Tagged with: mid wales

Posts (11)

  1. Aberystwyth pier has been battered and, at times, almost destroyed but it is still there and parts of it at least are still in use.

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  2. Touring company Theatre Rue are taking their audiences into the theatrical unknown with their latest production – they'’ll even need a hard hat.

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  3. Sir Herbert Lloyd of Maesyfelin and Peterwell just outside Lampeter can arguably be acknowledged as one of the wickedest men Wales ever produced. In many ways he was the archetypal evil squires so beloved by romantic writers and early film makers. If he had been born and lived a hundred years later it would be easy to imagine him tying delicate young maidens to railway tracks and laughing as the train came ever closed. In the 18th century, of course, there were no railway trains and Lloyd's wickedness took him in other directions. Born in 1720, Sir Herbert Lloyd succeeded to the family estate of Maesyfelin after the death of his brother John in 1755 but had little liking for the place, preferring his own inherited property, the nearby land and house at Peterwell. Indeed, he literally plundered the riches of Maesyfelin - its contents, its treasures, even the very stones of the place - in order to embellish and enrich his favourite house at Peterwell. However, by inheriting the estate at Maesyfelin, Lloyd also succeeded to control of the court sessions at Lampeter. As a JP he was brutal and vindictive, always seeking to fill his own pockets. Thanks to the corrupt nature of voting in the mid 1700s - servants and tenants of Lloyd's estates being enrolled as voters - he also became member of parliament for Cardigan Boroughs in 1761. Representing his constituents meant nothing to Lloyd, it simply gave him more opportunity for lining his coffers, invariably at the expense of others. As someone once said of him, "he will never cease to persecute. It is become second nature to him." Aided and abetted by his steward Oakley Leigh, Lloyd became famous for his violent and tyrannical lifestyle, heading up a band of friends and retainers who were soon regarded as being as dissolute as Lloyd himself. He was vain, greedy and arrogant and during his time as Lord of Lampeter his control of the courts and their finances - their revenue meant to be a means to enforce things like road repairs and trade tariffs - was brutally enforced. Fines increased dramatically, much of the revenue undoubtedly finding its way into Lloyd's pockets. The tale of the black ram So vicious and violent was Herbert Lloyd's reputation that many of his deeds have gone down in Lampeter and Ceredigion folk lore. There are dozens of stories about the man but none is more powerful than the tale of the black ram. There was even an opera about the events written in 1957. Apparently, Sir Herbert Lloyd wanted to gaze out at only his own lands from the roof of Peterwell - a vantage point that, amazingly, boasted an elegant roof garden. Unfortunately his vista was broken by the lands of one Sion Philip, an old farmer. He refused to sell his land to Lloyd and so a dastardly scheme was hatched by the owner of Peterwell. Lloyd's prize black ram was taken and hidden away. Declaring the ram to have been stolen, Lloyd conducted searches all over the area. This went on for several days. Then, one dark night, servants from Peterwell climbed onto the roof of Sion Philip's cottage and carefully lowered the ram down his chimney. Philip and his wife slept on, unmindful of the fact that they were about to be charged with what was then a capital offence. Sir Herbert Lloyd immediately sent for the Lampeter constable and, together with Oakley Leigh, headed for the cottage. The noise of the ram being lowered down the wide chimney had woken Philip but before he could do anything the constable and Sir Herbert burst in through the door. Philip was arrested and, apparently, marched off to jail, a journey of 30 miles through deep snow and frost. The old man refused to confess to something he had not done and spent several weeks chained up in jail before a jury - hand-picked by Sir Herbert Lloyd, of course - convicted him for sheep stealing. He was duly hanged and Sir Herbert quickly acquired his lands. At this distance, it is hard to say whether or not the story is true. Certainly Sion Philip existed and his small parcel of land did eventually end up as part of the Peterwell estate. And Sir Herbert was cruel and greedy enough to resort to such tactics. However you view it, it remains a fascinating tale and there are many people who still believe it implicitly. In another country legend from the Lampeter area, the house and estate at Maesyfelin were subject to a curse, placed upon them by the local vicar. When Herbert Lloyd died in London on 19 August 1769 - some say by his own hand, others from natural causes - the two Lampeter estates were in severe financial difficulties. Most of the problems, it seems, were due to Lloyd's bad management and dissolute ways. It seems, however, that the curse was effective. Sir Herbert Lloyd died childless and his estates soon passed into ruin. Many of the locals claimed that the curse on Maesyfelin was transferred to Peterwell along with the stones that Lloyd had moved from the original building to his favourite house. By the end of the 19th century neither Maesyfelin nor Peterwell remained, the houses smashed down and left to moulder. Now all that remains of Peterwell is a pile of old stones and a stately avenue of trees. And, of course, the legend of Sir Herbert Lloyd, west Wales' very own wicked squire.

