Eglwyswrw and District Heritage Society

Cymdeithas Treftadaeth Eglwyswrw a'r Fro

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Meetings and Activities 2019

Notes from our Minutes.

January 2019.
Our meeting on Monday, January 11th was very well attended by members and guests, even though many faithful members were unable to attend for various reasons.
Our speaker was Heather Tomos and the title of her talk was ‘Evacuees’. She first described the background to the idea of evacuation of children that started long before the Second World War. Heather then went on to describe the evacuation from Kent and the Home Counties to West Wales and the long journey by train that the children endured. She read many statements from some of the then children that she managed to track down during her research, each with their unique story to tell. Her ‘Talk’ was very well received by those present.
After the usual socialising over a cup of tea a business meeting was held chaired by Enid Cole who firstly offered condolences and sympathy to John Evans and family on the passing of Steffan. She congratulated Beatrice who celebrated a special birthday recently, and Rhian and Michael Selby who recently celebrated their Ruby wedding anniversary.
There were much to discuss - Our book ‘O Grib y Garn I Frig y Don’ ‘From the Crag of the Cairn to the Crest of the Wave’ which is selling well from many stores and outlets.
We are very grateful to those shops that sell our book and do so without commission.
The Remembrance Seat project fund was reported on and it has well surpassed the cost of the Seat. It is hoped the surplus funds will go towards extending the War Memorial to accommodate the names of three or possibly four WW1 casualties that should be remembered there.
Rearranged date for our dinner at Llwyngwair Manor is February 1st. and we will welcome Alwen and Graham Hughes to entertain us.
Members were asked to think of ideas for this year’s Trip to be discussed at next month’s meeting which is on February 11th, Speaker will be Glen Johnson who will talk about the Churches of the Lower Teifi Valley.

February 2019.
Meeting was well attended, and our guest speaker was Glen Johnson. The title of his presentation was ‘Churches of the Lower Teifi Valley’. Glen didn’t cover all the churches as suggested in the title, it would take a very long time to convey to his audience all his knowledge on the history of those churches. He covered a lot in the 1½hour long prestation with St Mary’s Cardigan featuring strongly. He will undoubtedly be invited as a speaker again in the future.
A business meeting followed chaired by Enid, though well attended there were many apologies from those who for various reasons could not be with us.
Brenda reported on the book Sales. It was decided to hold an event to further promote book sales. Saturday, April 13th is the chosen date, and Yr Hen Ysgol will be the venue, Arrangements to be discussed further at our March meeting.
The design to extend the Eglwyswrw War Memorial has been agreed on and approved by Mr Malcolm Gray who created the Memorial in 2014. Four more names need to be added, and efforts will be made to find if there are others who have not come to our attention.
Re arranged date for our dinner at Llwyngwair Manor is April 5th. - 7 for 7.30 pm. Brenda for the third time will make the necessary arrangements, the February 1st date was cancelled as snow was forecasted. Any non-member who wishes to join us are asked to get in touch with our treasurer Mrs Brenda James. The evening’s entertainment will be provided by Alwen and Graham Hughes.
St Davids Cathedral was suggested for our annual day out this year, it was agreed that we should make inquires for a guided tour. Brenda and Will are to look at arranging a programme for the day. This to be discussed further at our March meeting.
There is a system in place where organizations that use the ‘Yr Hen Ysgol’ will provide volunteers for a cleaning rota, Eileen Thomas will do the cleaning for the Heritage Society for weekend of March 9th.

Our next meeting is on March 11th.

March 2019.
The Society held a very well attended business meeting on March 11th with Enid in the Chair.
There were plenty of topics to discuss, we decided to hold a mini exhibition at Yr Hen Ysgol on April 13th to promote our latest book. ‘From the Crag of the Cairn to the Crest of the Wave’. A bilingual book.
Featuring the following localities – Eglwyswrw, Whitechurch, Meline, Nevern, Llantood, Moylgrove, Bayvil and St Dogmaels Rural.
The exhibition of our archives will be from 11am to 5pm, with free admission and refreshments. Invited speakers at 2pm.
Remembrance Seat project - Eglwyswrw War Memorial will be extended during the summer months, the extension has been approved by all concerned. There are four names to be added, and if anyone has information on war casualties linked to our community please come and talk to us. Another research project has been started by one of our members
Extracts from the Eglwyswrw School log books, (from 1876) and Extracts from old Welsh Newspapers. (Local news of bygone years). There was much interest in this project by members.
Members were looking forward to our annual dinner at Llwyngwair Manor on April 5th.
Alwen and Graham Hughes will entertain us afterwards.
Gaynor Jenkins is organizing a five-day visit to the War Graves of France and Belgium in June. This trip is ‘tailor made’ so we can pay our respects to those from our area that fell in World War One. And again, we welcome non-members who are interested. Please get in touch with Gaynor for more information.
It was unanimously decided that we would visit Elan Valley on our annual day out. On May 18th a Midway coach will leave Eglwyswrw at 9.30am, to arrive at the Elan Valley Visitors Centre in good time for a guided coach tour of the many reservoirs at 1pm. We will stop for our evening meal at Llety’r Parc, (Park Lodge Hotel) Aberystwyth on our return journey.
Rhian Selby and Eileen Thomas volunteered for Yr Hen Ysgol cleaning rota for weekend April 27th.
We recorded our gratitude to Gaynor Jenkins for facing the camera for ‘Heno’ on S4C. The television crew came to Eglwyswrw to hear about the Community project to have a Remembrance Seat installed near the War Memorial to mark the centenary of the end of WW1.

Next meeting at Yr Hen Ysgol is on April 8th - Speaker – Rae Morgan. Titled “The Corona Man”.

April 2019.
Our annual dinner at Llwyngwair Manor on April 5th was a success, members and their guests enjoyed a lovely meal, a big thank you to Marelene and the staff. Alwen (Maesybeddau) and her husband Graham Hughes and Dennis Read entertained us afterwards.
A meeting was held on 8th April, our guest speaker was Rae Morgan. The title of her talk was “The Corona Man”. The story of William Evans, who was born in Cwm Gwaun / Gwaun valley and received his early education at the vestry of Jabes Baptist Chapel, after his apprenticeship as a shopkeeper he went to work in the valleys, he became a shop manager. Before long he had a shop of own and then more shops.
In time he started producing a drink called “Welsh Hills Mineral Water”. This was very acceptable to the Rhondda families, as it was a non-alcoholic thirst-quenching drink. The name was changed to CORONA, a name that became world famous with factories in England and Wales. William Evans was very supportive of schools and chapels with many benefiting from his generosity.
After listening to the story of William Evans and some socializing with a cup of tea, a business meeting was held with Enid in the chair.
The most important topics were the exhibition, and our annual Trip.
We will be visiting the Elan Valley on May 18th, a Midway bus will leave Eglwyswrw at 9.30am, to arrive at the Elan Valley Visitor Center in time for a guided tour of the reservoirs at 1.00pm. We will be stopping for a meal at Llety’r Parc, (Park Lodge Hotel) Aberystwyth on the way home, our Treasurer Brenda James is the organizer of the trip.
To promote our latest bilingual book ‘From the Crag of the Cairn to the Crest of the Wave’, an exhibition was held at the Yr Hen Ysgol, Eglwyswrw, on Saturday 13th April. There was a wide selection of the Society's archive to see. It was a pleasure to listen to the speakers in the afternoon namely Morys Rhys; Geraint Jones; Beatrice Davies; and Mark Cole. Our thanks to them for their excellent work, thanks also to the volunteer members who helped in many ways.
Our next meeting will be on 13th May. The speaker will be Eirlys Thomas. The title “Silk Road” - China to Georgia.
First World War Graves Tour.
The tour will take place on June 9th – 13th, 2019. The intention is to visit several French and Belgian CWGC cemeteries and monuments associated with the names on the memorial at Eglwyswrw, as well as the Mametz Wood memorial, the Welsh Memorial at Langemark and the grave of Hedd Wyn.

