Ystradgynlais & District

History and Heritage

People of Sardis Chapel

The articles from the Llais listed below give an indication of the people of Sardis Chapel before, during, and just after the First World War.

Trustees of Sardis

From the page discussing Water Street and the subsequent demolition and rebuilding plans, a picture can be gained of the trustees of Sardis Chapel, and of their role in discussing and deciding matters related to the property, the lease, and building plans.


At a meeting of the members of the Sardis Chapel on Sunday evening, Miss Elizabeth Williams, daughter of Councillor Tom Williams Cynlais Stores was appointed organist of the chapel. She is well known as an accomplished musician, and will be an acquisition to the musical life of the chapel.

LLAIS 17th APRIL 1915

Condolence is also expressed with Councillor and Mrs T Williams in the serious illness of their only daughter, Miss Eliza Williams, whose condition we learn is critical. We trust that she too may soon take a turn for the better and have a speedy recovery.

LLAIS 24th APRIL 1915

We are glad to know that Miss Elizabeth Williams, daughter of Councillor Tom Williams, Cynlais Stores, who was reported last week to be critically ill, is now happily recovering, and has been able to get downstairs this week. Miss Williams is the talented organist at Sardis Chapel, the members of which are hoping to see her back in her old place very soon now.

LLAIS 22nd MAY 1915
Miss Elizabeth Williams, daughter of Councillor T Williams JP is now fully recovered from her recent illness and has resumed her duties as organist at Sardis.


LLAIS 17th APRIL 1915

At a meeting of members at Sardis Congregational Chapel on Sunday evening, following the usual service, the following gentlemen were appointed deacons for the chapel: Messrs. G Williams (Station road);
Morgan Morgan (baker)
Henry John Harris (Dyffryn Stores)
Taliesin Rees (Penrhos)
Councillor Tom Williams (Cynlais Stores)
W R Williams,
Islwyn (chairman of the Ystradgynlais Branch of the ILP)
All are prominent members of the Church and their election to this high post is in recognition of their long services in the past.


It is with regret that we announce the death of Mr Lewis Jones, Smith Villas Ystradgynlais, one of the most highly respected inhabitants of the Place. The deceased gentleman was of an advanced age, and had been ailing for considerable time. He lived with his daughter and son-in-law, Mr William Thomas (Isynis), and had been a blacksmith at the old Hendreladis colliery for many years. Mr Jones was also secretary of the local lodge of the Loyal Order of Alfreds.
He was a prominent member of Sardis Chapel, and had been a deacon for many years. The deceased passed away on Wednesday, and the burial will take place on Saturday at Ystradgynlais churchyard. He leaves a grown up family.


LLAIS 28th AUGUST 1915

There passed away on Monday last, at her home at Ynisci, under the shadow of Tarren Wyddon, at the venerable age of 86, Mrs Mary Williams, widow of the late Mr David Williams, Nantcae'refail, Abercrave, who died about 17 years ago. Deceased was in full possession of her faculties right up to the end, and until comparatively lately was remarkably active. She was very well known in her earlier days and was then a faithful member of Tynycoed Chapel. Latterly, she had attended Godre'Rhos and Sardis Chapels.

Mrs Williams was very happy at her little home situated so picturesquely on the side of the mountain. The Writer will long remember a visit on Whit Monday of this year to the old lady, who was celebrating her 86th birthday, and found her, dressed in her best, receiving the congratulations of her numerous descendants. She was a perfect hostess, and was delighted to entertain her callers. Her reminiscences were most interesting. Mrs Williams could speak with authority of the growth and expansion of the local towns. One notable circumstance connected with her house is that as a result of its peculiar situation, there are about six months of the year when the sun's rays never reach it, and Mrs Williams could always tell when the rays would return and depart.

She is survived by seven children, namely Messrs. Griff Williams (Penrhiw Varteg), Daniel Williams (Abercrave), William Williams (Penrhos), Morgan Williams (Ynisci), Mrs Ann Morgan (Penrhos Varteg), Mrs Ware (Ystradgynlais), and Mrs John (Llwynypia). The interment took place on Thursday at Ystradgynlais Churchyard: The Revs R M Rhys and Urias Phillips (Sardis and Godre'Rhos), officiating at the house and the Rector (Rev James Jones, B.A.), officiating at the church. There was a large attendance of relatives and friends.



