Pontypridd

Pontypridd (Welsh pronunciation: [ˌpɔntəˈpriːð]) is a town and community in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales.[3] Colloquially known as "Ponty", it is 12 miles (19 km) north of Cardiff.

Pontypridd
The Old Bridge, Pontypridd.jpg
Pontypridd
Pontypridd is located in Rhondda Cynon Taf
Pontypridd
Pontypridd
Location within Rhondda Cynon Taf
Population32,694 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceST075895
Community
Principal area
Ceremonial county
CountryWales
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townPONTYPRIDD
Postcode districtCF37
Dialling code01443
PoliceSouth Wales
FireSouth Wales
AmbulanceWelsh
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
UK
Wales
Rhondda Cynon Taf
51°36′07″N 3°20′31″W / 51.602°N 3.342°W / 51.602; -3.342Coordinates: 51°36′07″N 3°20′31″W / 51.602°N 3.342°W / 51.602; -3.342

GeographyEdit

Pontypridd comprises the electoral wards of Cilfynydd, Glyncoch, Graig, Hawthorn, Pontypridd Town, 'Rhondda', Rhydyfelin Central/Ilan (Rhydfelen), Trallwng (Trallwn) and Treforest (Trefforest). The town mainly falls within the Senedd and UK parliamentary constituency by the same name, although the Cilfynydd and Glyncoch wards fall within the Cynon Valley Senedd constituency and the Cynon Valley UK parliamentary constituency. This change was effective for the 2007 Welsh Assembly election, and for the 2010 UK General Election.[4]

The town sits at the junction of the Rhondda and Taff valleys, where the River Rhondda flows into the Taff just south of the town at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.[5] Pontypridd community recorded a population of about 32,700 in the 2011 census figures.[6] while Pontypridd Town Ward itself was recorded as having a population of 2,919 also as of 2011.[7]

The town lies alongside the north–south dual carriageway A470 between Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil. The A4054, running north and south of the town, was the former main road, and like the A470, follows the Taff Valley. South of the town is the A473 for Llantrisant and Pencoed. To the west is the A4058, which follows the River Rhondda to Porth and the Rhondda Valley beyond.

HistoryEdit

EtymologyEdit

The name Pontypridd derives from the name Pont-y-tŷ-pridd, Welsh for "bridge by the earthen house", referring singly to successive wooden bridges that once spanned the River Taff at this point.

Old BridgeEdit

Pontypridd is noted for its Old Bridge, a stone construction across the River Taff built in 1756 by William Edwards. This was Edwards' fourth attempt, and, at the time of construction, was the longest single-span stone arch bridge in the world. Rising 35 feet (11 m) above the level of the river, the bridge forms a perfect segment of a circle, the chord of which is 140 feet (43 m). Notable features are the three holes of differing diameters through each end of the bridge, the purpose of which is to reduce weight. On completion, questions were soon raised as to the utility of the bridge, with the steepness of the design making it difficult to get horses and carts across. As a result, a new bridge, the Victoria Bridge, paid for by public subscription, was built adjacent to the old one in 1857. Pontypridd was known as Newbridge from shortly after the construction of the Old Bridge until the 1860s.

 
The drinking fountain in Taff St, Pontypridd, donated in 1895 by Sir Alfred Thomas, MP for East Glamorgan
 
Old Bridge, dating from 1756

CoalEdit

The history of Pontypridd is tied to the coal and iron industries; before their development Pontypridd was a hamlet of a few farmsteads, with Treforest initially becoming the main urban settlement in the area. Sited at the junction of three valleys, it became an important location for transporting coal from the Rhondda and iron from Merthyr Tydfil, first by the Glamorganshire Canal, and later by the Taff Vale Railway, to the ports at Cardiff, Barry and Newport. Its role in coal transport lengthened its railway platform, which is thought to have once been the longest in the world in its heyday.[8] Pontypridd in the second half of the 19th century was a hive of industry, once nicknamed the "Wild West".[9] There were several collieries within the Pontypridd area itself, including:

