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Ystrad Mynach is a town in the County Borough of Caerphilly, within the ancient county of Glamorgan, Wales, and is 5 miles north of Caerphilly town. It has a population of around 13,500 and stands in the Rhymney Valley . Before the Industrial Revolution and the coming of coal mining in the South Wales Coalfield the valley was rural and farmed . It lies in the community of Gelligaer.
Origin of the name
In the Welsh language, ystrad is a wide flat bottomed valley. The termination ach is associated with the names of marshy floodplains of rivers and is also found nearby in the names Llanbradach and Llancaiach. Ystrad Mynach is a corruption of Ystrad-Man-Ach (man = place) and is not derived from the Welsh mynach meaning monk. Prior to erection of defences on the River Rhymney in the 1960s the town was indeed subject to periodic flooding.
Amenities and history
The town houses a number of council offices, as well as the Ystrad Mynach campus of Coleg y Cymoedd, a further education college established in 1959 to provide training for local coal miners and merged with neighbouring Coleg Morgannwg to form Coleg y Cymoedd in 2013.
The nearby Penallta Colliery  was the last coal mine to close in the valley . Other notable buildings and structures are the Ystrad Mynach railway station , opened in 1890, the viaduct , a sculpture to commemorate the areas industrial heritage , a community hospital, a number of schools, and the Beech Tree, Coopers Arms and Royal Oak pubs.
From 1927 to 1996, Ystrad Mynach hosted the 'F' division headquarters of Glamorgan Constabulary (from 1968, South Wales Police).
Ystrad Mynach railway station was a location for one of Ronnie Barker's Porridge episodes. Records show that Ystrad Mynach railway station was in existence in 1857, when it was known as Ystrad Junction.
A new Local General Hospital Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr was opened in late 2011. Work started on the Ystrad Fawr site in September 2007. It is located between the A469 Caerphilly to Newbridge Road and the old Caerphilly Road between Ystrad Mynach and Llanbradach. This replaced the services provided by the previous Ystrad Mynach Hospital.
Situated to the north of Ystrad Mynach, is a collection of houses called Tredomen; these houses were built to house the workers of the since-demolished Tredomen Works. This collection of houses is one of the best examples of socially graded houses in the world – ranging from two-up two-down, to a five-bedroom manor in Park Lane with adjoining servants' quarters.
Mobile telecommunications technology
There are four mobile phone masts in Ystrad Mynach operated by 3 (3G), Vodafone (2G), O2 (2G) and EE (2G + 3G) (previously T-Mobile. 3 has plans to build a new Ultrafast mast, which will provide a much faster service, it will start off with the DC-HSDPA technology and then will upgrade to LTE, the full speed 4G technology.
Penallta Rugby Football Club
Since 2000, Penallta RFC has been one of the most successful rugby clubs in Wales, winning numerous titles at all levels. Penallta won the Worthington Welsh District's Cup at the Millennium Stadium in 2001, the Swalec Plate at the Millennium Stadium in 2012 and the National Plate at the Principality Stadium in 2017. They finished runner's up in the Plate competition in 2016, meaning the village club played in a youth or senior final at the National Stadium a remarkable five times in six seasons.
Amid a string of league titles, including winning Division 1 East in 2015, Penallta has won two Silver Ball titles, in 2005 and 2015. Penallta Youth has also been extraordinarily successful. The youth team played at the Millennium Stadium in 2014 and 2015, winning the coveted Welsh Youth Cup and then finishing runners-up a year later. In 2014 the Penallta Youth side, led by Scarlets player Jack Condy, won all eight competitions they entered, winning every single game.
UCY - Union Cycliste Ystrad Mynach
UCY - Union Cycliste Ystrad Mynach was founded in May 2013 by Arwel James. The club caters for male and female cyclists from teenage upwards. As of October 2018, the club has around 100 members.
Weekly club runs range from 40 to 100 km.is a cycling club which meets year round each Sunday at 9 am, Saturday 9 am for the popular leisurely "Breakfast Club" ride and Summer evenings (mainly Tuesday 7 Thursday) at 6 pm at the Centre For Sporting Excellence.
It is a social cycling club which focuses on local sportives and charity cycling events.
The club has affiliation to Welsh Cycling and British Cycling; affiliation to Cycling Time Trials commenced in January 2015 and the club has begun competing in road, circuit and time trial racing. The club regularly receives Sports Wales funding for training equipment and venue hire to encourage off season fitness. Qualified coaches support development and rider safety.
Centre for Sporting Excellence
The CCB Centre for Sporting Excellence was erected on Caerphilly Road in May 2014. The centre has taken its place on the land of the old Ystrad Mynach Hospital and was built in conjunction with many partners, including Heron Bros Ltd Of Northern Ireland, at a cost of around £6 million. The facility is run by Caerphilly County Borough Council and it is hoped the local community will use the centre to create a thriving sporting culture within the region.
New Cottage Dance Centre
The New Cottage Dance Centre located on The Bridge in Ystrad Mynach and is home to some of the best dance teams in Great Britain. The dance centre has 6 registered teachers on the IDTA website. The staff are as listed below:
- Phillip Perry (owner)
- Carol Perry (owner)
- Sean Perry
- Kay Perry
- Ceri Hopkins
- Sophie Marlow
Former teachers include Kristie White, Kirstie Symon, Amy Booth and Laura Carpenter, who left the dance school in 2016.
The 'Ystrad Fawr' formation teams are very successful with great results in British Championships for many years. With their teams being former British Champions and amazing results in 2016, they are classed as one of the best dance schools in the whole of Great Britain.
In 2016, the 'Ystrad Fawr Dancers' entered the talent contest, Britain's Got Talent and made it through the heats. On 21 May, it was then announced that the team got through to the semi-finals. They competed in the semi-final (23 May) and finished 9th place.
Notable natives / residents
- Richard Brake, actor
- Mervyn Burtch, composer
- Andy Fairweather-Low, guitarist
- Paul Atherton, film producer/director
- Gelligaer Urban District Council (1959). The Gelligaer Story. Gelligaer Urban District Council.
- "£172m Ystrad Mynach hospital opens on time and within budget (From Campaign Series)". Campaignseries.co.uk. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- "Internet Generic Sites". Clinicalfuturesgwent.wales.nhs.uk. 2005-03-30. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- "Chip shop front demolished by car in Caerphilly county". BBC News. 21 February 2018.
- "Owner describes 'loud crash and plume of dust' after car crashes into fish and chip shop while he was serving inside". Wales Online. 23 February 2018.
- "Caerphilly - Main".
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