Dai's walk around Wales blog - June 2021


6 June 2021

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Parking near the Council offices in Baglan I walked to the Ferry Bend and the along shoreline for a nice sunset. At one point these 3 lads were entering the water close to me so I asked them to pose in front of the setting sun. I chatted to them after and found that they played for Baglan juniors and I told them that as it happens I also played for Baglan at one time and I was responsible for starting the junior team which I did along with Baglan legend Jimmy Owen. And before you go reaching for your Baglan histories to dispute my claim, the records don't state that, but I'm sure Clive Joseph the author will agree with me that he wasn't there at the beginning and when he wrote the club history he was relying on the memories of former players and committeemen. Clive has done an excellent job with the club history and I am not complaining, but I would like to set the record straight. I've written a book on the 'origin of rugby' so this is the origin of Baglan Junior Section, at least its my version anyway. The idea to form a junior section was mine around 1979 / 1980 and I convinced Jimmy that it would be a good idea because the juniors would feed the youth side and eventually the seniors. It was at a point between Maes-ty-Canol and Crofton Drive just past the phone box that he agreed with me, we were in his old greeny blue Skoda or Wartburg or something similar and Jimmy and I had been to watch a district match away in somewhere like Risca. This may have been the time when the district were short and I was asked to sub and because I didn't have boots I wore Jimmy's Adidas trainers that were 3 sizes too big for me and flapped around the front end like clown shoes. It would have been a nightmare if I'd gone on and played because it was muddy and raining. Back to the junior section. Jimmy and I organised the first training sessions on the little side of the Evans Bevans and I think the Williams brothers Nigel and Steve were at the first session, Nipper may have been there along with Phil Hamley. Jimmy coached, I assisted and I was the first secretary of the junior team. I think the first match may have been away at Pontyclun, my cousin's team, and we played a couple of over age players because we were short. I may be wrong there. It was difficult to get fixtures for the juniors, my only resource was the Swansea junior league handbook and of course the telephone. I wasn't particularly good at the job and I believe I handed over the mantle of secretary to Mike Williams and the junior team grew went from strength to strength. It's nice to know that 40 years on that Baglan Juniors is still going and on top of that the sun is still shining on Aberavon Beach, some things will never change so I stripped off down to my bather for a shoreline run and video session. Running into sunset on the sea's edge is my favourite athletic pastime. I love it. 


FB responses:

Paul Evans: I was there, played 2nd row as i was a few yrs too old. - Cheers Dai Richards. Jim Owen had an NSU i think.

Christopher Clark: I started playing rugby at that time, I remember yourself Dai and Jimmy Owens coaching us on the little side of the Evans Bevans, also remember Mike Williams taking over and a few younger junior sides were later formed. Then Clive Jones (Fairwood Drive) took over and coached us for a few years, he took us on tour to Burton on Trent I think Jimmy came on that tour as well. Good memories
Steve Williams (Welsh international) - I didnít realise that was the the start of Baglan Juniors Dai. I can still remember that session. The first game I played in was Pontrhydyfen away. Thanks for starting us off.


11 June 2021

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Enzo Homes are back and have put in plans again to build on the Heol y Glyn site. The image we can see here shows the chemical testing for the site. The squares coloured red show the instances of contamination that are above the 'safe' zone. As you can see there are quite a few, 17 in total and the contaminants are mainly oil based and would most likely have originated in a heavy industrial setting such as BP Llandarcy. 

The testing was done last October and the majority of contamination is either on or near the surface of the site which means that the residents of Glynneath have been exposed to contamination for at least 8 months. This means that the flooding in Brynhyfryd and Woodland Park just before Christmas contained a percentage of contaminated water running off the site and into peoples houses & gardens. It is a serious concern to the residents in our group that 20% of properties with long term occupancy bordering the site in Brynhyfryd have had a family member die from a rare neurodegenerative (brain) disorder in the last 5 years. The site is full of neurotoxins and carcinogens and these are killing the people of Glynneath. Don't think if you live on the other side of Glynneath you are safe, you are not, an easterly wind brings dry weather and whips up the dust containing these  neurotoxins and carcinogens into the air and drops them on the veg in your garden or the allotments, onto peoples cars, clothes and skin. It only takes one chemical cell to react with one human cell to start a chain reaction that ends in death. The Glynneath Town Council have been provided evidence that the contamination at the Enzo development site is killing people in Brynhyfryd and they are hiding this information. Members of the Town Council have known for 6 months that the land has been tested as contaminated and they have hidden this information and supported Neath-Port Talbot Council corruption. How many more people need to die of contamination related illnesses before the Neath Port Talbot Council are brought to justice for these murders. 







13 June 2021

29 direct descendants of my parents and their partners were present at our annual Grandmum Day get together and below Mrs and Mrs Growing family with our 13 direct descendants, partners & dog.



20 June 2021 - Margam Park

My son Dale was celebrating his 30th birthday so we looked after the grandkids Gethin & Korra with our other son Simon while Dale and his partner Jess went on the Go-Ape climbing experience. 






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