One thing which, without doubt, has
been shared in abundance by residents of
the neighbouring towns of Neath and
Port Talbot during the past, eventful,
year has been emotion.
It has been there for all to see and by the
bucketload, along with passion. Passion has
been there too. Both have been fuelled by the
events of 12 months which have seen the end
of some institutions and the beginning of new.
There has also been the pain endured by the
threat to the biggest employer in the County
Borough — Tata’s giant steelworks at Port
Talbot. So far, provided no-one breathes, it
seems to have survived a crisis as big as they
can get. The question remains: for how long?
But while all this has been going on normal
everyday events have been taking place in
normal, everyday communities, just as it has
always been and that is something that is
clearly demonstrated by the social evidence
revealed on the pages of this book.
Many aspects of our lives in days past are
represented: how we lived, how we celebrated,
how we toiled. Faces and places featured will
refresh the fading memory of the way we were
for many. That same memory may not yet be
quite so faded for anyone associated with the
three secondary schools which closed in July
of this year — Glanafan, Cwrt Sart and Sandfields — pupils, teachers, administrators, past and present alike, but they will relish the invitation to recall days gone by. Those linked to the newly opened Bae Baglan super school will only be starting to build their stock of recollections, but the rest will happily reminisce. And they will, no doubt, do that
with emotion and with passion. For that is the way it has always been in the two towns. People deal with everyday life and the challenges it brings with little time to stand and stare at what is going on. Only much later do they realise just how big a part in local history they themselves have played. The pictures in Neath and Port Talbot Memories are made of this, the latest in a series of books published continuously for nearly two decades, once again records daily life through the eyes of those who were there. It is, like all those before, a people’s book
through which the residents of two towns tell their own story and look back at the lives they have lived.