Slow Train Coming

Llwynypia and Tonypandy

This was our first trip up the Rhondda Valley. We had a jovial guard on board our train who tried to convince me part of our party was pole dancing down the other end of the carriage.  We tumbled out at Llwynypia station and headed slowly down the valley towards Tonypandy.  After admiring the outdoor men’s convenience (there can’t be many of these left in existence) we headed for our first stop, the Robert Thomas sculpture of a coal miner and his family unveiled in 1993 by George Thomas, Rt Hon Viscount Tonypandy. We spoke about the link with Cardiff and how there is a collection of Robert Thomas sculptures in Queen Street including Nye Bevan.

Our next stop was the statue of the Scottish mine owner and engineer Archibald Hood who had 6 pits employing 3500 workmen.  He seems to have been more highly thought of than some other pit owners in the valleys. May be the houses and facilities he built for his workers were of a better standard than neighbouring areas.

In Tonypandy we spoke about the riots of 1910, what bought them about and how they were dealt with and how Churchill is not necessarily seen in good light in this valley even today.

Many of the party then headed up the side valley to Cwm Clydach Country Park, some by bus and some walked up the steep hill. An enthusiastic bus driver took the bus party somewhat further up the valley than I was expecting but looking on the positive side, at least we didn’t all arrive in the café at the same time. It was a lovely day for walking around the lakes reflecting what life would have looked like up here a century previously.

Cwm Clydach Country Park

Link to notes used on the day.