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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Mid Wales

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Mid Wales

Clip Title: Excerpt from 'Treasure House', Part One - 'The Blue Lady' 2003.
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A video clip from the BBC Wales programme 'Treasure House', featuring information about the Davies Sisters' art collection at Gregynog, and their inheritance.

Voiceover - Griff Rhys Jones

"Gwendoline and her sister Margaret, or Daisy, bought Gregynog in 1920. It was the perfect backdrop for their art collection."

Dr Glyn Tegai Hughes:

"If you were shown round by Miss Daisy. I think you were told how they acquired them and when, and that was about it. I think that Gwen was perhaps a bit more forthcoming about their quality. But the business about their just being dotted around on the walls was extraordinary. The only security was the chauffeur, Ted Walters, who lived in Middle Lodge. If a strange car came up the drive, he would come up to see what was going on. That was the security."

"One has to recognise that they were Welsh Presbyterians, without any tradition of lavishness certainly. They were not sophisticated aristocrats as it were, certainly in anything like a Bloomsbury sense."

Voiceover - Griff Rhys Jones

"The sisters didn't just indulge their refined tastes. Some of their money was spent looking after malnourished girls, and running a frontline canteen during the First World War."

Gregynog became a centre for the arts, with its own printing press. But the sisters' best decision was to donate their art collection to the museum."

Dr Glyn Tegai Hughes:

"Particularly in the case of Gwen, it was a very strong feeling that they should put back into the community, perhaps in some ways particularly the South Wales community, some of the wealth that had been drawn out from there, as it were, by their Grandfather with the coal mines, and Barry Docks, and so on."

Voiceover - Griff Rhys Jones

"Orphaned at 14 and 16 years of age, the girls each inherited half a million pounds. An immense sum then, and more of a burden than it might seem."

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Internet Links
A walk around Gregynog
Newtown Life
National Museums & Galleries of Wales
– The Davies Sisters Collection
University of Wales: Gregynog
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