May 2019.
Our meeting was held on 13th of May at Yr Hen Ysgol. Eirlys Thomas was our guest speaker. Title of her presentation was - “Silk Road” China to Georgia. A good number of members and guests had come to listen to Eirlys talk about the challenge of traveling on Silk Road - a trip from China to Turkey, over 5,500 miles along an ancient commercial and turbulent route dating from a time before Christ. The tour began in China and then continued through the following countries Kyrgyzstan; Uzbekistan; Turkmenistan; Iran; Armenia; Georgia and Turkey. She spoke about the people and their way of life, history, and culture, politics and religion. Eight countries and eight epic journeys on a train over six weeks.
After the usual socialising over a cup of tea, a business meeting was held, with Enid in the chair.
Here are some of the topics on the agenda. Exhibition review and book sales; Extension of War Memorial, Correspondence and announcements; Our visit to the Elan Valley; Our visit to the War Graves in France and Belgium.
Our next meeting will be on the third Monday of the month, June 17th as many members will be in France on the usual date.

June 2019.
Early in June members of Eglwyswrw Heritage Society and friends, went on a memorable journey, to visit the graves and memorials of those named on the Eglwyswrw Village Memorial.
We stayed in Arras, France for two nights and two nights at Yprès in Belgium. A large wreath was placed on each grave and a small wreath on each memorial, the wreaths were made by members of Knit and Natter Club, Eglwyswrw. On the first day, as well as cemeteries and memorials to those named on the Eglwyswrw Village Memorial, our group also went to Mametz Wood. Here, over 4,000 Welshmen were killed or injured in early July 1916. The memorial, which is strikingly impressive, was designed by Dave Petersen of St Clears.
On Tuesday, after visiting Arras Memorial, we travelled on to Belgium, again stopping at cemeteries and memorials relating to our village or to fellow travellers. Everyone attended the Menin Gate service that evening.
On Wednesday, there was an opportunity to go to the grave of Hedd Wyn, where a poem was read by Bronwen Davies - a tribute to Hedd Wyn by R. Williams-Parry and Hedd Wyn's poem, ‘Rhyfel’ was read by Meilyr Tomos. We also stayed for some time at the Welsh Memorial Park, near Pilkem and Langemark. The Memorial takes the form of a Cromlech, the stones having been transported from a quarry near Pontypridd are topped by a red dragon created by Lee Odishow. The slate in front inscribed in Welsh, English and Flemish is the work of Malcolm Gray of St Davids as is the regimental emblems on the standing stones at the rear of the Memorial.
Then on to Langemark German cemetery, where 44,000 German soldiers are buried. The statue of the Mourning Soldiers having been moved to a new location at the huge cemetery which does give visitors a mournful feeling.
It was a big moment for Dave Mathias and his wife Jan, accompanied by two members of the Heritage Society, as they had the honour of taking part in the official service at the Menin Gate. Dave placed a wreath to remember his grandfather, Idris Mathias who was born in Eglwyswrw. A service takes place at Menin Gate at 8 o'clock every night of the year with the 'Last Post' being sounded by members of the Fire Service.
Despite seeing thousands of war graves, it was strange to hear that local people still find remains of soldiers in different places, and this over a hundred years on. Military funerals were held for three soldiers in the days we were in the area, two from Britain and one from Canada. It is comforting for their families that, at last, they have received respect and a respectful funeral.
Thanks to Gaynor Jenkins and Will Thomas for organizing the trip, and to Shon (Midway) for taking us along some very narrow and difficult roads from one cemetery to the other comfortably and without fuss. Everyone had a very rewarding time.
We will remember them.
The Society's business meeting was held on June 17th, with Enid and Diana sharing the duties of the chair. There was much discussion, the main topic being the extension to the Memorial.
Our next meeting will be on 8th July, where Delun Gibby will talk about Nevern Castle.

July 2019.
At our July meeting we had the pleasure of listening to archaeologist Delun Gibby talk about Nevern Castle. Norman lord Robert FitzMartin and later his son William FitzMartin ruled the barony of Cemais from this castle.
During her presentation Delun described the work carried out by a team of archaeologist over many years led by Dr Chris Caple of Durham University with support from Nevern Community Council, Cadw and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. Delun described how recent discoveries had given them a more detailed view of where the entrance or entrances to the castle were situated, this gave a completely different aspect on the design of Castle in the 12th century.
Delun gave an account of the castle’s history, How the Norman invaders had taken advantage of an ancient Welsh stronghold, then adding a wooden structure to accommodate their soldiers. There is evidence that Nevern Castle could be the first in Wales to be built in stone.
During these turbulent years Lord Rhys ousted his son in law from Nevern Castle who then built another in Newport. Later Lord Rhys himself was held captive at Nevern Castle by his sons during a family feud. It is believed that the Castle was burnt and destroyed during the latter years of the 12th century this making it easier for archaeologist to date what came before that period and what came after.
Among the items found during the excavations were ‘Nine Men's Morris’ a slate board game and a 12th century shoe.
After the usual cup of tea and a chat a business meeting was held chaired by Diana Vaughan Thomas. Our next meeting will be on September 9th, speaker - John Evans, author of many books on aviation will describe aircraft crashes on the Preseli hills during World War Two.

September 2019.
On Monday evening, September 9th we had a meeting at Yr Hen Ysgol.
Guest speaker was John Evans. A journalist by profession.
John has always had a keen interest in aviation and is acknowledged as a leading authority on maritime aviation.
John has been involved in heritage initiatives in Pembroke Dock for many years and very much involved with the development of the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre. In 2014 he was awarded the British Empire Medal.
Subject of his presentation was mainly to describe the war time crashes in Pembrokeshire and the Preseli area and the resulting loss of life. John was accompanied by Malcolm Cullen another volunteer heavily involved in the history of aviation in war time Pembrokeshire. One incident the Pembrokeshire Aviation Group will be Commemorating on September 19th is the crash of Liberator EV881 near Carn Sian 75years ago with the loss of six lives.
The obvious interest of members kept John and Malcolm busy during the tea break. A short business meeting followed chaired by Enid Cole.
Our next meeting will be at Yr Hen Ysgol on October 14th. We will be planning our Christmas celebration, we welcome non-members to join us, if interested please get in touch.

October 2019.
We held a business meeting on October 14th with Enid Cole in the chair. The meeting was well attended even though many regular members were unable to attend due to various reasons. It was decided that to celebrate Christmas this year, an event will be held at Yr Hen Ysgol on December 9th with each member bringing food and drink of their choice to share.
After completing the agenda there was time to socialize over a cup of tea and for members to browse our archive table, members are invited to take items home to read at leisure. Also, there were as always, a variety of books on offer from the library that Glynwen and Mike organize for every meeting, we thank them for their effort, this has raised a considerable sum of money for the Society as well as providing a service for members.
Our next meeting is the AGM on November 11th.

November 2019.
Our AGM was held in Yr Hen Ysgol on November 11th 2019.
There were 21 members present and the Chairman was Enid Cole.
Enid reported on the year's activities, thanking those who had organized the various events. Brenda for arranging a trip to the Elan Valley and Gaynor for arranging the five-day visit to the Somme and Flanders War Graves. She also thanked everyone who contributed to another successful year.
After the Treasurer's report the next agenda item was the appointment of Officers for 2020.
Members were invited to propose a new Chair and Secretary.
The result was much the same as last year.
Chair - Enid Cole. Vice Chair - Diana Vaughan -Thomas.
Joint Secretaries - Will Thomas and Glynwen Bishop.
Treasurer - Brenda James. Auditor - Adrian Charlton.
The annual membership fee is to remain at £10 and visitor fee will remain at £3.
Beatrice thanked members for their support during the year and Diana thanked Enid for her work over the years and this was applauded by members. A Business meeting followed. Our next meeting will be on Monday, December the 9th when we will be Celebrating the Christmas Season at Yr Hen Ysgol, a Buffet. Members to bring sweet and savoury food to share, if desired, members can bring drinks as they wish, tea or coffee will be provided. Entertainment by Eglwyswrw YFC members, all are welcomed to join us in the style mentioned above.


December 2019.
On Monday, December the 9th, we celebrated another successful year by hosting a Christmas party at Yr Hen Ysgol, (Buffet), members brought sweet and savoury food to share. It was an enjoyable social event with the festive atmosphere evident, Entertainment was by Eglwyswrw YFC members, and it was a pleasure to listen to the excellent local talent that was much appreciated by all.

 

We would like thank everyone who have helped us throughout the year, we extend our thanks to all our guest speakers who came to educate and entertain us, and our officials for their work, and to all that have contributed to the Society’s success.

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