Thomas Fredrick Willetts was the son of a miner from the South Wales valley town of Treharris. He grew up in a community that was self-contained and vibrant amongst difficult living conditions. Its people made it happen and today, once again, we believe its people can be motivated to bring new life and energy back the town.
The industrial revolution gave birth to many communities of people in the UK as coal mines, steel and other industries emerged to feed and supply demand across the world. There are many communities across the UK who made possible the wealth of individuals and corporations that still benefit from their hard work.
Treharris forms one of a group of settlements, which were built during the South Wales coal mining boom of the late 19th century and lies in the southern part of Merthyr Tdyfil County Borough. It is located on a south facing mountainside overlooking the confluence of the rivers Taff and Taf Bargoed and boasts many characteristics relating to the industrial heritage of coal mining.
The 1990′s saw the decline in coal mining in the UK where coal mines and steel works closed after, in some cases, a century of output. The mines themselves gave birth to many towns and villages and thus people’s identity as a community were closely linked. As a result of the closure of so many mines, communities of peoples lost overnight their identity as a town or village resulting in the decline of town centres leaving people living in a community without purpose.
So with the right investment, support and working with partners the possibilities for sustainable community growth are endless. The people of the valleys are hardworking and passionate; we believe that The Light project is perfect for our time when people are searching for community again and for an identity that will bring them together.
Working together, we can make a difference and play our part in the history of Wales and our nation through The Light.