Ollie West Band

Wednesday 12th June 2019 saw another great night of live music at the Centre with a visit from the Ollie West Band as part of their national tour.

A vibrant mix of orchestral pop including a string quartet was appreciated by an enthusiastic crowd. The second half of their performance the band played every track from their debut album Time Stood Still.

Ollie West Band

 

The band appeared to enjoy their visit to the Centre and were made welcome by the town and hopefully they will be back in the near future.

Live Music at the Centre – 12th June 2019

Originally a solo artist, Ollie West formed the band some five years ago and, having previously performed with a 24 piece group, now tours as an eight piece band with a full time string quartet. They create a unique genre blending pop, jazz and classical developed from Ollie’s distinctive style of piano based compositions with catchy melodies and intriguing harmonies.

Ollie West Band

A singer, songwriter, pianist and arranger Ollie has been compared to Billy Joel and Jamie Cullum recognised by some of the leading music critics in the industry and the band is going from strength to strength developing their performances with innovative ideas and wonderful music.

This is an evening not to be missed and tickets are just £6 – available from the Llanwrtyd & District Heritage & Arts Centre on 01591 610067, email: ldhac2016@gmail.com or from Caffi Sosban in Llanwrtyd Wells.

Man versus Horse 8th June 2019

On Saturday 8th June Llanwrtyd Wells plays host to the 40th annual Man versus Horse Mountain Marathon, an event unique to the town. Up to 1,000 runners and 60 horses take on the grueling 22 mile course.

Man takes on Horse in the hills and valleys around the town.

After watching the spectacular start in the centre of the town why not take the time to visit the Llanwrtyd and District Heritage and Arts Centre which you pass on your way to watch the climax of the race.

The centre will be open all weekend between 10 am and 4 pm and entry to the Centre is free of charge.

Heritage & Arts Centre re-opens 5th April

A new season at the Heritage & Arts Centre starts on 5th April 2019.

This will be our third season and yet again we have a full programme of events over the coming months. Our Gallery space continues to attract artists and crafters, some we welcome back and others for their first time. Be sure to come along and give them your support.

Ray Burnell

We also have a number of evening events and concerts including Builth Wells Ladies Choir – see our What’s On page to keep up to date.

Commemorative Concert – November 11th

Demand for the Heritage Centre commemorative concert was so high that the venue had to be moved to the larger Victoria Hall.

A full crowd enjoyed an evening of music featuring the Llandovery Male Voice Choir as well as a range of local musical talent.

Llandovery Male Voice ChoirAmong the crowd sat silent figures representing those who lost their lives during the Great War and subsequent conflicts.

They will not be forgotten

The event was a great success and a fitting tribute to the many soldiers who served overseas and those who stayed at home.

CONCERT OF REMEMBRANCE

To commemorate a century since the end of the Great War Llanwrtyd and District Heritage and Arts Centre is hosting a Concert of Rememberance.

The event is being held on Sunday 11th November 2018 at 7.30 pm. The concert will feature Llandovery Male Voice Choir and other artistes. The concert is in support of the Royal British Legion and is supported by the Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund.

Entrance is ticket only and priced at £6 which includes a buffet and wine. Tickets are available from the Heriatge Centre and from Caffi Sosban.

This is an event not to be missed and will no doubt be both an emotional and enjoyable evening.

Annual General Meeting

There was a good turn-out for the Annual General Meeting of the Llanwrtyd & District Heritage and Arts Centre held on the evening of 29th August 2018.

The minutes of the last AGM were agreed and the Chairman’s and Treasurer’s reports were given.

Chairman’s Report to AGM Llanwrtyd and District Heritage Centre –
29th August 2018

Another eventful year has passed since our last AGM and I am pleased to announce that the Centre goes from strength to strength, with our visitor numbers maintaining an upward trend, our finances in good order and our art galleries fully-booked. I have below outlined in more detail the activities and changes at the Centre during the last 12 months.

In October, after 6 years’ service Pat Dryden retired from her position as Admin Officer. A new position of Public Relations Officer was advertised at the start of 2018, and Lynne Brookes was the successful candidate. Lynne brings with her a wealth of marketing experience and is working towards raising public awareness of the Centre and also working closely with volunteers, managing the rota, organising social events, trips and producing a regular newsletter. This year we have had weekly mentions in the What’s On sections of the Brecon and Radnor Express, as well as articles and adverts in The Cambrian Times, County Times, Mid-Wales Journal, Carmarthen Journal, The Brecon and Radnor Express, The Post and the lead article in The Wales Art review (http://www.walesartsreview.org/arts-and-heritage-in-llanwrtyd-wells/). We also had a mention in an article about Llanwrtyd in the travel section of The Daily Telegraph and the Centre is now included in all the tourism websites relating to the area.

At the start of this year, our treasurer was successful in an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the funding of a mentor to advise us on project management, governance and marketing. Heritage consultant Andrew Deathe from Swansea has been appointed to the position and his brief is to help trustees gain the skills required to develop a successful long-term future for the Centre. Andrew will also be working with the Town Council and local businesses.

We have seen an increase of 10% in visitor numbers and have welcomed many overseas visitors from countries including Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, France, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Poland and USA amongst others. Once again, our visitors’ book is full of complimentary comments and we currently have a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, with 21 out of 22 reviews giving us an ‘excellent’ rating and the other ‘very good’. This season several visitors have made use of our archive to research pictures or information about ancestors – something which is very satisfying, considering how much work went in to building the archive in the early years of our project (please see letter from Dilys Nicholson). Plans are afoot to recommence archiving items loaned to us by local residents, and others further afield who have connections with Llanwrtyd.

Our art galleries have hosted exhibitions including: painting, sculpture, digital art and photography with more art, sculpture and woodwork to come before the end of the season. In July we became an international venue by hosting French artist Helene Forgeaite from Meriel and we are already taking art gallery bookings for 2019.

During the closed season Rob Thomas once again hosted our monthly talks and lectures and he has already started planning for the upcoming winter (please see details elsewhere). We also hosted a solo guitar concert by Tim Edwards. The Centre has also been used as a venue for outside organisations to hold meetings, including Cymdeithas Cymraeg Llandrindod, Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society, Cambrian Mountains Initiative, Spa Towns Wellness Group and PAVO (Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations). All organisations were very impressed with the surroundings and the facilities.

Pat Jones has introduced many new products to the retail range, so please feel free to browse at the end of the meeting. There are also raffle tickets for our big annual draw available at the reception desk.

Prior to opening this year, a small group of volunteers converted the small middle room into a commemorative display to mark the centenary of the end of World-War 1. This display has greatly impressed with some visitors being moved to tears. This display will stay in place until remembrance Sunday, when we will open for the day as part of the commemorations. The knitted poppies which form part of the display will be donated for sale during next year’s poppy appeal. On the Saturday evening before Remembrance Sunday, there will be a Concert of Remembrance at the Centre featuring Llandovery Male Voice Choir (for more information see details elsewhere)

We also have a temporary display to mark the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Heart of Wales railway line as part of celebrations taking place in towns up and down the line. It is also the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Congregational Chapel where we are seated today, and we have an event to mark the occasion on Sunday 23rd September. There will be a walk from Gelynos graveyard (the site of the original Congregational Chapel) to the Heritage and Arts Centre, where there will be a Victorian Tea and a talk on the history of the chapel by Susan Price.

Finally I would like to thank all the stewards, trustees, volunteers, friends and donors for their contribution to another successful year at Llanwrtyd and District Heritage and Arts Centre.

Tony Thorpe
August 2018

Election of Trustees

Sarah Jones and Paul Schofield stood down as trustees and were duly re-elected for the forthcoming year.

The year ahead looks promising with the town appearing more vibrant with the addition of three new shops, bringing back to life a number of the buildings in the town.

Letter recently received by the Heritage Centre

Dear Tony

Greetings from Sydney, Australia.

