Welsh Mines Society
Cymdeithas Mwyngloddiau Cymru

Autumn Field Meet and AGM - Weekend, 19th - 20th September 2009
South Wales : Pontypridd, Clydach and Blaenavon
Based at The Usk Inn, Talybont on Usk
Organisers : Terry Evans and Geoff Newton
[ Current OS Maps : Explorer 1:25,000 Sht.166, 'Rhondda and Merthyr Tydfil'
and Outdoor Leisure 1:25,000 Sht.OL13, 'Brecon Beacons - Eastern'. ]

As to the programme of events, this was as follows :
  • Saturday 19thSeptember - Pontypridd and Clydach

    Leaders : Terry Evans & Robin
    Met at Hetty Pit, Rhondda valley, Pontypridd ST 0545 9090 (View OS Map) (about 1 1/2 miles up the Rhondda Valley from Pontypridd on the A 4058.)  Parking on opposite side of main road from the headframe and winder on site of former railway sidings and go up the steps into the engine house. 
    The winding house/fan house was specially opened from 10.00 onwards - with 1 per head donation to the Hetty Engine Trust. Winder is a Barker and Cope 1875, twin 36in. with piston valves and is on a 392yd. shaft. (Because of cost of hiring a compressor the engine was not running but members were able to clamber over the whole site).  Close by at ST 083 886 (View OS Map) the University of Glamorgan grounds contain the 1845 Varteg Iron Co. beam engine used for pumping and winding at Newbridge Colliery, which some visited, whilst the nearby Rhondda Heritage (entrance fee) also has restored engines. 

    Headframe and Winding engine house, Hetty Pit, Hopkinstown Winding engine, Hetty Pit Winding engine house,
    Hetty Pit
    Click image for larger photo
    The Doctors Tramroad, Hopkinstown Restored Dram, Barry Sidings, Hopkinstown

    Met at 14:00hrs at Clydach Ironworks, SO 230 132. (View OS Map)  [This is the first turning right going down Clydach george on the 'Heads of the Valleys' road, where the road goes into a bit of a dip, signposted Clydach South etc.]   An excavated set of C18/C19 furnaces were viewed, and are set in an area of extensive ironstone, coal and limestone working with tramroad and railway remains feeding to the Brecon and Abergavenny Canal.  A circular walk was followed, mostly on the tracks of various inclines and railways.

    Tramroad Bridge,
    Clydach Ironworks
    Clydach Ironworks Limestone Quarry, Clydach Railway Viaduct, Clydach
    Click image for larger photo

  • Saturday Evening - Met 7p.m. for dinner at 7.30p.m. at The Usk Inn, Station Road, Talybont on Usk, Brecon

~ ~ ~ Starters ~ ~ ~
Leek and Potato Soup, 
Prawn cocktail, or 
Chicken Liver Pate served with Onion Marmalade and Toast 
~ ~ ~ Main course ~ ~ ~
Roast Sirloin of Beef with Yorkshire Pudding roast potatoes and vegetables, 
Salmon Steak served with a Butter Sauce and vegetables on a bed of spinach, or 
Vegetable Ravioli served with a Spicy Tomato Sauce garnished with continental vegetables 
~ ~ ~ Sweet ~ ~ ~ 
Blackcurrant and Bacardi Cheesecake, 
Apple Tart and Custard, or 
Trio of Ice-cream 
Coffee or Tea    ...and very good it was too !

  • Sunday 20th September - Blaenavon

    Leader : Terry Evans
    Met at 10.30 in Blaenavon Ironworks car park SO 250 093 (View OS Map) for a walk c.3.5 mile over rough ground over the Northern Outcrop.  Early iron-ore trenches, bell-pits, tramroad incline and brake gear, powder store, early and late coal shafts, railway incline and WWII strip mining were all viewed.

  • Pwll Du Tunnel entrance
    to the right of figure
    Possible 'hushing' channel Brake gear for vertical cable drum Hills Pit chimney
    Click image for larger photo
    WWII 'Canadian Corps'
    Open cast
    7 ton Steam forging hammer

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This page created 18th October 2009 (M.P.Munro)
Last update (reformatted) on 15th April 2021