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Latitude: 51.6098 / 51°36'35"N
Longitude: -3.5828 / 3°34'58"W
OS Eastings: 290491
OS Northings: 191294
OS Grid: SS904912
Mapcode National: GBR HD.9TRC
Mapcode Global: VH5GY.VS8S
Entry Name: Former Cooperative Bakery
Listing Date: 30 July 1997
Last Amended: 30 July 1997
Source ID: 18630
Building Class: Commercial
Location: Situated on Meadow Street, the former main valley throughfare just E of and above the current valley thoroughfare Oxford Street, adjacent to the Workmen's Institute.
Community: Garw Valley (Cwm Garw)
Community: Garw Valley
Built-Up Area: Pontycymer
Traditional County: Glamorgan
Cooperative Societies together with Housing Clubs were established to counter the problem of shopkeeper landlords introducing clauses in leases which compelled tenants to buy goods only from their shops, often at inflated prices: the societies became increasingly popular as the mining industry developed. This building c 1890 was formerly a cooperative bakery and was converted to a harp making and engineering workship in 1975. Main unit left (no 10) was purpose built, second unit right (no 11) was bought and converted c 1908. Former adjacent houses nos 12 and 13 were bought 1928 and converted as a bakery extension for cake making but have since been returned to residential use.
A two storeyed main unit and lower 2 storeyed wing to right; acutely angled side wall left to accommodate lane to former ford. Built of coursed rock-faced sandstone, rubble to sides, with painted brick dressings, corrugated asbestos roof to main unit and Welsh slate roof to wing; yellow brick stack main ridge right. The main facade comprises on first floor a doorway with hoist above under a small gabled dormer supported by struts on corbels; to right 2 cambered headed windows with sills and replaced glazing; wing has 3 renewed square headed windows. Ground floor has a remodelled doorway left under original metal lintel and track for sliding wooden door, which gave access to lobby where carts unloaded; to right is a range of windows, remodelled doorway, with cambered or segmental arched heads, some with keystones, one rectangular metal framed, mostly altered at different stages.
Ground floor is now an open workshop but retains a number of its original fittings. Unit left used for mixing and the base for mchinery is under the present floor. Strong original ceiling of metal joists and concrete to main unit to carry weight of ingredients stored above and chanelled down through shutes is still intact; ceiling to converted unit right is arched in metal panels to improve load bearing capacity. Ovens were sited in right unit and some flues in walls survive; ashes were raked out from rear through surviving openings. Interior formerly lined with white tiles some areas of which survive. First floor converted to living accomodation with replaced staircase. Hoist machinery, described as 'eccentric functional clutch mechanism', still survives in situ in roof left with metal tracks and original electric motor which powered it below.
Listed primarily for its historic interest as a cooperative bakery retaining much of its original character, in representing the Cooperative movement in the Valley and South Wales coalfield, and for group value with other buildings in Meadow Street, Tabernacl Chapel, United Reformed Church, and the adjacent Ffaldau Workmen's Institute and Billiard Hall.
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