Tredegar statues recall town's history
The statue of Aneurin Bevan was unveiled by his great-nieces Jane Williams and Nygaire Bevan (873831)
TREDEGAR saw the unveiling of 20 larger than life statues which immortalise important figures from the town's past.
The artworks which mark The Homfray trail consist of 20 stainless steel figures which show how the men, women and children of Tredegar shaped the history of the town.
The artworks were commissioned by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council with help from European (Interreg), Welsh Government and Heritage Lottery Fund funding.
It is hoped that the art works will encourage the community and visitors to use and enjoy the trail, give them a better understanding of the cultural and industrial heritage of the town and encourage them to explore the area.
Some of the statues will be familiar to residents as they reflect the town’s recent history - people like Nora Childs and Walter Conway who formed and ran Tredegar Medical Aid Society. Another statue represents Tredegar’s most famous son, Aneurin Bevan, father of the NHS.
Other statues represent the unsung heroes of the industrial revolution – the workers including the children whose childhood was cut short by an early start to working life.
Two of these are Margaret Lewis, 18, and her sister Rebecca, 10, who worked on the hills above Tredegar gathering iron ore in 1861.
Some of the other characters include, Coliar Mawr – John Jones, who was responsible for digging out the record breaking block of coal that sits in Bedwellty Park, Elizabeth Davies who instigated the fundraising to build Tredegar Town Clock and Jack the Fifer – Jack Rhys who was involved in the Chartist uprising and The Alamo before retiring into the Californian Gold Rush.
Artist Tim Ward said: “I found the project both enjoyable and a learning experience. Exploring Tredegar's rich social and political history was absorbing and understanding how this impacted on the whole of the UK was fascinating.
“It has been a privilege to make local people aware of their heritage and to encourage visitors to come and enjoy discovering about Tredegar's past whilst promoting its future.”
The Homfray trail is one of seven ‘In the footsteps of the Ironmakers’ trails that explores the industrial heritage of the area. Linked together, the trails give 28 miles (46km) of walking routes around the heads of the valley area.
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