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

‘Scargill Valley’: The 1984/5 Miners’ Strike

This blog will focus on an item in our collection used for industrial action, particularly the miners’ strike of 1985/85. The Penrhiwceiber Colliery Lodge banner beholds the story of a group of militant pit workers supporting the National Union of Miners (South Wales Area). The national context During the 1980s, the British coal industry was […]

Shepherds, Foresters and Buffaloes: The Friendly Societies of Aberdare

The Museum’s Church and Chapel case contains one of the most striking displays in the gallery. Among its many treasures is a splendid collection of Friendly Society regalia, medals, collars and sashes. Friendly, or benefit societies, generally called clubs, are very early examples of the working class organising itself into unified movements through such institutions. […]

Jazz Bands of the South Wales Valleys, 1926

Jazz Bands in 1926 – A political and social history. In 1926, the country experienced a bitter general strike followed, in some areas, by a longer lock-out in the coal industry. The event is recalled by Idris Davies, the Welsh miner, turned poet who wrote: Do you remember 1926? That summer of soups and speeches. […]

The History of the Aberdare and District Co-operative Society – Part 2

Welcome to Part Two of the Co-operative Society blogs!   As discussed in Part One of the blog, in 1927 the Cwmbach Society merged with the previously amalgamated Aberdare and Trecynon societies, to create the Aberdare and District Co-operative Society. This became a common occurrence over time, and by the end of the 1920s, all […]



An interactive historical timeline following the origins and developments of Co-operative Societies in the Cynon valley, accompanied by objects from our collection.

Follow this link for the timeline.


Co-operative societies in the Cynon Valley were the first of their kind in Wales.

Through objects in our collection, discover the origins of The Cwmbach Co-operative Society, the increase in trade and success, and the subsequent amalgamation between the societies.

Follow this link for Part One of the blog.


The Aberdare and District Co-operative Society became the largest society in South Wales and was also known as the ‘spiritual centre of co-operation in Wales.’

By 1985, the turnover for the Aberdare and District Co-operative Society exceeded £8 million!

Through objects from the collection, discover the history and economic and social impacts of the Aberdare and District Co-operative Society.

Follow this link for Part Two of the blog.



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!


A Virtual Walking Tour of Aberdare's Jewish History

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.

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.

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.

Morris Jacobs: 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.

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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