Welsh Mining experience - June 2018-16

Local and Community History Month runs for the whole of May, and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has plenty for residents to get involved in, or find out more about their local and family history.

Residents and visitors can pay a visit to the Welsh Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park and take the Black Gold Experience Underground Tour. Follow our ex-miner tour guides underground and hear their tales of mining life in the Valley that once powered the world with its Black Gold.

Also included in the Black Gold Experience Underground Guided Tour is Dram: The Cinematic Experience.  This virtual experience is something all the family will enjoy – just watch out for a few surprises along the way!

Visitors to the Welsh Mining Experience can also enjoy the FREE museum collections that show the history of coal mining in South Wales and the impact coal mined in the Rhondda had on the local and global stage – including its links with the Titanic.

In addition to being steeped in history and heritage the Welsh Mining Experience is home to Caffe Bracchi, The Chocolate House and Craft of Hearts as well as the Energy Zone play area – it’s a great day out. Book your tour at www.rhonddaheritagepark.com

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure & Heritage Services, said “Local and Community History Month is a great time to find out about your family history, as well as that of your local area, with the Welsh Mining Experience being a great place to start!

“Explore the history of coal mining in South Wales and how our local communities had an impact around the world on the Black Gold Experience Underground Guided Tour, which will take you deep underground so you can see exactly what life was like down the mines.

“Rhondda Cynon Taf has a rich history, and there is lots for people to see and explore. Take a stroll around Ynysangharad War Memorial Park and the Visitor Centre at the Grade-II Listed National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, or wander around the beautiful Grade-II listed Aberdare Park, complete with boating lake and monument to the first National Eisteddfod to be hosted in Wales."

As well as the exciting things happening at the Welsh Mining Experience, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Heritage Service can also help you find out more about your local or family history. Regular ten-week courses on local and family history are run throughout the County Borough in a variety of community locations, and priced from £30 per person, that’s just £3 a week! For more information on available courses, prices, locations and start dates contact our experienced team at LLCreception@campwsgartholwg.org.uk who will find something suitable for you!

Furthermore, the Council has many FREE resources available online at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/libraries including our ‘Photographic Archive’ and ‘Our Past’ websites that provide access to thousands of local digital images and items from our local history collections.

Every Library in RCT provides free access to ‘Ancestry’ the world’s largest family history website where you can search birth records, census data, obituaries and more to start discovering your family tree. Our libraries in Aberdare, Pontypridd and Treorchy have dedicated Local History sections with experienced staff on hand to offer assistance and advice, with each Local History section containing microfilm/microfiche readers, local history and family history related resources including census returns, burial records and local newspapers.

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Wellbeing & Cultural Services, said “our Libraries are a great place to find out more about your family history, with libraries in Treorchy, Aberdare and Pontypridd having lots of information and experienced staff so you can start your family history journey. All our libraries provide online access so you can undertake research and access ‘Ancestry’ the world’s largest family history website for FREE.

“Visit one of our Libraries this month to find out more about your past, and look out on Rhondda Cynon Taf social media for free family history events and workshops across the County Borough.”

To celebrate Local and Community History Month, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council are redeveloping the Blue Plaque nomination process to bring it closer to communities. Blue Plaques are installed in places to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person, event, or former building on the site, and act as a historical marker, and these nominations can be made by anyone! The Council is creating three new committees made up of individuals and community group representatives for the Rhondda, Cynon and Taff Ely areas to judge nominations for plaques in their localities. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact heritageservices@rctcbc.gov.uk

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to support looking after our the historic collections at the Welsh Mining Experience, which will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to get hands on with the collection and see what goes on behind the scenes. Join our fun, friendly and knowledgeable team and gain valuable experience, stay active or make some new friends – whatever your reason for wanting to volunteer we’d love to hear from you! For more information of opportunities, please contact heritageservices@rctcbc.gov.uk

Posted on Monday 20th May 2019

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