The Best of Torfaen

This morning during my ward walk I called in to visit ‘The Best of Torfaen’ a local company that has an office at Abersychan Industrial and Business Estate.

The best of, I was informed started life in 2005 and over that time has grown into a household name.


They have coverage in over 300 areas across the UK, showcasing and supporting over 30,000 Businesses and are are proud to be ‘local’ as every area is run and owned  independently by a local person.

Each local ‘franchisee’ has been selected to work with the best businesses and support their community in a variety of ways.

They are dedicated to supporting businesses in the UK and helping them to grow, survive and prosper.

Their ethic is very much like mine, a shared love of the community and the area their passion is to see it grow and prosper for the businesses and people within it.

They also run a free local newsletter for businesses and have a website if you’d like to know more about this company in our ward.

It was a pleasure to meet Steve Gregory and Megan Dovey today and learn about what they do within the community.

I wish them every success and thank them for having confidence in the ward of Abersychan and opening their office here.

February 6th 2015 – 125 years since the Llanerch Explosion

The Llanerch evening serviceSeveral weeks ago I spoke to my colleague Gwyneira Clark about the lack of progress with finding funding for a permanent memorial for the 125th years since the Llanerch disaster.

We agreed that something had to be done so we came up with an idea of a memorial service to bring the community together and launch a memorial fund.

Straight away we got in touch with the minister of Trinity to book the chapel and then with the church committee we called a meeting at my house to discuss an order of service and hymns, we also decided to invite the three choirs from the area to take part in the event.

After much thought we came up with the readings and decided to ask a few residents to read their poems at the service.

As the event drew near, we were unsure of how many people would support the event and went about publicising it, we were amazed at how much interest was being whipped up and received various phone calls from radio stations and local press who were keen to get involved.

We as Councillors decided to take a back seat with interviews and just keep publicising the event, In the mean time we asked various people to speak on the radio instead.

The Free Press contacted us and asked if they could help and asked if we would go to the Llanerch site for a photo to add to the article, so we invited Mr Alan Betty a long standing campaigner to come with us.

When I got home, feeling moved by being at the site of the explosion, I decided to post on twitter that I was going to walk to the site on the day of the explosion and taking the route families did as they went to the pit 125 years ago at the same time to look for loved ones and lay flowers.

Within minutes of posting I had several requests from people wanting to come with me, I rang my colleagues and asked what they thought about making it official and inviting the two ministers along, one from Noddfa and the other from Trinity, as it would add more to the day to remember those killed.

Then it snowballed and last minute we decided to invite school children along around the same age as the ones who died in the disaster, to lay flowers instead of us.
This was planned within hours of the event and turned out to be a very moving start to the day.

We then spent the rest of the morning and early evening setting up the chapel.

At the Service were Paul Murphy MP, Lynne Neagle AM, Ken Clark from the local history Society, and the Scripture reading by the Rev Bev Morgan from Merchant’s Hill Baptist Church, Peter Walker from the Big Pit Mining Museum gave an address, followed by a reading – Pit Disaster by Joan Targett.

A Miner’s Lamp penned and read by David Davies, put a lump in many a throat and was very moving, the choirs, the Apollo Singers, the Spirit Choir and the Garndiffaith Gleemen added to the evening.

The event was very successful and the fund was launched, raising over £500 on the night.

The following pictures from February 6th 2015 document the community remembering the disaster at the colliery that killed 176 men and boys and later at the church service.

Clear Cuts Modern Barbers – New Barber in High Street, Abersychan

Services offered at Clear Cuts
Services offered at Clear Cuts

After hearing a lot of good comments about the new Barbers ‘Clear Cuts’ in the village and as someone who likes to promote local businesses I decided to call in today to see what all the fuss was about.

As soon as I walked through the door I was made really welcome and decided to try a haircut with a Hot Towel Shave for £12.

The Hot Shave consisted of being led right back in the old fashioned Barber’s chair and my 3 days’ worth of growth being shaved off with an electric razor, my face and head was then wrapped in hot wet towels and my face massaged.

I was then sprayed with a lotion before my face was soaped up using the old hot soap and brush and then shaved with a cut throat razor.

Any little nicks was sealed and then I was lathered up again and shaved again, which was followed by another hot towel to the face and massage.

Another bare face massage with pore closing lotion followed, before being moisturised with balm.

A new experience was ear flaming which is basically burning all the ear hairs off followed by an ear brow trim.

I never felt so relaxed and pampered in my life and nothing was rushed a real quality service and experience.

My face now feels like it did when I was a child, really smooth and glowing.
Just a Hot Shave costs £6 and with a haircut £12

Can’t recommend it enough and something I look forward to having regularly.

Another quality business in the Abersychan Ward and a great way to treat a loved one. ‪#‎SHOPLOCAL‬

Ward Walk Friday 20th February 2015

Fly tipping - Abersychan Clothes BankJust got back from a brisk walk about the ward, today covering Talywain, Garndiffaith, Cwmffrwd and Abersychan.

Noticed a lot of black bags plonked around the Clothes Back at Talywain, obviously whoever put them there doesn’t understand that the clothes actually go inside the container, too late today to do anything about it, so will chase up Monday.

Walking across Herberts Road at Garndiffaith I was pleased to see the several bags I reported had now gone and the general area in itself wasn’t too bad.

It was also good to see the old steadmans shop on Stanley Road being given a fresh lick of paint and not looking so sorry for itself.

Further down I was glad to see that the doggie bin has now been moved to where I had asked for it to go before it was installed on the cycle track.

Sad to see a crack in the new mirror under the bridge on Harpers Road, this I will keep monitoring until it needs replacing.

Stoney Road looked ok, there’s a few potholes forming, so again will keep an eye on them.

Popped to see a resident then at Cwmffrwd who has a sewerage issue that I was contacted about for advice earlier, Welsh Water are attending later to sort out a blockage further down the line.

Good to see the fibre cabinet installed outside Victoria School, this should be connected by the end of March.

Ffwyd Road looked ok, but the small car park opposite Petals Florist needs a good clean, so will request that.

Visited Randel’s Butchers in Abersychan for a chat and to pick up a few items before inspecting Abersychan Clothes Point, which unfortunately has had several electrical items dumped there along with a kitchen cupboard, again the person responsible needs educating to what can be put there!

The walk back to Talywain wasn’t too bad with very little litter issues to report. Obviously I picked up more issues along the way, but I have tried to condense this write up 🙂