“I was born and bought up in Caerphilly at the bottom of the Aber and Rhymney valleys.

My grandfather was a miner who was seriously injured in Senghenydd colliery and my father was a railway man. My mother was a farmer’s daughter. When I was young my father would take me out with him rabbiting, he taught me to be quiet and watch.

In my painting I am drawn to the now fading, industrial impact on the landscape of the South Wales I’ve lived in all my life; the contrast between the man-made and natural landscape.

It was therefore unsurprising that I would want to get involved in a project that aims to promote the Valleys as a place people might like to come and see and change what may be an out of date idea of what the Valleys are today.” Philipwatkinsataxisweb


The imposing Maesycwmmer or Hengoed Viaduct is a Grade II listed railway viaduct, located above the village of Maesycwmmer in the Rhymney Valley in south Wales. It was originally built to carry the Taff Vale Extension of the Newport, Abergavenny and Hereford Railway (NA&HR) over the River Rhymney (Afon Rhymni). It is now part of National Cycle Route 47 and the Valleys Cycle Network. It affords spectacular views up and down the valley, and along with the Nine-Arch Viaduct at Tredegar, is one of the two listed viaducts in Wales.


At its eastern end is the “Wheel o Drams" sculpture by Andy Hazell, formed from a circle of coalmining drams to commemorate the industrial heritage of this locality. The viaduct also comprises part of the Gren Way, a trail that commemorates Grenfell Jones, a famous Welsh Cartoonist from the area.

Maesycwmmer-Hengoed Viaduct
Traphont Maesycwmmer-Hengoed