Primary school pupils have worked on a special art project to celebrate diversity and inclusion on Anglesey.

Children from Ysgol Gynradd Amlwch joined Anglesey Archives, Oriel Môn and prominent North Wales artist, Jwls Williams, to trace the lives of two prominent Jewish families.

Both the Pollecoff and Stein families emigrated from Russia to Anglesey during the late 1800s. Settling in Holyhead and Amlwch, both families set up successful businesses, which are fondly remembered to this day. By the time their shops closed their doors for the last time, the Pollecoff and Stein families were well-respected members of their respective communities. The project has been funded through the Welsh Government’s Archives and Records Council Wales (ARCW) Accreditation Support Grant Scheme 2019/20.

Anglesey’s Senior Archivist, Hayden Burns, said, “The children have really enjoyed their time working on this project with Jwls Williams and Lia Griffith, Oriel Môn’s Learning and Engagement Co-ordinator. More than seventy children have been given the opportunity to learn more about their communities and trace the history of the Pollecoff and Stein families through the use of archival documents and museum artefacts.

“They also created original bilingual artwork based on their own experiences and inspired by the archives. Their work included a series of intricate interpretative banners, which act as a colourful tribute to the families and tell their story.”

Their artwork, which is currently on show at the Anglesey Archives building in Llangefni, explores how the families became part of the local community and succeeded in creating successful businesses across the region.

The exhibition was opened last week (Thursday, November 7th) by Anglesey Council Chair, Councillor Margaret Roberts. Cllr Roberts said, “This is a fantastic exhibition which chronicles the lives of both the Pollecoffs and Steins. Both families became an important part of their respective communities, they learnt Welsh, and were weclomed by their new neighbours.”

“The children and all who have helped them with this project are to be congratulated. Not only does celebrates our local history, but also teaches the importance of tolerance, diversity and embracing people from all backgrounds.”

The pupils’ work will also be exhibited at their school and Oriel Môn before returning to the Archives for permanent display.

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