General sorrow was felt at Ystradgynlais on Friday, when the news was circulated that Mr Sl. Williams, Cynlais villas, had passed away. Mr Williams, who was 63 years of age, had been ailing for some time, and his end, after a lingering illness, was peaceful. He was one of the oldest natives of the place, and had been a deacon at Sardis for a lengthy period and secretary to the Church for 11 years. He was of a reserved and quiet disposition, and highly esteemed by a large circle of friends. He was formerly employed as assorter at the Gurnos Tinplate works. His wife had predeceased him nine years ago. The funeral on Tuesday testified to the regard in which the deceased gentleman was held, there being a large number of people present from far and near. The Revs R M Rhys and Edward Vaughan were the officiating ministers, and others present were the Revs D J Davies, W L Griffiths, J Emlyn Jones, and Daniel Aubrey.
The mourners were: Mr and Mrs E Evans (daughter and son-in-law) Mr and Mrs ldris Williams (son and daughter-in-law); Misses Sal and M Evans (grand-daughter); ........

LLAIS 27th APRIL 1918

On Thursday of last week the Rev. R M Rhys, Sardis, presided over a good gathering at Sardis when E. E. Watkins, Royal Stores, who has been treasurer of the Church for many years, was presented with an illuminated address. A presentation of a similar kind was also made to Mr Idris Williams, on behalf of his deceased father, Mr Sl. Williams, who had been an able secretary of the church for many years.
The presentations were made by Mrs Davies, Smithfield, in suitable terms and the recipients responded. Messrs Rhys Williams and D T Williams also spoke eulogistically of both the late Mr Williams and Mr Watkins. A miscellaneous programme was contributed to by the following:
Pianoforte duett, Miss Elizabeth Williams and Mrs E H Hughson, A.R.C.O. Solo, Mr Phil Phillips; recitation, Master Cynlais Davies whilst Mr E H Hughson was also the accompanist


Deep regret was felt in the district when it became known on Saturday last that Mr Edward Evan Watkins, Royal Stores, one of the most widely known and highly respected residents had passed away on Friday night. Mr Watkins had been busy in the shop until a late hour, and had served his customers during the evening with his usual geniality. About midnight he retired, seemingly in good health, but half an hour later he had passed away before medical assistance could be summoned. The deceased had, however, suffered with his heart for a considerable time but it was not thought that the trouble was of such a serious nature. Mr Watkins was 66 years of age, and a native of Caerlan, Abercrave. He came to Ystradgynlais about 16 years ago and founded a successful grocery and drapery business. He was a faithful member of Sardis Chapel and had served as deacon for 12 years and as treasurer for 9 years. About a year ago he, together with the late Mr Samuel Williams, the late secretary, was presented with an illuminated address in appreciation of his services. Mr Watkins was also one of the founders of the Chamber of Trade, and had served that body in an official capacity. The deceased was of a reserved disposition, and well liked by all who knew him, and his sudden loss will be keenly felt in many spheres. The deepest sympathy is felt with the widow and 7 grown up children, three of whom are with the Naval and Military services, having volunteered in the early days of the war, whilst the only daughter is a Red Cross Nurse.
The funeral took place on Thursday at Tynycoed, the Rev. R M Rhys officiating. The funeral arrangements were in the hands of Mr E O Morgan, Gurnos.


LLAIS 3rd MAY 1919
Celebrated Welsh Agriculturist

The death occurred at Brynygrinun Farm, Palleg, Ystradgynlais, on Wednesday evening of Mr David Price, at the age of 59. Deceased had been in indifferent health for two years, and had undergone several operations, but the end came somewhat suddenly, the news coming as a painful surprise to most residents. Deceased was the son of the late Mr Isaac Price, who farmed Brynygrinun for many years, a native of Gwynfe, Carmarthenshire. On his death his son took over the farm, and by up to date and scientific methods developed Brynygrinun until it was looked upon as a model farm by agriculturists. The genial temperament of the deceased made him accessible to fellow agriculturists and his advice, counsel and criticism were eagerly sought. He was very hospitable, and interested visitors were always welcome to the farm. In addition to developing his farm, the deceased took an active interest in the development of agriculture and breeding generally, and became one of the most famous exhibitors of poultry, sheep, and ponies, agricultural and horticultural producers in Wales. At various agricultural and other shows throughout the kingdom, the deceased, in conjunction with his only son, Mr D L Price, won over 1,000 prizes. Prior to the war they carried off most of the chief events at every show in which they exhibited. Deceased was one of the founders of the Palleg Agricultural Society some 30 years ago, and up to eight years ago, when the society was taken over by new management he was the chairman. Increasing duties and responsibilities, together with failing health compelled him to relinquish some of the public duties he so carefully and enthusiastically performed. During the war Mr Price served faithfully in the agricultural interest on the local tribunal, bringing his fine judgment to bear on many of the perplexing problems which required tactful handling, and he was a source of strength to this body.

