- Port Talbot
infobox UK place
country = Wales
official_name= Port Talbot
Neath Port Talbot
post_town= PORT TALBOT
postcode_district = SA12, SA13
population= 35,633 Port Talbot (Welsh: "Aberafan" or "Porth Talbot") is an
industrial townin south Wales, UK, with a populationof 35,633 in 2001. [http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/census2001/ks_ua_ew_part1.pdf] Port Talbot is now a part of the unitary authority of Neath Port Talbot county borough.
The town grew out of the original small port and
market townof "Aberafan" (English name Aberavon), which belonged to the medievalLords of Afan. It built its wealth on the abundance of coalin the vicinity and on the abundant water available in the River Afanto power machinery and operate the docks.
The town got its new name from the Talbot family, who were related to the pioneer photographer,
William Henry Fox Talbot. They were patrons of Margam Abbey, an ancient Cistercianfoundation, and also built Margam Castle(1830-1839, architect: Thomas Hopper), a mock Gothic residence, now partially restored and open to the public along with the surrounding park. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot(1803-1890) was a wealthy landowner (and Liberal Member of Parliamentfor Glamorganfrom 1830 until his death) who saw the potential of his property as a site for an extensive ironworks, which opened in early 1831. (This was just part of the industrialisation taking place across south Wales then; copperhad been smelted at Neathsince 1584, there were tinworks and ironworksat Pontardawe, and Swanseawas developing into a world centre of metal-working.) CRM Talbot was also chairman and a major shareholder of the South Wales Railway.
His only son Theodore died in 1876 following a hunting accident. It was therefore his daughter
Emily Charlotte Talbot(1840-1918) who inherited her father's fortune and became just as notable in the development of ports and railways. With assistance from engineers Charles Meikand Patrick Meikshe set about creating a port and railway system to attract business away from Cardiffand Swansea. The Port Talbot Railway and Docks Companyopened a dock at Port Talbot and the Llyfni Railway in 1897, followed by the Ogmore Valley Extension and the South Wales Mineral Junction Railway (almost all these lines were closed as part of the Beeching Axecuts in the mid 1960s, but some bridges and viaducts remain and many of these railway routes have re-emerged as recreational cycle tracks). By 1900, the dock was exporting over 500,000 tons of coal; it reached a peak of over three million tons in 1923.
During the early twentieth century, the docks and
Port Talbot Steelworksattracted considerable investment, and this was followed by the establishment of a chemical plant at Baglan Bayby British Petroleum in the 1960s.
In 1970 a new deep-water harbour was opened by
Queen Elizabeth IIand the Duke of Edinburgh. It was capable of discharging iron orevessels of 100,000 dwt [http://www.oceannavigator.com/article.php?a=1315] , a tenfold improvement on the old dock. By the early 21st century, due to further modification and dredging, the harbour is capable of harbouring vessels of over 170,000 dwt [http://www.abports.co.uk/custinfo/ports/port.htm] .
The town saw serious decline in the late seventies and early eighties caused by the withdrawal or cutting back of major employers, especially the steel works. The borough council was absorbed into the larger
unitary authorityof Neath Port Talbotin 1996.
The town is built along the eastern rim of
Swansea Bayin a narrow strip of coastal plane surrounding the River Afanestuary. Swanseais visible on the opposite side of Swansea Bay. The local beachalong the edge of the bay is known as Aberavon Sands which is situated between the River Afanand the River Neath. The other beach in Port Talbot is Margam Sands (or more popularly known as Morfa Beach). The north eastern edge of the town is marked by the River Neath. A very significant landmark in the town is the Port Talbot Steelworks.
Air quality is relatively poor over a large area of the town. In 2007 there were 45 exceedences of the European and National allowed Pm10 limits, which are set at 35 exceedences.
Sporting teams in Port Talbot include:
*Aberavon Rugby Club (founded in 1876) who play in the Rugby Union Welsh Premier Division
Aberavon Quins RFC
Neath Port Talbot Steelersclub who play in the Rugby League Conference
Afan Lido F.C.
Port Talbot Town F.C.compete in the League of Wales, and also the First Division Welsh Champions
Goytre United F.C.