My husband Brian and I have recently returned from our travels in the United Kingdom.  We visited Llanwrtyd Wells because my grandmother, Margaret Jones was born there in 1868, 150 years ago. We had no expectation of learning anything about my family, only to see the area where she was born. However, the highlight of our whole journey was our visit to your town, and the Llanwrtyd and District Heritage and Arts Centre was the key to the success of our visit.

This was because of the resources at the Heritage Centre, and the  people connected with the Centre itself, as well as others of the district. I have learnt so much about individual family members including my great uncle Evan Jones (Margaret’s brother) and his daughters Dilys and Menna Jones, and about their way of life. For example, I have never known why I was named Dilys and my brother named Evan. Now, at age 77, this mystery has been solved! In addition, to receive photos of these people from the Heritage Centre has made the connections even more precious.

And this is all due to the existence of the Llanwrtyd and District Heritage and Arts Centre. I am very aware that this has been a mammoth task for many people over many years, but the results speak for themselves.

I would like to commend the Trustees and all the volunteers for such a wonderful and valuable provision. The resources provided in the Centre are extensive, and the people there were so helpful and knowledgeable.

Please pass on my congratulations to everyone concerned – keep up the good work!

Yours sincerely
Dilys Nicolson

Remembering the Great War – 1914 to 1918

To commemorate 100 years since the end of World War I Llanwrtyd & District Heritage and Arts Centre is hosting a Remembering the Great War Exhibition. Our volunteers have been busy researching the history of the area during that time and the local heroes who served at the various fronts and its impact on the country but especially the local area.

At the heart of the exhibition is a cascade of poppies displayed on the font in the main exhibition area. All the poppies have been knitted and donated by members of the community.

Pat & Lynne attaching the knitted poppies

Also on display is a recreation of a trench in which many soldiers from Llanwrtyd and the surrounding area would have endured during the battles on the Western Front.

The recreation of a trench on the Western Front

Thank you to everyone involved in creating such a wonderful, informative and poignant display.

The Centre is open between 10am & 4pm every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday and the Remembering the Great War Exhibition runs until November 2018.

Entry is FREE.

Children are welcome – there is a free quiz and competition to count the poppies.

Heritage Lottery Fund gives funding to Llanwrtyd & District Heritage and Arts Centre

Llanwrtyd & District Heritage and Arts Centre is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant of £7,500 by the Heritage Lottery Fund  towards a project to strengthen trustees capacity in areas of project management, governance and marketing to ensure a sustainable future. Over the past two years visitors have been impressed with the quality of the exhibition which tells the story of the town from the time it became famous as a Spa town up to the present day. Nevertheless, as trustees, we cannot rest on our laurels and need to ensure that the Centre goes from strength to strength so that we can look forward to a healthy and financially sustainable future.
We shall be appointing a marketing and project management consultant to mentor us for a total of 15 days staggered at suitable intervals throughout the year. The consultant will meet representatives from the Town Council and other tourism business enterprises in the town to see how the Heritage and Arts Centre and the town as a whole can benefit from new marketing initiatives taking place in Mid-Wales. These include the proposed ‘Heart of Wales Wellness’ project and Visit Wales A470 Cambrian Way initiative. Part of the funding will also allow trustees, our public relations officer and other volunteers to attend training courses to enable them to develop their own capacities in marketing and project management.

Richard Bellamy, Head of HLF in Wales, said “Llanwrtyd & District Heritage and Arts Centre is a good example of HLF’s Resilient Heritage programme. Good governance is essential to any project and having the skills needed to run a heritage centre will ensure that people can continue to enjoy this special heritage collection.”

Llanwrtyd Wells is renowned for its unusual and quirky events such as its Man versus Horse Marathon, Bog Snorkelling and World Alternative Events. Through this project we shall be endeavouring to demonstrate other reasons for visiting the town in order to broaden Llanwrtyd Wells’ overall appeal as a tourist destination.

About HLF
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported