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Thursday, 21. September 2017

Local History at the National Eisteddfod 2015

Did you go to the Eisteddfod? The 'Y Lle Hanes' Marquee on the Maes attracted hundreds of visitors to the exhibition every day throughout the week of the event in August. Some 20 local heritage groups from around Montgomeryshire and the Marches each contributed to the exhibition information panels which encapsulated a particular historic figure, feature or event in their community. These panels were ranged around the outer edge of the marquee, while in the centre were stands showing the work of Cadw, People's Collection Wales and the Cynefin: mapping project. There was also a local history bookshop which was a major attraction, and a hub of activity. All the stewarding and bookshop staffing was undertaken by volunteers from local history groups. This ambitious project was the brain-child of Carrie White, of the Sarn Local History Group and the Powysland Club, and it was a resounding success.


Each local history group undertook its own research, composed text, and sourced images relevant to their subject. The Heritage Lottery Fund grant secured by the Powysland Club last autumn, with support from the People's Collection Wales and the Powys Library Service, enabled the Powysland Club to organise training for group volunteers, cover copyright fees for images where these were charged, and employ a project manager, and a design company to add the professional touches to the information panels.
The Llandinam Local History Group focussed their attention on the life of David Davies, 1818-1890. From his humble origins and early work as a farmer and sawyer with his father in Llandinam, David Davies became Wales' foremost nineteenth century industrialist and benefactor, transforming the coal mining industry and railway network in Wales. He was also a Liberal politician, holding the Cardigan seat for 11 years.


Lord and Lady Davies gave the LLHG access to their private collection of photographs to select images to use and to add to the People's Collection Wales web site. Click here to see them.  Group members researched the information for the board text and image captions and put all of these elements together for the design team to add their creative flair. Have a look at the boards here. The LLHG was very happy with the result! The information boards that appeared at the Eisteddfod are now back with the individual local history groups. The LLHG will display their panels at local history talks and other Village Hall events.