What was in PenCambria: Issue 17 Summer 2011?

Cup Fever or “Come on, the Daffs!” Lyn Meredith & Byron Hughes
An Ecclesiastical Tale Bev Barratt
Pedro Gonzalez: Put Out to Grass part 6 Diana Ashworth
Liminality – sculpture by Benjamin Storch
“That Poet-Haunted Place” Lawrence Johnson
E. Nicholls & Sons, The Stores, Ystradenni Brian Lawrence
The Gwalchmai Family of Mid Wales : part 2 Gwalchmai Sais
Diatoms, Seed & Pollen – sculptures by Kevin Blockley
The Hopkins of Llanfihangel Y Creuddyn – Joy Hamer’s family research
One Man and His Dog Bruce Mawdesley (illustrations by Jane Keay)
The Hafren Circuit: Stage 8 Breidden Hills and Long Mountain David Jandrell

The Pryces of Newtown Hall: “an interesting family” Diana Brown
The Horseman’s Word Roger Garfitt
A Journey Through Mid Wales R.M. Williams
A Short Life and a Merry One Gay Roberts
Bones and Stones at Old Chapel Farm Gay Roberts

Radnorshire Felicity Vale
Flight Plan for the Island Lesley Ann Dupré
Journey South Janet Williams
Verbascum thapsiforme Bruce Mawdesley, (illustration by Jane Keay)
 
Editorial PenCambria Issue 17 by Gay Roberts
We have a sporting start this month with a rollicking account of football fever in Llanidloes. Last year Lynn Meredith and Byron Hughes, two very well-known footballers in their glory days, published a book recounting stories of the members of Llanidloes Football team, known as the Daffodils, because of their yellow and green strip, who played cricket, hence the title of book The Daffs Who Played in White. When I first read their original manuscript, parts of it actually made me laugh out loud and I knew I had to persuade them to write an article for PenCambria and I am very pleased to tell you that I was successful. For this article, they return to their first love, football, and the highs and lows, not many of them here, of the Daffs and here we have a fond account of the team’s history from the 1920s to the 1970s, with some extraordinary statistics for a town the size of Llanidloes, but I will not spoil it for you just now.
For our other treats this month, the retired lady of Llawryglyn has a doggy tale to tell, divine revelation adds atmosphere to a climb up Snowdonia by the intrepid Bev Barratt; Manafon forges a surprising link between a giant of Welsh poetry, R.S Thomas and an reclusive modern songwriter for Lawrence Johnson.
We have three fascinating pieces of family history. After the death of Humphrey Gwalchmay and the sobering incident with his wife Susannah at Llanwyddelan, in this episode the family dip a toe into religious non-conformity as Gwalchmai Sais takes the next step on the path followed by this remarkable family. Following her work on the Hughes and Hamer families, Joy Hamer has done a quite remarkable piece of research on another branch of her family – the Hopkins of Llanfihangel y creuddyn and I have summarised part of it as a taster for you. Taking us up Breidden Hill and along the Long Mynd David Jandrell reaches the final stage of the Hafren Circuit. The Pryces of Newtown Hall are a very interesting family as Diana Brown has discovered, especially the one who had been so fond of his first two wives that he had their bodies embalmed and slept between them.
Where there’s a demand there’s always a supplier as Brian Lawrence illustrates in his article about the enterprising E. Nicholls of Ystradenni. In another peerless piece of poetic prose,
Bruce Mawdesley remembers a shepherd and his dog and once again, we are privileged to have Jane Keay’s illustrations. One of our occasional contributors, who also has such a wonderful way with words is Roger Garfitt, who has just written his autobiography and the publishers Jonathan Cape have very generously allowed me to reprint some extracts from it.
With its small settlements set in its wild and lonely hills and valleys Radnorshire is a great inspiration to many a writer. R.M. Williams has written a book about Mid Wales and with a view to serialising it in PenCambria he has written this introduction, A Journey Through Mid Wales, giving a brief, lyrical picture of some of what has been lost in this part of the world.
For my contribution this month I have taken to the high seas with a synopsis of the book Welsh Pirates by Dafydd Meirion.
Mid Wales provides an unending source of inspiration to those of a creative mind. Kevin Blockley, who many of you may know as an archaeologist, is a highly talented sculptor and you can read about him and exhibition of his work along with that of his son Merlin and two other crafts people, that was held in June. You can also see pictures of his work on some of the pages elsewhere. Mid Wales Arts Centre at Caersws goes from strength to strength and you can find out about everything that is going on there in the later pages of this magazine. There are also a number of other very interesting and unusual events that you can read about and possibly be encouraged to attend, especially at the Willow Globe in Llanwrthwl. Dr David Stephenson’s lectures will be embarking on some very interesting water this year for those of you who like to attend them.
The Dragon’s Crypt is full of mystery this month. While Norma Allen reminds us all of the joys of a School trip, Lesley Ann Dupré takes a trip of a much darker kind while Hatton Davidson “travels the whorls of Space and Time” to who knows where?.

What was in PenCambria: Issue 16 Spring 2011?

