Thursday 30th April 2015 – This has been a crowded by very productive visit. Yesterday in the National Museum Cardiff and this morning meeting with the Principal of The College Merthyr Tydfil. What perhaps I didn’t mention in the last post, is that the aim of these meetings is to propose some form of engagement with educational establishments and local schools here in Merthyr, during the construction period of the new Bus Station.
This afternoon I had two very informative visits to local schools in Caedraw. St Mary’s Catholic School. Headteacher, Mrs K Wathan, unfortunately had to go to another meeting, I met with her deputy, assistant headteacher Mrs C Cope. St Mary’s school fields and perimeter fence run partly along Swan Street, juts opposite the site of the new Bus Station. This obviously raises questions about security, noise, transparency and the increased pedestrian activity on the site. As the schools are actually side by side and share a perimeter fence, very much the same issues arose when talking to Mrs J Watkins, Headteacher of Caedraw Primary School and her Deputy Head, Miss D Williams.
These issues notwithstanding, the purpose of my visit was to discuss the opportunity for engagement with the schools and pupils. This could be by way of a drawing or writing project about Bus Stations, or transport – or even to explore the impact of the new Bus Station on their school day. Quite often on project such as this the main contractor, once appointed, would engage with the local community. Often this translates as artwork on the site hoardings – which can be very visual and effective – to learning visits by children to the project site throughout the build programme to see exactly how this building is constructed.
I would like to see the contractors and other site specialists visit the schools to talk to the children about their work. I will develop this proposal in more detail over the coming weeks. WATCH THIS SPACE!
On a project at Combe Down, Nr Bath, I worked with a local school to commemorate the miners who had helped to save their village from subsidence caused by extensive historic stone mining under the village, which was causing problems. You can read about the project here. My involvement is also outlined here.
One of the hundreds of miners who worked on the project volunteered to come to the local primary school to be the model for our Combe Down Miners Ceramic Project. Most of the miners came from South Wales.