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Discover Ebbw Vale through the eyes of its community

31 July 2010

Lady in Ebbw ValeA project working with the people of Ebbw Vale has resulted in a series of novel audio walks guiding visitors to the area around the town through the voices, memories and stories of its residents.

Narrated by BBC weatherman Derek Brockway and Radio Cymru presenter Magi Dodd, the three walks are an industrial walk overlooking the site of the Eisteddfod and steelworks, a walk down the high street in Ebbw Vale, and in Welsh, a walk around the lake at Bryn Bach Park.

The project is a collaboration between the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) at Cardiff University, BBC Cymru Wales and the University of Glamorgan.

From ex-steelworkers who are now active in the Steelworks Archive Trust, to local historians who have grown up in the area, the walks are put together using exerts from interviews with different people around Ebbw Vale;

All three audio tracks are available to download, along with maps of the walks and images of key spots along the routes so that visitors to the Eisteddfod can participate themselves. The tracks can also be listened to in Cardiff University’s Pavilion and in the BBC’s tent at the Eisteddfod throughout the week.

WISERD researcher Dr Kate Moles, says: "The audio walks of about 20 minutes each are made by using the stories of the actual people who live, work and play in Ebbw Vale. Around 15 local people were interviewed, and through their own words, the town comes to life with the voices of the people who make it how it is.

"The audio walks will also be available after the Eisteddfod, and continue to be a resource for the people of Ebbw Vale. It is a useful marker at this important time in the town’s development, as the social and educational landscape of the town undertakes another transformation with the development of the Works."

The National Eisteddfod has travelled to Blaenau Gwent and the Heads of the Valleys for 2010 and is held at The Works, Ebbw Vale from 31 July to 7 August. Cardiff University’s Pavilion will be a hive of activity with interactive displays, talks, exhibitions and much more. To find out what the university is doing at this year’s festival, visit our Eisteddfod web pages.

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