The Early Gwalchmai Family : part I Gwalchmai Sais
“Not Much of a Hill”? Lawrence Johnson
The Red Road Gay Roberts
Bunford’s Bus Business at Trefeglwys Brian Poole
Wales and the Essex Rebelllion Mary Oldham
Llanidloes – Its History and Its Historians Diana Brown
Odd? Not really, when you think about it: Put Out to Grass part 5 Diana Ashworth
Leaping the Marteg R.M. Williams
Miss Lizzie Barker: School Mistress Extraordinaire! Brian Lawrence
The Hafren Circuit: Stage 7 Along the Shropshire Border David Jandrell
Roman Roads, Prehistoric Monuments and the Morning Surprise Gay Roberts
A Song of the Scythe Bruce Mawdesley (illustrations by Jane Keay)
Owen Owen: part 3 Gay Roberts
The Stefan Knapp Project Gay Roberts

The Strange Tale of Dai No-Socks Peter A. Tudor
Sharing Secrets & Southwell Cathedral Elizabeth Briggs
To TSE Reginald Massey
Fashionista Tyler Keevil
Bluebell Wood Janet Williams

Editorial PenCambria Issue 16 by Gay Roberts

Well, after the second year in a row of being snowed in for several very wintry weeks following what certainly didn’t seem like one of the hottest summers on record in this part of the world, it is difficult to believe in global warming in mid Wales at the moment. However, this has not put us off getting a very interesting group of articles together for your delight, delectation and edification this Spring.
There can be very few people in Wales who have not come across the beautiful pictures of the artist Jane Keay and I am especially pleased this month to be publishing a set of her drawings illustrating Bruce Mawdesley’s matchless prose in an elegy to the scythe, that once ubiquitous tool that harvested the wheat for our daily bread, the hay to feed cattle and horses and the straw for their bedding, the thatching for our houses and so many other uses.
The great Calvinistic Methodist preacher Humphrey Gwalchmai is legendary in the Non-Conformist tradition of Wales. He was born to a Montgomeryshire family and one of his English descendants, Gwalchmai Sais begins a family history and opens this edition of PenCambria with an introduction to the 17th century members of this dynasty.
In a fascinating speculation as the meaning of the name of Pumlumon/Plynlimon or any other orthographic variant, Lawrence Johnson takes us on a trip through the bogs of etymology and tradition as well as those in the wilds of the Cambrian mountains where the unwary can get sucked in as much by the mire of myriad meanings as they can by the peat.
Bunford’s at Trefeglwys was one of those small bus services scattered throughout the country that we all took for granted and to whose fate and service to our communities we never gave a thought as we bought our cars and drove off down the highway of history. Alun Bunford has talked to Brian Poole about his father’s business and provided a nostalgic set of photographs with views which I know many of you will enjoy.
It can’t be many articles that begin with an early 17th century hanging, drawing and quartering and Mary Oldham captures vividly the mood of the rebellion by the Earl of Essex as he attempted to seize the throne from Queen Elizabeth I, supported by two Welshmen from the Marches, Robert Vaughan and Sir Gelli Meyrick, the latter whose fate it was to suffer this end.
Dr David Stephenson’s recently published book, Llanidloes: a history, is the latest in a line of books seeking to define Llanidloes through its history, each one adding to the knowledge of its predecessor. In an article by Diana Brown each of these historians and their work are assessed and each one gives a fascinating glimpse into world that they knew and the history that they themselves had researched.
Continuing their adventures renovating a hill farm in the hills of Llawryglyn, our retired couple have now got the roof on and daughter, who is not country-savvy in the ways in which her mother is now totally au fait (!), come to stay.
The perils of country walking around St Harmon are also vividly described in a fishy little tale by R.M. Williams, a newcomer to our merry band of scribes and whose tales I look forward to reading a great deal more in PenCambria in the future.
Brian Lawrence introduces us to Miss Lizzie Barker, the school mistress of Bwlchysarnau who forsook our beautiful Radnorshire hills for the wilds of South Africa to teach the Boer children in the concentration camps there.
On Stage 7 of the Hafren Circuit David Jandrell takes us out of Wales on a brief diversion into Shropshire, along the Vyrnwy from Llanymynech to Crewgreen..
Two years ago Bob Silvester of Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust gave one of the most interesting talks it has been my privilege to hear, all about Roman roads, prehistoric sites and squatter settlements (tai nos) in mid Wales. Based on his talk, I have written and article which I do hope you will enjoy it as much as I did listening to the original.
We come to the final part of Owen Owen’s biography when Owen having consolidated his success in business turns his eye to marriage, children and finally returning in some measure to his birthplace in Machynlleth.
Cathy Knapp has now established her sculpture park, housing the collection of Stefan Knapp at Mid Wales Art Centre and you can read all about him, his works and all the other events going on there and elsewhere in mid Wales this summer.
The Dragon’s Crypt contains a feast of poetry, a toe dipped into the murky waters of the Paris fashion scene and the strange tale of Dai No-socks.

What was in PenCambria: Issue15 Winter 2010?

Remains of Roman Villa found near Aberystwyth Diana Brown
Cartrefi Cefn Gwlad Cymru book launch.
The Meifod Deserter Bryn Ellis
Winter Walks in the Elan Valley
The Grand Canyon of Mid Wales Bev Barratt
The Second World War in the Clywedog and Trannon Valleys Diana Ashworth
Jamila Massey
Improving Llanidloes Michael and Diana Brown
The Wild Men Of Dinas Mawddwy : Put Out to Grass part 4 Diana Ashworth
The Hafren Circuit: Stage 6 The Berwyns David Jandrell
Armchair Detective Lawrence Johnson
Winter Memories at Llandrindod Wells Joel Williams
Seashore Bruce Mawdesley
Radnorshire: A Historical Guide by Donald Gregory part 2 of a detailed synopsis
Gay Roberts
Joan Corbet : Medieval Chatelaines of Powis Castle part 4 Dr David Stephenson
Two Pictures by John Lavrin
Ferrilos Patagonicos Brian Poole
Owen Owen by David Wyn Davies: part 2 of a detailed synopsis Gay Roberts
John Lavrin: a profile Gay Roberts

Lady’s Maid Norma Allen
The Torso Lesley-Ann Dupré
Autumn Reflections David Jandrell
Autumn Janet Williams

