In 2009, the Rhondda Cynon Taff local authority, in conjunction with the Arts Council of Wales, erected a new piece of public sculpture just outside Pontypridd. Christened Unity, the sculpture stands on land beside the Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, and is intended to bring new visitors into one of South Wales' most exploited and neglected former mining towns. The sculpture represents three aspects of Pontypridd's heritage: the town's famous bridge, the mines that populated the town in the 1800's and 1900's, and the way that the British fleet relied on both coal and locally-manufactured chains.
Unity or Lunacy? You decide.
The sculpture is largely invisible to anyone travelling up the major road from Cardiff until you've passed the turn-off for Pontypridd, which limits its ability to draw passing tourists into the town. In common with both RCT and Cardiff's local authority, there's no memory of the Glamorganshire Canal incorporated into the sculpture - without the canal, the Chainworks would never have come to Pontypridd in 1816. And there's no incorporation either of the Taff Vale Railway, still in operation today and visible from the site of the sculpture.
Time will tell whether this piece of public sculpture will be an asset or a communist-red (as opposed to white) elephant for the town, but it seems unlikely to become as iconic a piece as the Angel Of The North.
If you like this photo, please leave a comment or mark it as one of your favourites.
Want to know more about this photo? See this blog entry: