Putting Cwmbran on the map

By | Category: Travel destinations

Anyone who knows Cwmbran – a new town built between Newport and Pontypool in the Welsh county of Monmouthshire – would seriously query my sanity in suggesting that it was a tourism magnet. Aesthetically pleasing the town is not.

some of the 220 prehistoric creatures at the National Showcaves. Image © GeoPictures.net

But Cwmbran, with its brutalistic concrete town centre linked together by roundabout after roundabout is now on the tourist map and it is all due to one man.

Grandfather, Jerry Adams spotted an auction for plastic dinosaurs which were surplus to requirements at the National Showcaves Centre for Wales.  There, they have the largest collection of full size dinosaur models, some 220 in all. Now they have one less since Adams paid £1,600 to buy an allosaurus which to me, not being a dinosaur aficionado, looks like every schoolkid’s view of what a dinosaur should look like.

Standing about fifteen foot tall and twice as long, after buying the allosaurus (see Wikipedia for more learned and technical views on the animal) and which is now called Alun, Adams loaded the plastic creation nto a trailer and promptly headed back down the M4 to Cwmbran where it now sits in his garden peering over the boundary fence.

Why buy it? Adams is quoted as saying that it is something for his grandchildren to play with and on. Incongruously sitting in this semi-detached house’s smallish garden it has attracted attention of neighbours and children. People are beginning to travel to Cwmbran to see it, even people who would normally avoid the town.

Tourism has thus come to Cwmbran.

Just as a Banksy drew people to a garage in Port Talbot, Alun has attracted the curious to see this figure which, to a drunk on a Saturday night, must make them want to sign up to Alcoholics Anonymous.  

Congratulations to Mr Adams for managing something that the local council has never managed to achieve.

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