Once again it is my great pleasure to report that the Society has had an enjoyable period of very well attended events. And of course the sun shone – even on our Summer Lunch in the midst of the wettest summer on record.
At the AGM the entire committee was happy to stay in office – which goes to show that it is a pleasure rather than a chore! We were joined by Jonathan Pegler as our new Vice
Chairman. He will take the chair in May 2013.
A highlight of our programme was the presence of Roy Noble as our guest speaker
at the St David’s Day dinner. An exceptional entertainer and a lovely man too. Not only did he entertain us so well that evening after driving all the way up from the BBC studios in Cardiff, he even wrote and thanked us afterwards. Special thanks go to Hugh
Griffith for his dogged determination to get us such a special guest speaker.
The cold wet weather stopped for just a few days while a party of 23 members went to
Snowdonia in May. The glorious scenery was seen at its best in lovely sunshine and the
train journeys were a highlight. The group descending Snowdon’s PYG track managed
to keep up with Mike Stythe without mishap, whilst Margaret Broomby and Chris Thomas in the group descending the supposedly easier Llanberis trail managed to get in some acrobatics practice en-route (but survived to tell the tale). Many thanks go to Mike for the idea of the trip and for his experienced advice, and excellent choice of hotel.
In June Bob Ford organised a superb trip to the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen (see below).
Looking forward the 2012 schedule includes the Golf Day – in glorious weather again?
There are two exceptional trips in September to Buckingham Palace and to Oxford,
followed in October by the biennial Festival of Male Voice choirs at the Royal Albert Hall.
Finally, Ann Tennant has been our regular caterer at events and her meals and service
much appreciated. I am pleased to report that she received an MBE in the recent honours
list. Our congratulations go to Ann.
Visit to Snowdonia 20th-23rd April.
“The day we went up Snowdon & returned by the Llanberis path”
Another sunny & hot morning in north Wales, & the intrepid walkers all wait in anticipation at Llanberis Station. None of the glitz of St. Pancreas or Waterloo, but quaintness personified. With justifiable Welsh pride we all await the pre-journey video – “good to get out of the sun”! What an engineering feat to think that all of this was put in place over 100 years ago – 1896 to be exact – the grand opening.
With all tickets duly dispensed we are allowed onto the platform – where a small engine & carriage glides slowly backwards to squeeze us in. The weather just perfect – we could see for ever! The engine climbed the 3,650 feet to the summit whilst we were entertained by brilliant commentary from the driver. A journey to be long remembered. A photo opportunity around every bend.
Fifty minutes & we are at the summit.
Here the party divided into 3 groups; some waited for the return trip by train; another party prepared for the Pen Y Gwryd (PYG) track – 11 kilometres with descent of 2,370
feet; whilst a 3rd group departed on the Llanberis path – 14.5 kilometres with descent
of 3,200 feet.
Despite a few mishaps (3), the Llanberis path/walk was brilliant. The silence
in the mountains “had to be heard to be believed”!!- all this, occasionally interrupted
by the screams from a fallen climber or walker. Everyone arrived back with a real
sense of pride & achievement. Even for the seasoned walkers – the Llanberis path was
’tough’ but rewarding, especially as we had views of the trains creeping cunningly along
carefully & classhcally constructed cog cortege – ah!, the alliteration – one gets
carried away !
A day to catalogue. Well done to our organisers.
Summer Lunch 10th June
About 50 of us were exceptionally lucky with the weather. It had been raining all week, but
the rain held off for our annual garden party, held this year courtesy of Tony & Irene Glyn-Jones in their beautiful garden.
While we were tucking in to a delicious meal prepared and served by Ann Tennant, Mr
Jonathan Pegler had devised a teasingly difficult cryptic quiz – Gwyndaf’s team won (again).
John and Thelma Lusher organised an enjoyable ‘heads or tails’ auction for a bottle
of Penderyn Welsh whisky, raising £100 for the Tenovus Cancer charity.
The fine weather lasted until about 4 o’clock, by which time a fine team of volunteers had
packed everything away before the rain started.
Llangollen International Eisteddfod
We arrived in good time at the Bryn Howel hotel with luggage and much needed macs, umbrellas hats etc.
Later, on site and after seeing usual numerous stalls and stages, we took our seats for the evening performance of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert. Top artists: Alison Balsom (solo trumpeter) was fantastic, Nicola Benedetti (violinist) magnificent and Lesley Garrett excellent with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, all first class. About 9.30pm the heavens opened, heavy storms in competition with the music!
Flood and mud were everywhere, but thankfully we returned to the hotel safely.
On Thursday 5th July we toured the shops, then back on site in the Royal Pavilion we
saw fantastic dancers in beautiful costumes from different countries. At one o’clock
everyone held hands for a minute’s silence, the Llangollen message of peace, a new idea
and most moving. Solo artists and choirs followed, two outstanding ones were from
Singapore and South Africa. Weatherwise the sun shone, and it was too hot to sit in! That
evening seventeen members from the Chiltern Welsh Society assembled in the
marquee for Alfie Boe to a packed, enthusiastic audience house.
On Friday, some of us visited Plas Newydd House. It rained again but it was a delight to
see the home of the Ladies of Llangollen. All the rooms were beautifully oak panelled and it
had wonderful, manicured gardens.
That evening, we all met up in the hotel for a truly, lovely meal, good in both quality and
quantity. Thank you, Bob, for a good choice of hotel.
With purchases of a 2013 Snowdonia National Park calendar, Welsh honey and
Penderyn whisky we set off for home with lots of memories. I’m looking forward to the next
Golf day at Oakland Park Golf Club, Three Households, Chalfont St.
Giles – 31st August
The annual follow up to the Open! Nonplayers are welcome at the after-golf lunch.
Visit to the State rooms and Gardens at Buckingham Palace on the 4th September.
A tour of the State Rooms will start at 12.45pm, last approximately two and a half hours. The Garden Tour will follow at 3.15pm and the visit should finish at 4pm.