The Cynon Valley Collection, is the story of our valley from the earliest times to the present day. It is the story of you, your family and friends and the people of the Cynon Valley. Each object in the collection has a story to tell, ‘Stories from the Collection’ takes a look at the objects which make up our collection, shining a light on the individual stories which make up the history of the Cynon Valley.

Stories from the Collection

The History of the Aberdare and District Co-operative Society – Part 1

The emergence of Co-operative Societies, 19th century The first Co-operative societies in Wales were established in the South Wales valleys. They were modelled on the Rochdale Pioneers of England, established 1844. The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was a group of 28 weavers, silk workers and other artisans who had suffered from mechanisation of the […]

The Story of Guto Nyth Bran

New Year’s Eve, known in Wales as Nos Galan, is usually celebrated in the traditional English way, but in a part of Cynon Valley the night is observed with a unique event. Held at Llanwonno and Mountain Ash since 1958 the festivities consist of foot races run over a distance of 5 kilometres (3.1 miles). […]

The Life of Bernard Baldwin, Founder of the Nos Galan Races – Part 2

Welcome back to the second part of the Bernard Baldwin blogs! This article is inspired by the objects from the C.V.M. collection, which are presented throughout. They are concerning an event, Nos Galan, which was founded by Bernard Baldwin in 1958. For example, the medal is one of many handed to, photographs taken during and […]

Collecting 2020

The Cynon Valley Museum tells the story of the Cynon Valley from the distant past to the present day, it is the story of our community. As we continue through time we must continue collecting, so that we can continue telling this valleys story.     Collecting 2020 Telling the story of 2020 is no […]



Join us as we experience a day in the life of a competitor in Nos Galan, the annual road race event which takes place in the town of Mountain Ash. We will take you on this journey through objects belonging to the Cynon Valley Museum’s collection, you can learn of the history, structure, and traditions of this fantastic local event. Follow this link for the full exhibition.


This year Nos Galan is a little different. It will be taking place throughout December, allowing participants to complete the 5km in their own time and post their results online. To celebrate this year’s virtual Nos Galan, we have a daily digital Nos Galan countdown, showcasing the objects in our collection that relate to this local event throughout the years. Follow this link to count down with us!


Morris Jacon: A Draper for All

Morris Jacobs clothed the people of the Cynon Valley. Starting out as pawnbroker Morriss would move and expand his buisness becoming famed as a draper for all people. This is his story told through the collection at the Cynon Valley Museum. Follow this link for the full exhibtion.

Record Sleeve Sold By Victor Freed
The Life of Victor Freed

Victor Freed business, described as the complete house furnisher’s and musical instrument dealer’s. Opening in 1904 the business expanded and by the 1950’s had spread across South Wales. This is the life of Victor Freed told through the collection at the Cynon Valley Museum. Follow this link for the full exhibition.

Merchants and Moneylenders: Popular Jewish Businesses in the Cynon Valley

Do you remember any of these businesses? Jacobs and Sons Ltd, Jane Cooper, Aberdare Furnishing Company, The Record Salon, M Sugarman and Sons and Victor Freed’s? They were all run by Jewish families. Research by JHASW has revealed their history. Follow this link for the full exhibtion.


Join the Jewish History Association of South Wales and take a step back in time for a virtual walking tour of Aberdare’s Jewish History. Do you remember any of these people or businesses?  Follow this link for the full exhibition.

Make an object donation

to the Cynon Valley Collection

The historic collection held at the Museum is under the legal guardianship of Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC. For this reason, Heritage Service Staff have the responsibility for accessioning new items to the collection.

If you have an object you wish to donate to the Museum, please use our contact form to get in touch. There is a small team of volunteers who undertake an initial assessment of the object(s) and may get in touch with you further to discuss this. The decision for new acqusitions is made by the RCT Heritage Service, who are based at the Rhondda Heritage Park. Staff from the Heritage Service are at the Cynon Valley Museum once a week.


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