PLANS to restore an historic Anglesey building and turn it in into a musuem could be a ‘big boost’ to the island’s tourist industry.
The Anglesey Women’s Institute have secured funding to transform the Thomas Telfrod Toll House in Llanfairpwll into a museum chronicling Telford’s influence in the region, as well as the history of the WI, which began in Llanfairpwll in 1915.
The building, one of five toll houses on Anglesey, was built in the 1820’s, around the time when Thomas Telfrod constructed his famous Menai Suspension Bridge, and was also home to the UK’s first branch of the WI in the 1920’s.
Now, the Anglesey WI hope to open the museum in the spring, having obtained a £25,000 grant through economic regeneration project Menter Mon.
Elfyn Roberts, the community development officer said: “It’s double-whammy for us.The money we have raised will go towards housing the imprtant aretefcats and documents belonging to the WI.
“It attracts the visitors, and not only can they learn about Thomas Telfrord, but also the important history of the WI.
“It’s a big boost to the tourist industry, and it will bring people to the island to help spend money on the island. It’s very much a sustainable project.”
Since opening the first branch in Llanfairpwll in 1915, the WI has grown throughout the country and now has over 250,000 members nationwide, and the Anglesey federation hope that the museum can highlight the village’s crucial role in forming the movement.
Chair of the Federation of Anglesey WI’s, Audrey Jones, said: “People don’t realise that it was here in Llanfairpwll that the movement started, and we haven’t had as much attention as places like London and Pencadlys.
“The important papers and documents have been kept under lock for so long, but now they’ll have a place. The history will be there for everyone to see for themselves.”