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Page last updated at 08:33 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Aqueduct bridges the gap

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
For locals Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a simple means to cross the valley

By Alys Lewis

For some, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a breathtaking landmark requiring nerves of steel to cross, to others it's the quickest route to the chippy!

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
A view from Froncysyllte overlooking Trevor Wharf

That's one tongue-in-cheek way villagers sum up the local importance of the aqueduct which dominates their skyline.

Whilst it's now regarded a testimony to the ingenuity of the Victorian age, it was built out of a practical need - to connect each side of the valley.

No-one knows that more than villagers living in Trevor who can see Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen Canal from their doorsteps.

For Sue, Chair of the Aqueduct Association - set up to bring the people of Garth, Trevor and Fron together as part of the World Heritage Site bid - the aqueduct meant little to her as a child.

"It was just a way of getting over to the chippy in Fron or to my babysitting jobs! It was just a bridge."

Sue has seen many changes over the years.

"The canal was once full of tyres and bits of wood and it was oily and dirty and full of silt," she said.

"In fact, you couldn't understand why people wanted to holiday on it. It's been cleaned up for the last 20 years and the boating holidays have become really popular in the last 10 to 15 years."

Sue said: "Now you can't walk along the canal without saying 'hello' at least a dozen times to people as they're boating up and down.

Hadyn, Joyce and Sue
Hadyn, Joyce and Sue say they couldn't imagine living anywhere else

"People are always very friendly as you walk along the canal side, you always get a 'good morning' and a cheery wave. Even if the weather's bad people are still enjoying their holidays."

Hadyn Edwards, 77, has lived within four miles of Trevor his whole life. He even learnt to swim in the canal - as a lot of people apparently did back then.

"When I was a boy the canal wasn't used for pleasure boats, just transporting different products from one end to the other.

"There were very few boats. Now it's so busy, especially in the summer, so many people come here from all over the world.

"I think it's marvellous it's got World Heritage Status. There seem to be more and more people coming to see it. With this and the Froncysyllte choir the area's getting very popular.

Joyce Evans has also lived in the area her whole life and brought up her family near the canal.

"When my children were small they used to try and jump the canal - sometimes they'd succeed and sometimes they wouldn't!

"I would say there is a definite sense of community here in Trevor. Now the Aqueduct Association has been formed I think it's brought more people together."

Joyce loves living in Trevor: "I think it's a good place to live, I wouldn't like to live anwhere else."

And Sue agrees: "The canal and aqueduct are very important to me now.

"I think getting World Heritage Status has been a lifeline, to stop us becoming just a commuter belt and I think it's pulling the community back together and there's a sense of pride in our community now which we haven't had for a few years."





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