This pub is the former Olympia cinema. In 1811, Squire Homfray provided for a market house or town hall to be built facing The Circle. In 1890, a new market house was built on the adjoining site at the top of Morgan Street. In 1913, the building became the Olympia cinema, remaining in use until 1977. Then owned by Top Rank, it was converted into a bingo hall and is now this Wetherspoon pub.
Prints and text about The Olympia.
The text reads: The name of this Wetherspoon pub recalls the 1,200-seat cinema which occupied this building until 1977. Like many early cinemas, the Olympia, which opened in 1913, stages both live entertainment and silent films.
Two local cinemas – the Palace in Park Place, and Queen’s – closed when the new sound films arrived, requiring the installation of expensive equipment. The Olympia, however, made the investment, showing Al Jolson’s famous ‘talkie’, the Singing Fool, in 1929.
Before its conversion into the Olympia, this building was Tredegar’s Market House. Built in 1890, it replaced an earlier Market and Town Hall, facing the Circle (then Market Square).
The first Market House was built in 1811, and later also housed police cells and a school. It was part of Samuel Homfray’s planned new town, to be named after his Tredegar Ironworks.
Left: The Olympia Cinema
Above: Top of Morgan Street.
Prints and text about Aneurin Bevan.
The text reads: Widely regarded as the greatest of all Welsh politicians, Aneurin Bevan was born in Charles Street, Tredegar, in 1897. One of 13 children from a mining family, he began work in a local pit in his early teens. By the age of 19 he headed a trade union of over 4,000 men.
A brilliant and charismatic public speaker, he began his 30 years in Parliament in 1929 as Independent Labour Party MP for Ebbw Vale, joining the Labour party two years later.
In 1934 he married fellow MP Jennie Lee, daughter of a Scottish miner. Her partnership with Nye lasted until his dead in 1960.
In 1945, Bevan became the youngest member of Clement Attlee’s post-war cabinet. Appointed minister of health, Bevan mastermind the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948. He later resigned from the Government when the first health service charges were introduced.
Above: Bevan’s birthplace, 1897
Right: Cartoon by Vicky and (inset) ‘Nye’ in 1957.
External photograph of the building – main entrance.
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