Editorial PenCambria Issue 15 by Gay Roberts

The air is bracing, the view from the mountains is wonderful – panoramic peaks, plunging escarpments, gentle rolling hills, myriad subtle hues of green, purple and russets of autumn – just the vision to conjure up sitting by your firesides reading PenCambria in the darkness of winter. Yes, we go out and about for much of this issue treading in footsteps of the drovers, the preachers, the miners, the medieval knights, the Welsh princes, the Romans, the Celts and those enigmatic peoples who populated our hilltops thousands of years ago but of whom nothing remains now but a few standing stones and flint tools.
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales are excavating a hitherto unknown Roman villa near Aberystwyth and this is completely redrawing our previous picture of Roman settlement in Wales. We, or rather Clwb Dringo of Machynlleth plunge into the Grand Canyon of Mid Wales in the wilds of Plynlimon near Dylife and with Lawrence Johnson we contemplate the hills of Radnorshire and the ancient people who populated them from Fowler’s Armchair – if we can find it, that is. Our progress with David Jandrell around the Hafren Circuit reaches the most northerly edge of Montgomeryshire with a magnificent view from the Berwyns and takes us through to Llanymynech via Llanrhaeadr-ym-mochnant, Llansilin and the site of Owain Glyndwr’s celebrated but completely obliterated hall of Sychnant.
With Diana Ashworth we go out into the valleys of the Clywedog and the Trannon to investigate an aeroplane crash from World War II. Further afield, almost as south as we can go, we find out about the development and construction of the railway system in the Welsh colony of Patagonia, with Brian Poole finishing the late David Burkhill-Howath’s series about the Welsh people in Patagonia.
Michael and Diana Brown’s account of how Llanidloes was as anxious to attract visitors a hundred years ago as it is today gives a fascinating picture of the town and its improvement campaign, which offered basically the same sort of attractions as we do now in the 21st century i.e. accommodation, outdoor activities amidst wonderful scenery, some popular entertainments and good connections to other parts of the country. At this point I should like to welcome Michael Brown back to the authorial fold of PenCambria and I am delighted to note that he is making such a good recovery after the stroke that incapacitated him so badly three years ago.
Diana Ashworth was definitely out and about in the middle of a dark and stormy night as she recounts in the latest episode of her memoirs of retirement to a Welsh hill farm, Put Out To Grass, a familiar plight I am sure to all of you who have made the same leap of faith to come and live in the hills of Wales.
Joel Williams discovers more winter memories and Llandrindod Wells and Bruce Mawdesley evokes the magic of the seashore, well away from wintry landscape of mid Wales.
Jamila Massey is an exotic Indian jewel living amongst the greenery of Montgomeryshire and you can find out all about her on Youtube.
David Stephenson introduces us to another formidable medieval chatelaine of Powis Castle, while I continue with my synopses of Donald Gregory’s Historical Guide to Radnorshire and David Wyn Davies’ account of the great Victorian department store owner, property magnate and philanthropist Owen Owen.
For proper outings, there are walks in the Elan Valley and there’s lots of entertainment for those of you who like to go out of an evening rather sit in front of the television mesmerised by Strictly Come Dancing. Montgomeryshire’s Got Talent too, as you may have enjoyed at Theatr Hafren earlier this month.
Mid Wales is certainly the home to talent as evidenced by the art exhibitions, especially John Lavrin, at Mid Wales Art Gallery and Glasbury Arts programme of events. Finally, for a rollercoaster read to keep you entertained on those dark days and nights when the fireside calls, you can find out how to get hold of Tyler Keevil’s first published novel, Fireball.
In The Dragon’s Crypt I’d like to extend a warm welcome a new poet, Lesley-Ann Dupré, who also introduces us to the pantoum, a form of poetry that is new to PenCambria and which I am sure you will enjoy. I look forward to more of this interesting poetic discipline. David Jandrell has come across a connection in his family history that has sparked his imagination with a tale of medieval derring-do. Norma Allen’s tale of a country girl about to go to town for her first job and the apprehension she feels will bring back memories, too, I am sure. Finally we end this edition of PenCambria with poem from Janet Williams, guaranteed to bring a seasonal glow to our smiles.

What was in PenCambria: Issue 14 Summer 2010?

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
Gay Roberts
“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.

What was in PenCambria: Issue 13 Spring 2010?

Black Vaughan of Hergest and the Vaughan Clan in the 15th Century Mary Oldham
Put Out To Grass 2: The Phantom Tup Diana Ashworth
1834 – A Fateful Welsh Journey, Siluria versus Cambria  Colin Humphries
A Shadow, a Lion, a Bicycle, a Pit Prop and a Prop Shaft Brian Poole
The Hafren Circuit: Stage 3 Owain Glyndwrto Machynlleth David Jandrell
Robert Owen and the Co-Operative Movement William P. Watkins
The Medieval Chatelaines of Powis Castle: Part 2 Dr David Stephenson
The Gentleman Hood: part XII End of an Era Tyler Keevil
Park House (Parc Pen Prys) Talk by Dr David Stephenson transcribed by Diana Brown
At the Bright Hem of God: Book Review Reginald Massey
The Great Fire of Llanfair Caereinion 1758 Part 2 Bryn Ellis

Margaret Collier Michael Brown
February Janet Williams
Carys’s Story Norma Allen
Time Is? Bruce Mawdesley

Editorial PenCambria Issue 13 by Gay Roberts
Well, I am sure that many of you were glad to have something to read, maybe even PenCambria, during the weeks we have been snowed up this past winter. For myself, we were snowed in from 20th December to 16th January. Luckily we had the foresight to be stocked up with provisions for two months, taking us well into February. Our neighbours’ landrover was also a lifesaver for one of our cats who, beset with a blocked bladder, needed an emergency dash to the vet. It was the end of February before we were finally free of snow on
our driveway.
However, from what I have been told before, this still does not measure up to the winter of 1947. The ladies of Clochfaen Hall, Llangurig, always remembered the snow starting on 23rd January and it being the middle of March before they were able to get supplies from the village about half a mile away. It was July before the snow finally disappeared. Do send me your winter memories if you will since I know so many of you like to share these things.
Black Vaughan of Hergest gets this edition off to a rollicking start. Mary Oldham has been researching that great Welsh family, the Vaughans, and the article she has written for us concerns the Hergest branch, in particular one Thomas Vaughan who may have inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write his finest detective novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Another mysterious animal, but definitely not in the Dartmoor tradition, is the phantom tup that features in this next episode of Diana Ashworth’s memoire of retirement to a Welsh hill farm in Llawr-y-glyn.
A 19th century geological feud that literally split Wales in two is related by Colin Humphries.
Newtown’s shadow aircraft factory has inspired a most interesting feature on the Lion Works by Brian Poole. The history of industry rarely gets the coverage that it deserves and yet the importance of this factory to the conduct of World War II can hardly be overstated.
The history of another medieval lady of determination is related by Dr David Stephenson. Indeed, her very nickname, Hawise Gadarn, Hawise the Hardy, gives us a glimpse of the life she had to endure.
From Llanidloes to Machynlleth and then over the top to Llanerfyl is the route that David Jandrell takes on his next stage of the Hafren Circuit, his most enjoyable and comprehensive tour around the outskirts of Montgomeryshire.
With Robert Kennedy’s pursuit of the Outfit, the national trauma of President Kennedy’s death and the Gentleman Hood’s own demise, this month Tyler Keevil brings his epic work on Murray the Hump to an end. We have been following the career of this extraordinary Welshman by parentage for all but the first edition of PenCambria, from the next issue it will be very strange not to be looking forward to it any more. Tyler has created a hard act to follow.
Park House just outside Caersws was one of the most important houses of its day. The Arwystli Society was privileged to visit it in 2007 with Dr. David Stephenson as historical consultant and Diana Brown has transcribed a report of this visit.
A Radnorshire Pastoral by Peter Capaldi has caused Reginald Massey to wax lyrical.
We have the third of our essays on Robert Owen, this one by William P. Watkins, who looks at the Co-operative movement that Robert Owen inspired.
Bryn Ellis has produced another inventory from the 1758 Great Fire of Llanfair Caereinion that he invites our help with in the deciphering.
In response to a letter in praise of Brian Poole’s article on the lost Clywedog Valley, archaeologist Richard Scott Jones has provided a wealth of information about the uplands of Plynlimon.
Joel Williams brings us some more memories of Llandrindod Wells in Spring.
In The Dragon’s Crypt, Norma Allen has been inspired by the story of Rhiannon and Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed in the First Branch of the Mabinogion; and Michael Brown has written a poignant portrait of a woman who finds herself in the sort of dilemma that has been much in the news lately. Janet Williams’ poem celebrating February looks forward to the coming year while Bruce Mawdesley calls Time on this edition of PenCambria.

What was in PenCambria Issue 12 Winter 2009?

“And Now ‘Bryn Calfaria and Thank You’ ,Llanidloes SS Male Voice Choir Richard Meredith
Llanwnog Church from a talk by Dr David Stephenson transcribed by Diana Brown
The Millsiaid of Llanidloes Cynthia Mills
The Old Hall Air Crash Diana Brown
The Hafren Circuit: Stage 3 Wye Valley and Plynlimon David Jandrell
Put Out to Grass: A Mid Wales Retirement Part 1 Iolos Revenge Diana Ashworth
Eden in Wild Wales Gay Roberts
Memories of Hafod and Peacocks in Paradise Reginald Massey
Robert Owen and Trade Unionism John Butt
More Winter Memories from Llandrindod Wells Joel Williams
The Medieval Chatelaines of Powis Castle: Part I The Lady of Cyfeiliog Dr David Stephenson
The Welsh People in Patagonia: Part 3 David Burkhill-Howarth
The Welsh in Iowa: Book Review Gay Roberts
Brennin Llwyd David and Mark Burkhill-Howarth
The Gentleman Hood: part 11 Conspiring with the enemies Tyler Keevil

Dog Tags Brian L. Roberts
Vespers Bruce Mawdesley
Radnor Vale Janet Williams
Last Reminisce Gail Standen
Winter Doves Janet Williams

