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January 2016

Watch Dunvant Male Choir wow Asda shoppers as they flashmob the aisles

They were now in their stride and proceeded to reel off Cwm Rhondda, Calon Lan, Myfanwy, the Reverend Eli Jenkins' Prayer from Under Milk Wood and Hymns and Arias. "They were singing with us by the end, shoppers and staff members," said Alan.

For years, residents have been saying Merthyr Tydfil's not all that bad and it may finally be catching on

Residents of what is often described as one of the most deprived towns in Wales have been saying it for years, but researchers have followed suit and called for a more balanced account of a South Wales Valleys town. Young people from Merthyr Tydfil ...and more »

Watch moment mum

She was one of six who escaped with their lives after the car smashed into the Subway outlet in Aberdare but miraculously missed customers, staff and shoppers outside. Speaking about the crash for a new TV show, Car Crash Britain: Caught On Camera, ...

Pontardawe Town stay in promotion hunt in Welsh League

Sam Small weighed in with a brace for the Rhondda outfit and Josh Ryall bagged the winner in the 90th minute, while Elliot Evans and Carl Evans were on target for Lido. Goytre United have quite a backlog of fixtures after their scheduled home game ...

Reports of sex crimes against children have more than doubled since it was revealed Jimmy Savile was a paedophile

“The MASH in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf is the first of its kind in Wales,” DCI Hough said. “It brings police officers, probation, health and social workers together to share information about vulnerable people, helping to ensure that we are ...

Terrified Tracey Abercrombie thought she was going to die when this BMW smashed into Subway

Terrified Tracey Abercrombie thought she was facing death when a BMW came hurtling into her favourite lunch spot. The mum-of-two was one of six who escaped with their lives after the 4x4 smashed into the Subway outlet in Aberdare back in 2012. It ...

Woman escapes from canal in early hours drama at Pontardawe as flooding causes chaos

In Glynneath at Aberdare Road they pumped out water which had gathered at the main sewer into the river in an operation which lasted from 10.43pm to 2.17am. At Main Road in Dyffryn Cellwyn water was cleared from an outside a house in a 45 minute ...

Ferndale cemetery's gravestone damage 'mindless'

"Mindless" vandals have damaged headstones at a cemetery in Rhondda Cynon Taff. South Wales Police has appealed for information after six graves in Ferndale were pushed over and broken. PC Steve Davies said the "mindless act" had been committed ...

Pedestrian dies in A4119 Llantrisant crash

A pedestrian has died after being hit by a van in Rhondda Cynon Taff. The 33-year-old was struck by a white Vauxhall Vivaro on the southbound carriageway of the A4119 at about 02:00 GMT on Saturday. It happened between the entrance to the Talbot ...and more »

Dozens of residents turn out to have their say on new Auchinairn community facility

Councillor Rhondda Geekie, Leader of East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “The Council is keen to engage with as many people and community groups as possible throughout the process of making this facility a reality and it's encouraging to hear that there ...and more »

Radio show to release 40 track charity album featuring rising stars of Welsh music

A radio show has released a 40 track download-only charity album featuring some of the rising stars of Welsh music. The Showcase Wales Sessions has been put together by Showcase Wales, the long-running radio show broadcast on Rhondda Cynon Taff ...

Roy Noble goes on a Valleys roadtrip to disprove the 'Benefits Street' shows which cast his home in a bad light

“I just got tired of how negatively the place gets presented on television,” says the native West Walian, who's lived for the last 30 years in Aberdare. “People have been presented an odd image of the area as a result of Channel Four shows like Skint ...

This man's profanity

At a Cardiff Magistrates' Court hearing on Thursday Tinson, of Porth , Rhondda , received a four-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to one count of causing to be sent by public communication network an offensive/indecent/obscene/menacing ...and more »

Tonypandy Burglary can you help?

South Wales Police are trying to trace the man in this photograph as he may be able to assist with our enquiries into a burg

Vandals damaged gravestones in Ferndale cemetery

Police in Ferndale are appealing for information after vandals damaged gravestones in Ferndale cemetery.

Post 16 Education and Employment for young people with disabilities

Beechwood College are hosting a free workshop for parents and professionals of young people with disabilities discussing funding, how to access provisions, and education and employment options for young pe

Sully's title hopes dented

Sully Indoor Bowls Team travelled to the Rhondda Valley on Saturday to play Rhondda IBC in the championship with an outside chance of maintaining their challenge for the league title. This game was important to Rhondda as they were in prime position to ...

Weather warning for heavy rain and strong winds across Wales

Winds of up to 80mph and rain has hit Wales, causing some disruption. The M48 Severn Bridge reopened after the removal of a lorry which overturned near junction two on the A466 (Chepstow) early in the morning. BBC Wales forecaster Sue Charles said ...

America calling for West End star Sophie Evans

Her supportive parents, David and Michelle, also visited her when she was making her Broadway debut but the role meant Sophie spent Christmas away from them as she was in New York while they had returned to Rhondda. It was the first time she had ...

School chef Tracey Gibby is officially Wales' best dinner lady

A dinner lady from a South Wales valleys school has been officially named the best in Wales with an amazing cordon bleu menu. Tracey Gibby , who works at Porth Junior School in the Rhondda , was named the Welsh School Chef of the Year 2016 after ...

Work starts on £12.4m Bishopbriggs school and early learning & childcare centre

Local children joined East Dunbartonshire Council leader Rhondda Geekie to help cut the ground for their brand new £12.4m school and early learning & childcare centre. The new two storey building in Bishopbriggs will replace the existing Auchinairn ...

Mosque open days will 'break down barriers' in Wales

Mr Alamgir said the first mosque to sign up to take part was Al Manar in Glyn Rhondda Street Cardiff - the mosque attended by the Muthana brothers who, with friend Reyaad Khan, went to fight with IS in Syria in 2013 and 2014. Khan, 21, was killed in a ...

