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Last Updated: Friday, 15 June 2007, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
Cwm Rhondda's composer remembered
John Hughes' restored gravestone
John Hughes died in 1932, aged 58
The gravestone has been restored of the composer of one of Wales' best-loved hymns, 100 years after the song was first heard.

Cwm Rhondda - with its familiar "Bread of Heaven" refrain - has been sung for generations by Welsh rugby fans.

It was composed by John Hughes and first heard in Capel Rhondda in Hopkinstown near Pontypridd in 1907.

A service celebrating its centenary is planned at his burial place, Salem Baptist Chapel in nearby Tonteg.

The composer was a regular chapelgoer and a deacon and the musical director of the choir there, and was buried there in 1932 after dying at his home in Tonteg.

His family wanted the gravestone on his grave to be cleaned, with new gilding of the letters and new plaques placed where Mr Hughes is buried with his wife, Hannah Mariah. The plaques are in memory of their children Gwyn and Dilys.

Rugby crowd at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
I've sung Cwm Rhondda in just about every venue we've performed in, from the Wales Millennium Centre to the Sydney Opera House
Ian Reynolds

A special children's cymanfa ganu in the chapel on 6 July will feature choirs from five local primary schools who will be celebrating the centenary of the famous hymn.

Mr Hughes's family hired Ian and Jim Reynolds from a local funeral director and stonemason firm to carry out the work on the headstone.

Ian Reynolds, who is a member of the Treorchy Male Choir, said he was proud to have undertaken the work.

"I've sung Cwm Rhondda in just about every venue we've performed in, from the Wales Millennium Centre to the Sydney Opera House and know how much people appreciate this magnificent hymn tune," he said.

"I was very proud to have carried out the work with my colleagues.

"Cwm Rhondda is an inspiring hymn tune to perform and remains John Hughes's greatest legacy of all."


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