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Events in 2010


As usual, the AGM was held in Coleg Ceredigion, where we were treated to a meal served to the usual high standards by catering students. All went well, with every report being approved, all vacancies filled and no long speeches!


On the 3rd June about 35 of us had a very interesting and instructive visit to Cardigan Castle, where we were able to see the wealth of history locked up in the various buildings and the tremendous work which will be necessary to repair the damage done in past decades and restore the castle to being a place of value to the town.


Following the visit to the castle we were expecting a talk by Jann Tucker on 24th June, but she had to attend an important funding meeting. We were instead treated to an amusing talk by Dick “the Vet” Thomas, a founding member of the Cadwgan Trust which is managing the restoration and who left us in no doubt of the challenge facing the town and the benefits to be gained in a few years’ time if all goes well.


At its August meeting the club was entertained by three of its members who told of their experiences in a wide range of surroundings from the sewers of Manchester to the sunshine of South Africa. One member had helped to modernise the drainage system for the third largest city in Britain, another had developed a life-long interest in the Middle East after National Service in Jordan, inspiring him to write a novel and find work in the area selling software; a third had worked on P&O cruise ships, a Nigerian sugar refinery, computer imaging and manufactured large diesel engines.

The meeting was a fascinating insight into the varied backgrounds of friends who had all decided to settle in the Cardigan area, and showed that you just don’t know who might be walking past you in the street!

We hope that we can persuade more members to share their experiences with us as it is obviously a rich vein of unexpected treasure and helps the club to function better on the social level.


The July talk was given by Stephan Jones, who has a big reputation for the management of woodland in a way which is sympathetic to the needs of the environment. He usually uses horses instead of tractors and has a strong feeling for the right way of managing trees without being too heavy-handed with the saw.

His presentation soon developed into a “Gardeners’ Question Time” with members keen to tap into his vast experience and benefit from his advice on all aspects of controlling or assisting arboreal growth.


A small group of members (and one wife) attended the meeting of the Llechryd Short Mat Bowls Club on the afternoon of Tuesday, 17th August. Despite the small size of the party we fitted in well with the Bowls Club members and a good time was had by all. There was no overall winner, since teams changed in a random fashion, but all our members acquitted themselves well and we look forward to another visit in the not too distant future, possibly away from the holiday season which prevented some from attending this time.


The way Rhosygilwen House has changed over the years and how it may develop in the future was the subject of a talk given by Glen and Brenda Peters to the February meeting at Castell Malgwyn.

The house was built by the Colby family in the late 19th century but was severely damaged by fire in the 1980s. The Peters bought the house in the early 90s and spent many years renovating it. They had the idea of holding concerts there when a workman played the piano which was left in the house following the fire. After some years they decided to build a “room” in the garden to hold the concerts, but that room became the magnificent Neuadd Derwen which is now the centre for many and varied performances. The flexibility of the space is a great asset which more than compensates for the lack of conventional stage facilities. The range of productions encompasses opera, choral, jazz and popular music, dance and literary events.

It is now planned to install several acres of solar panels in adjoining fields, to produce 2 megawatts of electricity, but these will be virtually invisible and silent. Sheep will still be grazed in the fields and the sale of the power exported will help to financially support the arts events and the beautiful grounds.

Following the talk, the speakers joined members and friends in a lunch to mark St David’s Day, albeit a few days early!

Glen and Brenda Peters, owners of Rhosygilwen, with Chairman Mike Perry.

Chairman, 2010 - 2011, Mike Perry

Outgoing Chairman Peter Woolley and new Chairman Mike Perry at the 2010 AGM


The March meeting was entertained by a talk by Martin Lloyd on the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers. It was illuminating to hear first hand from someone who had a leading role in the establishment and administration of the scheme, after a career as one of he most successful heads in Welsh secondary education.

BEES ROUND A HONEYPOT was the description of the way members and guests gathered round the speaker’s table after a fascinating talk to the April meeting by Tina Drakes on the healing properties of honey and other bee products. We were amazed at the variety of products and their uses and thoroughly enjoyed a very entertaining morning.