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Pioneers of Newtown to be celebrated at event

Created on 11/05/2022 @ 07:06
The "pioneers" of Newtown will be celebrated this weekend as part of a festival celebrating their impact one the area and industry around the world.

The Heritage Hub 4 Mid Wales has organised the Pioneers Heritage Festival event on Saturday, 14 May, at the Royal Welsh Warehouse (Pryce Jones Building) to celebrate the lives of David Davies, Laura Ashley, Robert Owen and Pryce Pryce-Jones.

It will take place at the Focus Newtown Enterprise Hub from 2pm.

Plaques will also be unveiled and later placed on relevant buildings in the town.

"The event will bring together local cultural heritage custodians exhibitors who share their history and our cultural heritage with local communities and visitors from around the globe," said Ann Evans of the Heritrate Hub 4 Mid Wales.

"At the event we will have Karen Anne Morgan from Laura Absolutely sharing her Vintage Laura Ashley archives which she has been collecting for the last 40 years and Brian Jones who was key textile designer for LA as those who worked for Laura."

Ann added: "We will have Berian Elias from the National Library of Wales and online website Peoples Collection Wales, demonstrating the importance of conserving the peoples archives and memories for future generation these include photographs, documents, oral and written stories and film.

"There will be the unveiling of heritage plaques to these pioneers by the High Sheriff of Powys Tom Jones (OBE) and Cllr Joy Jones, these plaques will be digitally linked to Newtown Heritage Trail."

Recently the Welsh Government and Powys County Council installed the "Pioneer" roundabout signs on Newtown Bypass. In 2009 Cllr Joy Jones was involved in arranging for local schools to paint the Pioneers at Newtown Railway station, so these pioneers welcome visitors by road and rail.

Ann added: "The Pioneers display in Bear Lanes Shopping Centre was set up to promote the event. The Art Mural of Laura Ashley has been completed by Art and Media Students from NPTC Newtown College students please contact Carys Jones from the College for further information.

W"e will be unveiling the Heritage Plaques at the Powys Pioneers Heritage Festival and later they will be fixed at Newtown HSBC Bank the birthplace of Robert Owen, David Davies at Newtown Railway Station, as he was commissioned and was contracted to build the first railway track in Mid Wales between Newtown and Llanidloes in 1859, the same year Pryce Pryce-Jones set up his mail order operation.

"The Laura Ashley Heritage Plaque will be installed at the Laura Ashley old shop in Bear Lanes at a date when the Ashley Family and the new owners of Bear Lanes will officially unveil this plaque."