THE opportunity to celebrate a special occasion was never missed by Llantrisant folk. The 1890s alone saw three major events take place there. In 1892 David Evans, returned home as the Lord Mayor of London. He made a state visit to Cardiff in July and travelled to Llantrisant to open a bazaar, which raised £400 in aid of the parish church restoration fund.
Church Hall Show
The procession in an open-top carriage, led by the town band took him through the streets which was lined with schoolchildren and Sunday School choirs. They combined to perform a song to the tune of 'God Bless the Prince of Wales', called 'Llantrisant On A Mountain' for the special guest.
Llantrisant Town Band
Within a year, more than 20,000 people flocked to Llantrisant for a very different reason - to see its most notorious resident cremated on East Caerlan. Dr William Price planned his own cremation in every detail and his housekeeper, Gwenllian distributed entry tokens for the occasion. At 8am on January 31 1893 a ceremony was conducted by Rev Daniel Fisher on the summit of East Caerlan. The cremation took eight hours, on a spot marked by a 60ft white pole surmounted by a crescent moon.
Four years later and a dinner was held at the town hall to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee on June 30, 1897.
Bull Ring Party 1953
It was unsure how to celebrate the occasion although a clock was almost installed in the church tower. A huge bonfire was lit on West Caerlan, by Master Norman Hughes of the Vicarage and Master Dunn of Crofta House. The Masters family of Lanelay entertained 900 children for tea and gave each one 1d.
The list of parties, dinners, carnivals and celebrations which took place in Llantrisant, ranging from coronations and victory parties, is immense. Following the Great War of 1914-1918 many local war veterans were decorated with medals on the steps of the Town Hall before a huge crowds of well-wishers.
At the same spot in 1921, a large group welcomed James Taylor, the Llantrisant-born Lord Mayor of Cardiff, to his hometown.
Probably the most popular social event in Llantrisant has been the Beating of the Bounds, held every seven years or so.
This ancient ceremony allows the Freemen to exercise their right of walking the boundaries of the ancient borough.
In June, 1946 the Freemen marked the 600th anniversary since Llantrisant was presented with its first charter with a celebratory lunch on the Castle Green.
Filming Proud Valley 1939
In so many similar Welsh towns, one of the most important facets of everyone's social life was music. Often the origins came from the non-conformist chapels where the Gymanfa Ganu was born.
Musically the town blossomed with such organisations as Miss E. Bowen's Gipsy Chorus. William Davies lived here and composed the popular Welsh classic, 'O Na Byddai'n Haf O Hyd' ('Oh That it Were Always Summer').
Eisteddfodau were held in public houses, organised by the Cymreigyddion Society, which was formed at the Swan Inn in 1771. In 1865 a very successful eisteddfod was held in the market place to raise funds for a Reading Room and Library at Llantrisant.
During the 1920s the Llantrisant Town Band was formed with players from Beddau, Cross Inn and Tynant and rehearsed in the Cross Keys, before moving to the former jail house below the Town Hall.
The bandmaster was John M. Thomas of Tynant. Euphonium player Daniel Williams (Dan the Band) became conductor in the 1930s and they performed in the demonstration marches of 1934. It disbanded during World War II and the last performance was at the Armistice Parade in Beddau.
The first record of a male choir in Llantrisant was during a concert on March 1, 1898 after a whist drive on St David's Day. Rehearsals were at the Wesleyan Chapel and conducted by Cliff Davies from 1898 to 1912.
Llantrisant Male Choir
The present choir was reformed in 1909. In 1917 they went by horse brake to Southerndown to entertain wounded soldiers at Red Cross Hospital and in 1919 they unveiled the war memorial at Miskin.
In 1923 Luther Jones was appointed conductor and remained in post for 51 years until his death. In 1968 they sang for Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the opening of the Royal Mint.
Musically, two of the most influential characters were piano teachers Penelopen Price and Enid Griffiths (later Lewis). One of the most entertaining events took place in the late 1930s when bass-baritone Paul Robeson came to the town to film a scene for the famous cinema film 'Proud Valley',
Worshippers at the parish church produced shows in the church hall for decades. Its most successful singer in later years was young Jeffrey Hooper of Dan Caerlan who won the TV talent show New Faces in May 1974 with the highest recorded scores of the series for his performance of .For The Good Times..
To this day Llantrisant enjoys a reputation as the home of many solo musicians and bands who often play at one of many public houses throughout the town.