Paper given by Val Jones at February 2017 meeting
LLANYMYNECH HISTORY SOCIETY
Llanymynech History Society was founded in the 1980s. It was the brainchild of Bob Wilson a retired wine merchant from Tettenhall near Wolverhampton, who with his wife Adele retired to a small cottage in the village which they named Little Tettenhall. Bob took an active interest in village life, running the junior football club, taking the lads to play in competitions as far away as Holland, and introducing a very successful wine club.
The first chairman of the society was Peter Thomas who lived on Rhiew Refail in Pant. The first meeting was held in the Church House, as the Village Hall was closed due to alterations, which involved building a dividing wall in the large kitchen to provide a smaller meeting room.
When the alterations were finished we met in the new small meeting room until the membership increased and we transferred to the larger hall. Again during alterations to the Village Hall the society moved supposedly on a temporary basis to the Presbyterian Chapel school room, and have met here ever since.
Soon after we moved to the Village Hall, Peter resigned due to other commitments and Bob became chairman. Marie Ashton was the treasurer and Rosemary Jones and Betty Evans were tea hostesses.
Bob was very interested in history and gave many excellent talks himself. As they grew older, Bob and Adel moved back to Wolverhampton to live near their son.
We were very fortunate to have as our new chairman Chris Backshall who sadly passed away last year. Chris was an efficient and popular chairman, who found many interesting speakers, and often would fill in at short notice giving talks himself.
The only three founder members still in the society are Joan Jones, Olwen and myself. Olwen used to attend with her friend Sybil Pugh who was our next door neighbour. It is very sad that many of our members have passed on. Some of the other founder members were David and Rosemary Jones, Herb and Betty Evans, Chris and Don Wade, Mary Roberts, Stan Brown, Harry Boden and his first wife May and later with his second wife Kay, and Irene who pronounced her name the French way Iren.
Over the years we have had many interesting speakers and one or two not so interesting speakers. Being a native of Welshpool I remember not so long ago really looking forward to hearing a speaker talking about the town, but was sadly very disappointed.
We also have outings during the summer months. One visit on a lovely summer evening in the early ‘90s was to Llanfyllin with a very good guide. At the end of the evening we visited the Old New Inn. I was very impressed with the tour and wrote an account of the visit.
Another memorable visit which some of our current members will remember was to Plas Teg, a Jacobean Mansion between Wrexham and Mold which was a weird and wonderful old haunted 17th century Grade 1 listed building, which had been featured on TV. The only occupant was Cornelia Bayley an elderly lady with long flowing red hair, who with help from an odd job man was in the process of very slowly restoring the building, a mammoth task as everywhere looked very tired, worn and run down, but had obviously once been very grand. When Cornelia purchased the property in 1986 it had trees growing through the roof. It had taken her three years to painstakingly remove all the paint, using a nail file on the intricate bits, from a beautiful carved oak staircase. She took us on a tour of the rooms, the upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms gave an insight into some very early en suite plumbing. In the dining room the table was set with a dusty, what had been white, by this time grey table cloth which looked as if it had been laid about five years ago.
Adjacent to the kitchen was a room full of several varieties of colourful parrots. Cornelias pride and joy. Which we were very honoured to have been shown as it was not normally on her tour. Plas Teg was a visit which will long be remembered.
The society has given me many hours of enjoyment, and I hope it continues to thrive for many years to come.
20 - 2 - 2017