MS for Brecon and Radnorshire James Evans recently met with representatives of the Ystradgynlais District Heritage and Language Society to visit a number of the Society’s project sites in the village.
The Society has completed a large number of projects in the village since its formation in 2010 and acknowledges the great financial support and encouragement it has received from members of the Ystradgynlais Town Council in its endeavours to record the village’s rich cultural and industrial heritage.
Mr Evans was accompanied by members of the Society Arwel Michael, Chairman; John Owens, Treasurer, Andrew Broadbent along with Cllr Martin Donnelly, Chairman of Ystradgynlais Town Council.
Sites visited included the location of a number interpretation panels which outline the cultural and industrial heritage of Ystradgynlais and its satellite villages using photographs and bilingual text.
The Cofio’r Glowyr (Remembering the Miners) Memorial at the Diamond Park, which was unveiled in 2014 by Mr Carwyn Jones AM, former First Minister of Wales. Then onto the site of the Ynyscedwyn Ironworks regarded as the birthplace of the American Anthracite Iron Industry.
Next on the tour was the refurbished Daniel Protheroe Memorial Park in the Town centre completed in 2017 and the seating area around the Town’s War Memorial in the Gorsedd Park. The latter project was completed as a joint project with the Ystradgynlais Branch of the Royal British Legion and Town Council in April 2019.
The brief tour concluded at the site of the Lidice Pear Tree,at Cwmgiedd which was presented to the Society by the members of the Lidice community in the Czech Republic to plant in the village to commemorate the filming of ‘The Silent Village’.
The film commemorated the complete destruction of the village of Lidice and its population by the Nazi Regime in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich on 27th May 1942. The film produced and directed by Humphrey Jennings in 1943 was filmed in Cwmgiedd, The film featured Cwmgiedd’s inhabitants speaking the Welsh language in the fictionalised resistance activities and classroom scenes, singing Welsh hymns in the chapels, working in the colliery and labouring at home.
The pear tree was one of eight saplings taken from the only surviving feature of the Lidice massacre and was planted at Cwmgiedd in a special ceremony in 2015.
At the end of the visit Mr Evans thanked the members for their welcome and tour and wished the Society every success for the future.