A NEW exhibition to commemorate the late Tom Pryce, the only Welshman to have won a Formula 1 race, was launched yesterday.

Denbigh Museum welcomed friends and family of Tom and distinguished figures from across Denbighshire to its exclusive event to celebrate the life and career of the motor racer.

Tom was born on 11 June, 1949 at Trevalyn County Maternity Hospital near Wrexham and attended the former Ysgol Frongoch primary school in Denbigh, where the museum is now situated. He spent much of his childhood in Denbigh before a sky-rocketing career in which he won the non-championship F1 Brands Hatch Race of Champions in 1975.

Tom's trailblazing career as the only Welshman to win a Formula 1 race ended too soon, however. During a race at the South African Grand Prix in 1977, Tom's car collided with a teenage race marshal and he was struck on the head with a fire extinguisher. Both men died upon impact.

The exhibition at Denbigh Museum provides an extensive tribute to Tom, his history, and that which he created.

Prominent features of the display include sketches and a stone sculpture that trace Tom's career, made by Neil Dalrymple, a ceramic sculptor based in Ruthin. Another particularly special feature on display is Tom's blue MG, which was given to close family friend Dave Jones by Tom's parents following his death.

Yesterday's launch event was attended by people close to Tom - a Skype call was made to Tom's widow, Nella, who is now living in the south of France, to discuss Tom's life.

Also in attendance were Dave Jones, Tom's best man Trefor Thomas, and close family friend Ronwy Rodgers, who made a promise to Tom's father, Jack, on his death bed that Denbigh would one day celebrate his son's legacy.

That promise was fulfilled yesterday, and the launch's historic significance was marked by Peter Scott, chair of Denbighshire County Council and Catherine Jones, mayor of Denbigh.

Gwyneth Kensler, chair of Denbigh Museum, said: "I was delighted with the launch and to see over 70 guests present; many of these either knew Tom and/or his family or had an interest in racing and cars.

"I didn't know until last night that Ronwy Rogers had made a vow to Jack Pryce as he lay dying in hospital that he would do his utmost to see Denbigh celebrating Tom's life. It was very moving to hear this.

"I should like to thank everyone who made this possible and such a success; the exhibitions team have done a most professional job."

The exhibition will now be open to the public from 2pm to 4pm each Monday to Thursday until October 1.

Visits outside these times can be requested by phoning 077923 15723 or emailing gwyneth.kensler@denbighshire.gov.uk