A LOCAL craftsman has been nominated for a prestigious heritage award.

Hugh Haley, of Phoenix Conservation, Llanddowror, is one of only 15 people selected for the final of the Heritage Angel Awards Wales for outstanding heritage achievement.

Sponsored by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, the awards celebrate the work of volunteers, trainees, apprentices, young people and heritage professionals in repairing or rescuing historic buildings or making new discoveries.

Furniture conservator Hugh has been nominated for his work restoring the First World War poet Hedd Wyn's collection of bardic chairs.

These include Y Gadair Ddu (the Black Chair), which was restored as part of a £3m project by Snowdonia National Park Authority to renovate the poet's former home, Yr Ysgwrn.

The chair was awarded at the National Eisteddfod a few weeks after the bard's death in July 1917.

When the winner's name was called out in the pavilion, there was no answer. Instead, the chair was draped in a black cloth, as Hedd Wyn had been killed on the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium.

Hugh, who established Phoenix Conservation in 1991, has had his work featured in a BBC2 documentary, Hedd Wyn: The Lost War Poet, and said he is delighted to be recognised by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.

He said: "I felt privileged that the chair's current owner, Gerald Williams - Hedd Wyn's newphew - trusted me to take it to my workshop for repair, as it is believed the Black Chair had been taken away from Yr Ysgwrn only twice before in the 99 years since it arrived.

"One of the highlights of the project for me was getting to know Gerald, who had maintained his mother's view to keep the farmhouse door open to anyone who wanted to see the chair.

"The award nomination is the icing on the cake!"

The winner of the award will be decided by a public vote, with voting closing at midnight on Sunday (November 4).

To vote for Hugh, go to http://bit.ly/2QVcSWS