The Royal Welsh Show took place in mid July at Builth Wells over the four days a wildlife feature and a sheep lunky was built in beautiful sunshine. We also had our milk churn that was built in May on display. Over the four days twelve Wallers were at the show with skills ranging from Master craftsman to unqualified new members who all did some walling, lot of talking & drinking tea. There was a lot of interest from the public with our displays and demand for training courses & leaflets. We showcased the new standards booklet written by Sean Adcock. All in all it was a very good show.
August 11th the South Wales Competition was held at the Vaynor Show, 7 Wallers competed, 2 professional & 5 amateur. Ceri Jenkins won the professional with Brian Lock winning the amateur. Luke O'Hanlon was voted the most promising Amateur. Our thanks to master craftsman Paul Horne for judging the event and the Vaynor show committee for providing the facilities & prize money
1ST CERI JENKINS
2ND MARTYN JONES
1ST BRIAN LOCK
2ND STEPEN MEREDITH
3RD RICHARD HOLMES
4TH LUKE O'HANLON
5TH TOBY SMALL
"Network News: a guide to inspiring events in North Wales" a magazine which does what it says on the tin, published an article on walling, the DSWA, and North Wales training. The bulk of the article is available here as a .pdf
The North Wales Branch has just produced "Stonework: a technical guide to standards and identification of faults in dry stone walling." This can be found on the Standards and publication pages. It is only available in print in English, but an on-line welsh version will be coming soon. A very condensed version of the booklet has been adopted by DSWA of GB as ' A guide to Commissioning and assessing of Dry Stone Walling' available in separate English and welsh versions, in print or on the publications page. Along with Codi Cloddiau these have been possible as a result of generous funding from North Wales Trunk Road agency.
RWAS SPRING FESTIVAL/
CODI CLODDIAU LAUNCH
The North and South Wales Branches combined at this year's RWAS Spring Festival in Builth Wells. Arranged by South Wales with a dry stone urn as its centre piece, both Branches had their displays and the North Wales Branch used the opportunity to launch the bilingual booklet Codi Cloddiau/Clawdd Construction- for pdfs see standards page. Photos left.
SNOWDONIA SOCIETY COMPETITION
Details of the Snowdonia Society Competition to be held on 17th June at Hafod y Llan, nr Beddgelert can be found on their website... click here
WELSH BRANCH GET-TOGETHER/FORUM & FREE TASTER DAY
Members of the two branches got together in Aberystwyth for walling, socialising and discussion on weekend 17/18 March. Based at Plas Dolau just off the A44 east of Aber, Saturday involved work at Glandyfi between Aber and Machynlleth. Saturday evening featured a meal, and a fairly informal slide presentation looking at a number of walling projects in North America. On Sunday we discussed the way forward for the DSWA and the Welsh Branches. There's more detail available in Ar y Wâl No.2
DRY STONE WALLING AND GEOLOGY
A talk by Philip Clark
Tuesday 29th May 19:30 – 21:00 (provisional)
http://www.fforestfawrgeopark.org.uk/geopark-festival-2012/ now reads:
A talk by Philip Clark (a.k.a. Charles Gordon Clark) on dry stone walls, a common feature of this area as elsewhere in Wales and upland Britain. He will examine their intimate relationship to the underlying geology.
Venue: Brecon Guildhall (provisional)
More information to be provided soon - please check back to confirm details of this event
A Brief Review of Branch Activities in 2011
The year started well with the Branch once again receiving the Association's best small branch award for 2010.
Press coverage was a little down on 2010, with training receiving less interest. However coverage in the Farm & Country section of the Daily Post the leading North Wales daily, remains strong, including contribution of an article from Sean (in press clippings). Getting people to send in clippings remains a problem, if you see anything on-line or in print please contact a member of the committee.
The link with, and grant from, Clwydian Range AoNB remained through 2011. Training in the North West picked up well from its 2010 low. Administrative problems mean that full figures for training are unavailable. 4 taster days and 3 training weekends, with at least 21 individuals receiving over 45 days of training on 3 different sites.
As a change of tack we ran 2 weekends where other branches (OYD & Cheshire) were invited (both new venues), one of which included a BBQ, a number of Branch members attended these as practice days. Including the members of the other Branches this totalled 20 individuals and 40 practice days. We also ran a single skin walling seminar (which attracted very good press/web coverage) which 4 Branch members attended.
