Tuesday, 5 November 2013

September - October 2013

Wow – what a pleasant surprise – I’ve been waiting to see my blog views reaching the 10,000 mark when I’ve noticed tonight that they’ve suddenly jumped to 10,384 views!

Due to the Autumn term restarting, requests are beginning also for me to give my presentation on Llyn Cerrig Bach, both in schools and the community. I really enjoy these, as very often I meet up again with old friends in various parts of the island. Alan always attends when he can to help me set things up for the talk. Our first visit this term has been to the Senior Club in Llangefni, where we had a very warm, homely welcome on a cold afternoon.

Alan with his replicas and a few of the ladies present.
I'm afraid that this is all the news this month on Llyn Cerrig Bach so I will put my input once more on the places we enjoyed visiting on Anglesey 
I’m ashamed to say that Alan and I hadn’t visited Oriel Tegfryn in Menai Bridge since many a year. By now at our age, we’re wary of turning into difficult places to park. For this reason, Oriel Tegfryn  had always been such a place as it is situated on the main busy road the Beaumaris end of Menai Bridge. However, on this occasion we ventured forth and were immediately pleasantly surprised to see a huge car park in front of us! This is hidden from view from the road  by a tall wall.  No worries ever again!

 The Tegfryn Art Gallery was established in 1963 and is one of Wales' oldest galleries and has a long and respected history. Tegfryn has exhibited all of north Wales’ leading artists including William Selwyn, Gwilym Prichard and, most notably, had a very close association with Sir Kyffin Williams over many years.

 We had a very warm welcome from Sara the receptionist. She explained that it was mainly monthly solo exhibitions on the main ground floor gallery. The other two gallery floors had constantly changing exhibition of paintings, prints and sculpture. They have also a large stock of work in store, which can be viewed on request.
Tel: 01248 715128 if you want to double check or visit tegfryn@artwales.com
The day we called, we were fortunate that there were large collections on display of art by Peter Prendergast and Mary Lloyd Jones RCA. You can even register on a Collectors Plan which allows you to pay for your purchase by instalments - with no added interest!
Another highlight visit this month was attending an evening performance at Theatr Fach, Llangefni. Each term, they alternate with producing either an English or Welsh drama. This time, it was “Leni” an award winning drama in Welsh that had been translated into English. The actors were all magnificent in their respective roles.

 Cymdeithas Ddrama Llangefni is an amateur dramatic society, active from 1942. In 1955, its secretary, George Fisher (1909-1970), a schoolteacher, founded Theatr Fach Llangefni. The company received financial help from the British Arts Council. The theatre organises drama festivals, and is a member of The Guild of Little Theatres.

Although situated in Llangefni, many people find it difficult to find or even are not aware of it. This is why I’ve mentioned it on Facebook and Twitter as it’s a little gem. Directions can be found on the web.

Sorry, this other visit is on the opposite side of Afon Menai and not on Anglesey!
This month, I decided to organise a full day’s visit to Bangor University (North Wales) for many of our University of the Third Age members – Ynys Môn/ Anglesey U3A. u3asites.org.uk/anglesey

I felt it would benefit us all to become better acquainted with various departments and facilities. This will then hopefully instigate us to make  use of such things as its Archives and Library. Also, hopefully, for some to enrol on various further education courses that they have on offer.

As it was a full day, it took me and Sian Peris Owen, the College Manager of Arts and Humanities, a lot of organizing via numerous e-mails. I owe her immensely for such a successful day. She had even arranged for Dr. Andrew Edwards, the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities to give us a welcome address on arrival.

A big thanks also to Ffion Lisk, the Events Coordinator of The Business Centre situated across the road in the old Normal College hostels.  As I entered the quad, I had happy memories of my time in Alun Room 135 in 1955 -57.
Ffion had prepared a lecture room for us to have a presentation from Einion Thomas, the College Archivist. We were given an insight into the background history of various historical documents which they hold. One was a letter signed by Hitler, with a fascinating story of how it finally made its way to Bangor.

We then made our way through to the “1884” Brasserie, where there was a lovely view to be had of Anglesey over the Menai Strait. The old hostel rooms have become modern accommodation for the general public to book. Many people visiting Snowdonia and Anglesey stay here. The Brasserie caters for the general public also and has an enticing Christmas menu on offer.  Everyone praised the three course lunch which we had.


We also enjoyed a delightful pre-lunch musical recital, which again Sian had organised for us.  Dr.Guto Puw kindly gave of his time to bring a group of his students over from the University’s Music Dept. We were all in agreement, that their standard of performance was brilliant and that they have a bright future ahead of them.
Vote of thanks with an anecdote included!

After lunch, we attended more presentations.  One was on the history of Graffiti by a PhD student, Aimee Pritchard. Two others followed by Proff. Helen Wilcox and Dr.Rachel Willie from the English Literature Dept. These were all light and informative, finishing with an interesting questions and answers session.  
 To finish off our day, Sian Peris Owen took us on a guided tour of the main University building. Sian explained the background story of the John Pritchard Hall, Ed Povey’s mural in the Powis Hall, the college chamber room, and the library etc. It was all new to many of our members although a number of us had attended concerts and degree ceremonies in the halls. All in all, it was a brilliant day, thanks to all the staff that helped me make it a success.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and benefited educationally at the same time. This fitted perfectly the ethos of the U3A namely “Learning through Pleasure”.
It was half term school holiday last this week, so I took my granddaughter to an art workshop at Oriel Ynys Môn. It was arranged by Ceri Williams, their Education officer, hosted by “Britain from above” The art tutor was Catrin Williams. The children did not sit at a table for the two hours in the lecture room. To begin with, they were instructed how to form a sketchbook from an A2 sheet of drawing paper. Then they were taken on a guided informative tour of various parts  the History gallery. Here they chose what they liked most and sketched it. They then went to the Main Art gallery to view Elfyn Lewis’ exhibition. These were really colourful and appealed immensely to the children. Eflyn describes his process as “volcanic” Surfaces are layered with acrylic paint that drips or flows over the edges of the canvas, creating wonderful imaginative abstract paintings. I was lucky enough to see a film taken of him at work in his studio before I went which added to my appreciation of his work.
 On returning to the lecture room, the children were distributed with various black and white aerial photographs of Anglesey. They chose one to sketch onto a large drawing cloth, incorporating their history sketch into it. We as parents and grandparents accompanied the children throughout the two hours. Not only did my granddaughter learn such a lot but I thoroughly enjoyed myself also.
Look out for these school holiday workshops for children at Oriel Ynys Môn. They are advertised in the local press, Facebook and on Twitter. Oriel Môn has its own Facebook page now. At the moment you can access also by going to “events” on  www.kyffinwilliams.info
However, very soon I believe, the Oriel will have a new title to their website – www.orielynysmon.info