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Heritage grant funding to help Swansea memories live on for future generations

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Some of Swansea’s richest social history stories could soon be preserved on film and audio files thanks to a £10,000 grant from Cadw – the Welsh Government’s historic environment service – and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The funding, secured by the Morriston Tabernacle Congregation with the support of Swansea Council, will see local people of all ages and backgrounds trained to carry out the filming and voice recording.

They will interview fellow locals who represent a wide cross-section of the older Morriston community.

Among the rich stories likely to be given new life will be those from: the Tabernacle itself, a 148-year-old Swansea landmark; the industrial Lower Swansea Valley, once the centre of the world’s copper-making trade; and nonconformist worship, so important to Welsh heritage.

Those helping with the project will include volunteers from the voluntary Tabernacle Community Radio group and people supported by the Fusion programme that is co-funded by the council and the Welsh Government.

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “Morriston was built on industry – and the Tabernacle and nonconformism were central to the community.

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“We want the Tabernacle to have a bright future; that’s why we recently delivered the first phase of an ongoing plan to revitalise the use of the building.

“I’m confident that this local heritage project will be warmly welcomed by the people of Morriston – both those who have stories to tell and those who’d like to preserve them forever. They are stories that deserve to be recorded.”

Andrew White, director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales, said of the 15-Minute Heritage grant: “We’re all probably more aware of our local areas of late and local heritage – whether that’s a building, a landmark, a nature reserve or even our local shop – is important because it helps create and shape our communities.

“Connecting with our heritage is also good for our wellbeing and thanks to National Lottery players and our partnership with Cadw we have been able to encourage a diverse range of people right across Wales to get out and about to explore and re-discover their local area.”

The bilingual social history project will bring together diverse members of the community and will see valuable knowledge passed on through the generations.

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It will deliver a training project for those local people who do not usually engage with local heritage.

Content will be provided by older members of the Morriston community, including members of the Tabernacle congregation. Many of these individuals are in their 80s and 90s – and they hold a wealth of anecdotal, social history that hasn’t yet been recorded.

The Fusion project will reach out to disadvantaged groups, encouraging them to get involved in this valuable cultural activity.

The volunteers will work with a professional filmmaker and provide further technical expertise. The visual and audio material created will be available to use in a variety of ways including for heritage tours, on social media and for podcasts.

Memories of the Grade 1 listed Tabernacle will help those who visit the building better understand its history, social importance and influence.

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More info: Contact Jacqualyn Box – email Jacqualyn.Box@swansea.gov.uk, phone 07827 307968.

Lead image: Marking the £10,000 funding for the new Morriston social history project are, from left, Paul Rees of Tabernacle Community Radio, Swansea Council cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies, council officer Jacqualyn Box and Tabernacle congregation members Gwyn Morgan and David Gwyn John. (Swansea Council)


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Charity

Tesco shoppers in Swansea help to provide £1million boost to health

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People in Swansea have been thanked for contributing towards the £1million raised for
three life-saving charities as part of Tesco’s ‘Helping you to live healthier’ initiative.

Tesco customers reached the landmark total for Cancer Research UK, the British Heart
Foundation and Diabetes UK from 13-26 September by rounding up their shop in store to
the nearest £1.

The funds raised will now help the three charities continue their vital work to save and
improve lives.

In addition to the £1million donated, the campaign raised awareness in Swansea about
the importance of people making sustainable lifestyle changes that can help lower their
risk of cancer, heart and circulatory diseases, and type 2 diabetes.

This was done with the help of trusted health information and advice, which was shared
to empower Tesco customers to take small steps to help improve their health.

Oonagh Turnbull, Head of Health Campaigns at Tesco, thanked Tesco shoppers in
Swansea for their generosity, which will make a significant difference to many people’s
lives.

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She added: “It has been inspiring to see our customers really engage with the work we
are doing together, and we hope that we have played a part in raising awareness for
these conditions, as well as life-saving funds.”

