Tag Archives: Swansea Canal Society

Swansea Canal’s first ever artist-in-residence gets set to celebrate the historic waterways …

Swansea Canal is welcoming its first ever artist-in-residence in the shape of Cheon Pyo Lee, who will take up the six-month position starting this month.

The role aims to celebrate both the heritage and historical significance of the two-centuries old canal as well as its relevance to local communities and Welsh culture.

Cheon Pyo Lee was born in Korea but grew up in Paraguay, and lives and works in New York. He has an international practice that includes exhibitions, awards and residencies, including the Queen’s Museum, New York and Atelier Mondial Studio Residency in Switzerland.

His residency will be based at a workspace in Hafod in the Tawe Valley, giving Cheon the opportunity to produce work inspired by the local community and canal surroundings.

‘Wales’ canals have such a rich history’

Cheon is the fourth artist in residence on Wales’ waterways in a programme run in partnership between Addo, Glandŵr Cymru and the Arts Council of Wales to explore how contemporary arts can play a new role in conserving, animating and re-interpreting the waterways in Wales .

Tim Eastop, executive producer of Glandŵr Cymru’s Arts on the Waterways programme, said: “We’re delighted Cheon has been appointed and we’re looking forward to seeing what he produces.

“It’ll be great for him to get started and really involved with the community to explore and animate the canal. Wales’ canals have such a rich history, and links to local industry and culture. They are arguably never more relevant than in today’s society, offering a space to escape, slow down and consider the world in a different way.”

Cheon added: “I am excited to be the first resident artist on the Swansea Canal. I look forward to learning from this historically rich site and also experiment with new approaches towards art making.”


A message from Swansea Canal Society’s new patron …

I was very surprised and pleased to be asked recently to lend my support to the Swansea Canal Society’s work as Patron, and am delighted to be able to offer some words of support for the inspiring work already underway and plans for the future.
The Great British public owe a great deal in the resurgence of the canal network to the efforts of small groups of enthusiasts and volunteers who began to campaign for, clean, dredge and rebuild decades ago. In recent partnership with the Canal and River Trust, many of our historic waterways have not only been interpreted to help local people connect with and understand the places where they live and work, but have provided a place of leisure, an environment for plant life, animals and birds in increasingly urbanised environments, and helped people to improve their physical and mental well-being.
It is my hope that the society will be able to gather the necessary support to move forward with their ambitious plans to restore and regenerate an area for which I have fond memories and much affection.

Liz McIvor
November, 2015

Some Facts about Liz:

Liz McIvor, is presenter and writer of the BBC4 series, ‘Canals: The Making of a Nation’.  Liz has also written the book which accompanies the series, which finished its six part run on October 6th. Both the book and series have been very well received and it has become BBC4’s top-rated show of the year (source: Broadcast Commissioning Forum). Alison Graham in the ‘Radio Times’ described Liz’s style as ‘direct, informative and engaging’.

Liz McIvor’s day job is as curator of social history and technology at Bradford Museums and Galleries. She attended the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth where she was awarded a First Class degree in History in 2000, specialising in social and economic history. She later attended University of London where she did a Masters in Museum Studies.

Liz has close connections to Swansea as she lived in Fforestfach in the early 2000’s, whilst working as a Curator and Historical Advisor in South Wales. She worked with miners and minority groups and studied Cambrian Archaeology. She even dug up the occasional Cambrian skeleton in the course of her studies!

The SCS is delighted to have Liz’s support. She is not only a first class writer and presenter but she loves Britain’s canals and has a deep knowledge of their social history. She is the ideal patron for us.

Swansea Canal Heritage Trail …

To: Local groups and organisations and residents

One of our future projects is to create the Swansea Canal Heritage Trail which would extend from the north end of the Swansea Valley Nature Reserve (next to Swansea Valley Tyres) to the Twrch Aqueduct Ystalyfera.

