The Josef Herman Art Foundation is delighted to announce the launch of a new heritage trail for Ystradgynlais following a £9,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery fund.

The Foundation has been busy over the last few months unlocking people’s memories of Ystradgynlais in the 1940’s and 1950’s, illustrated by artwork from their Josef Herman collection, which was bequeathed to the people of the town by Herman’s widow Nini.

The Heritage trail programme includes an interpretation sign, based at the Welfare in Ystradgynlais, an illustrated brochure with key points and locations around the town and an App, which will have GPS locations allowing people to either visit in person and follow the trail, or to take a virtual walk around Ystradgynlais from anywhere in the world.

The trail will also be linked to an educational portal with an online learning and workshop programme that groups & individuals can participate in.

The project has also been supported by Ystradgynlais Town Council and the Foundation hopes that the Heritage trail will also benefit the local economy and bring much needed tourism to the area.

Elinor Gilbey, Trustee and Chair of the Foundation said: “Ystradgynlais proved a safe refuge for Jewish artist Josef Herman during WW2 but there is nothing in the town that reflects the society that he was adopted into, or the rich industrial heritage that the area experienced.

"Herman is renowned as an artist that documented everyday life for miners, farmers and metal workers. We can use his artwork to inform post-industrial generations of their rich heritage.

"This project enables us to work with local schools, community and heritage groups and individuals to develop a heritage trail for the village. We intend to work with Mind charities and the People’s Collection of Wales to preserve living history through the people who were alive during Herman’s time in Ystradgynlais.

"We will use our collection to illuminate the cultural history of the area making particularly young people aware of the importance of belonging, social cohesion and valuing diversity.”

The opening of the trail will coincide with a promenade performance from the Lighthouse Theatre Company, promoted by the Welfare, with “Herman” following key locations around the town.

The performance starts at 10.00am on Friday, July 16, and will be repeated at 2pm, with two further performances on Saturday.

At the end of the first performance at approximately 11.30am, “Herman” will unveil a specially developed Heritage Trail interpretation sign, which will then be on permanent display in the Welfare car park.