The End of an Era?

As Chairman, Stuart Wilson has been the figurehead of the Pencader & District Regeneration Group since its inception in 2002 but he has now decided it is time to step down and let someone younger take on this position.

Stuart has overseen the many changes that the Group has brought about in the community, most notably the publication of Clecs Bro Cader but also:

  • Noticeboards in Pencader, New Inn, Alltwalis & Llanfihangel ar Arth;
  • Getting flower tubs in the villages;
  • Planting of bulbs in the community;
  • Campaigning about the Council Local Development Plan;
  • Trying to get public footpaths opened up;
  • Instigated the History Panel and landscaped area below Pavilion;
  • Undertaken traffic speed monitoring;
  • Ballroom dance classes;
  • Organising bi-annual Clean Ups in Pencader;
  • Annual Garden & Craft Show;
  • Greetings Cards of local views;
  • Photography & Art exhibitions;
  • Arranging WDA Employment Survey;
  • Survey with Help Us Trade Ltd which resulted in the Parish Directory being published;
  • Garden & Chairman’s Bloomer competitions;
  • Christmas lights competitions;
  • Instigated Facebook Community Site;
  • Website for the village www.pencader.org.

Without Stuart the group would not have been able to do half of these things, his determination and dry wit helped get things done. He loved the annual Garden and Craft show and seeing the amazing produce the community had grown and the vivid imagination of the children with their art works.

When his friends organised a coffee morning for his 80th birthday in 2014, over £2500 was raised for the Velindre Hospital Aphrodite Appeal, which shows how highly regarded he is in the community.

So it is time he put his feet up, with a cat on his knee and looking out of one window at his garden and out of the other to see his horses.

Stuart – ENJOY IT – you have more than earned it.

 

First World War Treasure

A familiar face in Pencader earned herself a national audience recently when she appeared on prime-time television. Ruth Lewis, of Castle Green, is often seen around the village with her German shepherd, Vincent, but in May she appeared on the BBC’s Antique Roadshow with a unique item from her family’s history.

Ruth attended the Roadshow team’s visit to the National Botanic Garden last summer, taking with her a small, engraved silver cup which has been in the family for more than a century. The cup immediately caught the eye of silver expert Duncan Campbell, but it was the story behind the cup that ensured it would feature on the broadcast, which was watched by around eight million viewers.

Ruth described how the cup – which actually belongs to her mum, Mary Thomason of Bryndelyn – had been found by her great-grandfather, Henry Morris, in the trenches at Ypres during the First World War. “He found it in the trench, in the mud, so it was all black and horrible,” Ruth told the astounded expert. “He used it while he was in the war as a shaving mug.”

Ruth went on to describe how the cup had come home with her great-grandfather after the war, but almost ended up in the bin. “When he came home, my grandmother was cleaning out his bag and she found the cup and said: ‘What’s this?’ and he said ‘Oh I don’t know, you can throw it away, I’ve been using it as a shaving mug.’”

However, Henry’s wife Mary was not so sure, as Ruth explained. “She said: ‘I think it is silver,’ so she cleaned it up and then when my mother was born in 1942, it was given to her as a christening present. “My mother still has it in her china cabinet at home.”

Duncan was clearly delighted by the cup’s journey. “A little beaker like that can only have been made in France,” he explained. “So, your great-grandfather dug it out of the mud in Ypres? Presumably, it belonged to a Frenchman. In a French trench was it?”

Ruth told him how the family had presumed the beaker was a stirrup cup, but Duncan explained how cups of this kind were often given as a christening gift in France. “On the front, it’s engraved with the chap’s name, which may well have been the soldier of the Great War who lost it,” he told Ruth. “So, it’s been recycled, used as a shaving mug and then recycled again. “It’s been used as a christening mug, back to what it originally was!” Despite the incredible story behind the beaker, there will be no need to get it insured, unfortunately. “I’ll tell you the truth,” Duncan said, “it’s not a valuable thing. It’s not actually silver. In fact, it’s electroplated – it’s silver plate.”

However, he stressed that there were many ways to value an object. “This is a fantastic example of an antique, or an old object that doesn’t have to be worth much to be enormously valuable,” he said. “It’s the best history of an object I’ve heard in a long time, it’s really quite moving.”

Delighted Ruth told him: “My mother will be really chuffed.”


 

Help! Coronavirus Covid-19

Pencader Community School

For the first time ever I have no news of any successes or a record of activities to note. Since March, the school doors have closed, the noise of children has gone quiet, however the noise does continue but behind their own doors at home.

The highlight of our week as staff is to receive pictures, videos and work completed by the children – keep them coming – they bring a smile to our faces,

Keeping in contact is very important to us in Cae’r Felin. Over Easter the staff created a video for the children as a message to all the children and of course to wish them a Happy Easter. Our aim is to support the parents as much as possible by sharing useful ideas, websites and links. Through phone calls we hope we can resolve any concerns or problems.

The staff are by no means redundant – far from it. They are planning and preparing appropriate tasks that can be completed at home and then put on the electronic platform so that the teachers can mark and support further. They also have been phoning to catch up with parents and pupils and of course they are also working in the hubs supporting the vulnerable and key workers children – some in Carreg Hirfaen and the others in Y Ddwylan.

We wait weekly for the updates from the Assembly with regards to our schools, but no school will re-open until we can ensure it is safe and purposeful during this strange time. We look forward to see the school full of chat again and the yard full of laughter and play. Once again the sun sets on the hill and I look forward to reporting again.

Thank you to all the staff and parents for all their support and patience.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe that six months have passed since we received the order to stay home and the lockdown began. So much has changed during this time, and although restrictions have begun to loosen and many of us have celebrated being able to see some of our friends and family again, this virus is still around us and our journey is not yet over.

The last six months have meant changes for us all, and for most of us that means working from home. I had to move my office from County Hall to the landing at the top of the stairs, and that’s where I am for County Council meetings and all other meetings – everyone seeing each other on the computer screen and seeing a bit more than we should from time to time in the background! This is where I’ll probably be if you contact me. For months now I have not been able to hold my monthly surgeries like I used to do, but I’m still here for you, you’re welcome at the door of my home any time, by phone or email.

Many of you have contacted me about broadband provision in your homes, and I have personal experience of having to move around the house to find the best signal many times! The County Council is keen to improve the situation and you will see an advertisement from the County Council in this edition of Clecs urging you to register an interest in being part of the Government’s plan to improve supply in our rural areas. The scheme is aimed at residents and businesses. Take the opportunity to read the ad and go on the web to register an interest – the more that register, the more likely we are to receive an additional supply. If you want to register to declare an interest – you must do so before the end of this month. If you would like further details, please do not hesitate to contact me or the County Council.

Continuing to use local services is important in sustaining our community. It is pleasing to see that the bus service is steadily improving in terms of timetable -and please – don’t forget to wear that mask wherever you are!

I’m still confident after the lockdown that the sense of togetherness will continue; I think it’s taught us all the true meaning of community.

Remember I’m here and I’ll do my best to help you.

You can contact me on – 07792 199161 or LDaviesEvans@carmarthenshire.gov.uk.

Stay safe!

Kindest regards,

Linda Evans (County Councillor)

Next Event Local History Club

In March, before the lockdown, Mary Thomason told the Llanfihangel-ar-arth and Parish Local History Club about her remarkable great uncle, John Pryce Jones. He was an illegitimate child who was born in 1894. He was brought up by his aunts in Bryn Hafod, Pencader. He went to the village school and then Llandysul Grammar School. He studied in Aberystwyth University and received a degree in physical chemistry.

After serving in the Navy in World War One he went to work for the Reckitts company in Hull where he did a lot of research on pigments and became famous for his work. He also had an interest in bees and studied the properties of honey.

He was honoured with FRIC and FLS. He married in 1921 but sadly his son died by falling through ice when he was 19. After retiring John Pryce Jones moved to Boncath and died in 1956. There are more details about him on the website www.pencader.org.uk.

Because of the virus we had to cancel the rest of our programme as well as our annual historical trip. Hopefully we can restart sometime in the autumn and reschedule the three talks that were postponed. More details will be available in the newsletter and the website above once they are available.

Family Centre news

As with all of us at this time, the Family Centre is coping with the virus as well as we can. The centre has been closed since late March, and up to this moment (6th July) no directives/guidelines have been given by the Government regarding the reopening of Family Centres, so we have to be patient.

It has been a frustrating time, and we have tried our best to keep in touch via phone, through a dedicated Facebook page, messenger and email service – which is pencaderfamilycentre@btinternet.com. Families are invited to let us know if we can assist them and if we can help we will.

We have been able to visit some families at a distance whilst supplying craft kits (through a grant from Community Foundation Wales) and families should be receiving two new books in July generously donated by Book Trust Wales. Some supplies have also been delivered by Netty and we thank her for that.

We have been given lots of useful educational and health links which have been posted on our Facebook page and it is worthwhile having a look at them if you need ideas about what to do at home with the children.

So, wishing all of you well. It seems that Pencader hasn’t been seriously affected by the virus and let’s hope it stays like that.

Trevor

 

Merched y Wawr Pencader a’r Cylch

February 2020

Members attended our annual St David’s Day celebration at a lunch at Gwarcefel Arms, Prengwyn on the 25th February, 2020. All were warmly welcomed by the president, Mrs Fioled Jones. In particular, she welcomed two brave husbands, Tom Lewis and Dafydd Jones and our guest speaker, Mrs Anne Thorne, Llanllwni.

After the meal, Mrs Jones officially welcomed the speaker and made particular reference to her past participation in Merched Y Wawr national competitions. Mrs Thorne is originally from the Neath Valley but she and her husband, David, have made their home in the area and raised their children here. They have both worked very hard to promote and further Welsh language, history and culture.

We had such an interesting afternoon, learning about the history of one of the prominent women of the Neath Valley namely Winifred Coombe Tennant. The reference for some of the information was a book by Peter Lord entitled Between Two Worlds. Winifred was born in 1895 and received a good education which included schools in Italy and France. She married young to an older man who was very wealthy and led a privileged life. However, she worked very hard in her community and had a great interest in many things including the Eisteddfod and the world of Art, being a patron of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. She also worked in the field of Women’s Suffrage.

The above only gives a flavour of our afternoon’s talk by Mrs Thorne. If you have a chance, do go and listen to this story or find the book for yourself; it really is fascinating.

Mrs Fioled Jones thanked Mrs Thorne for the interesting story heard during the afternoon.

Our next meeting will be at Capel Nonni, Llanllwni on 30th March at 7 o’clock when Non Elias from Melysion Mam will be joining us.

Please contact: Fioled Jones – 01559 3846177

                        Gwyneth Alban – 01559 384344

                        Ann Phillips – 01559 384558

 

 

Movin Monkeez

P.I.D.A. Easter Competition

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