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We already have a thread called . . . MERTHYR TYDFIL | Projects and Construction.

This is used for present day developments and projects in and around Merthyr.

But, what about the 'developments' of the past, both good and bad, that has led us to the Merthyr that we see today?

Merthyr Tydfil is a town with a very long and rich history, and I thought we could try to capture some of this here on this new thread.

On here we can include historical Photos, Maps, and even 'Stories'. We can reflect on the people and the buildings that have made Merthyr into the place it is now.

That is the purpose of this thread . . .

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Merthyr Tydfil - Castle Street.


I would like to start our Historical Merthyr thread off with some old photos I recently came across, coupled with one I took myself last summer, of the area of the Town Centre where the Castle Hotel now is, on Castle Street itself . . .


This is a photo of the Castle Hotel where we stayed, that I took last summer . .



I wanted to find out more about Castle Street, from before this 1970s building was built:


Here is part of Castle Street in 'Circa 1900' . .



Castle Street in 1938 . .



Then, the old starts to give way to the new, as the old Co-op building on Castle Street is demolished in the early 1970s, in preparation for the new Castle Hotel . .



The hotel starts to take shape . .



Another view of the Castle Hotel steelwork going up . .



1972 - Still covered in scaffolding, but nearly finished . .



The Castle Hotel in 1972 - finished, and looking pretty much exactly as it still does today, as shown in my 2010 photo at the start of this post . .



ALL of the above photos (except the first one, that I took myself) are courtesy of the following website . . .
Old Merthyr Tydfil - http://www.alangeorge.co.uk/index.htm

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I originally posted the below on the "Merthyr Tydfil | Projects & Construction" thread, and indeed it deserves its place over there, to monitor the current re-development of the site.

However, it is a very HISTORIC old Merthyr building, so that aspect of it should also be mentioned on here . . .


This building is in the centre of Merthyr, on Castle Street.

I took this photo last summer, mainly because I just couldn't believe how much "foliage" was growing out of the building, at so many different levels of it!!

I thought it was 'spectacular' for that reason, but it also seems a good building. in a prime location, that could look great if taken over and refurbished.

Does anyone know the history of it?


As jeremai then advised me (on the 'Projects & Construction' thread) the building has a proud history as . . . THE CASTLE CINEMA.


Ah yes, completely forgot about that development. That is the old Castle Cinema and is sadly being demolished at the moment to make way for a "University of the Heads of the Valleys Institute" building.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/south-wales-news/merthyr/2010/08/26/demolition-of-castle-cinema-in-council-s-revamp-plan-91466-27136330/

There are some old photos of it here:

http://www.alangeorge.co.uk/castlecinema.htm

The LINK given above, is very interesting, and reveals . . .

1 - The Castle Cinema in its heyday - http://www.alangeorge.co.uk/castlecinema.htm

and sadly also . . .

2 - The DEMOLITION of the cinema in photos, starting January 2011 - http://www.alangeorge.co.uk/DemolitionoftheCastleCinema.htm
 

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Very interesting to see those photos of the Castle Hotel under construction. Sadly, I think the older buildings looked nicer though!
 

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Very interesting to see those photos of the Castle Hotel under construction. Sadly, I think the older buildings looked nicer though!

Yes, likewise.

It isn't always the case (a building isn't automatically better just because it is an old building) . . . but it usually seems to work out that way!

It was interesting to see the 'construction' of the hotel happening though, from back in the 1970s.

Back here in 2011, I wish that they were keeping the old Castle Cinema building though.
 

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I spend much of my 'Skyscraper City' time, on the Newcastle Forum, and one of my favourite Historical threads on there is our Old Adverts thread . . .

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1212275


I have now come across some 'reasonably' old adverts (etc) from Merthyr, from a Merthyr Tydfil AFC football programme, dated January 29th 1994.

It is always interesting to look back via old adverts and other information of the time . . .





Sponsers . .



When 'St Tydfils Square' was being extended . .



Advert for the 1994 Welsh Schoolboy Boxing Finals . .



Other businesses that were supporting the club, in 1994 . .




Then - an interesting LETTER from a supporter, and a detailed response from the club . .






Finally (we started with the front cover) HERE is the back cover of the Programme . .
 

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On the Merthyr Tydfil | Projects and Construction thread, on this forum, the 'Old Town Hall Project' is featured in this recent post here . . .

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=109705692&postcount=53

The above reveals that the "Redhouse Art Centre" is due to open in the re-vamped Old Town Hall on 1st March this year.

I wonder what the inside of the old Town Hall now looks like, as I recently came across these historical views of part of the beautiful interior, as it looked in 1989 just before it closed down as the Town Hall . . .







