Posted on: Monday 21 February 2022
Two 18ft tapestries capturing memories of both sides of Blaenavon’s historic Broad Street are to go on public display once again.
Initially exhibited at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre in January, the hand-crafted tapestries will be on show for a second time at the Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall, Blaenavon.
They will be available to view from Monday 28 February until Friday 4 March between 10am -3pm. Entry to this exhibition is free of charge. No booking is required. The exhibition will be of interest to all ages.
This exhibition of living, social history includes shops that no longer exist on Broad Street. The tapestries also include a number of embedded audio recordings which allow visitors to listen to the memories featured in the tapestries.
The exhibition was developed and delivered by local community arts organisation Head4Arts, working with Penny Turnbull, a textile artist from Abergavenny, and Natasha James, a digital specialist from Merthyr Tydfil.
Andrew White, Director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales said: “Heritage can mean different things to different people and it can be anything from the past that we value and want to pass on to future generations.
“The £1,600,000 funding we have awarded the Blaenavon Townscape Heritage Programme is supporting the physical and community heritage regeneration of Blaenavon through targeted building grants on identified properties and community initiatives such as this Tapestry Exhibition.
“It has been made possible by National Lottery players who raise more than £30 million every week for good causes in the UK.
“Our ‘National Lottery Grants for Heritage – £3,000 to £10,000’ grants programme is currently open and I would encourage anyone who is interested in finding out more about this programme to visit the Wales page on our website – www.heritagefund.org.uk, for further details.”
Councillor Joanne Gauden, Executive Member for Skills, Economy and Regeneration, said “It’s wonderful to hear that the tapestry is going on show again. Even more people will now have the opportunity to visit this fascinating exhibition in Blaenavon.
“I am really looking forward to visiting the exhibition and to both see and hear these memories. The groups and individuals who took part in this project have achieved a great deal and once again I would like to thank everyone involved in the Townscape Heritage Programme Partnership who make projects like these come to life.”
Gareth Davies, Chair of the Blaenavon Townscape Heritage Programme Partnership, said: “As the Chairperson of the THP Board, I am delighted that this exhibition has been such a success, so much so that we have been asked by the community of Blaenavon to ‘run it again’.
“What a tribute to all of those who created the tapestry and added their voice. I hope that more people will come and see this beautifully crafted piece of work and hear the audio recordings of our community’s memories of Broad Street. Well done to everyone who has taken part in its creation. You have really brought Broad Street Blaenavon to life.”
Councillor Janet Jones, Blaenavon World Heritage Champion, said “A wonderful second opportunity to view the fantastic tapestry of former shops in Broad Street, bringing back so many memories. I recently took my 97 year old mother to see it and she hasn't stopped talking about it. It gave her much pleasure.”
Councillor Alan Jones the appointed Blaenavon Town Council representative to the THP added: " It is vital that the World Heritage status of Blaenavon is kept alive. The tapestry project fulfils this requirement beautifully"
Kate Strudwick, Head 4 Arts, said “It’s lovely to have another opportunity for local people to explore this amazing interactive artwork and to hear the stories that it prompts of their own experiences of shopping there.”
The Blaenavon Townscape Heritage Programme (THP) is supporting physical and community heritage regeneration in Blaenavon through targeted building grants on identified properties and community initiatives. The programme’s community activities help us to engage across the community of Blaenavon to explore people’s personal connections to their heritage, and celebrate their town’s World Heritage Status.
The Blaenavon Townscape Heritage Partnership is being delivered through funding contributions from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, Torfaen County Borough Council, Blaenavon Town Council, Cadw and Private property owners.
Visitors to the tapestry exhibition will also be able to visit the Blaenavon Community Museum (small admission charge for the museum only) which is situated at the Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall.