Tour of Presteigne with Duncan James Sunday 18th May
It was a hot Sunday afternoon when 25 Society members and guests set of with Duncan to explore Presteigne. He led us down Station Rd and into the High St but not before we stopped at the beautiful Arts & Craft house on the corner. It has to be the most decorated of houses in Presteigne with sunflowers and intricate mosaic patterns, one to stare at next time you pass by.
Duncan’s knowledge only inspires you to look more keenly at a building. He took us behind a few buildings, down back alley-ways, through gates and into beautiful courtyard gardens, even into a Wine Bar! We saw parts of Presteigne that were well hidden and entered into a world of history, tragedy and ingenious design, looking at Hall houses, remains of balconies, exposed timbers and stone roofing, all of which just made us look and look again at Presteigne.
Duncan showed us where the Great Fire of 1681 took place, but so many buildings are now gone there is little evidence to back it up, so a lot of speculation about where it started, its devastation obvious with all the timber framed buildings. We were led to the River Lugg, which looked most inviting on the hot afternoon, and along to the Church but did not enter, he encouraged us to return and see inside at our leisure. The original site of John Beddoes School is opposite the Church, a residential house stands there now, and a very fitting plaque marks the site for all to read.
We went behind the scenes again in Broad Street and wandered behind houses and cottages ending up at the Judges’ Lodgings. The tour finally ended up at The Radnorshire Arms where an expensive tea enhanced the wonderful day we had in Presteigne. Tea was in the garden and the chatter from the members was full of “Did you see..?” and “What about that..?” Duncan answered many questions and this tour backed up his earlier talk with gusto. I think I can say a memorable day for all and a huge thank you to Duncan for his time and experience.
Review by Nancy Wheatland
Programme sub-committee news
We hope you have all seen the magnificent Hereford Bull Trow, now on view on the River Wye, or seen the article in the Hereford Times? Interesting for us as we are having Commander Andrew Wynn coming to tell us all about this boat next year on March 20th, 2015. Something to celebrate, as it is all made in Herefordshire .
Next outing for the summer recess is our day trip to the Elan Valley Dams. If you have put your name down for this day please ensure you have read the safety brief that was handed out with the flyer. We meet at 10.30 at the Visitor Centre, car parking fees are £2 for all day. The village tour will start at 11a.m and return to the centre for lunch; either bring a picnic or eat in the cafe. Those going on the Dam tour will leave at 13.30 to Pen y Garreg dam to start the tour at 2pm. Car sharing is advised as parking is limited Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear as the brief suggests. We return to the centre approximately 2 hrs later, for tea. The cost for this is a minimum donation of £2 each towards Water Aid. We have 20 names so far, if you wish to come please contact either Nancy Wheatland; Julia Reid or John Potts.
The July Visit
The other Summer visit is on a Thursday 24th July 2pm and is a “behind the scenes” of the Hereford Museum with Judy Stevenson. The tour will take approximately 2 hrs., with tea afterwards at a cost of £2 each . We meet at the Resource Centre in Friar St
The September Talk
We resume business as usual in September with a talk from the Rev. Canon Chris Pullin on the Mappa Mundi on Friday 19th September. Hope to see you all, and the programme committee would like to thank you for your support over the last year’s events. We hope you have enjoyed the programme and look forward to sharing the next year’s one with you all.