Source - http://www.alangeorge.co.uk/TownHall_Page2.htm
 

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So sad to compare that to the state it was in a couple of years ago:


http://www.flickr.com/photos/oldtownhall_wales/

But the decorative mouldings, balustrade, etc are still there so I'm expecting a pretty sensitive restoration, but with a more modern colour scheme perhaps. Looking forward to seeing it.
 

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OLD TOWN HALL - TRANSFORMATION.


1 - The Old Town Hall, when it was still the Town Hall in 1989 . .

January 9th 2014.

I wonder what the inside of the old Town Hall now looks like, as I recently came across these historical views of part of the beautiful interior, as it looked in 1989 just before it closed down as the Town Hall . . .


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Source - http://www.alangeorge.co.uk/TownHall_Page2.htm

2 - As it became after closure and use for "other things" . .

So sad to compare that to the state it was in a couple of years ago:


http://www.flickr.com/photos/oldtownhall_wales/

But the decorative mouldings, balustrade, etc are still there so I'm expecting a pretty sensitive restoration, but with a more modern colour scheme perhaps. Looking forward to seeing it.

3 - As it is now (March 1st 2014) from jeremai's post of yesterday on the 'Projects and Construction' thread . .

March 1st 2014, Merthyr 'Projects and Construction' thread.

Today was grand opening day for Redhouse, Old Town Hall. It was really great to see this building brought back to life and crowded with so many people taking an interest. Here are some pictures:


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GONE FULL CIRCLE, I WOULD SAY !!
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DOWLAIS GREAT WHITE TIP

 

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^^ Wow, what an image! Never seen that before. I'm trying to place the buildings. Is that the engine house bottom right of centre?
 

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DOWLAIS GREAT WHITE TIP

I THINK THE CHURCH BOTTOM LEFT IS THE FORMER ST.JOHN'S PARISH CHURCH-NOW EMPTY.
 

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Sad news . . .

Founder of the "Old Merthyr Tydfil" history website has died at the age of 70 following a short illness
By Tyler Mears, Wales Online, 4th November 2015


Alan George, who lived in Galon Uchaf, created the site in 1998 which has been used by thousands of people

The founder of a popular history website about Merthyr Tydfil has died at the age of 70 following a short illness. Alan George, who was born on 27th May, 1945, was originally from the Quar area but he lived most of his life in nearby Galon Uchaf. His love of his hometown and his in interest in history led him to set up the OldMerthyrTydfil.com website in 1998, with help from his son, Adrian, and Geoff Matsell, who had a collection of postcards from the area.

As the website grew, Alan eventually took it over completely, with help of his great nephew, Lloyd, to create a local resource used by schools, community groups, researchers, students and individuals interested in their local area. Having chosen not to include advertising or sponsorship on the website, friends and strangers would give Alan material and he would purchase many photographs and postcards himself. There was little Alan wouldn’t turn his hand to if it promoted Merthyr Tydfil. He helped to preserve local records and put together 12 Merthyr Tydfil heritage calendars and a number of local books, including ‘Memoirs of the Merthyr Motor Club’ and ‘A Farewell to Cyfarthfa School’.

He showcased the town's history to the world. While he worked on his website his wife, Pauline, developed a talent as an artist, painting pictures of buildings in Merthyr, which Alan was very proud and made into Christmas cards. In recent years Alan worked closely with ‘The People’s Collection Wales’, run by the National Library of Wales , and was awarded a Heritage Champion Award.


http://www.alangeorge.co.uk/old_merthyr.htm

Alan’s funeral will be held at Llwydcoed Crematorium on Tuesday, November 10th 2015 at 1.30pm.


Read More - http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/founder-merthyr-history-website-died-10374897#ICID=FB-Wales-celtic
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What’s happening at Cyfarthfa Castle?
By Katie Sands, Wales Online, 4th July 2017


Restoration work on Cyfarthfa Castle in Merthyr Tydfil. (Image: Richard Williams)

Anyone who has visited Cyfarthfa Park in recent weeks surely can’t have failed to spot the scaffolding at the front of the castle.

Work is under way to repair the castle roof to make sure it is watertight. The next stage of works will renovate parts of the museum and the school part of the castle, once home to Cyfarthfa High School pupils in years seven and eight before they progressed to the Cae Mari Dwn upper school site.

What started off as a private residence for the Crawshay family in the nineteenth century, it was finally bought by the council at the beginning of the twentieth century to become a public park, acting as a school, and has most recently been transferred to the Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust to be looked after.

Options are being explored as to how the castle can be run sustainably, with options including a wedding venue, dining facility or a conference centre.

Read More on this and other projects - http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/full-details-major-projects-could-13278426
 
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