In the first PNTA activity since March 2020, a group of twelve gathered at Marloes, for a socially distanced stroll with Richard Ellis, former Head Warden for Pembrokeshire National Trust and wildlife enthusiast. Having seen numerous swallows flying over Marloes Mere, using it as a refuelling venue en route to Africa, we headed across the fields to join the coast path. There choughs made their appearance. Walking on to Deer Park we looked down on the beaches to see grey seal pups.
Thanks to Pat Morgan for organising the event. See below for her detailed account of the of the stroll and extra sightings.
With the benefits of many old maps and aerial photographs Steve Whitehead told the tale of Colby’s mining history and the scattering of mineshafts through the grounds that lead to an exit on Amroth Beach. The tough conditions for the miners, often children, were detailed.
Derek Brockway, in a recent TV programme ‘Weatherman Walking” featured volunteers at Colby with Steve, making areas of past mine workings visible, but safe.
Richard Fenton was born in 1747. Dr Davies described his early years in St Davids, followed by education at Haverfordwest Grammar School and Oxford.
After a time in the legal profession in London, Richard Fenton was a circuit judge in Wales. An inheritance from his uncle enabled him to build a home in Lower Fishguard. He spent time on various tours of Pembrokeshire, usually on horseback. These he recorded in a book, and Dr Davies detailed some of these journeys, illustrated by some fine recent photographs of places visited.
David is secretary of the West Wales Maritime Heritage Society.
He talked about ships torpedoed off the Pembrokeshire coast in the final months of World War 1. A restored memorial at Angle Church has led to new links with Japan in recents years, both at ambassador and family level.
This talk covered the evolution of Postal services from the 1600s to the middle of the 19th century, initially serving Government needs, then the well off, before the penny post made its use widespread. Pembrokeshire featured in the early postal service, as mail needed to get to Ireland, and Rev Antell showed maps of the evolving routes and photographs of envelopes with challenging limited address information.
After the meal, Chris Harding entertained us with stories from his life at sea, rising through the ranks to become a Captain, in the Merchant Navy. His subsequent career was more local as a Pilot on the Milford Waterway.
A presentation was made to Arnold Williams, to say “thank you” for the many years he has served on PNTA committee, arranging many varied and entertaining talks in his valuable, long stint as Programme Secretary; a post that he has recently relinquished.
Jim Price was handed a badge and certificate to commemorate 20 years service on PNTA committee, having been there from the outset. His work as Vice Chairman, organiser of summer walks, and Newsletter compiler has been invaluable.
Paul Culyer is the Senior Reserve Manager for NRW in Pembrokeshire.
After a brief description of the development and role of the Natural Resources Wales, he went on to look in more detail at the great variety of National Nature Reserves, across Pembrokeshire, and the integrated work with The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, the National Trust and RSPB.
Aerial photographs highlighted the challenges of establishing/ maintaining wildlife corridors in a county where the vast majority of land is managed primarily for agriculture.
For more detail please click on Jim Price’s summary of the talk –>Talk 121019 pdf
The TMH entertained a party of Pembrokeshire NTA members for a Cheese and Wine evening at Tudor Merchant’s House to enable us to visit the Tudor garden to see how our donation had been spent. Mair, the volunteer gardener, had worked tirelessly on the garden every week and her efforts have given us all a lovely garden to enjoy. Visitors regularly comment on her knowledge and the level of relevant detail she has at her fingertips. Jonathan Hughes, General Manager gave a special thanks to Mair for all her hard work and to the other staff members and volunteers who came to help on the evening. Many members enjoyed a tour around the house as some had not visited for a while, and the garden looked enchanting with all the lit candles that Mair had placed around the plants. Biscuits and wine were all bought from our National Trust shop in St David’s and all the varieties of cheese were made in Pembrokeshire.