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Mosaic provides a warm welcome to Cwmdare

A mosaic made by local children has been erected at the entrance to the village of Cwmdare to give visitors a warm welcome.

The mosaic, which has been developed and made by local artist Louise Shenstone in partnership with Year 4 and 5 children from Cwmdar Primary School, gives visitors to the area an insight to the village’s past and present and features a prominent design including a pit head wheel, giving a nod to the legacy mining has left in the area.

The mosaic was developed after Cwmdare for Cwmdare (C4C) secured £10,000 of funding from renewable energy company, Pennant Walters. The mosaic was developed over a period of five months, with Louise Shenstone working with pupils on a regular basis to develop ideas and identifying a design before they spent 12 weeks putting together the 1 metre by 1 metre mosaic. 

The funding from Pennant Walters has also allowed the not-for-profit community group to purchase storage equipment which is now used to house essential items in the much-used Cwmdare Welfare Miners Club.

Headteacher at Cwmdar Primary School, Marie Evans, explains:

“When Councillor Ann Crimmings came to us with this idea of developing this artwork, we jumped at the chance. The pupils involved have thoroughly enjoyed working with Louise to develop ideas and then complete the mosaic. It is a proud moment for us all to see the mosaic in situ and we are delighted it will be there for years to come, providing visitors and residents alike with a warm welcome to the area.”

The art project has also received the help of WD Lewis Group. The company, which is building houses in the area, has built a structure for the mosaic as well as repairing the nearby wall and pathways.

Councillor for Aberdare West and Llwydcoed, Ann Crimmings, who is heavily involved with C4C said:

“As a community group we have been running for 14 years and, to date, have relied predominantly on the goodwill of local people. To receive this money from Pennant Walters has been fantastic and has allowed us to not only produce a piece of artwork, which will stand proud within the village, but also purchase essential equipment which will save us money in the long run.

“The youngsters in the community who have been involved in developing the mosaic artwork should be extremely proud of themselves. Having seen this develop over time, I know first-hand of the passion and dedication that has gone into producing the mosaic – it’s something that everyone in the Cwmdare area can be proud of.

“On behalf of the village we’d like to thank Pennant Walters for its generous funding.”

Cwmdare for Cwmdare was established approximately 14 years ago and has since been working with one vision – to regenerate the community. It is run on a volunteer basis and hosts regular events including children’s discos, Easter egg hunts, summer fetes, Christmas shopping trips and Carols on the Square.

Pennant Walters managing director Dale Hart said:

“We are thrilled to have been able to provide funding to C4C to help regenerate the local community further.

“It is clear that the volunteer group is working hard to put on events and develop projects that instil a further sense of community in Cwmdare. Seeing the mosaic in its prominent place in the village is fantastic – it will certainly catch the attention of people going past.

“We are pleased that the group has also been able to use some of the funds to purchase equipment that will not only benefit them, but other local community groups. It’s good to see the long term benefits this will bring.

“Our wind energy projects come with community funds that we use to invest in projects such as this and our aim is to bring very real benefits to the communities in the vicinity of our projects, providing financial assistance and expertise where we can.”

The funding is linked to Pennant Walters’ 9 turbine 22MW Mynydd Bwllfa windfarm near Aberdare in Rhondda Cynon Taf, which became operational in summer 2015.