Bargoed shown within Caerphilly
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Bargoed (Welsh: Bargod) is a town in the Rhymney Valley, Wales, one of the South Wales Valleys. It lies on the Rhymney River in the county borough of Caerphilly and straddles ancient boundary of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire, with Bargoed originally lying within the old county of Glamorganshire whereas Aberbargoed was in the old county of Monmouthshire. 'Greater Bargoed', as defined by the local authority Caerphilly County Borough Council, consists of the towns of Bargoed, Aberbargoed and the village of Gilfach. The combined population of these settlements is approximately 13,000.
The English meaning of the town's Welsh language name, Bargod, is border. Pronunciation of the town's name varies depending on street. There are many variations, from the standard Welsh Barr-god and English Bar-go-ee-d to the informal Baa-Gud and Baa-Go-Ed.
Originally a market town, Bargoed grew into a substantial town following the opening of a colliery in 1903. The colliery, which was the subject of a painting by L. S. Lowry, closed during the 1980s, and its former site is now a country park.
The town has been undergoing a major redevelopment scheme, which concluded a bypass (running through the valley, with links to Bargoed town centre, Aberbargoed and Gilfach), Morrisons supermarket and petrol station, a new bus station, repaving the road though the heart of the town, a 400+ space car park, new library, 3 new offices, a relaxation area where the old bus station was on Hanbury Square, 7 retail units, also a state of the art Odeon Cinema. Bargoed will be the only town in Caerphilly county borough to have a cinema.
The Grade II* listed Hanbury Street Baptist chapel has been converted into a public library.
Bargoed Grammar Technical School existed as the local grammar school before Heolddu Comprehensive School was formed. Some of the grammar school's buildings in Park Crescent were used during from the 1980s until 2002 for the valley's first Welsh language comprehensive school, Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, which has now moved to a new purpose-built site in Fleur-de-Lys. Primary Schools include St Gwladys Bargoed School, Park Primary School, Aberbargoed Primary School, Gilfach Fargoed Primary School and a Welsh school Ysgol Gymraeg Gilfach Fargod.
- Actress Doris Hare (1905–2000) was born in Bargoed
- Bargoed is regularly namechecked during televised snooker tournaments as Mark Williams, Embassy World Snooker Champion in 2000 and 2003, practises his sport at the town's Emporium Snooker Hall.
- Welsh singer-songwriter and British Eurovision contestant James Fox grew up in Gilfach.
- Ivor Powell, former professional footballer and manager, was born in Gilfach-Bargoed on July 5, 1916.
- Alun Hoddinott, a composer of classical music, one of the first Welsh composers to receive international recognition.
- David Probert, British flat racing Champion Apprentice jockey 2008, attended Ysgol Gymraeg Gilfach Fargod also attended Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, which was located in Bargoed and Aberbargoed until 2002, where a new building was constructed at Fleur de Lys.
- John Davies, Air Force mechanic, United Church minister and NDP of Canada candidate
- Justin Edwards (musician) - jazz musician and composer - went to Heolddu Comprehensive School.
- Dafydd Williams - Space Shuttle astronaut - Some people display a flag at the back of a bus or on a hotel balcony to show their national pride when they’re away from home. But a Canadian astronaut with Rhymney Valley roots went above and beyond that custom – by displaying the Welsh flag in space! Dafydd Williams, whose late father Bill was born in Bargoed but moved to Canada when he was 30.
- Nathan Cleverly - Boxer - Grew up in Bargoed and went to Heolddu Comprehensive School.
- Only Boys Aloud - Welsh Group - Some boys attended Heolddu Comprehensive School.
- Howard Smith - British Olympic Bobsleigher, from John St, educated at Bargoed Grammar School and Heolddu Comprehensive. Competed at the 1984 Winter Olympics at Sarajevo in the 4 Man Bobsleigh.
- Morgan Phillips - General Secretary of the Labour Party 1944-1961. Brought up in Bargoed.
The following are reference books on Bargoed by local author Paul James.
- Volume 1: The History of Bargoed and Gilfach in Photographs. ISBN 1-874538-31-X
- Volume 2: The History of Bargoed and Gilfach in Photographs. ISBN 1-874538-07-7
- Volume 3: The History of Bargoed, Gilfach and Aberbargoed in Photographs. ISBN 1-874538-64-6
All three books are published by Old Bakehouse Publications, Abertillery.