Llanmadoc and St Cadoc’s Church, Cheriton on Sunday, February 18th, 2018
On Sunday 18th February, the communities of Llanmadoc and Cheriton will be celebrating the successful completion of a project to repair the roof of St Cadoc’s Church, Cheriton and to repair and restore the bells and bell housings of the church and St Madoc’s Church, Llanmadoc. The Gower Society has been involved with the project from the outset and has been delighted to support financially the repair and restoration of the bells and bell housings of both churches, which were in a very poor condition and unable to be rung.
For further information go to the News and Issues page of the website
Please note the change to the talks programme. The talk scheduled for this Friday has been moved to 6th April.
Ioan Richard, a former Lord Mayor of Swansea will give a talk entitled “A year in the Chain Gang” on Friday 26 January at 7.30pm to be held at Sketty Parish Centre, De-La-Beche Road, Sketty
Thursday 22nd February, AN EVENING TALK by Owain Gabb
Bird ringing at Oxwich Marsh: the first five years.
The Gower Society has provided grant funding to bird ringing at Oxwich Marsh since 2015. Owain Gabb of Gower Ringing Group will provide information on the objectives and findings of the work, and how data collected at Oxwich contributes to UK-wide bird population studies and more effective conservation.
Talk to be held at Penclawdd Community Centre, Victoria Road, Penclawdd at 7:30pm
Friday 6th April, AN EVENING TALK by Rhiannon Philp
Rhiannon Philp is a PhD Candidate at Cardiff University who will discuss her research, Footprints in Time: exploring prehistoric movements at Port Eynon. Rhiannon’s project has been partially funded by the Gower Society.
Talk to be held at Sketty Parish Centre, De-La-Beche Road, Sketty at 7:30pm
The incorrect meeting place was shown on the website. The correct details for the walk are:
Sunday 11th February, FAN LLIA
(Joint with Swansea Ramblers)
Meet at 9:00am between Guildhall & Victoria Park (GR SS 643 923) or 10:15am Blaen Llia Car Park (GR SN 927 164). Hill walk over Fan Llia and returning along Sarn Helen. 10 miles, moderate/strenuous.
Leader Tim Gronow Tel: 07710 231 630 Registered Assistance Dogs Only
On Saturday 16th December, 14 walkers met at the NT car park at Southgate for a walk which started in bright sunshine. Their route took them along the coast path to enjoy fine views across Three Cliffs Bay before descending to the beach to cross the river by the stepping stones.
After a rather muddy walk up the West bank of the river we crossed it by the recently built bridge which the society helped finance.
The weather forecast has suggested a possible rain shower about lunch time but fortunately we could enjoy our lunch in the dry sitting comfortably at the picnic tables in Green Cwm. Our return journey took us through the woods to Lunnon before following the path to Parkmill and Pennard.
On our arrival at the car park we were greeted by the walk leaders wife who had brought warm home made mince pies which we all enjoyed.
We regret to announce the death of Graham Wattley on November 28th. Graham was a strong supporter of the Society and a keen walk leader. He was well known to older Society walkers, particularly for walks he led to WW2 aircraft wrecks on the Beacons which he researched to give the stories behind the particular crashes. These usually took place close to Armistice Day and included a brief religious reference.
He was a member of the committee in the late 1990s and was a joint programme Secretary for 3 years, including for the Golden Jubilee year of the Society. A quiet, unassuming gentleman, he rarely missed a Society talk or other event and was very knowledgeable about Gower.
On Saturday 4 November, after overnight rain, there were good walking conditions for 17 walkers who assembled on the marsh at Landimore for a circular walk to Weobley Castle and returning along Stembridge valley, arguably the most attractive in the peninsular.
They rested beneath dappled sunshine at the bridge in the valley and from Cheriton Church they struck out for home down to the marsh alongside North Hill Tor. The tide was well out and the terrain moderately firm along the marsh track. Lunch for some intrepid few was taken at the starting point and well earned after a varied and rewarding 3 hours walk in this rather special and less frequented part of Gower.
Click here to see reports of previous walks
The Society is aware of its responsibilities in maintaining architecturally important buildings, protecting the natural environment, keeping footpaths in good repair and supporting local scientific and cultural activities. All this is necessary to keep Gower special. To this end we are pleased to have awarded around £35,000 in grants during 2016. A list of the recipients of the grants has been added to the website.
