Tuesday 16 September 2014

The Battle Of Ammanford

After my anticipatory visit on Sunday (see my last post) the Let's Get Physical! campaign officially reached Carmarthenshire today at an event supported by Swansea City FC Ambassador Lee Trundle and players from the first team. Visitors had the opportunity to take part in "Go Sport" activities, get tips from a healthy eating demonstration and receive key health checks in the mobile health centre.

Warren Williams, a service user from Llanelli, said: "One of our ongoing projects is the Activity Programme in Llanelli. Ten service users from our Llanelli projects formed the Activity Programme group and they attend a local gym once a fortnight to use the gym equipment and take part in activities such as badminton, table tennis and squash.

"It’s become a great way to socialise as well as a great way to exercise. We really feel valued as part of a team. We even have group competitions!

"Hopefully other groups will be set up across Wales as part of the Let’s Get Physical! campaign. Setting up a group is a great way to get people enthused about physical exercise – we encourage each other and we make exercising fun."

Practice Leader Jonathan Lewis said: "There are loads of ongoing Let’s Get Physical! activities in Carmarthenshire: we’ve developed new walking and biking groups and we’ve set up a healthy cooking/eating club.

The point of the Let’s Get Physical! campaign is to make permanent changes to the way we live and it’s been great to see clients and carers really embrace that message and make long-term plans for improving their health."

I look forward to bumping into the biking group next time I cycle up to Brynamman (which took me 40 minutes up, 20 minutes back - guess which way the Amman river flows!).


Ammanford is an admirably friendly and peaceful town but you should not mistake this for any acquiescence in injustice. In 1925 striking anthracite colliers objecting to persecution of union activists virtually took over the town and ambushed a large party of police marching in to suppress them. This action, known as the Battle of Ammanford, took place mainly at Pontamman up the road.

As the name implies this showed good tactics because the police had to cross the bridge there having arrived presumably at the railhead in Brynamman. The police expected no resistance and got a nasty shock - and it took some time for the insurrection to be put down.

Like many such incidents it is little talked about because there was a certain feeling of guilt in the community whose instinct, though they knew their cause was just, like today was for peace and not violence.

Medal struck for miners imprisoned after the Battle of Ammanford...