Blaenavon World Heritage Site News & Events.
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100. The Great War. The Terrible War. Free Exhibition
August 1 – October 31  - 10am – 4pm  Blaenavon World Heritage Centre - Free entry
Commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, a county wide exhibition launches at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre. Celebrating a community effort to bring together stories and impressions of the First World War, learn about how the war impacted on local people and communities of Torfaen. See local hero’s stories and leave your own story for generations to remember. For more information, please contact Ashleigh Taylor, Community Heritage Development Officer. 01633 648209
Join us for a sizzling summer at Big Pit!
Our Gala Day, Saturday 26 July, 11am - 4pm,
will be packed with activities for the whole family to enjoy including a bouncy castle, soft play, climbing wall,  face painting and glitter tattoos, love spoon carving, clog making, wood carving, music, singing, folk dancing and a chance to meet Big Pit’s Bear!
Miners’ Fortnight, from Monday 28 July – Friday 8 August, 11am - 4pm will have family activities for children of all ages with games, dressing up, crafts and more. Free entry, but a small charge may apply to some activities.
Railway Wartime Weekend
Visit the Blaenavon Heritage Railway on 12th or 13th July and step back in time to the 1940’s. The station will be buzzing with talk of war and economies, with the bangs and crashes that make everything realistic. Can the bomb disposal officer diffuse his bomb? Will the air raid warden keep everybody safe? Will you be able to find your identity card when the military ask to see it? Can the Home Guard find the German spy?  Come and find out (and ride on a train) between 11am and 5pm – admission is £2 per head which is redeemable against a train ticket. - Visit our Website
Looking for a challenge, the first ever ‘Canalathon’ will take place on the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal on Sunday 14 September.  Teams of four are challenged to complete a 33 mile route along the canal by canoe, bike and foot. Canoe for 5 miles starting from Pontymoile basin, followed by 17 miles on bike from Goytre Wharf, finishing with an 11 mile walk or run from Llangynidr, completing the challenge at Brecon Canal Basin. The Monmouthshire and Brecon canal is often described as the most picturesque canal in the UK with the canal between Llanfoist and Govilon being part of the World Heritage Site. For further details call 07792 926055 or email


World Heritage Day!  
Thousands of people enjoyed a family day of entertainment at World Heritage Day last month.  
It featured an abundance of street entertainment, including a heritage costume parade, fun fair, live music, street acts and craft stalls. 

The theme for this year’s parade was ‘Then and Now’ with a focus on technology, celebrating key innovative developments in the history of the iron and coal industries in Blaenavon.
The weather was dry and mainly sunny which gave the town a relaxing party atmosphere. 


New Education workshops coming to the World Heritage Centre!  
Working with Blaenavon Heritage Primary school, the World Heritage Centre is developing an exciting new range of education workshops for foundation phase and Key Stage two.
These include tours around the landscape looking at the how the land has been shaped, to creating digital movies about the globe and World Heritage. Come and visit a brand new Victorian classroom experience, schools won’t want to miss out! The new workshops will be available to book from September onwards. More information will be available next month via
Artie Craftie Shop opens in Blaenavon
Artie Craftie a new art and crafts business specialising in creative workshops and a photography studio was opened on 14th June by the Mayor of Blaenavon Councillor Sylvia Lewis.
They aim to be part of the community offering a range of art and craft materials for sale. They will also be running craft workshops, children's & adult craft creating parties and capturing portraits in their photo studio.  More details can be found at  Facebook Follow us on Twitter
Canal Update
The full length of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal has reopened to boats in time for the busiest period of the year.  After the unprecedented winter rains the embankment at Llanfoist, in the Brecon Beacons, became so saturated that parts of it were caused to slump.  A major engineering project to repair the canal began almost at once. 500 pins, each 10-15 metres long, are being used to “nail” the embankment back against the bedrock.
Now the navigation is open for business again we hope that even more people come and see one of the jewels of the canal system in the heart of the Brecon Beacons! However walkers, cyclists and other tow path visitors can continue to use the canal thanks to a short diversion around the closed section.
Cattle and Conservation                     
Do you remember the Lapwing that used to nest at what is now Garn Lakes Local Nature Reserve? Changing conditions over the years have caused the Lapwings to be lost from the site. Cattle are the perfect ‘management tool’ to help restore and maintain these perfect conditions for the Lapwing. In the absence of cattle the area will continue to scrub over and would eventually become completely unsuitable. 
The solution, we have made an arrangement for 7 Welsh Black Cattle to graze on the Lapwing area. It’s great to see the cattle wallowing through this scrubby patch of landscape, grazing on the grasses and young willows – it’s a scene reminiscent of the African savannah. Come and see cattle at work in the Garn Lakes overspill car park, past the bird hide and you will see them on your right.  Any queries should be sent to Alvin Nicholas on 01495 742334 or
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