Founded in 1964, the Cwm Dulais Historical Society is concerned with the study of history, and has the particular objective of encouraging interest in all aspects of the local history of the Dulais Valley in the South Wales area. Its main catchment area comprises the villages of Coelbren, Banwen, Dyffryn Cellwen, Pantyffordd, Seven Sisters, and Crynant. It also includes Cilfrew and Aberdulais.
The Society’s present activities include:
- Stimulating a general awareness of the importance of the past. Regular programmes of public meetings are arranged, through which, along with lectures of broad historical interest, an emphasis is placed on local studies. There is also a Members Night (to which non-members are equally welcomed) when those who do not normally contribute to the programme are invited to do so.
- Arranging annual outings to places of historical interest
- Co-operating with local schools and other bodies on historical projects.
- Scrutinising planning applications. Appropriate representations are made, where this is considered necessary to protect local historical features.
- Collecting and preserving items of local historical significance. An Archive has been established and a database compiled, currently numbering over 1,600 entries.
- Responding to enquires. These cover a wide range; varying from local callers simply wanting addresses etc., to letters from people researching their family history or students working on theses.
- Serving as a focal point in bringing together people with similar interests. In addition to fulfilling a certain educational function, we try to fulfil a role in other aspects of valley life, including a significant social function. Our membership is largely made up of pensioners, who enjoy the occasional opportunity for reminiscing and indeed for making personal contributions to the next generation’s understanding of the changing patterns of life within this valley. Many of our members enjoy the opportunity to reminisce on their memories and indeed offer personal contributions towards the ongoing understanding of the changing patterns of life within the valley.
- Playing a part in local affairs. The Society is non party-political and non sectarian, but it co-operates with a variety of community activities.