Daniel James

Daniel James

Friday, 28 December 2012

South Wales Evening Post features Cymanfa Ganu for Daniel James

The South Wales Evening Post has featured the upcoming Cymanfa Ganu today on their on-line articles!  Getting excited about the build-up to the event!!!!

South Wales Evening Post

Monday, 24 December 2012

Cymanfa Ganu

There will be a Cymanfa Ganu held at Mynyddbach Chapel on Wednesday 23 January 2013 at 7.00 p.m.  This event will celebrate the life and work of Daniel James, The Bard Gwyrosydd.



Leading the programme of events will be:
President: Mr. Huw Tregelles Williams, OBE, DL, MA, B. Mus, FRCO, FKWCMD

Conductor: Mr. Huw Rees, LRAM, ARCM, LLCM, FLCM
Organist: Reverend Grenville Fisher
More details on this event will follow in early January and information on Mynyddbach Chapel can be found at:


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Visit to Blaengarw

I am in the final stages of a BA Humanities degree at Swansea University where my focus has been philosophy and social history.  My interest in the Daniel James project stems in part from my studies and because I was born and brought up in Treboeth and attended Gwyrosydd School.  The initial research has already been very positive, as you will see below.

On Friday 7th December I travelled to Blaengarw with two members of Treboeth History Group, Ivor Williams and Geraint Williams.  We were lucky with the weather, a cold and blustery day but with a clear blue sky and some sunshine.  Our first stop was a visit to Creation Café which is operated by the Creation Development Trust for the local community.

Councillor David Pugh with Teresa Hillier,   
Swansea University and Geraint Williams      
Treboeth History Group outside Creation Cafe
We met Bridgend County Borough Councillor David Pugh who is the Councillor for the Blaengarw ward and Gerald Jarvis, local historian and member of     Garw Valley Heritage Society.
After coffee, Gerald took us to visit Parc Calon Lan which was created as part of the regeneration of the local area with the land being reclaimed and developed following pit closures in the area.  The main focal point of the park is this sculpture which was designed by Rebecca Buck, Community Artist.  You can find out more about her by looking at these websites:
Gerald explained that part of the park is also a memorial garden where plaques can be placed in memory of loved ones.

At Parc Calon Lan with local historian, Gerald Jarvis
As we continued our walk around the village we came to the site of Bethania Chapel where it is said Calon Lan was first sung in 1892.   The Chapel has been derelict for some time but as luck would have it the new owner of the Chapel was on site and allowed us in to view.  

Sadly, as can be seen in the photograph below the Chapel has fallen into a bad state of disrepair. However, the new owner is a builder who intends to convert the Chapel into living accommodation and so the building will be preserved with some  of the character remaining.

On leaving the Chapel we went around to the back lane and viewed the location where Daniel James is alleged to have spent the night in the pigsty!

The visit concluded with lunch in the Creation Café and a discussion about Daniel James and Blaengarw. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012


Welcome to the first post of The Daniel James Project blog!  We hope you will become a regular visitor and will enjoy hearing of the progress of our exciting plans to bring Daniel James into the limelight.

Daniel James (1848-1920) wrote the words to the beautiful Welsh tune Calon Lân, amongst many other poems and verses.  He is an interesting character who has to date remained quietly in the annals of Welsh history.  Yet the story of Daniel James is an important part of the heritage of Treboeth, for it encapsulates the story of the area with its cultural, religious and industrial threads. 

This project aims to research and promote the life of Daniel James and to create a short animated story with the help of local school children and teachers.  Through identifying the strands running through Daniel James life it will provide children and adults with knowledge which will make them feel proud of their area and confirm their own place/position in the rich tapestry of Treboeth. The story of the author of ‘Calon Lân’ should also interest a wide audience both in Wales itself and in Welsh enclaves around the world.

The project team consists of Treboeth History Group, Swansea University academics and local volunteers who seek to examine the life of Daniel James to produce research, school materials and school packs.  The Daniel James Project is part of the wider Connected Communities Project; Researching theIndustrial and Post-Industrial Communities of the Swansea Valley – Swansea University. 
Funded by the Heritage Lottery 'All Our Stories" grant Scheme