In 1998 the Gwynfe Community Association was Constituted and became instrumental in successfully securing funding from Cynnal - the Millennium Commission, Carmarthenshire County Council's Rural Grant Programme, the then Welsh Office and BBNPA, for replacing it's old Hall with a new 21st century Hall for Gwynfe; we recognize the help given by Antur Cwm Taf/Twyi to source these grants.
The intention of our Association was to foster Community involvement and social inclusion by ensuring all age groups and abilities in the community were able to participate locally in social, educational, recreational and leisure activities.
The Builders, Doel & Rowlands handed over the keys in May 2001 and the Hall was officially opened, by Carwyn Jones AM, Minister for Rural affairs, in November 2001.
People who regularly use the Hall are the Gwynfe Show Committee, the Gwynfe Darts Club and of course the Gwynfe Community Association and the Hall Management Committee, who run the ICT Lessons, the Yoga Club, Welsh Lessons and present Shows & Drama and oversee events such as the New Years Eve Parties and in May 2002, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations.
In 2001, we were successful in obtaining grants from BT, WCVA, Lloyds TSB Foundation, BBNPA Sustainable Challenge Fund, Sport and Carnegie UK Trust to acquire a Telephone System, an Induction Loop, Sports Equipment, Office Equipment, a Pool Table, eight Computers and two Printers for ICT training and a Cyber Cafe, and furniture, fittings and equipment for the Hall and Kitchen.
In 2002 we received a grant from Community Fund to add a demountable Stage, Stage Curtains, Stage Lighting and Lanterns, Large Screen TV/Video & Projector System, a Sound System including a Stereo CD Player and Stereo Cassette, Scanner and various Kitchen Equipment.
In February 2003, we were informed by Carmarthenshire County Council that the Sports Council for Wales had awarded us a SPORTLOT Community Chest Grant towards establishing a Yoga Club. In March 2003, we were told that our application for a BBNPA's Sustainable Events Grant had been accepted and that they would support us with our ‘Spring Show’.
In December 2003 our Secretary was able to source a Grant to cover the the Trainer's Fee for Yoga Sessions in 2004; for this we are indebted to The Atlantic Foundation.
Then in January 2004, the Secretary June, was able to source another grant from Carmarthenshire Local Health Board, for the Yoga Club. With these two grants the Yoga Club Trainer’s fee has been secured, well into 2005.
At the end of April 2004, the Secretary managed to secure an Award from Arts Council of Wales; this was used to purchase a Digital Piano. There was a Community Launch with a
Cheese & Wine Evening and a Recital, which was enjoyed by all.
Becoming victims of our own success and finding that we were very short of storage place, the Secretary applied for and received funding from Wales Council for Voluntary Action for a Camu 'mlaen Grant and to Carmarthenshire County Council for a RSTP Grant; Doel & Rowlands Tendered for the construction and in January 2005, handed over the Keys to the competed structure. We now have a roomy Storage Facility, which Betty and June are most please about.
We won "Carmarthenshire 2004 Village of the Year" & Winner in Carmarthenshire of All 5 Categories and a cheque for £100 for being IT Winner in Carmarthenshire. Three months later June journeyed to London, with Mary Davies, to receive £500 for Gwynfe Wales’ Winner for Information Communication Technology.
In 2005 our Secretary June, accessed a Cultural Grant for a St. David's Day Celebration. During 2004, June started sourcing a grant from Rural Community Action in Carmarthenshire for a Community Map and a handmade Cabinet to Display it in our Garden; a further grant in 2005 from the same source, paid for 100 Fold Up Maps, which when sold, would put £1,000, pure profit, into our Bank Account. In March 2006, June sourced another grant to pay for 'Community Celebrations' to Launch these Maps. Rev Guto Prys ap Gwynfe was our Speaker and it was an enjoyable evening with Refreshments included.
In December 2005, the Secretary received a cheque for £1,000, from the Community Facilities and Activities programme, towards the Yoga Teacher's training fees, making it possible for Yoga to continue for another year. The pupils greatly benefit from these Classes.