This section, along the A4067, contains many historical features including a lock which is a Cadw Scheduled Structure. All these features are presently invisible to the general public. The trail would be designed for pedestrians and cyclists and would feature Information panels along its route.

The main purpose of the Heritage Trail would be ;
*To mark the existence of this stretch of the canal, by installation of information boards.
*provide safe pedestrian and cycle access, including a cycle track along the A4067.
*Set the Swansea Canal in context in the Swansea Valley:
~ Describe the detailed history of the construction shown on each board
~ Give the natural history of the area surrounding each board.

Working with the NeathPortTalbot Voluntary Services and many other bodies we are actively seeking funding for this project. One of the main criteria for funding is to demonstrate the support of local establishments and organisations, which is why we are contacting you. It is important to note that we are requesting your support but are NOT asking for any further contribution, financial or otherwise. All we ask is that you promote the Society and Heritage Trail to your friends and colleagues.
If you are willing to support us could you please sign the e.petition on


Many Thanks,
Alan Williams Grants Officer Swansea Canal Society.

Swansea Canal Society Bat Walk, 7 August …

BAT WALK along the Swansea Canal 7th August at sunset.

Steve Lucas of the Bat Conservation Society, has kindly offered to lead a bat walk along the canal, starting from Coed Gwilym Park, Clydach, where at least four species of bat have previously been identified.  All are welcome to join us.  Further details will be posted on the Swansea Canal Society nearer the time.


Swansea Canal Society visit White Rock …

Swansea Canal Society paid a very welcome visit to White Rock on 19 December. We showed them round the site, especially the Smith Canal of course. When all of them disappeared inside the tunnel they must have set a record for the maximum number of people inside in the last hundred years!

We look forward to welcoming SCS and others on Sunday 11 January for the Clean and Clear.

See SCS’s report and photos at www.swanseacanalsociety.com/2014/12/20/white-rock-heritage-park


Restoration of the Old Highways Depot, Clydach …

Between Clydach Aqueduct and Coed Gwilymn Park, Clydach, the Swansea Canal is culverted underground for 100 yards under what used to be the Council’s Highways Depot in Pontardawe Road. One of the canal’s historic locks is also buried there.

Glandwr Cymru, (the Canal and River Trust in Wales) who own the canal in water from Clydach to Ynysmeudwy, wish to restore this section (including the lock) and, in conjunction, with CCoS, regenerate the site. The plans include a small number of new homes, an attractive public open space and improved pedestrian and cycle access to the area. This will completely reinvigorate the lower end of Pontardawe Road, enhance the environment and bring significant benefits to the community.

The Swansea Canal Society fully supports this restoration and development plan.

On the 2nd of December, the CRT Development Manager,  Aiden Johnson-Hugill, has been allocated a ten minute slot at 5.00pm to present the full plans to the Swansea Councillors.

The Swansea Canal Society sincerely hopes that you too will support this scheme. Here is a brief synopsis and plan of the site redevelopment – Pontardawe Road Briefing Note.

Below is the link to our e-petition of support if you wish to sign it. We will hand it in on Dec. 2nd when we meet the Leader of the Council


Martin Davies
The Swansea Canal Society | Cymdeithas Camlas Abertawe

Tel; 0844 209 4548      mob: 07773 206 943
website:  www.swanseacanalsociety.com
UK Charity Registration Number: 1105624.


Help the Swansea Canal Society reclaim 100 yards of the canal …

We have just started the petition to reclaim 100 yards of the Swansea Canal and wanted to ask if you could add your name too. This campaign means a lot to us and the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding.

You can read more and sign the petition here: http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/help-us-reclaim-100-yards-of-the-swansea-canal

Thank you!

Martin Davies
The Swansea Canal Society | Cymdeithas Camlas Abertawe

Tel; 0844 209 4548      mob: 07773 206 943
website:  www.swanseacanalsociety.com
UK Charity Registration Number: 1105624