All posts by mjptna

“Effective Communications” by David Padfield. Thursday January 3rd 2019

On January 3rd we listened to Dave Padfield regale us with anecdotes of often amusing misinterpretations or misunderstandings he had come across over the course of his career as a teacher of French. He stressed how much speaking and listening are interlinked, but how over the course of his life and having a profoundly deaf son in law, he had come to realise how speaking does not have to be auditory. His granddaughters have grown up adept at sign language, being able to sign effectively as babies before they had developed effective speech.He has worked too teaching English as a foreign language to many overseas students in schools and colleges. This led to some tales of problems with syntax between two languages, sometimes leading to hilarious mistranslationHe enjoyed his teaching over the years and admitted that he preferred to take less able students as he was often able to spot nuggets of potential deeply buried in households that cared little for learning Now he spends his time teaching Pembrokeshire primary children to ride bicycles safely and doing voluntary work. Cycling is still very much part of his life, recently cycling solo around Ireland and still picking up the odd amusing snippet- once asking a shop keeper for soap and being offered oxtail or tomato.

“William Marshall- The Greatest Knight” a talk by Gareth Mills. Thursday December 6th 2018.

  William Marshall (the Greatest Knight) and his building of Pembroke Castle

William was born in France of an Anglo Norman family in 1147. As the son of a minor nobleman he had no fortune to inherit and had to make his own way in life. Aged 12 he went to Normandy to train as a knight and was knighted in1166. In 1170 King Henry 2nd asked Marshal to join his Court but allowed Marshall to go on a crusade. On William’s return he rejoined the Court and served as a loyal captain through Henry’s final difficult years.

Henry rewarded William by arranging his marriage to Isabel de Clare, the daughter of Richard de Clare (Strongbow), the Earl of Pembroke. The marriage brought with it large estates in England, Normandy, Ireland and Wales, and Marshall set about improving them. At Pembroke Castle he improved its defences by building the formidable keep which he made impregnable with a stone roof. He also dug out access steps to Wogans Cavern that enabled the castle to be supplied if under siege.

When Richard, the Lionheart, became King, William was one of the Barons appointed to the Council of Regency when Richard joined the third crusade. Following Richard’s death, he supported the unpopular King John, becoming his chief adviser and the guardian to John’s son, the future Henry 3rd. William remained loyal to King John throughout the hostilities with his barons which culminated with the signing of Magna Carta on June 15th 1215

In November 1216 John died, in the midst of a French invasion. William was appointed Protector of the nine year old King and Regent of the Kingdom. He produced an improved Magna Carta and declared he would rule under its terms.

Although William was aged 70, he prosecuted the war against the French with great energy. During the Battle of Lincoln he charged at the head of the young King’s army and gained a victory which caused the French to retire from England

In 1219, William was buried in the Temple Church in London. Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, stated ‘Behold the remains of the best knight who ever lived’.