Best of Resolven and Our Valleys

Neath MP Peter Hain has paid tribute to former Resolven Councillor Dennis Williams who passed away yesterday (18th August).

In tribute Mr Hain said, ‘Dennis was amongst the best of Resolven and our Valleys, and as a former miner himself proud of our mining heritage and a socialist to the end. He will be sorely missed and I hope others will take on his legacy.

‘Dennis was a stalwart of the Labour Party, a greatly respected and long serving Councillor on both the Community and Borough Councils. He was held in such high esteem throughout Resolven and will be fondly remembered for his love of music and the commitment he gave to Resolven, Melincryddan and Maeteg choirs as musical director.’

Mr Williams had worked in the Glyncastle colliery from the age of 14, joining the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and becoming the junior rep at the age of 18. The following year he was elected the youngest Chair of the Miners Welfare Committee and was involved as a trustee for many years.

After the closure of the Glyncastle colliery he worked at the Ford Motor Company and then as caretaker of the local school in Resolven.

Mr Williams’s great passion was for music and he played the pipe organ in concerts at Neath’s Gwyn Hall. He was an accompanist for the Resolven choir before becoming the choir’s conductor. He conducted the 1,000 voices at the Albert Hall and in front of royalty. His proudest moment came when he was appointed by the NUM to accompany American Civil Rights activist Paul Robeson in concert in Porthcawl.