Staff from Awen Cultural Trust have celebrated the launch of the Vernon Hartshorn OBE MP exhibition being displayed at Y Llynfi Library. Alongside Huw Irranca-Davies AM, Chris Elmore MP, Mayor of Maesteg, Steve Smith, and the Chair of Garw Valley Community Council, Sorrel Dendy, representatives from the organisation were proud to open the exhibition on Friday 5th July.
Hartshorn was the first Welsh collier to become a Cabinet Minister during the turbulent years of the early 20th century. Kindly provided by the volunteers of South Wales Miners Museum, the exhibition includes information regarding Vernon Hartshorn’s life, his contribution to the valley’s coal trade and his input to parliamentary decisions between 1905 and 1931.
During the opening, Huw Irranca-Davies said: “I was delighted to open the wonderful ‘Pit Bottom to Parliament’ exhibition about the remarkable story of Ogmore’s first MP, who became one of the most influential figures in Welsh and British politics.
Many thanks to all those who have brought this exhibition to Maesteg in between its display in the UK Parliament and Senedd. It’s well worth a visit this summer!”
Chris Elmore MP said: “I was pleased to help open the Vernon Hartshorn exhibition at Y Llynfi Library and thanks to South Wales Miners’ Museum for creating this brilliant exhibition.
As Ogmore’s first ever MP, Vernon’s journey from Welsh collier to Cabinet Minister really is inspiring and the impact he had on Welsh and UK politics can sometimes be unjustly overlooked. Make sure you take a look at the exhibition if you’re in the area!”
Richard Bellinger, Director of Operations at Awen, the registered charity which manages Y Llynfi Library, where the exhibition is located added:
“On behalf of Awen Cultural Trust and our partner organisations Bridgend County Borough Council and Halo Leisure, I would like to thanks South Wales Miners’ Museum for bringing the exhibition to our venue so that the people of Maesteg and the Llynfi Valley have the opportunity to learn more about this inspiring and influential leader of his time. Y Llynfi is the local history library for the valley, providing many historic books filled with information about the valley. As well as the
number of books available, Y Llynfi library also provides a 1:1 Ancestry tutorial to the local community. These reasons, as well as many others, make the venue a perfect location for such a remarkable and inspiring exhibition. I would like to extend a congratulations to everyone who has been involved in putting this innovative and informative exhibition together and we will be encouraging as many people as possible to take the opportunity to find out about Vernon Hartshorn, one of Wales’ most important political figures for themselves.”
Following Y Llynfi Library, the exhibition will continue with its tour, next being displayed to the public at The National Assembly for Wales from 21st September.