Tuesday, 4 October 2011

September 2011

Alan has decided that he will produce representations for me of the most significant items of the Llyn Cerrig Bach artefacts. These are to fill in the gap whilst I wait for Oriel Ynys Món to produce the proper replicas which I collected funding for two years ago. I had also planned with others to produce videos of how they were made during the Iron Age. They were also to be accompanied by a school’s interpretation pack. I still live in hope that the making of these replicas and their accompanying package will come to fruition in the near future.

When we were at the National Museum in Cardiff six months ago, Alan mentioned to Adam Gwilt, Curator of Prehistory at the museum, how he’d made a copy of the crescentic plaque. Adam said he would be very interested to see it when we were next in Cardiff. This month therefore, we took it to show him and as you can see from the picture, he was duly fascinated and impressed with the way Alan had managed to produce such a good copy from basic material.

I took a picture of Alan with his “plaque” alongside the cabinet which houses the original plaque. As you can see he has done an excellent representation of it.

By now, Alan has also completed a copy of the shield boss and has started work on a copy of the votive sword.
However, in no way do these do instead of the properly produced replicas, but even so, as you saw from previous blog entries, it gives adults and children a great insight into their size and how they would have looked until we get the real ones. I took the picture of the shield in the children’s education area of the museum. This shows exactly the positioning of the boss on a shield.

I love going to the museum to see the Llyn Cerrig Bach artefacts and to reminisce how at one time many of them had lain on our kitchen table. This was before my father took some to Bangor museum and mailed others to Cardiff. I have now been informed that all the archaeology on display at the museum is moving to San Fagan, outside Cardiff. For the sake of people that are unable to travel to San Fagan by car or public buses, I do hope that a shuttle bus will be organized, if only twice a day, from outside the museum. Being in the centre of the city, the museum is so accessible to everyone who visits Cardiff, especially if you have to travel all the way down from North Wales like us.

Last week, we had a lovely coach ride along the Lleyn peninsula. The weather was so beautiful; it was just like touring along the Mediterranean coast. The first place we visited was Nant Gwrtheyrn, "Vortigern's Creek". It takes its name from Brenin Gwrtheyrn, a disgraced Kentish king who ruled ancient Britain early in the 5th.century. This was a small quarrying village by Llithfaen, which became derelict when the need for granite diminished in the Midland towns during World War II.

A group of people, led by Dr. Carl Clowes, managed to buy the village and turn it into a Welsh language Centre which specializes in courses for adults who want to learn Welsh. Recently, they have received a £5million grant. All the old Victorian cottages ( except the one you see in the photograph ) have been modernized into 4* accommodation. They have a lovely café and also a new conference hall. The walks along the shoreline here are breathtaking.

The access road down used to be quite hair raising when I first visited the centre years ago. However, it too, has now undergone an improvement. Prior to this, production companies used to send cars and motorbikes here to test them on the corkscrew bends!
We drove safely back up onto the main road, and then continued down the Lleyn peninsular to Llanbedrog. Here we visited the Gothic mansion of Plas Glyn y Weddw, roughly translated - Mansion of the Valley of the Widow. This mansion was built for Lady Love Jones Parry as a Dower House in 1856. Although she never slept here, she visited it weekly by carriage from her other home Madryn nearby. I first became aware of the Madryn estate when I visited Port Madryn in Patagonia. This was named in honour of Sir Love- Jones Parry , who was one of the founders of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia. It was at Port Madryn that the first settlers disembarked in 1865.

In 1979 Plas Glyn y Weddw had become almost derelict, but was bought and restored by Gwyneth and Dafydd ap Thomas. In 1997 it was bought by Friends of the Gallery and is now run by a group of 70 volunteers. The mansion house is mainly an Art Gallery, exhibiting work by prominent artists from Wales and beyond. Upstairs, there is one room with exhibition china cabinets in it, one of which has a collection of the rare Nantgarw Welsh porcelain.
In order to pay their costs, the Friends organise concerts, lectures, craft fairs, weddings and even funeral wakes here! They have a large dining room and also a splendid café which serves excellent homebaked cakes – something I’m always happy to partake in as you’re well aware by now!