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Celebrate the History of Rhondda Cynon Taf

Celebrate the History of Rhondda Cynon Taf

"Mabon and the Tonypandy Riots" lecture takes place later this year

Why not celebrate the history of Rhondda Cynon Taf by attending a fascinating lecture examining some of its proudest figures, places and achievements?

Throughout 2014 Rhondda Cynon Taf Council will be holding a series of lectures at the award-winning RhonddaHeritagePark commemorating the impact so many former County Borough residents had on the locality and beyond.

The lectures pay particular tribute to the Council’s much admired Blue Plaque scheme. During the past few years a whole series of Blue Plaques were unveiled in various locations throughout the County Borough celebrating its glorious past.

These have ranged from remembering the impact of world-famous singers, sports people, actors, novelists, scientists, industrialists and politicians to iconic buildings including historic ironworks, workhouses and medieval castles and also locations of major events such as colliery strikes and riots.

Over the next few months six leading historians will delve into the history of some of those Blue Plaques with hour-long free lectures in RhonddaHeritageParkMuseum – the site of the former Lewis Merthyr Colliery in Trehafod.

Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, Leisure and Tourism Cllr Robert Bevan said, “With so many historical buildings and events from colliery strikes, riots and even pioneering cremations in the area’s history, coupled with being the birthplace of a vast array of celebrities from the worlds of music, sport, cinema, literature and the political arena, the Blue Plaque scheme has been an outstanding success.

“Not only does it attract more people to the County Borough who undertake one of our many heritage trails but also helps residents learn more about their own locality, with many not realising the historic events or people who once occupied their community.

“The series of lectures will undoubtedly enlighten and entertain visitors on the massive impact the people of Rhondda Cynon Taf have had on the world stage as we celebrate their legacy in the County Borough and beyond.”

The series of free lectures focusing on Blue Plaque recipients in Rhondda Cynon Taf are:

14 May - “Blue Plaques – Celebrating our Heritage”. The Council’s Heritage Officer John Harrison sets the scene with a talk about the history of blue plaques, with plenty of local examples.
25 June - “George T Clark – An Incredibly Talented Man”. Rhodri Powell MBE illustrates the life of this incredibly talented Victorian who was a surgeon, an ironmaster and an engineer to name just three of his professions!!
16 July - “Dr. Richard Griffiths and the Tramroad”. Historian Brian Davies tells the story of this colourful character who was a key player in starting the coal industry in the Rhondda valleys.
17 September - “Elizabeth Andrews – Dressmaking to Politics”. Tour guide and historian Audrey Griffiths tells the story of this suffragette, campaigner and educationalist – an unsung heroine of her time.
15 October - “Nantgarw China Works”. Mike Ashcroft tells the fascinating story of the world famous porcelain manufacturer and shows some examples and a model of the Nantgarw site.
12 November - “Mabon and the Tonypandy Riots” David Maddox OBE gives a fascinating insight into the life of the miners’ leader William Abraham MP and assesses the impact of the Cambrian Combine Strike on his reputation and place in the industrial history of South Wales.
All of the lectures begin at 2pm and pre booking is essential on 01443 682036. Why not enjoy lunch of afternoon tea at the HeritagePark with the special “Blue Plaque Lunch” costing £4.95.

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