An exhibition which commemorates the life of Ogmore’s first MP, Vernon Hartshorn OBE, was opened in Parliament last week by Ogmore’s current MP, Chris Elmore.
The exhibition, created by the South Wales Miners’ Museum, details the life of the first Welsh collier to become a UK Government Cabinet Minister.
During the launch, Chris spoke movingly of how honoured he felt to be following in Vernon’s footsteps as Ogmore’s current MP. The seat has continuously been held by Labour since it was first created, which Chris underlined as a testament to Hartshorn’s strong legacy.
Hartshorn served as President of the South Wales Miners’ Federation and as a member of the National Executive of the Miners’ Federation of Great Britain. He went on to serve as Postmaster-General before being appointed Lord Privy Seal five years later.
Speaking after the opening, Chris Elmore MP said:
“Vernon is often an unsung hero of Welsh politics. He broke the mould of what it meant to stand for public office. He demonstrated that you don’t have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth to represent our communities in our Parliament.
“I’m delighted that Vernon’s life and legacy is getting the attention it deserves within this exhibition and I commend the team at the South Wales Miners’ Museum for all their painstaking hard work in putting this together.
“It was fantastic to have some of Vernon’s family here today – they must be so proud of the impact Vernon is still having a century after he was first elected.”
The exhibition will move to the Y Llynfi Library this summer before heading to the Senedd in Cardiff Bay throughout October and November. The exhibition will then move to the Rhondda Heritage Park in January and February to kick off 2020.
Chris is encouraging all local residents to take a look at the exhibition as it continues its tour.