Editorial PenCambria Issue 12 by Gay Roberts

We start this issue on rather a sad note, I am afraid. David Burkhill-Howarth whose has been such a staunch and enthusiastic contributor since he first came across PenCambria in 2006 has died after a long battle against cancer. Indeed, it was only because of his and Michael and Diana Brown’s enthusiasm and willingness to take over much of the editorial work that I was able to start PenCambria again in 2008.
In the spring of 2008 I chanced across David in the Great Oak Café in Llanidloes. He was recovering from chemotherapy and looking for a new project to keep his mind active and when I suggested, never really expecting he would say yes, that he could take over the editorial responsibility and get PenCambria back on its feet again, he jumped at the chance. Six months previously I had asked Michael if he would like to become the Richard Ingrams of Mid Wales by doing the very same thing and within a week of his agreeing he had been struck down by an illness which prevented him from taking on such a task. However, he was partially on the road to recovery when I asked David and the two of them, with Diana, came to a very satisfactory arrangement. Michael and Diana would concentrate on local subjects and David would cover the wider topics, which he has done in such an interesting way with the history of the Welsh in Patagonia.
His articles were full of information and he always wrote in a direct, easy to read manner, tinged with humour where appropriate. He originally presented me with his ‘credentials’ in the form of a three-part exploration of the 1921 Abermule train crash, which resulted in a world-wide system of rules governing single track railways. This was his first contribution and it was published in PenCambrias 6, 7 and 8. His first piece after the relaunch was an account of a walk he had undertaken in the Ratgoed Valley. He then began a major opus on
the history of Welsh people in Patagonia, such an interesting series about a Welsh migration that most us probably have heard about but know little or nothing of the details. I have certainly learned a lot about this, knowing absolutely nothing before except that Patagonia was just above Tierra del Fuego at the foot of South America on the Atlantic side. His own interest in it was kindled many years ago when he was there in person. Although he never said as such, I think that PenCambria gave him the opportunity to write about his knowledge and experiences of this remote finger of the continent and to bring it to people’s attention in a way that he had not been able to before.
This edition contains the third part in the series along with something in a lighter, yet darker vein. Cader Idris is famous, or rather notorious for the legends and strange experiences that many have when they climb that craggy mountain. Perhaps the most well-known is that anyone spending the night on its summit will come down either mad or a poet. A few years ago David’s two sons, Mark and Gareth, did indeed spend the night on Cader Idris and his last article is an account of that night taken from the notes that Mark kept of their excursion. This issue of PenCambria, which is dedicated to David’s memory, is published on 31st October 2009, Hallowe’en, and a very appropriate day for such tale.
I shall miss David’s writing very much as I think he was just beginning to get into his stride with PenCambria. Fortunately I am very pleased to tell you that Mark and Gareth are very keen not only to finish the work he had in hand but also to write for us on their own account. Mark’s interest in Welsh folklore I know will be a great asset and I really look forward to hearing more from them.
There is a musical note to some of this edition with Cynthia Mills account of the Millsiad, the well-known family of ‘musical Mills’ in Llanidloes, coupled with Richard Meredith’s history of the Llanidloes Social Service Male Voice Choir. Close by, Diana Brown tells us about the 1947 aeroplane crash at Old Hall. We have an account of the Arwystli Society’s visit to Llanwnog Church in 2008 with Dr David Stephenson who also begins a series on the medieval Chatelaines of Powis Castle beginning with the feisty Hawise, wife of Gruffudd ab Gwenwynwyn. We have the first in highly entertaining series by Diana Buck of her experiences of coming to Wales two years ago and settling in as a novice farmer in Llawr-y-glyn. The Robert Owen Museum in Newtown has kindly allowed me to print the second of the essays in their booklet: Professor John Butt’s essay on Robert Owen and Trade Unionism. Joel Williams sends us some more winter memories of Llandrindod Wells. With David Jandrell we travel Stage 3 of the Hafren Circuit: from Abbey Cwm Hir to Llanidloes with a trip around the Hafren forest to Plynlimon and the source of the river Severn. Hafod, near Cwmystwyth, is one of mid Wales’ verdant miracles. Based on Peacocks in Paradise by Elizabeth Inglis Jones Reginald Massey tells us about Thomas Johnes, who occupied it and built it up to the sylvan spectacle it became in the 18th century while I have provided a background history of life in the valley and the Cardiganshire uplands. Two more books to read are Bob Pitcher’s novel In At the Deep End and, continuing with our American connections, Cheryl A Walley has written a book about the Welsh migrations to Iowa entitled The Welsh in Iowa which I have reviewed; and Tyler Keevil reveals just how Murray the Hump helped to get John F. Kennedy elected. In The Dragon’s Crypt we are in reflective mood as Brian L. Roberts tells us a story for Armistice Day about a First World War find, complementing a piece by Bruce Mawdlsey reflecting on a pilot he knew during World War Two. Janet Williams finds enchantment in the Radnor Vale and Gail Standen offers a last reminisce.

What was in PenCambria Issue 11 Summer 2009?

Things That Last Forever Diana Brown
In Living Memory: Sustainable Farming Diana Ashworth
Yr Hen Garchar, The Old Roundhouse Gay Roberts & Richard Meredith
The Hafren Circuit: Stage 2 Kerry Hills and our Radnorshire Cousins David Jandrell
Robert Owen: part 2 Margaret Cole
An Afternoon at the Old Ffinnant Bruce Mawdsley
The Great Fire of Llanfair Caereinion 1758 Part 1 Bryn Ellis
The Lost Clywedog Valley Brian Poole
In living memory: Antediluvian Tales of the Clywedog Valley Diana Ashworth
Pigs, Paddle Boats and Paper Petticoats: Llandrindod Wells 1940s and 1950s  Norma Allen
LLandidrod Wells, Sheikh Joseph Audi Joel Williams
When Shropshire Belonged to Powys Dr David Stephenson
The Welsh People in Patagonia: part 2 Living in South America David Burkhill-Howarth
The Gentleman Hood: part 10 Tyler Keevil

Midge Bellingham Michael Brown
Dogroses and Harebells: two poems for Summer Roger Garfitt
Loyoute Sans Fin: chapter 3 Brian L. Roberts

