Blaenavon World Heritage Site – Autumn 2019 News & Events
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Events and Attractions

Blaenavon World Heritage Centre & Library
Tuesday 29th & Wednesday 30th October Halloween Crafts
A frightfully fun activity making scary masks and bats. 
11:00am – 4:00pm. £1 per make.

Thursday 31st October Story & Craft session in the Library
Halloween themed crafts at 2.30pm. Free entry. (Pre-booking required, tel.  01495 742803).
Friday 1st November Animal Handling
Come face-to-face with snakes, lizards and other exotic animals. 
£3.50 per person per session.  Pre-booked ticket entry only.
Session times are 11am-12pm, 1pm-2pm and 2.30pm-3.30pm
Tickets are available at (Booking fee applies)

Tuesday 29th October to Friday 1st November Halloween Treasure Hunt
 Seek out all the clues to find the answers and win a prize. £1 entry.

Tuesday 5th to Thursday 28th November Photography Exhibition
This will be the 3rd year that Blaenavon Camera Club has exhibited their photographs at the World Heritage Centre.  Entry is FREE and everyone is welcome. (Closed Mondays).
Big Pit National Coal Museum
Saturday 12th October Autumn Lecture Series “The Proud Valley”
There will be a special viewing of “The Proud Valley” starring Paul Robeson as David Goliath, a charismatic seaman who washes up in a small mining village in Wales.
Professor Daniel Williams will be giving an insight and introduction to the film prior to its screening. Tickets are £3 and are available at
Blaenavon Heritage Railway
The last scheduled running days for the summer were Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th Sept.

Saturday 26th to Tuesday 31st October Ghost Trains
Trains are running from our Spooky Furnace Sidings station at regular intervals from 4pm to 9pm. 
Fancy dress is encouraged but optional.
Booking is not essential but recommended. Book at:
Blaenavon Ironworks
Sunday 27th, Thursday 31st October & Sunday 3rd November
Haunted History & Folklore Tours

Ghost tour of the cottages and Ironworks, with historic haunting legends and folklore of the area with refreshments (hot drink & Welsh cake). 
Pre-booked tour for adults only at £10 each. Pre-book your place for this event by telephoning Blaenavon Ironworks on 01495 792615.
 Thursday 31st October – Sunday 3rd November 2019
Spooky Halloween week
Includes Zombie wound making and Halloween spooky trail with chocolate prize.
Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall
As well as the weekly cinema films there will be live broadcasts from the Royal Opera House showing in the cinema on the following dates:
Tuesday 8th October at 6.45pm  Don Giovanni (Opera)
Thursday 24th October at 7.30pm Don Pasquale (Opera)
Tuesday 5th November at 7.15pm Concerto/Enigma Variations/Raymonda Act 3 (Ballet)
To book tickets for any of these events go to
BWHEG Volunteers
Sundays 13th October & 17th November Wetlands Bird Surveys
Starting at 10:00am from Garn Lakes top car park. Stroll around the Garn Lakes and surrounding areas with a local birdwatcher to look out for birds getting ready for winter.
The following guided walks are all circular routes starting 10.00am from the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre.

Saturday 26th October “Reed Beds In Autumn”
A short and easy walk of about 7km (4½miles) focussing on wildlife and some of the conservation work carried out by BWHEG.  The walk visits a conservation pond, the Garn Lakes and various wildlife havens along the way.

Saturday 30th November “Hidden Forgeside”
This is a very short walk of about 4km (2½ miles).  Visit a part of Blaenavon which grew up around the early iron industry and, if the weather’s fine, the walk may extend to the Coity Tips.
For more information go to
Blaenavon Town
Friday 4th October Ceilidh with Mynd I’r Gap and Rod
Start dancing at 7.30pm in the Constitutional Club.  Bar available.
£3.00 entry.
Sunday 3rd November Blaenavon Blues Annual Firework Display
There will be more than just a professional fireworks display to entertain the family.  A gaming bus, fairground rides, fully licensed bar and more.
Tickets are £3 per child and £5 per adult (contact Blaenavon Blues to purchase tickets)

Community News

The Blaenavon Townscape Heritage Programme (THP)
The Blaenavon Townscape Heritage Programme (THP) is underway and the initial building to benefit from the funding opportunity is now completed.

Bethlehem Chapel has a Grade II listed status and is one of Blaenavon’s older buildings, however the building has endured a challenging time in recent years. In 2009 the main chapel was closed, but due to the determined efforts of Bethlehem Chapel and its community, funding was secured to enable the chapel’s renovation.  A funding opportunity presented by the Blaenavon THP provided Bethlehem Chapel the opportunity to participate in a conservation sensitive renovation programme. The works commenced in January 2019 and will be completed in September 2019. The rededication service took place on Sunday 15th September.

This renovation programme attracted significant funding from the Blaenavon THP and the Rural Development Programme to ensure that the building was approached sensitively and brought back into long term sustainable use using traditional construction skills and appropriate materials.

Bethlehem Chapel has the ambition to re-establish itself back in the heart of the community through use of the school room and chapel to provide a multi-use community space. The venue is now fully accessible and benefits from drop down screen and projector which, in addition to the religious use of the building, can accommodate a range of alternative events.

Rev Jill Stephens said” We are excited to know our building is now ready to be a church and community space. It is a place where ‘all are welcome’. We look forward to welcoming you all here. Thank you to everyone”

Cllr Alan Jones, Blaenavon World Heritage Champion said “I am delighted to see all of the hard work and determination as shown by Bethlehem Chapel to have finally come to fruition. For ten long years, Bethlehem Chapel, supported by Torfaen County Borough Council and Blaenavon Town Council have sought to secure funding to regenerate the chapel. To see it now standing proud is a real testament to the great work the community of Blaenavon has undertaken. The last Welsh speaking Chapel of Blaenavon can now re-open its doors to provide a valued community resource. I look forward to seeing other venues being brought back to life as we continue to deliver the THP.”

The Blaenavon THP is being delivered through funding contributions from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Torfaen County Borough Council, Blaenavon Town Council and Cadw. This project has also received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
Five Gwent sites named as Discovery Gateways will share more than £2 million Valleys Taskforce funding to maximise the potential of the area’s natural and cultural assets, as part of the Valleys Regional Park.
The Blaenavon World Heritage Site will receive £180,000 to update some of the interpretation facilities at the World Heritage Centre, improve primary walking trails into the heritage landscape, and upgrade facilities within Garn Lakes Local Nature Reserve (LNR). The funding encourages the centre to improve its links with other Discovery Gateways across the Valleys, and create a more coherent Valleys wide partnership approach in the promotion of opportunities related to our distinctive landscape and culture. The funding also supports health and well-being, and job creation. The funding will be used to promote and celebrate the Blaenavon brand, highlighting its international importance.


Two new shop premises have opened in Broad Street recently.  The Keepers Café has opened at no. 96 and Casting Precious Memories has opened at no. 36.  Casting Precious Memories is a family run business which offers unique, bespoke & professionally casted keepsakes around South Wales.


THE TINSHED Theatre Company is preparing to put on another spectacular show following last year’s production of Moby Dick on the Newport Transporter Bridge.Their next production, Rocket Launch, will be based at Blaenavon Ironworks, and aims to link the story of the heritage and history of the Welsh Valleys with the ambition of space exploration.  The company are currently fundraising for the project, which they hope will take place in October 2020.


Blaenavon World Heritage Centre is upgrading its shop, during October we are having a change around and will be introducing a lovely selection of gifts and local welsh produce. If you are a local producer or maker that would be interested in stocking our shop please contact us on 
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