Taking a trip back to the future with town hall heritage scheme

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “We are delighted to receive confirmation of support from the Heritage Lottery Fund - it is very much appreciated. “Restoring this significant B-listed building as a multi-functional venue for heritage and the arts ...and more »

The Raid director Gareth Evans shoots new samurai film in South Wales... in his wellies

"There's nothing more bizarre than being back at old places I used to play as a kid with plastic swords," said Evans, originally from Hirwaun near Aberdare , on his Twitter account. "Had the pleasure of Yayan Ruhian, Cecep Arif Rahman and Hannah Al ...

The unusual story of the girl in the picture

... already been on a remarkable journey from working on a factory production line to debating with David Cameron and the leaders of Britain's biggest parties ahead of the Westminster election. As she prepares to stand in the Rhondda – traditionally a ...

Rhondda schools shake

They have a number of objections – that primary school pupils will be intimidated by teenagers in the same school, that there is no evidence through-schools improve education, that it is unfair some Rhondda areas will be affected more than others and ...

Inmate at Bridgend's Parc Prison found dead in his cell

An inquest into the death of a 32-year-old inmate at Bridgend's Parc Prison last week has been opened. Martyn Raymond Thomas was found dead on the morning of January 21. In a short hearing at Aberdare Coroner's Court on Thursday coroner's officer ...and more »

Bats put a halt to plans to develop former Welsh coal tunnel into cycle route

A bid to open Britain's longest cycle tunnel could be put on hold - because of bats. Tourism chiefs hope the former coal rail line under the hills of the Rhondda, south Wales will get a new lease of life as a subterranean cycle route but plans have ...

Couples over the age of 70 tying the knot

Transparent Television are seeking couples from Wales aged over 70 who are getting married, for a major television broadcaster.

 

Learning lessons from the dark days of the holocaust

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “This is an important commemoration event for East Dunbartonshire Council each year and brings the issues of anti-discrimination and equality to life for pupils. It reminds us how important it is to confront all ...and more »

Bad news for bank customers in Aberdare as HSBC announces closure plans

Bank customers in Aberdare have been dealt a blow as HSBC announced it will close the town branch. The move was quickly branded “utterly shambolic” by the council leader. More closures. The decision of HSBC to announce the closure of this branch in ...

Two cyclists taken to hospital after being involved in crash with car

Following the incident two other vehicles were involved in subsequent collisions and police have confirmed there are no reports of injuries following the second collision. Rhondda Cynon Council said there were "long" traffic delays in the area as ...and more »

This man wants to put a huge dragon on the side of a Welsh mountain and hundreds of people support his dream

This man wants to create a large dragon on a Welsh mountainside after the idea went down a storm on social media. Chris Howard, 20, super-imposed a dragon onto a picture of Trealaw mountain and posted it onto the Rhondda Our Valley Facebook group.

Work begins on new £12m school in Bishopbriggs

The children were joined by council leader Rhondda Geekie to officially launch the construction of the new school. Mrs Geekie said: “What a great way to kick 2016 off and signal our continued commitment to education in East Dunbartonshire! This is a ...

Cwmbach Car dealers prosecuted

The managers of a company that sold a car to an Aberdare woman that was reposse

RNIB Cymru launch Welsh elections 2016 manifesto

RNIB Cymru (Royal National Institute of Blind People) launched its 2016 elections manifesto today (Wednesday).  

 

Cardiff Blues confirm Rhys Gill signing as Wales prop returns to capital region from English club Saracens

Welsh international Rhys Gill says he is excited to be coming home after signing a deal to re-join Cardiff Blues from next season. The six-times capped loosehead prop will be heading back to the Arms Park after a successful six year spell with Saracens ...

Pictures released of Rhondda Tunnel bat survey

Rhondda Tunnel Society has released pictures of the bat survey undertaken inside the tunnel last week. Depending on the results of the survey, to gauge the extent of any wildlife that may be residing in the tunnel, a second survey may be needed ...

'This has come from nowhere': Relatives worried by Rhondda Care Home closure announcement

He said some 65 relatives of residents went to a meeting about the impending closure at Rhondda Care Home on Monday evening. He said: “We went to the meeting and there were about 65 people there, but we are still none the wiser. A lot of people had ...

Tom Jones set for Eden Sessions 2016: tickets on sale soon

He was born in South Wales in 1940, son of a Rhondda Valley coal miner, and scored his first hit single with It's Not Unusual in 1965. The song was number one in the UK and made the top ten in the US. He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ...and more »

The Cynon Valley Museum Trust will be putting on an artist's exhibition

The Cynon Valley Museum Trust will be putting on an artist's exhibition at the Museum, Depot Road, Aberdare for one day only on Saturday 30

RIFW: First Minister forced to apologise over “inexcusable” sale of public land at a loss

The First Minister has today been forced to apologise after a report by the Public Accounts Committee savaged the Welsh Government’s management of an arms’ length body set up to manage regeneration projects in Wales.

 

Do you really know how to use public wi-fi safely?

Whether it’s a café, hotel room, or one of the many other places they’re available, public wi-fi hotspots are a quick and easy way to get onli

Breaking Knickers at the ready

He was born in South Wales in 1940, son of a Rhondda Valley coal miner, and scored his first hit single with It's Not Unusual in 1965. The song was number one in the UK and made the top ten in the US. He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ...

Knickers at the ready

He was born in South Wales in 1940, son of a Rhondda Valley coal miner, and scored his first hit single with It's Not Unusual in 1965. The song was number one in the UK and made the top ten in the US. He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ...and more »

Music legend Tom Jones to play the Eden Sessions in Cornwall

Tom has sold more than 100 million records and has had numerous smash hits, including It's Not Unusual, Delilah, Green Green Grass of Home, What's New Pussycat, She's a Lady, Kiss and Sex Bomb. He was born in South Wales in 1940, son of a Rhondda ...

Aberdare car dealer fined after vehicle it sold was then repossessed due to outstanding £900 payment

The council said it was contacted by an Aberdare woman who bought a 55-reg Citroen C3 from the company without being told the car had outstanding finance, and she was contacted by a company called Mobile Money demanding a £900 payment.

