Friday, January 4, 2019

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Despite all the serious difficulties facing the British economy – Pontyclun remains a great place to live and work. We have a vibrant town centre with cafes, restaurants, pubs, a gallery and a wide range of shops. When other High Streets are declining, ours continues to prosper. We have a magnificent countryside of fields and woods and hills all shaped by our network of rivers and streams including the Ely, Clun, Dwrgi, the Melyn and Felin Fach.

We would like more trains, better roads and cycle ways but we enjoy our access to Cardiff, the coast and the motorway.

More than anything else we have the wonderful people of Pontyclun who recognise the value of solidarity and collective action - supporting each other through a wide range of social and sporting clubs and organisations.

Your Community Council
The role of Pontyclun Community Council is to be at the heart of your community, supporting you in the support that you give each other

In 2018 the average Pontyclun family paid £32 towards the £132,000 expenditure  of Pontyclun Community Council. What did we do with your money? –
         We own and manage Ivor Woods and the Car Park in Heol yr Orsaf

     We provide Pontyclun Park which includes the children’s play area, the Multi Us Games Area and the volunteer- led Community Garden.

·         We organised ‘Picnic in the Park’ when all of Pontyclun was invited to come together for fun and games.

·         We maintained all the miles of public footpaths in our area and organised our first Walking Festival when we were all  invited to explore our beautiful walking routes through Groes Faen,  Mwyndy, Miskin, Pontyclun, Brynsadler and Talygarn.


·         We provide Café 50 which as well as providing lunches is providing to be an exciting hub for dozens of social groups to come together – fitness groups, a quiz group, a support group for families living with memory loss, craft and knitting groups; and, through the voluntary efforts of our own Pontyclun University of the Third Age we have every cooperative learning group imaginable. Café 50 hosted a number of Afternoon Teas and Christmas Lunches, all with entertainment.

·         We provide a beautiful range of summer flowers on the High Street, at the Station, on the Clun Bridge in Miskin and Groes Faen – providing enjoyments and adding to Pontyclun’s visitors.


·         We organised a Planetarium at Pontyclun Rugby Club when hundreds of local primary schools children were able the experience the excitement of the night sky.

·         We organised a series of events to commemorate 1918 and the end of the First World War including a public lecture, children’s choirs, a walk through a hundred years of Pontyclun, an afternoon tea, a lunch with 1918 recipes, ‘Music, Poems and Pints and the Athletic Club’.

·         We work with Pontyclun Environment Group to litter pick and manage our riverside walks

·         We provided Pontyclun’s Christmas Lights which are admired across South Wales and help bring business to the Town Centre

·         Working with the Macmillan Fundraising Group, the Pontyclun Primary PTA and the Pontyclun Athletic Club we helped organise the Pontyclun Christmas Festival where we were supported by the Llantrisant Folk Club, Cantorian   Pontyclun and the Ukeladies.  Both Cllrs Martin Ashford and Gwyn Jackson gave plausible impressions of the real Santa Claus who visited the Grotto. Cllrs Martin Ashford and Mike Davies were among the musicians who created a rocking sensation from Miskin to Maesyfelin. Cllr Neil Holley provided the exceptional sound system.

Thanks to Community Councillors

All Pontyclun Community Councillors are unpaid volunteers who have put in place our programme of events by working with all other volunteers in Pontyclun.  My thanks to Martin, Mike, Marg, Neil, Anne, Gwyn, Karan, Alison and  Carole.

Thanks to Community Council Staff

Our staff are largely part time and we could not do without them. Thanks to Julius, Darren, Ray, Karen, Tara and Nula

Thanks to the People of Pontyclun

The Community Council only succeeds when we work in partnership with the people of Pontyclun.  I thank everyone of you.

Our costs are increasing because of inflation and wage costs. In the next few weeks the Council will need to decide whether to increase our council tax by around £2 a year per household or cut our activities. I would welcome your views on this decision.

