Welcome to the website of the town and community of Ammanford in the county of Carmarthenshire, South Wales.
This website is a non-commercial project whose purpose is to provide a history of Ammanford and its surrounding district. The content is taken from numerous sources and consists of photographs as well as written material. This is a personal site and not the property of any official body.
This material found here is not intended to replace written histories of Ammanford; there are numerous books available for that purpose, and books are much easier to read than computer monitors anyway. The personal computer and particularly the Internet are very recent arrivals on the information highway and, despite their phenomenal rise in the past decade or so, are not necessarily the only vehicle, or even the best, for travelling that route. No other medium will ever replace the book as the most enjoyable way of reading, surely.
However, it has to be said that the Internet does allow material to be published which would never find public expression otherwise. Whether much of the material available on the World Wide Web deserves to see the light of day is another matter, but local history does seem to be an activity ideally suited to this technology.
The Amman Valley has always been, and to a large extent still is, a Welsh speaking community. As a result much of the history of the valley has been written in Welsh, some of which has been translated into English for this web site.
Finally, I hope this site will be read in the spirit it was written, which was to satisfy curiosity and occupy idle moments.
I should like to thank two people who have helped me in the design of this site. These are Martin Smith, designer of the Llandeilofawr.net website and the late Malcolm Davies, designer of the Community of Ammanford website, without whose help I would still be twiddling my thumbs and tearing my hair out, if you can do both at the same time, that is.
Much of the material on the roads and buildings in Ammanford has been gleaned from the book Ammanford: Origin of Street Names & Notable Historical Records by W T H Locksmith, published in 2000 by Carmarthenshire County Council as a part of the Millennium celebrations. This is an indispensable history of Ammanford and — for those above a certain age — a source of almost as many memories as it is of information. Betws Mas O'r Byd, published by Betws History Group in 2001, has been a source for the history of St David's Church, Betws and other material on Betws. Hanes Plwyf Llandybie (The History of the Parish of Llandybie), originally written in Welsh by Gomer Roberts in 1939 and translated by the late Ivor Griffiths in 1986, has been at my side whenever I've made a foray out to the neighbouring village of Llandybie. Dr Huw Walters of the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, has kindly provided me with the material on the origins of Ammanford's name as well as the article on Amanwy. Dr Walters has not only responded to my frequent requests for information but has also pointed me to numerous sources and sent me much material himself. This web site would be much the poorer without his kind assistance.
I'd also like to thank Andrew Wilkes and Alan Williams for e-mailing me a steady stream of photographs.
Other sources have been acknowledged in the pages of the articles in which they appear.
Site created by Terry Norman.
I would welcome any comments, advice, corrections or contributions to this site, especially any stories, articles or photographs. Please e-mail me on:
The author of this website was born and lived in Ammanford until he was eighteen, when he moved abroad to England for twenty-five years. The need to record the past before it disappears is not normally something careless youth wastes much time on, so after his return to Ammanford in 1990 an interest in the history of his home town was stimulated by an awareness of time passing and the gradual realisation that the town of his childhood was fast vanishing from view.