Cymdeithas Treftadaeth Eglwyswrw a'r Fro

Eglwyswrw and District Heritage Society

Meetings and Activities 2022

Notes from our Minutes.

January Meeting cancelled as a covid precaution.

February 14th, 2022 Meeting
A well-attended meeting was held on the evening of February 14th. Our guest speaker was Heather Tomos, the title of her presentation was ‘Three of Pembrokeshire’s past Members of Parliament’, aided by pictures and information on a screen she spoke of the personal and professional lives of Walter Roch; Charles Price and Desmond Donnelly, there was great interaction by the members as some recalled past elections and the members of parliament who represented Pembrokeshire in living memory.
There followed a business meeting, our Treasurer Brenda James will again organize this year’s day trip, a guided tour of Strata Florida Abbey and Saint David’s Church, Llanddewi Brefi, with a meal to end the day on our way home. Due to covid this trip, planned for 2020, was cancelled.
Among other items, we discussed having a ‘facebook’ page. Heather offered to set up the page, to help promote local history and the Society’s work and also to be more accessible to the public. This offer was gratefully accepted. We are pleased to announce that the page ‘Cymdeithas Treftadaeth Eglwyswrw Heritage Group’ is now up and has attracted much interest. Our next meeting will be a business meeting. New members always welcome.

March 14th, 2022, meeting
Our meeting was held on March 14th, though attendance was low, we had a very enjoyable and interesting meeting under the chairmanship of Enid Cole. There were lively discussions,
informative and entertaining, though deviating a little from the agenda at times.
The correspondence received was discussed and announcements made.
It was agreed that we would support the Coffee Morning to raise money for Ukraine's refugees on Saturday, April 2 at Yr Hen Ysgol.
Material from our archive were available for members to borrow.
We decided on arrangements for our annual day out which is as follows: - On Saturday May 7th we will leave Eglwyswrw at 9.30am to arrive at Saint David’s Church, Llanddewi Brefi by 11.30, to meet our guide - Church Warden Llinos, then to Tregaron for a break and refreshment, then on to Strata Florida Abbey for 2.30pm to meet our guide - Charles Arch. We will stop for a meal at Glanyrafon Arms, Talgarreg on our way home.
Members and guests are invited to pay a £10 deposit by April 11th – at our next meeting at Yr Hen Ysgol. or directly contact our Treasurer and trip organizer Brenda James on 01239 841710
Our speaker for our April meeting is Eirlys Thomas who will talk about her travels from Argentina to Antarctica.
Among other matters discussed was our Facebook page set up by Heather Tomos who informed us that membership to date was 176 and it has attracted a lot of interest.
Throughout the year we have interesting speakers, guests are always welcome for an admission fee of £3 or become a full at £10.

April 11, 2022, meeting
We held our April meeting on Monday the 11th. There were 17 members and guests present.
Our Chairman Enid Cole welcomed Eirlys Thomas our guest speaker. Title of Eirlys’ presentation was ‘Argentina to Antarctica’ a journey she made some years ago. Eirlys talked about the history and traditions of the places visited recalling facts and figures of interest. The newly installed projector and equipment was used for the first time and the great many photos showed up well on the large screen. The presentation starting at Buenos Aires then on to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, then to The Falkland Islands and South Georgia visiting Shackleton’s grave and the abandoned whaling stations and finally to Antarctica showing the abundance of wildlife on route.
Delyth thanked the speaker on behalf of the members, as it has been decided not to hold business meetings when we have a guest speaker there was plenty of time to enjoy a cup of tea and socialise. Our next event is our annual day out, this year we will visit St David Church, Llanddewi Brefi and Strata Florida Abbey.

Day Out. Trip 2022 - Llanddewi Brefi and Strata Florida.
Members of the Eglwyswrw Heritage Society and friends had a wonderful day on Saturday May 7th. We visited the picturesque and well-known church of St Davids, Llanddewi Brefi. The Church with its many legends has been site of worship at Llanddewi Brefi since the 7th century. Church warden Llinos was there to show us around and point out points of interest. One interesting grave that caught everyone’s eye was that of Ajax Ajax, the script on the stone was in Welsh, so maybe he was Welsh speaking. After a lunch break at Tregaron we travelled to Strata Florida to meet our guide for the afternoon Charles Arch, who was born in Mynachlog Fawr which is situated next to the Abbey. The tour started at newly opened museum which holds exhibits that tells the story of the daily lives of the Arch family who lived on the farm from 1860’s to the 1990’s. From there we moved to the Abbey going past the school building that Charles attended. After a guided tour of the Abbey, and then we were shown around the Church. Equal to the facts about these ancient buildings and ruins were the stories describing the hardships suffered by people of the locality over the years. The employment of people in the lead mines are their poor living conditions, great many died young, He spoke about the snow and frost of 1947 which wiped out sheep farming of those that grazed the surrounding mountains. The snow was as high as the farmhouse, which is a substantial building, it paralyzed the locality for 12 weeks, by the time the thaw came there were ten coffins in the church awaiting burial, the ground being too hard for the grave diggers. On our way home we enjoyed a lovely a meal at Glanyrafon Arms, Talgarreg.
We are grateful to our Treasurer, Brenda James for organizing everything and to everyone in the group for a pleasant and interesting day.
Business meeting on Monday May 9th. There were only nine members present. After words of condolences to Enid on the loss of her brother Howard, the meeting began.
Among items on the agenda that discussed was a possible programme for next year.
Though early in the year members were invited to put forward ideas.