A £1.28bn City Deal could be just the first of many for the Cardiff Capital Region

Agreement on a proposed £1.28bn City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region could be signed off ahead of George Osborne's March Budget deadline. And leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and chair of the City Deal council leaders' group, Andrew Morgan, ...

Disappointment for Sully Indoor Bowls club after promising start

SULLY Indoor Bowls team travelled to the Rhondda Valley on Saturday to play Rhondda IBC in the championship with an outside chance of maintaining their challenge for the league title. This game was important to Rhondda as they were in prime position to ...

Diving enthusiasts to swap Aberdare Swimming Pool for the Pacific Ocean in incredible Micronesia trip

A small group of diving enthusiasts from the Cynon Valley are set explore the ruins of 70 wrecked ships sunk in the Second World War. Eight members of the Cynon Valley Sub-Aqua club, based near Aberdare, will travel some 8,000 miles to Micronesia, ...

Travel delays in Pontypridd after skip collides with railway bridge

Arriva Trains Wales confirmed that services running through Pontypridd will be delayed and all trains will be travelling at reduced speed through the area. Rhondda Cynon Taf Council warned motorists to avoid the area after the vehicle collided with the ...

'It's a disaster'

HSBC are closing their branches in Treorchy and Porth in a move labelled a 'disaster.' And in a further blow to Porth, Lloyds have also this week confirmed they will be closing their branch in the Rhondda town. No dates have yet been set for the ...

Councils deliver huge reduction in landfill costs

The amount spent on landfill costs in Wales has fallen significantly over the last four years, as local councils continue to lead the way on recycling.

A blight on the landscape

After contacting Rhondda Cynon Taff council , a spokeswoman said: “Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has zero tolerance for those who think it is acceptable to fly-tip anywhere in the county borough. “It is particularly upsetting to see one of the most ...

Induction held at Nottage Baptist Chapel

On Saturday, January 16, Nottage General Baptist and Unitarian Chapel held the induction service for its recently appointed minister, Rev Lewis Rees. Around 100 people filled the meeting house for the event, with ministerial colleagues from Aberdare, ...

The Walking Football festival comes to town

Join Bridgend's Walking Football team and compete in home and away ties against Abertillery, Merthyr Town FC, Swansea City FC and Mid Rhondda. Walking football is a new version of the game with the same rules but has one main difference - no running!

No charge for woman, 22, over Mountain Ash bike crash

A woman will not face charges following a motorcycle hit-and-run which left a boy with brain injuries. Tye Hawkins, 10, was struck while crossing the road in Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taff, in September 2015. Motorcyclist Matthew Llewellyn, 27, was ...

Family

A family-run company which has made ice creams in the Rhondda since the 1950s is entering a new chapter in its history – by opening this modern building. These photos give a first look inside the new Subzero Ice Cream shop, run by the original Mr ...

Shut out: where singletons and one wage families can still afford to buy

The most affordable areas for single earners are: *Blaenau Gwent, Wales *Burnley, North West *Merthyr Tydfil, Wales *Pendle, North West *Copeland, North West *Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales *Stoke-on-Trent UA, West Midlands *Hyndburn, North West ...and more »

A WELLINGTON school teacher died after being knocked unconscious when his parachute opened too quickly, an ...

Mr Jones, from Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taff in South Wales, was head of Chemistry at Wellington School. A report by the British Parachute Association (BPA) found no fault with the equipment. Jeffrey Montgomery, BPA safety and technical officer, said ...

Somerset teacher died after being knocked unconcious when parachute opened quickly

Mr Jones, from Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taff in South Wales, was head of Chemistry at Wellington School. A report by the British Parachute Association (BPA) found no fault with the equipment. Jeffrey Montgomery, BPA safety and technical officer, said ...and more »

Back to the future for Kirkintilloch Town Hall

Councillor Rhondda Geekie, Leader of the Council, said: “We are delighted to receive confirmation of support from the Heritage Lottery Fund - it is very much appreciated. “Restoring this significant B-listed building as a multi-functional venuefor ...and more »

Llantrisant war memorial site prompts concerns

Plans to finance and build a war memorial to a town's fallen soldiers have moved closer but some supporters have criticised its location. Residents in Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taff, set up a committee in 2009 to realise their ambitions. But an ...

Contractor admits Chinese steel 'more than likely' being used to build wind farm near Port Talbot

The Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project is a 76 turbine development located on land managed by Natural Resources Wales within Rhondda Cynon Taf and Neath Port Talbot. The project is being managed by energy company Vattenfall, while Siemens are ...and more »

Who's in line to be Education Minister? We look at the runners and riders

Rather, Wales needs stability and now is not the time for Mr Andrews, whose drive and determination could be better-used strengthening the Welsh economy or pushing through local government reform. The Rhondda AM's tenure as Education Minister was ...and more »

Rhondda Care Home to shut in 28 days because it couldn't recruit 'suitably experienced nurses'

A spokesperson for the home said: “We can confirm that the difficult decision has been taken to close Rhondda Care Home. “This decision has not been taken lightly, and is in response to the difficulty we have faced in recruiting suitably experienced ...

This primary school teacher lost an incredible 20 stone in just ONE YEAR

When pupils at a South Wales primary school went on trips to the theatre, their teacher Chris Hodges never joined them. That's because his weight had ballooned to a dangerously unhealthy 43st and he feared his 82-inch waist would never fit in any of ...and more »

Jamie Arthur continues comeback in Merthyr

FORMER Commonwealth super-bantamweight champion Jamie Arthur will continue his ring return in Merthyr Tydfil on Saturday, March 5, writes Andrew Penman. The 36-year-old from Cwmbran ended a three-year absence from the sport in Newport in ...and more »

Lab/Tory coalition as Lib Dems ousted at stormy special meeting

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said on Thursday: “The Labour and Tory group wanted to invest in local facilities. If we didn't take investment forward the land would be left to wither. “We had to take it forward but we couldn't mend the disagreement ...and more »

The top 12 hardest Wales rugby captains who make England skipper

Dylan Hartley's expected unveiling as England rugby captain next Monday is bound to get tongues wagging. With a rap sheet to rival many a modern-day Test player, the New Zealand-born hooker was omitted from Stuart Lancaster's World Cup squad last ...and more »

Nigerian, American and Welsh writers make the Dylan Thomas Prize 2016 longlist

It was launched in the name of Swansea -born Dylan Thomas as he continues to inspire young writers everywhere. The Prize introduces readers to a new generation of young writers. Rhondda writer Rachel Trezise was the winner of the inaugural contest for ...

