SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER/ CYLCHLYTHYR MIS MEDI 2021

 

 

Note from our new President

 

It gives me great pleasure to write a short note to you all as the incoming President. The last 18 months have seen unprecedented changes in our lives – would you believe that our last evening meeting was held in February 2020.

The committee has been working very hard to produce an attractive, varied programme for the next 10 months. We will be welcoming back the unique storyteller Debra John, as well as the young Welsh tenor, Dafydd Wyn Jones, who won the prestigious Blue Riband at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 2020. Also, we can look forward to our annual St. David’s Day Dinner next March and to welcoming the Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir to our concert in June. This particular choir has particular significance to me as my father was one of its original members back in 1933.

One of my main aims as President is to increase the society’s membership so, please mention us to your friends and colleagues.

I’m sure that the new parking arrangements, outlined by Gwenno, will make it much easier for us to access the Chapter House, especially during the winter months.

I am really looking forward to seeing you all at our next meeting on the 22nd of September and catching up on news.

 

Diolch yn fawr

Gwil Williams

 

Next Meeting

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021 at Chelmsford Cathedral Chapter House at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

 

Our Autumn programme commences with our usual Croeso yn Ol (Welcome back meeting). It is a great opportunity to chat and catch up on all the news with old and new friends, and hopefully we will be able to welcome new members to the society. Our new President, Gwil Williams, will be there to welcome you and to inform you of the events that have been arranged for the year. There will be cheese and wine refreshments and the usual raffle.

 

 Annual subscription price is £25. Carys Williams will be there to receive your money or cheques. However, you can send your subscription to Carys at 3 Engelfields, South Street, Tillingham, Essex, CM0 7AT, prior to the meeting if you so desire. Please enclose a s.a.e with your cheque, which should be payable to ‘Chelmsford & District Welsh Society’, and a programme card will be sent to you.

                                           

 

Dates for the diary

 

  • Wednesday, 22nd September- Croeso yn Ol - 30pm at The Chapter House, Chelmsford.

 

  • Sunday, 17th October-Songs of Praise/Cymanfa Ganu

 

  • Wednesday, 27th October- Musical Evening with Dafydd Wyn Jones

 

WELSH CLASSES

Welsh classes will be restarting on Tuesday 28th September at 10.30am. If anyone would be interested in attending regular Welsh classes, or would like some more information,  please can you get in touch with Ivy Price on 01277 210541 or Sina Williams on 01245 231279

 

UPDATE on CAR PARKING

 

The Cathedral has allowed us to use their car park during our monthly meeting. The code to exit the Cathedral car park will be announced at each monthly meeting. Please make a note of this during the meeting so you can exit the car park.  The code will only be valid to use during the evening of our monthly meetings.

 

Access to the Cathedral Car Park

 

  1. The Cathedral has allowed us to use their car park which is a couple of hundred yards down Waterloo Lane on the left hand side.
  2. There may still be some roadside parking available in Cottage Place and Legg Street as previously.
  3. Cottage Place entrance from its junction with New Street, adjacent to the pub, appears a bit restricted.
  4. Before leaving the Chapter House, ensure you know the current code number to lower the car park barriers.

 

PLEASE NOTE:

 

  1. DO NOT DRIVE UNDER THE BRIDGE AT THE

 RAILWAY STATION IN EITHER DIRECTION

IT IS A BUS GATE AND WILL INCUR A HEFTY FINE.

 

  1. IN SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER WORK IS

BEING CARRIED OUT ON THE SOUTHBOUND A12

BETWEEN JUNCTION 19 AND JUNCTION 15 WHICH MAY

LEAD TO ROAD COSURES BETWEEN 21.00 AND O6.00.

IN NOVEMBER & DECEMBER THE CLOSURES WILL BE

NORTHBOUND BETWEEN 21.00 AND O6.00

IT IS ADVISED YOU CHECK BEFORE YOU TRAVEL.

 

                          

Live Music Returns by David Brown

 

Katherine Jenkins was the star of the open air concert at Maldon at the end of July, with special guest Paul Pots, and they were joined by the Kingdom Choir and Collabro. A very special evening.

In August, The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, performed their first live event at Audley End, and provided music for the Spitfire display as well as other artists. Joining Russell Watson on stage was the soprano Christina Johnston and the NHS Chorus 19. Mark Kingswood took the first spot of the evening, a Jazz Blues and Big Band singer.

Both these concerts were the first performances for the artists in front of a live audience since the spring of 2000 and became quite emotional for all artists. Both events ended with stunning firework displays.

 

 

                                                                       ROADSIDE ENCOUNTER by Brian Farmer

 

 

When I was working as an engineer for the Malawi government, based in Blantyre in the 1970s, I spent a morning visiting the last British officer in the Malawian Army.  He was Captain Joe Brown ex-REME, who showed me around his workshop in the old colonial capital Zomba about 40 miles away.  After a pleasant morning I set off back home and on the way I stopped for a break on the dirt road, to admire the view. 

 

As I was stood at the side of my Landrover a family group approached on the other side of the road. In front was a man who wore a fez and Arabic dress and carried a staff and behind him were some women, well covered and a few children, walking in line.  As they came opposite to me they stopped, turned towards me and raised their hands to their foreheads with the thumbs meeting and their forefingers extended in a sort of W and bowed, I bowed back.  They then turned and walked on, nothing was said, no noise was made.

 

When I got back to the office I told my colleague Bill McInnon about the incident and asked what it meant?  He said that they were displaying the sign of the bull and saluting me as a Bwana (chief, leader). Then and now I find the event to be extremely moving.  We are led to believe that in the past there was intense animosity between the different races in Africa which couldn't be further from the truth.  The Yao people in our area were friendly and easy going.  Our nearest neighbours were a German woman married to a Malawian, our children often played together.  Although there was a great deal of poverty and stealing was common, we were completely safe at home and on the streets at any time.

 

We send our best wishes to Cynthia Styles who has recently moved into Cherry Wood Residential Home in Chelmsford.

 

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OCTOBER NEWSLETTER/ CYLCHLYTHYR MIS HYDREF 2021

 

 

Note from our President

 

It was wonderful to see so many members at our September meeting, our first evening meeting for over 18 months. I was unsure about how many people would attend but to see over 50 of us there was marvellous. We even welcomed a new member, Jamie Hocker Hughes. Many thanks to Sue Almond and her colleagues for the catering, to Gwyn and June Jones for the wine and to Mike Price for a great presentation.

 

I am aware that several of you used the Cathedral car park located in Waterloo Lane at our September meeting. Parking has always been an issue for our evening meetings but, hopefully, access to this car park will help to remedy the problem. Remember that you only need the keypad code on exiting the car park; the code will be given at the meeting. A special ‘Thank you’ to Dave Almond for helping with the car parking duties.

 

In our next meeting on Wednesday 27th October, we welcome the young Welsh tenor Dafydd Wyn Jones. Many of us will remember him singing at our St. David’s Day Dinner in 2019.

The Society’s first link to Dafydd was back in 2016 when he won the Under 17 Boys Solo at the National Eisteddfod, an event in which we donated the prize money. His success at the National Eisteddfod has continued, with him winning the prestigious Blue Riband in 2020 and a trip to sing in the USA. He has appeared regularly on S4C in programmes such as ‘Noson Lawen’, ‘Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol’ and ‘Heno’. He has recently graduated from the Royal College of Music with a first class honours degree and has started an MA course in Opera. He spent part of the summer singing at the Verbier Opera Festival in Switzerland.

 

I am looking forward to seeing you all at our next meeting on the 27th of October.

 

Diolch yn fawr

Gwil Williams

 

 

 

Annual subscription price is £25. Carys Williams will be at the next meeting to receive your money or cheques. However, you can send your subscription to Carys at 3 Engelfields, South Street, Tillingham, Essex, CM0 7AT, prior to the meeting if you so desire. Please enclose a s.a.e with your cheque, which should be payable to ‘Chelmsford & District Welsh Society’, and a programme card will be sent to you.

 

                                           

 We send our deepest condolences and sympathy to Anja Welsh Smyth, as sadly Anja’s husband Ronnie, passed away recently.

 

 

We send our best wishes to Lewis and Gay Davies who have recently moved into residential Homes.

 

 

 

Dates for the diary

 

  • Sunday, 17th October at 3pm-Songs of Praise/Cymanfa Ganu

 

  • Tuesday 19th October at 30am- Welsh classes at Radley Green Farm

 

  • Wednesday, 27thOctober at 7.30pm- Musical Evening with Dafydd Wyn Jones-at The Chapter House.

 

  • Wednesday, 24th November at 7.30pm- The Essex Chordsmen, a Barbershop group, at The Chapter House

 

#Cymanfa Ganu

 

 

A warm welcome is extended to all our friends to come to join us in the Cymanfa Ganu at St.Paul's Church, Highwood on Sunday 17th October at 3 p.m

 

The programme for the afternoon includes Community singing, Soloist, Readings, and Choral singing.

After hearty singing in the Cymanfa Ganu we will all look forward to an afternoon tea and cake in the Church.

Any small cake donations will be greatly appreciated, please bring with you on the day.