Grand total of 77+ trainee days (43+ different individuals) at all events. Sean Adcock and Iolo Jones continued to carry out a number of examinations for DSWA in Purbeck, Kentucky, Derbyshire and South Wales.
Stonechat continues to grow and develop, with 'Subscriptions' in particular growing with 9 branches taking up a bulk offer, and 6 individual additions with three lapsing. Consequently we are now able to have each run professionally printed in sufficient numbers to be able to give more away. This year has also seen back-copies (nos 6-22) available online via the dswales.org.uk website. Between them they have been accessed/downloaded 850 times with issue 21 having had 187. Greater awareness of the facility and potential income is something the Branch needs to look into for 2012. Branch (members) also contributed 3 Branch news to "Waller and Dyker", plus 6 feature articles, and 2 cover photos for the summer edition. The Branch has also enabled the accessing of individual masterclass articles from "Stonechat" (to present) on line via http://drystoneresource.blogspot.com/p/index.html a private American site, and has also secured permission from the Trustees for this to include Craig Arbennigol's professional Column from Waller and Dyker.
This year we had one full day guided walk, looking at the dry stone features in Dinorwic quarry, 4 individuals took part.
Displays and demonstrations were limited due to organisational problems (and weather again). Consequently we were present at only one countryside event in 2011.
10 talks were given to various groups both home and abroad during the year, including Conwy Historical Society, Llandudno Friendship trust, (both attracting audiences of nearly 100), OYD Branch, Stone Foundation and general open talks in Llanberis.
March 17/18 Welsh Branch Get Together/ Forum Aberystwyth
March 17 Taster day, Glandyfi, Machynlleth.
March 17 Evening talk "Zig-zagging across the USA". Walls and projects in North America. Aberwystwyth venue tbc
March 24 DSWA of GB Branch Forum, Crooklands, Cumbria
April 16 Branch meeting. Foelas Arms, Pentrefoelas. 7.00pm. DVD "Preserving dry-stione walls of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
By kind Permission Dry Stone Conservancy. Non members welcome
May 13 Stand at Greenfield Valley Open Day, Holywell
May 26 Taster day, Pen y Pass, Snowdon
May 27 Guided walk. Quarries of Cwm Orthin. Cwm Orthin, Conglog, Rhosydd, Wrysgan and Rhosydd Tramway.
Non members welcome.
June 2/3 Training Course for Snowdonia Society, Penyschnant
June 15/17 Otley and Yorkshire Dales Branch @ Corwen
June 16 Barbecue, Plas Derwen, Corwen. 6.30pm onwards
June 17 Snowdonia Society Competition, Hafod y Llan, Beddgelert
June 30 Taster day, Moel Famau, Mold
July 6/8 Cheshire Branch on Tour, Blaen y Nant, Nant Ffrancon
July 7 Barbecue, Blaen y nant, Nant Ffrancon. 6.00pm onwards
July 13 Presentation "An idiosyncratic survey of the walls of Britain". OYD Branch, Leyburn Group, Leyburn
July 23-6 Royal Welsh Show demonstration (with South Wales Branch)
July 29 Stand at Eryrys Vintage gathering (Tractor Show)
August 4 Taster day, Pensychnant, Conwy
August 16 Stand at Denbigh and Flint Show.
September 1&2 Training Course, Moel Famau, Mold
September 7 Presentation "Another Idiosyncratic Survey", Stone Foundation, Asheville, North Carolina
September 24th Presentation and Branch meeting, "From the Pyramids to the wailing wall: the stone structures of the North Wales Slate
industry". Pensychnant, Conwy.
September 29&30 Training Course Pen y Pass, Snowdon
October 4-7 Clawdd Workshop, Festival of Stone, Hudson, Quebec Canada
October 5 Presentation "From the Pyramids to the wailing wall: the stone structures of the North Wales Slate
industry" abridged version, Festival of Stone, Hudson, Quebec, Canada.
November 7 Film "Film "L'Obra D'un Gegant" - The work of Giants, walling on Mallorca (English with occasional sub-title) and AGM.
Foelas Arms Pentrefoelas
November 26 Presentation "Inscriptions on the Landscape" Preston Natural History Society
November 30 Presentation "From the Pyramids to the wailing wall: the stone structures of the North Wales Slate