Childhood home of Val Feld, Caernarfon

Link to Welsh translationChildhood home of Val Feld, Caernarfon

Photo of Val Feld as a childThis house, Pen-y-Bryn, was the childhood home of Val Feld, a champion of equalities and Welsh devolution.

She was born Valerie Breen Turner in 1947 in Bangor, daughter of Jim, a dentist in Caernarfon, and his wife Eve, an active member of community. The family lived here. Val was educated locally and at the Abbey School, Malvern Wells. Her childhood was spent swimming, walking in Snowdonia and nurturing a love of reading.

The photos, courtesy of Jill Turner, show her in childhood and as a 16-year-old.

Later she worked in London at the BBC and ITN (Independent Television News) and married John Feld in 1969. They moved to Chorley, Lancashire, and had two daughters. Val became a councillor and a welfare and housing rights worker.

When her marriage broke down, Val felt the call of ‘hiraeth’. She returned to Wales with her children in 1981 to become the founder, and later the director, of housing and homelessness charity Shelter Cymru in Swansea. In 1989 she was appointed director of the Equal Opportunities Commission Wales, promoting the rights of women and minority groups. She was passionately committed to equality rights and social justice, and completed an MA in Women’s Studies in Cardiff.

Portrait of Val Feld in July 1964Val was treasurer for the ‘Yes for Wales’ campaign in 1997. She played a crucial role in securing Wales’ devolution, tirelessly promoting the campaign. She saw a devolved government as an opportunity to deliver a fairer society and played a key part in ensuring that the National Assembly had a fair representation of women.

In the first Assembly election in 1999, Val was elected Labour AM for Swansea East. She chaired of the economic development committee from that autumn until her untimely death in 2001.

As an Assembly Member, Val was respected by all parties for her sense of fairness and her integrity. She is remembered for her dedicated work in championing women’s rights and equality issues. In 2018 the first purple plaque for remarkable Welsh women was awarded posthumously to Val. It is sited on the Senedd building in Cardiff Bay.

With thanks to Jill Turner (Val’s sister) and Caernarfon Civic Society

Postcode: LL55 1BH    View Location Map