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.

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?




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.

What’s at the back of your drawer/cupboard?

With many of us facing a long period at home, perhaps now is the time to sort through those little used drawers,  cupboards and boxes to see if you find anything of interest for local historians.  It may be a photograph, document, map etc. which you could  scan and send to us now, or if you don’t have the capability to do that, just put the item to one side and pass it to any member of the Society when it is safe to make contact.

If sending photographs, please add as much information as you can – date, names of people shown, location, event.

Many people have traced their family history – do you have an interesting story you would like to share – we can publish it in our newsletter “Hanes”.

So search those drawers and cupboards and see what you find.


Skewen Library closes on New Road

Skewen Library is moving from its present location on New Road to the Carnegie Hall on Evelyn Road.  Today, Saturday 22nd February,  was its last day at the New Road location.  Here are some photographs to mark the occasion: