Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource) - A Welsh Documentary Heritage Website
Identified by The National Library of Wales as an 'Important part of Wales' documentary heritage' Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource) - A Welsh Documentary Heritage Website
Identified by The National Library of Wales as an 'Important part of Wales' documentary heritage'
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Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource)


The Official Kenfig Community History Project
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History - The Kenfig Community (Neighbouring Villages & Towns around Kenfig)


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History

The Kenfig Community

Welsh Assembly Government sponsored & Heritage Status website on Kenfig's rich & colourful history

The Kenfig Community

History of Neighbouring Villages & Towns around Kenfig


Learn the history of each of the neighbouring villages and towns that surround the old borough of Kenfig. In this section you can learn of the history of each individual area; this section is closely linked through to the main Community section of Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource)










THE KENFIG COMMUNITY

Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource) THE KENFIG COMMUNITY
History of Neighbouring Villages & Towns around Kenfig

New Detailed Oral Accounts of Kenfig & Surrounding Areas

Read detailed oral accounts from local people of Kenfig and surrounding areas & experience what life was like in the 20th and early 21st centuries in South Wales during this point in time. Experience the trials and tribulations of a once thriving agricultural community changed forever with the advent of modern society, housing developments and changes in transportation taking a once sedate community into an urban sprawl.

The Kenfig I Knew...60 Years Ago (c.1922 as orig documented in 1982)
William R. Thomas (Mabon) - Extract from Kenfig History Booklet 1982 - Arthur Smith

Kenfig Farm c.1952 Ton Kenfig c.1935 Nottage - Chestnut tree by shelter
I was born at the Old West Farm, Nottage on 17 August 1902. At that time the old farmhouse was a workman's cottage. My father was employed as a sheperd for the late William Thomas of New West Farm. Unfortunately, my father was sacked the day after I was born as he was found drinking and celebrating over my birth - the old farmer was very much against drink.
My dear mother was the youngest daughter of the late William Thomas, a bailiff of the old Kenfig Burgesses. My grandfather was better known as William Thomas Tynewydd, which is the proper name for the Prince of Wales Inn. When my father was dismissed from his job after my birth he had to get out of the cottage but luckily a house was found for him at Kenfig, the owners being Mr & Mrs J Joseph of Ty Coch Farm. My dear mother was very ill and never recovered after my birth. Thus she passed on to the land that is 'Fairer than Day' at the age of 25.
I have what few people can boast, two birth certificates; one is in my mother's Bible which was presented to her on the occasion of her marriage by the Kenfig Sunday School, the other is still growing by the shelter in Nottage - a chestnut tree planted by Mr W. G. Loveluck of Greenfields, Cornelly. This tree was planted the day I was born to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII.

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THE KENFIG COMMUNITY

Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource) THE KENFIG COMMUNITY
History of Neighbouring Villages & Towns around Kenfig

Kenfig Farm c.1952 Ton Kenfig c.1935 Nottage - Chestnut tree by shelter

New Detailed Oral Accounts of Kenfig & Surrounding Areas

William R. Thomas (Mabon)


The Kenfig I Knew...60 Years Ago (c.1922 as orig documented in 1982)

I was born at the Old West Farm, Nottage on 17 August 1902. At that time the old farmhouse was a workman's cottage. My father was employed as a sheperd for the late William Thomas of New West Farm. Unfortunately, my father was sacked the day after I was born as he was found drinking and celebrating over my birth - the old farmer was very much against drink.

My dear mother was the youngest daughter of the late William Thomas, a bailiff of the old Kenfig Burgesses. My grandfather was better known as William Thomas Tynewydd, which is the proper name for the Prince of Wales Inn. When my father was dismissed from his job after my birth he had to get out of the cottage but luckily a house was found for him at Kenfig, the owners being Mr & Mrs J Joseph of Ty Coch Farm. My dear mother was very ill and never recovered after my birth. Thus she passed on to the land that is 'Fairer than Day' at the age of 25.

I have what few people can boast, two birth certificates; one is in my mother's Bible which was presented to her on the occasion of her marriage by the Kenfig Sunday School, the other is still growing by the shelter in Nottage - a chestnut tree planted by Mr W. G. Loveluck of Greenfields, Cornelly. This tree was planted the day I was born to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII.

I was brought up by good grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. I am of the stock and blood of the oldest family of the old parish of Kenfig, the Thomas's of Ty Newydd. My great grandfather kept the Old Tavern Tynewydd, his name was William Richard Thomas; the same name was given me. I was at the ripe age of 13 when I started to earn my living, working for Mr Dan Rees of Kenfig Farm at a top wage of 3 shillings & sixpence and my food.

My grandfather was bailiff of the Burgesses for many years; after leaving Tavern Tynewydd he lived at the old cottage Ty Tair Pren (the thatched cottage by the 3 trees where the bungalow now stands - 1982). The cottage was rent-free with a fixed wage of 15 shillings a week. As the bailiff he was responsible for the animals grazing on the common (cattle, sheep, horses, pigs, geese and chickens). Every autumn the ferns taken off the common by the farmers were marked out in lots called 'gunns' at a price of 10 shillings per gunn. The ferns were used for bedding the animals during the winter months when tied to the stalls (especially fat bullocks & the working horses used for tilling the land).

Another job was keeping the tally of the sheep being washed in Kenfig Pool - there was a fold specially built for this job. To make it easy to keep count of how many were being washed my granddad used to give me a 3 penny piece to fetch a hundred pebbles from Sker Beach; he then used to slit a corn sack and spread it on the ground with four large pebbles in each corner. Then for every sheep washed he would put a pebble on the sack and check the number after very farmer's flock. This was a trickey business as some farmers were cute - they used to bring gallons of beer & give some to the old man till he'd drop off to sleep and loose count! But I was always on watch. The old farmers count would always be a dozen less than they actually had; I would wake the old man and tell him in Welsh 'watch out, they're trying to cheat you!' The sheep dipping was mostly done on Saturdays - each farmer would bring along 1 or 2 men (5 in all), 3 in the water and 2 in the fold. The men in the water would have old clothes on and go waist deep in the pool.

Customers - Local Farmers c.1922

  • Thomas, Parc Newydd
  • Dai Hopkin, Ty Talbot
  • Dick the Paddy, Rose & Crown
  • David, Farmer's Arms
  • William Thomas, New West Farm
  • All of Nottage
  • Jenkin Henry, Danylan, Newton
    always recieved ½ gold sovereign
  • J. Joseph, Ty Coch Farm
  • Johns, Grove Farm
  • Thomas, Danygraig
  • Thomas, Tydraw, South Cornelly
  • Hopkin Howell, Penymynydd Farm
An important task was the gathering of the monies which meant a very long walk as there were no cars or buses in those days. This meant a walk from Three Trees to Newton starting at 8 o'clock, my dear aunt and I wouldn't get home till about 9 at night. Now I will gladly admit I used to do well on the trip, having tips from almost everyone. (See opposite list... Customers - Local Farmers c.1922) Another task was the planting of the brwyn on the common from Sker to the river. This was done to check the sand blizzards so as to prevent another Kenfig being buried.

Now, a word of praise for the home guards of Kenfig & Maudlam. They were a voluntary squad of locals most of whom have passed on. At this time (1914) vicar of St Mary Magdalene, Maudlam & St James, Pyle was the Revd D.J.Arthur who married the daughter of William Morgan of Marlas Farm. The Revd D.J. was a popular vicar, chairman of concerts & many social events.

It was during the 1914-18 War that the vicar invited another vicar friend of his to see the church at Maudlam; it so happened that when the visiting friend arrived, a Mr Clarke of Port Talbot (relative of Mr R Clarke of Central Garage, Pyle Cross) was fishing for pike in Kenfig Pool. This Mr Clarke used to come on his motorbike & sidecar; he used to take his sidecar off & fill the bolt-holes with corks and away to go... one time he narrowly missed being arrested by the Home Guard as they claimed he was signalling to a German submarine in the Bristol Channel.

Of the farmers of Kenfig there were 3 outstanding characters...
  • W.B.Loveluck, a man of the law
  • the ballyman W.J.Rees, Maindy Farm
  • Rees Thomas of Pool Farm
  • The latter took over Pool Farm after his 4 batchelor uncles, William, Rees, Robert and Edward passed on. The women at this time would club together, taking coal, sticks, boilers and food. They apread the washing over the bushes and ferns to dry and finished up having a dip themselves.

    Now I am on the last and most important chapter of this real, true and honest knowledge of the Kenfig I knew... Kenfig C.M. Sunday School which in 1963 celebrated 100 years. This school was formed by Mr & Mrs Richard Bowen in their house at Ton Kenfig in 1863. It was transferred to the Town Hall in the same year when Evan Howell of Penymynydd Farm, Edmond Thomas of Heol Las & William Rees (father of the late Dan Rees, Kenfig Farm) were the chief founder members. (My 1st wife was the grand daughter of Mr & Mrs Richard Bowen).

    Footnote:
    William Thomas was made a Burgess of Laugharne, Carmarthen... 'as being the one and only son of my father, at a fee of 10 shillings. One of the rules was that I slept in Laugharne 3 nights a year and attended the Mayoral Sunday Service at St.Martin's Church and breakfast at the Brown's Hotel, Laugharne.'
    Oral Account provided by William R. Thomas (Mabon) in 1982. Source: Kenfig History Booklet 1982 - Arthur Smith
    Webpage Author: Mr Rob Bowen - Kenfig.org Local Community Group, 2011

    Kenfig - The Complete History (e-Resource) THE KENFIG COMMUNITY

    History of Neighbouring Villages & Towns around Kenfig

    EXPLORE KENFIG - THE COMPLETE HISTORY (E-RESOURCE)


    HISTORY

    WAR YEARS

    COMMUNITY

    FOLKLORE

    THE COAST

    OLD PHOTOGRAPHS




    Acknowledgements


    Bibliography

    • Bridgend County Borough Council Library & Information Services
    • Rob Bowen - Kenfig.org Local Community Group

    Webpage Author

    • Rob Bowen - Kenfig.org Local Community Group, 2011



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    EXPLORE KENFIG - THE COMPLETE HISTORY (e-RESOURCE)

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    Folklore

    The Coast

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