Aberdare: town with no name 

ABERDARE is a former mining village that had a crucial role in shaping the Cessnock of today, yet the modest blue collar town remains a place with no name.

Bounded by Cessnock and Kearsley, the entrance to Aberdare at both ends is unmarked and local resident and councillor Ian Olsen is not happy.

He said he was embarrassed and taken aback recently when a constituent asked him if he was proud of his town.

‘‘I said of course I am, not so terribly proud of the roads, but proud to be part of Aberdare,’’ he said.

‘‘Then that person pointed out that there are no signs showing where the town starts and finishes, in fact no one actually knows exactly where Aberdare begins and where it ends,’’ he said.

According to Cessnock City Council records, George Brown struck coal in the area in 1892 and collieries were then established in East Greta, Stanford Merthyr, Pelaw Main, Abermain, Aberdare, Aberdare extended and Hebburn, within 14 years of the initial find. 

By 1926 Cessnock had a population of 12,000 within a one mile radius and the area came into its own in 1939-45 when coalminers broke all production records.

In a notice of motion to a recent council meeting Cr Olsen was successful in obtaining funding for signs to be erected at both ends of the town.

‘‘We have the Aberdare Rangers Soccer Club, the Aberdare Cemetery yet the town itself has no recognition, no official name whatsoever,’’ Cr Olsen said.

‘‘It’s historically significant as a coalmining town, there is a lot of history here and Aberdare needs its own identity.’’

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