Welsh talent at its best!

The winners of the second Art Competition held by the Llanwrtyd & District Heritage and Arts Centre were announced at a special preview evening held on the 6 th July.

More than seventy invited guests viewed the exhibition which comprised of eighty pieces chosen from the original one hundred submissions and there was a varied interpretation of the theme ‘A Moment in Time’ from the Welsh based artists. The display included a variety of mediums including work in oils, pastels, pencil, acrylics together with litho-prints, photography, collage and mixed media.

The panel of judges which included Wrexham University Art Lecturer Wendy Connelly and Robin Bailey from Raw-I Studios in Chester, Brent Blair owner of the Lion Street Gallery in Hay-on-Wye and Chris Matchett art restorer, all themselves practising artists with a history of international exhibiting, had a very difficult decision on the night. They were impressed by the brilliant and creative photography and interesting technical pieces in addition to the more traditional work and felt that the standard was very high with wonderful pieces providing great variety and a superb exhibition. Particular commendation was given to Simon Lilly.

However, eventually Charlotte Vickery was chosen as the winner for ‘Calidos Recuerdos’ which the judges felt ‘was a challenging composition with an excellent use of a minimal palette – the flashes of under painting adding vibrancy.’ Charlotte received a prize of £500 sponsored by Charcroft Electronics Ltd based in Llanwrtyd Wells.

Charlotte Vickery with her winning entry.

Second prize of £250 , sponsored by Lofftwen Forest Farm, was awarded to Barbara Simon for her work ‘Doorstep’ which was considered to be ‘a relatable narrative with a bold technique resulting in subtleties of colour and texture which added depth.’

Barbara Simon with her winning entry

The third prize of £100 sponsored by Llanwrtyd resident Col. Tim Van Rees, will be awarded as a result of a Visitors’ Choice vote. Visitors to the Heritage Centre throughout July have the opportunity to view the exhibition and vote for their favourite. “We were delighted with the number of entries, diverse interpretation of the theme, various mediums used and the wide-ranging geographical response” Lynne Brookes, Centre Manager told the audience adding “we are so lucky that Wales has such a wealth of talent and creativity and the Centre is honoured to have the opportunity to display some of this artistic ability through this competition. We hope that visitors will come to the Heritage Centre to view the exhibition and vote for their favourite”.

The exhibition runs throughout July. Opening times Thursday to Sunday 10am – 4pm


Throughout July

Visitors throughout July to the galleries at the Heritage Centre will have the opportunity to view work from the artists from all parts of Wales who have entered the annual Open Art Competition.

Under the title ‘A Moment in Time’ the competition has again attracted over one hundred submissions of which seventy seven have been chosen to be exhibited in the galleries as the finalists. The exhibition includes work in pastels, oil, acrylic, pencil, photography and mixed media.

The judging will take place during an invitation only preview event on the evening of Saturday 6 th July when the first prize of £500 and second prize of £250 will be awarded. Visitors to the Centre throughout the month will then have the opportunity to vote for their favourite work and a further prize of £100 will be awarded to this winner in early August.

Centre Manager, Lynne Brookes, commented “We were delighted with the success of the first event last year and the positive comments we received from both participating artists and the many visitors who came to the exhibition. The response and standard of the work received this year has been equally as high as the previous competition and the exhibition promises to be as successful with a wide variety of interpretation and medium. Once again we are extremely grateful for the support of Llanwrtyd-based Charcroft Electronics, Lofftwen Forest Farm and Col. Tim Van-Rees who have generously sponsored the prizes.”

The competition entries will be beautifully complemented by wood-turning from David and Andrew Leeton who return to the Centre after three very successful previous exhibitions. The exhibition will run until the end of July and the Centre is open Thursday to Sunday 10am to 4pm. Please come and visit and vote for your favourite entry.



The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Llanwrtyd and District Heritage and Arts Centre has retired after fourteen years of involvement with the Centre.

Tony Thorpe, who has been a resident in the town for many years and works for Charcroft Electronics and also runs the Riverside B & B with his wife, was part of the original team back in 2009 that obtained funding and developed the Congregational Church into the Heritage Centre of today. Involved initially in the internal re-design and renovation of the building Tony then became Treasurer and finally Chairman in 2018.

Photo from left to Right. Tony Thorpe, Anthony Smith, Lynne Brookes (Centre

He was presented at the Annual General Meeting with retirement gifts including a framed copy of the poster in the Centre advertising Llanwrtyd from the 1920’s by Montague Birrell Black which was recently found to be the original painting.

Tony said he had enjoyed his years working with the various members of the community to get the Centre up and running and thanked the volunteers both past and present for all their hard work and would continue his support of the Centre as a volunteer and steward. He gave his good wishes to his successor, Anthony Smith, and felt sure the next chapter would be equally successful under his, and the Trustees leadership.

An Original Artwork Rediscovered

Recent visitors to the Heritage and Arts Centre will have noticed the large 1920s London Midland & Scottish Railway advertising poster encouraging travellers to visit the town. The work is signed by Montague Birrell Black (1884-1964), a well-known artist and illustrator of this era.

Artistic licence was very much the style of the day, and while the shapes of the hillsides are strongly reminiscent of those of the upper Irfon valley, the scene depicted presents Llanwrtyd as almost being an alpine resort.

