Sunday, 7 October 2012


I've titled this September, but its actually October 7th by the time I've managed to get a window to write last month's blog. On Monday of this week I had to take someone to do a rekki before filming by Llyn Cerrig Bach. There was a fisherman there I'd chatted to before. He said he'd become one of my disciples in spreading the gospel about the history of this little lake! He put it in a nutshell, what I've been trying to do for the last 20 years!

Due to the artefacts are still at Oriel Môn until November 11th, I've had another busy, but highly enjoyable month. My first talk was in the Music Room at Plas Newydd on the banks of the Menai Strait. I was pleasantly surprised to see a full house.The Marquis  Lady Anglesey also came to join
(Sorry - failed to sort this blank area out! )
us. I was really thrown when he
insisted on kissing me and saying it was the best talk he'd heard in years!

The following morning, Alan and I managed to get off on a week's break on a cruise up the Norwegian Fjords. We went on the famous Flam railway, making a stop on the way to view the Kjosfossen waterfall. We also went in a cable car up the Ulriken mountain above Bergen to view the city. The best part for me was walking to the Kjendalen glacier and then travelling back across Lake Lovatnet to Olden. Everywhere we stopped for refreshments, we devoured lovely sweet waffles with lashings of cream and local berry jams.

The night after we arrived home, I gave my talk to the Talwrn Archaeology group. Here again, we had excellent attendance. Its fantastic that everyone is taking such an interest in the background story of Llyn Cerrig Bach.

Throughout September, I've been doing sessions with school children at Oriel Môn with Ceri, the Education Officer. First, we meet in the Tunnicliffe room, where I show them a shortened version of my presentation about Llyn Cerrig Bach. I then show them an image of each artefact they will see in the exhibition cabinet. They are then given a clipboard etc. and told to imagine they are an archaeologist and have just found one of the artefacts. They are then taken to see the artefacts, asked to make a sketch and label some of them. We then return to the Tunicliffe room, where each group is given a replica of one of the artefacts as it would have been during the Iron Age when it was thrown into the lake. We then discuss how each artefact would have been used at that time. To finish, each group comes forward and describes their replica to the rest of the class. They are all then allowed to go around from table to table to examine each replica in turn. To me, it is a joy to witness their curiosty interest and be back amongst children of the age I used to teach for 37 years before I retired. This is a picture taken of Rhosybol children whilst there.

Every Thursday evening, there are talks on various aspects of Llyn Cerrig Bach given by specialists in their field. I'm afraid that Alan and I missed some owing to other committments. However, we were able to attend an excellent talk given last week by Adam Gwilt, Head of Antiquities at the National Museum in Cardiff. He gave a talk about Celtic Art found in Wales. This week, we went to listen to Dr. Phillip McDonald, Queen's College, Belfast. I have known Phillip from when he was a student at Cardiff and came to Llyn Cerrig Bach to study it for his doctorate. He has since published an excellent academic book " Llyn Cerrig Bach -  study of the Copper Alloy Artefacts from the Insular La Tene Assemblage" - available on the web and probably other sources.
During the last week of September, Alan and I attended a full day Intergenerational Forum at Plas Newydd. About 120 people of all ages came together. We sat in groups of mixed ages and discussed various ways that intergenerational activities could be increased on the island. Through listening to others speak, we were able to gather information from each community about what was already happening there and perhaps implement it in our area. Next to me on one side, I had a 13 year old young man and on the other side, a young mother who was juggling three different jobs, together with bringing up a family. Our suggestions were all put up on a board and another forum will be held to let us know which activities can be implemented. I'm proud to say that it was my daughter Delyth, through her work, who organised such a successful event. During the other three days at Plas Newydd, she also had activity days for Primary Schools, Secondary schools and also a Woodland Festival over the two weekend days - all extremely well attended.
Last Friday, I took members of Anglesey /Ynys Môn U3A on a visit to the Oriel. John Smith, Oriel Môn's Technical Officer gave us such an interesting talk about Sir Kyffin Williams. Since he had been a personal friend of Sir Kyffin, he was able to give us a new insight to how his life affected his paintings. John has already published two small editions on Kyffin, but this week, his new book on his whole life of Kyffin has been launched called "Obssessed" An excellent Christmas present for anyone interested in art.
After a buffet lunch at the Oriel's cafe, I then took the members up to the Llyn Cerrig Bach exhibition. Since mid July, nearly 25,000 have gone through the History gallery door to see them! This number does not include children, as the detector is above their height. Those of you who still haven't been have as I mentioned, until November 11th to do so before they return to our National Museum at Cardiff.