crest of rhondda civic society



We shall leave this valley not less but greater,

better and more beautiful than it was left to us

Rhondda Civic Society, a Registered Charity No. 516875, was established on 24th April 1985 following a meeting held at the former Rhondda Borough Council’s Offices at Llewellyn Street, Pentre when it was addressed by Mr. T. Mervyn Jones, former Chairman of Wales Gas, Wales Tourist Board and later Executive Chairman for the Civic Trust for Wales.  The Constitution was adopted at a meeting on 4th September 1985 at the Council Offices.  It is a non-political and non-secretarian organisation not run or owned by the Government or Local Authority.  Anyone who has an affection for the Rhondda can become a member and, in return, will get the satisfaction of knowing that he or she is helping to protect the best of Rhondda’s heritage.

The nature of the Society’s business is to make Rhondda a better place to live, work and play by preserving, enhancing or improving the environment.  It develops civic pride and galvanises the people’s will to do so.

The first elected Chairman was Idwal G. Brace, a Lay Preacher and full-time Union representative from Gelli with William H. Edwards of Maerdy elected to the post of Secretary.  Also elected were – Wayne Thomas (Vice-Chairman & Hon. Solicitor), Iorwerth Phillips (Treasurer), Margaret Milliner (Membership Secretary), Cyril Batstone, Enid Davies, Gwenda Culverhouse, Beti Edwards, Dr. Ieuan Gwynne, William Bowen, Glenys Freeman, Maldwyn Rees, Edwin Rees, Judith Stevens, Ronald Pritchard, David Roberts and David Thickens.

Life Vice-President – Tony Roberts (former Borough Secretary of Rhondda Borough Council).

Life Members – Desmond J. Brown (Managing Director of Jack Brown (Bookmaker) Ltd., Porth;  Raymond A. Hulland (Managing Director of the R.A. Hulland Group, Porth); Dr. Ved Bali (President of the Mid Glamorgan British Medical Association and Past President of the Rotary Club of Rhondda); Gilbert Davies, Head of Personnel, Rhondda Borough Council.

Steering Committee Member – Dr. Bryan Davies (former Secretary of BMA Wales and Chair of Rhondda National Health Trust);

After some 8 years of raising funds and support for their project, the Society invited Viscount Tonypandy of Rhondda, P.C., DL.C. [Society President] to unveil the Miners’ Family Statue (sculpted by Robert Thomas, Cwmparc) on Thursday 14th October 1993 at Llwynypia.


“For everything there is a season”

How true of Rhondda!

The wheels have stopped turning, the pit shafts are sealed

and we are left with a heritage.

A heritage richer and deeper than the seams of coal

that yielded their material wealth.

Richer by far the memory of our kin, who against

seemingly impossible odds, fought back

and fashioned our Proud Valley.

We are left not only with a memory,

but a challenge.

A challenge to build on the firm foundations

of care, compassion and community handed down to us.

In our gratitude to them, we pay our tribute today.

May I thank you for your support, for without your

help it would not have been possible.

Idwal G. Brace, Chairman (1993)

Extracted from:

William Edwards’s book “A Statue for Rhondda” published in 1995

Dedication Service book for the Unveiling of a Memorial to Rhondda – 14 Oct. 1993