This is a personal site. While I write mostly about the history of Mountain Ash and the Cynon Valley, I might well take detours into other interests. Those detours are unlikely to be frequent as, for example, my enthusiasm for opera is too unsophisticated for me to write about it with any confidence.
My health has been significantly compromised over the last few years, hampering the productivity I would wish to have, in this and other writing projects, as well as in life itself. I don’t know if that matters as greatly as I feel it does in the context of this site but there is currently a paucity of content that dismays me.
My aim is to build this into a useful site for those with family ties to the area, as well as those interested in the history of the town. There is a long way to go before I complete the projects I have planned but I think the results will have some value.
If you have any queries about anything I have posted, please get in touch.
David H Jones (silencedharp)
16 Feb 2016
UPDATE 21 March 2017 – Ill-health and poor eyesight have stopped all work on this site. I hope to resume work in the near future. Thank you. Dave
Projects which I have lined up include:
A report into an outbreak of enteric fever in Mountain Ash in 1887.
Carried out by the Local Government Board, the detail of the report into the cause of the outbreak is, perhaps, not of great interest but the maps are useful and the social commentary, allied to newspaper reports of the time, potentially of interest to local historians.
The doctors’ halfpenny strike.
In this strike, in 1913, the doctors in the area refused to treat miners’ families in a dispute over the rate at which they were contracted to provide medical services. The difference between the two sides was a halfpenny, leading to the characterisation of the dispute as the halfpenny strike.
The Mountain Ash murder of 1865.
This incident – which is rather too open-and-shut to arouse the detective in the reader – has been mentioned in books and poetry local to the area ever since. Joseph Keating recalls the murder in his book, My Struggle for Life, though the incident had taken place some years before he was born. Harri Webb, in his poem, “The Hanging of Bob Coe”, writes “We still speak of that murder / A hundred years ago, / And the blood in Ynys Gwendraeth / And the hanging of Bob Coe.” My interest is in the local detail, and family names, of the time, rather than the crime itself.