To ysgol or not? Lucy Owen's got a big Welsh school dilemma

Lucy visits Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun in Hirwaun, near Aberdare, to see the bilingual app they've developed to help parents in same position as her. Meanwhile, she also drops in on a Cardiff mum who installed her daughter in an English-speaking secondary ...

'Does Welsh secondary schooling disadvantage your kids or make their lives more rewarding?'

Lucy visits Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun in Hirwaun, near Aberdare, to see the bilingual app they've developed to help parents in same position as her. Meanwhile, she also drops in on a Cardiff mum who installed her daughter in an English-speaking secondary ...

Single on St Dwynwen's Day? 7 things to do in Cardiff that have nothing to do with love

... and there's yoga on at the Sports Wales centre in Sophia Gardens. In the Valleys you can relieve your stress with some punch perfect boxing at the Sports Yard , in Ynyswen, Rhondda and over in Breeze's gym , Aberdare, there's a group cycle spin class.and more »

Welsh clubs join forces in campaign aiming to tackle homophobia in football

Football clubs in South Wales are to join a national campaign which aims to encourage the sport to make a stand against sexual orientation-based discrimination. Clubs at all levels – from grassroots to the Championship – have signed up to the Football ...and more »

Falling landfill costs are welcome, but a deposit scheme would further boost recycling rates and reduce litter

Reports today suggest that the amount spent on landfill in recent years has fallen by more than 23% in the last four years – but Welsh Conservatives have warned against complacency and claim that a bottle deposit scheme could boost recycling rates further.

 

Why parents fighting for Ferndale Infants have 28 days to 'save our school'

Parents fighting to save a Rhondda school say their campaign is entering “the most important 28 days” after its closure moved a step nearer. On Tuesday, Rhondda Cynon Taf council 's cabinet members gave the green light for a statutory notice to close ...

Police arrest 29 people in one day in series of drugs raids across Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil

Twenty-nine people have been arrested for drug offences after police raided a number of properties in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil . South Wales Police said 14 search warrants were executed as part of Operation Grey Cobra across the two areas.

Barking council tests dog poo DNA to trace irresponsible owners

Other councils, including Rhondda Cynon Taf, add dog fouling to the list of things they ask enforcement officers to look out for - along with littering and fly tipping. People are handed fines of £75 on the spot if they are found not to have scooped up ...and more »

Acute medicine centre at Royal Glamorgan Hospital A&E

An acute medicine centre will open at the front door of a Rhondda Cynon Taff hospital to ease A&E pressures. It is hoped the service at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, in Llantrisant, will provide faster diagnosis and shorter stays. It will be located at ...and more »

Two men guilty after Aberdare 'firearm incident' sentenced to 9 years

Following on from this incident back on 6th July 2015 - Karl Leighton Cook, aged 39 from Cilfynydd, Pontypridd and Andrew James, aged 43 fr

Weddings in Wales: Festive ceremony for Elina and Jake

The choir from Elina's school sang straight after the ceremony before Rhondda band The Duplicates played an evening set. The couple's first dance was an acoustic version of Chris Brown's Forever. Elina said: “It was everything I could have ever wanted ...

Bat survey in Rhondda rail tunnel for cycle route plan

A survey is being carried out to see if any bats are living in the tunnel campaigners want to turn into a cycle route. Rhondda Tunnel Society undertakes the first of two checks on Wednesday in the Blaencwm tunnel in Rhondda Cynon Taff. The society ...

Consultation to protect important sea areas

A consultation to help conserve some of Wales’ most treasured marine wildlife is being launched by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

Western Mail letters: Wednesday, January 20, 2016

To encourage the good folk of the Rhondda to do something to rectify this unenviable position in the league table we are told that an anonymous donor is offering prize money totalling £50,000 to be awarded to those who have best attempted to be more ...

These 10 inspirational slimmers have shed an incredible 60 STONE between them

Gabrielle joined Stephanie Williams' groups in Aberdare weighing 14st, but now she weighs a petite 9st 13lb after shedding more than 3st. Gabrielle said “I joined to lose weight, my lifestyle wasn't how I wanted it. I had no confidence and my self ...

UK govt: No, really, we're not banning cryptography

The only constituency that did not petition the government once on this matter was that of Rhondda in the south of Wales. Kennard stated the use-case for requiring Communication Service Providers to "remove encryption that they have themselves applied ...

Why they're going on a bat hunt in the Rhondda Tunnel

So, are there any bats living in the Rhondda Tunnel? And, if so.... how many? The Rhondda Tunnel Society will this week carry out the first of two bat surveys to gauge the extent of any wildlife that may make its home in the tunnel. The first of these ...

Sully bowlers enjoy mixed set of results

Sully Indoor Bowls Club have returned to Championship action after the Christmas break with games against Rhondda (away) and Newport (home), losing to Rhondda and beating Newport. Both games were important in the context of the league positions ...

Police in Llanharan are trying to reunite a stolen bike

Police in Llanharan are trying to reunite a stolen bike with its rightful owner.

Mum overpaid £5000 in benefits: court case

Rhondda Lomas (31) did not tell either the Department for Work and Pensions or Pendle Borough Council she had a common household with David Greaves for seven months. Burnley magistrates concluded her actions were more negligent than planned ...and more »

Sully Indoor Bowls return to Championship action

SULLY Indoor Bowls Club have returned to Championship action after the Christmas break with games against Rhondda (away) and Newport (home) losing to Rhondda and beating Newport. Both games were important in the context of the league positions ...

