The goings on in and around Bridgend

Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Ogmore Valley Electric Light and Power Supply Company

 1892 Gas Engine Mr Rees Lloyd Williams

The Ogmore Valley Electric Light & Power Supply Company was started in 1892 by an initial group of 100 shareholders each investing £50, with advertising starting in 1890 and attracting investment from the ordinary working class through to the Lord`s and great and good of the day.

Two generating stations were set up, one in Ogmore Vale and one in Nantymoel , both situated in Llewellyn Street at each location and it was in 1892 that the Street lights in both Lllewellyn Street`s were switched on for the first time, making them the first Public Street Lights in Wales.

It was also in 1892 that the Ogmore Valley Electric Light & Power Supply Company were looking to utilise the force of the adjacent Ogmore River to produce Hydro Electricity though it isn`t known how successful they were in actually producing any Hydro Electricity at this time.

1922_1944 Power Station From Mountain


In the 1920`s Cory Brothers Company Ltd. invested £750,000 in constructing a new Electricity Generating Plant opposite Cuthbert Street, (now part of the site of the £3 Million Ogmore Vale Primary School opened in 2003).

Five new generating plants were installed at a cost of £27,000 each with a total capacity of 15,000 Kilowatts. It used 700 - 800 tons of coal a week and 2,000,000 gallons of water per hour with 4 cooling towers and employed 18 men under the Manger, Mr Illingworth.

Officially opened in 1922 to supply electricity not only to their own concerns but also to several local authorities in the immediate area.



Ogmore Vale Electric Light Company,   who in turn supplied the Ogmore & Garw Urban District Council with their electricity supply, Neath Urban District Council and Cwmgrach Urban District Council

Ogmore Valley Collieries:

Cwm Fuwch, Penllwyngwent, Wyndham.

Rhondda Collieries:

Abergorki, Bodringallt, Bwllfa Du, Gelli, Pentre, Tydraw, Tynybedw.

Neath Valley Collieries:

Blaengwrach (Glyn Neath), Ffaldydre, Glyncastle (Resolven).

The company went from strength to strength and as the output figures for 1926 show it was producing more electricity than the cities of Cardiff, Newport and Swansea;

Ogmore Generating Plant: (36,000,000 Units)

Cardiff Corporation: (32,500,954 Units)

Swansea Corporation: (30,942,604 Units)

Newport Corporation: (24,547,151 Units)

Cory Brothers continued to generate electricity until 1944 when the valley was connected to the National Grid and the whole electric industry was nationalised under the Electricity Act (1947) on the 1st April 1948.

Unusually, despite a legal requirement to destroy both after 10 years, the complete history of the OVEL&PS Company in regards to it`s Share Register and Share Transfer Books have both survived and have been scanned by the Ogmore Valley Local History & Heritage Society and provide a fascinating insight into an essentially local company but one that was not only right at the cutting edge of technology but one that was ecologically a century ahead of its time……


Romantic Bridgend - The Maid of Cefn Ydfa

The old mansion of Cefn Ydfa, in the parish of Llangynwyd, now lies in ruins. It was once home to Ann Thomas (1704-27), better known these days as 'The Maid of Cefn Ydfa'. Her sad story was immortalized by her true love, Will Hopkyn a local labourer and poet in the poem and song 'Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn', 'Shepherding the White Wheat'.

Anne and Will Hopkyn were in love, but the difference in their social status made marriage impossible. Anne was the heiress to her father's lands, the mansion and grounds of Cefn Ydfa. Her father, William Thomas, arranged a good marriage for her with Anthony Maddocks, the son of a well to do lawyer of Cwmrisga. She was forbidden from ever seeing Will Hopkyn again, and against her will, was married to Anthony Maddocks on the 4th of May 1725.

Will Hopkyn left the parish, driven away by his anguish, unable to see Anne married to another man, and sometime soon after penned the poem 'Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn in which he relates their sad tale. But the story doesn't end there. Within two years of her marriage, Anne's grief at being parted turned into a sickness. Within two years she was evidently dying, most say of a broken heart. Her last wish was to see Will again, and he was sent for. He arrived just in time to take her in his arms for one last embrace. According to the tale, she died in his arms, and was buried in June 1727 under the chancel of St Cynnwyd's Church in Llangynnwyd. Will Hopkyn was buried close by in the churchyard upon his death in 1741.Will Hopkins' Grave

Additional stories and anecdotes were added to the romance of Ann and Wil Hopkyn by Isaac Craigfryn Hughes in his novel The Maid of Cefn Ydfa (1881).

All that is left now of their romance is this story and of course Will's beautiful song. Here it is.



Mi sydd fachgen ieuanc ffôl

Yn byw yn ôl fy ffansi

Myfi'n bugeilio'r gwenith gwyn,

Ac arall yn ei fedi.

Pam na ddeui ar fy ôl,

Rhyw ddydd ar ôl ei gilydd?

Gwaith 'rwyn dy weld, y feinir fach,

Yn lanach, lanach beunydd!


Glanach, lanach wyt bob dydd,

Neu fi â'm ffydd yn ffolach,

Er mwyn y Gŵr a wnaeth dy wedd,

Gwna im drugaredd bellach.

Cwnn dy ben, gwêl acw draw,

Rho i mi'th law wen dirion;

Gwaith yn dy fynwes bert ei thro

Mae allwedd clo fy nghalon!


Tra fo dŵr y môr yn hallt,

A thra fo 'ngwallt yn tyfu

A thra fo calon yn fy mron

Mi fydda'n ffyddlon iti:

Dywed imi'r gwir dan gel

A rho dan sel d'atebion,

P'un ai myfi neu arall, Ann,

Sydd orau gan dy galon.



I am a young and foolish lad

Who lives as I please

I lovingly tend the ripening wheat

And another reaps it.

Why not follow me

Some day after another?

Because I see you little lass,

Purer and purer each day!


Purer and purer are you every day,

Or I with my faith more foolish,

For the One that created your countenance,

Be compassionate towards me now.

Lift your head, look over there,

Give me your dear white hand;

Because in your lovely breast

Is the key to the lock of my heart!


Whilst the water of the sea is salty,

And whilst my hair is growing

And whilst there is a heart in my bosom

I will be faithful to you:

Tell me the truth in secret

And give under seal your answers,

Whether it is I or another, Ann,

Which is preferred by your heart.