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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 ward.
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 Project.
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 more.
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!