An axe, a war canoe and a carpet tile. Some of the more unusual items found in the WRU's archive

Tarw was one of the so called 'Rhondda forwards' and played in Wales' historic 1905 victory over New Zealand. Phil Linton, a surviving relative, and his family have loaned the jersey - worn during the famous win over the All Blacks - and a number of ...and more »

Welsh golfers Stuart Manley and Rhys Davies in the money in Joburg Open, but miss out on golden tickets to Troon

And the €13,124 accrued takes the Aberdare professional, who celebrated his 37th birthday during the tournament, up to 54th spot in the early Race to Dubai money list as he battles to keep hold of his European Tour card for successive seasons.

Major changes to primary and nursery schools in Llwynypia, Cymmer and Ferndale ...

Three major changes to primary and nursery education in the Rhondda communities of Llwynypia, Cymmer and Ferndale could progress on Tuesday. Rhondda Cynon Taf council' s cabinet members will meet in Clydach Vale on Tuesday and are expected to ...

New proposed £1.1m RCT cuts to libraries, bus routes and day services should ...

Latest £1.1m cuts to libraries, bus routes, day nurseries and youth services in Rhondda Cynon Taff should be re-thought, according to Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood. Consultation on the fresh cuts ends on January 18 and the South Wales Central AM, who ...

My 12 favourite things from all of Wales' national museums

What is it? I love this painting because Ernest Zobole was a working art teacher in Welsh schools throughout his life, who inspired generations of children, as well as a great artist. This work portrays Ystrad in the Rhondda Valley, the village where ...and more »

12 treasures you really must see at Wales' national museums as chosen by the ...

What is it? I love this painting because Ernest Zobole was a working art teacher in Welsh schools throughout his life, who inspired generations of children, as well as a great artist. This work portrays Ystrad in the Rhondda Valley, the village where ...

Chasing the Dragon – Epic Cymru

Singletrack magazine Epic Cymru Joe Murray Fuzzy off the flight to Manchester, we're soon headed down the M56 motorway. The steady rain turns to a torrent, visibility down to zero. I'm here thanks to Chipps. “Welcome to the UK!” he quips. For a ...and more »

ABERDARE MCDONALD’S TRIUMPHS AT LOO OF THE YEAR AWARDS

Local restaurant commended for high quality washroom facilities at prestigious awards

 

The diverse origins of Britain's Muslims

The first mosque in Britain is believed to have been opened at 2 Glyn Rhondda Street, Cardiff, in 1860, although this is disputed. The 1950s saw significant numbers of Muslims from the subcontinent arrive in the UK, prompted mainly by post-War labour ...and more »

South Wales Echo letters: Monday, January 18, 2016

Well we have certainly benefited from that here in the Rhondda. Here we are to be guinea pigs for an experiment dreamt up by the director of education and backed up by the Labour Cabinet. The loss of our sixth-forms in three of our secondary schools ...and more »

Western Mail letters: Monday, January 18, 2016

Despite the portrayal of this area as solid red, the Conservatives actually do have a reasonable baseline vote in Rhondda Cynon Taf, especially in the Pontypridd constituency. They did better than us there last May and they currently have two regional ...

Alcester centenarian Marjory Gilbert celebrates special birthday

A "remarkable" Alcester resident celebrated her 100th birthday last week, surrounded by friends and family. More than 40 people, including Mayor Clive-Neal Sturgess and High Bailiff Tim Forman, joined Marjory Gilbert for a party to celebrate the milestone.and more »

Welsh MP Chris Bryant 'gives up' on church after gay marriage views

Welsh MP Chris Bryant 'gives up' on church after gay marriage views. By South Wales Evening Post | Posted: January 17, 2016. Rhondda MP Chris Bryant said the church's stance on homosexuality would one day be seen to. SHARE PICTURE. Copy link to ...and more »

Roy Noble takes us on a journey through the Valleys as part of S4C series

Roy will take us on a journey on his Honda GoldWing Trike across the valleys, stopping off at the coal mining valley of the Rhondda, before heading on to the Cynon valley, Merthyr Tydfil, then further east to the valleys of Blaenau Gwent and Rhymney ...

Cash was stolen at an Aberdare supermarket.

Police in Aberdare are wishing to trace a man after cash was stolen at an Aberdare supermarket.

Parachute opened too fast for Wellington School teacher in Dunkeswell crash

Mr Jones, a father of three, worked at Wellington School in Somerset and lived in the village of Pontyclun in South Glamorgan, Rhondda Cynon Taff. He began parachuting in 1987 and was working with students at Sky Buzz Ltd at the airfield when he died.

Birthday boy Stuart Manley remains in the hunt for Open Championship debut at Royal Troon this summer with second ...

... Crystal Palace and Luton before deciding on a career in golf, celebrated his 37th birthday in style over the East Course of the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club with his 10-under-par aggregate putting the Aberdare professional into tied ...

MATCH REPORT: Strong start not enough for Winscombe Girls' U18s side as they ...

The last game, played up The Rhondda Valley, resulted in a win for Winscombe and the Welsh were out for revenge. Wattstown started brightly and were soon pressing the Winscombe tryline but a strong and well organised defence kept the visitors at bay ...

Behind the Byline: The CommonSpace weekly diary

... Susan Aitken (responded), Cosla (responded), the Rowntree Foundation, Rhondda Geekie (responded), Dr. Angela O'Hagan (responded), Eva Bolander (no answer), Scottish conservative press office (responded), Moray Council press office (responded).

The words Welsh and Australian people use for things are VERY different

Here's what you get when you put a Welsh girl and Australian girl in a room together. Australian Millie Thwaites has only been in Wales for a week and is already getting on like a house on fire with Rhondda girl, Tyler Mears. But it's fair to say there ...

