Nant y Gwyddon
Author: Bill Monington
Written in response to ‘Penrhys’ Ernest Zobole, (c1951)
Situated on the mountainside between the Rhondda and Ogmore valleys about two hundred yards above the village of Gelli is the notorious Nant y Gwyddon landfill site.
Over years, unscrupulous dumpers have used the tip to shed all kinds of unwanted chemical waste – to the chagrin of the long suffering residents of the area who formed an action committee. ‘RANT’, engaged experts to analyze the contents, but results were treated with derision by the Local Council until two completely unconnected incidents brought a lot of publicity to the area.
Sixty year old Richard Roberts was in the area one Saturday afternoon when a bunch of young cyclists rode through the tip. Incensed, Mr. Roberts lashed out with an open hand; unfortunately he dislodged one of the groups who fell into the evil smelling mud. The lads dispersed yelling abuse. However the parents of the unseated rider decided to prosecute for assault. A couple of the London based tabloids joined with the local press in reporting the prosecution. Questions were asked, answers were unacceptable to the press who continued to report on an almost daily basis.
The other was when the Council informed the residents that a few long established trees were to be cut down to allow a wider access entrance to the tip. Now this inflammatory move resulted in some of the protesters chaining themselves to the condemned trees, which attracted environmental attention, providing juicier stories for the press. Following the unfavourable publicity, the council closed the site.