter.

You can register your interest and find out what you might need to bring with you by contacting Friends of Saron on 01623477141 or at friendsofsaron@gmail.com


Festival of Archaeology

The Saron Project has benefited enormously from the involvement of community archaeologist Jan Bailey in last year’s youth engagement programme and a limited excavation on the footprint of the former Saron chapel building.

Friends of Saron is keen to promote further community interest and  involvement in heritage related activities and would like to draw attention to this year’s Festival of Archaeology which includes numerous events taking place throughout Wales and other parts of the UK between Saturday 12 and Sunday 27 July. Full details can be found online at archaeologyfestival.org.uk  The following examples give some idea of the sorts of interesting things which are on offer :-

Grave Graffiti Surveying: discoveries at St Mary’s Church Nefyn

Sat 19th Jul 2014    Wales | Gwynedd

St Mary's Nefyn

During the construction work as part of the redevelopment of the newly opened Amgueddfa Forwrol Llŷn/ Llŷn Maritime Museum, graffiti was discovered on the graves in St Mary’s churchyard. The rare graffiti is in the form of ships and handprints, fragments from the former maritime community of Nefyn. As part of the festival we want your help in recording these newly discovered features and to see if there are any more  hidden in the churchyard!

Please book in advance.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amgueddfa-Forwrol-Ll%C5%B7n-Maritime-Museum/326056434130081

Excavating Medieval Castell Coch: A Victorian Expedition

Sun 20th Jul 2014 – Tue 22nd Jul 2014    Wales | Cardiff 

Excavating Medieval Castell Coch

Castell Coch is a Victorian rebuild in its upper levels, whilst being on Medieval lower levels and foundations. Before this re-build took place a series of archaeological excavations were conducted by a G.T.Clark, whose work was published in 1850. Uncover with your own hands a range of Medieval treasures, try and guess what it is you have found! Learn to record these items, in their archaeological context and practice these methods that are still used today. Join one of our Custodian guides, exploring the castles evolution from Norman Motte and Bailey to Victorian gothic extravaganza.




Saturday 21st June 2014, 10am, Saron Graveyard

(Weather permitting)

For May Blog

The group has been working on general site maintenance and the creation of a ‘showpiece area’ as a demonstration of what can be achieved with limited resources by a relatively small band of enthusiastic and committed volunteers.

Please support us on this day in any way that you are able to, whether as workers or by simply turning up for a while to show your backing.

We regret that, at this stage, we can only accept the help of adults who are willing to work at their own risk.

Please register your interest and find out what you will need to bring on the day by contacting us on 01623477141 0r at friendsofsaron@gmail.com



Thursday 19th June 2014, 6.30pm

Angel Inn, Bridge Street, Troedyrhiw

General View of Troedyrhiw, August 1913

General View of Troedyrhiw, August 1913. Saron Graveyard in foreground.

‘The traces of our past in our landscape and townscapes make Wales distinctive. ………… we recognised the contribution of the historic environment to the quality of life in Wales.’

From the Welsh Government’s historic environment strategy, 2nd edition 2013.

If you think that Troedyrhiw’s past is worth conserving for the future then we will be very pleased to see you us at this meeting to share in our discussions about the direction of this project.



Saturday 12th April 2014, 10am, Saron Graveyard

(Weather permitting)


Previous  Volunteer Days  have brought some pleasing improvements to the graveyard and our volunteers continue this work, whenever possible.

We are inviting residents, once again, to join our team of volunteers to build upon the progress which has already been made.

We regret that, at this stage, we can only accept the help of adults who are willing to work at their own risk.

Please register your interest and find out what you will need to bring on the day by contacting 01623477141 0r friendsofsaron@gmail.com


Annual General Meeting of Friends of Saron

Date:   Thursday 10th April 2014

Time:   6:30pm

Place:  Angel Inn (Upstairs Room)

             Bridge Street, Troedyrhiw

You are warmly invited to attend this meeting to:-

  • find out what the project has achieved over the past year;
  • learn about what is planned for the coming year and of the challenges which remain;
  • express your views;
  • show your support and,  perhaps, become a member;
  • elect officers of the FoS committee for the coming year.

We look forward to seeing you on 10th April.

If you are interested in joining the FoS committee and, perhaps, becoming an officer of the committee  please contact us on 01623477141 or friendsofsaron@gmail.com as soon as possible.


