Proud to be Radical – A look at the radical past of Llanidloes Gay Roberts
Newtown Textile Museum Gay Roberts with Eva Bredersdorf
You Can’t Have Any More, There’s a War on Gay Roberts with Carroll Davies
The Gaol Breakers of Presteigne Keith Parker
The Mystery of Mathraval Dr. David Stephenson
Arwystli – the Key to Wales Gay Roberts
The Pantydwr Patient – Reflections of the NHS in Mid-Wales Jonathan Sleigh
The Marion A. Mills Collection Cynthia Mills
In Search of General Jones Nick Venti
Haiku Reginald Massey
Anchorage Tyler Keevil
Blaidd Spirit Matt Maus
Pen Cambria Issue 1 Editorial by Gay Roberts
“To begin at the beginning”, to quote Dylan Thomas, welcome to PenCambria.
What is and why PenCambria? I hear you ask. PenCambria is a magazine devoted to local history, heritage, culture and fiction all centredon Mid Wales, i.e. Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire. Pen being both Welsh for above and English for a writing tool, Cambria being Wales and the arched lettering being a symbolic pictogram of our beautiful hill countryside.
There is a huge interest in history with new books and television programmes every day, but they are nearly all about great events and grand people that have influenced the nation or the world. While they draw us in a general way, we all want to know about what has happened in our part of the world. What makes our town or village tick. In many ways it is an extension of the gossip factor. But this is usually too parochial for the national media unless there is some other factor to interest them.
Mid-Wales is quite an extraordinary place. It has given birth to people and ideas whose ideas have influenced nations and who have formed major communities abroad, particularly in the United States of America. The people who live here travel widely but wouldn’t live anywhere else. It attracts people from all over the world to on its uplands and in its valleys; and yet the current tranquillityof its hills hides ancient struggles for power as bloody as any by comparison over the border in England. The Romans, the Saxons, the Normans and the English have all left their marks of conquest – as you will find out in these pages.
But history is not just about the large picture. It is also about the small, local, family events. So many people spend their time researching some corner of their locality, a particular person or family, perhaps, maybe the history of a building or an incident that happened long ago. Perhaps they might publish a book about it. They often attract an audience at the local historical or cultural group. But very often they deserve to reach a wider readership. It is also about contemporary experiences being recorded for tomorrow’s historians. And that is where PenCambria comes in.
There is also a huge wealth of creative talent in the area and that certainly deserves an outlet and by including a section with short stories, poetry and other literary material, maybe PenCambria can bring these artists and writers to the attention of an appreciative readership.
If there is a preponderance of articles about Llanidloes in this issue, it is because PenCambria is Llani-based and it is Llanidloes people and events that have got this magazine off the ground and on to the shelves. In this regard I should like to pay tribute to Carroll Davis, who has always given me unstinting support in my writing activities, and whose boyhood wartime memories you will read about a little further on. Sadly Carroll died before PenCambria came to fruition and so I would like to dedicate this issue is to his memory. I hope it will inspire many more of you with interests in the wider areas of Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire to want to write for us.
This is a magazine which I hope will appeal to people with a wide range of interests, particularly in local affairs and who like, above all, a good read.
Like planning a menu for a good meal, there will be articles you can dip into for a bit of a taster and there will articles you will want to linger over, to give more thought to. There are some really meaty ones, some a bit lighter and sweeter, some a bit tangy and then there is the bombe surprise at the end.
So, settle down in your favourite chair, take the phone off the hook and enjoy your read. Gay Roberts