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Ysbryd y Mwynwyr - Spirit of the Miners


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press release10/11/2005

A good audience turned up to Ysgol Tal-y-bont on Wednesday, November 2 to see an exhibition and to learn more about the exciting Ysbryd y Mwynwyr - Spirit of the Miners Scheme.

Meleri Richards from Ceredigion County Council explained that this was a Fund made up of Objective 1 money together with money from the Countryside Council for Wales, available to promote tourism and economic development on the basis of the rich heritage of the old mines that were for centuries, so important to the economy in north Ceredigion.

Simon Hughes, Felin Leri, an experienced mining engineer and one who knows more than most about the history of all the old mines in the area, gave a talk with slides which opened our eyes as to the richness of that history.

The first workings in Allt y Crib, to the west of Tal-y-bont, were in the Bronze Age, followed by the Romans, whose remains can be found in the 'fortlet' below Erglodd and in Sarn Helen which runs through Cwm Slaid, who probably worked the gold in 'Aur'glodd and Nantllain.

The archaeological work carried out on Ynys Capel land during the summer is also beginning to show that the area to the north of Tal-y-bont was important as a metal processing area.

Later, miners worked here in Elizabethan times and then in the 18 and 19 centuries.

There were also metal working centres where Wern and Melin Leri stand today.

Gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc have come from the rocks around us over the millennia.

Paul Sambrook, a professional archaeologist, then explained how important it is to record the history of the communities whose living depended on the mine workings.

During the discussions in smaller groups which followed presentations, many memories came to light.

Memories that will be used to prepare interpretive boards which will be prepared as part of this scheme.

Under the direction of Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn and Ecodyfi, the three Community Councils, Ceulanamaesmawr, Llangynfelyn and Ysgubor y Coed will bid for money from the fund in order to prepare interpretive boards and pamphlets outlining the history and drawing attention to the public footpaths in the area, many of them originally used by the old miners.

It is hoped to attract tourists to visit the area in order to walk the old paths where there will be smaller, strategically placed boards explaining more of the history.

This is an important project, not only to attract tourists, but also to raise awareness that we live in a post industrial area that has a history as important if not more important than the history of the south Wales iron and coal fields.

A similar meeting will be held in Llanfach, Tre Taliesin, between 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22 so that the people of Llangynfelyn can learn more of the history of their area and another meeting will be held before too long, for the Ysgubor y Coed community.

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