Cymdeithas Hanes Resolfen History Society

A web log for the Resolven History Society which publishes articles and stories related to Resolven and the immediate surroundings.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Summer Trip to Newcastle Emlyn

Arriving at Drefach-Felindre- amazingly the members forego a cup of tea before commencing.

Some twenty seven members embarked on the annual summer trip. This year, the National Wool Museum at Drefach Felindre and the West Wales Museum of Childhood at Llangeler were the chosen destinations.

Wool was historically the most widespread of Wales’s industries. Drefach Felindre, near Newcastle Emlyn was once the centre of a thriving woollen industry and was even called the “Huddersfield of Wales”. The wool industry produced cloth, shirts, shawls, blankets, bedcovers stockings and socks all aimed at the heavy industrial market of the time. Indeed the Cambrian Mills (where the museum is located) still produces some of these goods for the tourist market but to all intents and purposes production these days has either moved abroad or lacks a natural market.Demonstrating a Welsh style shawl for nursing an infant - a sight stll viewed occasionally in Resolfen today

The Cambrian Mills began production in the 1880s and declined slowly as did the remainder of the “brethyn” industry over the twentieth century in parallel with social and industrial changes in Wales. The building was eventually converted into a museum in the 1980s and was re-opened in 2004 following major re-development . The members were treated to a guided tour lasting some one and a half hours in which the guides gave several practical demonstrations of the process of cloth production.

Demonstrating a foot driven loom

Demonstrating the weaving of brethyn on a large loom

The Museum of Childhood is a rather more modest if no less interesting museum, set in the old farmhouse of Pen-Ffynnon at Llangeler. It includes over 10,000 enchanting items of memorabilia which could not but engender happy memories of past childhoods. The museum was split into four rooms covering model railways, toys, heritage and a timeline. It also included a well stocked tea room for the members who could not wait to partake of its delights; after all they had gone at least half an hour since the last watering hole!! The welcome at both museums was excellent and their websites can be visited for more information:

Mair and Bob Norton enjoy the model train room. Mair is shortly stepping down as treasurer to the History Society after decades of service.

Trefor Jones


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like father, like son.

10:46 am  

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