Friday, 27 February 2009

St Davids Ploughing Match

The best work on the field was completed by high cut workman Robert Irving.

How times have changed in rural North Pembrokeshire, when I started farming Sunday observance was almost universal. At Cerbid until my father's sudden death in 1952 I believe other than caring for livestock ultimately no farming tasks were pursued - even the foddering of livestock where ever possible was prepared on Saturday to ensure an absolute minimum work load on Sunday. This was both for observance purpose and to ensure maximum free time to attend services, Non-Conformists would frequently attended chapel three times on a Sunday.

I mention this because I was more than slightly surprised to be invited by Alun Hughes my lifelong friend who just happens to be Vice Chairman of the Ploughing Match committee to attend the local St Davids Peninsula Ploughing Match last Sunday. Around fifty competitors from many parts of the United Kingdom took part, I suspect there may have been several deacons amongst the competitors and spectators.

How values have changed over the last fifty years, I would endorse 'enlightenment' but then I'm a non believer and am more than happy to accept members and practices of any faith or no faith. One of the most admired and highly regarded members of our team at Quality Cottages the late Mr Reggie Evans who worked in Cerbid for almost sixty years endorsed the policy of 'never once on a Sunday'. I found the front cover of the programme to be a little controversial for a few religious die-hards, as they had chosen St Davids Cathedral.

Leonard Rees

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

A bit of colour on an overcast day

Here`s a nice splash of colour for you all .
I was up in Harlech today re-photographing
Bwthyn-Y-Mor. What a beautiful little cottage. I wish I could have shut the door and stayed there for a few days. It was a grey old day, drizzly & cold but inside this little tardis it was a very different world. Polly

Tree Planting Memorial

On Saturday 28th February at Cerbid there will be a tree planting memorial service held in memory of Mrs Pat Waterson. Mrs Waterson was a valued friend and close colleague of Mr Leonard Rees. She worked for Quality Cottages from the start of the business over 40 years ago. The tree will be planted at the request of her son at the entrance to Cerbid Lane.
Current members of staff Rene, Wendy and Cathy will be preparing tea and helping to make the occasion run smoothly.

Wendy John

Monday, 23 February 2009

Llandrillo, near Bala

I wanted to treat my mum to a really special day out for her birthday so I took her to Tyddyn Llan, a fabulous restaurant in the picturesque village of Llandrillo near Bala. We had a first class meal in delightful, relaxed surroundings. Afterwards we drove back over the Berwyn mountains to Newtown which only took an hour. It was a great day out. Polly

"The lost sheep" near Porthmadog

Walk along the Wye

It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday so we put on our hats and coats and went for a walk along the River Wye between Llangurig and Rhayader. It's so pretty along this stretch of the Wye Valley. We followed the narrow tarmac lane which takes you through the most superb ancient woodlands and pretty river banks.
We stopped at a wide stretch of the river and sat on the stoney beach with our flasks of hot soup and cheese the same time being treated to the fabulous sight of two Red Kites, soaring just above us. This is the closest view I've ever had of them. If only I`d had my camera!
Later in the day we called at the Kite feeding station in Rhayader (Gigrin) and watched them being fed. It was brilliant.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Walk in Beddgelert

North Wales has had suprisingly mild and often sunny weather over half term I was walking in Beddgelert yesterday pushing my new grand daughter in her pram and I can highly recommend the river side walk in Beddgelert. There is an even pathway which is ideal for prams, elderly and disabled walkers around the river with seats to enjoy the view. The more athletic can enjoy a longer walk along the river and gorge. Soon the Welsh Highland Railway will be going along this route which will be one of North Wales's big new attractions. Polly and I hope to go on it when it opens taking a picnic hamper with us - not a big hamper or Polly will be looking at that rather than the view!
Joke - My eldest grand daughter Rachel was asked by her other grandmother 'What does Ann do these days? 'She works for Quality Cottages' 'What Quality Sausages'
Leonard Rees will groan at this joke as he has heard it so many times but some of you might find it amusing!

Ann Jones, Harlech

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Burgeoning Spring

Burgeoning Spring.
After the heavy snow (for Pembrokeshire) and very wet weather, spring has sprung. Saw the first crocuses and primroses on way to Cerbid today, daffodils won't be far behind, in time for St. Davids Day - 1st March.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Plans to rebuild Darwin's ship HMS Beagle in Pembroke Dock

Have you read the February issue of Pembrokeshire Life?

