POWYS may still be in the grip of coronavirus and lockdown restrictions, but work is moving at a pace to get the Offa's Dyke Centre up and running when normality hopefully resumes later this year.

Offa’s Dyke Association chiefs announced in October last year that they planned to reopen the centre on St David’s Day 2021 – with this year marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Offa’s Dyke National Trail, in 1971.

But with March 1 a little less than two weeks away and with Wales still at alert level four, it looks like those plans will be scuppered.

St David’s Day will mark almost a year to the day the centre closed due to the pandemic. Although the centre was forced to shut its doors the last year has given members of the ODA a chance to work on plans for the future.

These include a host of celebrations for 2021 – visitors will find a new exhibition interpreting Offa’s Dyke, its people and landscape with the displays arranged so as to promote social distancing, when they can finally reopen.

The celebrations include a new stained glass window donated by Stephen Bradley.

The ODA said on their Facebook page earlier this year: “It's been a bit quiet on here for a while. Lots of changes going on and I can guarantee 2021 will be a milestone year for the ODA.

“At the moment, the Covid situation is making life difficult but despite everything, work is progressing apace on the new exhibition at the centre and all will be revealed in due course.

“As a little taster, this is the glorious new stained glass window which will take centre stage when the centre reopens. It has kindly been donated by Stephen Bradley.

“Dan Hall introduced Stephen to the ODA. Last October they visited the centre when Stephen said that he was keen to see his work on display and would like to gift the glass to the ODA. His brief was to respond to the Offa's Dyke landscape but beyond that we did not attempt to influence him. “Stephen decided to interpret the view from the window overlooking the park and beyond but he also included two features not seen from the window. They are the memorial stone unveiled by John Hunt in 1971 when the National Trail was opened, and the monument itself. Dan and Stephen then returned in November to install it.

“Everyone here is really looking forward to getting the new, Covid safe, centre open and we will of course keep everyone posted.”

If you want to find out more about Stephen’s work, visit his page on the British Ironwork Centre website at https://www.britishironworkcentre.co.uk/schools-and-community-programmes/artists-tour/steve-bradley.