 

The address of St. Paul's Church Highwood

     

St. Paul's Church Highwood

27-25 Highwood Road

Chelmsford

CM1 3RQ

 

The road to the Church is sign-posted ‘Highwood’ on the A414 approximately half-way between Chelmsford and Radley Green. There is limited parking on the road, so please try to share transport with other members, and come a little earlier if you want to park close to the church.

 

We are all looking forward to a festive musical afternoon and meeting up with friends in Church again after such a long interlude.

 

Edrych ymlaen i brynhawn o ganu a dal i fyny efo ffrindiau, a mwynhau te a chacen ar ol y gwasanaeth.

 

Diolch yn fawr iawn i bawb

 

Shirley and Ann

 

 

WELSH CLASSES

 

The next welsh class will be on Tuesday 19th October at 10.30am. If anyone would be interested in attending regular Welsh classes, or would like some more information,  please can you get in touch with Ivy Price on 01277 210541 or Sina Williams on 01245 231279.  If those who regularly attend the classes are unable to attend one month, please can you inform Ivy or Sina.

 

 

 

Welsh Society Holidays

 

If anyone is interested to go on the Welsh Society Holiday to the Wye Valley on May 1st 2022 for 3 nights, please contact Kay Bright on 01245 380543 or email kay.bright14@yahoo.co.uk.

Thank you to all members who have already contacted Kay.

 

 

 

ANY COMPLAINTS? By Brian Farmer

 

 

When I was a newly minted REME captain, in 1971, I was a member of 657 Squadron Army Air Corps and responsible for 60 men and the servicing of 10 Sioux helicopters (the ones in MASH).  We were based in a small German town called Soltau, about 40 miles south of Hamburg and attached to 7 Armoured Brigade (the desert rats).  We operated across a parade ground from the HQ, in buildings once occupied by a cavalry unit of Kaiser Bill's army; there were rings to harness horses on my office walls.

 

About once each month I was the brigade duty officer and expected to wear number one dress and a leather Sam Brown belt with cross strap.  I had a number of duties to attend to during the 24 hours I was on duty, including visiting the soldier’s canteen to ask and note 'Any complaints?' about the food.

 

As I was approaching the cookhouse I notice that Brigadier Ian Laws, (Monty look alike) was going to the same place with a following of staff officers; I joined them at the rear.  As we entered the noisy canteen, where about 100 soldiers, mostly Royal Signals, were seated at long tables the room went quiet and the men sat to attention.  The brigadier walked to the end of one of the tables and asked:

'Any complaints?'  A hand was raised by one of the men, the brigadier said:

'Stand up and tell us your complaint'.

'The food is monotonous, sir'.

 

The brigadier asked the cook sergeant to bring out the blackboards on which the menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner were written.  The brigadier spent some time studying the boards and then turned and said:

'I count 98 choices of meal in a day, how can that be monotonous?'

'Well sir, every day it's the same 98 choices'.

 

At that everyone in the room, except an indignant looking signaller, roared with laughter.  The brigadier, with a broad smile, turned about and we followed him out of the building.

 

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NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER/ CYLCHLYTHYR MIS TACHWEDD 2021

 

Note from our President

 

At our last meeting at the end of October, we were entertained by the young Welsh tenor, Dafydd Wyn Jones. Unfortunately, as a result of the half term break and illnesses, the numbers were down on our initial meeting in September. A number of members have contacted me, regretting the fact that they missed Dafydd’s performance. However, we enjoyed a marvellous evening. Dafydd sang a variety of songs in Welsh, French, German and English, ranging from operatic classics to traditional Welsh ballads. Although I am more than slightly biased (!), we all felt that Dafydd is a young man with a remarkable future.

 

Our Cymanfa Ganu (Songs of Praise), held in St. Paul’s Church, Highwood on October 17th was an outstanding success. St. Paul’s was almost full with a congregation consisting of local church members and our society’s supporters. The rector of St. Paul’s, the Reverend Tony Cant, was very impressed with our involvement. Many thanks to all of our members who contributed to the service and helped with the catering. A special thanks to Shirley Moody for arranging the event.

 

Our first meeting in the New Year is our traditional ‘Noson Lawen’. If you would like to get involved individually, or as a group with others, with a song, story, reading or tell a few jokes, please let me know. I am well aware of the range of talents we have amongst us!

 

We have received confirmation that Guto Harri, the Welsh journalist, broadcaster and writer, has agreed to be our Guest Speaker at our St. David’s Day Dinner on March 4th 2022. Guto has worked in both Welsh language radio and television and currently hosts S4C’s current affairs programme ‘Y Byd yn ei Le’.

 

The Welsh Church of Central London (Eglwys Gymraeg Canol Llundain) are holding a ‘Cymanfa Ganu’ (Songs of Praise) on Sunday, 14th November, starting at 6 pm. The church is located at 30 Eastcastle Street, just off Oxford Circus.

 

There has been a change to the programme for our next evening meeting on November 24th. Unfortunately, the Essex Chordsmen will not be able to perform so Mike and Ivy Price have agreed (health permitting) to present a musical event. If they are not available, Arthur and Carys Williams have agreed to present a Mystery Evening. I look forward to seeing you there.

Diolch yn fawr

Gwil Williams

 

 

 

Annual subscription price is £25. Carys Williams will be at the next meeting to receive your money or cheques. However, you can send your subscription to Carys at 3 Engelfields, South Street, Tillingham, Essex, CM0 7AT, prior to the meeting if you so desire. Please enclose a s.a.e with your cheque, which should be payable to ‘Chelmsford & District Welsh Society’, and a programme card will be sent to you.

 

 

                                           

 

We send our deepest condolences and sympathy to Gay Davies and family as sadly Lewis Andrew Davies passed away recently.

 

 

 

                                            Holy Mass in Welsh on Sunday, 7th November at 4.30pm

 

Holy Mass in Welsh will be celebrated for the National Catholic Welsh Society at 4.30pm on Sunday 7th November by Father Gildas. The mass will be held at Our Lady Immaculate Church, New London Road, Chelmsford.

Anja Welsh Smyth will be reading in Welsh from the Book of Kings.

The Mass will be broadcasted to Welsh speakers all over the world. All are welcome to attend.

 

 

 

Dates for the diary

 

 

  • Wednesday, 24th November at 7.30pm- a ‘Mystery Evening’, at The Chapter House

 

  • Sunday, 5th December at 3pm – Christmas Tea at Radley Green Farm.

 

  • Wednesday, 15th December at 7.30pm- ‘Dathlu’r Nadolig with the Bartels’ at The Chapter House

 

  • Sunday, 19th December at 3pm- Carol Service at Roxwell Church

 

 

Christmas Tea- at Radley Green Farm

Sunday, 5th December at 3pm

 

This year, Liz Armishaw will be hosting our Christmas Tea at Radley Green Farm. Donations of £5 per person and a wrapped gift for the Christmas raffle will be much appreciated. Looking forward to a lovely afternoon of delicious food and some carol singing. If you have any queries regarding this event, please contact Liz Armishaw on 01245 281162.

                                                                            

 

 

 

                              Welsh Society Holiday to The Wye Valley 1st May to 4th May 2022

 

Our annual holiday is now well on its way to being organised and we are looking forward to heading off to Wales next Spring. We will be staying in Hereford (England) and all the excursions will venture into Wales.

 

The cost of the holiday is as follows:

Single room: £400 per person

Double/twin room: £375 per person

 

deposit of £75 per person is required by the end of 2021 and can be paid at the next two meetings. Cheques can be made payable to ‘Chelmsford and District Welsh Society’.

 

If you would like to join us, and are not yet on the list for this holiday, please get in touch with Kay Bright on

01245 380543. Also if you have any queries or require any further information about the holiday, please feel free to get in touch.

                                                                                   

 

News from our members

 

  • Jean Jones is delighted to announce the birth of her great-granddaughter Myla Rose.

 

  • Mair and Brian Thomas are also thrilled to announce the arrival of their great- grandson Casper Thomas.

 

We send them all our love and best wishes.

 

  • We send our best wishes to David Brown who has been unwell recently.

 

 

 

Recipe for Welsh Cake Shortbread- by Maureen Williams

 

Ingredients:

250g Plain Flour                                                                  50g Light Brown Sugar

50g Cornflour                                                                       120g Sultanas

1 tsp Mixed Spice                                                               Cinnamon Sugar Mix

½ tsp Salt                                                                              ¼ tsp Cinnamon

210g Cubed Butter                                                              10g Caster Sugar

50g Caster Sugar

 

Cooking Time: 18-20 minutes                 Fan Oven: 140 degrees C

 

Method:

  1. Mix together Plain Flour, Cornflour, Mixed Spice & Salt in medium bowl.
  2. Beat Butter and both Sugars until smooth and pale.
  3. Pour mixed dry ingredients into bowl and beat on low setting until just combined – don’t overmix.
  4. Add sultanas and mix on low setting until combined.
  5. Press dough into ball with hands and avoid overworking. It will feel sticky. Place ball onto piece of cling-film, flatten it with hands into a thick disc shape, wrap tightly and chill in fridge for an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 140 degrees C.
  7. Remove dough from fridge, cut in half. Leave half in fridge to keep cold while working with first half of dough.
  8. Use a piece of baking paper to roll dough on. Dust the paper slightly and rolling pin and top of dough.
  9. Roll dough until 1 cm. thick.
  10. Using 6 cm. fluted cutter cut shapes and place on baking tray.
  11. Re-roll to make more. Keep dough cold.
  12. Place on middle shelf of oven and bake for 18-20 minutes.
  13. Leave on tray for 5 minutes before placing on cooling rack.
  14. Sprinkle Cinnamon Sugar Mix on top during 5 minutes on tray.

