From Coal to Calon Lân: Swansea Valley stories revealed in new exhibition

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The fascinating history of Swansea’s communities is to be revealed at a new public exhibition in the city, which is to open at the National Waterfront Museum on 21 September.

The exhibition, which is free of charge, celebrates the success of the Connected Communities project, based in Swansea University's Research Institute for Arts and Humanities.  The project works closely with local people and societies to research the heritage of the communities across the Swansea Valley area.

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Picture: Morriston in the 1930s.  West Glamorgan Archives Service, Swansea

The exhibition, which will run until 17 November, includes materials and objects from six local projects, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which have been co-designed by the Connected Communities project and the local communities involved.  

•    The Hafod Walk: an Oral History - run by a local branch of the Historical Association, this creates a digital trail around the Whiterock site in Landore using oral history recordings to tell the story of the former Hafod Copperworks.

•    Researching the Mining History of the Upper Swansea Valley - Maesyrdderwen School are conducting a project entitled  that will inform local school children about their community mining heritage and legacy.

•    Old Clydach - Clydach Heritage Centre’s project explores the transformation of the village through the decades

•    Chinese communities in Swansea – the Chinese Co-operative are researching the history of Chinese immigration in Swansea.

•    Daniel James, composer of Calon Lan  - Treboeth Historical Society work with local school children to research the life of Daniel James, to produce an animated life story and

•    Swansea Your Story - digitally preserving photographs and memories of Swansea’s past.

Kate Spiller from the Connected Communities team said:

“The research varies greatly in focus - from coal mining and Welsh poetry to Chinese immigration and local photography.  It all makes for a fascinating exhibition.

The project team work closely with local and national partners that support these community projects including local and national museums, library and archive services, art galleries and the local archaeological trust.

The exhibition will also show how community projects can shape the future development of the Swansea Valley.  For example, a major heritage-led urban regeneration project – Cu @ Swansea - will breathe new life into the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks and the landscape of the lower Swansea Valley."