Our events will be re-scheduled just as soon as we know when it is safe to re-open the Centre
Walking with Offa – Marking 50 years of the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail
Offa’s Dyke Centre re-opening
Exhibition of new paintings inspired by Offa’s Dyke
12 leading British poets to respond with newly commissioned poems
New Offa’s Dyke exhibition unveiled
Walking groups from all over the UK to walk entire length of Dyke to mark anniversary
Dignitaries will re-open the Centre
Campaign launched to rescue the historic monument
We clearly cannot now open on 1st March, St David’s Day. We can promise, though, that when we do visitors will find a brand new exhibition interpreting Offa’s Dyke, its people and landscape. The building has undergone a major refurbishment and the main exhibition rooms arranged so as to promote social distancing. The year also marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the National Trail and the ODA is proud to present an exhibition by artist, Dan Llywelyn Hall, whose new paintings are all inspired by the Offa’s Dyke monument and National Trail. In conjunction with the exhibition a new publication with 12 poems (marking each section of the 177 mile path) will be launched including leading poets such as Gillian Clarke – a poet Laureate of Wales, Owen Sheers, Twm Morris, Robert Minhinnick, Menna Elfyn and Oliver Lomax. Other features of the anniversary celebrations includes: Stephen Bradley – a stained glass artist – will be commissioned to make a commemorative window for the Centre’s re-opening. A nation-wide walk of the entire route by walking groups will arrive at the Centre on St David’s Day. Dignitaries will greet the walkers and a celebratory outdoor gathering with music. Dan is seen here painting on Offa’s Dyke with an audience.
The monument is important to Dan Llywelyn Hall: ‘ Offa’s Dyke has always loomed large in my psyche. The frontier of a hinterland somewhere between past and present. The Offa’s Dyke Centre is the cultural centre of the monument and its protector-in-chief. It’s an antidote to ignorance of our heritage and by extension, our shared landscape. I look forward to celebrating this anniversary In words and images and mining this rich seam of common ancestry.‘
It is too soon to say just how the 50th anniversary of the opening of Offa’s Dyke Path will be marked. The 10th July is 50 years to the day since the National Trail was opened in 1971 by John Hunt, leader of the 1953 Everest expedition. The day’s events, in partnership with the National Trail are still being discussed so we will make an announcement about the anniversary, also our annual Living History Festival in the park, organised jointly with Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust just as soon as we can.
In spring 2021 the new Offa’s Dyke Conservation Project Officer will move into the Centre. The ODA has partnered Cadw and Historic England with the first end-to-end survey in the history of the Dyke in both Wales and England and the appointment shows the long-term commitment of all three organisations to the future conservation and well being of the monument. Meanwhile the ODA continues to make its Conservation Fund available for the award of modest but important grants towards the cost of conservation-based projects along the Dyke. Anyone with a direct interest in managing the monument may apply including the National Trail Officer.
We are looking to appoint a new manager to run the Centre and the post will shortly be advertised. Anyone with experience of managing a small museum or heritage Centre together with retail and catering experience will be encouraged to apply. Likewise if you are interested in taking on the running of the Centre’s tea room, as a stand alone business, then email manager@offasDyke.org.uk to arrange to discuss.
We are also looking to volunteers to help us in the Centre after it has re-opened. Covid rules require a constant front of house presence to ensure that the exhibition rooms operate within their capacity and to make sure that visitors follow the NHS track and trace protocols. The Centre is a great place to help out and in exchange for a few hours once a week we offer a coffee and cake on us. That and good company. We are one of only three National Trail friends’ groups and, with being founded in 1969, we are also the oldest. Interested? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget our on-line shop is always open for sales of Offa’s Dyke Path books and maps. The ODA are confident that the ODC has a continuing place at the heart of the community in Knighton, welcoming both local people and visitors to the town along with many thousands of walkers through its doors. We want to expand what we do with the Centre and work to ensure its long term future in the town.
Finally, we would encourage people to become members of the ODA and join us on this exciting journey or, if you have an accommodation business then become one of our an advertising members. Our website and accommodation guide advertising rates are very good value for money. Individuals can join online and prospective business advertisers should email email@example.com
Requests for interview: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative lead: Dan Llywelyn Hall
Offa’s Dyke Association and Centre: Dave McGlade (ODA Chairman)
Additional notes to editors
The Offa’s Dyke Association is the friends’ group for both Offa’s Dyke the ancient monument and Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail. Founded in 1969 it is a membership based charity with a mission to enable visitors to understand and enjoy the Dyke and its Welsh March environs. The ODA also actively promotes the conservation of the Dyke.
The ODA is the only organisation with a watching brief over the full length of the Dyke in both England and Wales.
The ODA runs the Offa’s Dyke Centre in Knighton, Powys, with a free to view exhibition on King Offa, his eponymous Dyke and the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail.
The Centre is the home of the Offa’s Dyke branch of the Young Archaeologists’ Club.
The ODA operates the Offa’s Dyke walkers’ ‘Passport’ scheme which raises funds for the ODA’s Conservation Fund for the monument