The Forces That Shape Our Communities
The Forces That Shape Our Communities is a 3 year Heritage Funded project based at Craig-y-Nos & the Swansea Valley, looking at old industrial work places, and the history of the workers’ home lives & work conditions, the skills they had, materials and plants they used and the effect their work had on the landscape.
We launched this project with an Open Day at the beautiful Craig-y-Nos Country Park, where visitors could sample workshops with clay, painting, recycled crafts, and video or go on walks to discover the areas history and the forgotten use of plants.
Throughout the last two years we have held a huge number of events, workshops and walks, that have helped us explore the past and re-imagine the life of those who worked here, whether that was in the kilns or the quarries, the mines or the fields, the servants and gardeners in the big houses, the patients in the TB hospital, or the industries that kick-started the industrial revolution.
The project was designed to open up creativity with workshops, not only at Craig-y-Nos & local centres, but also throughout the Beacons via the BBNPA Sustainable Development Fund’s Beacons & Surround Crafts Festival that we held in June 2022.
Although the project has one eye on the past, it has the other on a sustainable future & environment for the area. We have run creative workshops that focus on zero waste initiatives such as creating crafts from recycling, Make Do & Mend & Proud to Patch projects. Traditional skills have been revived for environmental work, for pleasure, and to under- stand ourselves better now, because of what we did in the past.
The Curvy Bench was designed and made by a large number of participants and volunteers, with the help of Rebecca Buck. It was intended to be a meeting place by the Stocking Lake that inspired conversation and socialisation. Hundreds of beautiful tiles were made by people across Wales, depicting history or heritage site features.
It is a lovely to sit and look at the collective work that has gone into this bench and what it has represented to so many, and a wonderful place to chat and contemplate.
We are nearing the end of this project, but there are still plenty of ways you can get involved.
Join one of our crafts, traditional skills or bush-craft workshops that can be found on the Workshops page.
Write your family history, or convey it through one of our camera conversations.
Help create the Resurgence sculpture with Rebecca Buck in the beautiful woodlands at Craig Y Nos Country Park.
Please keep a look-out for our posts on events we will be running, as more will go on soon.