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225 years of canal history in Swansea on show at National Waterfront Museum exhibition

People in Swansea are being invited to discover more about the 225-year history of their local canal at a special exhibition this summer.

Members of the Swansea Canal Society, local dignitaries and regional director Mark Evans

The National Waterfront Museum Swansea is hosting an exhibition for Glandŵr Cymru, the Canal & River Trust in Wales, in partnership with the Swansea Canal Society, looking back on the influential role the Swansea Canal has played in the city for over two centuries.

Providing a valuable transport route, plus water and power for trade and industry, the canal ran for 16 miles and was built to serve collieries, iron works and copper works in the Tawe Valley. Today it's a walking and cycling route with five miles currently fully navigable by boats. Glandŵr Cymru works with the Swansea Canal Society who are striving towards the full restoration of the remaining sections of the canal.

To celebrate the exhibition Glandŵr Cymru and Swansea Canal Society recently welcomed the Lord Mayor of Swansea Councillor Graham Thomas, Mayor of Neath Port Talbot Councillor Chris Williams, and Mike Hedges MS, alongside other guests to an event at the museum.

Pupils from St Joseph's Catholic Primary School and Ysgol Gynradd Trebannws were also present having participated in creating a specially commissioned video telling the story of the canal which features as part of the exhibition. The Worried Men of Gower, a folk rock group, also performed songs written about the canal.

Mark Evans, regional director for Wales & South West, at the Swansea 225 exhibition

Presenter of the BBC 4 series ‘Canals: The Making of a Nation', Liz McIvor, who is also a patron of the Swansea Canal Society spoke at the event. Director of Glandŵr Cymru, Mark Evans, and colleague David Morgan and Alan Tremlett from the Swansea Canal Society also spoke to guests.

David Morgan, development manager for Glandŵr Cymru, said: "It was fantastic to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the canal with our guests right in the heart of our exhibition which included members of the Swansea Canal Society who have worked for many years to restore the canal.

“We hope more people can enjoy visiting the museum and finding out about a huge period of local history for Swansea and a canal that still has a special role to play in the local area today.”

Alan Tremlett, from the Swansea Canal Society, said: "The exhibition is a brilliant way to tell the story of the canal. It's being seen by hundreds of visitors to the museum every week, educating them about the role it has had to play in Swansea's history, and continues to play today for local people and the wildlife who call it home."

To discover more about the 225th anniversary of the Swansea Canal, and more events celebrating the anniversary during the year you can learn more online.

The celebrations for the 225th anniversary of the canal have been made possible thanks to the generous funding support from National Lottery Heritage Fund Wales.

The free exhibition is set to run until 17 September.

Last Edited: 24 August 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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