THE MS for Arfon, Siân Gwenllian, has paid tribute to a collection of photos that portray life in 1970s Hirael by the photographer Garry Stuart.

‘Hirael, North Wales – 1976’ was published by Café Royal Books and a selection of the photographs is on display at Bwyd Da Bangor on Bangor High Street.

On a recent visit to the food initiative, Ms Gwenllian praised the collection as ‘a time capsule of a warm, Welsh community’.

The photos included in the collection date back to 1976, when Garry was a 21-year-old post graduate student at UCNW Bangor.

Ms Gwenllian added: “I’m glad to see that these photos are on display for the public to remember the history of a community in Bangor that is truly distinctive.

“I recently contacted Garry to thank him for the collection, a collection that’s a time capsule of a warm, Welsh community.

“Owing to its rich heritage as a maritime epicentre, as well as its strong connections to the local slate industry, the Hirael area continues to be of great historical significance.

“The photographs are piece of social history.

“I myself grew up in Y Felinheli, a village rooted in a proud industrial tradition, and seeing the photos brings back pleasant memories of a distinctive childhood.

“It’s the people, the ‘sibols’ that make communities such as Hirael, characters such as those portrayed in the booklet.

“I recently visited local artist Pete Jones’ exhibition, inspired by his childhood memories of Hirael, a community that has a tradition of inspiring artists.

“Isalaw, the famous, eccentric hymnist who had his spiritual coming of age at his Beach Road home, for example.

“I’d like to thank Garry for the opportunity to reminisce about times spent at Hirael during my time as a pupil at Bangor Grammar School for Girls.

“I’m sure they’ll give a lot of Bangor residents, past and present, a large dose of ‘hiraeth’.”