Makes approximately 20.

 

 

From a Parish Magazine                                        Rooms

 

When the vicar moved his family into the large Victorian vicarage, a member of the congregation asked the young son how he liked his new home. “It’s great” the little boy replied. “At last I have my own room, and Mike has his own room, and Jemma has her own room, and Robbie has his own room, but poor Mum is still with Dad”.

 

Cofion Cynnes

Arthur

 

BERLIN PEA SOUP- by Brian Farmer

 

During 1973-75 I was 2i/c of 14 Field Workshop REME in Berlin.  We were responsible for the repair and maintenance of the equipment of the British Berlin Brigade.  Our workshop was housed in the old Spandau machine gun factory, in the district of Spandau, to the north west of Berlin.  We employed about 400 German civilians and 40 military.  Although Berlin was surrounded by the wall we didn't feel hemmed in.  The Brigade HQ was housed in the 1936 Olympic buildings and we had use of the vast Maifeld stadium with lots of football, rugby and hockey pitches + a polo field, also Olympic size swimming pools and squash and tennis courts (lots of statues of muscular men were dotted about the place).  We had a launch called Gerty (once belonged to Goebbels, allegedly) which we could take out on the Teufel See - and so on.  We also had access to the American PX and the French Economat, it was a plum posting. 

 

At Christmas time we used to get senior officers from the Corps HQ in Rheindahlen, usually with wives, visiting for sightseeing and shopping.  It was my job to take them on tours, especially to the Russian sector.  Before a visit, being a good army chap, I used to do a timed run around the visitor's route.  One November morning myself and Staff Sgt Hollis set out in a workshop VW Campervan, driven by Norbert, a German civilian, intent on visiting the impressive Russian war memorial, Treptower park, in the East of the City.  It was said that the East Germans weren't allowed to lay one brick on another, before they finished the memorial to the 300,000 or so Russians killed, when taking Berlin in 1945. 

 

There was a dense blanket of fog lying over the city and it was cold and damp.  Norbert took us through the mad German traffic to Check Point Charlie where, because we were in uniform, we just had to hold our passports to the windows for the Russian guards to check and let us through.  We eventually stopped at one of the gates to the Park and Staff Hollis and I entered through an impressive arch.  We'd arranged with Norbert to pick us up at another gate in about 30 minutes.   At the top of the park is a statue on a high plinth, altogether about 90 foot high, of  a Russian soldier holding a child in one hand and a sword in the other pointing down to a broken Swastika, on which he's standing.  The approach is about 400 yards long and half way down, each side, there are statues of kneeling soldiers in front of symbolic brick built red banners.  Lining the avenue are raised beds, which they say contain the bodies of the Russian dead.  The Park wasn't at its best in the gloom, but it was a sombre, impressive sight. 

 

After a slow walk around the park we made our way to the path out, which was lined with trees and the visibility was very poor.  I turned a corner towards the exit and I could vaguely see 2 lines of what looked like a double hedge and as I got closer I saw a lone tree out in front.  Then it struck me, I was looking at 2 ranks of soldiers with an officer at the front.  Turning back would be a huge loss of face, so I continued walking slowly along the front rank.  The soldiers were dressed in black boots, thick brown woollen overcoats and they wore the traditional Russian winter headdress, with the flaps pulled down over their ears.  They were shorter than me, about 5' 6'' and they carried the ubiquitous Kalashnekov assault rifle at the front.  Their skin was yellow and they had the slanted eyes of those from the Far East. There was no noise or movement, it was as if we were invisible.  They were possibly waiting for a high ranking officer, to take him on the same tour as we were planning.  As I got to the end of the rank, I was relieved to see the figure of Norbert waiting at the exit. Staff Hollis then suggested that we should carry on and inspect the second rank, yea right!  I continued to the waiting VW, trying not to break into a trot.

 

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DECEMBER NEWSLETTER/ CYLCHLYTHYR MIS RHAGFYR 2021

 

 

I am sure most of you by now are aware of the death of David Brown, our Audio Manager and Webmaster. He died peacefully on November 18th after a short illness.

David was an absolute stalwart of our society. He had been a devoted member for many years and a valuable committee member. He would spend innumerable hours helping and supporting presenters for our evening meetings. He always arrived hours before our meetings started, setting up sound systems and projectors and made sure that everyone could join in with singing ‘Unwaith Eto’ and the National Anthem by showing the words on screen and liaised with guest speakers to get visual support for their presentations and to ensure they had appropriate amplification. When the meetings ended, he then had to dismantle and pack away the equipment.

It was David who established the Society’s website and then regularly updated it with articles and photographs, an onerous task that would take so much of his time.

We will all remember his gentle, unassuming demeanour, his devotion to our society and his willingness to help and support all of us. He will be sorely missed.

 

Our November meeting was well attended with almost 50 members. Linda Stewart gave us an excellent presentation on the restoration of Copped Hall, an eighteenth-century country house close to Epping. Many thanks to Arthur Williams for arranging the input.

 

I look forward to seeing you at our December meeting, when we welcome our old friends Rachel and Ken Bartels. These talented and versatile musicians have entertained us on so many occasions and I cannot think of a better way to bring 2021 to a close.

Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year.

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda.

 

Gwil Williams

                                                                        

 

David Brown’s funeral arrangements

 

David’s funeral will be at Chelmsford Crematorium on Friday, 17thDecember at 1.30pm, followed by the refreshments at Pontlands Park, Great Baddow.

 

We send our best wishes to Eileen Davy following her recent stay in hospital. We hope that you will be feeling better soon.

 

 

 

Community Carol Service

A Community Carol Service will be held on Sunday, 19th December at 3.30pm at St Michael and All Angels church in Roxwell. All members are welcome to attend. If you would like any more details, please contact Shirley on 01245 248178.

                                           

 

Dates for the diary

 

  • Wednesday, 15th December at 7.30pm- ‘Dathlu’r Nadolig gyda’r Bartels’ at The Chapter House

 

  • Sunday, 19th December at 3.30pm- Carol Service at St Michael and All Angels Church, Roxwell

 

  • January 26th - Noson Lawen at The Chapter House

 

  • March 4th - St David’s Day Dinner at The County Hotel, Chelmsford

 

  • June 11th - Annual concert at Chelmsford Cathedral

 

 

News from the Christmas Tea by Kay Bright

 

Some typical Welsh weather welcomed more than thirty of our members to the first charity event of this year, the Christmas Tea, hosted by Jim and Liz Armishaw on Sunday 5th December. It was lovely to see so many people, some who hadn’t seen each other for a long time.

 

The tea flowed and there was plenty of food for everyone, even some doggy bags to take home. Members enjoyed a seasonal poem from Derrick and Christmas carols, accompanied by Ivy on the piano. Debs, Meinir and Diane entertained the audience with their talented voices. Everyone left full of Christmas spirit.

 

Thanks go to all those who helped organise this event and particular thanks go to Shirley who kindly provided the Welsh Society with such a suitable venue for the festivities. Our chosen charity, St Luke’s Hospice, will benefit greatly from the donations and the Christmas raffle.

 

                          

 

 

Request by Liz Armishaw

If you have any of the Green bowls that were on the tables for our last St David’s Day dinner, would it be possible for you to return them to Liz. Thank you.

 

The Reverend Billy Graham tells the story of the time when he arrived in a small town to preach. Wanting to post a letter he asked a small boy where the Post Office was. When the boy told him, Graham thanked him and said “If you come to church this evening you can hear me telling everyone how to get to heaven.” “I don’t think I’ll bother” the boy said, “You don’t even know your way to the Post Office.”

Happy Christmas to you all

Arthur

 

                              Welsh Society Holiday to The Wye Valley 1st May to 4th May 2022

 

Our annual holiday is now well on its way to being organised and we are looking forward to heading off to Wales next Spring. We will be staying in Hereford (England) and all the excursions will venture into Wales.

 

The cost of the holiday is as follows:

Single room: £400 per person

Double/twin room: £375 per person

 

deposit of £75 per person is required by the end of 2021 and can be paid at the next meeting. Cheques can be made payable to ‘Chelmsford and District Welsh Society’.

 

Rooms at the hotel are mainly on the ground floor and there is no lift. If you have any particular room requirements, please get in touch. I would also appreciate knowing any particular dietary requirements you may have so that the hotel can be informed.