 
Tonypandy & Trealaw railway station during an early 1910s coal strike
 
Front page of the earliest surviving copy of the Welsh newspaper The Pontypridd Chronicle; 15 January 1881
  • Albion Colliery, Cilfynydd
  • Bodwenarth Colliery, Pontsionnorton
  • Daren Ddu Colliery, Graigwen & Glyncoch
  • Dynea Colliery, Rhydyfelen
  • Gelli-whion Colliery, Graig
  • Great Western/Gyfeillion Colliery, Hopkinstown
  • Lan Colliery, Hopkinstown
  • Newbridge Colliery, Graig
  • Pen-y-rhiw Colliery, Graig
  • Pontypridd/Maritime Collieries, Graig & Maesycoed
  • Pwllgwaun Colliery/'Dan's Muck Hole', Pwllgwaun
  • Red Ash Colliery, Cilfynydd
  • Ty-Mawr Colliery, Hopkinstown & Pantygraigwen
  • Typica Colliery, Hopkinstown & Pantygraigwen and
  • Victoria Colliery, Maesycoed

As well as deep-mined collieries, there were many coal levels and trial shafts dug into the hillsides overlooking the town from Cilfynydd, Graig, Graigwen, and Hafod. The Albion Colliery in the village of Cilfynydd in 1894 underwent one of the worst explosions in the South Wales coalfield, with the death of 290 colliers (see Keir Hardie).

Iron and steelEdit

Other instrumental industries in Pontypridd were the Brown Lenox/Newbridge Chain & Anchor Works south-east of the town, and Crawshay's Forest Iron, Steel & Tin Plate Works and the Taff Vale Iron Works, both in Treforest near the now University of South Wales.

BuildingsEdit

The town has a hospital, Dewi Sant Hospital and acts as the headquarters of Transport for Wales Rail at Llys Cadwyn.

GovernmentEdit

Pontypridd Urban District Council operated from 1894 to 1974, when it was incorporated into Taff Ely Borough Council. That in turn came under the unitary Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in 1995. Pontypridd Town Council functions as a community council. Labour is the dominant political force and has been since the First World War. The community elects 23 town councillors from 11 community wards: Cilfynydd, Glyncoch, Graig, Hawthorn, Ilan, Pontypridd, Rhondda, Rhydfelen Central, Rhydfelen Lower, Trallwng and Treforest.[10]

Pontypridd communityEdit

 
The Cilfynydd Commercial Hotel in Cilfynydd
 
St. David's Church in Hopkinstown

Pontypridd community comprises the town centre itself, as well as the following key villages/settlements:

Pontypridd also serves as the postal town for the community of Llantwit Fardre under the CF38 postcode district, although this area is not considered part of Pontypridd.

Transport linksEdit

Pontypridd came into being because of transport, as it was on the drovers' route from the south Wales coast and the Bristol Channel, to Merthyr, and onwards into the hills of Brecon. Although initial expansion in the valleys occurred at Treforest due to the slower speed of the River Taff at that point, the establishment of better bridge building meant a natural flow of power to Pontypridd.

RailwayEdit

 
Railway station

The establishment of Pontypridd over Treforest was finally confirmed with the building of the Glamorganshire Canal to serve the coalmines of the Rhondda valley. However, the volumes of coal extraction soon led to construction of the Taff Vale Railway, which at its peak meant in a train passed through Pontypridd railway station (including the freight lines immediately to its west) every two or three minutes.[11] The station was originally built as a long single island, at one point the world's longest platform, a reflection of both the narrow available geography of the steep valley side and the need to accommodate many converging railways lines at what became the 19th-century hub of the valleys.

Due to the restrictive geography, only parcels and mail were handled at Pontypridd. Heavy freight went to Treforest. The station today is operated by Transport for Wales, which is headquartered in the town. It reflects the fewer destinations served since the Beeching and earlier cuts, with one up (valley) platform, one down (through) platform, a down bay platform (opened December 2014), and only one passing loop.

Trams, trolleybuses, and busesEdit

A tram service began on 6 March 1905 from Cilfynydd through Pontypridd to Treforest. It gave way on 18 September 1930 to trolleybuses, which on 31 January 1957 were replaced by buses that replicated the route. Today's bus services are mainly provided by Trevor Evans on the Newtown, Bargoed, Talbot Green and Bridgend services), and Stagecoach in South Wales on long-distance routes to Cardiff, Rhondda, Cynon Valley, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly etc.)

