If you are shopping at Asda you might well want to see what remains of the Swansea Canal at Ystalyfera. The tow path is currently blocked off by metal barriers due to flooding but this will not discourage the hardened canal enthusiast.

Here is the neatly piped water flowing towards a rusty iron bridge giving access to the steps up to the houses high above the Tawe valley.

And the flooding has at least meant that the Japanese Knotweed on the towpath side has had to be cleared by fair means or foul (a digger, to be precise).

Some original stone structures still remain.

Not this one, though. It’s just a modern concrete pipe.

Far below the canal lay the great iron and tinplate works fed by the coal from the canal barges. Now, sadly, the bar code has replaced the barge.

Not all is lost, however. The great wall of the works is still intact, resembling a castle ruin.

Our history is all around us.

The water of the canal runs south, restricted, narrowed, piped, and constrained but flowing nonetheless, down to Clydach and Vale Inco’s insatiable thirst.