Tuesday, 31 July 2012

JULY 2012

I've had such an emotional roller coaster of a month due to the fact that my husband was taken by ambulance in the night three times to hospital - this happening in the month that both of us had been looking forward to for years.Thankfully, after being treated successfully the third time, I'm pleased to let everyone know that he's made a complete recovery.

On July 10th. both of us were invited to Oriel Ynys Môn to see the main Llyn Cerrig bach artefacts arriving back in Anglesey on loan from the National Museum of Wales. Alun Gryffudd, the previous Principle of the Oriel did negotiate quite a number of the artefacts to come up on display for the Millennium. However, this is the first time the most significant artefacts have been in Anglesey since the 1940's.

As I entered the exhibition area for the preview, I'm afraid I was overcome emotionally, glued to the spot for a while!  Although Bob Williams of Magma Books had invited Alan and myself a month beforehand to see a 3D model he had made of the area, it was beyond my expectation. Bob has also produced excellent information panels around the room.

Adam Gwilt, the curator of Iron Age Collections at Cardiff and Mary Davis the Head of Archaeological Conservation were there to greet us. They have by now become close friends of Alan and myself. Bob had measured exactly where the hooks had to be to hang the gang chain. Because it is on a perspex shield shape, it looks truly amazing.

The following day, Alan and I were invited again to preview the replicas that I collected funds for, which now Dave and Sue Chapman have produced. They have made them as they would have looked when they were thrown into Llyn Cerrig Bach 2,000 years ago, These are invaluable to explain the background of the find. From September Pat the Principal of the Oriel, Ceri the Education Officer and myself will be holding workshops at the Oriel for schools throughout the island.

This is a another replica of one of the swords as it would have looked when it was thrown into Llyn Cerrig Bach 2,000 years ago.

About 2 years ago, Bob Williams and his partner Phil Steele, had meetings with me to format a book that we would publish about Llyn Cerrig Bach. However, the total cost of printing a sufficient number of copies to make it a viable proposition came to £15,000. At this point, I approached Ynys Môn County Council and they agreed to finance it thankfully.

Magma Books have produced a book exactly in the format as the one I'd explained I wanted. It has sufficient information text together with associated images to make it suitably interesting to both adults and children. I was really thrilled to see the final result.

On Friday, July 13th. an evening was arranged at Oriel Ynys Môn to launch everything - the exhibition, the replicas and the Llyn Cerrig Bach book. We were honoured to have Dr. John Davies to open the evening. Pat West, Principal of the Oriel, spoke first and then I was called upon to give a few words on how I felt. There were about 150 dignitaries present, so I sat down quite releived when it was all  over!

For those not present, these were my thoughts that evening:

" None of us would be here tonight, except for two things.
The first is because of my father, William Roberts.He was the Head Groundsman on RAF Valley during WW2. If it wasn't for his knowledge and understanding of the boggy areas around the airfield and his decision to dredge them, then none of the artefacts you are about to view tonight would ever have been found. You will have to buy the book tonight to read this incredible story!

Since the designs on some compare with the La Tene artefacts found in Switzerland, they are by now world famous.I have personal evidence of this on this blog - viewers so far include most of the European countries, USA, Canada, Australia, India and even 110 from Russia.

Also. we wouldn't be here tonight either if it wasn't for the collaboration between Pat West here at the Oriel and Adam Gwilt, the Pre-History Curator at our National Museum in Cardiff. They have worked hard to bring this exhibition into being tonight.
I must also express my gratitude to Bob Williams, Magma Books for designing such an amazing and atmospheric display to house the artefacts. When I visited the preview three days ago, I'm afraid I became quite emotional.

A couple of years ago Bob and his partner Pillip Steele and myself started on the journey of getting a book about Llyn Cerrig Bach into print. john Rees Thomas on behalf of Cyngor Ynys Môn backed it financially.We have therefore, the end result in the form of an excellent book being launched here tonight.

I am immensely pleased with the end result. Bob and Phil have managed to produce a book that is not only interesting to us as the general public, but also educational to young people and school children. Exactly the kind of book I had envisaged. It is to the youngsters that we need to pass on the knowledge about their island's history.

Since retiring 20 years ago, my campaign has been going around schools, colleges and societies giving lectures on LL C B's background. I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

I'm thrilled therefore, that Dave and Sue Chapman of Ancient Arts, have produced a large number of replicas, which are also being launched tonight. Some of you present are representatives of those who kindly donated funds to me towards their production.  These are going to be of great value in describing the objects as they were 2,000 years ago. I have experienced how valuable the replica of the gang chain has been when visiting schools and giving presentations on LL C B. Everyone was able to handle it and I craved for more replicas.

Tonight, I've had my three wishes - I feel as if I've won the triple crown! - the artefacts exhibition, the replicas and the book - all being launched together!

I see before me here, so many wonderful friends I've made along my journey to reach this point tonight.

My father, not only left the finds of Llyn Cerrig Bach as a heritage to our nation, but something also for me and my family to be proud of. "

Diolch Dad !

There were about a 150 invited guests, so I sat down quite relived when I'd finished and then listened to the other speakers. The last to speak was the newly elected Anglesey Mayor, Robert Jones of Holyhead. I was shocked when he called me forward to receive a hologram type picture of the crescentric plaque. This was given to me jointly by the National Museum of Wales and Oriel Ynys Môn in appreciation of my 20 years of dedicated work on Llyn Cerrig Bach. As Pat West remarked, for once I was lost for words! My family were there and so proud of me.

Dr.John Davies and R. Jones, Anglesey Mayor.

Alan and I have been conducting sessions twice a week on Saturdays and Wednesdays, explaining the background of the artefacts with the help of the replicas. We have met lovely interesting people and also met many old friends whom we hadn't seen for years. A lady visiting from London took this picture of Alan and me and her friend from Flintshire emailed it to us. Thank you Gill and Vicki.

Next Saturday, August 4th at 1.30pm, I shall be giving my talk on Llyn Cerrig Bach in the Tunnicliff Room at Oriel Môn. This will be entirely in Welsh, to be repeated in English on Thursday August 30th at 7.30pm.
We shall the be restarting our replica sessions again twice a week from Saturday August 11th.
Finally, this is a picture taken of me and my three lovely granddaughters making our way down to the beach on one of the few sunny days we've had this July!