Dog reunited with owner a month after escaping from M4 crash

She had been visiting friends from her home in Rhondda, Wales to deliver Christmas presents and was making the journey back home when she had her accident. People from across West Berkshire joined in the search for Jo-Jo, and several sightings of the ...

Snow and ice warnings in force for Wales

It follows a night which saw heavy falls close mountain roads in Mid and North Wales. There are reports several vehicles were trapped on the A470 Crimea Pass. This morning it is just passable. Driving conditions are hazardous on the Rhigos Mountain ...and more »

Is it worth being in a relationship just to buy a house? Find out here

The most affordable areas: = *Blaenau Gwent - 88pc *Merthyr Tydfil - 87pc *Burnley - 86pc *Pendle - 84pc *Neath Port Talbot - 81pc *Rhondda Cynon Taf - 81pc *Stoke-on-Trent - 81pc *Hyndburn - 79pc *County Durham - 79pc *Sunderland - 76pc = How has ...and more »

Publication of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards annual monitoring report for health and social care, 2014-15

Ourselves and Care and Social Services Wales (CSSIW) have jointly published the sixth annual monitoring report on the use of the Deprivation of Liberty Saf

Meet The Man Behind The Gritter!

Flashback to January 25th  2013 Maerdy mountain road Aberdare

The Boot Hotel in Aberdare could be turned into flats, says its new owner

The Boot Hotel in the heart of Aberdare town centre could be turned into flats, says its new owner. Sold signs were slapped on the former pub and hotel on Victoria Square before Christmas, and the buyer has now been revealed as David Edwards, ...

Better Late Then Never on term-time holidays

Welsh Conservatives have welcomed Welsh government clarification on term-time holidays and l

Rhys Davies and Stuart Manley take route 66 in South Africa in quest to make star

Davies is two shots off the first round pace set by South African Justin Walters but very nearly found himself upstaged by Aberdare's Stuart Manley. The former footballer, who had trials with Crystal Palace, Manchester United and Luton, was on course ...and more »

Aberdare's Amy Evans makes Wales Women's Six Nations squad

The Skewen RFC and Ospreys regional player is now included in the squad for 2016 – announced earlier this week – and has her eyes on a starting place in the team. Amy, who is the operations manager at Breeze's Gym in Aberdare , said: “My selection was ...

There are 'crucial' months ahead for future of the arts in Wales

The next two months are crucial for the future of the arts in Wales, as both the Welsh Government and the 22 Welsh local authorities finalise their budgets for the next financial year. While the initial focus each year is usually on the Arts Council of ...

Oh Boi! Llandrindod suffer a hammering

LLANDRINDOD Wells suffered one of the heaviest defeats in their 44 year history with a whopping 141-0 defeat at home to Abercwmboi in Swalec Division Three East Central B. The Spamen conceded a staggering 23 tries as the Rhondda visitors celebrated ...

Here's what the guy who'll keep RCT roads clear of snow and ice actually does

Ross Williams, 30, from Cwmbach near Aberdare, operates one of 20 purpose-built gritters for Rhondda Cynon Taf council – and has done the job for the last nine years. Day or night, Ross can be called upon as part of the council's out-of-hours 24/7 ...

Ponty Youth host Aberdare in top of the table clash

Pontypridd Youth will hope to get some much needed game time with a home Blues A League tie against Aberdare on Saturday 16th January. The last time that the Youth took to the field was way back on 5th December, all subsequent fixtures have been ...

How people in Rhondda Cynon Taf did more recycling in December 2015 than ever ...

We may not have had a white Christmas, but residents in Rhondda Cynon Taf have had a green one. Rhondda Cynon Taf council is congratulating its residents as it reports its best ever recycling figures for December 2015. The Streetcare team have been out ...

Lib Dems leave council administration

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “We have voted separately in the past on some issues but this time no agreement on a way forward for the three groups could be found.” And SNP Councillor Anne McNair says the LibDems are 'delusional' by claiming ...and more »

Welsh Government's local authority funding formula defended

The Labour AM for the Rhondda added the formula is reviewed on an annual basis. “When I talk to local authority leaders I still have yet to find one who thinks it works to the advantage of his or her authority,” he said. “There are going to be winners ...and more »

Serious Assault Ton Pentre

Police in Ton Pentre are appealing for witnesses after a serious assault on Church Road in Ton Pentre.

In love and war: the life and work of the Welsh writer, pacifist and soldier ...

Lewis grew up in Cwmaman, near Aberdare; his parents were schoolteachers there, educated and better off than others in that town of colliers. This, together with his selective education, led in Lewis to feelings of social guilt closely akin to those of ...and more »

Parachutist 'knocked unconscious' in fatal descent

A post-mortem examination found Mr Jones suffered with moderately severe coronary problems but the pathologist could not be sure they had caused him to lose consciousness during the descent. Mr Jones, from Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taff in South ...and more »

Rhondda Rotary thankful for record £7000 Christmas haul in aid of local and ...

Rhondda Rotary club has thanked people for their kind donations which contributed towards the more than £7,000 which was raised over Christmas – their best ever total. For the past 20 years the club has arranged its popular Nativity scene Christmas ...

Rhondda AM Leighton Andrews leads the call to honour Morty

“So I'm very keen that we promote all aspects of Rhondda life and I think this would be a very good thing for us to do in Rhondda.” Jeff Gregory, from Tonypandy , was good friends with Morty as well as a huge fan of his band – who achieved fame and ...

Weddings in Wales: Halloween wedding for couple who met at gig

And the evening's event also had a Halloween horror fancy dress theme, with 1980s band The Spectrums from Aberdare playing a set with singer Hank Jenkins standing in for the band's singer having had no rehearsals whatsoever, which Claire said was ...

South Wales Echo letters: Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Despite the portrayal of this area as solid red, the Conservatives actually do have a reasonable base-line vote in Rhondda Cynon Taff, especially in the Pontypridd constituency. They certainly did better than us there last May and they currently have ...

New Year Recycling Celebrations!

New Year Celebrations as Rhondda Cynon Taf Council congratulates its residents

Pontypridd driving test centre could stay in town 'if a suitable site is found ...

