Local history: Mayor hails new book

23 August 2011

THE mayor was on hand to launch the latest book in a series that has won a place in the heart of many Port Talbot residents.

And Councillor Harry Bebell was full of praise for Neath & Port Talbot Life by David Roberts, which was launched at the Aberafan Shopping Centre on Saturday.

“These books allow the people of Neath and Port Talbot to share their memories, and I thank David for sharing these pictures with us,” he said.

David Roberts signs a copy of the new book for mayor Harry Bebell. Picture: Mike Witchell

The book, to which Councillor Bebell contributed the foreword, is the latest in a series that has become an annual highlight for many townspeople and their counterparts in Neath.

The pictorial nostalgia books are the brainchild of former journalist David.

He said: “We have come a long way in pictorially documenting Port Talbot and Neath since the first book appeared in 1998, and none of it could have been achieved without the unstinting help of local people who have kindly contributed their photographs.

“The photos reflect the changes that have taken place in the two towns, and the books are truly put together by the people for the people. With this in mind, I would ask people to look out any old photos they may have so that we can start work on the next book in the series.”

The new tome is the 13th he has published on the two towns; it features around 400 images of the way life was in days gone by.

As with past titles, it features people, places and events, and dips into everything from schooldays to sport.

Compiling the annual offering has become a labour of love for David, who grew up in Baglan and was schooled at Dyffryn in Margam.

“Without those who freely share their photographs, Port Talbot and Neath would not have what has become one of the finest social archives of anywhere in the UK,” he added.

NPT cover2011web

“It also offers people the opportunity to be among the first to get their hands on the new book and even bring along fresh photos for a possible future edition.

“As time passes it becomes more difficult to gather enough suitable photographs and we urge everyone to dig into their albums to keep the project running.”

Neath and Port Talbot Life does what it says on the cover and reflects everything from special occasions to everyday events. Few who turn its pages will fail to identify with something or someone in the pictures.

Coun Bebell salutes David’s efforts in the foreword of the book and said: “David really has captured the spirit of both towns.”

Neath and Port Talbot Life will be on sale immediately after the launch, along with a selection of previous titles.

For more details contact Bryngold Books – 01639 643961, www.bryngoldbooks.com

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