Onstage at the Miners' Theatre in 1932
12:00am Friday 19th October 2012 in Ammanford news
AN AMMANFORD pensioner who may be the last survivor of those performers who appeared on stage at the official opening of the Miners’ Welfare Hall still has a souvenir programme of the evening.
Menai Davies, of Carregaman, was a member of the Co-op children’s choir who performed the Shepherd’s Dance at the newly-opened hall on Saturday, October 1, 1932.
“I was only nine years old at the time – a pupil at Parcyrhun Infants School – and I don’t remember too much about it,” she told the Guardian.
“Our choir was conducted by my uncle, Harry Williams. I can vaguely remember being on stage. It was quite an occasion and the hall was packed.
“The miners themselves paid for that hall, contributing a penny a week each from their wages,” says Mrs Davies, 89, who is herself from a mining background.
“There were seven or eight mines around the town in those days.
“I’d love to know if there’s anyone else around who performed on stage that night and that I’m not the only one left.”
Priced at two old pence, the programme – still in pristine condition – records that the hall was officially opened at 4.30pm that afternoon by Messrs Finlay A Gibson and Oliver Harris, joint honorary secretaries to the Miners’ Welfare Fund committee .
Among those who performed at the evening concert were Dr Hopkin Evans, who sang Can y Gwanwyn, boy soprano Master Harry Thomas (“Where’er You Walk”) and members of the Ammanford and District Orchestral Society, conducted by Rhys Thomas, who played Wagner’s The Grand March from Tanhauser.
The accompanists were Ivy Jones, Trevor Rees and William M Davies, while the chairman’s address was delivered by David Jeffreys.