June 13th, 2022 Meeting.
Our speaker for our June meeting was Dyfrig Harries who described his and his son Ieuan’s travels in Africa. The adventure lasted from March to September and came about by a combination of facts. Ieuan worked in Africa as a ‘Bush Pilot’ and was coming to the end of his contract there. Dyfrig decided to visit his son so they could travel home together, but not by the conventional mode of travel, they decided to travel on motor bikes, Dyfrig already owned a powerful Yamaha motorbike which he shipped out to Cape Town, Ieuan used a motor bike to travel to and from work, but the bike was not suitable for the long journey planned. So, he bought an identical bike to his father’s which he had been keenly watching its price being reduced in a showroom as there wasn’t much demand for big bikes in that area. Dyfrig described events leading up to the to the start of their journey home.
Linking up with his son and touring Namibia and Botswana before traveling south again to Cape Town and preparing for the long journey home, their route took them north on the eastern side of Africa, he described the tortuous road leading to the Losothe border, and other parts of the journey where the tarmac surface would end abruptly. He talked of their activities along the route such as abseiling and visiting such places as the memorials to those who died at Rorke’ Drift and Isandlwana and the memorial for the Zulu warriors. When they arrived at Kenya’s northern border, they found that to enter Ethiopia they would have to pay a form of import tax which amounted to a considerable sum, that could be reclaimed on leaving the country but only at the place of entry. They decided to dissemble the motorbikes and palletise them for airfreight to Istanbul. From there they toured a little before heading across Europe and home to Cardigan. Their adventure raised a substantial amount of money for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity.

July 11th 2022 Meeting.
It was pleasing to be at a well-attended meeting on Monday evening of July 11th
Attendance is slowly building up since the covid restrictions were lifted.
Our guest speaker was Rev Roger Antell from Dinas and the title of his presentation was
‘Early Postal Services in Pembrokeshire’
The presentation covered the development of postal services in Pembrokeshire from its beginning in 1600, to 1921.
The first mail service was formed in early 1600’s and its main purpose was to communicate with Southern Ireland, messages were being sent from London on horseback to Dale and then the by boat to Ireland. At that time the mail service was for Government use only.
Later in the 17th century the postal service expanded to carry letters for private individuals though the cost meant it was only affordable to the rich. All letters were sent to London where they were stamped, and then sent on to their destination where the recipient would pay the cost.
In his presentation, Roger showed a sample of how some letters were addressed which were descriptive rather than a definite address. He also had a display of information cards showing some rare exhibits in the form of stamped letters etc.
As the postal service became more organized, letters were left at ‘receiving houses’ often pubs or cafes and from there they were sent to Post Offices that were situated in large towns.
Mail carriages were introduced in the late 18th century which carried passengers as well as mail. As well as the coach driver there was also a guard.
In the 1840’s the postal service was further improved by the introduction of the ‘Penny Post’. Letters could be sent anywhere in the country for the cost of a penny stamp. Cardigan Penny Post had sub post offices in the surrounding area, and they would stamp the letters before sending them on to Cardigan. Eglwyswrw post office being the nearest of many post offices would stamp the letters with (No1).
Roger also had information on local people that were involved with the postal service.

The presentation was well received, and the members had the opportunity to ask Roger questions before spending some time socializing with a cup of tea and study the exhibits.