 

If you would like to join us, and are not yet on the list for this holiday, please get in touch with Kay Bright on

01245 380543. Also if you have any queries or require any further information about the holiday, please feel free to get in touch.                                                                            

 

Quiz – US State Capitals by Clive Bright

 

So you think you know your US State capitals?  Appearing below are the names of 25 States together with anagrams of their respective capitals. Can you solve the anagrams to reveal the correct answers? Answers will appear in the next issue.

 

State

Capital (anagram)

 

1

Alaska

a

E

j

n

u

u

 

2

Arizona

e

h

i

n

o

p

X

 

3

Arkansas

c

e

i

k

l

l

o

r

t

t

 

4

Delaware

d

e

o

r

v

 

5

Florida

a

a

a

e

e

h

l

l

s

s

t

 

6

Georgia

a

a

a

l

n

t

t

 

7

Hawaii

h

l

L

n

o

o

u

 

8

Indiana

a

a

d

i

i

I

l

n

n

o

p

s

 

9

Kansas

a

e

k

o

p

t

 

10

Louisiana

a

b

e

g

n

o

o

r

t

u

 

11

Massachusetts

b

n

o

o

s

T

 

12

Mississippi

a

c

j

k

n

o

s

 

13

Missouri

c

e

e

f

f

i

j

n

o

r

s

t

y

 

14

Nebraska

c

i

L

l

n

n

o

 

15

Nevada

a

c

c

i

n

O

r

s

t

y

 

16

New Hampshire

c

c

d

n

o

o

r

 

17

New Jersey

e

n

n

o

r

T

t

 

18

North Dakota

a

b

I

k

m

R

s

 

19

Oklahoma

a

a

C

h

i

K

l

m

o

o

t

y

 

20

Pennsylvania

a

B

G

h

i

R

r

r

s

u

 

21

Rhode Island

c

d

E

e

i

N

o

p

r

v

 

22

Tennessee

a

e

H

i

L

l

N

s

v

 

23

Texas

a

i

N

s

T

u

 

24

Utah

a

a

C

e

I

k

L

l

S

t

t

y

 

25

Virginia

c

d

H

i

M

n

o

r

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berlin Express-by Brian Farmer

 

One of the responsibilities of 14 Field Workshop REME was the maintenance of the Berlin Military Train, which ran daily from Berlin to Braunschweig (Brunswick) (and return) in West Germany.  Every month or so I was train officer i/c, I was responsible for the train and its passengers for the round trip.  There was a train guard of about a dozen armed infantry soldiers, who had wooden staves used to jam the door locks when the train stopped in East Germany, to prevent people entering to escape from the worker’s paradise.

 

The train set out early from Stutgarter Platz station, at the centre of the red-light district - so I was told.  It passed through Check Point Bravo, between West Berlin and East Germany and ran for an hour or so, over the flat and dull countryside, past Magdeburg to Check Point Alpha at Helmstedt, on the East/West border.  There the train stopped for the Russians to check the papers of the train passengers and I got off with the Train Warrant Officer and an interpreter who flanked me as we marched down the platform to a waiting Russian NCO. 

 

The NCO directed us to an office where was sat a Russian Army major, behind a large table.  I shook hands with the major, handed him the travel documents and we sat opposite as he checked and stamped the papers, which took a few minutes.  We had about 20 minutes to kill so I entered into conversation with the major, through the interpreter.  We talked about general stuff, like the traffic on the autobahn, how much leave we got and various football teams.  The interpreter was Polish, they hate the Russians and I don't believe that I was being translated accurately, it seemed from the body language and pitch of the voices, that some point scoring was being made, the temperature in the room was rising.  I decided to break off the conversation and stood, shook the major's hand and we 3 marched out back to the train; in future occasions I didn't stop to chat.

 

The most difficult train duty was when the children, who boarded at the military secondary school in Hamm, came and went on holiday and the train staff were kept busy preventing hanky-panky between the girls and the soldiers.  One of the features of the train was the excellent meals served to passengers, breakfast in particular involved lots of boiled eggs.  Once a friend was marching down the platform towards the Russian NCO and was horrified to see the train windows next to the NCO open and the kids pelted him with eggs.  In his mind he saw the headlines: 'Train Detained', 'School Kids Hostage', 'International Confrontation', end of career and so on.  The major came out of his office and when he saw the state of the poor NCO burst into laughter, the incident passed without comment.

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JANUARY NEWSLETTER/ CYLCHLYTHYR MIS IONAWR 2022

 

 

I hope you had a restful Christmas break. I’m sure, like me, you are looking forward to the next 12 months bringing us some kind of normality and a gradual return to how things were two years ago.

I am very conscious of the fact that it is often a difficult decision to decide whether to come to evening meetings at this present time. As a result, in our last meeting in December, we decided to open all of the Chapter House windows to provide ventilation, provide hand sanitizer and masks, as well as ‘spaced’ seating. It was reassuring to see that everybody arrived wearing a mask, adhered to our rules and enjoyed a lovely evening. The December meeting reminded us of the versatility and talent of Rachel and Ken Bartels. They entertained us playing a whole range of instruments and Rachel, as always, proved what a great raconteur she is.

 

Our next evening meeting is on Wednesday 26th January when we host our own ‘Noson Lawen’. These evenings provide great entertainment and show what talented members we have within our society.

 

In less than 2 months we will be holding our Saint David’s Day dinner at the County Hotel in Chelmsford. We are very fortunate that our Guest Speaker will be the celebrated broadcaster and journalist Guto Harri. We have decided to limit the numbers to 80, to ensure adequate spacing, instead of the usual 100 attendees, so early booking is advisable.

 

On a lighter note, I recently saw this notice. It made me laugh and reminded me of my age!

 

                                                                         

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

Gwil Williams

 

                                                                      

 

We send our best wishes to Jonathon and Gillian Hinton, who have recently relocated to Oxfordshire. Good luck in your new home and you will be missed by the society. 

 

 

 

Buddug and Ray are pleased to announce the arrival of their grandson Arthur James Rowland Stafford, born on the 10th December. Congratulations to you!

 

 

 

                                           

Dates for the diary

 

  • January 26th - Noson Lawen at30pm at The Chapter House, Chelmsford

 

  • February 23rd- Jan the story teller at30pm at The Chapter House, Chelmsford

 

  • March 4th - St David’s Day Dinner at 7pm at The County Hotel, Chelmsford

 

  • March 6th- St David’s Day Service- more details to follow next month

 

  • June 11th - Annual concert at Chelmsford Cathedral

 

 

St David’s Day dinner- Friday, March 4th at 7pm at The County Hotel, Chelmsford

 

Tickets are now available for our annual dinner and are £37.50 each. If you would like to attend this year’s St David’s Day dinner, then please contact Liz Armishaw on 01245 281162  or Kay Bright on 01245 380543.  Please also inform them of any dietary requirements. Please bring your money or cheque to the January meeting. Cheques to be made payable to the Chelmsford & District Welsh Society.

 

                              Welsh Society Holiday to The Wye Valley 1st May to 4th May 2022

 

There are still places available on our trip to Wales in May. Contact Kay Bright on 01245 380543 or email on kay.bright14@yahoo.co.uk. Also if you have any queries or require further information about the holiday, please feel free to get in touch.

 

The cost of the holiday is as follows:

Single room: £400 per person

Double/twin room: £375 per person

 

deposit of £75 per person is required and can be paid at the next meeting. Cheques can be made payable to ‘Chelmsford and District Welsh Society’.

 

Friends and family who live nearby our holiday destination (the hotel is in Hereford) can join us for a meal and enjoy the evening entertainment if you wish to invite them. We will be entertained on the Sunday and Tuesday evening.

 

An Ode to an Electronic Engineer

 

A man approached heaven’s gate

His head was bended low

He asked the keeper standing there

Which way he had to go

 

What did you do on earth my man

To merit entrance here?

I worked for The General Electric Company Sir

For many a weary year

 

St Peter took him by the hand

And gently pressed the bell

Come in Arthur Williams

And choose thy harp

You’ve had your share of hell.

 

Cofion Cynnes

Arthur

 

 

 

Quiz – US State Capitals by Clive Bright

 

Appearing below are the answers to last month’s quiz.  How many did you get right without looking up any of the answers?

 

1

Alaska

Juneau

2

Arizona

Phoenix

3

Arkansas

Little Rock

4

Delaware

Dover

5

Florida

Tallahassee

6

Georgia

Atlanta

7

Hawaii

Honolulu

8

Indiana

Indianapolis

9

Kansas

Topeka

10

Louisiana

Baton Rouge

11

Massachusetts

Boston

12

Mississippi

Jackson

13

Missouri

Jefferson City

14

Nebraska

Lincoln

15

Nevada

Carson City

16

New Hampshire

Concord

17

New Jersey

Trenton

18

North Dakota

Bismarck

19

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City

20

Pennsylvania

Harrisburg

21

Rhode Island

Providence

22

Tennessee

Nashville

23

Texas

Austin

24

Utah

Salt Lake City

25

Virginia

Richmond

 

 

 

BIG PELLA BLONG QWIN- By Brian Farmer

 

In 1981 when I was working as the Provincial Mechanical Engineer in the Western Highland Province, based in Mount Hagen, PNG, I met an ex-RAEME (Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) engineer called Mal, who worked on the vehicles and plant used by a cassava plantation in the Baiyer River valley.  He was on a UN sponsored project to grow cassava which could be turned into ethanol, to be mixed with petrol, to reduce the county's reliance on imported fuel (nothing new under the sun!).  

