Neath Hall of Fame.......... 1900's onwards
Talent in other fields
Included by special request
Past and present
We have included this page to acknowledge Neath celebrities - those who the town can be proud of. It is a fact that talent lies in many directions.
It is not possible to include everyone who deserves a mention - so our apologies for any omissions while this page is being contructed. In fact, the list could be endless - but here, in random order, are celebrities that we have been requested to mention so far.
Remember there are more to follow as time goes by.
Dr Russell Thompson - ANTARCTIC explorer
Born 1937 in Harle Street, Neath.
Neath Grammar School then graduated from the University of Wales, Swansea in 1958, Russell joined the Falkland Island Dependencies Survey as a meteorological assistant. He spent two winters and four summers in Antarctica mainly at bases on King George Island and Signy Island and was base leader during his second winter in 1961. After completing glaciological research on the Orwell Glacier at Signy, he was awarded a MSc degree by the University of Wales in 1967. In 1970, he obtained a PhD degree at the University of New England in Australia based on mesoclimatological research in north-eastern New South Wales.
A R Lewis (Tony Lewis)
Academic, Musician, Cricketer, Author, Broadcaster
Educated at Neath Grammar School.
Tony played cricket for Neath, then off to cambridge University where he gained 'blues' in both rugby and cricket, in addition to being an accomplished violinist.
In 1966 Tony was the top scorer in the Country.
Captained Glamorgan to a Championship Title, captained England and MCC.
On retiring from the sport, Tony had a successful career as and author, journalist and commentator.
A true multi-talented person for Neath to be proud of.
Businessman and Musician
Many will associate the Berni name with the catering industry (cafes and restaurants), but Joe had an extra string to his bow. Not so much a string, as that wasn't one of his instruments, but a magnificent musician and conductor of the big band sound.
Most over a certain age will associate him with the Empire Ballroom in Neath, which boasted one of the first sprung dance-floors in Wales (maybe the first).
An influence to many an up and coming musician and the skill and talent to draw the best out of the musician.
Many people will remember in their childhood their mother telling them that Joe Berni and the Empire Ballroom was the start of a beautiful romance.