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RECREATION
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MINER’S WELFARE HALL
(Reading Room, Library and New Hall)

A Miners' Welfare hall was built adjacent to the original village school, which was eventually converted into a Co-operative store and this was demolished to make way for a new hall, called the New Hall in the early 1950's. This comprised a large hall with a projection room with two movie projectors and a library.

The original library was located at the bottom of Dynevor Street adjacent to Station Terrace. This building ceased its original function during 19XX and was used as a YMCA for many years and as a depository for dirty washing associated with the local dry cleaning concern run by Mr James of Aelybryn. This was demolished at the same time as the Cae Glas estate during the early 1970's

A wooden building which housed a Snooker Hall, which contained four tables, and Reading Room was built opposite the Post Office. This was affectionately know as "The Hut" which burnt down and was never replaced in 19XX

Behind the hut was located a small building for the Fochriw Motor Cycle Club.

SYNOPSIS

Library and Reading Room

It was on a Wednesday night during the last week of June 1889 that the Reading Room and Library, which was located on the corner of Dynevor Street and Railway Terrace, was opened. The building was exceedingly commodious and an appropriate one. It was originally built at a cost of some £300 and owned by the Primitive Methodists, who sold it to Mr. Richard Cory of the Cardiff based shipping company. Mr Cory, in turn, made a present of it to General Booth of the Salvation Army. The Salvationists, however, did not prosper long, and the building went into disrepair when Fochriw’s Dr. Davies took the matter up and obtained the generous aid of Mr. Cory in prevailing on General Booth to sell it at a nominal figure. Through the interest of Mr. Martin, the Fochriw Colliery Manager, the Dowlais Iron Company supplied the funds for the purchase of the building.

Some weeks prior to its opening, a benefit concert was held at the Board School which was the first of many held over the forthcoming years. During December 1900 a concert was held at Board School for funds to have acetalyne gas supply for lighting the Reading Room. The places of worship in the village already having this brilliant light.

In order to supplement and increase the stock of library books many locals contributed books.

A general meeting was held during November 1920 and amongst the matters discussed was the establishment of a billiard hall, but it was not until January 1922 that a large hut was purchased complete with a number of billiard tables, and erection was completed during December of that year.

The “Hut” as it was to be affectionately known as, entailed a great deal of labour and sacrifice on the part of the members who had given their own time and labour for the purpose. The opening ceremony was performed by Mrs. John Bevan, the wife of the Fochriw Colliery manager, before a large crowd. Mr. Edward Lewis, chairman, gave Mrs. Bevan, a handsomely inscribed key to commemorate the event. Mrs. Bevan unlocked the door and the crowd went inside where a first-class musical programme had been arranged.