The campaign was part of the Health Charity Partnership between Tesco, Cancer
Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK, which aims to inspire and
support Tesco colleagues, customers and their families to make healthier food choices
and live healthier lives.

On behalf of the charity partners , Claire Sadler, Executive Director of Marketing,
Fundraising and Engagement at the British Heart Foundation, said
: “We have been amazed by the incredible generosity of Tesco customers and colleagues
and would like to thank everyone who donated during September.

“Your donations will help to empower millions of people to make healthier choices that
lower their risk of heart and circulatory diseases, cancer, and diabetes. It will also help
our charities provide vital support to millions of people at a time it’s never been more
needed, and it will fund research with the potential to save lives.”

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Swansea

City clock to be back in action soon

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Specialist engineers plan to work on Swansea’s historic Guildhall clock from next week.

They aim to undertake essential maintenance to ensure the timepiece – on the historic building’s prominent tower – is back in action in the coming months.

Swansea Council has been waiting for a number of months for engineers to become available.

Cabinet member and joint deputy council leader David Hopkins said: “We thank people for being patient as we’ve made pandemic actions our priority.

“We’ve also waited for specialists to free up the necessary time to do this important work. It’s important we got the right team in to do the job. There are few of these specialists available and, like all businesses, they’ve been affected by the pandemic.

“The clock means a lot to the people of Swansea – and they’ll be glad to see it once again providing its invaluable service.”

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It is planned that the Cumbria Clock Company will begin work next week. They will first remove hands from clock face; its internal mechanism will also go for factory maintenance.

It’s planned that the clock will be back up and running in good time for Christmas. Access to the Guildhall will not be affected during the work.

The Guildhall opened in 1934. Its innovative design and unique features were widely copied in other municipal buildings during the two decades following its completion and the building has proved to be functional as well as architecturally celebrated.

It has functioned as a focal point of local government and justice, is the focus for civic ceremony and is one of Swansea’s principal centres of social and cultural life.

Lead image: Swansea’s Guildhall and its clock tower. (Image: Swansea Council)

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Clydach

Historic canal route set to welcome more cyclists and walkers

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black and blue bicycle handle bar

An historic canal route in Swansea, already popular with walkers and cyclists, is set to be upgraded.

Swansea Council has secured funding to upgrade a 1.4km section of towpath along Swansea Canal.

The route between Clydach and Pontardawe is already part of the national cycle network (NCN 43) and sees many people using it to walk and travel by bicycle. Overgrown vegetation and an ageing surface under foot has prompted the council to seek further funding to make it more user-friendly.

A £250,000 investment via the Welsh Government Active Travel programme has now been secured and will result in a major upgrade to the route.

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement and Infrastructure Management, said: “Our aim will be to widen the existing path along the canal and provide an improved surface for walkers and cyclists.

“We will be working with the Canal and River Trust to make this route a safer and an even more popular walking and cycling route. We also want to continue the improvements already completed by the neighbouring local authority along their section, link up with it and maximise the regional benefits.”

The latest funding features as part of a report to the Council’s Cabinet, recommending approval of the scheme along with further investment in walking and cycling infrastructure, totalling £696,000.

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Part of the funding (£245,000) will also help create a new 1.4 km link between the communities of Clydach and Craig Cefn Parc.

Additional investment will be spent on the introduction of locally produced artwork along existing sections of the city’s network.

Cllr Thomas, added: “We’re extremely grateful for the support from the Welsh Government in enabling us to expand and improve our current walking and cycling infrastructure.

“We want more people to consider the options of walking and cycling to travel around Swansea and to use a car less often. Making sure we have good quality routes which link up communities and give people confidence to travel safely is key to achieving this.”

Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said: “We know that getting people out of cars for short journeys to cycle or walk is an ambitious agenda, but if we’re to meet our net zero carbon emission target by 2050 we need to take action now.

“Having the right infrastructure in place is key to encouraging more people to feel safe to walk and cycle and that’s why we’ve committed to investing significant funding in active travel this year.”

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(Lead image: Markus Spiske / Pexels.com)

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