Page last updated at 16:07 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 17:07 UK

Broadcaster memorial vandalised

The Wynford Vaughan-Thomas memorial (picture: Graham White)
The memorial to Wynford Vaughan-Thomas was opened in 1990

A vandalised memorial to the "charismatic" BBC wartime radio and television broadcaster Wynford Vaughan-Thomas is to be restored.

The slate memorial highlights some of Wales' highest peaks, including Snowdon, and was unveiled near Machynlleth, Powys, in 1990.

But since then it has fallen into disrepair and has been vandalised.

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) is launching a campaign to restore the monument.

Vaughan-Thomas served as the CPRW's president and chairman between 1968 and 1975.

A damaged section of the Wynford Vaughan-Thomas memorial (picture: Graham White)
The engraved panel today is in a sorry state and does not do justice to the man who did so much to share his love of Wales and its landscape with so many others
Deb Wozencraft, CPRW

Following his death in 1987, the organisation came up with the idea for a memorial, sculptured in Welsh slate, at one of his favourite locations near the village of Aberhosan, on the slopes of Moel Fadian.

It spans some three metres (9ft 8ins) and depicts the broadcaster in walking gear pointing to Snowdon, and highlights all 13 peaks in Wales above 3,000ft (914m).

But the years have taken their toll on the memorial.

Graffiti has been scratched onto the slate, a wooden seating area is rotting, some slate panels have been lost or stolen, and it is eroding elsewhere.

"Over the years, the weather and the mindless actions of vandals have taken their toll on the memorial," said Deb Wozencraft of the CPRW.

"The engraved panel today is in a sorry state and does not do justice to the man who did so much to share his love of Wales and its landscape with so many others.

Wynford Vaughan-Thomas in 1943
Wynford Vaughan-Thomas broadcasting for the BBC in 1943

"Following a number of requests, CPRW is launching a campaign to raise funds to restore the memorial to its original glory and provide better interpretation of this man who was such a charismatic and enigmatic countryside ambassador."

Vaughan-Thomas was born in Swansea in 1908.

In the mid-1930s he joined the BBC, but it was during World War II that he established a reputation as one of the corporation's most respected correspondents.

Perhaps his most memorable report came from an RAF Lancaster bomber during a bombing raid over Berlin.

In 1967, after leaving the BBC, he was one of the founders of Harlech TV (HTV), now ITV Wales, and was its director of programmes for a period.

He died in Fishguard in Pembrokeshire in 1987.




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