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NOTES FOR 2014-15


At our September meeting we demonstrated that visits to a brewery can be well organised. A large group of members and guests were welcomed to the award-winning Mantle Brewery on the Pentood Industrial Estate by the founder and owner, Mr Ian Kimber. They were led through the entire process of making beer, from the delivery of the malted barley and hops to the placing of the final product in casks ready for delivery to customers. At the conclusion of the visit all four types of beer made on site were sampled and the sometimes subtle, sometimes striking differences were noted and appreciated. We are fortunate to have such delightful brews made so locally!

Colin Lewis

Visit to Wildlife Centre

Thanks to the organising abilities of our chairman,Geoffrey Summers, some 28 of us including wives and guests enjoyed a very interesting presentation by the manager of the Cilgerran wildlife centre. The presentation was followed by a superb luncheon in the restaurant at the centre and our thanks go to the chef and serving staff.

Originally I believe that the morning activities were due to take the shape of a conducted tour of some of the centre's interesting areas but Mother Nature intervened and decided to shower the centre with more than its fair share of heavenly downpour.

The presentation was put together at short notice by Nathan Walton who certainly showed the love he has for the tasks he faces on a daily basis. The centre has a number of previously unnoticed facets and the next time I go that way I will be on the lookout for some of the things he mentioned.

Thanks again Geoffrey !

Harry Kennar


This was one of the questions answered by Rod Penrose when he gave a fascinating, if sometimes gruesome, talk at the Nag's Head, Abercych. Rod is an officer of the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme responsible for the investigation and recording of all marine mammal strandings in Wales, though he does sometimes help out elsewhere. His talk, vividly illustrated with photographs and charts, covered the findings from post-mortem examination of seals, porpoises, dolphins and whales and brought to light some very surprising facts. It was distressing to learn that the Killer whale (Orca) is probably a doomed species due to poisoning and that many porpoises are killed by Bottlenose dolphins. Despite the gory nature of some of the photographs the capacity audience thoroughly appreciated the talk, which ended on a humorous note and gave rise to many questions. If you find a stranded mammal, the number to ring is 0800 6520333.


To celebrate St David’s Day we were promised an undefined entertainment before lunch - what would it be? It turned out to be a bit of everything (almost - no ballet!) and went down well, putting us all into the right frame of mind to enjoy the lunch. Thanks to the all the creative and skilled (?) thespians and to the Cliff Hotel for a most enjoyable occasion.


At the AGM in May the outgoing chairman, Geoffrey Summers, gave the following resume of the year’s activities :

Our year began with a talk from Rhian Medi on Cardigan Castle, which is now open to the public following the restoration.  In May our own Bob Gibson took us through his & Janet’s overland journey from Saudi Arabia to St. Dogmaels, visiting a number of places now sadly war zones.  In July we also played a few friendly rounds of Bat & Trap in Llechryd followed by some with fish & chips or supper at the Carpenters Arms.   Thanks to Tony Harvey, Harry Kennar & John Phillips who filled the speaker slots on our annual members’ day. That proved to be our final meeting at the Carpenters Arms before it closed, and presented the Chairman and Committee with the task of resourcing a new home for us. 11 possible venues were visited & 3 tried out.  In September we had a convivial visit to Mantle Brewery in Cardigan when our host Ian Kimber showed us the brewing process & provided a good few samples to taste.  September saw us trying out Coracles Leisure Centre, Cenarth, a good venue but with hire charges above our range. However, we enjoyed a talk about the Gwili Railway by Jeremy John.  In October we tested out Cilgerran Wildlife Centre & listened to a fascinating talk by David Lloyd-Owen on worldwide water supplies, followed by lunch in the Glasshouse restaurant. Whilst we were made most welcome the meeting room wasn’t really deemed to be up to our requirements. Then came the Christmas festivities with a very good lunch & raffle at Cardigan Golf Club – with thanks to Ronnie Hind for organising the lunch and Tony Harvey for handling the raffle with help selecting prizes from Phil Battison.   The following week we had drinks at The Nags Head, Abercych.  In January we road tested that venue for a much enjoyed illustrated talk by Rod Penrose on investigating strandings of dolphins, whales & turtles around our coast.  This venue was cost effective but again the room did not prove entirely suitable.   We then managed to negotiate a good deal to relocate to the Cliff Hotel, Gwbert, where we held the St. David’s Day entertainment & lunch with thanks again to Ronnie for helping make the arrangements for that day.  March saw the popular return of Dr. Wendy James telling us about wildlife of Costa Rica with a lovely selection of colourful slides.  We had our final pub lunch of the programme at the Ffostrasol Arms & thanks to Alun Rhys- Williams for organising that enjoyable get together. Also in April we were due to hear Liz Whittaker on 140 years of The Tivyside Advertiser but illness forced her to pull out & subsequently her replacement Sue Lewis left the paper.  Fortunately for us   our member Geoff Mackrell stepped in to tell us about his time working in the Falklands & South Georgia. Attendances at talks during the year has averaged 21, excluding guests.  Having now held some meetings at The Cliff Hotel the Committee would like to know if members are happy there, so a show of hands on continuing to meet at the Cliff Hotel, Gwbert was requested. An overwhelming majority in favour was recorded   Grateful thanks to Stan Smith were recorded for handling the raffle at our meetings. The Chairman’s programme round up was concluded at this point.  Also displayed at the meeting were photographs showing sweatshirts bought from the £50 donation to North Pembs & Cardiganshire Riding for the Disabled following your agreement at the last AGM for the Chairman to make a discretionary charity donation.