 

In the Baiyer river valley was a bird sanctuary that Prince Philip had helped set up in the 1970s, (In Pigin the Prince was known as: 'Big Pella Blong Qwin') to help restore the population of birds of paradise, that had been hunted, almost to extinction, by the locals who used their feathers for headdresses.  Anyway, Mal and his young wife Pat had invited us – family of 4, to their place for the weekend, so we set off in our yellow VW Beetle down the steep forested escarpment, on a dirt road.  After about an hour we drove out of the bush and onto a broad flat valley, where the cassava was growing in vast fields.

 

The road was quite narrow with high earth banks each side and we noticed, walking at the road side, warriors going our way, they were dressed in their finery and carrying shields, spears and bows and arrows.  As we turned a bend in the road we saw a crowd of warriors blocking our way and we could see spears and arrows flying through the air! 

 

Naturally I slowed right down and since the road wasn't wide enough to turn around I continued very slowly wondering what to do – are Beetles spear proof?  As we got nearer, what was evidently a tribal battle the warriors nearest saw us and said something, for the fighting stopped and the crowd parted and they waved us through, some even smiled!  I looked in the mirror as we accelerated away and the spears and arrows once again filled the air.

 

Mal, Pat and dog Socks were very good hosts and there was a big warm pool in the garden, so we had an enjoyable stay and the journey back was uneventful.  Unfortunately, shortly afterwards oil was discovered just off the south coast of PNG and the UN pulled the plug on the project and Mal and co returned to Australia.

 

The following week I was discussing the tribal fight with another expat – Frank Lewis, and he said that the battles were usually only about as dangerous as rioting crowds at football matches.  As soon as a warrior was seriously hurt or killed everything stopped and they went back to their villages, either to celebrate or mourn.  He once saw a group of warriors who had lost a fight march slowly past his house, they had covered themselves with ashes and dust and were crying and lamenting.

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FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER/ CYLCHLYTHYR MIS CHWEFROR 2022

 

I am writing this introduction to our newsletter the morning after our ‘Noson Lawen’ held on January 26th and I am still on a high! It was such a successful evening with 55 attendees. It was also wonderful to see some new faces at the Chapter House.

 

Many thanks to all of the members who took part and provided such fun and entertainment. A special thank you to Meinir Wyn Davies who provided accompaniment for so many of our acts. It takes a great deal of courage to appear at such an event and I was overwhelmed by the talent at our disposal as a society.

 

Some sad news; Eileen Davy, who had been a member for the last few years, died on January 21st. She really valued attending our meetings and loved all things Welsh. Her funeral will take place on 24th February at 11.00 am at Herongate Wood, Burial Ground, Billericay Road, Herongate, Ingrave, CM13 3SE.Bright colours are to be worn. ‘Calon Lan’ will be sung as part of the service (a digital version by the Morrison Orpheus) and her daughter would love Welsh Society members to join in. Afterwards members are welcome at the Halfway House (on the A 127) for refreshments. If you wish to attend, can you let myself or Kay Bright know. If Welsh Society members wear small daffodils (the Marie Curie charity ones), the family will know who we are. Kay will have a bag of them at the funeral.

 

I received a lovely card from Jonathon and Gillian Hinton, who have recently moved to the Oxford area to be closer to family. They said about how much they had enjoyed their involvement with the society and wished us all the best for the future.

 

I’m afraid our website has not been updated since David Brown’s sad death. I have been working with the IT company that runs our website to try and give us access to update the site but, as yet, we have not had any success. For the foreseeable future, it will be best to check our Facebook page and newsletters for news and events.

 

Finally, my thought of the day …….

When you realise that

1970 and 2022

are as far apart as

1970 and 1918…..

It makes you feel

really old!

 

Diolch yn Fawr

Gwil Williams

 

 

 

Dates for the diary

 

 

  • February 23rd- Jan the story teller at30pm at The Chapter House, Chelmsford

 

  • March 4th - St David’s Day Dinner at 7pm at The County Hotel, Chelmsford

 

  • March 6th- St David’s Day Service at 3pm at Little Baddow United Reform Church

 

  • March 23rd- An evening with Debra John

 

  • May 1st- 4th May- Trip to Wales

 

  • June 11th - Annual concert at Chelmsford Cathedral

 

 

 

 

St David’s Day dinner- Friday, March 4th at 7pm at The County Hotel, Chelmsford

 

Tickets are now available for our annual dinner and are £37.50 each. If you would like to attend this year’s St David’s Day dinner, then please contact Liz Armishaw on 01245 281162  or Kay Bright on 01245 380543.  Please also inform them of any dietary requirements. Please bring your money or cheque to the February meeting. Cheques to be made payable to the Chelmsford & District Welsh Society.

 

St David’s Day Service, March 6th at 3pm at Little Baddow United Reform Church

 

Brenda Hooson and Andy Coppfield are looking forward to welcoming us to Little Baddow United Reform Church at 3pm on the 6th March 2022 for our St David’s Day Service. I am sure it will be a joyous occasion, obviously tinged with sadness for friends who will not be with us but a chance also for hopefully, realising that life is returning to normal .

For me, these services are a reminder of my childhood days in Dolgellau when Sunday meant Church and Sunday School and as such have become a very happy memory. Mae atgofion hapus yn bwysig iawn yn yr henaint.

The Church itself is delightful, small, cosy and welcoming. Dewch ac mwynhewch y gwasanaeth, canu ac ar ol hynny, y te ,Bara Brith a chacenau. Please come, it will be a special service of coming together after a very long absence.

                                                                                   

Cofion Cynnes

Shirley ac Ann

 

 

St Cedd having completed his Church called Saint Peters on the Wall, looked across the river and saw Mersea Island.

"Now" he said "I will carry the word of God to whoever lives there."

So they provided the good man with a boat and he rowed across. Stepping ashore he saw a fisherman.

St Cedd hailed him.

"I am Bishop Cedd and I have converted the people of Othona to Christianity and helped them build the Church of St Peters you can see across there."

"What do you call this place?"

"Mersea " said the fisherman.

"Do you know Jesus Christ here?"

"No no" said the fisherman, "All Wyatts, Witts and Mussets here."

 

Cofion cynnes

Arthur

 

 

 

 

Welsh Quiz by Gwil Williams

 

  1. Name 4 settlements in Wales that have official city status
  2. Which Welsh town is the smallest university town in the United Kingdom?
  3. David Lloyd George was a Member of Parliament for which Welsh town for 55 years?
  4. Which Welsh town was once the 'iron capital of the world' and was the location of the world's first locomotive-hauled railway journey in 1804?
  5. Which Welsh actor played a captured U-boat captain in the famous 'Don't tell him, Pike!' episode of Dad's (Clue: His wife appeared in @Hi di Hi)
  6. Which British movement was formed in 1915 in Llanfair PG, Anglesey?
  7. Found on the Welsh bank of the River Wye, name the first Cistercian foundation in Wales?
  8. In some schools in the 19th century a piece of wood was hung around the necks of children who spoke Welsh during the school day - which two letters were inscribed in the wood?
  9. Name the famous author born in 1916, in Llandaff, Cardiff, to Norwegian parents?
  10. In which Welsh town is there a statue of comedian Tommy Cooper?
  11. The Welsh comedian and singer Harry Secombe played which central character in the Goon Show
  12. Which Welsh designer founded a highly successful international chain of shops selling a Neo-Victorian country style in clothes and furnishings?
  13. Which defensive earthwork along the Welsh border was built in the 8th century AD?
  14. Which Dylan Thomas book describes a day in the life of a small Welsh fishing village?
  15. At which racecourse is the Welsh Grand National run?
  16. Which Welsh word is used as a term of endearment, usually after a person's name, and is also the name of a German composer?
  17. Which Welsh town was the setting for the TV series, "The Prisoner’?
  18. What was the name of the Welsh mining village where a slag heap collapsed onto a school in 1966, killing 81 children?
  19. What is the name of the river that flows through Cardiff?
  • Who was the teenage Welsh soprano who, according to her album, had "The Voice of an Angel’.

 

 

 

The Berlin Corridor by Brian Farmer

 

To drive from Berlin to West Germany we had to leave Berlin at Check Point Bravo and follow the autobahn, in an almost straight line west to Check Point Alpha near the small town of Helmstedt.  We were not allowed to use any other road. 

 

In Berlin there were 3 British Infantry Battalions, while I was there we had the Sherwood and Worcestershire Foresters (Whoofers), the Coldstream Guards (Wooden tops) and the Paras.  Half way through my tour the Whoofers were replaced by the Kings Own Scottish Borderers (KOSBs).  They took to the flesh pots of Berlin like there was no tomorrow, which upset the Berliners and with the result that Brigadier Napier (a Welshman), took them out into the Grunewald (Green wood) in the middle of  January to cool off under canvas for a couple of weeks.

