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.

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 ...