Victorian themed celebrations take place in Aberdare on Saturday 13th July to mark the park’s 150th Birthday!
Listen to a GTFM News report here:
Known as the ‘People’s Park’ in its early years, Aberdare Park was officially opened on July 29, 1869 as the first public park in Wales. Most of the local shops closed and the church bells rang out in celebration as a grand procession, led by the Band of the Local Volunteers, marched from the town centre.
Extending over nearly 50 acres, the land had previously been part of the ancient Hirwaun Common granted to the churchwardens and overseers of the Parish of Aberdare ‘for the good of the people.’ And the park has hosted many special events over the years including the National Eisteddfod in 1861, 1885 and 1956.
The celebration events have been organised by the Friends of Aberdare Park with the support of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and start on Saturday 13th at 11 am at Library Square in the town centre with performances from Llwydcoed Brass Band, Dare to Sing Ladies Choir, Cwmbach Male Choir, Cwmdare Voices, Mountain Ash RFC Singers and soloists.
The celebrations then move to the park from 1-4pm, with attractions including Traditional Children’s’ Games such as Potato and Spoon and Three-Legged Races, Wheelbarrow Races, an Obstacle Relay Race and a Scavenger Hunt.
And there’ll be a ‘Performances in the Park’ from Llwydcoed Brass Band, Phoenix Singers, Cwmdare Voices, Mountain Ash Choral Choir and soloists. Plus a Jazz Band Display featuring the Penywaun Paraders.
There’ll be a re-enactment of the park opening 150 years ago, complete with guests in Victorian costumes, plus Victorian-style Afternoon Tea being served in the cafe area.
In addition A J Aerobics will stage gymnastics taster sessions with AFC Llwydcoed hosting football practice activities for children, a bowls taster session on the bowling green with Aberdare Bowls Club, Aberdare Tennis Club activities, a South Wales Police exhibition and a veteran motorcycles show. South Wales Fire and Rescue will also be present.
Ahead of the celebrations local broadcasting personality Roy Noble OBE has unveiled new signage and information boards and Local author and historian Geoffrey Evans has also launched his new book Aberdare Park: A Guide and Short History.
For RCT Council, Councillor Ann Crimmings who is Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage Services and also ward member for Aberdare West and Llwydcoed, said: “Aberdare Park is the jewel in the crown of Aberdare, known locally as the Queen of the Valleys and payed tribute to the Friends of Aberdare Park group, who dedicate their time to preserving the heritage of the park – plus the Council’s staff who do an incredible job in caring for and maintaining the grounds for everyone to enjoy”.