Abandoned Communities ..... Machynys
For over twenty years most of Machynys lay derelict. From time to time itinerant people would take up temporary residence. Councillors would brand them gypsies of the aggressive type, liable to want to fight in the streets and kick shop windows in.

For some classic examples of prejudice see the Llanelli Star, 31 July, 1982, p8.

The council seems to have been waiting for private developers to put acceptable regeneration proposals to them. In 1989 they thought they were close to approving a plan that would have created 2000 houses, together with “marinas and canals”, but that scheme failed to get off the drawing board.

See the Llanelli Star, 2 February, 1989.

In the end two projects have been implemented that together cover much of the land of the peninsula. One is the Machynys Peninsula Golf and Country Club. Gary Nicklaus contributed to the design of the golf course, which has the advantage of several ponds that were once clay pits or the reservoirs of tinplate works. When I was there in August 2008 they were getting ready for the 2008 Wales Ladies Championship of Europe.

The other project, on the western side of the peninsula close to the sea, is a housing development known as the Pentre Nicklaus village. In August 2008 about two thirds of the village had been completed. The houses are attractive, and have pleasing views. On a joint visit with my wife in July 2007 I had to stop her getting out her cheque book there and then to put down a deposit.

The Golf and Country Club has a website at www.machynys.com.

The memory of Machynys and Bwlch-y-gwynt is kept alive in various ways. There is a thriving local history group, the Glanymor and Tyisha History Group. The group has produced a series of books on the history of south Llanelli, some of which have been referred to earlier in this section. They contain articles on Machynys itself, and on the schools, shops and other services used by the people of the two communities. At the group’s monthly meeting in August 2008 there was a presentation by William Rees on the demolition of the Astoria cinema, the cinema most often used by people from Machynys and Bwlch-y-gwynt.

Many people who lived in Machynys and Bwlch-y-gwynt retain a strong attachment to the communities that appears not to have diminished over the years. Since the late 1980s they have been holding regular reunions, organised by Sandra Jenkins and Mavis Smith (formerly Whitten), who grew up next door to each other in Sea View Terrace. These reunions, attended by former residents and their relatives, recreate some of the community spirit that existed in Machynys and Bwlch-y-gwynt, but are tinged with sadness that the two small communities no longer exist.

Sandra and Mavis have produced a DVD with a lot of reminiscences by people who used to live in the two lost communities. If you would like a copy of the DVD give Sandra Jenkins a ring on 01554 751855.

The Golf and Country Club clubhouse


Part of the golf course, with the Trostre tinplate works in the distance


The Pentre Nicklaus village


The first reunion