Friday, November 23, 2007

Brecon exhibition opens

Chris Price, chief librarian (standing) with (left to right) Malcolm Shaw, Dr Carole Reeves, and staff members.

The Mayor of Brecon, Rosemary Evans with Dr Carole Reeves, Ann Shaw and Councillor Michael Gittins

Dr Carole Reeves, Outreach Historian with The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College London opened the exhibition today.

In her opening remarks she said:
"Madam Mayor (Rosemary Evans, Mayor of Brecon Town), Councillor Michael Gittins, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming to the opening of this exhibition of 120 photographs taken mostly by the patients who were in the Adelina Patti Hospital, otherwise known as Craig-y-nos Castle, between its opening in 1922 and closure in 1959. The project to collect these pictures along with stories of the people who took them was begun less than a year ago by Ann Shaw, an artist and writer, and herself a patient for 4 years between 1950 and 1954."

A single white rose...officials and ex-patients were presented with a white rose by Edna Walters, former chair and President of the Brecon and Radnor Conservative Association.
(from left to right) Dr Carole Reeves, the Mayor of Brecon, Rosemary Evans, Councillor Michael Gittins and four ex-patients- Ann Shaw, Roy Harry, Mary Watkins and Rosemary Davies

Edna Walters made presentation of white roses

" At the end of last year, Ann visited Craig-y-nos to discover that no records existed of its time as a TB sanatorium, and so began her search for 'The Lost Children of Craig-y-nos' and an attempt to reconstruct 40 years of missing Welsh history. Small articles in the local papers and the BBC Mid-Wales community website tapped into the collective memory of a whole community, of people with stories waiting to be told, many of whom had never before spoken of their experiences. I include myself in this because I grew up in a family from the Rhondda Valley for whom TB was the unmentionable but who were amongst its many victims. "

Ex-patients Roy Harry and Rosemary Davies chatting to visitors

"We are recording the memories of many of the people you'll see in the photographs. It will be the first ever collective account by patients and staff of life inside a TB sanatorium and is therefore a unique heritage project. Photographs continue to pour in. The project now has over 1000 plus other memorabilia. "

Rosemary and Mary enjoy a quiet chat before the official opening

"There's no doubt that the project would never have come this far in such a short time without the internet. Ann's daily blog keeps the world up-to-date with the project and has captured the imagination of the computer literate children and grand children of 'The Children of Craig-y-nos'. Those of you who visited 'The Children of Craig-y-nos' exhibition at Ystradgynlais in September will find much that is new here, and we would like to thank Chris Price, Jan Holmes and their colleagues here at Brecon Library for offering to host this new substantial exhibition."

"The team" Malcolm Shaw, Dr Carole Reeves and Ann Shaw

"It has been curated by Ann Shaw but I must pay tribute to Malcolm Shaw whose technical skills at converting Box Brownie en-prints (2"x2") to the exhibition quality pictures around the walls is quite extraordinary.
Please enjoy this exhibition, take away the free books and postcards, and tell all your friends to visit over the next few weeks."

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