On New Year's Eve 2005 disaster struck and we found the Hall flooded - the Plumber declared that due to the arctic conditions in Gwynfe (-8 degrees) a few water pipes had burst in the Loft; when we had recovered from the shock, we got to work with our Insurance Company & Loss Adjuster, Builders, Plumber, Electrician and Painters and the Hall was up and running in March. Unfortunately many events had to be postponed or cancelled during January and February, but Llangadog Community Council gave us a donation of £100 towards the repair of the Public Toilets.
Between August 2004 and March 2006 we have worked with Antur Teifi on three projects - (1) to produce a Community Map, (2) to produce 100 Fold-Up Maps for sale to the Community and general public and (3) a Community Celebration to launch the Map. The outcome has been a success and we have enjoyed working with Antur Teifi on this project.
Having obtained a Licence to become a venue to hold Marriage Ceremonies, we held our first Wedding in April 2006; Terry and Jan from New Inn had this privilege as they had paid the costs of the Licence - £580. Since then we have received two more bookings, one in August for the Marriage of Terri and Angus of Glanrhyd and the other in September of Charlotte and Joe Rideout.
As our Insurance Company paid for four computers and a Printer to replace those which were lost during the 'flood'. our Secretary has bid for funding to replace the four remaining Computers; we await news.
In October 2006, the Secretary heard that her bid was successful and Gwynfe Community Association had received £4,210 from the lottery-funded grants programme 'Awards For All Wales', for replacing the remaining four Computers; the grant will also enable the provision of a complete Network setup, Broadband for the Hall, Wireless Free Internet and installation. The Hall Management Committee is delighted, as are the Tutors, to be now teaching on Windows XP and an up-to-the-minute upgraded Computers.
In December 2006 our Secretary's bid for funding, for the Computers for the Community Classes, was successful and Gwynfe Community Association received £2,000 administered by CAVS.
In August 2007 Secretary June, the Fund Finder, found £930.23 for replacement Heaters in our Community Hall; administered by CAVS, this CFAP Grant from the National Assembly for Wales is of great assistance to Gwynfe Hall Committee and a piece of good fortune for members of the Community whom use the Hall - ask anyone.
Gwynfe Community Hall received a Carmarthenshire Local Projects Fund grant in January 2008; County Councillor D Huw Morgan has decided to offer Gwynfe Hall a general grant of £420 to enable the Committee to identify small-scale projects such as improvements, repairs, or redecorations to the Hall, local events or festivals, or small-scale environmental improvements.
The Secretary has procured a Grant of £2,000 in January 2008 for Yoga Practice, from the Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust; the Yoga Club is extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue this marvellous Practice. The Grant pays for the Teachers Fees of £400 for a 10 week session and pupils pay £1.50 (same price kept since 2001) per week, taken at the beginning of the session, to pay Gwynfe Community Hall Hire Fees of £105 per 10 week session.
The Secretary Organized a Community Basic First Aid Course during September 2008, when seven members in the Gwynfe were accredited British Red Cross First Aid Badges; she then went on to secure a CFAP Grant of £1,495 to purchase and install a Defibrillator in Gwynfe; many people in the Village felt it a necessity in this very scattered, far-reaching locality, accessed only by narrow country lanes off the A4069; we hope that the Defibrillator will never have to be used, but in an emergency if needed, and in conjunction with our Ambulance Service, we hope it will be useful for any resident of Gwynfe. We are grateful for this funding which is provided by the National Assembly through the Community Facilities and Activities Programme and administered by CAVS. In March 2009 the Secretary then went on to organize a Defibrillation Course and now there are seven members of the Community qualified to use a Machine in our Village. The Community Association will now be able to purchase a Defibrillation Machine and plans to have one installed for the Village are going forward.
In July 2010 we received External Funding from Carmarthenshire County Council through Tidy Towns and Brian and Kevin, two cleansing operatives power washed the Patio & Gutters of the Gwynfe Community Hall.
