Tea party to celebrate the Society’s 25th anniversary

2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Society led by Emyr Gough: to mark the occasion a tea party was held at Ty Santes Fair for members.

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Platinum Jubilee Photos Wanted

Are you having a street party or family get together to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee?   If so please send photographs of the event to the Society so that we can archive them for future generations.

Only celebrations in the Skewen and District area please.

info@skewenhistorysociety.org.uk

 

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Kitty Griffiths Retires as Society Secretary

Kitty Griffiths Retires as Society Secretary

The Society’s Secretary, Kitty Griffiths, is retiring after twenty-five years of service. She has been in the role of Society Secretary since 1997 when the Society was founded and, has a store of knowledge for her post that is unrivalled.   To mark the occasion a small presentation was made in last Friday’s meeting at Ty Santes Fair by our President Brian Lodwick, who said that the secretary’s position is vital to the successful running of any society and Kitty has proved the truth of that maxim.

Kitty will stay in post for the coming year in order to work alongside, and train, the incoming secretary as well as continuing to serve on the Society committee.

We wish her all the best and thank her for all she has done in her role as Secretary.

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Society receives Heritage Lottery grant for the renovation of Sir S T Evans’s grave

 

The Society is delighted to announce that its bid to the National Heritage Lottery for the Sir Samuel Thomas Evans’ Grave Restoration Project has been successful. We have received £9,966 from the HLF. Additionally, £200 has been received from Coedffranc Town Council. A further £200 has been contributed from our own funds.

Sir Samuel Thomas Evans (1859 – 1918) is a man of significance in Skewen, having risen from a grocer’s son, living at 40 Main Road, Skewen to become one of the most senior figures in the nation’s Judiciary during his lifetime with roles in the Dr. Crippen and Titanic affairs. Due to his connection with Andrew Carnegie, Samuel Evans was instrumental in establishing the Carnegie Hall Community Library at Evelyn Road, Skewen. Despite living away in London, Samuel Evans returned to Skewen to participate in local events and it was his request that he be buried in Skewen. The funeral of Sir Samuel Thomas Evans in 1918 was the largest ever seen in the village after his coffin was brought back from London by train. Thousands of people lined the streets as a mark of respect.  The funeral service was held in Tabernacle Chapel where Samuel Evans and his family had worshipped. Sir Samuel Thomas Evans was finally laid to rest in the churchyard of St. John the Baptist.

The family grave of Sir Samuel Thomas Evans is currently in a state of disrepair. Skewen & District Historical Society’s grave restoration project will be collaboration with the vicar of St. John’s Church, Revd. Chris Coles. Additionally, there will be Heritage Displays on the life and achievements of Samuel Evans and an Information Board near the grave provided by the local Men’s Shed. A future Heritage Trail and booklet about Samuel Thomas Evans is planned along with other community involvement. It is anticipated that restoration work will start in 6 to 8 weeks.

The Society is very grateful to the Heritage Lottery and Lottery players for making this work possible.

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Replacing Sir S T Evans’s plaque on his childhood home Saturday, 11th September

The plaque that commemorated the childhood home of Sir E T Evans at 40, New Road was replaced and unveiled by Leader of the Council, Arthur Davies, on Saturday 11th September in a short ceremony.

Not sure where 40 New Road is located –   next door to the old Barclays Bank, opposite the Bloom Inn.

Not sure who Sir S T Evans was and what was his claim to fame – read on –

SIR SAMUEL THOMAS EVANS 1859 – 1918

Samuel Thomas Evans was born in Skewen, May 1859, the only son of John Evans, a local
grocer, and Margaret Evans. After attending the Collegiate School at Swansea, he
proceeded to Aberystwyth College and took a London degree. He became articled at Neath
and qualified as a solicitor in 1883. He served on the town council at Neath and took an
active part in local politics. In 1890 he was returned to Parliament for Mid-Glamorgan,
which he represented continuously for the next twenty years. His abilities and his gifts as a
debater made him a prominent member of the Welsh Parliamentary Party. In 1891 he was
called to the Bar and he soon acquired a large practice on the South Wales circuit. He took
silk in 1901, being the last Q.C. to be created by Queen Victoria. In 1908 he was made
recorder of Swansea; in the same year he was appointed Solicitor-General. In 1910 he
became president of the Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division of the High Court. He was a G.C.B. and a member of the Privy Council. A modest man, he refused a peerage.
It was while presiding over the Prize Court during the First World War that Evans established his reputation as an international jurist of the first rank.

Through his wife Blanche’s friendship with Andrew Carnegie, Sir Samuel was able to secure the funding for the building of a library –Carnegie Hall on Evelyn Road – in Skewen.

S. T. Evans died 13 September 1918 and was buried at St John’s in Skewen. He was an
honorary Ll.D. (1909) of the University of Wales, and a freeman of Swansea and Neath.
There is a bust of him by Sir G. Frampton, R.A., in the Royal Courts of Justice and there are portraits at the Middle Temple and at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. After his death a fund was raised by public subscription to perpetuate his memory, and this was transferred to the University of Wales to establish the Sir Samuel Evans prize to be awarded annually to the best candidate in the faculty of law

 

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Mystery Photographs

We have a number of photographs in our archive that lack vital information – dates, names of people or places.   Please have a look at these  photographs – more will be added each week – and if you can provide any information please get in touch with us – see our contact page for details.

 

 

 

 

This week – 22nd March – we post the one hundredth photograph in our search for information on the photographs in our Archive.  A big thank you to all those who have supplied the names, locations and dates for so many of the photographs and for giving us information on local history associated with the photographs as well.  We are also grateful for the many photographs that have been donated to the Society over the past months.

 

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VE Day 1945 and 2020 in Skewen

The residents of Graham’s Terrace are shown celebrating VE Day in 1945.

Do you have any photographs of Skewen taken on May 8th, 1945?  If so, please share them with us so that they may be archived for future generations to look at and use for research.

If there are any celebrations in your street this year to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, and it is safe to do so, please take some photos and send them to us.

Here are the first photographs we have received for VE Day in 2020 –  showing how the residents of Pant y Sais, Jersey Marine celebrated, and how Picton Terrace, Wern  and Winifred Roads  decorated their houses.  Do you have photographs to share?

 

 

 

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Thursday night clapping for the NHS

Here are some photographs that were sent of the clapping on 9th April and 16th April.  Residents of Pant y Sais, Jersey Marine managed to combine the Thursday night clap with Easter bonnets on the 9th and balloons on the 16th.

Here they are on the April 23rd clapping photos and a resident on Hill Road, Neath Abbey has a novel way of thanking the NHS and care workers.

More photographs from Pant y Sais for Thursday, May 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th.

 

 

 

 

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Lockdown Skewen images

The society asked you to send in your photographs of Skewen in Lockdown and here are the results:-

 

 

 

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Award from Tesco

We are delighted to confirm that the Society has been awarded a £1000 grant under the Tesco ‘Bags of Help ’ community funding scheme. Many thanks to all those who contributed to this success by choosing to vote for Skewen & District Historical Society with their blue shopping tokens.

The award will be used for the benefit of members – more details to follow.

The Society would like to thank Tesco for its inclusion in the scheme.

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