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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 June, 2004, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
Arson destroys historic pavilion
The shelter as it looked - photo courtesy of Brian Turner
The Long Shelter has been used by park visitors since the early part of the 20th century
A Chartist memorial and a 75-year-old pavilion have been badly damaged in an arson attack in a south Wales park.

The Grade II-listed Long Shelter in Bedwellty Park in Tredegar had been hit by vandals five times in recent years.

The estimated cost of the damage is 500,000, while it will cost around 10,000 to restore a mosaic marking the Chartist movement.

"We don't know what will happen but we're hoping something can be worked out," said Dr John Evans, clerk at Tredegar Town Council.

"We've had problems with vandalism and graffiti in the park in the last five or six years, affecting the bandstand and flower beds and the Long Shelter has been targeted a number of times."

The shelter, formerly known as the Jubilee shelter, was built around 1930 and its unique design saw it being listed by historic monuments' body Cadw.

However, it had been boarded up to protect the mural inside after earlier vandal attacks

The mural was commissioned in 1989 for the 150th anniversary of the Chartists' march to Newport, although it is not beyond repair.

The town council said it is now waiting for the outcome of discussions with Cadw.

There are hopes of restoring the 19th century Bedwellty House, which stands in the 26 acres of parkland and security will be one issue which will be addressed.

A Gwent Police spokeswoman said inquiries were continuing but the fire was being treated as arson and a substantial amount of damage had been caused.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact Gwent Police on (01495) 723162.

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