Sunday, 8 May 2011

APRIL 2011

The first good news entry is that happily, the local council have now placed two benches on the Maelog Lake stretch of road. This is after me embarrassingly sending them this picture of me! When you reach well passed your retirement age, you realise how necessary it is to have rest points like this if the older generation are to follow the advice, of keeping active by doing such things as walking.

Alan and I have enjoyed two visits this month with the U3A. First, we were blessed with a beautiful sunny afternoon at Caernarfon Castle. The historian Neil Johnston met us and told us some of its history. Initially, it was the site of the Welsh Prince Llywelyn the Great’s home during his lifetime (1173-1240). In 1282, Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, his grandson, was killed by English soldiers in an ambush at Cilmeri, Powys. In 1283, King Edward 1 came to Conwy where he built the castle and then came on to Caernarfon. Here, he incorporated material from the nearby Roman fort of Segontium with other materials that were brought by boat to build himself a new castle.

Edward had travelled with the Crusaders as far Constantinople to fight. It is thought now that it was he that designed the castleby on his return, based on the ideas he had gathered whilst on his travels. He then installed James of St.George in charge of the building of it. In 1284, his son, Edward 2 was born here and was presented to the local people from the Eagle Tower as a native prince who couldn’t speak a word of English! In 1969, Prince Charles was invested here as the present Prince of Wales.

Our second U3A visit was to Theatre Clwyd. Each time we visit this theatre, we always enjoy a highly professional performance. This one was no exception, called “Journey’s End”. It was a deeply moving play depicting the endurance suffered by the soldiers whilst in the trenches during the First World War.

On one of the lovely days over Easter, Alan and I took Awen, my six year old granddaughter, for a walk along the Malltraeth Cob. We all took our binoculars with us to do a bit of bird spotting. This is where one of our eminent bird and wildlife artists, Charles Tunnicliffe, lived. ( 1901 – 1979 ). You can see his home, “Shorelands” on the opposite side of the River Cefni estuary in the picture.

He had an upstairs studio giving him a panoramic view through the window of the ebb and flow of the tidal waters. He used to find dead birds and take them to his studio to make intricate drawings of the wings, beaks feet etc. His illustrations have been used in at least 250 books, such as “Tarka the Otter” and Ladybird books eg. “What to look for in Spring”etc.. His work can be seen at Oriel Ynys Môn and the lecture room has been named in honour of him.

When we go on this walk, we always like to end up with tea and homemade cake in Jane and Norman’s
Café by the cob entrance – well signed on the roadside as you can see. They are open every day except Sunday, 11am – 5pm. They also cater for children’s parties, including making the cake and providing the party games. Learn more from their website, If you view the pictures of their cakes, you’ll soon be tempted!

Alan and I enjoyed an excellent day out to Llandudno on another day. He must be one of the few husbands not to be dragged into M&S or any other shop whilst there! This was because we intend taking our U3A there to visit to the Museum and the Senedd Buldings in Llandudno Junction at the end of May/ We therefore needed to do a pre-run.

The Museum is located on Gloddaeth Street, just off the top of Mostyn St.( the street with car parking down its centre). We were made extremely welcome by Mr.Richard Hughes, the curator, who explained about all the ground floor exhibitions personally to us. As he was also in charge of the desk, we went to view the first floor on our own. He has produced detailed text sheets on all the exhibitions. There are of course also information boards by each exhibition. One case contained pre-historic exhibits from Kendrick’s Cave, on the Great Orme. They included decorated beads made from deer and wild cattle teeth from the end of the Ice Age period. There were also some of the Bronze Age hoard of artefacts found in the Great Orme mines. In one cabinet, was quite a big piece of a 5,000 year old tree trunk found on Llandudno’s North Shore. These can still be found there during very low tides.

Upstairs, there is a fascinating display based on the secret printing press that the Catholics had in a cave on the Little Orme during the time of their persecution by Elizabeth 1. Here, they produced the first Welsh book printed in Wales – “ Y Drych Cristnogol” “ The Christian Mirror”. Its leader, Father William Davies, sadly was caught and taken to Beaumaris Goal to be hung, drawn and quartered!

The hologram of the Llyn Cerrig Bach plaque had just been taken down and is now on its way to Oriel Ynys Môn in readiness for its display there as from May 28th.

I’m afraid I could go on and on about all the interesting things we saw, but this would result in a very lengthy blog entry! I will just give the opening times. There is a small entrance charge, being it is not maintained by the council.

Easter – 31st October: Tues– Sat. and Bank Hols: 10.30 – 1.00 & 2.00 – 5.00 Sunday 2.15 – 5.00pm.
1st November – Easter: Tuesday – Saturday 1.30 – 4.30

After lunch in our favourite home-cook restaurant around the corner in Mostyn Street, we made our way Llandudno Junction to the Senedd building. Here, we met up as arranged with Shaun Holden, the Communications Officer and made most welcome once more. We finalised the necessary arrangements for our U3A group’s visit and then had a coffee in their very nice reception area called Y Bont (trans. The Bridge).