A faithful member of Sardis he had been a deacon of that chapel for over 20 years. He was highly respected for his many sterling qualities, and his death removes one who has ever striven to do all the good that lay in his power to do. Ystradgynlais especially, and in many ways Wales, has lost one of the types of citizens she can ill afford to lose. The sympathy of all will go out to the widow and Mr D L Price in their bereavement. The funeral will take place on Monday next, leaving the house at 2 p. m., and the interment will take place at Ystradgynlais.


Saturday July 24th 1926

By the death of Mr David Enoch Jones "Llety Dafydd", Brecon Road, Ystradgylais has lost one of its oldest and most respected inhabitants. Deceased, who was 61 years of age, passed away on Tuesday afternoon after a long and painful illness.

He leaves a widow and 3 daughters: Mrs M M Prosser, wife of Mr Mende Prosser, the local referee, who was for years Headmistress of Gurnos Infants School; Miss E Ceinwen Jones, Cardiff University; and Miss Megan Jones.

Deceased had been a deacon at Sardis and Brynawel chapels for over 30 years and had also been a Sunday School teacher for 40 years. A native of this place, being born at Oddfellows Street, Mr Jones was a fine literateur, and was a member for some years of the Liberal 300.

He married twice, his first wife being a sister of Mr Davies, grocer, Boro' Stores, Swansea and his second is a relation of the well-known "Prosser Bach", Pontardulais. Receiving severe injuries while working in a colliery, Mr Jones obtained a post as attendance officer under the old Ystradgynlais School Board.

The funeral takes place this Friday afternoon at the New Cemetery, Ystradgynlais.

Labour Voice, Saturday 31st July 1926


Amid manifestations of deep regret, the mortal remains of Mr D Enoch Jones, "Llety Dafydd", Brecon Road, Ystradgynlais, were laid to rest at the New Cemetery, Ystradgynlais,, last Friday. There was a large attendance in spite of inclement weather. Rev D M Davies, Brynawel, deceased's pastor conducted a memorial service at Brynawel Chapel in which the Reverends D Ophir Williams, BA, Llanon and D J Davies, Ainon, took part. Short adddresses were given by the Reverends Ben Davies, Pantteg, and D M Davies and they spoke of deceased's noble character and sterling qualities. Special hymns were sung and Mr Azariah Williams, organist, played the "Dead March" at the conclusion of the service.

The Reverends D J Moses, BA, Gurnos officiated at the house and the Reverends D M Davies and Morgan Price, Abercwmboi took part in the services at the graveside. Other ministers present were Reverends Fred Jones, BA, BD, Treorchy; T J Rees, Bethany, and Ifor Jones, Soar, Ystalyfera.

The mourners were Mrs Gwen Jones, widow; Mrs H C Prosser, mother-in-law; Mr and Mrs Mende Prosser, son-in-law and daughter; Misses Ceinwen, Megan Jones, daughters; Messrs David Davies, Sketty, David Prosser, W E Prosser, Bargoed, brothers-in-law; Mrs Lizzie Prosser, Miss Angie Prosser, sisters-in-law; Messrs David Griffiths, Thomas Jones, Enoch Jones, Joseph Treharne, Richard M Jones, Mrs Lewis Jenkins, Mrs Brace, Ystalyfera; Mr and Mrs William Jones, Mrs Ted Jeffreys, Mrs Gwen Walters, Mrs Mary Jones, Mr and Mrs David Phllips, and Mrs Mary Watkins, cousins; Mrs Janette Davies, aunt; Messrs Cynlais Prosser, Watkin Prosser, Hendy; Phillip Rees, Garnant; David Hurley, Garnant; D Prosser Davies, Willie Jones, Dick Jones, Will Jeffreys, Tom Jones, D J Walters, Enoch Jones, J W Phillips, Enoch Jenkins, Phil Jenkins, Haydn Jones, Mr and Mrs John Jones, Mr and Mrs Sam James, Mr and Mrs D J Butler, Mr I Thomas, Mrs M A Morgan,Mrs Gwen Davies, Mrs Mary J Davies, Miss Angie Phillips, and Miss Maggie Walters, nephews and nieces.

Llety Dafydd was the name of the house in which he lived, this sort of naming reference being common in obituaries of the era. It is now the building which is 'Just Gents' hairdressers, on the corner of Brecon Road and Derwen Road, Ystradgynlais

Contact Ystradgynlais History
Telephone : Available on Request

Email Yeargroup:
Email Wolfian Design:
Ystradgynlais Wargraves
How To Write Alternate History

Click the cover to purchase the paperback

How To Write Alternate History is a series of articles by Grey Wolf, examining subjects such as the identity of man, whether man makes the weather, how the everyday in an alternate world is going to be changed and what names for music, vehicles, weapons etc would be different.



Complete Cleaning company, Ystradgynlais