Editorial PenCambria Issue 11 by Gay Roberts
Mid Wales has given birth to a remarkable number and variety of great men for such a small and sparsely populated corner of the world. Robert Owen from Newtown whose life we are celebrating at the moment, was perhaps the world’s greatest social visionary; David Davies, the philanthropic industrialist of Llandinam and his son, David the first Lord Davies, who amongst countless philanthropic deeds was instrumental in setting up the League of Nations which, despite its apparent failure, eventually grew into the United Nations; Owain Glyndwr, who very nearly achieved independent nation status for Wales; Sampson Lloyd the Second of Dolobran who set up the great banking institution that we know today as Lloyds TSB, which despite its current troubles is still thought of as the country’s most reliable bank; Murray the Hump, the Chicago gangster whose life has been enthralling us for the past nine issues, was very protective of his Carno ancestry, and with his outstanding intelligence, ruthlessness, sense of strategy and achievement, he could have left such a different legacy had the government of the United States, and particularly local government not been so corrupt; we can only mourn the loss of his talents to society as a whole.
Talents that are much less sung in public are those of the women of Mid Wales. Reginald Massey has done the world of literature a great service by getting the works of Newtown’s Eluned Lewis back onto the book shelves; however the women in PenCambria do tend to be written about in their private capacity rather than for their public achievements. This is understandable bearing in mind that until recently ‘history’ meant the history of men and their politics and battles with women being noted for the most part for their deeds or lives that encroached on these areas. (Do discuss and comment. I shall be pleased to publish your responses.) So this month sees the first in a series to bring some balance to this view. Diana Brown is researching the business women of Mid Wales and in this issue celebrates the life of Laura Ashley, the designer, who, from designing tea towels at her kitchen table went on to build one of the world’s biggest dress, fabric and household design and production companies. Her primary aim was to provide work for the people of mid Wales, specifically, Carno, and she maintained this until her death at the age of 61. It is worth noting perhaps that Laura Ashley’s aim and area of industry was not a million miles from that of Robert Owen, although educational aspect of Robert Owen’s dream had been fulfilled by the state by the time Laura Ashley began her career.
Our other Diana, Diana Ashworth, continues her quest for the oral history of the Llawr-y-glyn area. With the drive towards sustainable living these days she has discovered how countryfolk lived sustainably for hundreds of years, until very recently in fact; and to
complement Brian Poole’s journey back through the history and prehistory of the Clywedog Valley before it was flooded in the 1960s, Diana Ashworth also finds out what life was like for the inhabitants before the arrival of the Clywedog dam, the winter of 1947 being an especially memorable time.
A Llanidloes building with a fascinating history is Yr Hen Garchar or the Old Roundhouse. Built as a gaol in 1838, it fell into disuse as a place of penal confinement and then became first a rented residence, then, after coming into the hands of John Jones Meredith, the filter house for the town’s water supply, then a storage place for Council bits and pieces and now, back in the hands of the Meredith family it has been reconverted to a residence.
We follow David Jandrell on Stage 2 of the Hafren Circuit, which takes us from Snead to Dolfor along the Kerry Ridgeway, out to the Bryn Dadlau Wind farm and down to Abbey Cwm Hir.
Bruce Mawdsley captures the magic of a musical afternoon at the Ffinnant in Trefeglwys
Bryn Ellis brings to light the Llanfair Caereinion Great Fire of 1758 and the losses incurred by one of its residents.
More memories from Llandrindod Wells both of childhood from Norma Allen, whose home it was and, courtesy of Joel Williams, of a very exotic pre-WW2 regular summer visitor – Sheikh Joseph Audi.
When the question of where the Welsh Assembly should be sited was mooted, although it was not taken seriously, Shrewsbury was suggested. With Dr David Stephenson we find out just why this was not quite so outrageous as it might have seemed at the time.
David Burkhill-Howarth takes us deeper into the hinterlands of Patagonia and Tyler Keevil shows us just how Murray made a mint in Las Vegas.
In the Dragon’s Crypt Michael Brown tells us a cautionary tale about the perils of PC (not PenCambria), Roger Garfitt’s poems have just the right aroma for summer and Brian L. Roberts brings his story of social and political change to a rousing conclusion by taking us storming down the pages of Chartism in Llanidloes.
Finally, please let me apologise to Robert James Bridge for getting his name wrong in the introduction to PC10. I inadvertently introduced him as Robert Shoebridge. I am pleased to say that I got it right on the story, Kinmel Revisited, itself.

What was in PenCambria Issue 10 Spring 2009?

Hafren CurcuitIn Living Memory : the post at Llawr-y-glyn Diana Ashworth
The Hafren Circuit : part 1 David Jandrell
A Visit to the Hall at Abbey Cwm Hir Norma Allen
Remembering Ossian Gordon Diana Ashworth
Musicians of Llanidloes Michael and Diana Brown
Mary Powell’s Story David Jandrell
Robert Owen-Industrialist, Reformer, Visionary 1771-1858: part 1 Margaret Cole
Owain Cyfeiliog: Prince, Poet, Patron: part 2 The Ruler Dr. David Stephenson
The Schools Heritage Project Rachael Jones
The Welsh People in Patagonia: part l David Burkhill-Howarth
Gentlemen of the Road Bruce Mawdsley
The Gentleman Hood: part 9 Tyler Keevil

Kinmel Revisited Robert James Bridge
Two Poems for Spring Roger Garfitt
Loyoute Sans Fin: Chapter Two Brian L. Roberts