 

The infantry would be trucked in convoy to West Germany once a year to exercise on the training areas and a friend of mine was once following a KOSB's convoy. Work was being done on the autobahn and there was a trench at the road side marked out with cones.  The KOSB lorry, in front of my friend, drove at the cones and knocked each one into the trench, which had the German foreman jumping up and down.  That said I made a number of KOSB friends, mainly after rugby matches, with our Scottish allies and I was glad they were on our side.

 

Once, returning from leave in the UK, we drove in our Maxi to Check Point Alpha, where we stopped at a low wooden building with a Russian flag outside.  I went up some steps and through a door to a dark reception area and handed our papers through a narrow slit in the wall.  I then returned to the car to wait for a Russian soldier to return our stamped papers.  After a few minutes a lorry drew up just in front of us and about 20 armed East German border guards jumped out, formed up and marched off into the trees.  After a few minutes a group of troops, who had been relieved from guard duty, formed up in single file, with their backs to the car and carried out 'clear arms' drill.  A chunky looking NCO stood behind each soldier as he removed the magazine from the Kalashnikov rifle, worked the bolt action, aimed into the woods and pressed the trigger, followed by a click – the weapon was now safe.  As each finished they climbed onto the lorry.  The last one carried out the action, but as he pressed the trigger, bang, a shot rang out and echoed in the trees, we sat lower in our seats.  The NCO punched the soldier in the back, kicked his bottom, picked him up and threw him in the back of the lorry; he then got into the front and they drove away.  After a few minutes our papers were returned and off we went.

 

To the North of Helmstedt is the city of Magdeburg, just inside East Germany and each day at 6pm you could tune into Magdeburg Annie, who called out a string of numbers, sometimes in German, sometimes in English or other languages.  She was giving orders to Soviet agents in the West!

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MARCH NEWSLETTER/ CYLCHLYTHYR MIS MAWRTH 2022

 

The last few weeks have been very busy for our Welsh Society, with several significant and exciting events taking place. In the February evening meeting, we were entertained by Jan Williams (Jan the Storyteller). She gave us an informed insight into the folk tales and legends from her home village of Borth, near Aberystwyth. She revealed the secrets of the coastal area around Cardigan Bay and the stories that originated from there. Almost 50 members attended the meeting – a great turn out for such a cold evening!

 

On a sadder note, several members of the Society attended the funeral of Eileen Davey on February 24th at Herongate Wood, Ingrave. Eileen had been an enthusiastic supporter of all things Welsh and this love of Wales was evident in the service with a rousing rendition of ‘Calon Lan’.

 

Our St. David’s Day Dinner was held on March 4th at the County Hotel in Chelmsford. Guto Harri, the original choice of Guest Speaker, had to pull out due to work commitments but his replacement, Father Gildas proved to be an outstanding success. He gave us a fascinating insight into his work as a Roman Catholic Priest and entertained us with an array of amusing stories. Debs Allen Morgan, Meinir Wyn Davies and Rachel Bartels provided excellent entertainment for the evening. The dinner was attended by the Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr. Jude Deakin, together with her daughter Helen, the Mayoress. Many thanks to all the members of the society’s committee for their hard work in preparing for the event.

 

Two days later our annual St. David’s Day Service, held at Little Baddow United Reform Church, took place. Over 40 of our members attended. Father Gildas again gave a perceptive sermon on the legacy of our patron saint. Poignantly we remembered the members who have lost their lives over the last two years.

 

At our next evening meeting on March 23rd Debra John will make a very welcome return to the Chapter House, after initially performing for us in March 2019. Debra, a freelance actress, was born and brought up in Swansea and specialises in period costume character performances.

The Society’s website is finally up and running (www.chelmsfordwelsh.org.uk) again. I have managed to update small sections of the site e.g. the Home Page, but much work still remains to be done!

 

Diolch yn fawr

Gwil Williams

 

                                Welsh Society Holiday to The Wye Valley 1st May to 4th May 2022

 

The balance for our holiday to the Wye Valley in May is now due and you can pay by cheque at the next two meetings. The cost is and £300 per person and £325 for singles.

 

During our holiday we will have the opportunity to visit a couple of historical properties owned by Cadw. If you are a member of Cadw or English Heritage, then please remember to pack your membership cards so you can use them on entry into the properties.

 

If you would like to join us and are not yet on the list for this holiday, please get in touch with Kay Bright on 01245 380543. Also, if you have any queries or require any further information about the holiday, please feel free to get in touch.

                                                                                   

 

Dates for the diary

 

 

  • March 23rd- An evening with Debra John at 7.30pm at The Chapter House, Chelmsford

 

  • April 6th Coffee morning at Radley Green Farm at 10.30am

 

  • April 27th- An evening with Sir Emyr Jones Parry

 

  • May 1st- 4th May- Trip to Wales

 

  • June 11th - Annual concert at Chelmsford Cathedral

 

                                                                 Coffee morning at Radley Green Farm

 On Wednesday 6th April at 10.30am

Hosted by Shirley, Ivy and Ann. Everybody is welcome. Suggested donation on £6 per person. You are also welcome to bring a prize for the raffle.

 

 

 

Annual Concert

 

Tickets are now available for our annual concert at Chelmsford Cathedral on Saturday 11th June. If you would like to buy some tickets, please contact Arthur Williams on 01621 778711, Eddie Alcock on 01245 603448 or Gwenno Pope on 07724144432 or email gwenno.gllwyd@gmail.com

 

 

The Lord's Prayer is only 71 words

The Ten Commandment is 247 words long

If we lived by the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandment the World would be very nice place.

The EEC directive on the importation of duck's eggs is over 40,000 words.

Enough said

Cofion cynnes

Arthur

 

Answers to the Welsh Quiz by Gwil Williams (Questions in the February newsletter)

  1. Any 4 of the following: Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Bangor, St Davids, and St Asaph.
  2. Lampeter
  3. Caernarfon
  4. Merthyr Tydfil (the town also had the first ever Labour MP, Keir Hardie)
  5. Philip Madoc (Ruth Madoc’s husband)
  6. The Women's Institute (WI)
  7. Tintern Abbey
  8. WN (standing for Welsh Not)
  9. Roald Dahl
  10. Caerphilly (Tommy Cooper was born in Caerphilly in 1921)
  11. Neddie Seagoon
  12. Laura Ashley
  13. Clawdd Offa
  14. Under Milk Wood
  15. Chepstow
  16. Bach
  17. Portmeirion
  18. Aberfan
  19. Taff
  20.  Charlotte Church

 

PORRIDGE by Brian Farmer

In 1998 I spent 3 months in prison – as a maths and general studies tutor!  It was a brand-new high security, category B prison owned by the American company Premier Prisons, near Nottingham.  It was just filling with the last of 500 prisoners when I started. The inmates were in for 5 years + and had been at other prisons and were pleased because it was an enlightened establishment, they had single cells, they were called by their second names (+ Mr) and there was work for them (rewiring trailers and painting toy soldiers etc) so they could earn money to send to their families.

 

Most of the inmates were in for drug related offences and theft. At the induction we, in the education dept, mostly women, were taught self-defence, security protocols and we were given a talk by the Governor.  He told us that the inmates would tell us they were innocent, and the language was often ripe.  In-fact most of them admitted to their criminality, some said that they were in not because of what they'd done, but for what they'd confessed to.  Once at a discussion group, where one of the men had a livid, fresh Z shaped scar from forehead to chin – I asked, was a 9 year sentence 3 times as bad as a 3 year one?  I was told that when they committed a crime, they were prepared to do the time, however, if they were made an example of and the sentence was unfair, when they got out they'd feel that society owed them and they wanted to get their own back.

 

At one discussion group a typical Rastafarian chap came in, shook my hand and introduced himself as King Arthur.  Afterwards he told me that when inside he'd done a lot of reading about English kings and he realised that he was having to act like a king when running his drug dealing gang, he had to keep his 'barons' happy, otherwise they would revolt against him.  His life went well until he realised that many of his friends were dying of drug and other excesses, so he decided to cut down on his use.  When he held parties (often) associates realised that he was not so involved, perhaps he was going soft.  He lifted a flap of hair over one temple and said, 'Have you ever heard of having sense knocked into you?' There was a cross shaped scar on the side of his head.  'This happened when one of my barons tried to kill me with a hammer'.  He had been to a show with his wife and on the way to his car, he was attacked; his wife screamed so the attackers ran off and she got an ambulance. He knew that if he fell asleep, he would die so he kept himself conscious until he saw a doctor.

 

He was an attractive character and spoke with a slight lisp.  I once asked him why he didn't volunteer to speak to kids about his experiences which had put him in prison, he said 'They'd look at me and be thinking – he's done OK, I won't get caught'.  He believed that the effects of his injuries would return and shorten his life.

 

As regards to language, the prisoners rarely swore in front of us and if they did, they were very apologetic, however, several times I spoke to prison officers (screws) about their jokes and language when women were present – a Valleys’ boy!

