Eliza, Julia and Henry-a Victorian Triangle Val Church
“The One I Don’t Go To” Lawrence Johnson
The Trouble with History Diana Ashworth
My Roots Part 5: Salmon Poaching Richard Meredith
Torri Mawn: Peat Cutting in the Uplands of Mid Wales Brian Poole
Farming Between the Wars 1920-40, Part 2: Men’s Work R.M. Williams
1st World War Centenary Commemoration Gay Roberts
Put Out To Grass: Part 12 Left-Handed Challenge Diana Ashworth
How Not To Kill Yourself in Borth: a meditation on the Welsh hills by a flatlander Veronica Popp
Monastic Wales Diana Brown
Jottings of a Mid Wales Tourist Peter Watson
The Dragon’s Crypt:
Three Ladies Bruce Mawdsley
Back to the Smoke Gaynor Jones
In Time of War: A Trilogy Part 1: Selina’s Birthday Norma Allen
Editorial PenCambria Issue 25 by Gay Roberts
Well, after such a soggy winter, what a lovely spring we are having at the time of writing. We all love a good scandal and we start this issue with a splendid example of a Victorian marital disharmony and a wet lettuce – just read it and find out. Val Church tells us the extraordinary history of Eliza Williams of Dolanog, her friend, Julia Davenport and Julia’s husband Henry Crookenden.
Lawrence Johnson has been looking into the culture of the Chapel in mid Wales. Once Non-Conformity became legal and the Bible was printed in Welsh and English, people could interpret it and preach more or less what they liked. In Wales, which has always been a very religious and thoughtful country, a whole variety sects with their attendant chapels mushroomed and one could choose which group to attend, which group to avoid and to chop and change as the fancy took.
Prior to this, the invasion of the Normans in 1066 was followed in the 1130s by colonisation of the country by the monastic movement, which, in Wales, was overwhelmingly Cistercian. Professor Janet Burton of the University of Wales Trinity St David’s has created a database and website which will eventually provide a fully comprehensive archive of all material including a bibliography of primary and secondary sources relating to this phenomenon – a must for anyone research this fascinating topic. Diana Brown has been studying it and gives us a most interesting account of what she has learned.
It is thanks to the Chartists that we have the parliamentary democracy we enjoy today. Llanidloes played a small but notable part in this campaign and, taking the two main historical sources, Diana Ashworth manages to present an account that does justice to both sides.
Tracing his roots once again, Richard Meredith regales us with his youthful salmon poaching adventures on the river Severn.
Peat cutting is one of the great unsung crafts of the uplands of mid Wales. Brian Poole touched on it in his article on Capel Gerisim in the last edition of PenCambria. This time he does full justice to it through the oral history of the area and his own interest in and understanding of the technical side of these activities.
Meanwhile on the lower slopes and pastures R.H. Williams describes men’s work on the farm between the two world wars.
It is lambing time in Llawryglyn and our retired lady grasps the mettle, or rather the back legs of her sheep by the hand and attempts to administer all kinds of pills and potions to keep her flock in tiptop condition.
The last episode of recent television programme thriller “Hinterland” set in Aberystwyth included a murder in Borth. A few days later Veronica Popp sent me this delightful piece about one of her experiences as a student at the University in Aberystwyth entitled “How Not to Kill Yourself in Borth”. I won’t spoil it for you. Just enjoy it for yourselves.
Peter Watson had a holiday in mid Wales last year both for leisure and for research and here is his affectionate account of his travels.
The RCAHMW have been very busy with their activities to preserve our heritage and to make sure that we are as fully aware of them as is possible. One of these is the creation of computer 3-D animation reconstructions of complex archaeological sites, especially the Swansea Copper Industry, for which they have received an award. They have also managed to provide a conclusive date for the construction of Tredegar House, one of Wales’ great until now unsolved archaeological mysteries. And they are asking for our help in providing what information we can about our own areas, specifically when it comes to place names. They are also putting on a full programme of events open to the public which are very enjoyable and informative, so do go along if you can.
Mid Wales Arts Centre and Bleddfa Centre for the Creative Spirit are offering a wealth of creative and spiritual opportunities and you can read all about their activities as usual.
In The Dragon’s Crypt Bruce Mawdesley entertains us with his pen portraits of three women; going back to the smoke Gaynor Jones expresses what so many of us feel about have to leave mid Wales for a life elsewhere; and Norma Allen begins a three-part story set in the time of the First World War as the opening to our commemoration of this event, which will be published in the next issue.