September 12, 2022 Meeting.
Our September Heritage Society meeting was held on Monday 12th. Firstly, we stood in silence for two minutes in memory of Queen Elizabeth II, then our Chairman Enid Cole welcomed our guest speaker Peter Claughton. Title of his presentation was ‘Lead and Slate Resources in North Pembrokeshire’.
With the help of projected pictures and maps, Peter described the mines and quarries of our locality and the way they were worked.
He outlined the geology of Pembrokeshire as a whole, from coal in the south to the lead and slate in the north. He described the lead mines in Llanfyrnach, situated near the Taf river, which were at the peak of production in the 70’s and 80’s of the 19th century. The mine finally ceased production in 1890 when that lode was again lost, due to faulting and they were unable to continue, but interest in the mine continued for many years after.
Also described were the slate quarry in Rosebush; Glogue; Cilgerran and other smaller mines and quarries. Peter described the working conditions and method of extracting materials from the mines and quarries. His talk was well received by members present who felt they had learned a great deal about the mining and quarry industry which employed hundreds of people in their day, though these places were known to most, it was very interesting to hear more about what went on in these important workplaces of long ago. After, we enjoyed a time to socialize with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

October 10,2022. Meeting.
The Heritage Society’s October business meeting was held on Monday 10th. As our Chairman Enid Cole could not be with us, the meeting was chaired by Vice Chairman Diana Vaughan Thomas.
Diana greeted members and asked all to stand for a minute’s silence in memory of a faithful member – Mrs Audrey Jones who died on September 27th.
We had a full agenda to attend to and there was much correspondence and announcements,
It was announced that Glynwen and Mike Bishop manned a second-hand book table on behalf of the Society at the annual CADAMM Show which was held at Carnhuan in the summer and raised £50. The money was donated to ‘Cardigan Food Bank’
We discussed our programme for next year, we will have five speakers during the year, on alternate months for the first part of the year, with the AGM in November and Christmas Celebration in December. And for added attraction our business meetings from January 2023 will start by showing a short film of historical interest or some other feature that will be decided month by month.
The Village Remembrance Day Service will be held in St Cristiolus Church, Eglwyswrw on Sunday, 13th November, Glynwen was chosen to lay a wreath on behalf of the Society.
Members were reminded that we have unsold books, which are now being sold at a reduced price.
Our Facebook page has 310 members and is well received, we have showed many photos from our collection on this page throughout the year. Scans of the Crosswell W.I. scrapbook is drawing much attention. Glynwen had found that it was the work Mrs Frances Margaretta Morris, Bannondale, probably with some help from other members of the Crosswell W.I. It was produced sometime in the 1950’s.
With other matters decided we then enjoyed our customary cup of tea and a chat.

November 14,2022. Meeting.
Our 2022 AGM was held at Yr Hen Ysgol on Monday, November 14th.
After welcoming members, Enid asked all to stand for a minute’s silence to remember Graham and Audrey, members who have died recently, and as a mark of respect to our friends who have lost family members since our last AGM.
During the meeting Enid talked of our activities over the year, of guest speakers that came to us and of our annual day out in May, a guided tour of Llanddewi Brefi Church and Strata Florida Abbey the Church and Museum.
Members were invited to propose new officers, Enid wished to step down from being Chairman, a position she has held for several years. Glynwen Bishop was voted to be Chairman for the coming year. Other officers were individually asked to continue in their post, and they agreed to do so. Officers for 2023 as follows. Chair – Glynwen Bishop. Vice-chair - Diana Vaughan Thomas. Secretary - Will Thomas. Treasurer - Brenda James. Auditor - Adrian Charlton.
Every year we receive several enquiries from people that have come across our website and Facebook page.
If research is needed, Glynwen will continue to attend to these enquiries as she has done in the past.
All agreed that the annual membership fee to remain at £10 for the coming year and there will be no change in the charge of £3 for non-members who come to listen to guest speakers.
A business meeting followed the AGM, it was reported that book sales are picking up with Christmas approaching.
It was reported that a well-attended service was held at St Cristiolus Church on Remembrance Sunday. 18 organizations or individuals laid wreaths or crosses. Glynwen laid a wreath on behalf of the Society.
It was decided to hold an event at Yr Hen Ysgol on December 12, (7.30pm) to celebrate Christmas. Members, and their guests to bring food to share and if desired, their own drinks. Coffee and tea will be provided. There will be carol singing with Brenda at the keyboard.

December 2022.
Due to weather conditions, our planned event to celebrate Christmas at Yr Hen Ysgol for Monday, December 12, was cancelled. We hope to organize a similar event early in the new year, where members, and guests are invited to bring food and drinks to share.

Officers for 2023 as follows - Chair – Glynwen Bishop; Vice-chair - Diana Vaughan -Thomas;
Secretary - Will Thomas; Treasurer - Brenda James; Auditor - Adrian Charlton.

We thank members for their loyalty and look forward to work and socialize together again.

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