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What a delight it was to welcome Liz McIvor and her family to the Swansea Canal yesterday. Liz has been the Society’s patron since November 2015 and this was her first visit to the canal, though she did live in Fforestfach for a short time whist working with miners groups. Liz is, of course, the writer and presenter of the two BBCTV series, ‘Canals, The Making of Nation’ and ‘Railways, The Making of a Nation’ though she continues to work full time as Curator of  Social History and Technology for Bradford’s Musuems and Galleries.

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The whole family first took to the water on one of our canoes from Coed Gwilym Park. Then Liz visited the Clydach Heritage Centre where she presented an iron and steel name-plaque for the Trebanos Lock to the Society. The plaque was made by the Bradford Industrial Museum’s blacksmith. We then made the short walk  down to the Old Highways Depot where we inspected the buried lock which is part of the piped section of canal under the Depot in Pontardawe Road, Clydach. This section of the canal has recently been  donated to the Society by Swansea Council for restoration.

We next went upstream to the Trebanos Lower Lock where Liz, John Gwalter, the Society’s Treasurer and Acting Secretary, and David Morgan, the Canal and River Trust’s Operation Manager, posed for a photo with the plaque. When  the lock is fully restored it will take pride of place there.canal-25-10-16

At lunch in the Ynysmeudwy Arms, Martin Davies, one of the Society’s trustees,  presented Liz with a copy of Clive Reed’s new book on the Tareni Colliery which operated close to the canal in Godre’r Graig. Clive is the Society’s Heritage Consultant and spent five years researching the history of the colliery which closed in 1949. In presenting the book, Martin said that it was a privilege to have Liz as the Society’s Patron and her support and knowledge was a spur to the restoration of the whole canal.  Liz promised that the next time she returns she will get her hands dirty working on the restoration with us.

We hope that she and her family will be back very soon.

Photos by Seren Willicombe