Ceredigion Off-Limits? Meet the CHYPS

By CHYPS McCHYP in 

Why hello there! Welcome to the Ceredigion Off-Limits travel blog =) 

We’ve been working in and around Ceredigion since 2017 doing what we can to preserve and record anything to do with our heritage. So anywhere between the 19th and 20th Century. It’s a part of the national project we’ve undertaken along with six other groups to do our bit in preserving Welsh Heritage, whether it’s how home life or working life has evolved in different ways and the places where we’ve enjoyed ourselves with local entertainment.

Most of the panel is comprised of young adults, but we welcome anyone from the ages of 16 to 25 and regularly meet in the Royal Commission every Thursday. We research and plan everything from here including where we’d like to visit, our theme for the year and generally the direction we would like to go next. It’s all youth-led which gives each one of us a voice in the way things are run here! It’s great fun and empowering =) 

We are currently on our last year on the Unloved Heritage project focusing on entertainment and leisure times of Ceredigion, including the many cinemas that have appeared and disappeared within and around Aberystwyth, as well as churches and chapels which were early forms of entertainment in the 1800s predominantly. 

Will be sure to post again soon. Keep your peepers peeled for updates and new content on our very own travel blog https://ceredigionofflimits.home.blog

Spring/Summer 2018 Highlights

By Polly Groom in 

As we move into the Autumn proper, I thought it would be a fitting time to give a bit of a round-up of some of my personal favourite moments so far in our Unloved Heritage? journey. It’s been a busy spring and summer, and young people from different parts of Wales have been out and about, exploring their heritage and learning all sorts of new skills.

Back at the beginning of the summer, we were delighted to welcome three different Unloved Heritage? groups to the Dinas Silica Mine where we had an adventurous scramble up the waterfall, explored the disused mine and learnt about photography in low-light levels. Our young people produced some AMAZING photos and were even featured in ‘Descent’ magazine! https://www.facebook.com/Gwentcavers/photos/a.778641572182244/1793479610698430/?type=3&theater  Thank you a million times to the Gwent Caving Club for making the day possible. See you next season?

A (very literal) highlight for our Llanelli group was the chance to take to the skies in a light aircraft and take some aerial photographs. Despite some nerves (the plane is, after all, really very small!) everyone had a flight over Pembrokeshire on a scorching day and took some fabulous images.  One of our participants even got to take the rudder and fly the plane for a short while. (No. We’re not jealous. Honest).  Not to be outdone, our Dyffryn Nantlle group have been up in a helicopter, looking at the landscape of the slate industry from the air in order to understand the size and scale. Amazing.

Another summer adventure was our trip to the Royal Welsh Show. Four of our groups staffed the ‘Unloved Heritage?’ stand, taking selfies, talking to visitors about the project and collecting their feedback. It was great to see the confidence growing in our participants as they realised people really were interested in listening to all that they have to say, and wanted to find out more about what we’re up to. They even coped with camping, and found their way around the massive showground to enjoy some of what the Royal Welsh has to offer. Hats off, guys – brilliant job!

There’s been so much going on that it’s difficult to know when to stop writing about it. I could mention the Blaenrhondda group carrying  out their own archaeological excavation, the Ceredigion off-limits? group helping restore mine machinery, and the Swansea group launching their Urban Skateboarding project.  Then there’s the brilliant exhibitions of young people’s artworks and activities in both north and south Wales, and the artist-in-residence in Ceredigion. There’s a new, comfy community room in Welshpool for local groups to use, and  there’s been stone-painting, behind-the-scenes archives trips and residentials in stately homes. Unloved Heritage? participants have skateboarded, visited, photographed and coasteered. They’ve cycled, surveyed, acted and explored. Most importantly they’ve taught us, the project staff, so much about how they think about heritage and what matters. It’s been a blast.

I need to make a very special mention of the Llanelli group who’ve been the first group to receive Arts Award certificates recognising their brilliant work this year. Well done!

And finally – as I write this, I’m up to my neck in preparations for Youth Voice, happening next weekend.  https://www.arts.wales/143317  Youth Voice is a very special, first-ever event really celebrating the impact that culture and heritage can have on young people’s lives. But don’t just take my word for it – the presentations at the event will all be led by the young people themselves, and visitors will be able to look at some of their achievements in a special two-day exhibition. Unloved Heritage? is represented by our Ceredigion, Llanelli and Blaenrhondda groups and we couldn’t be more pleased to be involved. There are still a few spaces left, and it’s FREE – so please do book and come along.  I’m so excited that we can play a big part in this fabulous event, and I can’t wait to update you all about it afterwards.

Hello!

By Polly Groom in 

Firstly, hello!  If you’re reading this, it means you’ve found your way onto our shiny new webpage. There’s a little bit more work to do before it’s completely finished, but we hope you agree that it’s looking pretty good so far. But rest assured – just because we’ve got a proper online ‘home’ now doesn’t mean that we won’t be around and about on social media. Far from it. Whether Twitter, Facebook or Instagram are your favourites, we’ve got it covered.

So welcome to our blog! And who are “we” anyway?
“We” are the staff and participants of “Unloved Heritage?” – a programme all about helping young people to connect with heritage, and trying out a whole load  of new skills, activities and creative arts along the way. Over the coming weeks and months you’ll be hearing from a range of our project staff, our partners and, most importantly, from some of the young people taking part. But for now, let me introduce myself …

I’m Polly, I work for Cadw and I’m really lucky to be leading the Unloved Heritage? programme. It’s not a straightforward project – we have seven small projects (see our web-pages) being run by five different organisations – and I somehow try and keep an eye on them all. I’m also responsible for reporting to the Heritage Lottery Fund, who gave the grant for us to be able to deliver this ambitious project, so it all keeps me busy. Fortunately the five other project officers around Wales are all brilliant – I’ll let them introduce themselves in later posts!

Unloved Heritage? came out of realising two key things:
1 – that young people are the least likely age group to engage with heritage, and
2 – that many people think of heritage as somewhere you visit,  maybe a castle or a stately home.
So our programme is aimed at getting young people to think about the heritage that’s on their doorstep, that makes their town or landscape look the way it does. We also needed to make heritage inviting – so we spoke to young people all around Wales and worked with them to put together a programme of activities and events which they thought would be fun and engaging. And so far, so good …