A Worker’s Paradise!!! Brian Lawrence
Hamers and Hughes Families: book review Gay Roberts
The Abermule Train Crash – post script Transcribed by Brian Poole
The Dylife Postbus Lawrence Johnson
Madame Despard Gay Roberts with E. Ronald Morris
Put Out to Grass: Episode 3 Hi-Ho! Farm Electrics Diana Ashworth
A Peculiar Hissing Sound in Rock Park
Freemen of Llanidloes Diana Brown
The Hafren Circuit: Stage 5 Around Lake Vyrnwy David Jandrell
Hare and Hounds Gay Roberts
Robert Owen John Harrison
Owen Owen by David Wyn Davies: part 1 of a detailed synopsis Gay Roberts
Radnorshire: A Historical Guide by Donald Gregory part I of a detailed synopsis
“Those Were The Days” at Llandrindod Joel Williams
Medieval Chatelaines of Powis Castle part 4 David Stephenson
A Family Affair/Pagans & Polytopes Gay Roberts
Ty Duw Bruce Mawdesley
Life Support Tyler Keevil
Midsummer Janet Williams
The Shepherd Over The Water Norma Allen
Editorial PenCambria Issue 14 by Gay Roberts
Once again we have a journal packed full of good things which I hope you will find interesting. Some of our writers are new; some are familiar friends. As ever, some pages will make you think, some will make you chuckle, some will bring a glow of reminiscence, some
will offer you something totally new.
The construction of the Elan Valley dams in the 19th century brought in a huge number of workers all of whom had to be housed, fed and cared for. In order to attract the best quality of workman a model village was built at Llanwrthwl and an insurance scheme set up to provide top quality care paid for via premiums taken out of the men’s wages. Brian Lawrence has researched this aspect of the project and provides a fascinating insight into the lives and the health of the men who worked on these dams.
Joyce Hamer has put together the family history of the Hamer and Hughes families of Newtown and Llanidloes in a book which is a model of how to present such research in both an informative and an interesting way. One member of the family went to the site of Great Train Crash at Abermule in 1921. He wrote an account of it to his daughter who was studying at Bangor Normal College at the time and Joyce has very kindly allowed me to print it for you.
With friends in the area, Lawrence Johnson has been a frequent visitor to mid Wales for many years much of which he has spent walking the hills and the valleys, which he probably knows better than many of us who spend all our lives travelling them by car. His first venture into the wilds of PenCambria is his reminiscences of the round trip to Dylife by bus from Llanidloes.
Llanidloes has rightly been proud of the part it has played in the history of social reform and the Chartist movement. However, this did not extend en masse to supporting for votes for women. The esteemed suffragette Madame Charlotte Despard got a very rough ride when she came to the town and you can read all about that with grateful thanks to E. Ronald Morris who proved me with the information.
Meanwhile the Freemen of Llanidloes had a much more respectful reception as Diana Brown discovered from family papers and as reported in The Montgomeryshire Times.
The retired lady and gentleman from Llawryglyn find themselves at the mercy of their ancient electrics whilst converting their barn in this episode of Put Out To Grass.
The Hafren Circuit takes us around Lake Vyrnwy and up to Llangynog, taking in the Anne Griffiths Walk to Dolanog, the glimpse of wild Snowdonia at Bwlch-y-groes and the beautiful Pennant Melangell. I have also included an impression I wrote of the visit to Pennant Melangell and Llanyblodwel with the Arwystli Society several years ago. Bruce Mawdesley finds a similar peace on the Llyn Peninsular.
This month we come to the final essay on Robert Owen, this one by John Harrison who discusses the great man and the communities he founded.
Owen Owen by David Wyn Davies and Radnorshire: an Historical Guide by Donald Gregory are two books which I hope will interest you and I have begun a detailed synopsis of each one this month.
Dr David Stephenson takes us into the Grey areas of Powis Castle with Jane Orwell proving as attractive and fertile to Edward Grey, then Lord Powis, as another Jane, this one Grey by descent, was at the same time proving to be to the English monarch of Welsh descent, Henry VIII.
Joel Williams revives some more memories of Llandrindod Wells in summer.
An exciting new addition to the arts world in mid Wales is the Maesmawr Arts Centre at Caersws. Opened in October 2008 it is really on its feet now and you can read all about in this edition. To complement this article you can also read all about the Wade family of Tylwch all of whom are artists in their own special way and who all took part in a family exhibition in June this year at Maesmawr, each one displaying their own original talents.
Summertime is festival time and of the huge number to pick from I have chosen two each of a very different character to tell you about: the Machynlleth Festival which includes art and music of the highest quality; and at Pontrhydfendigaid is the Festival in the Shire which is devoted to J.R.R. Tolkien, the Lord of the Rings, hobbits and all things to do with Middle Earth. A new trail around sixteen relatively undiscovered places of worship in North Montgomeryshire, Living Stones, was inaugurated in May and I am sure many of you will be keen to go on that too. I have also included brief details of walks organised in and around the
Elan Valley by the Elan Valley Trust and those further afield, Trail Tempters 2010, by Powys County Council.
Meanwhile for those of you with Arthurian interests, Old Oswestry Landscape and Archaeology Project are holding a seminar in October entitled A Time For Arthur? Western Britain Without the Romans. This should be a real treat.
In The Dragon’s Crypt after his tour de force with Murray the Hump this month Tyler Keevil takes a well earned breather with a short story all about the tenacity of life; Janet Williams finds poetry in midsummer; and finally Norma Allen gives the Second Branch of the Mabinogion, the tale of Branwen and Llyr, a modern day twist.