November 2017

THE POET R.S. THOMAS 

presented by 

Canon Ivor Moody, Vice Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral

On the 23rd of November, Canon Ivor Moody, Vice Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral, gave an illustrated talk on Ronald Stuart Thomas, to the Chelmsford Welsh Society, at the Cathedral Chapter house.  Forty three members listened to an interesting and enlightening presentation of the life and works of the poet. 

Thomas was born in 1913 in Cardiff but spent his early years in Holyhead where his father worked as a seaman.   He studied Latin in Bangor University and then trained to become a priest in the Church in Wales.  He met his wife Mildred, who was a well connected young lady, when he was a curate and they had one son.  Thomas spent the rest of his life moving between remote and secluded parishes in rural North Wales, which suited his austere and spartan way of life.  Electricity and running water in the home were regarded by him and his wife as luxuries.  He was a deeply thoughtful and prolific poet who wrote about the hard life of the farmers, the beauty of the countryside, the constant struggle he had with his faith, and love.  He never looked for fame, but is regarded by many in the literary world, as one of the best poets in the English language of the last century and he was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996.  To some, he appeared abrupt and rude, to others he was a caring and attentive minister at times of trouble. 

His last parish was that of Aberdaron at the end of the Llun Peninsula, appropriately near the bay Porth Neigwl or Hell’s Mouth.  Mildred died in 1991, Thomas married again and died in 2,000.

The Society appreciated very much the clarity and fluency of Canon Ivor’s presentation and as a token of our thanks Ivy Price, the vice-president of the Society, gave him a Welsh slate plaque, embellished with the Society’s crest.

Long standing members Mick & Hazel Hammond attended their last meeting before moving to their new home in Northern Ireland We thank them for providing wine and snacks during the evening. We send our best wishes to both of them for happiness in their new home. 

 

Brian Farmer