The Bryn Residents Action Group (BRAG)
The village first came together to discuss the upcoming local unitary plans of the local authority in 2009, over a period of some years developers had tried to reopen the old wounds caused by the mining industry in the area. A number of attempts to open opencast mining in the area had been fought off by residents combining with our neighbors in Maesteg. However these were one offs where the village had come together to fight a specific cause. At the meeting held in the summer of 2009, it was realized that if we were to be taken seriously by the local authority we would have to form a cohesive group representing the wishes of the community, to the local authorities and developers, as there was no consensus on forming another level of local government i.e. a community council the next best thing was to form a properly constituted action group, hence the formation of BRAG. Its aim being to make BRYN a nice place to live.
Since then it has become a force for the good of the residents, with many projects coming to completion.
- Regular meetings are held monthly with local Councillors to discuss points of concern.
- These also include representatives of the police.
- The meetings are open to all and are a chance for the people of Bryn to bring up points of concern.
- Items brought up and actions include everything from state of the roads to cleaning up the streets, and working parties have been formed on regular basis to litter pick the area.
- New road signs have been placed at the entrance to the village, 20mph areas formed where children cross the main roads and 20mph signs at the village school.
- The old dram road has become pedestrian only putting a stop to a well used rat run for car drivers.
- Events put on to bring the village together, include St. David's day celebrations, Christmas parties, Historical society meetings.
- Bi-monthly Newsletters to keep the community informed.
- A web site opened where all could see what was happening, all minutes of meetings are openly published on the web for all to see and comment on.
- Three major eye sores have been dealt with at the entrances of the village, i.e. The old colliery buildings demolished, the old bus garage demolished, and after a long fight, the defunct petrol garage demolished.
- Other smaller jobs completed include the keeping open of the footpath by the river which the developer tried to build on. The removal of storage containers from Varteg row, again from the same developer who has proved most uncooperative. The river bridge abutments are being rebuilt.
- The area around the old coal tips have been fenced and gated and will eventually become a wild life preservation area as well as a picnic area, and the start of a very nice walk up to the forestry.
- A face book page has been opened to allow more open comment.
- This summer in June a major running event has been organized which it is hoped will become internationally recognized, and its own web site opened to promote it.
- Promotion of the historical side of the village, along with promotion of the country side around us by providing information on country walks.
- The involvement of the local school in village events and projects.
- This just the start in bringing our community together, this has been achieved in a little under 2 years watch this space. BRYN REALLY IS BECOMING A NICE PLACE TO LIVE.
- Saturday 18th June 2011 saw the first BWYSTFIL Y BRYN Alpine Races. We hope this will be the start of many such events over the coming years. The feedback from people on the fun run and the endurance races have been very encouraging, our sponsors seem very happy with our efforts, so hopefully with this in mind next year should be even better.
- Picnic area constructed on site of old colliery tip. 2012
- Picnic by Royal Oak upgraded 2012.
- Bwystfil y Bryn Alpine races now a permanent feature of the village activities with 4 races held to date and the fifth planned for May 2015.
- In addition to this we've also taken over and reinstated the Richard Burton Road Race in Cwmavon.
- To Accommodate the races a further two web sites have been opened one each for both races.
- Progress made on rebuilding part of the village park to allow the building of a skate boarding track with money being awarded from lottery funding.
- Project successfully completed with the school and National Lottery called Coal Coal our Country needs coal, it took a year to finish. But showed what can be accomplished with cooperation in the village.
- Various activities are still being produced in the village, e.g. Pantos, Easter and Halloween events as well as a recent planting of daffodils around the village to brighten it up.
- January 2015 skate park finally opens on part of the old tennis courts, work includes updating the remaining tennis court, see under sport for pictures of opening.