Home of the NHS

It is a big claim, but our beloved National Health Service has its roots here in Blaenau Gwent.

Aneurin Bevan 1897-1960

Let’s start with Aneurin Bevan. Born in Tredegar to a miner and a seamstress.

He was ridiculed at school for his speech impediment and left age 13 to work alongside father in the pit.

Yet he rose to become the local Member of Parliament and Minister for Housing and Health, ultimately giving us the NHS.

The Fed

Much of Bevan’s nurturing came from His father who encouraged his love of reading.

However it was his role as a miner’s agent or trade union official with the South Wales Miners’ Federation, that taught him how to debate and win the argument. This was further enhanced by a scholarship to the Central Labour College in London, sponsored by the Federation. There, he spent two years studying economics, politics and history.

The Query Club

The Query Club was a debating and philanthropic society established by, his Brother Billy and Walter Conway and it set his political and social compass. The group raised funds and distributed them to members in need, held political debates and planned how to break the stronghold of the Tredegar Iron and Coal Company and to win power on the local council.

The Tredegar Workman’s Medical Aid Society

The mentoring of Walter Conway, Secretary of the Tredegar Workman’s Medical Aid Society and Query Club Member cannot be understated. Conway had turned the organisation into one of the largest and most successful societies in Wales. Bevan was a member of the society and was on the management board of the cottage hospital.

When he was given the opportunity to create a health service for the UK, he turned back to his roots for inspiration.

To further explore the story of the National Health Service and Aneurin Bevan there are a number of sites to visit.

Aneurin Bevan Memorial Stones

The Aneurin Bevan Memorial Stones mark the spot where Aneurin Bevan, Labour MP and architect of the National Health Service, addressed his constituents and the world.

Bedwellty House & Park

Bedwellty House and Park are intimately linked with the early social history of Industrial Wales. Its relevance continued when the house and park were given to the people of Tredegar and consequently became a centre of the Labour movement in Wales, and Britain at large. Probably the most famous name associated with Bedwellty House and Park is Aneurin Bevan, credited as the founder of the National Health Service.

Tredegar Medical Aid Society Heritage Centre

This heritage centre tells the story of how Aneurin Bevan MP as Minister of Health used the society as the blueprint for rolling out free healthcare for everyone when he ‘Tredegarised’ the UK.

Tredegar Local History Museum

The Tredegar Local Heritage Museum has a varied collection of artefacts reflecting the industry and life of this important iron making town.

Gwent Archives

The magnificent new facilities in Gwent Archives provide an ideal environment for you to use the unique collection of documents.

Aneurin Bevan Heritage Trail

The Aneurin Bevan Heritage Trail is a walking and car trail in Tredegar, the birthplace of Aneurin Bevan 1897-1960, Labour Member of Parliament for Ebbw Vale 1929-1960.

In the footsteps of Nye

Walking in the footsteps of a legend... Aneurin Bevan Nye Bevan loved to walk across the moors above Trefil, a limestone quarrying community on the northern edge of his constituency and the highest village in Wales. You can follow in the footsteps of this visionary and principled man, through a landscape packed with myth and legend, on this walk to his favorite view. Here are some of the things to look out for along the way.

Nye Bevan & Walter Conway Bench , The Circle, Tredegar

Contact Information

Name of Team: Economic Development

Telephone Number: 01495 355937 or 07968 472812

Address: The General Offices, Steelworks Road, Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent. NP23 6DN 

Email Address: alyson.tippings@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk