THOMAS Henry Thomas was born in Pontypool in 1839, the son of the Principal and founder of the Pontypool Baptist College in Penygarn.

The Baptist College was familiarly known as ‘The College’ until its demolition a few years ago even though it became the County Girls School in the early twentieth century and then Trevethin School.

Up until the First World War, Mr Thomas was a naturalist, an artist and a Welsh ‘Cultural Nationalist’.

His interests strived to ‘span the gap’ between art and the sciences. He was an artist and journalist for the newspapers ‘The Graphic’ and the ‘Daily Graphic’.

In 1895, Mr Thomas became the First Herald Bard of the Gorsedd and was part of the movement to reform the Gorsedd Ceremony at the start of the Eisteddfodau.

Gorseddau exist to promote literary scholarship and the creation of poetry and music. As part of this, their most visible activity can be seen at the Eisteddfodau.

Mr Thomas died in 1915.

An edition of his letters and correspondence by Christabel Hutchings of the South Wales Record Society is available to purchase in the Torfaen Museum shop for £10. The books were donated by the editor to help fundraise for the museum.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.