Margam United F.CBased at the Saltings football field in Knights Road, Margam.
Corus F.C.who play at home at the SCOW fields in Abbots Close Margam Forestto the northeast of the Port Talbot is used as a venue for a stage of the annual Wales Rally GB. In the past, the rally route has traversed Margam Country Park. Afan Forest Parkto the north of the town has a number of dedicated mountain bikingtrails.
There are five
comprehensive schools situated within the Port Talbot area:
*Dyffryn Comprehensive Lower (
Taibach) and Upper ( Margam)
*St Joseph's R.C.
A campus of
Neath Port Talbot Collegeis located in the Margam area. The Margam campus was previously called Afan College.
Community Archives Wales, Port Talbot Historical Society
Port Talbot Historical Society is a well-established society founded in 1954 and based in Sandfields Library, right in the heart of the
Communities Firstarea of Sandfields, Port Talbot, South Wales.
The group is dedicated to the research and recording of local history and have published a number of books over the years. Although the society boasts a large membership there is a core of 10 -15 active members who will be engaged in the [http://www.ourwales.org.uk Community Archives Wales] project. They are enthusiastic and have a great deal of local knowledge and are very keen to archive this information digitally. For the [http://www.ourwales.org.uk Community Archives Wales] project they are keen to research and archive the history of the
Sandfieldsarea of Port Talbot and have a wonderful collection of photographs and postcards to digitise.
In 2005 the area was granted its first dedicated radio station when
Afan FM, the inspiration of a group of local young people headed by 19-year-old Craig Williams - [http://www.afanfm.co.uk/] - was awarded a 5 year licence by Ofcom to serve Port Talbot and its neighbouring town of Neath. Afan FM currently transmits to the area on 107.9FM and online via its website. The station is based at its new broadcasting centre on Aberavon Seafront. The station will also become available to the neighbouring town of Neathon 97.4FM from Summer 2008.
The area is also served by The Wave (96.4MHz),
Swansea Bay Radio(102.1MHz), Real Radio (106MHz) and Nation Radio(107.3MHz) as well as the BBC. Radio Phoenix also operates a Hospital Radio service for the patients & staff of Neath Port Talbot Hospitalin Baglan Moors.
The town is served by several newspapers. The
Port Talbot Guardianis a weekly paper published by Media Wales, part of the Trinity Mirrorgroup. The Swansea-based daily South Wales Evening Postand the weekly Courier and Tribune are also distributed in the town and are published by South West Wales Publications, part of the Northcliffe Mediagroup.
Neath Port Talbot Council publish a quarterly newsletter entitled "Pride" - which is delivered to every home in the
Neath Port Talbotarea. Can i gymruis usually filmed in Port Talbot.
Port Talbot is served by the
South Wales Main Lineat Port Talbot Parkway railway stationwhere there are local as well as direct Inter-City trains to Swansea, Cardiff, Londonand Manchester. Port Talbot busstation, located adjacent to the Aberafan Centrein the centre of the town is the main bus transport hub in the town. It is a National Expressstop. Local bus services are provided by First Cymru. The bus station's layout is very distinctive for the fact that buses always have to perform a 270° clockwise turn to exit the station.
The town is served by
Cardiff International Airport, which can be accessed by rail by changing at Bridgend railway stationand by road from J33 (Cardiff West) of the M4 motorway. The airport provides scheduled, charter, domestic and international flights.
M4 motorwaycuts through the town from south east to north west, crossing a central area on a concrete viaduct, junctions 38 to 41 serve Port Talbot, with junctions 40 and 41 being in the commercial heart of the town. This busy urban stretch of the M4, with tight bends, 2-lane carriageways, short narrow slip roads and concrete walls on both sides, was the first length of motorway in Wales when it opened to traffic in 1966. [ [http://www.iht.org/motorway/m4corbag.htm The Motorway Archive. M4 in Wales - Coryton to Baglan ] ] The road has a speed limit of 50 mph enforced with a speed camera in the Eastbound direction. The stretch through Port Talbot town centre is a particular traffic congestion blackspot and there have been calls to close the slip roads at junctions 40 and 41 to improve traffic flow. [ [http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/south-wales-news/port-talbot/2007/11/22/end-road-chaos-by-closing-m4-slip-road-91466-20134914/ ‘End road chaos by closing M4 slip road’ - icWales ] ] However some commuters oppose this plan since it would add more time to their journey. A new dual carriagewayrelief road, the Port Talbot Peripheral Distribution Road (PDR) [http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/south-wales-news/port-talbot/2008/07/10/top-award-for-new-port-talbot-road-91466-21303962/] , is planned for completion in 2012. The new carriageway will serve as a distributor roadto the south west of Port Talbot, beginning at M4 Junction 38 ending near Junction 41.
Port Talbot Dockscomplex consist of an inner set of floating docks and an outer tidal basin. Construction of the tidal basin began in 1964and the whole basin covers about 500 acres. [ [http://www.coastguard.ukf.net/pthistory.html Port Talbot Coastguard Search and Rescue Emergency Team History ] ] The tidal basin is capable of handling ships of up to 170,000 dwt and is used mostly for the import of iron oreand coal for use by nearby Port Talbot Steelworks. The inner floating docks were constructed in 1898[ [http://www.neath-porttalbot.gov.uk/downloads/udp/complete_lowquality.pdf Complete.pdf ] ] and were closed in 1959. They were re-opened in 1998 for commercial shipping but in March 2007for the import of some steel products [ [http://www.abports.co.uk/news20075640.htm Port Talbot Docks Handles First Steel Cargo For Nearly Four Decades ] ] and are capable of handling ships of up to 8,000 dwt. [ [http://www.abport.co.uk/custinfo/ports/port/facilities.htm Associated British Ports ] ] There have been proposals for the development of an intermodal freight terminal at the port.
Heavy industry is a visible feature of Port Talbot's economy. The coastal strip of the town features
Port Talbot Steelworks, a large BOC industrial gases plant and a gas-fired power station. Three further power plants are being planned or commissioned, they are at Margam adjacent to the BOC plant, near the Aberavon Beach sea front and a recently announced £60m project within Corus to utilise by-product gases.
20 November2007, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform(BERR) granted consent for the world's largest biomasspower station to be built at Port Talbot. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/7105124.stm BBC NEWS | Wales | South West Wales | £400m wood chip plant approved ] ] This is expected to begin operation in 2010, and to provide enough electricity (from wood from environmentally-managed forests, mostly in North America) to supply half the homes in Wales with electricity.
Potential future development currently centres around the peripheral distributor road to the south,
Baglan Industrial Parkand Baglan Energy park to the west, Port Talbot Docksto the southwest, Margam Country Parkto the east and the Afan valley to the north. The 1970s town centre is ripe for a future face lift. The area around the town's railway station is dominated by billboards and a derelict cinema.
Blue Flag Beach
beacharea of the town has recently been improved and the council have announced it has been awarded the Blue Flag beachstatus for water quality and beach facilities. [ [http://www.neath-porttalbot.gov.uk/pressreleases/pressrelease.cfm?id=2925 Press Releases - 22 May 2008 ] ]
Notable Port Talbot people
(in alphabetical order)
Martyn Ashton, British mountain bike trials former world champion and multiple British champion, lives in Port Talbot.
Keith Barnes, Australian rugby leaguegreat was born in Port Talbot before emigrating aged 13.
Robert Blythe, Welsh actor, was brought up in Tan y Groes St. Currently (2008) plays Fagin Hepplewhite in the BBC comedy "High Hopes".
Di Botcher, Welsh comedy actress
Rob Brydon, Actor and comedian was brought up in Baglan, Port Talbot.
Richard Burton, was born in Pontrhydyfen, Port Talbot as Richard Jenkins and had his early education in Port Talbot where he met his mentor, Philip H. Burton.
Peg Entwistle, successful Broadway theatreactress whose 1932 suicide from atop the Hollywoodsign in Los Angeles forever tagged her as "The Hollywood Sign Girl" was born at 5 Broad Street, Port Talbot on 5 February 1908. [ [http://www.thehollywoodsigngirl.com/index.html Page Title ] ]
*Christopher Evans, businessman, originally from Port Talbot, Wales,
Bernard_Fox_(actor)born Bernard Lawson.
*James Hook, rugby player, current Ospreys and Wales fly-half
*DJ D-Rich (Dale Richardson), UK Garage DJ & Producer
Anthony Hopkins, actor, was born and raised in Margam, Port Talbot.
Geoffrey Howe, was born in Port Talbot in 1925 and spent his early years there. When he was made a life peer in 1992 he chose the title Baron Howe of Aberavon.
Michael Locke, aka 'Pancho' of TV series "Dirty Sanchez", was born and raised in Baglan, Port Talbot.
Dic Penderyn, was born as Richard Lewis in Aberavon in 1803, in the centre of what is now Port Talbot but before the town was named as such in 1840. He is buried at St. Mary's Church [http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/Llandaff/parishinfo.htm] in the centre of the town. He was convicted of assault on an army soldier and executed.
Paul Potts, an opera singer and the winner of " Britain's Got Talent" in 2007, lives in Port Talbot.
Michael Sheen, Welsh actor was born in Newportbut he was brought up in Port Talbot.
George Thomas, 1st Viscount Tonypandywas born in Tydraw Street, Port Talbot.
Andrew Vicari, Painter was born in Port Talbot.
Freddie Williams, World Speedway Champion in the early fifties was from Margam.
Coastguardcelebrates its centenary in 2008 with a proud history of rescues in the last 100 years. The crew will also become the mud rescue team for the Swansea Bayarea.
2007 was a typically busy year with a beached whale making world news. They also took part in flood relief efforts in
Gloucesterand while all are volunteers, they spent Christmas morning responding to pagers after it was thought a whale had come ashore once more which turned out to be a log, much to everyone's relief. Updates can be found at http://www.ptcg.co.uk
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/southwest/sites/inpictures/pages/port_talbot.shtml?1 BBC South West Wales: Port Talbot slide show tour]
* [http://www.afanfm.co.uk/ Afan FM]
* [http://www.abports.co.uk/custinfo/ports/port.htm Port of Port Talbot]
* [http://www.gtj.org.uk/en/item1/11364 Aerial photograph of Port Talbot town and docks]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=2742434 www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Port Talbot and surrounding area]
* [http://www.port-talbot.net/index.htm Port Talbot 2006 (photographs of Port Talbot)]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Port Talbot — [ pɔːt tɔːlbət], Stadt im Verwaltungsdistrikt Neath Port Talbot, Südwales, an der Swansea Bay, 37 600 Einwohner; Stahl , chemische Industrie; Tiefwasserhafen … Universal-Lexikon
Port Talbot — Port Talbot, Hafenort von Aberavon in Glamorganshire (Wales), an der Swanseabai des Kanals von Bristol … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Port Talbot — Neath Port Talbot County Borough Verwaltungssitz Port Talbot Fläche 442 km² Einwohner (2006) 135.800 … Deutsch Wikipedia
Port Talbot — 51° 35′ 26″ N 3° 47′ 55″ W / 51.59055, 3.79859 … Wikipédia en Français
Port Talbot — ▪ Wales, United Kingdom town and port, Neath Port Talbot county borough, historic county of Glamorgan (Morgannwg), Wales, on the Bristol Channel. Margam Abbey, which dominated the area during the Middle Ages, was founded in 1147 by Robert,… … Universalium
Port Talbot — Original name in latin Port Talbot Name in other language Port Talbotas, Port Tolbut, Port Tolbot, Puerto Talbot, poteutaelbeos, ta er bo te gang, Порт Толбът, Порт Толбот State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 51.59241 latitude… … Cities with a population over 1000 database
Port Talbot — ► C. de Gran Bretaña, en el S de Gales; 50 658 h … Enciclopedia Universal
PORT TALBOT — … Useful english dictionary
Port Talbot Steelworks — is an integrated steel production plant in Port Talbot, Wales capable of producing nearly 5 million tonnes of steel slab per annum. The majority of the slab is rolled on site at Port Talbot and at the Newport Llanwern site to make a variety … Wikipedia
Port Talbot Docks — is a docks located next to Port Talbot Steelworks in the industrial town of Port Talbot, Wales, UK.It is owned and operated by Associated British Ports. It has the deepest berthing facilities in the Severn estuary and can accommodate ships of up… … Wikipedia