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Clydach
Population 7,500 (2000)
OS grid reference SN689013
Principal area Swansea
Ceremonial county West Glamorgan
Constituent country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SWANSEA
Postcode district SA6
Dialling code 01792
Police South Wales
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
European Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Swansea
List of places: UKWalesSwansea

Clydach is a town in the City and County of Swansea, South Wales, falling within the Clydach ward. It is located some 6 miles (9.5 km) north east of Swansea city centre. Its population in 2000 was 7,500, many of whom are pensioners. 24% of people living in Clydach class Welsh as their first language with Welsh and English language schools available. The town is close to the M4 motorway and Swansea.

Contents

[edit] Schools

The village used to be the home to the Cwmtawe Lower Comprehensive school, It was the junior part of the three tier school system, the other partners were, GCG lower school and Cwmtawe Upper School Pontardawe., Three schools were split, the lower schools were for the 11-13 years olds, and then the last three years of compulsary education was at the Cwmtawe Upper school in Pontardawe. The village used to have an infant school and middle junior school, and there was also a Roman Catholic School on the near by Pontardwe Road called, St.Joesph's Convent.

[edit] History

In the early 1800s, Clydach was a small village in the Swansea Valley. As the coal in the South Wales Valleys was a valuable commodity during the industrial revolution, Clydach experienced growth as a through road for transporting goods between Swansea and the many mines and heavy metal industries. The 16 mile (10 km) long Swansea Canal was built through the centre of Clydach between 1794 and 1798. It was constructed to transport up to 400,000 tonnes of coal a year from Ystalyfera to Swansea port. The canal remained profitable until 1902, when losses were first reported. This decline in revenue and profits was largely due to the competition from its rival the Swansea Vale Railway. The last commercial cargo carried on the Swansea Canal was in 1931 when coal was conveyed from Clydach to Swansea. Boats continued to operate on the canal after that date but only for maintenance work, with horse-drawn boats last recorded at Clydach in 1958. Only five of the original sixteen miles of the canal's length remain.

[edit] Population

The end of the 1800s and the early 1900s saw a significant growth in the village’s population. With the opening of The Mond in 1902 the village experienced significant growth as the factory became the main employer within the village.

Year Population
1801 722
1811 884
1821 948
1831 1,137
1841 1,438
1851 1,578
1861 1,720
1871 2,208
1881 3,529
1891 4,018
1901 4,462

The current population has recovered from the reduction seen in the early 1980s following the demise of mining and the heavy metal industries. The village's current population is currently approximately 7,500.

[edit] Clydach Hospital

Clydach War Memorial Hospital was re-opened in March 2003 following a £1million refurbishment. The hospital provides community based, clinic services and an operational base for the voluntary carer organisation "Cross Roads". Some of these services transferred into the hospital from the Clydach Health Centre releasing accommodation for the development of primary care services, whilst others transferred from accommodation, which no longer met the needs of the current services.


[edit] Retail

[edit] High Street

The centre of Clydach High Street, the main commercial area of the town has had major investments in improving its facilities. These include reshaping and resurfacing of the road, new flagstones to replace tarmac pavements, new trees, new seats and cycle racks. Funding for these schemes was provided by the WDA & the City & County of Swansea. A grant of over £130,000 was made available for local high street businesses to improve the frontage to their stores.

[edit] Clydach Market

Clydach has a market that is open from 06:00 until 13:00 on Wednesdays and from 09:00 until 16:00 on Sundays. with items such as CDs DVDs and perfume available. The authenticity of these items is often questionable with pirate and counterfeit CDs and DVDs being big business in many of the South Wales valley communities.[citation needed] In December 2003 it was reported by the BBC that Trading Standards were investigating how 500 Air Canada in-flight breakfasts came to be on sale at the market. The microwave meals of scrambled egg, bacon, sausage and mushrooms were being sold for 20p. They were supposed to be on a flight departing London Heathrow earlier that morning.[citation needed]

[edit] Industry

[edit] The Clydach Refinery

The Clydach Refinery, affectionately known as 'The Mond', was built by Ludwig Mond the inventor of the nickel carbonyl process at the turn of the 20th century. It started production in 1902. It is Europe’s largest nickel refinery. It is 100% owned by Vale Inco and produces nickel powder, nickel pellets and other various nickel-coated materials. It also has a Nickel Foam production plan that until recently was the sole provider of the Nickel foam required in the power cells of the Toyota Prius, production has since moved to a plant in China.

The plant was the heart of the village and one of the largest employers in the Swansea valley for many years. By 1910 over 40% of the village’s population worked in the refinery. Today, with improvements in processing and a rationalisation of products, the refinery now only employs just over 240 people, equating to 3% of the village's population.

There is a bronze statue of Ludwig Mond, commissioned after his death in 1909, amongst the daffodils opposite The Mond’s redbrick Edwardian entrance.

The refinery has been progressive in ensuring the reduction of emissions and pollutants. The River Tawe, which runs alongside the refinery, is once again home to breeding salmon and trout.

[edit] Leisure and Learning

[edit] Inco Golf Club

The town is home to an 18-hole golf course which was created by Inco. Until the mid 1980s however, when a relief road was built to reduce traffic travelling through the village, the course was prone to flooding due to its close proximity to the river.

[edit] Forge Fach

Following the demolition of the old Clydach swimming pool, or 'The Baths', or 'Dannys baths' as the locals called it, the Clydach Development Trust built a new multi purpose Resource Centre at 'Forge Fach[1], at a cost of approx. £1.5 million. The centre opened in 2006. It provides a range of facilities including I.T. centre, training, crèche, healthy living areas, community café with an external multi use games area including basketball courts. It also acts as an educational venue for the local St. John Ambulance Division, where members of the community can increase their skills in First Aid. The complex is situated next to the Forge Fach Waterfalls, part of the River Clydach.

[edit] Dynamic Rock

2006 saw the opening of the Old Public Hall, which was converted into an indoor climbing centre and was renamed Dynamic Rock. It is now home to the Swansea Indoor Climbing Centre. The walls are 12m high and feature overhangs, slabs, pillars, arêtes and arches.

[edit] Cwm Clydach

Cwm Clydach is a nature reserve owned by the RSPB on the outskirts of the village.

The Cwm Clydach nature reserve used to be the home to the Nixon and Bell Drift mine. It was affectionately known as Nixons and was one of the main employers until the 1960-1961. It was used after as a pumping station, and would drain water from the Abergelli and graig merthyr collierys and then on te then brynmill colliery at grovesend.

The colliery was a rock top colliery and there was even a steam boiler underground, which was rare in a colliery, but as there was no gas in the mine at that area it was safe enough.

Little remains of the colliery now, and there is a walk up the valley past other remnats of other NCB and private mines.

[edit] Cycling

Clydach is served by National Cycle Route 43.

[edit] Notes

  1. , [*[1]

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 50.80271° N 3.86041° W


(Source: Wikipedia)
 
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