View across the Afan Valley
Cwmafan shown within Neath Port Talbot
|OS grid reference||SS774922|
|Principal area||Neath Port Talbot|
|Ceremonial county||West Glamorgan|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||PORT TALBOT|
|Fire||Mid and West Wales|
Cwmafan (Welsh: Cwmafan), sometimes known as Cwmavon in English, is a large village and community in the Afan valley in Wales, lying within Neath Port Talbot County Borough. It has a population of 5,603, increasing slightly to 5,615 at the 2011 Census. In many ways it is a suburb of the nearby town of Port Talbot which is less than 2 miles (3.2 km) to the south, but it is separated from the town by the local geography. The literal translation of Cwmafan from Welsh to English is 'Valley of Raspberries', Cwm meaning valley and Afan being raspberries and the name of the river that passes through the valley.
The village is surrounded by hills, the biggest being Foel Fynyddau which stands 370 m (1200 ft) high and lies on the northern edge of the village. West of Foel Fynyddau is Mynydd-y-Gaer, the summit of which is where the community boundaries of Cwmavon, Baglan and Briton Ferry all meet. The River Afan runs through the village from North East to South West. The area of Ynysygwas lies to the east of the village, Brynbryddan to the West and Pwllyglaw to the North.
The village has an industrial history with metalworking being particularly significant. There were large copper, iron and tin works as well as many coal mines close by. The metal ores, from as far away as Chile, were off-loaded in Port Talbot or Swansea docks and brought by rail to Cwmafan.
One notable event in the history of the town was in 1985 when the Ynys-y-Gwas bridge suddenly collapsed, cutting off water supply to the residents. A resident of Maesteg, Paul Barry, was fortunate enough to escape unharmed from the incident, despite being on the bridge when it collapsed.
The village is also home to several sporting grounds, the most prominent of these being the Welfare Ground, home to Cwmavon RFC who are currently playing in the Welsh Rugby Union leagues. A second rugby union pitch along with a football pitch, tennis courts and bowling green are located at " Parc Siencyn Powell" (Formerly named Parc-y-Llyn), which is administered by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council.
Residents of note
- William Abraham, trade unionist and MP.
- Chris Needs is a BBC Radio Wales presenter who grew up in Cwmavon.
- Ioan Kidd, Welsh-language author born and raised in Cwmafan.
- Joseph John Richards, born between Cwmavon and Aberavon, became famous in the United States as a composer of march tunes and a bandleader.
- George Thomas, Viscount Tonypandy, was living at 62 Gower Street, Cwmavon, age 3, in the 1911 census.
- Lyn Jones, former Wales international rugby union player, later coach of the Ospreys.
- Rees Richards, a Wales international at rugby union and rugby league was born in Cwmavon.
- "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Neath Port Talbot Retrieved 9 January 2010
- BBC news report on recent bridge danger referring back to this event Accessed: 3.12.2012
- Wales Today News reports Accessed: 3.12.2012
- Profile of Chris Needs, BBC Radio Wales (2007-10-05). Accessed: 2008-06-08
- "ESPN Scrum - Lyn Jones". Retrieved 21 November 2009.
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