Press Release from Canolfan Soar

For those who claim an interest in heritage and history

SoarOn Saturday 30th November Canolfan Soar in Merthyr Tydfil will host a very special Heritage Day.

The morning will start at 10.30am with Professor E.Wyn James of Cardiff University delivering a lecture on Merthyr Folk songs, and will tell the story of Merthyr’s massive contribution towards musical heritage in Wales and the World. Professor James is from Troedyrhiw.

Afterwards, fellow Cardiff University professor Professor Siond Davies will talk about her recent research into the way religious leaders in Wales communicated and preached- titled “Performing from the pulpit”.

To close the morning proceedings Janet Bailey of Gwent-Glamorgan Archaeological Trust will deliver a much anticipated talk on Pre-historic rock art on Gelligaer common. Jan Bailey has worked for most of this year in partnership with Friends of Saron to deliver a programme of youth engagement work in Troedyrhiw.

This will be followed by a buffet lunch and an opportunity to listen to traditional Welsh folk music performed in Canolfan Soar, a film exhibition courtesy of Merthyr’s Forge Films and a photographic exhibition of old Georgetown by Tony Hyde.

Following lunch, the afternoon will be a series of workshops- where participants will select which on they wish to attend. Topics range from The Workers’ Radicalism, The Inter-War years and Religious life locally.

In addition, the afternoon will see the launch of a fascinating new project delivered and led by Forge Films of Merthyr College. This project titled “Black Parade- revisited” will be a looking at the rich and varied musical heritage of Pontmorlias in the town centre- again Professor E.Wyn James will lead an informative worksop on the area’s musical history. The project will be based upon the Black Parade book by the Merthyr novelist and writer Jack Jones.

The day will finish with the unveiling of an interpretation panel on the history of the old Soar Chapel, now Theatr Soar, with a collection of digital stories. The day will finish at 3.30- plenty of time before the Rugby match at 5.30pm!

To register for this event please contact Canolfan Soar on 01685 722 176 or sionapglyn@merthyrtudful.org

Soar Heritage Day

Saturday 30th November, 2013

Visitors to this blog may be interested in the event described below:-

Please click on image to enlarge.

Please click on image to enlarge.

October Volunteer Day 2013

Saturday 26th October 2013 ,10.00am

Saron Graveyard, Troedyrhiw

(Weather permitting)

Volunteers working in Saron Graveyard on a previous Volunteer Day

Volunteers working in Saron Graveyard on a previous Volunteer Day

Residents are, once again, invited to join the Friends of Saron team to continue the improvement work which is already under way.

We look forward to seeing you on this day.

We regret that, at this stage, we can only accept help from adults who are  willing to work at their own risk.

Please register your interest and make enquiries by contacting us on 01623477141 or by email at friendsofsaron@gmail.com

Friends of Saron at Chapels Heritage Day

Friends of Saron will be contributing to this event which is being held at Canolfan Soar in Merthyr on Saturday 6th July. Details are given below.

We intend to put up a display about the history of Saron Chapel, Troedyrhiw and the graveyard project and to deliver a short talk. The children of Troedyrhiw Primary School have been exploring the heritage of the village this term and it is hoped that some of their work will be on display.

Please think about whether you might like to attend this event, not only to support Friends of Saron, but also to find out about an interesting and important aspect of our heritage.

ChapelsHeritage Day 06 July 2013

Chapels Heritage Day 06 July 2013

We hope to see you at this event.

Spring Volunteer Day 2013

Saturday 13th April 2013, 10:00am

Saron Graveyard, Troedyrhiw

(Weather permitting)


The Volunteer Day held  last October brought some pleasing improvements to the graveyard and our volunteers continue this work, whenever possible.

We are inviting residents to join our team on this day to build upon the progress which has already been made.

We regret that, at this stage, we can only accept the help of adults who are willing to work at their own risk.

Please register your interest and find out what you will need to bring on the day by contacting us on 01623 477141 or by email at friendsofsaron@gmail.com

Annual General Meeting 2013 of Friends of Saron

Please join us for this meeting.

Date: Friday 12th April 2013

Time: 6.30pm

Place: Scout Hall, Bridge Street, Troedyrhiw

  • Find out about the progress of the Saron project through 2012 and the further site improvements which Friends of Saron now hope will be carried out.
  • Learn how young people from Troedyrhiw will soon be engaged on heritage related activities linked to an historic and sensitive part of our village. More about this can be found in the Latest News section of this blog.

