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Clydach Valley Mining Memorial Service

The annual Clydach Valley Mining Memorial Service, this year marking the 50th anniversary of the colliery disaster, takes place at the Cambrian Memorial Park, Clydach Vale, at 12.30pm on Sunday, May 17. 

It is also an opportunity to remember all those other people from the locality who have lost their lives in the coal-mining industry. 

The Clydach Valley Mining Memorial Service, supported by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, will take place in the heart of the picturesque Clydach Vale Country Park. 

Among those invited to attend are Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones and Rhondda Cynon Taf Mayor, Cllr John Watts. 

The open-air memorial service, on the site of the former colliery, will be led by Father Haydn Simon-England. 

The Cambrian Colliery explosion happened 50 years ago at 1pm on Monday, May 17, 1965. 

Exactly half a century later, at 1pm, a Minute’s Silence will be observed, followed by a roll call of the 31 miners who tragically lost their lives on that fateful day. 

The names will be read out by a work colleague and survivor of the colliery disaster, followed by the laying of wreaths, the lowering of the Welsh flag and the tolling of the bells of nearby St Thomas Church. 

Simultaneously, at the National Mining Memorial in Senghenydd, a floral tribute will be placed at the Cambrian tablet and a Minute’s Silence will be observed as the Senghenydd Colliery Memorial Society and Senghenydd residents remember the victims of Wales’ last major mining disaster. 

Respect will also be observed at Cambrian memorial stones at two local working mens’ clubs. 

Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones and Rhondda Cynon Taf Mayor, Cllr John Watts, will both address those who attend the Clydach Valley Mining Memorial Service. 

Soprano Lucy Rees will perform the hymn I Know That My Redeemer Liveth and Johnny Ceaser, composer of If I Could See the Rhondda One More Time, will perform the hit made famous by singer David Alexander. 

Cambrian Male Choir and Cwmclydach School Choir will also be taking part in the service. 

The Service of Remembrance is organised by Cwm Clydach Community Development Trust, supported by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council. 

Set in the tranquil location of the Cambrian Valley, the memorial garden is cared for by the community. 

A coal dram, pit head wheel and pit shaft markers are focal points at the site, along with the original pit cage from Ty Trist Colliery, Tredegar, as used by Aneurin Bevan when he worked at the mine as a 13-year-old boy. 

  • The Clydach Valley Mining Memorial Service takes place at the Cambrian Memorial Park, Clydach Vale, on Sunday, May 17 (12.30pm). All are welcome.