Martin, our Head Gardener and Welsh learner, continues his series of articles in Welsh by translating the biography of Clive Reed that is currently available on our website in English. This is the first of three parts.

Clive is the Heritage Officer of the Swansea Canal Society. His knowledge of and passion for the Swansea Canal is unsurpassed. This year (2021) is the 40th anniversary of Clive joining the Swansea Canal Society and this Welsh account of his contribution to the Swansea Canal is also a testament to his love of the language. (He has indeed been a thorn in the side of all local supermarkets who fail to sign bi-lingually).

40 Mlynedd o Wirfoddoli: Clive Reed a Chamlas Abertawe: Rhan 1.

Mae Clive Reed wedi gweithio ar, ac wedi ymgyrchu dros, i adfer Camlas Abertawe ers 40 mlynedd. Pan ym 1980, yn 37 oed, symudodd i fwthyn ar ochr y gamlas, roedd y ddyfrffordd mewn cyflwr gwael. O’r un ar bymtheg milltir gwreiddiol, dim ond y pump canol oedd ar ôl mewn dŵr, ac roedd y rhain hyd yn oed yn ddiffaith.

Yn 1981, ffurfiodd selogion camlesi Gymdeithas Camlas Abertawe. Ymunodd Clive â nhw. Trefnodd grwpiau gwaith wythnosol, gan ddefnyddio ei sgiliau a’i gysylltiadau yn Nociau Sych Abertawe i fenthyg, prynu neu logi offer. Bob dydd Sul o 1983 roedd yn gweithio gyda phartïon o 12/14 o wirfoddolwyr. Gyda chyllid gan Ymddiriedolaeth y Tywysog Cymru a chefnogaeth gan y Rhaglen Gwaith Cymunedol, trawsnewidiodd Clive a’r gwirfoddolwyr y gamlas rhwng Clydach ac Ynysmeudwy yn amwynder cyhoeddus.

Ailadeiladwyd pum milltir o lwybr tynnu, adferwyd dyfrbontydd ar y gamlas, ac yn Ynysmeudwy, ailadeiladwyd cwt olaf y ceidwad clo sydd wedi goroesi ar y gamlas. Roedd Clive yn hwyluso mynediad i’r peiriannau trwm trwy ddefnyddio pren wedi cwympo i greu trac.

Yn 1984 daeth yn Ysgrifennydd y Gymdeithas, gan aros yn ei swydd tan 2008, gan ysgrifennu cylchlythyrau rheolaidd a chynhyrchu taflenni, gan gynnwys yr unig lyfryn camlas tairieithog yn y DU. Ar hyn o bryd mae’n ysgrifennu erthyglau ar gyfer gwefan y Gymdeithas.

I’w barhau

40 years of volunteering: Clive Reed and the Swansea Canal. Part 1.

Clive Reed has worked on, and campaigned for, the restoration of the Swansea Canal for 40 years. When in 1980, at the age of 37, he moved to a canal-side cottage, the waterway was in poor condition. Of the original sixteen miles, only the middle five were left in water, and even these were derelict.

In 1981, canal enthusiasts formed the Swansea Canal Society. Clive joined them. He organized weekly working groups, using his skills and contacts at Swansea Dry Docks to borrow, buy or hire equipment. Every Sunday from 1983 he worked with parties of 12/14 volunteers. With funding from the Prince’s Trust Cymru and support from the Community Work Programme, Clive and the volunteers transformed the canal between Clydach and Ynysmeudwy into a public amenity.

Five miles of towpath was rebuilt, aqueducts restored on the canal, and at Ynysmeudwy, the last surviving lock keeper’s hut on the canal was rebuilt. Clive facilitated access to the heavy machinery by using fallen timber to create a track.

In 1984 he became Society Secretary, remaining in post until 2008, writing regular newsletters and producing leaflets, including the only three-language booklet about a UK canal. He currently writes articles for the Society’s website.

To be continued