Abercynon 'Welsh Lourdes' shrine in restoration appeal
Published: 16th Mar 2011 07:13:22
An appeal is being launched to restore a holy shrine in the Cynon Valley referred to as the "Welsh Lourdes".
People have come to pray at the riverbank grotto at the Roman Catholic Church of St Thomas, Abercynon, since it was built 85 years ago.
The shrine, the brainchild of the town's first priest, Father Carroll Baillie, was built by miners.
Rhondda Cynon Taf mayor Simon Lloyd said the monument was "a great reminder of this area's history".
Father Baillie arrived in Abercynon in 1924 to minister to the immigrant Irish and Italian miners, as well as to the small number of Welsh Catholics living in the area at the time, explained a council spokesperson.
The 1925 coal strike caused a stoppage of work at the two local collieries on which the local population depended for its livelihood.
In order to keep the town's unemployed miners occupied, Father Baillie decided to create a Welsh version of the holy shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes in France.
The miners used crowbars and ropes to haul huge blocks of stone from the riverbed, then strengthened the banks and terraces with a sloped wall.
The holy shrine at the Roman Catholic Church of St Thomas is a unique place in this part of south Wales and is a great reminder of this area's history”
Mr Lloyd said: "The holy shrine at the Roman Catholic Church of St Thomas is a unique place in this part of south Wales and is a great reminder of this area's history.
"I am delighted to hear that the shrine is going to be restored and I hope that local people will be able to support the restoration appeal."
Abercynon's shrine is relatively modern compared to others around Wales.
The shrine at St Winefride's Well, in Holywell, Flintshire, has been attracting visitors since the 7th Century.
St Mary's Well at Penrhys, in Rhondda, has been visited by pilgrims from around the world since the medieval period.
At 00:02:05 in WorldNorway is the best place to grow old, according to an index of the quality of later life in 96 countries.
At 00:01:19 in BusinessThe AA has complained that the new vehicle tax system will provide the government with extra revenue, as some cars will, in effect, be taxed twice.
At 00:01:17 in BusinessInfo
At 00:01:08 in WalesThe Welsh Rugby Union has hailed another year of record investment in the game in its annual report for 2014.
At 23:58:33 in BusinessIn the run up to this year's World Cup in Brazil there were protest banners reading: "Teachers are more important than footballers."
At 23:55:07 in BusinessYou may not have heard of a company called Taboola, but what it does may annoy you greatly.
At 23:49:22 in SportGoalkeeper David Marshall is hopeful Russell Slade will be confirmed Cardiff City's new boss by the end of the week.
At 23:04:30 in BusinessLast week, investors around the world were stunned when Bill Gross, the co-founder of Pimco - the world's largest bond fund - announced his departure from the firm. But what is Pimco, and how did it and Mr Gross come into prominence?
At 22:56:15 in HeadlinesThe first case of the deadly Ebola virus diagnosed on US soil has been confirmed in Dallas, Texas.
At 22:43:06 in EnglandTwo men have been charged with the murder of a woman shot dead in 2013.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. Abercynon 'Welsh Lourdes' shrine in restoration appeal [Online] (Updated 16th Mar 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/138388/Abercynon-039-Welsh-Lourdes-039-shrine-in-restoration-appeal [Accessed 1st Oct 2014]
News In Other Categories
Belfast's best known gay nightclub, The Kremlin, has been sold for around £3m.
Goalkeeper David Marshall is hopeful Russell Slade will be confirmed Cardiff City's new boss by the end of the week.
Lionel Shriver has won this year's BBC National Short Story Award for her story Kilifi Creek.
The AA has complained that the new vehicle tax system will provide the government with extra revenue, as some cars will, in effect, be taxed twice.
Two men have been charged with the murder of a woman shot dead in 2013.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com