Valleys Underground campaign to restore Wales’ oldest Synagogue (Merthyr Tydfil)

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Abandoned for nearly two decades, left to rot among the weeds, Merthyr Tydfil’s historic Jewish Synagogue has been left a ghost of its former past.

From smashed windows from years of vandalism, to the gorgeous steps where Merthyr’s Jewish congregation would gather buried under fly-tipped rubbish, the Synagogue is in a sorry, lamentable state.

Whilst the Synagogue has been  continuously up for sale as a development opportunity – usually private flats, the amount of care to the building is nothing short of laughable.

For a building steeped in such history – that of Wales’ oldest Synagogue, and one that has received significant media attention due to its special place in Welsh History, what has been done?

Very little.

All the talk of redevelopment ignores the fact that right here, right now, the site is in decay and dereliction. It’s all good the site being restored in five years, or three years even,  but what about now? Who’s going to clear the site now? Who’s going to remove the years of needles and lager cans?

This is why for our first campaign, Valleys Underground have set to work clearing the site.

Today – Monday 9th September, members went to scope out the Synagogue, and make preliminary efforts to clear the rubbish from the site. 69971427_1365162120299619_7215128926488625152_n

The Synagogue was in an abysmal state.  Our members set to work bagging up rubbish, clearing weeds, and inspecting the scope of the damage.

 

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There for the afternoon, our members cleared a significant section of the building’s front entrance, filling up over 10 refuse bags, plus a shopping trolley (one that had been abandoned there) of rubbish.

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Our members were appaled at the state this beautiful building had been left in.  The number of lager bottles and heroin needles (all safely disposed of by our members) left us a little astonished.

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This is just the first step.  We have an enormous task ahead, and one that Merthyr Council haven’t taken steps toward implementing.

Today was just a brief bit of work. We are by no means happy with the work we did today – there is so much we need to tackle.

The next sessions we undertake though will hopefully begin to restore the site to a state worthy of its amazing history.

If we continue to let our historic sites slide into decay and ruin, we abandon our heritage, and lose part of ourselves in the process.

For more information on our next events at the Synagogue, please Contact us!

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2 comments on “Valleys Underground campaign to restore Wales’ oldest Synagogue (Merthyr Tydfil)”

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