These two photographs were taken from Ysgubor-lan of the August Sunset. This of the Sunset looking towards Nantgwyn & Cwmcoy
The one below, the Sunset reflected on the Black Mountains looking at them from Ysgubor-lan
Gwynfe Community Association & Hall Management Committee were thrilled and privileged to welcome to the Hall on Friday 04 February 2011, Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, to celebrate with Gwynfe, the 10 Anniversary of our Millennium Hall. Much planning by the committee has gone into the visit, community groups set up presentations to show what we in the Village have accomplished over the last ten years, Friends of Gwynfe Community Hall arrived early in the morning to prepare Refreshments (kindly donated by Mr. Paul Vincent of the Co-Operative Group Llandovery) and Llangadog Primary School children sang and played instruments for the First Minister. The First Minister met and spoke to each and every member of the community present and the dignitaries whom included BBNPA Chief Executive Mr. John Cook, representing Carmarthenshire County Council County Cllr Clive Scourfield and County Cllr Huw Morgan, Chair of Llangadog Community Council Cllr Mrs. Jennifer Hughes; David Petersen and Richard Meade representing ACT/T the group who pointed us in the right direction back in 1999, to start building the Hall. The First Minister was captivated by the children and there were many good photo opportunities for the locals; our Chairman Hugh Davies proposed a Toast to the Hall and First Minister, taking us briefly through the last ten years; Secretary June Madeira-Cole was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for her work during the last decade, then Hugh asked the First Minister to cut the delicious Cake, made especially for the occasion, by Mrs. Sheila Morgan Brynchwith; the First Minister recognised the community’s hard work, gave us words of encouragement for the future and asked us to raise our glasses to Toast the Hall’s success. The Secretary asks if you could lend her your photographs to display in the Hall and copy to keep in the archives for the twenty year celebrations; please get in touch at 01550 740602 for details.
Red Kites at Gwynfe Community Hall; some of the community have probably noticed that they are missing; the committee during a routine inspection, became aware of the Sculpture, produced by the famous and talented Carmarthenshire Sculptor Simon Hedges, was becoming unsafe. Gwynfe Community Association appealed to Llangadog Community Council for funds to replace the Kites and the Council has kindly donated £1,600 toward this purpose. The Kites will be carved in Oak, extending their life considerably; the community will be kept in touch with progress on their Three Red Kites.
1st sightings of our Red Kites
Progress made by Simon
Gwynfe’s Three Red Kites are now complete and as the entire Council and Clerk were in Gwynfe for the meeting, it was thought that the handing over and acceptance ceremony should occur before Council meeting.
The Three Red Kites is a carving created by Simon Hedger, well known and talented Sculptor of Capel Dewi, his carvings displayed all over Carmarthenshire; Secretary June said, “Tourist and visitors to Gwynfe stop to admire the Kites – we have many real Kites flying over the village. We use the Kites as the logo for our letterhead and the carving has become an established part Gwynfe’s history. The Hall was originally opened in 2001 by the First Minister, then, AM Minster of Rural Affairs, whom had his photograph taken with the young people of Gwynfe posed near the original Red Kites.”
The original carving was made of Ash and expected to last only ten years; the carving was recently taken down because of fears of committee members that it may be an accident waiting to happen. Hugh and June talked about asking Llangadog Community Council for a donation towards their project and Cllr Colin Evans, the other Councillor for Gwynfe was involved.
This carving is made with the heart of Oak, sourced in Gelli Aur and is expected to last for 40 years.
During the ceremony, Chair, Cllr Gwen Cleaver handed over to Cllr Hugh Davies (Council Vice-Chairman) & June Madeira-Cole (Clerk to the Council) and accepted by them as representatives of Gwynfe Community Association - Chairman and Secretary.
Unfortunately, Cllr Hugh Davies missed the photo-shoot but was there for the handing over ceremony; Council Chair, Gwen Cleaver said, “I am thrilled to see this iconic carving, delighted it is back in situ and I am pleased that the Council could support Gwynfe with this project.” Cllr Davies thanked the Council on behalf of the community of Gwynfe.
Association Treasurer, Paul Reeves took the photograph.