During November, concerns were raised about the potential move from the current Pwllgwaun Road site – which also serves the Rhondda – to the DVSA's goods vehicle testing site based in Llantrisant , on the grounds of accessibility and traffic near the ...

Are you the business? There is still time to enter the annual RCT business awards

Businesses of all sizes and backgrounds still have time to get their entries in for the 10th Rhondda Cynon Taf Business Club Awards. Since the awards began in 2006, scores of businesses of all shapes and specialities have been celebrated and commended ...

People of Pontypridd asked for their views on how to revitalise former Taff ...

The people of Pontypridd are being asked for their views on how the site of the former Taff Vale precinct can be brought back to life. Residents, businesses and visitors are being given the chance to share their views on Rhondda Cynon Taf council 's ...

Dilapidated buildings in Aberdare Town Centre what’s going to happen RCTCBC?

Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC or CADW did nothing to protect a listed building in the center of Aberdare it now looks like a bombsite.

Hirwaun's Amy crowned under

Amy Williams, 22, from Hirwaun , returned from a triumphant World Indoor Bowls Championship in December as ladies' champion for the under-25s age group. Amy, who works for Rhondda Cynon Taf council's access and inclusion department, lost just once ...

'There is no way we can afford the fees' Four Merthyr bowls clubs 'under ...

Philip Davies, member of the Thomastown club, said: “If nobody stands up to this proposal from the council then a valuable part of the history and recreation of Merthyr Tydfil will be lost forever.” Rhondda Cynon Taf council proposed a similar measure ...

Starbucks really struggles to spell Welsh names if these pictures are anything to go by

Starbucks Rhian. Rhian is originally from Aberdare but the Starbucks in her new home of Fleet in Hampshire still finds her name a little tricky as this one shows. 9. Sioned. Starbucks Sioned. Sioned can be a bit of a tongue twister for non-Welshies so ...

This is what Bronwydd Pool's state

A Rhondda swimming pool which was saved from closure at the eleventh hour will soon have a brand new state-of-the-art gym. Rhondda Cynon Taf council has released these artist's impressions of what the new gym and reception area at Bronwydd Pool in ...

£9m grants to improve natural environment

Nine councils in Wales are to share nearly £9m to improve natural environments used by local communities. The Create Your Space programme will allow groups to apply for grants to make changes to their local areas or conserve existing sites. The money ...

Ukip's Caerphilly clowning masks serious contender at assembly elections

Leighton Andrews, the Labour assembly member for Rhondda, said the Welsh first minister was prepared to take on Farage in a debate because Europe was so important for Wales's economic future. Andrews accepted that he was coming across Eurosceptic ...and more »

Garden Village need miracle to survive in division one of Welsh League

Also in the top flight, Barry Town maintained their impressive form with a 3-2 Jenner Park victory over Monmouth Town, two of their goals coming from James Dixon, and Cambrian & Clydach overwhelmed Aberdare Town 4-0. Llanelli Town continued their ...

Glynneath 3

Full-back Shaun Leonard inspired Newcastle Emlyn to victory at Abernant Park and sent them into the last 16 of the Swalec Cup. Leonard ran home one of his side's three tries and well as converting all three scores and adding a penalty. Mike Jones and a ...

Man, 47, dies four days after A470 Abercynon crash

A 47-year-old man has died four days after a car crash in Rhondda Cynon Taff. Chris Foley, from Merthyr Tydfil, died from his injuries in hospital on Friday, South Wales Police confirmed. He had been in a critical condition at University Hospital of ...and more »

Weightlifter Ellie Pryor is Michaela Breeze's 'most talented student ever ...

Ellie Pryor, 14, Aberdare, who has been selected for GB youth squad for weight lifting and is coached by commonwealth gold medalist Michaela Breeze. A young valleys weightlifter has been given a ringing endorsement by her former champion coach after ...

George Osborne throws support behind City Deal

... governments as well as the 10 local authorities involved in the City Deal are currently in the process of developing it. The other regions involved in the proposed City Deal are Cardiff, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of ...

How head teachers are coming together to help improve your child's school

The Central South Consortium (CSC), which is responsible for more than 400 schools in Cardiff, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan, has launched a “peer enquiry” initiative which empowers head teachers to critically ...

Alun's run a not

A man who has run a not-for-profit gym in the Rhondda for more than 20 years for people with challenging backgrounds has won an award for his hard work and commitment. Alun Davies, from Rhoose, has run the Natural Physique Gym in the basement of St ...

Adverse Weather Advice

Heavy rain forecast across the County Borough this weekend and the Council will

Report forNoah’s Ark Children’s Hospital

Providing you with easy access to the report we have published this week.
This week HIW  have published inspection repor

£1.2bn City Deal signed off by March? Would love to George but please don't ...

The ten local authorities leaders that cover the Cardiff Capital Region have welcomed further support from Chancellor George Osborne for a proposed £1.28bn City Deal, but said that approval shouldn't be dependent on it being ready for sign off in March ...and more »

Sleet, hail, thunder storms and heavy rain all on the way this weekend as ...

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for rain across all of South Wales. On Saturday afternoon there will be thunderstorms. The storms will hit Rhondda, Pembrokeshire and Blaenau Gwent. From Saturday evening, hail showers are forecast to ...

Osborne announces £50m for new Wales innovation centre

Councillor Andrew Morgan, leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf council, one of the local authorities involved with the city deal bid, said: "The 10 councils with partners are working extremely hard to develop projects which we believe will achieve a significant ...

'It will ensure Wales continues to be a world leader in science and innovation ...

Andrew Morgan, leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf council, one of 10 authorities to comprise the City Region Deal area, said: Morgan said: “We are pleased that George Osborne has set a timescale of March to sign-off a Cardiff Capital Region City Deal bid.

Could Pontypridd be about to get its very own solar farm? Not if RCT council ...

