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Pontarddulais means the bridge over the dark rushing waters. Although this name is no more than 300 years old, the history of the locality dates back at least 500 years. There is eveidence for this in bronze age and Iron age hit and settlement circles, standing stones, barrows and mounds which abound, along the valley in which it lies and the surrounding hills.

One memorial to the Normans which stood until earlier this century, was a magnificent four arched stone bridge around which inns and dwellings were soon built and a community was formed.

Using the power of the swift flowing river, grinding mills woolen, flannel and fleece dyeing mills, hat, glove and shoe making manufactories, smithies and ostlers were established.

Throughout the Medieval era these industries flourished alongside the inevitable mining, agriculture and a well-established fishing industry. Salmon, sewin and eels were netted from coracles right up to the turn of the century.

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During the nineteenth century the village was one of the focal points of the 'Rebecca Riots'. Even in the turmoil of the Riots a railway was completed along the valley so that the first steam trains were operating as early as 1840 linking the old township with the newly industrialised areas of England.

In 1866 the first of seven tinplate works commenced operation and ina little more than a decade the population increaded from 1200 to 10,000.

The immigrants were mainly from the rural west of Wales, so the language, customs and culture were maintained and even enhanced. This particularly applied to the tradition of making music.

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Religion paid an an important part in the very early days of the community. The first church is believed to be the Old Church on the Marsh which features in the choir's badge.

This church was probably first established as a Celtic Church in about the sixth centuray A.D. before becoming Christian sometine in the fifteenth century.

The first Nonconformist chapels were built as early as 1717 although Nonconformism had been practised illegally in private homes for many years prior to this.

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With the contraction of the tinplate industry the village has now lost its grimy, smoky, apparel and has reverted to being a quite yet vibrant township.

Fortunately, the musical tradition lives on, and the choir is the product of the centuries-old culture.

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Hearts and Voices
CD Recording - Hearts and Voices

Forthcoming Concerts
» 25/11/2017 «
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