music and opinion from Wales' wandering poet.
Rhondda History Page
Well, it looks like the history pages are taking much longer to rebuild than at first imagined.
Meanwhile, the best Rhondda History collection is at Treorchy library:
Treorchy Library Station Road Treorchy CF42 6NN
'phone (01443) 773204/773592
Fax (01443) 777047
Most people have heard of the Rhondda - its coal having once powered the UK's huge fleets - yet few know what it means to Wales. Even the true meaning of its name is unknown by most, & badly misguided "histories" of the area, misinform...
The name "Yr Rhondda" means "the Good Way" (literally, "the good trail") and it, perhaps, reflects the fact that hundreds of years ago a mysterious friar was commissioned to make the whole of the greater Rhondda (Ystrad y Fodwg) as given to God in law.
Certainly the Rhondda, with a unique Shrine at its centre - Penrhys - was known for years before coal, as a place where the traveller could always pass through in peace & safety.
More, to be written here on this, 'God willing', but in the meantime, here's a list of the Rhondda collieries, as it's the single item most requested ...across the world.
LIST OF RHONDDA COLLIERIES, with opening dates;
(kindly compiled by Ceri Thompson, Curator, Big Pit: Wales' National Coal Museum.)
As we all change and grow... making life whole, we hope you like this song, "The Rhonddas' Soul"!
Who or what is the Rhondda? An impassioned vocal by Poet, with Richard Gould's sizzling original music and Efran Kaye's magic touch on bass, mouth organ shaker and keyboard.
"Who Killed Dai Rhondda?" by Poet & Efran Kaye. "The Rhonddas Soul" was written a few years back, just after Poet had sold poetry door-to-door all over South Wales, and was told by some, that the Rhondda was crumbling a bit, but still had spirit.
Then, as the killing of the coal industry took hold, with the Rhondda losing 36,000 jobs out of a total population of 72,000, some were starting to say "The Rhondda is dying" & one person said "Let it!"
In 2010, the landlord of what used to be a welcoming (and famous) Club, in Treorchy, told Poet that he was "on another planet", if he thought he could put on a Benefit Show for the Rhondda... as the Rhondda, as the landlord put it, was "dead".
So Poet went home and wrote this song, refusing to accept that the spirit of the Rhondda could ever die, as so many all over the planet hold its living Spirit in their hearts:- NOT "dead"!!!
Now, there's a new mood of optimism, centred on community activities around the Rugby Clubs...