Editorial PenCambria Issue 10 by Gay Roberts

Well, I hope you all survived the winter with relatively few problems. Here in Tylwch the temperature went down to -12°C every night for the first fortnight of January and not much above that during the day. I think it did once go to 3°C but mostly it was -4° to -5°C. Then we were snowed in for the first ten days of February. The last time I remember such low temperatures for such a long period was in the winters of 1980-81 when it went down to -23°C and 1981-82 when it was about -18°C and Mid Wales was cut off by a blizzard that blew in during the night of Thursday 5th January. Both winters were so cold the diesel in lorries and vans turned to gel and we had vicarious spectacle on the television of drivers lighting fires under their vehicles to liquefy their fuel so that they could go on their way. I believe that diesel has now been treated so that this no longer happens. Do you have any memories of life under unusual weather conditions? If so, do let me know because I am sure our readers would like to share them with you. The 1976 snow in June followed by the drought in July are two that come to mind.
The weather is certainly something you will need to take account of if you go on some of the walks suggested by David Jandrell on the round-Montgomeryshire route he has devised and called The Hafren Circuit. David comes from Mochdre but now lives on the Shropshire border since he retired from the day job. He has combined his love of Montgomeryshire and his love of walking into this 130-mile Circuit, divided into 10 stages, which take us all around the Montgomeryshire border and following much of the river Severn. He will narrate these walks for us, enlivening them with various titbits of history associated with the places he visits.
David Burkhill-Howarth takes us a great deal further this time – to Patagonia no less, where many people from Wales, including some from Mid Wales emigrated in the 19th Century in order to create a community based on their own Welsh language and culture as opposed to the English way of life that was being imposed on them in their homeland. This is a remarkable story of settlement and survival which will keep us riveted to these pages for this and the next two editions of PenCambria.
One of the most remarkable men to come from Mid Wales was Robert Owen, the socialist pioneer of the Co-operative movement. In 1971 the Robert Owen Association published a booklet of four essays to commemorate the bicentenary of his birth. The booklet was republished in 1989 by the Robert Owen Museum in Newtown and as it is now out of print they have very kindly allowed me to publish these essays in PenCambria and you will be reading them over the next four issues.
Llanidloes is famous for its musical tradition and perhaps the most notable family in this field is the Mills family, known in musical circles as the Millsiad. In the 19th century the Montgomeryshire Express published a series of articles on the musical members of this remarkable family and the town’s other musicians too; and these articles were published later as a small collection, now out of print. Diana Brown is a member of this family, although not
the musical branch, and she and her husband Michael have adapted this booklet for PenCambria and it will be published over a number of issues starting with this one.
PenCambria wouldn’t be the same without Murray the Hump and Tyler Keevil now brings us right to the top and Curly’s influence over the White House.
In a lighter vein we have some memories of the postal deliveries at Llawryglyn collected by Diana Ashton, who also writes a very moving study on a commemorative walk ending in Llawryglyn. Another piece of family history comes from David Jandrell regarding his great-grandmother Mary Powell of Trefeglwys. Rachael Jones lets us into the classroom, so to speak, with an account of one of her local history teaching sessions. Norma Allen visited Abbey Cwm Hir House and tells us all about the tour. We also have some delightful observations on the former Gentlemen of the Road by Bruce Mawdsley.
We have a feast of reading to recommend including Eluned Lewis’s The Captain’s Wife reviewed by Reginald Massey.
Ninety years ago in the aftermath of the First World War armistice of 1918 a regiment of Canadian soldiers were billeted at Kinmel near Conwy, awaiting a ship to take them home to Canada. The intolerable conditions and interminable wait caused them to riot and in the Dragon’s Crypt Robert Shoebridge has written a short story based on their plight, which deserves to be far more widely known. We also have the 2nd episode of Brian L. Robert’s story set against the background of the Chartist Riot in Llanidloes in 1839 and finally two very beautiful seasonal poems by Roger Garfitt.

What was in PenCambria Issue 9 Winter 2008?

The Ratgoed Valley Walk David Burkhill-Howarth

The Penstrowed Quarry Brian Poole

Geraint Goodwin Reginald Massey

Local Studies as a Resource for History Teaching Rachael Jones

The Medieval Development of Rhayader C.E. Smith

Owain Cyfeiliog (C1125-1197) Prince, Poet and Patron Dr. David Stephenson

Owen Davies, Clockmaker E. Ronald Morris

The Gentleman Hood: Part VIII Tyler Keevil

A double centenary: Llanidloes Gay Roberts 

ER Horsfall Turner Dr David Stephenson

Frank Shaler: Architect John Napier

Family History Appeal for Frederick J. Griffiths. Andrew Woodland

Newtown 1901 Newtown Local History Group

The National Monuments Record of Wales: Collecting Our Past Gay Robert

The Chronicles of Cynllaith – Llansilin Anniversary Pageant Gay Roberts

Was There Anybody There? Ghost Tour of Powis Castle Gay Roberts

The Princess Who was Vain: Conclusion Michael Brown
Loyoute Sans Fin: Chapter One Brian L. Roberts
More Rain? Diana Ashworth

Editorial PenCambria Issue 9 by Gay Roberts

Welcome to PenCambria Number 9 and do please forgive me for the year’s break but after the publication of number 8 last summer I was completely overwhelmed by the demands of the day job among other things that it has taken until now and a team of excellent assistants to get PenCambria back into print. I should like to add that it was also at the behest of many of
you, too, who were so kind as to tell me how much you have missed it. I am deeply touched and would like to thank you all for your past and continuing support and hope that you will enjoy it as much in the future.
As I said we now have a team of assistant editors and sales and media support, and I should like to take this opportunity to introduce to you. You will recognise most of them as have contributed much excellent reading matter in the past. David Burkhill-Howarth will do what he can in the way of local and sometimes not-so-local history, Michael and Diana Brown have taken on the heritage side, especially helping with reports of the Arwystli Society talks and visits; because they are always so interesting, these and reports of the Powysland Club lectures will take a much more prominent role in future issues. Norma Allen and Tyler Keevil are developing the creative writing content, Reginald Massey is our Consultant Editor, Christina Edwards and Diana Buck are our sales and distribution team and Nick Venti is hoping to fix the web site, desperately in need of updating. I am also indebted to Christina for her recent offer to help with editorial collection. My thanks to all of you for taking so much of the burden of my shoulders.
As ever, in this issue, we have a lot of good things for you to read. First we take a walk in the beautiful Ratgoed Valley with David Burkhill-Howarth. Then we get down to the nitty gritty of quarrying with Brain Poole, who has done an enormous amount of research on a totally unsung but vital part of life in Mid Wales – the Penstrowed Quarry outside of Newtown. This quarry and the men who worked it have provided the roads we use, the houses we live in, the bridges we use to cross the rivers, and all manner of basic infrastructures. His article gives an insight into the geology and history of the quarry, how it was worked, what it supplied and its future prospects. On to Newtown and we discover another of the town’s forgotten writers, Geraint Goodwin, with Reginald Massey. Next Rachael Jones takes us on a short course researching local history which many of you aspiring historians will find very rewarding, even you don’t end up in the dock at Welshpool’s old Assizes Court, as did one of her students! South to Rhayader with Chris Smith, a professional archaeologist and Rhayader resident, who provides with a fascinating insight on the development of Rhayader during the medieval period along side the fate of Cwmddaudwr. Back to North Powys again with Dr. David Stephenson and the exploits of the medieval Prince Owain Cyfeiliog and, after a brief detour to Llangurig with E. Ronald Morris and a local boy who made it good, we complete the round trip with Tyler Keevil and the piece you have all been waiting for – the next episode in the extraordinary career of that grandson of Carno, Murray the Hump.
2008 is the centenary of the opening of Llanidloes Town Hall. One of the driving forces behind it was E. Horsfall Turner, headmaster of Llanidloes County Intermediate School and completely unsung water colourist. The Arwystli Society talk in April this year celebrated the both the anniversary of the Town Hall and the life and work of this man. A month later, John Napier gave the society a talk on Frank Shayler, the architect of this building, and of many others in the Mid Wales area. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did listening to them.
In August I was privileged to receive an invitation to the press launch of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales’ centenary exhibition at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth. Its title is Collecting Our Past and the theme is the work of the National Monuments Record of Wales. You will find an account of this exhibition in this issue as well as a brief preview of the television series following their work, due to be screened in November. I would urge you, if you can, to go and see the exhibition before it closes on 22nd November this year and to bookmark the series on BBC2 Wales as part of your winter’s viewing.
I was also sent a very entertaining DVD of the pageant put on by the community of Llansilin in 2005 to commemorate fifteen hundred years of life in this community since the establishment of St. Silin’s church in 500 AD to the present date – and, being a border area, much has happened there indeed. It was also conceived to mark the departure after twenty
five years of the then Vicar, Reverend Kit Carter, a very talented man by way of writing and performing for the theatre as well as for his priestly activities. You will find a synopsis of this pageant further on.
To chill you blood, Christina, another friend and I went on the ghost tour of Powis Castle last year and you can read all about those spooky goings-on as well.
We have our regular report from Powys Archives as well details of two new books, and a calendar of some of the things that are happening in Mid Wales during the next few months. Finally, in the Dragon’s Crypt we find out exactly what fate had in store for the Princess Who Was Vain, we have the first chapter of a story about a weaver and his family set against the backdrop of the Chartists’ uprising in Llanidloes in 1839 and we have some more observations on our current precipitation preoccupation.
All in all, plenty for you to enjoy reading during the long dark months of winter.

