Aberdare Park

There seems to be a lot of controversy regarding changes being made at Aberdare Park with no ongoing consultation with the public of Cynon Valley.


An organization called Friends of Aberdare Park has been started up I am informed now they meet in someone’s house, I am not aware of any publication they have produced.


I understand someone from the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has organized after dark cycling within the park, I assume this was advertised by the council.


As we are all aware Aberdare Park was one part of Hirwaun Common as is the land that surrounds the park, there is a reference to a byelaws regarding cycling within the park. Part of the byelaws in 1899 

“Bicycles were to be ridden at no more that eight miles an hour, ridden in single file and not more than 6 feet from the gutter.”


RCTC Twitter feed say “The position on the by law has been stated. Any updates or changes will be posted.” But they don’t provide any links to the information they offer, is it  keeping the public in the dark? What about frends of Aberdare Park were they consulted? 


AM Vikki Howells Said on Twitter

“I'd suggest write to Cab member Cllr Crimmings but @RCTCouncil said here last wk she's looking into changing it.”


There is nothing wrong with organized events in the park provided they are supervised correctly, allowing cycling generally within the park unsupervised may lead to problems with other park users. A cycle path on the roadway, as they have in Swansea? It works well down there and many cycle at all times of the day with no problem.


Below taken from RCTC website


Aberdare Park

Prior to its opening in 1869 the movement for a Public Park in Aberdare had been growing for several years. The proposed site of the park was to be an area of Hirwaun Common near Trecynon. In 1865 49 acres of Hirwaun common was granted to the Churchwardens and Overseers of Aberdare Parish by the Inclosure Commissioners, and in 1866 the Aberdare Board of Health were given possession of the land. Aberdare Board of Health had to apply to the Home Secretary for permission to borrow £5,000 to pay for the work, which was to be paid back in 60 half yearly installments of £161 15s 4d. The cost of this would be borne by a special levy in the rates, a levy which the inhabitants of Hirwaun were exempted from.


Many of the Bye-laws of the park reflect the desire of the Board of Health to create a haven of peace in the burgeoning industrial town. No musical instrument was to be played in the park, no games allowed and no preaching unless the Board of Health gave permission. There was to be no selling or consumption of intoxicating liquor on the park premises. Among the more surprising Bye-laws was the caveat that no person shall beat carpets in the Park and that the servants of the Local Board of health had the power to exclude from the Park any person who is "not clean in his or her person and dressed in clean and decent apparel".

In response to the bicycle craze of the 1890's the Board of health issued new bye-laws in 1899. Vehicles were not to be driven or ridden in any way that could endanger other users of the Park. Bicycles were to be ridden at no more that eight miles an hour, ridden in single file and not more than 6 feet from the gutter.

In 1910 a bandstand was erected on the boating lake island, which was used in the 1930's as a focal point for a series of illuminated fetes in aid of the Aberdare General Hospital. Lord Merthyr presented the people of Aberdare with the fountain in the Park in 1911 to commemorate the coronation of King George V. The King and Queen Mary visited Aberdare in June 1912 and each planted a tree during their visit to the Public Park.


 Aberdare Public Park remains as popular today as it was when first opened. The uses made of the Park inevitably changed during the Twentieth Century and the amenities offered have changed according to the demands of the Aberdare populace.

For example, after the Second World War the Park became famous throughout the United Kingdom as the home of the Aberdare Road Races. In 1956 the Park was the venue for the National Eisteddfod of Wales. It still, however, fulfills the original role envisaged by the Aberdare Board of Health, in creating a space for the exercise and recreation of the people of Aberdare.

From June 25th to June 27th 1912 King George V and Queen Mary visited Cardiff and the South Wales Valleys. On the 27th their itinerary included a visit to Pontypridd and Porth on the Royal Train, followed by a trip in a motorcar through the Rhondda Fawr and on to Merthyr Tydfil. In the afternoon they traveled by motorcar from Merthyr to Aberdare.


In Aberdare Lord Merthyr presented them with an address from the people of Aberdare in a ceremony at Aberdare Park. Over 8,000 children were in attendance at the Park in order to greet the Royal couple. The most famous element of the visit to Aberdare was their excursion to see a miner's cottage.

The cottage chosen was at 71 Bute Street, Aberdare and this property is still known as Queen Mary's Cottage. Following the Royal visit the residents of the house, Mr and Mrs Jones, were visited by hundreds of people from across South Wales who were anxious to see the cup from which Queen Mary had drunk. The Aberdare Leader of 6th July 1912 reported that grateful visitors had filled the cup that the King had drunk from with coppers for the Jones' baby.


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Team @ AberdareOnline

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