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APRIL NEWSLETTER/ CYLCHLYTHYR MIS EBRILL 2022

 

Our last meeting at the end of March featured Debra John, the actress and storyteller from Swansea, who specialises in period costume character performances. Personally, I felt this was one of the most outstanding performances I have seen at the Chapter House for a long time. During the first half of her presentation, she gave us a fascinating insight into the experiences of different people during the First World War, one of which was Hedd Wyn, the Welsh poet who was killed in the Battle of Passchendaele and was posthumously awarded the bard's chair at the 1917 National Eisteddfod (Y Gadair Ddu).

During the second half of the evening, she took on the role of Amy Dillwyn, a Welsh novelist, businesswoman and social benefactor, who was born in Sketty, Swansea in 1845. From the 1870's to the early 1890's, she wrote 6 novels, her themes included feminism, social reform and the Rebecca Riots. Her unorthodox appearance and her habit of smoking cigars made her a well-known figure in the Swansea area. 

Debra gave a truly outstanding performance, which was greatly appreciated by the audience at the Chapter House. 

 

On Wednesday, April 6th we held a very successful Charity Coffee Morning at Radley Green Farm. Members who attended enjoyed a feast of cakes, biscuits and savouries, all produced by committee members.

Bella, Shirley’s dog, made sure that the floor was kept completely clean by removing any crumbs or food that had been dropped!

At our next meeting, on April 27th we have invited Sir Emyr Jones Parry, a retired British diplomat, to speak to us. He is a former Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations (UN) and former UK Permanent Representative on the North Atlantic Council (NATO). I am sure it will be a fascinating evening.

I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting this month.

Diolch yn fawr

Gwil Williams

 

Annual Concert on Saturday 11th June

In less than two months, our annual concert at Chelmsford Cathedral will be taking place. It is vital that we sell as many tickets as possible for this prestigious event featuring the Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir and the prominent Welsh soprano, Elin Manahan Thomas.

Tickets are now available and if you would like to buy some tickets, please contact Arthur Williams on 01621 778711, Eddie Alcock on 01245 603448 or Gwenno Pope on 07724144432 or email gwenno.gllwyd@gmail.com

 

  

 

Annwyl aelodau,

Diolch yn fawr i bawb am eich cyfraniad a help i wneud y bore coffi mor lwyddiannus.

Pasg hapus i chi gyd.

 

Dear members,

Once again our coffee morning was a great success. Thank you Shirley for allowing us the use of the cosy village hall.We are so lucky.

 

To Sina. thanks for the beautiful floral display and your wonderful support. The village hall looked stunning.

Thanks also to Sue for your generous help.

We appreciate the members who made delightful cakes and most of all we thank all members who came along to support the event and for bringing raffle prizes.

We would like to wish you all a very Happy Easter, Diolch yn fawr, Shirley, Sina, Ann, Sue and Ivy.

 

                                     

Welsh Society Holiday to The Wye Valley 1st May to 4th May 2022

 

The date for our holiday is fast approaching and I have been busy putting the finishing touches to the trip. Clive and I went to visit some of the sights of the Wye Valley a few weeks ago and it was lovely to be amongst the green beauty of the place. The weather was good too so hopefully we will get some of the same in May!

Trevor will be our driver for the trip and I know he is looking forward to being with some familiar faces again!

 

The coach will leave Radley Farm at 8am on Sunday 1st May. There will be a flag out to greet us. Please enter via the yard to drop off your luggage and park.  We will make our way to our hotel in Hereford with stops on the way. The hotel name is ‘The Three Counties’ and the telephone number for the hotel is

01432 299955.

 

During our holiday we will have the opportunity to visit a couple of historical properties owned by Cadw. If you are a member of Cadw or English Heritage, then please remember to pack your membership cards so you can use them on entry into the properties.

 

For those who have not yet paid your balance, you can pay by cheque at the next meeting. The cost is and £300 per person and £325 for singles.

 

if you have any queries or require any further information about the holiday, please feel free to get in touch with Kay Bright on 01245 380543.

                                                                            

 

 

 

Dates for the diary

 

 

  • April 27th An evening with Sir Emyr Jones Parry

 

  • May 1st 4th May- Trip to Wales

 

  • May 25th Memories

 

  • June 5th Summer Service at Little Baddow URC

 

  • June 11th Annual concert at Chelmsford Cathedral

 

  • June 25th Summer picnic at Radley Green Farm

 

 

Asked about the ten commandments, one girl wrote "Do not admit adultery"

 

Cofion cynnes

Arthur

 

BARRY BARRY- by Brian Farmer

 

In 1989 I was part of 70 Aircraft Workshop REME, based at the Army Air Corps Centre in Middle Wallop.  After a few months captain Barry Barry moved in to the quarter next door, with his family.  He was detached from the Queen's Dragoon Guards (QDG - the Welsh cavalry) mostly recruited from Wales, to act as quarter master to the AAC HQ.  He and his family were keen horse people, and he was like a well-built jockey and originally from Swansea.

 

We got on well and used to spend evenings in the HQ mess a few times each month.  He had a reputation as a hard man and he once told me his secret:  he said that if he wanted to make an impression in a unit, he would look around the (Cpl/Sgts) mess bar and approach the biggest man there, provoke an argument and then punch the man, who was so surprised to be attacked by such a small person that they didn't react. He said that real fights had nothing in common with those on film, usually one or two hits and it was all over.  I can't say that I agreed with his tactics, but he seemed such a pleasant person, it was hard to dislike him.

 

After a few more months I was posted to the REME Engineering school, Bordon and we lost touch.  About a year later I read, in the paper, about a captain Barry Barry being court marshalled.  Apparently, he had a girlfriend, he would tell his wife that he was going on exercise, but he had persuaded one of his corporals to allow he and his friend to stay at their quarter for a few days.  The corporal got tired of this arrangement, so he reported the matter and Barry Barry was court marshalled and found guilty of conduct unbecoming and discharged from the Army – loss of pension etc.

 

Ten or so years later I was at a bar-b-cue in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and gossiping with a civilian contractor, who recruited Indians and Philippinos to work in Saudi Arabia.  It turned out that he was ex - QDG and he knew and had employed Barry Barry for a number of years.  The last he'd heard of him was that he was living with a Turkish lady in Istanbul. It's a small world.

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MAY NEWSLETTER/ CYLCHLYTHYR MIS MAI 2022

 

47 of our members enjoyed a fascinating insight into the world of a diplomat at our meeting in April. Our guest Sir Emyr Jones Parry, one of Britain’s most revered diplomats, has represented the UK at various bodies such as the United Nations, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Sir Emyr, a native Welsh speaker, was educated at Gwendraeth Grammar School, famous for producing rugby players such as Carwyn James, Barry John and Jonathon Davies. Later he attended Cardiff University, followed by Cambridge University before starting a prominent career in diplomacy. Many thanks to Liz and Jim Armishaw for arranging the event.

 

I cannot believe that we are more than three quarters of our way through our programme of events! I admit that last September, I was apprehensive about how many would attend our evening meetings but, considering Covid issues, our numbers have been strong throughout the last 9 months. Many thanks for supporting the society so well.

 

Please remember that the date for our annual concert, June 11th is fast approaching. The society’s committee have been exploring different ways to promote events and, as a result, will set up a stall in the High Chelmer Shopping Centre in Chelmsford on Saturday May 21st to inform shoppers about both the society and the concert. If you are shopping in Chelmsford on that day, do come and pay us a visit.

 

Diolch yn fawr

Gwil Williams

 

Sad news

 

Jean Davies died on April 14th, just 3 weeks before her 89th birthday. Back in the 1960’s Jean was one of the original founder members of the society and was an Honorary Vice President. She served on the society’s committee and acted as Treasurer from 1979-1985. Her funeral will take place on 19th May at 3pm at the North Chapel. Chelmsford Crematorium.

 

 

Iris Cerney, a new member from September 2021, has died recently. Iris was a retired Head Teacher who worked in the Basildon area for many years. Her funeral will take place at Bentley Crematorium, Ongar Road, Pilgrim’s Hatch, Brentwood on Monday May 9th at 3.30pm.

 

 

  • Best wishes to Eddie Alcock following his recent stay in hospital. We also send our best wishes to all of our members who have been unwell recently. We wish you all a speedy recovery and hope to see you all soon.

 

Dates for the diary

 

  • May 25th  at 7.30pm                   Memories with Liz, Clive, Janet and Brian at the Chapter House

 

  • June 5th  at 3pm                      Summer Service at Little Baddow URC

 

  • June 11th at 7.30pm Annual concert at Chelmsford Cathedral

 

  • June 22nd at 7.30pm AGM and Quiz night at the Chapter House

 

  • June 25th at 3pm Summer picnic at Radley Green Farm

 

 

Annual Concert on Saturday 11th June

 

 

In a few weeks, our annual concert at Chelmsford Cathedral will be taking place. It is vital that we sell as many tickets as possible for this prestigious event featuring the Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir and the prominent Welsh soprano, Elin Manahan Thomas.

Tickets are now available and if you would like to buy some tickets, please contact Arthur Williams on 01621 778711, Jim Armishaw on 01245  281162 or Gwenno Pope on 07724144432 or email gwenno.gllwyd@gmail.com

 

We will be promoting the concert and the society at High Chelmer Shopping Centre in Chelmsford on Saturday May 21st. If you are shopping in Chelmsford on that day, do come and pay us a visit.