Front row: Cllr Geraint Evans
Back row: Cllr Ellis Davies, Cllr Colin Evans, Cllr Wyn Jones,
Cllr Jennifer Jones, Cllr Rosemary Cookson
Opposite: Chair, Cllr Gwen Cleaver, Clerk to Llangadog Community Council June Madeira-Cole.
The Red Telephone Kiosk in the centre of the Village, placed outside All Saints Church Gwynfe, has been bought by Llangadog Community Council and handed over to Gwynfe Community Association in June 2011. The Community Association has fought long and hard to keep the telephone kiosk in the centre of the Village, but BT has finally decided to decommission it and as it is a Listed Building, can not remove the Red Box itself. June, the Secretary consulted groups in the Village and rather than let it fall into disrepair, they agreed with the Community Association to accept the Red Box; a meeting of interested parties decided to work with BBNPA to make it into an Information Centre. Plans progress.
Gwynfe Community Association’s St. David’s Day Celebration were fantastic; every time we hear Côr Meibion Dinefwr they sound better - we had a fun night with Musical Director John Williams in good form, leading the Choir with a brand new programme of songs and Ben Montaigue doing his normal best accompanying them on the Association Piano. The Choir donated the funds from the evening to the Association’s fund-raising efforts. The Cawl was prepared and cooked by three local ladies, Betty, Sheila Brynchwith and June H Pencae Newydd, with Betty, Sheila and Glenys Griffin donating the raw materials; the three ladies also served the Cawl and trimmings with help from Mary Dafadfa and Haulwen Pumpsaint (Griffin) who also took some very good photographs. County Cllr Andrew James also worked hard for the fund-raising by sourcing Auction Prizes from Highgate Water Solutions, Goose & Cuckoo, Barons Court Hampers, Burdens and Wynstay; he also Auctioned the gifts from which we made a goodly amount. The Association thanks those who gave Raffle Prizes, and the ladies who lent Bowls for the Cawl. All the funds we raise will then be match-funded by Barclay.
Gwynfe’s Got Talent on Saturday 13 April provided the community with a marvellous evening’s entertainment; the Association has had many requests to have a similar evening, next year. The children recited poems, sang and told jokes with strong, beautiful voices and good timing and diction and showed confidence, singing without accompaniment. The next age group of children showed such poise and self-assurance. The grown-ups having already built a reputation on their individual talent; for instance music teacher and violinist Angharad Morgan who has played for many international artist including Bryn Terfel, Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins, Rhys Meirion, Wynne Evans and Kanya West. Ieuan Morgan, with John Williams whom at the last minute stood in for Eirian Davies who had developed a sore throat and Ben Montaigue, all members of Côr Meibion Dinefwr, and Colin Davies with whom the audience finished the evening singing popular songs we all knew and loved, are all well known musicians in their own right. We stopped for an Interval during which Wendy and Team served Beef Burgers and Hot Dogs; Wendy and George then donated the profits to our fund-raising project to rectify the Lane leading to Gwynfe Community Hall and All Saints Church. Julie Brenan an internationally known and distinguished artist, donated the print of a painting she had been commissioned to create, which achieved a goodly sum to add to the fund-raising to rectify the Lane leading to the Community Hall and All Saints Church and the Village Green; we thank George and Wendy for making the final bid. Here we have to mention young Chris Griffiths, who very professionally modeled the Print for viewing.
Gwynfe Community Association hosted an evening of fun on Saturday 04 May at their third fund-raising Show, “Music & Stories from the Swansea Valley”; as the locals know by now, the Association is gathering funds to rectify the Lane between Gwynfe Community Hall and All Saints Church. Alan Brookfield, a local of Gwynfe very generously organised this successful event for Gwynfe, playing guitar and singing his own compositions of experiences of a varied and quirky life; he sang a thoughtful song composed by his son, Gaz, about bullying. Owen Staton was a fantastic storyteller and performer and held us spellbound; Geraint, without Jamie, playing whistle, mandolin and bagpipes, but with Tracy on fiddle and Caradog playing harp performed in Welsh, encouraging us all to sing jolly Welsh songs. The audience was thanked for supporting this Show and the performers are sincerely thanked for giving up their evening to support Alun and Gwynfe, a community that is not their own. The Bowls Club are thanked for their help with the setting up the Stage, Tables & Chairs. Wendy and George are thanked again for their generous donation of the profits from the Hot Dogs and Beef Burgers.