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  4. No doubt about it. You either love the Royal Welsh Show and can happily spend hours wandering around the show ground every July - or you hate it with a vengeance and sit there, in your car, fuming as you try to navigate your way around Builth Wells. Whichever category you fall into, one thing is sure - you can't ignore it. The Royal Welsh Show came to Llanelwedd at Builth Wells for the first time on 23 July 1963. Before then it had led a peripatetic life, the show being held at no fewer than 37 different locations, alternating between the north and the south. The new show ground, slap bang in the middle of Wales, was an ideal venue being relatively easily reached from most parts of the country. Heddiw filming the show jumping at The Royal Welsh Show, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells 1963 The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society was founded in 1904. It was then called, simply, the Welsh National Agricultural Society and the inaugural meeting, when rules and regulations were set down, took place at the House of Commons in London. Twenty well-known and established figures from the field of agriculture made up the initial forum and right from the start it was clear that the main aim of the society was to encourage the growth and development of agriculture throughout the whole of Wales. The early days of the society were not easy. There were arguments between members and finances were usually perilous. Nevertheless, the society survived, holding its first annual show at Aberystwyth in 1904, the year of its creation. For that first meeting there were just over 400 livestock entries; within four years that figure had risen enormously with over 200 cattle trucks and horse boxes making their way to the seaside town. Twenty three special trains had to laid on in order to cater for the visitors and those wishing to show their livestock. The Royal Welsh Show has continued to grow. These days livestock entries number around 8,000 each year and 20,000 cars are expected every day of the four day gathering. Many people bring their camper vans or tents and spend the week in and around Builth Wells. No wonder something of a log jam can be created at certain times! As anyone who has ever been to the show will tell you, the experience is well worth the effort. The first show at the new ground in Llanelwedd in 1963 brought in just over 40,000 people. These days that figure has risen to an average of 200,000. In 2004, the centenary year, 227,360 people made their way to the ground and since then the attendance figures have continued to climb. Heddiw at the Royal Welsh Show 1963, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells The Royal Welsh Show has the avowed aim of showcasing the very best of Welsh livestock and certain days - such as the Welsh cob day - have become important moments in the rural year. But the show is more than just livestock. There are stalls and exhibitions, displays of country sports and traditional Welsh crafts. The showcasing of high quality Welsh food and drink makes a visit to the show almost compulsory. The Royal Welsh Show is not just for farmers and those who live in the country - these days there are almost as many town dwellers to be found around the show ring. The show is an important part of the Welsh social calendar, for everyone, regardless of where they live or their occupation. It is something not to be missed. Don't forget to check out he BBC Wales Nature website every day for the latest blogs and galleries from the Royal Welsh Show and to watch Royal Welsh Show 2011 on BBC Two Wales from Monday 18 July to Thursday 21 July, when Sara Edwards, Rachael Garside and Rhys Jones will explore the highlights from the show.

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  5. Last night, The King's Speech won seven British academy awards (Baftas), winning both best film and outstanding British film. Colin Firth won the best actor award for his portrayal of George VI struggling to overcome his stammer. Prince Albert stayed at Clochfaen house for three weeks in...

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  6. A memorial to Swansea-born radio and television broadcaster and writer Wynford Vaughan-Thomas has been restored following an appeal by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW). Broadcaster and author of books about the history and topography of Wales, Wynford Vaughan-Thomas. ...

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  7. The Owain Glyndŵr Centre in Machynlleth is to receive a £275,000 grant from CADW, the Welsh Assembly Government's historic environment service. The funding will be used to restore the Grade I-listed Parliament House. The Parliament House in Machynlleth The building provides meeting rooms...

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  8. The story of David Davies, the man who can justifiably claim to be Wales' first millionaire, is a classic.There is no other way to describe it; his life is a real tale of "rags to riches." Born in 1818 at Llandinam in Montgomeryshire, he was the eldest of nine children and yet rose from being ...

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  9. The future of one of Wales' oldest inhabited buildings, Llwyn Celyn within the Brecon Beacons National Park, has been secured. The building will be bought by the Landmark Trust after securing £335,000 funding from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and Cadw. Llwyn Celyn (Crown cop...

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  10. North East Wales reports on commemorations held to mark the part Flintshire played in the Battle of Britain. Read the story. North West Wales reports on Nant Gwrtheyrn used to be a little quarry village on the Llŷn Peninsula's northern coast. But when the mine went, so did its residents. Today...

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