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The Dragon Awakes: Stories for the new Metro

Published Tue 13 Dec 2022 - By Literature Wales
Transport for Wales and Literature Wales have come together to inspire young people in Taff’s Well to celebrate the new Metro Transport System.

The South Wales Metro will be an integrated network of bus, rail and active travel (walking and cycling) that will improve connectivity and make sustainable travel easier across South Wales.

This project encouraged children to creatively explore their local area, and the potential impact of the new travel system on their environment. Climate Emergency is a key strategic priority for Literature Wales, with particular focus on encouraging younger generations to articulate their concerns and anxieties about the future of our planet, improve their connection to their local areas, and take positive action.

During Autumn 2022, year 4 pupils at Ffynnon Taf Primary School enjoyed creative writing and illustration workshops with poet Mike Church and Illustrator Osian Grifford. They learnt how to craft a story, creatively explored the characters and stories of Taff’s Well, and collected ideas for their own story. Their fantastic tale about the Metro and the dragon who lives in the thermal spring was turned into a collection of zines and poster poems which will be displayed in the school and at the local train station.

Mike Church said, “The children were a real pleasure to work with, they were engaged and interested in everything that was offered to them…they are a real credit to the school and the community. When I first moved to the area years ago, there was a huge Forgemasters building. Now the whole landscape has changed and transport to and from Cardiff will be revolutionised…that is the hope for all of us.”

 

One of the teachers, Mrs Howells, said, “The children were engaged from the start and I was amazed at how enthusiastic they were when putting pen to paper! Mike has shown how imagination is the key to writing! We really enjoyed the project and didn’t want it to end.”

 

Jessica Clement from Transport for Wales said, “Transport for Wales is very proud to be able to work with the pupils of Ffynnon Taf Primary School, many of whom will be directly affected by the work to upgrade the railway and the new depot in Ffynnon Taf. It was great to answer the children’s questions about how the South Wales Metro plan will affect them in the future, and to see how excited many of them were to get on the new trains when they start operating. I have enjoyed being able to work with Literature Wales to see how projects like this can inspire children to think creatively and use their imagination to produce their own stories about their local community.”