Llanelli Community Heritage Bus Tour 19th September 2010. On a chilly, breezy mid-September afternoon, 30 hardy souls braved the elements to experience the fourth Llanelli Community Heritage open-top bus tour of the blue plaques of the area. It’s truly amazing how this small band of heritage enthusiasts have succeeded in commissioning and erecting over 40 Blue Plaques and eight interpretive panels in the six short years since their inception. Surely, no other town in Wales, can boast as many plaques.
The tour began with a short introduction by the society’s chairman Mr John Wynne Hopkins. Mr Lyn John, the society’s Vice Chairman then proceeded to lead us via his mercurial commentary on a trip through Llanelli’s past. With hardly a cursory glance at his notes, we were informed of the industrial heritage of the town, the events that shaped the town’s character, buildings which have long since disappeared through neglect or ignorance, and sons and daughters of the square mile who have made a name for themselves nationally and internationally through writing, singing and acting. Never has ninety minutes passed so quickly.
The fact that an area whose population would easily fit into a small London borough possesses such an interesting and varied past is testimony to its character and people. Without Llanelli Community Heritage, much of this past would be lost in the mists of time. Let’s hope that the resurgence in awareness and pride in one’s area will pervade the local corridors of power and that in the future, plaques will be placed on actual buildings of renown, and not where they once stood.
Thanks must go to the society for their diligent work, to the South Wales Bus Group and driver who guided us so skilfully through the streets of Llanelli and last but most importantly, to the many plaque sponsors without whom the Llanelli Blue Plaque concept would not be possible. The Blue Plaque Guide, volume one is available for purchase and highly recommended in order to gain a knowledge of the stories behind the plaques.