Clecs Cwmparc

‘Clecs Cwmparc’ is a storytelling projects as part of the 150th anniversary of Cwmparc (Parc) Hall.

It was gifted to the community in 1874 by David Davies of Llandinam, who sunk the Parc and Dare pits. These workmans' halls were the hotspots of learning , they housed libraries, cinemas, theatres, billiard rooms and debating clubs, all of which were resources miners paid for out of their pay packet so that their children, wouldn’t have to face the hardships that they had. 
 
We all know that everyone in the Rhondda has a story. And in most cases it’s more fascinating, more bizarre, more humorous than fiction. 
 
Why the name ‘Clecs?’ Some of us associate clecs with lies, ‘Paid a cario clecs!’ we may have been told. But when someone tells a story in the Rhondda, it’s always gets a bit more exaggerated. Clecs are the local myths and stories that we tell everyday at the bus stop, up the road, in the school yard. They’re the stories that help us understand about how our community was made, how it continues- about the characters and places and events that happened and continued to happen. So many people have said, “ I don’t know if this is true..” but it doesn’t matter, what matters is that it’s a story that’s been passed to you, it’s alive in you. 
 
And if we don’t record these stories? Quite simply, they will be lost forever. It’s a tragedy for this community to lose its stories and voices that make up the weave of this place. Because, without knowing who’ve we’ve been, we can’t know who we are and certainly can’t know where we are going. In an increasingly consumerist and globalised culture, there’s a danger voices that like our communities are getting drowned out. And that’s a tragedy because we have something to say, in an increasingly complex world about where we’ve been and where we are going. So far from being a trip down memory lane, these stories are the foundation on which we find our footing to forge ahead.
 
Clecs has been made possible by the generosity of Arts Council Wales and match funding by Cwmparc Community Association.

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