I would also welcome any  suggestions on activities that we should add to our programme or take away.

Happy New Year

Paul Griffiths
Chair, Pontyclun Community Council

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Jingle bells, Jingle Bells

Christmas Festival

Pontyclun’s Christmas Festival takes place at the Pontyclun Athletic Club on Saturday December 1st. Please come along with all your family.

From midday there will be a Christmas Market inside the Athletic Club, organised by Pontyclun’s Macmillan Fundraising Group. Father Christmas and his elves will be inviting visits to his Grotto. There will be every stall imaginable at which you can buy all your Christmas gifts.
From 1 pm there will be an outside stage providing the best in Christmas music with the RCT Community Wind Band, the Ukeladies Band, Pontyclun Primary School, Cantorian Pontyclun, the cast of the Pontyclun Pantomime. Cllr Martin Ashford plays a gentleman with a big white beard and leads Pontyclun’s leading rock band. 

There will be fairground rides provided by Tommy Smith. There will be foodstalls to satisfy your hunger pangs.

At 5.30 pm Pontyclun’s Christmas lights will be turned on. The lights are provided by Floodlighting and Electrical Supplies – a firm with a national reputation which is based in Pontyclun.

This festival is funded and organised by Pontyclun Community Council.

Pontyclun Santa Fun Run
On Sunday December 16th at 10.00 am there will be the Santa Fun Run beginning at Pontyclun Rugby Club. Do get there early to complete your registration and pay just £7 for a bacon roll, a hot drink and a medal for all participants. This is definitely for all comers – you can chose between a 5k run and a 3.5k walk. It is great fun and justifies a huge amount of Christmas excess.

Remembering 1918
Throughout the past month the Community Council has organised and supported a wide series of events to commemorate 1918 – a public concert and lecture, a walk past the homes of those most affected by the Great War, an Afternoon Tea supported by songs from the children of Pontyclun Primary School, a lunch with 1918 recipes, an art exhibition, an art and literature competition, a ‘music, poems and pints’ evening at the Athletic Club. The ‘Singing for the Brain’ group organised a lunch which was again supported by songs from the children of Pontyclun Primary School. 

This was all in addition to the very well attended memorial services on Armistice Day. 

My thanks to the large number of people who helped organise and support these memorable events.

Ysgol Llanhari
Ysgol Llanhari is a very successful Welsh medium school serving the community of Pontyclun. It is one of very few schools which can provide an education from the age of 3 years to 18 years. I have served on the Board of Governors for the past six years and this year I accepted the position of Chair. We are looking for new members of the Board of Governors. This is a fascinating role in which you can bring your experience and interest in Welsh medium education to the task of supporting and developing the work of the school. If you would like to join the Governors, please contact me.

Ysgol Llantrisant targets plastic
Community Councillor Karen Lane is the convenor of our Environment Working Group. She is working closely with the children of Ysgol Llantrisant. 

Last month she organised a meeting between the School’s Eco Council and the Community Council to discuss how we can all reduce our use of plastic. One of the children provided an impressive presentation of the terrible effects of plastic on wildlife. 

The Community Council along with the children of Ysgol Llantrisant will work with local traders in Pontyclun to reduce the use of plastic.

Firework Displays
Congratulations once again to Pontyclun Rugby Club who organised another magnificent bonfire and firework display for the whole town. Chairman, John Gilbert, has shared with us details of the huge amount of trained and coordinated volunteer effort that goes into ensuring a safe event.

We respect the fact that Miskin Scouts decided that they were not in a position to organise their event this year and we thank them for all their efforts over the years. Miskin Community Councillor, Mike Davies, has been in close communication with Miskin Scouts and has been assured that it was not a lack of support that led to the decision. 

For the future, the Community Council has decided that it would consider an application for support from any group that wishes in the future to organise a display at a suitable location in Miskin.  

Councillor Paul Griffiths
Pontyclun Community Council

Thinking back - to 1918 and ahead to Christmas and beyond

Remembering 1918 - Peace at Last

Pontyclun Community Council is working with our community in offering a series of events throughout November to remember 1918

Tuesday 6 November
Y Pant School
At 5.15 there will be Music and Drama from the young people of YGGG Llantrisant and Y Pant.
At 6.30 I will give a short talk on 1918, with film exerts. I aim to provoke a discussion by arguing that the war and the peace treaty were avoidable disasters that shaped so many of the catastrophes of the following 100 years – Hitler, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, the Balkans, the Irish Border, Brexit. It also heralded so many of our achievements including votes for women and working men. Come along and give your point of view. The event is free. Tickets are available at the Library but you are welcome without tickets.

Sunday 11 November
Remembrance Services
11.00 am at the War Memorials in Pontyclun and Miskin with a service at St Paul’s Church at 9.30 am. Our thanks to Denise Ellis and all others who work each year to organise these important services.

Monday 12 November
Walking to Remember 1918
At 10 am at St Paul’s Church you are all welcome to join the U3A walking group when Edgeley Thomas leads us on a walk through Pontyclun, Brynsadler and Talygarn. We will point out all the reminders of Pontyclun in 1918 (the streets, schools, churches, chapels and factories) as well as noting the homes of some of those who died in the war.

Monday 12 November
Afternoon Tea
At 2.30 pm in Café 50 there will be an afternoon tea. A few tickets are still available from Tara at the Community Centre Office.

Monday 19 November
At 1 pm in the Community Centre Talygarn Resident, Peter Cox will give a talk on ‘My Life as a Spy’. He will trace the British Intelligence Service back to the First World War. Peter’s Talk will be preceded by a lunch of dishes prepared with recipes of 1918.
The October U3A meeting was addressed by Dr Ritchie Wood who gave a brilliantly illustrated talk on the role of women in the First World War as they worked on the battlefield, in the police service, in the factories and on the farms. We learned how in 1918 women were told by the Government, the newspapers, the trade unions and even by aristocratic leadership of the suffragettes to get back into their homes and kitchens.

Giles Gallery and Pontyclun Library
From the end of October Giles Gallery is hosting an exhibition of lithographs commissioned by the British Government in 1917 to improve morale among the war weary. In Pontyclun Library there will lithographs showing the work of women and men at home and at war.

Saturday 4 November
Songs, Poems and Pints
At 7.30 pm at the Athletic Club there will be an evening when all of Pontyclun finest musicians, singers, choristers and poets are coming together to enjoy an evening of remembering 1918. Anyone who misses this evening will regret it! It will be great fun as well as poignant. Tickets, £5, are available from me and form the Community Council Offices.

Saturday 1 December
Pontyclun Christmas Festival

On 1 December, starting at 12 noon, at the Athletic Club there is will be a Christmas Market inside the Club when local traders and crafters will be able to sell you every Christmas gift you can imagine. In the car park of the Athletic Club there will be fairground rides and a variety of food stalls.

There will be a music stage. There will be festive music from the choirs of Pontyclun Primary School and YGGG Llantrisant, Callenig folk band, the RCT woodwind band, the Ukeladies band, Cantorian Pontyclun and the pantomime cast of St Paul’s Players.
Pontyclun’s Christmas lights will be turned on at 5.30, after which the music stage will rock! 


Train users will have noticed that Transport for Wales, backed by Welsh Government and Keolis Amey, are now providing our trains. We wish them well and look forward to the promised newer and bigger trains arriving over the next few years as well as a more frequent Sunday service.

I spoke at the Conference in Cardiff which launched the new service. I argued hard that it was not good enough to continue with just one train an hour at the Pontyclun, Llanharran and Pencoed stations – when almost all other stations in South Wales would have two or four trains an hour.

Llanharran and Pontyclun Labour members have met to consider a joint way forward. We will be meeting with Assembly Members, MP’s and Ministers. We will be asking for your support as we campaign for more trains.

Walking Football / Rugby

We are looking to see how many people in the area would be interested in taking part in Walking Football or Walking Rugby.

These fast growing sports are ideal ways to improve your health and make friends. All ages and abilities can take part.

If you are interested please contact The Community Council who are co-ordinating this on 01443 238500 or by e-mail at

Councillor Paul Griffiths
Pontyclun Community Council

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Remembering 1918 and our new railway service

Remembering 1918

It is time to reflect on Pontyclun 100 years ago. On 11 November 1918 Germany surrendered to the allied forces of Britain, France and the USA. German forces had been repelled in their attempted advances earlier in the year – they were exhausted and mutinous. The terms of the surrender were that Germany should withdraw to well within pre-war boundaries and make large scale financial payments to the victors; the Turkish and Austro-Hungarian empires should be dismantled. We remember the lives lost, the bodies and minds mutilated, the sacrifices made in our workplaces and communities, women and children destined to live lives without those they loved and needed.

The end of the war led the British Government to respond to a range political pressures held back by the war itself. Parliament agreed that votes would be given to most women and all working men for the first time. In 1918 newly elected Irish MP’s declared independence for Ireland, triggering both a war of independence and a civil war.  Influenced by the Russian Revolution, the British Labour Party declared itself a socialist party. An influenza epidemic killed almost half as many as had been killed by the war itself.  Truly, the events of 1918 shaped so much of the century that was to follow.

There is an invitation for all of us to submit a piece of art or a photograph, a poem or piece of writing (up to 500 words) which shares our reflections on 1918. Submissions should be made to Pontyclun Community Council Office, Heol yr Orsaf (  by 5 November 1918.

Pontyclun Community Council has organised a whole month of events, entitled ‘Peace at Last’ to allow us to remember 1918.

Tuesday 6 Nov, 5.30 pm
Remember 1918 - A talk with drama and music
Y Pant School
Sunday 11 Nov,
Remembrance Services
St Paul’s Church 9.30 am
Miskin War Memorial 11 am
Monday 12 Nov, 10am
Remembering 1918 – a Walk from Pontyclun to Talygarn
St Paul’s Church
Monday 12 Nov, 3 pm
Afternoon Tea
Café 50
Tuesday 13 Nov, 5.30 pm
Film ‘Hedd Wyn’ – Welsh language with English subtitles
Y Pant School
Mon 19 Nov, 1 pm
U3A monthly meeting
Lunch with 1918 recipes
Pontyclun Community Centre
Tuesday 20 Nov, 5.30 pm
Film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’
Y Pant School
Saturday 24 Nov, 7.30 pm
Songs, Poems and Pints – Pontyclun’s songsters and poets invite us to remember 1918, singing along and sharing thoughts
Pontyclun Athletic Club

Pontyclun Railway Services

This October Transport for Wales will take responsibility for railways in Wales from Arriva Trains. I have been arguing hard for improved services in Pontyclun – writing to and meeting Ministers, MP’s and AM’s. 

I am pleased to report that there will be new and larger trains by 2020 and that RCT Council is working to extend the station car park by 2020.

However, I am disappointed to report that the current intention of the Welsh Government is to keep to just 1 train an hour stopping at Pontyclun. Throughout all the other valley lines there will be a minimum of four trains an hour. Even Llantwit Major will get 2 trains an hour. I will not accept that our railway service will be worse than everywhere else. I will need the help of all local rail users to create extra pressure - look out for petitions, public meetings and television cameras; unless, of course the Minister, Ken Skates, changes his mind once he has read this article.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Summer notes from Pontyclun

Bailey Bridge

Most readers will be aware of the Bailey Bridge across the River Ely at the end of Station Terrace. It is the property of the owner of the Ely Valley Business Park but it is a public right of way and the owner has a legal obligation not to obstruct walkers.
This path is used by hundreds of residents each day who need to get to the station, the schools, nurseries, shops, community centre, doctor, dentist, post office and many other facilities.
It is therefore with dismay that I must report that RCT Council has agreed to prohibit access for walkers to cross this bridge for the months of September, October and November, perhaps longer.
RCT Council will be providing special buses for school children and commuters but for others the invitation is to use an alternative walking route of over two kilometres. The charity, Travol, provides an ‘on-demand’ bus service for people aged over 60. Ring 01443 486872.
RCT Council reports the bridge will be reconstructed as a partnership between the owner and the Council. This, the Council says, is necessary because the bridge will otherwise become structurally unsafe in a short period of time. And yet, even today I witnessed a succession of 7 ton lorries cross this bridge.  If there is structural deterioration, why not require that all vehicles use the access through Coed Cae Lane and reserve the bridge for walkers only – I am convinced that it is safe for this purpose.
Pontyclun Community Council has never been consulted on the closure of this path or invited to suggest options for maintaining this right of way.
In my view this has all been poorly managed and the reasons for closing the walking route are less than convincing.

Grass Cutting
Pontyclun residents, the Community Council and RCT Council are developing innovative schemes for managing grass in ways which meet the needs of residents, walkers, motorists and wild life.
Whilst grass is being mown in the traditional manner near to roadsides and pavements and in play areas, we are looking for areas where the grass can be left uncut for the growing months. If it is then cut and collected late in the summer, this will allow the natural diversity of local plants and wildlife to prosper.
Pontyclun Park was created by Pontyclun Community Council in 2016. In our grass cutting contract we agreed with RCT Council that a swathe of grass would be left uncut until late Summer when RCT brings in their innovative new machine to cut and collect the grass.
In the last month Pontyclun Environment Group volunteers met with Richard Wistow, the inspiring RCT Council ecologist, who had us all on our hands and knees studying the diverse vegetation down amongst the long dry, yellow grass of our long, hot summer. We saw a range of wildflowers that included black knapweed, bird’s-foot trefoil, red clover, ox-eye daisy, St. john’s-wort, self heal, common spotted orchid and field scabious – all survivors of the historic Ely valley species rich grasslands. This is an excellent insect habitat and we saw a range of bees (including red tailed and carder bumble-bees) and a colony of the beautiful, jewel-like common blue butterfly.
In some areas, such as at the Talygarn roadside, it is not possible to collect the grass with machines and residents have volunteered to collect and bag the cut grass. Councils and communities work best when they work together.

Aethon ni I’r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol yn Nghaerdydd i helpu gyda’r stondin U3A. Gaethon ni llawer o hwyl.  
We went to the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff. Being part of such a huge cultural festival in the centre of the capital city was great fun as we represented Pontyclun U3A on a stall.

Pontyclun U3A
Our University of the Third Age will be back in full swing in September. There are now 16 learning groups (including Spanish and Welsh, history, walking and lunching) which you can join. They are all great fun as well as offering ways in which we can learn from each other. Details can be found on the website  https//
Each month all members and potential members are invited to a monthly talk. On 17 September at 1.30 p.m. in the Community Centre I will be giving a talk on the ‘The Clarks of Pontyclun’ considering the remarkable life of the Dowlais ironmaster George Clark and the contribution of his family to the creation of modern Pontyclun.

Pontyclun Road Runners
Most weeks I am privileged to enjoy at least a 5k run with Pontyclun Road Runners. We really should congratulate the volunteers who create this amazing opportunity for 376 members to enjoy a run with friends – women, men, all ages and all abilities. If I can enjoy a run at my age– so can most Pontyclun residents! Details at

2 Wish upon a Star
Rhian Burke is the remarkable Pontyclun resident who created the charity2 Wish Upon A Star’ which provides bereavement support for families who have suddenly and traumatically lost a child or young adult.
This charity has organised a ‘Family Run Day’ on September 9th at Llandow race circuit. It will include a fancy dress elephant dash for the under 7's, a shorter family run of 2k and a 5k run for the serious family members. If you go along you will meet members of Pontyclun Road Runners who are supporting this charity event.

Cllr Paul Griffiths
Chair of Pontyclun Community Council
e.mail: chair
Tel.      01443 229301

Friday, July 20, 2018

Pontyclun's Summer of Festivals

As I write we are enjoying a sixth week of continuous sunshine – nothing like it since 1976! And Pontyclun knows how to celebrate the sun with a month of fetes and festivals already under our belt.

The Community Council organised its ‘Picnic in the Park’

Hundreds of Pontyclun people came together to share a cake and sandwich, to wang a wellie, compete in the silliest of walks and the strangest of runs, as well as throwing and catching eggs with the greatest of skill. Our local Macmillan Group were raising funds, our theatre group attracted new recruits and our Community Garden put on their best show of plants and vegetables as a means of attracting ever more volunteers. Sam Jones and Ollie Smith won the welly wanging with a series of Olympian welly throws.

Pontyclun Primary School organised its annual fete, also in Pontyclun Park, and it was another day of sunshine and smiles as hundreds of families shared each other’s company in support of their own school.

Pontyclun Football Club organised an enormous children’s football festival which attracted teams from far and wide – it put events in Russia into the shade

Our Welsh medium Primary School in Miskin, Ysgol Llantrisant, started off our sequence of summer festivals with their very successful fete at the Rugby Club’s Windsor Fields.

Let’s face it – Pontyclun does know how to party!
The fun will continue through August.

Rugby Club Festival
On 11 August there will be the Hole/Palk charity rugby game at the Rugby Club with stalls, a funfair, bars and music from midday on to the evening.

 Pontyclun’s Festival of Food and Drink
On the Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday 25 August to Monday 27 August Pontyclun will enjoy its first Festival of Food and Drink, organised by the Pipeworks. 

The Community Council will close the Car Park on Heol yr Orsaf. The Pipe Works will erect a Marquee. There will be food stalls from many of our favourite providers including Fulbrooks and Lisa’s Deli. There will be the widest range of beers and gins.  

You must not miss it. Be there!

Vegetable garden & Allotment Competition
Pontyclun Community Council are arranging a Best Vegetable Garden and Allotment competition this summer. 
This competition is open to all residents of Pontyclun, including Miskin and Groes Faen and aims to promote a sense of pride in their gardens/allotments. It does not matter how small or large your vegetable garden/plot/allotment is, or how young or old you are, just enter and show us your efforts.

  1. Best Vegetable garden / plot
  2. Best small Vegetable garden/plot (less than 2m sq)
  3. Best Allotment
  4. Best Children's vegetable garden/plot
  5. Most Bee friendly vegetable garden/allotment

Contact Pontyclun Community Council for a form 01443 238500 or go to Pontyclun net/ Community Council

Anrhydeddu Carole
Llongyfarchiadau I Carole Willis a gaiff ei derbyn yn aelod o’r Orsedd yn Eisdeffod Genedlaethol ym mis Awst.
We wish to congratulate Community Councillor Carole Willis who will become a member of the Gorsedd at this year’s National Eisteddfod for her work in supporting the Welsh language in our community. It is an honour for Carole and for Pontyclun.

Weekly Councillor Surgery
Margaret Griffiths and Paul Griffiths hold a weekly surgery each Tuesday from 9 am to 9.45 at Pontyclun Library to cover all issues relating to RCT Council and Pontyclun Community Council.

Cllr Paul Griffiths
Chair of Pontyclun Community Council
e.mail: chair
Tel.      01443 229301

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Despite all the serious difficulties facing the British economy – Pontyclun remains a great place to live and work. We ...