 

 

 

Chelmsford & District Welsh Society      

 

Present

 

     TRELAWNYD MALE VOICE CHOIR        ELIN MANAHAN THOMAS 

                                                                                                                             

                     Saturday, 11th June 2022

7.30pm

(Doors open at 6.45pm)

Chelmsford Cathedral

Ticket Price: £17.50 available from

Arthur Williams: 01621 778711

Jim Armishaw: 01245 281162

Gwenno Pope: 07724144432 or email gwenno.gllwyd@gmail.com

 

 

                              Chelmsford and District Welsh Society holiday to the Wye Valley 2022

 

Twenty-seven members and friends set off on their annual jaunt to Wales on the 1st May, bright and early. Luckily for us we were in the capable driving hands of Trevor. Traffic was light and we got to Ross-on-Wye where climbing to ‘The Prospect’ we could view the River Wye. We then made our way to our hotel in Hereford where we were made very welcome and, after a delicious dinner, our members were superbly entertained by the Monmouth Male Voice Choir. Their repertoire included a range of songs, both familiar and new. Several of our group joined in with the last song, Calon Lan. Then we all retired to the bar for a very convivial ‘afterglow’!

 

Monday started with a visit to Hereford Cathedral with a guided tour which really made the building come alive for us and our guides, Ruth and Graham, were accomplished and informative. We also explored the famous Mappi Mundi and Chained Library.

 

Afterwards, we travelled onto Hay-on-Wye over the border in Wales. Known as the ‘Town of Books’ it was quite bustling on a May Bank Holiday Monday. Several of our group purchased books and we enjoyed an afternoon cuppa in some interesting tea places!  Back at the hotel, we enjoyed another good dinner and had time to relax afterwards.

Tuesday was an early start in order to travel down to the further reaches of the Wye Valley. First stop was Chepstow with its great Norman castle where many of our group explored the building built way back in 1067. We then went on to the peaceful village of Tintern with its magnificent, ruined abbey, wooded hillsides and with the River Wye running by. Our group enjoyed a stroll, and some visited the abbey. After Tintern we travelled on to the market town of Monmouth. There was plenty of opportunity to shop, the cheese shop proving popular! The Shire Hall, with its exhibitions of local history (Geoffrey of Monmouth and Henry V), along with the court room where John Frost the famous Chartist rebel was tried, were some of the interesting displays we looked at. Some of us even ventured deep under the building into the gloomy cells. A few members also went to the military museum and found out about the history of the Monmouthshire regiment. After dinner that evening, we were entertained by the lovely Allison and Steve Allan. They sang songs from the musicals, again some familiar and some new to us. Allison is a friend of Diane, and it was lovely to see their reunion after several years.

 

The last morning dawned bright, and Trevor loaded the coach, we said our goodbyes to the hotel and made our way into cider country.  We visited the Westons Cider Mill at Mach Marcle where we had time for a morning coffee (al fresco with some of us sitting inside improvised cider barrels!) and an opportunity to purchase some Herefordshire cider. The bottles certainly clinked on the way home!

The final stop on our tour was the Cotswold town of Bourton-on –the –Water. It proved to be an ideal lunch stop as well as a good place to just stroll along the River Windrush and browse the quaint shops. Some of the group visited the Motor Museum with its vintage vehicles and toys.

Then it was homeward bound, and we arrived (after the inevitable hold-ups on the M25) at Radley Farm at 7pm.

 

A longer version of this tour will appear on our website soon and there will be a selection of photographs too.

 

Kay Bright May 2022

 

Brethyn am Sari- Rhianwen Roberts

 

O Lanrwst i Loegr,

O’r India i Lundain;

Dwy gymdoges,

Alltud.

Eu mamau am oes

Wedi magu da mewn tiroedd llwm,

A godro teth ar ôl teth

Rhwng dwylo - gwydn, ysblennydd,

I roi gwell yfory i’w merched.

 

Ond estron yw’r yfory;

Dy enw, Meena Gupti,

Fel f’un innau,

Yn symbol.

 

Rhannu rhoddion: brethyn o Drefriw am sari o Fwmbai;

Sidan a chotwm o’th gaeau am wlân o’m mynyddoedd i.

A’r afonydd o’r dyffrynnoedd ble’u trochant,

Wedi hen weheu ym moroedd y byd.

 

 

Rhianwen Roberts

(15 Chwefror 2021)

 

This is a poem inspired by the title ‘The Sari’.  It made me think of a time when my friend and former neighbour, Meena, gave me fabric from one of her trips home to India, as a gift to make a sari.  Meena was born and brought up in India.  Meena was a bit of a child prodigy and graduated in Mathematics when she was just sixteen.  She came over to the UK, as a young woman, to do her post-doc.  She has many siblings, most of whom excelled in STEM subjects and moved away from India.  This was a bit of an alien world for her more traditional mother.  Each weekday, Meena went to work in the City in smart, western clothes.  At the weekends, she dressed in her beautiful saris.  She celebrated the religious festivals, invited me and Neil to the Temple and shared home-made vegetarian food with us.  When she and her husband moved house, I gave them a woollen throw from Trefriw Woollen Mills, near where I grew up, in the Conwy Valley.  This poem is about an exchange of gifts between two friends from two cultures: the woollen throw made from wool from the mountains where I grew up, for the sari, made from the silk and cotton where Meena grew up.  I’m a farmer’s daughter so I grew up around sheep, shearing sheep and folding their lanolin wool to be sold and washed for the onward market.  The poem is also a recognition of the sacrifices that our mothers (and parents) made for us to achieve what we have in an environment so alien from where we grew up – milking cows, teat by teat, to give their daughters a better tomorrow.  In Meena’s case, it may not have been literal, but my own mam (and dad) certainly did milk cows by hand.   As a result, we now inhabit two worlds. But the streams from the valleys where the wool and the cotton and silk were washed (there may have to be some artistic licence here!) eventually become one in the world’s oceans – symbolising the oneness of humanity. 

 

 

Three young potatoes went to father potato to ask his permission to get married. 

The first potato said. "Father, I want To Marry Prince Edward" and father potato said "Bless you my child, you have my permission". 

The second potato said, "Father I want to marry Jersey Queen". and father potato said "Bless you my child, you have my permission"

The third potato said, "Father I want to marry Eddie Butler.". and father potato said "No way, he is a commentator"

                                                                     Cofion cynnes

                                                                        Arthur

 

 

 

SNAPSHOTS by Brian Farmer

 

In our lives incidents occur which can leave deep and lasting memories, here are a few of mine:

 

Sad Farewell:

when I was 2i/c of 14 Field Workshop REME in Berlin in 1973/75, I had a secretary who typed out my reports and corrected my grammar and spelling.  For a few months I had a very pleasant and efficient young woman Lena in the post.  One day I was paid a visit by the I-spy people who told me that Lena was South African, and she didn't have the required security clearance for the post and I had to tell her she had to go, but not tell her why.  I told Lena that her position was being disestablished and I wasn't entitled to a secretary anymore, I was very sorry, but that was it and off she regretfully went.

In a very short time Mrs Mckensie became my new secretary and fitted in very well.  A few weeks later I was being driven through Berlin and we stopped at some lights.  Suddenly a tearful young woman banged on the window of the car saying that she'd heard that I had a new secretary and asking why had she been sacked?  The lights changed and we pulled away and I could see in the side mirror, Lena, obviously distraught at the road side.  I have flashbacks.

Beautiful Dress:

Towards the end of the first Gulf War, I was dressed in RAF summer uniform and driving through the traffic of Riyadh.  I had stopped at some lights when a huge white, Winnebago type American campervan stopped next to me.  Movement caught my eye and I turned to my left to see that the blind had been drawn from a large window in the van's side and a teenage girl, dressed in the usual black gown, was waving at me.  When she knew that she had my attention she opens up the gown to reveal a lovely blue ballgown, she smiled and waved and I waved back, she looked so beautiful and happy.  Just then the lights changed, and we carried on.  It saddened me to realise that she could be killed by her family for what she'd done.  There were reports in the papers, almost every week. of young women being killed by their families, often in swimming pools, for bringing dishonour to the family.

Steamy Lift:

In 1991 during the first Gulf War, they was a huge influx of foreign troops into the Kingdom. Some were located in the RSAF HQ, so there were lots of Brits and US people in the building.  The Americans had brought a large number of women to act as drivers and secretarial staff.  I was visiting the RSAF HQ one morning and taking the lift, as usual, to the 4th floor.  The lift was crowded, and I walked in and faced the back wall, while others came behind me.  They were mostly Saudi military, dressed in uniform, or white gowned civilians.  I noticed that those in front of me were looking around me wide eyed, so I slowly turned and came face to face with a young, black American woman soldier. From what I could see, she was a stunner, her olive-coloured uniform looked as if it had been painted on!  She had realised the effect she was having on the men in the lift, and she slowly pulled her shouldered rifle around so that it was defensively in front of her.  She looked at me with a knowing smile and I just sweated, we both got out on the 4th floor and went our separate ways.

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