The framed poster was donated to the Centre having for many years been on display in the Llanwrtyd War Memorial Institute on Irfon Terrace. In 2022, the Heritage Centre Trustees explored the possibility of making post cards and printed copies of the work. Guidance on the technical background, provenance and copyright of early twentieth century travel posters was generously provided by the curatorial team of the National Railway Museum. It was by chance that during the process of obtaining a digital image of the work, it became clear that the work is actually the original painting rather than a print.

Typically, the original artwork would have been destroyed following the lithographic print production process, but the fact that it survived to this day in Llanwrtyd is intriguing.

Posters and post cards are available for purchase from the Centre
A3 (large) £25, A2 (small) £15, Postcards £2



2023 Art Competition winners announced.

Throughout June visitors to the Heritage Centre have had the opportunity to vote for their
favourite work in order for us to award the third prize.

We had almost three hundred votes and we are delighted to announce that the Visitors’Choice winner was Mary Herbert with her work in pastels ‘Fresh Shimmer’.

She joins Michelle Slee with her painting ‘Distant Summit’ and David Henry with his submission ‘Quietly Grazing’ who were placed first and second respectively by the judges on the preview night at the beginning of the exhibition.

Our thanks everyone who participated, those who came to the preview, the judges Andrew and Lisa Green (owner of the Attic Gallery in Swansea) and Martyn John, Production Designer and finally our sponsors Charcroft Electronics, Lofftwen Forest Farm and Col Tim Van Rees.

The winning three entries; Top left Michelle Slee, Bottom left David Henry, Right Mary Herbert

Centre Re-opening Thursday 20th May 2021

After a frustrating year of closure and event cancellations the Heritage Centre will be re-opening it’s doors and welcoming visitors from Thursday 20th May 2021.

As well as the permanent displays there will be a photographic exhibition – Memories of Llanwrtyd and the gallery space will host ceramics from Wendy Chamberlain and glass works from Irene Funnell.

Wendy Chamberlain – Inward Koru Small
Irene Funnell Glassware

Although the Centre has been closed for some time work has been ongoing on providing a calendar of events for the summer and it is hoped that over time we will be able to welcome more artists to the Centre and re-commence a programme of concerts and talks.

Funding has been secured to provide a local Heritage Trail around the town which will compliment the permanent exhibitions and bring them to life.

The Centre is always looking for volunteers to help out as stewards or with displays so if you have always wanted to get involved or are new to the area why not pop in and have a word or telephone 01591 610647.

Covid-19 Closure

Unfortunately the ongoing situation with Coronavirus/Covid 19 has meant the Heritage & Arts Centre has not been able to open this season. This decision was not taken lightly but was done so in order to keep both visitors and staff safe during these uncertain times.

It is very much hoped that the Centre will be up and running again in Spring 2021 with a new selection of exhibitions, local arts and crafts, talks and events.

In the meantime we hope all our volunteers and staff stay safe and we look forward to greeting you again next year.

Five years on

Following a very successful year in 2019 the Llanwrtyd & District Heritage and Arts Centre opens for its fifth season at the beginning of April.

‘Our reputation is growing as a Centre providing not only a detailed insight into the heritage of the town and surrounding area with additional archive material available for research, but also as a venue to view a variety of art and enjoy a wide range of music’, explains Lynne Brookes, Centre Manager.

‘We have an exciting programme arranged for this coming season which will see new and returning artists displaying paintings, ceramics, textiles and glass and a continuation of talks on a variety of topics and concerts providing music to suit all tastes which have taken place throughout the year. In addition we have an art competition, open to all artists in Wales, taking place in June and additional temporary exhibitions throughout the season are also planned.’

The galleries open for 2020 with work from two artists who had successful exhibitions last year.

Richie Dean is a well renowned local artist who originally worked in Watercolour and Acrylic. However, more recently he has embraced the advancements in modern technology and finds that using digital medium provides him with the freedom to be more creative resulting in some stunning pictures. Having lived and travelled throughout Wales for forty years Richie gets his inspiration from the diverse beauty of the region and through his love of music.

A place to ponder – Richie Dean

Irene Funnell captures the beauty of the hills and coasts of Wales in her stunning glassware gaining her inspiration not only from the landscape but also more recently the patterns found in textiles. The colours and textures of rocks, sand, sea and sky are suggested by the juxtaposition of glasses of different composition which react together to create the effect of subtle shading and fusing, whilst the elements of the countryside; trees, woodland creatures and the four seasons are created using a variety of methods including cutting, fusing and painting. In addition her interest in textiles has resulted in the exploration of a new technique which results in more delicate and sculptural forms with work having a textured, printed, fabric-like quality using images from nature and abstract patterns.

Irene Funnel

The Centre is open Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm and on bank holidays and admission is free although donations are welcome.

Give a Heritage Centre Calendar for Christmas

Stuck for a present for friends & family this Christmas? Why not get them a 2020 Heritage Centre Calendar.

Brighten up any home and also help support Llanwrtyd & District Heritage and Arts Centre.

Calendar Cover

Each month shows Llanwrtyd and the surrounding area at it’s best throughout the year.

Image for March 2020

The Calendar is available from the Heritage Centre (open Saturday & Sunday 10 til 4) or why not pick one up at Llanwrtyd Craft Fair in Bromsgrove Hall on 1st December 2019 between 2 and 4 pm.