What was in PenCambria: Issue 8 Autumn 2008?

Saving Llanidloes Hospital Gay Roberts

Dr Graham Davies Gay Roberts

A Life Well Spent Eileen Williams

“Being at Montgomery” Part 2 Gay Roberts

The Deadly Tablet  Cambrian Railways 1921: Part III David Burkhill-Howarth

More Summertime Memories from Llandrindod Wells Joel Williams

Cwmdauddwr Gravestone Opens a Window on the Napoleonic World Part 2 Nick Venti

Livestock, Timber & Retail Therapy Dennis Duggan & the Welshpool Oral History Project

The Gentleman Hood: Part VII Tyler Keevil

The Princess Who Was Vain Part 1 Michael Brown
Haikus Reginald Massey
A Rural Idyll? Norma Allen

Editorial PenCambria Issue 8 by Gay Roberts
Hovering over all our small and not so small communities is the threat of closure of all our small and not so small but thoroughly convenient hospitals. So, while in no way taking a party political stand, I make no bones about including in this issue the story of Llanidloes War
Memorial Hospital, how it was created and funded until the National Health Service took it over, what it means to the community and the prospect for us when/if it is closed. While this is the history of the Llanidloes institution, nevertheless all communities will recognise it as their own experience and for any of you reading this, who find your own hospital under threat of closure too, I hope you will all take heart and use it in any way you choose to keep your own hospitals open. I and my family have been very grateful for its services in the past as have so many of us, not just in the Llanidloes area, but many from elsewhere as well, as Lembit Opik, for example, is always very keen to affirm after his life-threatening fall. Meanwhile I dedicate this issue to the Campaign to Save Llanidloes Hospital and wish it every success. Following the history of the hospital is a small cameo of Dr. Graham, whom I know most people who knew him in Llanidloes will remember with great affection.
Another affection tribute this month is paid by Eileen Williams to her grandparents, especially her grandmother, who did so much to make sure she had a happy childhood and a positive upbringing.
We reach the final part of The Deadly Tablet this month with the inquest on the 1921 train crash at Abermule and find that it has become famous throughout the world as an example of how to avoid such an incident on a single track railway.
Murray the Hump forsakes politics and turns to the glittering prospects of Hollywood. Tyler will be taking a ‘natural break’ from Murray after this month to concentrate on his creative writing studies at Aberystwyth for a year. That should give us all chance to digest everything that he has uncovered so far. That the son of a Mid Walian should become the driving force in such a murky world…
Major Edward Jones storms Badajoz in the Peninsular War this month and Nick Venti deserves great credit for bringing the exploits of this valiant son of the Elan Valley to our notice so long after the event.
Our pensioners from Welshpool continue with their reminiscing – this time it is being combed for head lice, seeing the ponies being brought down from the hills for a life in the pits, and the Co-op divvy, amongst other things – and I am sure their memories will be familiar to so many of you as well.
Other memories of summer in Llandrindod are recalled with nostalgic pictures of the lake as told to Joel Williams in Voices of Llandrindod Wells Vol. 1.
In the second part of the Arwystli Society’s outing to Montgomershire, we are taken round the town on a guided tour and come across fake windows, fake timber framed buildings and the mysterious patch of bare earth on the robber’s grave.
Catherine Richards brings us up-to-date with the work of Powys Archives and has sent us a lovely picture of fishing in the Wye.
And there are all kinds of events going on this summer both for learning and leisure.
In The Dragon’s Crypt this month Michael Brown goes from fact to fiction with part one of a Gothic tale of Gormenghast dimensions.
Reggie Massey paints a picture of the season with his customary succinct yet beautifully expressive haikus.
Norma Allen’s tale of settling to life in the countryside will ring a bell with all of us who found this place after living in the city and wouldn’t even think of going back – back? Where’s that?
And now, if it still raining by the time you settle down with this copy of PenCambria, at least it will give you something to take your mind off this dreadful summer. And maybe by the time you finish it, we will be into a lovely autumn. Well, one can but dream…