Click here to see the list
The President’s Evening Talk by Dr Ruth Callaway
Saturday 28th October
Marine Life on North Gower, specifically the decline of the Cockle Industry.
Our President, Byron Davies, has an abiding interest in Gower. Now living in Penclawdd, one of his concerns is the fluctuations in the cockle industry. The evening’s talk was a meticulous record of how Dr Callaway from Swansea University and colleagues from other institutions had gone about trying to find a cause for the decline in the Burry Inlet cockles. She highlighted that cockles had not died out, but that they were not achieving the lifespan and size of past decades. They experienced a shift in the population structure and are currently living for just one to two years rather than two to three. Everything had been checked, from oxygen levels, water quality, sea states, climate, sewage disposal, parasites and diseases, as well as the condition and health of other animals calling the sands of the Burry Inlet their home. The research further explored what was happening at cockle harvesting areas such as The Wash or Morecambe Bay. Historical records had been accessed – there was a major downturn of cockle landings in the 1970s. Still, while several potential causes for cockle mortalities could be ruled out, there are ongoing questions about the trigger for the changes in the Burry Inlet.
One thing she touched on was the importance of the cockle industry in terms of its heritage for North Gower. She considered if the role of women in the industry strengthened the independent financial state of the cockle women, and how tough they needed to be and indeed were. In relation to this Guto ap Gwent recollected how, as a boy in Dunvant, he dreaded playing rugby against Penclawdd – not because of the strength of the opposition but because the mothers came along to the matches and shouted stridently from the side-lines!
It was an excellent talk, thanks to Dr Callaway, and a very pleasant relaxed evening. The next event will be the launch of Gower 68 – the Journal – on Saturday 18th November at 10.30 am. Why not come and join us for that.
The second recent Society walk on Mumbles Hill was on Saturday morning 28th October, led by Peter Douglas-Jones. Mandy, Christine and Bren – walk regulars – were at the Langland Corner rendezvous before 0930; and our chairman, by the narrowest of margins, was punctual too.
Dull overcast conditions had been predicted, but we were luckier than that. We made our way east of Rotherslade Road to a point on the Langland to Limeslade path in front of Beaufort Avenue. Then, rather than follow the coastal path, we went high – giving ourselves splendid views along the coast, as well as over farmland (six large fields now under cereal stubble), the cricket club and housing. Direct sunlight was like theatrical lighting on the houses of Higher Lanes and Thistleboon. Information was shared as to where Catherine Zeta Jones and lesser local luminaries lived. The path took us to Limeslade, and Fortes for an ice cream, before we went along the main road beside Bracelet Bay, striking up left onto a wide footpath to the top of Mumbles Hill and the radio mast. There were views from there, including of Swansea Bay, where a distant Great Northern Diver could be made out with binoculars. The path led to Thistleboon, Western Close and a footpath through the woods north of Hill Crest and Somerset Road into Overland Road and thence back to our starting point.
On Saturday 14 September, a group of 17 keen walkers met at the corner of Mary Twill Lane. Before setting off on the walk we went into St Peter’s Church to look at the stained-glass window made in Swansea in the 1960’s.
Our route took us along Mary Twill Lane and over the Langland Bay golf course down to Caswell Bay. We then followed the coastal path to Brandy Cove where we turned inland and diverted into a nearby field to look at the site of the old lead mines and to hear of a tragic and rather gruesome murder. Up the lane and across past the South Gower Rugby Club – where we paused for a few minutes to take advantage of comfortable benches for our coffee break. From the Rugby Club our route took us into Bishopston Woods where the ground was rather wet and at times we had to scramble past large puddles and try to find a firm footing. Onto Pwll Du beach, where the sea had conveniently deposited a large log on which to sit, and we stopped for lunch.
It was also a chance to enjoy the warm autumn sunshine and the very pleasant temperature, a bonus, since the weather the previous week had been poor. From Pwll Du our route took us along the cliff path back to Langland where some folks stopped for a coffee at the Brasserie before tackling the steep ascent that is Brynfield Road.