August marked The National Eisteddfod of Wales, and the start of our new Heritage workstream. To kickstart the project, we reflected on what the Afan Valley means to those who call it home by writing a poem inspired by the words of a lifelong resident.
The poem, Heart of Home, tells the story of how resident Mark grew up within Afan’s deep-rooted industrial history, having left home at sixteen years old to find work in the fishing then oil industry, and returning back to work at the Ford engine plant. Mark went on to meet his partner, now 37 years ago, and reminisces on the abundance of adventure right from his doorstep as an original mountain biker in the Valley.
Looking ahead to the future, he hopes the resort will offer a new era of joy and laughter for the community, whilst bringing families and friends back home.
Click here to read 'Heart of Home' poem.
As we were writing poems, our Welsh translator Bethan Mair was in the thick of the Eisteddfod action. Bethan’s maternal family comes from Pont-rhyd-y-fen, historically one of the most Welsh-speaking and culturally rich villages in the valley. Bethan attended the Eisteddfod at Boduan, meeting local artists and writers, and also reviewed the winning novels live on S4C.
As we look ahead, we are holding a heritage event, Voices of the Valley, on the 10th October in Croeserw Community Centre from 2-4pm. The event offers a chance for reconnection and celebration of the local area.
We hope to capture memories from the communities, specifically those involved with historic mining and forestry, and encourage residents, community groups, and historical experts to bring photographs and artifacts to share. Tea and afternoon treats will be provided.
Further event details will be shared in due course. If you’d like to get involved with the event, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or connect via socials.