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had great success in Pennard Ward and have planted a beautiful Silver Birch to
commemorate 50 years since the passing of Vernon Watkins and 50 years since
Pennard Primary School and Library were opened.
Local company, Gower Unearthed, work tirelessly
raising awareness of Gower myths, legends and history. They have been
awarded funding to bring Vernon Watkins and his work to life for the 50th
anniversary and have run some great initiatives across Swansea and Gower.
I met with Charlotte and Helen of Gower
Unearthed to discuss the Swansea Rural Community Voice Project and how it could
work for them. We discussed their current and future projects and during our
conversations, one of us suggested that planting a tree for Vernon would be a
lovely way to mark this special anniversary.
Without further discussions, the idea was
uploaded to VocalEyes into Pennard Ward, was rated and debated by Pennard
residents and by the end of the month was top of the list of priorities for the
It was during this time, we spoke to
residents about the idea of planting a tree and discovered the Primary School and Library were
both also celebrating a 50th anniversary. With all the crossover
links between Vernon’s poetry, children, learning, books and literacy, the idea
morphed into a joint celebration.
We approached the Primary school to find
out what they thought about a tree to celebrate their special anniversary, also
recognizing the Library and Vernon Watkins, and were delighted by the response.
Charlotte and Helen both wanted to help the
school give the children a better understanding of Vernon Watkins and so
organized sessions at the school; including poetry walks and sessions writing
poetry taking inspiration from nature and the Pennard area.
The children have also worked with a local
artist to produce a “Poetry-Tree” to showcase their work. This will form part
of a display to be showcased around Swansea as a finale to the Vernon Watkins
The tree will be accompanied by a memorial
stone and information board in the coming months. These will be a fitting
memorial to Pennard’s most famous poet which we hope will eventually form part of
a Vernon Watkins Trail within the ward, encouraging residents to learn more
about Vernon and encouraging visitors from further afield who want to find out
The stone and board will be funded by donations
from a collaboration of different organizations including The Gower Landscape
Partnership, The Gower Society, Pennard Community Council, VocalEyes and
fundraising from the local community. This is an example of genuine community
collaboration, individuals and organizations working together to achieve a priority
idea that had come from the residents within the community.
This story has been shared by the South Wales Evening Post and is available on the Welsh Government website: http://gov.wales/topics/environmentcountryside/farmingandcountryside/cap/wales-rural-network/news/59...
Looking forward to helping Pennard
residents achieve many more of their priorities in the coming months!