Residents star in historical film

Posted on: Monday 22 January 2024
Historical film premiere

A community project which explores and celebrates key figures who helped to shape Blaenavon town during the Victorian period has been turned into a film. 

Supported by the Blaenavon Townscape Heritage Programme, the film brings to life historical portraits showcased at the community museum at Blaenavon Workmen's Hall, as well as lesser-known stories and imagined characters of young people living in the area.

Local people, including young people and groups, took part in researching, writing and starring in the ‘Hidden Histories of Blaenavon’ film, which features 11 historical figures, including the inspirational William Lewis Cook OBE, who started work in a local colliery at 14, and went on to become Chief Conciliation Officer at the UK Ministry of Fuel and Power.

Esmie, who has since become a World Heritage Youth Ambassador, said: “I played a girl called Sian Price who couldn't go to school as she had to help her mum clean the house. I enjoyed dressing up in the old clothes when we did the filming.”

The film was premiered at Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall in October and is now available watch Visit Blaenavon website.

Councillor Joanne Gauden, Executive Member for Economy, Skills & Regeneration said: “The film is beautifully-scripted and it’s a pleasure to watch local people bring these characters back to life.

“It is particularly moving to see how much education improved the lives of children, as explained by some of the fictional characters.

"The project has helped connect different generations, local groups as well as the past and the present.”

Andrew White, Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales said: “Heritage has a unique role to play in bringing people together where they live, work and visit and we are increasing people’s connection with the heritage of local places through targeted investment.

"Heritage can be anything from the past that people value and want to pass on to future generations and our vision is for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone’s future.

“The Blaenavon Townscape Heritage Programme is helping to transform the local area and improve the condition of heritage in Blaenavon as well as boosting the community’s pride in the local environment and it’s a project we’re proud to fund.”

Blaenavon THP Board Chairman Gareth Davies added: “I'm delighted that this high-quality film is being made available through the Visit Blaenavon Website.

"It is an important and welcome addition to the rich social history of Blaenavon and will encourage visitors and locals alike to learn more about the rich history that surrounds us.  It is also an important additional outcome from the successful Blaenavon Townscape Heritage Programme.”

Find out about the World Heritage Youth Ambassador programme.

Photo credit: Residents who featured in the film at its premiere in October.  

Last Modified: 22/01/2024 Back to top