History and Heritage

Gibea Independent Chapel
Upper Brynamman

The first time I visited Gibea and walked round its grounds left me rather confused. I had been researching the Fallen named on the Brynamman War Memorial and was expecting to find quite a number of graves within the cemetery.

Then in 2007 I met up with Mr Colin Jones of Brynamman who kindly directed me to Gibea's new grave yard which did indeed hold many remembrance graves and a WWI War Grave of Arthur Powney who died in 1915.

Just to confuse me more I then discovered that the brother of Arthur Powney, George Henry Powney of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, had been buried in St Catherine's Churchyard after he had been taken ill in Salonika, been sent home for treatment but had died 9th December 1917.

The rear of Gibea Chapel, Brynamman, with the headstones placed around the edge of the field.

From the Llais

The Llais newspaper had always included a round-up of happenings at local churches and chapels, even when these were not part of any particular story. Sometimes they advertised forthcoming events, and at other times who was preaching, or had preached there recently.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, October 13th 1923:-

Gibea Y.P.S.
A social evening was held by the Young People's Society in connection with Gibea Chapel on Thursday evening of last week in honour of the Rev J. Vernon Lewis. The programme gone through included the following items - Pianoforte solo by Mr Arthur Williams, who was accompanist for the evening; Solo by Mr David Howells; Recitation, Miss Bessie Jones; Violin Solo, Mr Watkin Williams; Solo, Miss L. Davies.
During the interval, Alderman W.J. Williams, J.P., in presenting the Rev J. Vernon Lewis with a handsome walking stick, the gift of the society, described the excellent work done by Mr Lewis, who briefly responded and said he greatly appreciated the gift, not only forits intrinsic value, but for its being an expression of good will and esteem from the society.
Miss Eluned Thomas was the secretary, and to her much praise is due for the successful organisation of the social, at which light refreshments were prepared by lady members.
It is also deserving of note that this society, of which Mr Jonah James, Chapel Street, is secretary, has arranged a particularly good programme of events to take place during the coming Winter evenings.

The South Wales Voice 24th March 1951 records the annual Cymanfa at Gibea:-


There were strong attendances at Gibea on Sunday when the annual Cymanfa was held. The Rev Gerallt Jones presided at the three services and Mr Watkin Williams conducted the singing. The organists were Mrs Gerta Howells and Mrs Nesta Jones. At the children's service in the morning, Mair Thomas recited and a duett was rendered by Wyn Howells and Eurfyl Williams. Mrs Megan Thomas-Jones was the soloist at the afternoon session and a party of girls contributed a co-recitation. Mr Sam Williams rendered a solo at the evening service and a party of boys co-recited. All sessuibs were thoroughly enjoyed and the singing was of a high standard.


Complete Cleaning company, Ystradgynlais