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The Mab Comes to Pontypridd

Written by on 1st March 2022

A new interactive literary art trail based on Wales ’oldest myths and legends is being launched in Pontypridd this May.

The Mab Trail will see a series of permanent story stones and story boards placed in locations across Pontypridd depicting the tales of The Mab, a new bilingual book for children, which reimagines the ancient stories of the Mabinogi for today’s young readers.

Edited by the inaugural Children’s Laureate for Wales, Eloise Williams and author and broadcaster Matt Brown, The Mab will feature the 11 stories of the Mabinogi re-told by 11 of Wales ’finest children’s writers. The stories have been translated into Welsh by Bethan Gwanas and the foreword to the collection is written by Michael Sheen.

The Mab Trail is sponsored by Pontypridd Town Council in partnership with Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival and aims to promote a love of reading and encourage creativity, inspire new storytellers and artists and nurture a love of Wales ’landscape, literature and traditions.

Avid story-hunters will be able to discover all 11 stories of The Mab, which will be rooted in Pontypridd’s soil with interactive pieces of public art in the form of story stones, with images from The Mab by illustrator Max Low. Trail-goers are able to take rubbings of the stones, encouraging them to walk the stories of Wales and to create some new ones of their own, inspired by Pontypridd.

Mab Trail Pontypridd Ponty Rhondda Cynon Taf RCT Children Book

The Mab Trail will be launched with local schools on May 12th 2022, and will be open to the public from Saturday May 14th 2022 to coincide with Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival.

The Mab Trail will start and finish in Pontypridd Museum. It will take in 3 other sites:

Ynysangharad Park, Berw Road Field and Pontypridd Common.

Pontypridd Museum will house information on The Mab Trail, along with copies of The Mab. From there, story-hunters can follow the trail to Ynysangharad Park, where 4 story stones depicting the women of The Mab can be found. On Berw Road Field, 3 story-stones show the magic of The Mab and on Pontypridd Common, trail-goers will find 4 story stones containing the legends of the animals of The Mab

Tony Graham, Chief Executive and Clerk of Pontypridd Town Council said,

“We can’t wait to introduce you to The Mab Trail, and to the stories of The Mab, which have been peppered around Pontypridd waiting to be discovered. These important and legendary stories belong to all of us in Wales, and we’re proud to give them a new home in Pontypridd, and hope that The Mab Trail will ensure that they continue to be enjoyed in new and exciting ways for generations to come.”

Cerith Mathias, Director of Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival said,

“We’re thrilled to add The Mab Trail to Pontypridd’s already rich literary and cultural offering. By encouraging children (and grown-ups too!) really to get involved with the stories of The Mab Trail, literally to walk through them and connect them with the Welsh landscapes from which they were created, we’re certain that the trail will provide creative inspiration for a whole new generation of storytellers and artists.”

Matt Brown, Co-Editor of The Mab said,

“I’m thrilled that Pontypridd locals and visitors will be able to experience the stories from The Mab. These magical tales are rooted in Welsh landscapes so it seems perfect that people will be able to go on their own journeys of adventure, around Ponty, to discover them for themselves.”

Eloise Williams, Co- Editor of The Mab said,

“I’m absolutely delighted that The Mab Trail has found its home in Pontypridd. I spent a lot of time in the town as a child and know that my younger self would have been as thrilled to follow the tales around the park, common and fields, as my older self is. It’s joyful to think of people, young and old, connecting with the myths and celebrating these ancient Welsh legends. I am certain it will inspire new voices to carry the stories into the future, and that is truly exciting.”

Listen to Cerith and Matt on GTFM talking about the trail.