It looks increasingly likely that a replica of HMS Beagle will be built in Pembroke Dock. The Beagle was made famous by Charles Darwin who conceived his theory of evolution during the Beagles' Voyage of Discovery in 1830.

John Lort Stokes of Haverfordwest was mate and assistant surveyor during that voyage and went on to command the Beagle until she went out of service in 1843.

"While people in Britain invariably associate the Beagle with Charles Darwin, in Australia they tend to associate the ship with Pembrokeshire's own John Lort Stokes."

"The role of the modern Beagle will be to recapture the spirit of adventure and discovery that her original crews experienced, despite their hardships", said David Lort Phillips of Lawrenny, a local co-ordinator of the Beagle project who shares an ancestor with Admiral Lort Stokes.
Anne Incledon

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Welsh Cakes Recipe

250g (8oz) SR flour
75g (3oz) butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
75g (3oz) currants
1 egg
a little milk to mix
extra caster sugar to sprinkle
1/4 teaspoon mixed (spice optional)
Rub fat into flour
Add dry ingredients
Add egg & milk
Mix to a stiff paste
Roll out, cut into rounds and cook on a bakestone over a medium heat until golden brown.
When cold sprinkle with sugar. Alternatively butter before eating.

Bakestones (in Welsh planc,maen,llechwen, gradell) are made of cast iron. Secondhand ones can sometimes be bought in Welsh antique shops or new ones in Welsh craft shops and country hardware stores.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Winter in Wales 0002

Saturday, 7 February 2009

The snow finally came.

It finally came after 27 years-I think. A few of our team had difficulty coming in to the office on Tuesday but eventually everyone managed with a little help from friends, family and 4 x 4's

Our neighbours at Llanhowell Old Vicarage, the Richards family, maintained their love of sport and leisure by building a giant snowman. It is now reclining and waiting for a suntan.
Carwin and Geraint's father, the late Gordon Richards, I vividly recall, tobogganing 27 years ago (1982) with his 4 sons and 2 eventually ending up in the Solva River. I got confirmation of this from Mair yesterday.
Please don't tell Geraint and Carwin's clients (in the cottage restoration business) or their wives that they spent a day tobogganing, snowballing and building snowmen.
These facts manifest the calibre of our climate on the St David's Peninsula in the last 27 years.

Leonard Rees

Monday, 2 February 2009



We haven't had any snow yet today in Pembrokeshire, but Jill is DESPERATE for some! Mike wants some too so he can go down The Sloop on his dumper! Teresa says it's snowing in Newgale now so watch this space!
Liz Camel

Fish & Chips in Laugharne

When visiting Laugharne and you fancy fish & chips - please try the shop opposite the car park - very tasty and cooked whilst you wait - delicious.
Janet Ball

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Determined to Survive the Credit Crunch

Determined to Survive the Credit Crunch
24th January 2009

Those of us in business determined to survive the 'credit crunch' will do so by concerted marketing efforts.

The local at Mathry 'The Farmer's Arms' - appropriately run by the Farmer family of ex farmers - is currently offering a splendid 'Friday Credit Crunch Lunch' An old fashioned country menu at reduction prices. I recognised present guests from 3 to 96.

The pub is opposite Jim Harries' Wood turner Shop where hand made oak furniture and wooden gifts can be bought. An ideal winter day out. It is just in land from Abereiddi, Abercastell, Aber-mawr and Aber-bach.

Leonard Rees

A Delightful Saturday Afternoon

A Delight Saturday Afternoon 24th January 2009

What a delightful way to spend an stormy Saturday afternoon. Tea in the parlour with Mrs Vi Weston at the Olde Worlde Cafe at Bosherston. Mrs Wesson (Auntie Vi to all the locals) is 87 and in her words "fit as a flea". She served 20 teas on Saturday afternoon without any assistance- then entertained me for 2 hours of gossip (some of it naughty) lots of reminiscing and nostalgia- but then where else would I find a cafe where the simple but perfect menu is unchanged since 1923. By the way our families go back over a century.

Vi proudly told me that not only had she catered for coach parties of around 40 on Boxing Day and on New Year's Eve ( both from Tenby) but also Nick Ainger our local MP and family called for afternoon tea on New Years Eve and to take advantage of the delightful winter day insisted on having tea on the lawn. We are blessed with a kind climate.

Leonard Rees