Plans for the new farm in Pontypridd, which would use 20,000 solar panels, will be considered by Rhondda Cynon Taf council 's planning committee. However, the plans look unlikely to get off the ground - the plan has been recommended for refusal.

Flood warning for Wales as more rain forecast by Met Office

The latest Met Office weather warning is in place for Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea, Torfaen and ...and more »

Beddau murder: 'I was screaming it's a dead body'

Michelle James, 45, from Beddau, Rhondda Cynon Taff, made the grisly find after unwrapping layers of plastic, cardboard and tin foil in the shared garden in Trem-Y-Cwm in November. She discovered the skeleton of John Sabine who was last seen in 1997.and more »

Beddau murder probe: Neighbour's horror at finding corpse

A woman has told of her horror at discovering the decomposing remains of her neighbour's husband on her patio. Michelle James, 45, from Beddau, Rhondda Cynon Taff, made the grisly find after unwrapping layers of plastic, cardboard and tin foil in the ...and more »

How do I apply for My Kitchen Rules UK?

If you want to invite Rhondda's Steve Jones , and a top chef into your home to judge your creative cookery skills and possibly win £10,000 - you can apply in two ways. Either email production company, 7 Wonder at MKR@7wonder.co.uk or visit their ...

Expansion of government schemes will make Wales 'one of the best connected ...

... west Wales, said when guests had come to visit her, they had been unable to contact her due to a complete lack of mobile signal. And Huw Parry, from the village of Ton Pentre near Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valley, said despite living just 20 miles ...and more »

This Welsh football club shares its name with a US woman living 4000 miles ...

They may play in the South Wales Alliance League Division Two but Brynna FC have a new fan – more than 4,000 miles away. The Rhondda Cynon Taff -based club has sent one of its matchday kits to a woman in the United States who shares the team's ...

Emmy award for Kirkintilloch television pioneer Alexander Bain

East Dunbartonshire Council maintain Bain's gravestone and Council Leader Rhondda Geekie said: “It is a huge honour to be asked to accept the Technical and Engineering Emmy Award. “Without the accomplishments of Alexander Bain we wouldn't have ...

South Wales Echo letters: Wednesday, January 6, 2016

According to a recent internal report of the United Nations, the Rhondda Valleys are in the highest ranking for LGBT-hostility (alongside the Balochistan province of Pakistan and El Hasa, in Saudi Arabia). These rankings are based, among other things, ...

JAILED: Blackburn man threw shoe at former partner on Boxing Day

Harris, of Aberdare Close, pleaded guilty to three breaches of a non-molestation order and assault. The offences put him in breach of a suspended prison sentence and he was jailed for a total of 24 weeks. He was also made subject to a restraining order ...and more »

'Dirty' Blackburn man given curfew after performing sex act near mosque after ...

Khan, 44, of Aberdare Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance. He was made subject to a curfew between 2pm and 7am for three months, ordered to pay £150 compensation to each of the witnesses, £160 costs and £60 victim surcharge ...

Aberdare High and Blaengwawr Comprehensive School put up for sale with no ...

For the Aberdare High School building, the indicative boundary on the marketing leaflets suggests the lower school buildings, and associated car park, is not up for sale as part of this plot – it is earmarked for further educational use. The council ...

Upcycling the Way Forward

Local Youth Group move towards sustainability

Ian Summers leads Gloucester home in Kelston 10km

Gloucester Athletic Club's Alex and Thomas George ventured down to Mountain Ash in the Rhondda Valley on New Year's Eve to compete in the annual Nos Galan road races. The races - which started in 1958 - are run every New Year's Eve in memory of ...

Scots inventor honoured 138 years after his death

A LITTLE-known Scottish inventor who played a pioneering role in developments which would one day lead to television is to posthumously receive a prestigious Emmy award. Alexander Bain, who died in 1877 and is buried in Kirkintilloch, will be awarded a ...

Police in Aberdare are continuing to appeal for information following an assault

Police in Aberdare are continuing to appeal for information following an assault which occurred in the town cen

Serious road traffic collision on the A470 Northbound near to Abercynon

South Wales Police are appealing for witnesses in relation to a serious road traffic collision on the A470 Northbound near t

My Kitchen Rules UK hots up as Steve Jones gets the knives out

Channel 4 is set to uncover Britain's most talented home cooks having commissioned My Kitchen Rules UK from 7Wonder Productions which will be fronted by Rhondda's finest Steve Jones. The series is based on the knock out success of My Kitchen Rules ...and more »

Llwydcoed Crematorium's drainage system to be reviewed after boggy conditions ...

Rhondda Cynon Taf council has apologised for the inconvenience caused to visitors, and said a review of the drainage system will take place “as a precautionary measure” alongside £1m works in the coming months, to improve the environmental impact of ...

Blackburn man naked below the waist continued performing sex act near mosque ...

Khan, 44, of Aberdare Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance. He was made subject to a curfew between 2pm and 7am for three months, ordered to pay £150 compensation to each of the witnesses, £160 costs and £60 victim surcharge ...and more »

LBS opens Aberdare branch

LBS managing director Mark Davies said: "Aberdare, our sixteenth site, represents a significant investment for LBS and will allow us to develop our business along the Cynon Valley. "The Aberdare branch represents a new format for us with all our ...

Man in critical condition after A470 crash near Abercynon

A man is in a critical condition following a "serious" car crash in Rhondda Cynon Taff. South Wales Police was called to the A470 northbound near Abercynon just after 18:30 GMT on Monday. Police said the 47-year-old was taken to University Hospital of ...and more »

New book details life in the Rhondda valleys during 1940s and 1950s

A new book about life in the Rhondda during the 1940s and 1950s has been published by a women from London who grew up in the valleys. Catherine Osborn, who may be known to local people as Shirley Stephens, lived in Ynyscynon Road until her early ...

Does Dry January do more harm than good?

Lewis grew up in Cwmaman, near Aberdare; his parents were schoolteachers there, educated and better off than others in that town of colliers. This, together with his selective education, led in Lewis to feelings of social guilt closely akin to those of ...and more »