We value your interest and input so please support us by coming along on 12th April.

If you would like to join the FoS committee and/or to offer yourself for election as an officer of the group for 2013-2014 then please contact us on 01623 477141 0r by email at friendsofsaron@gmail.com by 8th April 2013.

Volunteer Day, October 27th,10.am, Saron Graveyard (Weather Permitting)

The Tidy Towns clear up of the graveyard gave a tremendous boost to this project. Disappointingly the leaseholders of the Saron site have yet to come on board. Friends of Saron  have no intention of accepting responsibility for the site in its present condition but are determined to make sure that the gains which have been made are not lost.

We are inviting residents to join our team of volunteers in a community effort to improve a small sample area of the graveyard as a clear demonstration of what can and must be done across the whole site.

We regret that, at this stage, we can only accept the help of adults who are willing to work at their own risk.

We would ask that you register your interest and find out what you will need to bring on the day by using the details on our Contact Us page.

Don’t forget your wellies etc!

Friends of Saron at Family History Fair, Merthyr Leisure Centre, October 13th 2012

Members of Friends of Saron are asked to support this event if at all possible. Members may remember that we were only able to make a limited last-minute contribution in 2011. Since the level of interest is always high both locally and from further afield this presents an excellent opportunity for us to make links and to widen interest in the Saron project. David will soon be sending out an email asking for additional volunteers to help Sheila, Stephen, Simon and Sylvia to prepare our presentation and to look after  it on the day.

Click image to enlarge

‘Historypin’ Event at Merthyr Library, Sept 5th 2012

This event is linked to the reopening of the library after its refurbishment.

Friends of Saron are pleased to support this event and hope that those who are able willing to share their history will drop in on the day with photographs or other items which they think might be of interest.

Click image to enlarge 

Until February 2013

An Exhibition entitled Demon Drink? Temperance and the Working Class is running until February 2013 in Manchester. Details of this and a brief slide show can be found at http://www.historytoday.com/blog/2012/07/slideshow-demon-drink-temperance-and-working-class

In the early to mid nineteenth century new communities such as Troedyrhiw were springing up across the South Wales valleys as people flooded in to find work. As new pits were sunk chapels were opening at a spectacular rate. They were particularly intolerant of alcohol and, it has been suggested, a major motive for encouraging singing in chapels and choirs was to keep people out of the pubs.

Signing the ‘pledge’ to abstain from the consumption of alcohol was common amongst chapel-goers. Here is an example from Saron Chapel, Troedyrhiw.

Pledge signed at Saron Chapel,Troedyrhiw 1898

A  biography of one of Saron’s nineteenth century ministers Rev William Morgan relates an incident in which a crowd had gathered outside a public house in the village to watch two men fight. A voice was heard to cry out ‘Look out – old Morgan Saron is coming boys!’

Tuesday 24th July 2012

Members of Friends of Saron and others from the Merthyr area are invited  to participate in a drop-in workshop that will be held in Canolfan Soar, Merthyr on Tuesday 24th July . This will be an opportunity for local people to drop in with memories and photographs about Merthyr, this information will then be up-loaded onto an online map by specialists- and your photographs and memories will be kept on record. It will be a drop-in day, therefore people are free to come and go as they wish- and it is open to everyone. For more information contact Siôn ap Glyn on 01685 722 176 or email sionapglyn@merthyrtudful.org. Refreshments provided.

Wednesday 1st August 2012


Tomb Reading

This event has been  organised by Canolfan Soar.

Events Calendar, Canolfan Soar, May – Aug 2012

Those members of Friends of Saron who have registered their interest in this event should meet outside Pant graveyard at 10.00am.

We expect to learn improve our knowledge of local history, and discover more about the effects  of  the industrial revolution on health, language and culture in Merthyr.

Wednesday 1st August 2012

Friends of  Saron Committee Meeting

Date:     Wednesday 1st August 2012

Time:    6:30pm

Venue: Communities First Offices, Bridge Street, Troedyrhiw

All committee members are invited to attend this meeting which will include feedback, if available, on our recent approach to the Saron leaseholders together with discussion on this matter. The meeting will also include a presentation by Chris Morgan (Mog) who has been providing us with digital training under the Welsh Government’s Communities 2.0 initiative. He will speak about the progress which has been made in building an improved Saron blog/website.