Grant a successful bid has been made by a sub-committee led by the Secretary, for a grant from Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund, to tarmac the Lane leading to All Saints Church Gwynfe and Gwynfe Community Hall, provide a green space at the Village Green and buy a community Lawn Mower. Much of the preparatory work will be undertaken by the community of Gwynfe; Cllr Hugh Davies, Cllr Colin Evans (both of Gwynfe Ward) and Merion Jones, a member of Gwynfe Community Association, will prepare the ground work before the tarmac is laid; the Village Green project will also be undertaken by Cllr Colin Evans. Match-funding, is the money collected during the three Fund Raising Concerts which was an effort of the community; we also thank Barclay Bank for match funding the first £750 Gwynfe Community Association raised.
Gwynfe Community Association and Hall Management Committee AGM took place on 17 March 2014; there is now a new committee. Betty Griffiths is the Chairman, the Vice Chairman is John Cross, Colin Davies the Treasurer and June Madeira-Cole remains as Secretary. There are two new members on the General Committee June Howard and George Fleming.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Christopher Salmon, was in Llangadog Community Centre to gather public opinion on how communities in Gwynfe, Bethlehem and Llangadog wished to be kept safe. He was welcomed by Llangadog Community Council to the meeting which was held between 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm. on Thursday 03 April. This was an opportunity for people in the community of Gwynfe to express their views.
Members of Gwynfe Community Association & Hall Management Committee delivered questionnaires to all relevant households in Gwynfe and promised that those whom responded would be put into a Draw; this was drawn at our last committee meeting and the winner was, No: 55 Ieuan Glan Toddeb. Gwynfe Community Association would like to thank Janice Walters Pedair Heol, for the Welsh version of the Hall questionnaire, which she translated for gratis.
Community Congratulations to Becca and Jeremy Bryn Capel, on their recent marriage; the Reception was held at Gwynfe Community Hall which everyone agreed, was decorated beautifully by them. Becca’s cream gown was gorgeous and their guests, especially the ladies, were very fashionably dressed.
Gwynfe Community Association and Hall Management Committee changes in the light of June's recent decision to retire, with immediate effect, we have adopted a new structure and, the roles have been filled as follows. Betty Griffiths continues as Chair and additionally has taken on the role of Bookings Secretary. John Cross continues as Vice Chair and additionally has taken on the Social Secretary role. We are pleased to welcome Heather Johnson to the role of General Secretary. Colin Davies continues as Treasurer. June Howard and George Fleming fill the member roles.
Gwynfe Community Hall’s July event was a social evening on Saturday 19 July at 7:30pm with a presentation to June Madeira-Cole, to mark her retirement from Gwynfe Community Association & Hall Management Committee, after some 14 years’ generous service. June was pleasantly surprised that her son, Charles and grandson, Isaac attended the Party; County Cll Andrew James spoke to the audience about June's achievements of the last 15 years and presented her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a Book Token. The committee had arranged for a lovely Cake to be baked and June was toasted with a glass of wine by friends and neighbours; there was also a very tasty cold buffet supper. At 8.30pm a film of Under Milk Wood was shown to mark the Dylan Thomas Centenary.
Any ex-Gwynfe community member will remember that there is no Shop, School, or Public House here - or Public Transport, for many years so we could have quite easily become socially isolated. The locals have benefited by having the opportunity to become more involved in their Community, through the facilities, events and activities provided by the Hall Committee. Those with disabilities have also been able to take full advantage of the facilities, as the Hall is easily accessible to them. Most important there is no need to travel out of the area.
The Community appreciate this wonderful multi-purpose Hall, with all these facilities, right in the centre of our beautiful Village.