Thank you so much Hywel for a phenomenal evening, a fabulous time was had by all. You will be more than welcome anytime. It was an outstanding evening.
I am glad to welcome Barbara back after her accident while on holiday. We now have our Summer Recess during July and August. We next meet 10th September, with a "Free" fish and chip Supper. Names as usual
before that date, to Merlys Anne or Brenda I
It is with sadness I have to inform you of the passing of one of our faithful members Val Brent, we will miss her friendly chatter and support. We extend our sympathy to Carolyn and family.
I wish you all a Happy Summer and sincerely hope the sun will shine for you.
Looking forward to seeing you all refreshed after your summer holidays in September.
The Fellowship met in the lower Church Room on Tuesdayl9th June 2018. In spite of early parking problems in the Church grounds, the biggest turnout of the year assembled, on time, for the evening's meeting. And why was there such a record attendance? Two reasons: The calibre of the speaker... and... a free fish and chip supper, paid for out of Fellowship funds. It was the guest speaker himself who sportingly raised the debatable point as to which of the two attractions really drew the crowd.
This meeting was the last of the season before the summer break. Chairman Les after his welcoming speech pointed out that the next series of meetings begins on the 18th September 2018, details of which would be in the coming Church Magazines and newssheets. Les apologised for the absence of his very good friend the Archbishop John who obviously had not been informed of the free fish and chip supper.
Then he introduced the speaker for the evening, Mr. Brian Richards from Penllergaer. Brian had spurned the offer of a projector and screen and within minutes it was easy to see why.
He relied entirely on his expertise on the subject, his personality and his smile. Proudly flaunting the logo of the John Dillwyn Llewellyn project on his green sweater, he sailed into his lecture and how his pride shone through!
In stages he took us through the history of this once illustrious estate and its privileged owners. He described how its slide into neglect came about and how a body of dedicated Penllergaer folk got together to bring about its restoration. Self funding this majestic project, they have achieved near miracles. So far, lakes have been cleared and water of pristine quality now circulates from one picturesque level to another but it is an ongoing venture of some magnitude which, gradually, they are winning. The first orchid growing glasshouse in Europe has been restored and the observatory, where the earliest of photography development took place, is now back to its former glory. Gardens have been reclaimed from the wilderness and a car park has been created. For the visitor, with legs weary after the garden exploration, a professionally staffed café offers the most delightful of goodies.
However, in spite of all this listing of achievements, what impressed most was Brian's proud statement that over 200,000 people had visited the Gardens in the last year and the projected figure was expected to rise to over 400,000 within the next few years! Obviously, the revenue generated by the café and car park, plus the unpaid volunteer work, goes a long way to funding the project.
Brian was a wonderful ambassador. With his delightful sense of humour and his tremendous dedication, he got his message across - loud and clear! The Penllergaer Gardens Restoration is a magnificent achievement and a beautiful piece of historic Wales has been preserved for the likes of you and me. It must be visited!
The Fellowship showed its appreciation for Brian's efforts, and kindness in coming from so far away, with warm applause.
The evening drew to a close with the arrival of freshly cooked fish and chips from Dick Barton's. Piping hot, it was of superb quality and was thoroughly enjoyed by one and all!
See you all again on Tuesday 18th September! Grafton