EducationEdit

 
Glamorgan Business School (university)

Entertainment and social historyEdit

Sport and recreationEdit

 
Sardis Road rugby ground
 
The former paddling pool in Ynysangharad Park, now removed
 
The pitch and putt golf course in Ynysangharad Park
 
The bandstand in Ynysangharad Park

MediaEdit

  • Pontypridd has a community radio station GTFM which broadcasts to the county of Rhondda Cynon Taf on 107.9FM. Its studios are in Rhydyfelin, near Cardinal Newman School. It offers local news and information and a wide variety of music, while providing volunteering and training opportunities.
  • The Pontypridd and Llantrisant Observer[3] is the local newspaper.
  • Pontypridd has a digital media scene, with various companies having offices there.

CultureEdit

 
A memorial in Ynysangharad Park to Evan James and James James, composers of the Welsh national anthem

In popular cultureEdit

  • The name of the fictional Welsh town of Pontypandy, in which children's television programme Fireman Sam is situated, is a portmanteau of Pontypridd and Tonypandy.[16]
  • The Welsh TV show Belonging was shot in Pontypridd.
  • The BBC's Doctor Who and Torchwood have filmed at various location in and around Pontypridd, such as at the Market Tavern pub in Market Street and the Lido in Ynysangharad Park. Other locations:– Treforest, Hawthorn, Graigwen, Upper Boat, Trallwng, and Ynysybwl.

TwinningEdit

Pontypridd is twinned with Nürtingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Initial contact was made between the two towns in 1965, with a visit by Côr Meibion Pontypridd Welsh male voice Choir to a choir called Liederkranz ("Coronet of Songs") based in the Oberensingen area of Nürtingen. The visit was returned a year later. Reciprocal choir visits have continued and the partnership prompted Pontypridd Urban District Council to join with Nürtingen in a formal twinning relationship, under an agreement signed in July 1968 by John Cheesman, Mayor of Pontypridd, and Karl Gonser, Mayor of Nürtingen.[17]

Pontypridd is also twinned with Mbale, Uganda, since an official twinning ceremony in 2005, following links by local churches and health-care workers under the charitable Partnerships Overseas Networking Trust.[18]

Notable peopleEdit

In alphabetical order:

See Category:People from Pontypridd

SportsEdit

BibliographyEdit

  • Tobin, Patrick F. (1991). The Bridge and the Song, Some chapters in the story of Pontypridd. Bridgend: Mid Glamorgan County Libraries. ISBN 1-872430-05-8.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Town population 2011". Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  2. ^ http://pontypriddtowncouncil.gov.uk/[bare URL]
  3. ^ CHK (7 December 2007). "Rhondda Cynon Taf Local Development Plan". www.cartogold.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  4. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Electoral Regions (Wales) Order 2006, Schedule 1". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  5. ^ The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. John Davies, Nigel Jenkins, Menna Baines and Peredur Lynch (2008) pg692 ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6
  6. ^ The urban area with nearby communities has about 55,000. [1] Archived 26 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Office of National Statistics
  8. ^ Williams, Huw (1981) Pontypridd: Essays on the History of an Industrial Community. University College, Department of Extra-Mural Studies.
  9. ^ Ellis, Lucy (2009). Tom Jones Close Up. 0711975493
  10. ^ "The Rhondda Cynon Taf (Communities) Order 2016" (PDF). Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  11. ^ 'Pontypridd and The Taff Vale Railway', E. Mountford, in The Railway and Industrial Heritage of Pontypridd & District p. 16 (1985), Taff-Ely BC.
  12. ^ Fields of Praise, The Official History of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881–1981 pp26, David Smith, Gareth Williams (1980)
  13. ^ "British and Irish Cup draw announced | Club News | News & Views". Ponty.net. 13 May 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  14. ^ [2] Archived 13 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Home town welcomes back Tom Jones". BBC News. 28 May 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  16. ^ "Wales – Arts – Children – Fireman Sam". BBC. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  17. ^ The History of Twinning in Rhondda Cynon Taf RCT Website
  18. ^ Are Pontypridd and Rhondda Cynon Taf really twinned with places in Uganda?, PONT FAQS and PONT Background Archived 1 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Catrin Collier". ContactAnAuthor. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  20. ^ "The Supreme Court – Biographies of the Justices". www.supremecourt.uk. Retrieved 26 August 2021.

External linksEdit