A new interactive story trail based on Wales’ oldest myths and legends was launched in Pontypridd today (May 12th.)  

THE MAB TRAIL was unveiled at a special event in Pontypridd Museum and Ynysangharad Park with local schools joining in. You can join in too from Saturday May 14th to coincide with Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival. 

The Mab Trail is a series of permanent story stones and story boards placed in locations across Pontypridd based on the tales of THE MAB, a new bilingual book for children, which reimagines the ancient stories of the Mabinogi for today’s young readers. Children and adults alike can follow the trail to discover Wales’ most ancient tales.

Created by Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival in partnership with Pontypridd Town Council, The Mab Trail aims to nurture a love of Wales’ landscape, literature and traditions by promoting a love of reading for fun and encouraging creativity to inspire new storytellers and artists. 

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. 

The Mab is edited by the inaugural Children’s Laureate for Wales, Eloise Williams and author and broadcaster Matt Brown and features 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.

We were at the launch event to have a wander around the trail with the children from Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Pont Siôn Norton and Trerobart Primary School. We spoke to the people behind the project, and the Children’s Book Festival, and also Tony Graham, Chief Executive & Town Clerk with Pontypridd Town Council.

THE MAB TRAIL LAUNCH

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.

Storyboards at each of the trail’s sites will have a QR code for The Mab Trail website, which has more information on the stories and a downloadable map and activity sheet: HERE

Cerith Mathias is Director of Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival, she told us……

“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.”

Tony Graham, Chief Executive and Clerk of Pontypridd Town Council added……. 

“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.”

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 continued……

“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.”

Fo more information on THE MAB TRAIL go HERE.

And to get the latest information on this year’s Pontypridd Children’s Book Festival, take a look at our FEATURE.

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