Pales May Newsletter 2019

The Pales Newsletter – May 2019

From the Pales Management Group

This newsletter can be downloaded for printing – please click here.

Summer has arrived, Sing loudly, cuckoo!
The seed is growing And the meadow is blooming,
And the wood is coming into leaf now,
Sing, cuckoo!

The ewe is bleating after her lamb, The cow is lowing after her calf;
The bullock is prancing, The billy-goat farting,
Sing merrily, cuckoo!
(Svmer is icumen in –  medieval English round )

Cuckoos have been calling up and down the Tywi valley where I live, a few house martins and even fewer swallows have been seen, even a pied flycatcher and luckily no goats…… but enough about me! What news is there of the Pales?

  • Report on the Ecology Day.
  • Report on the Poetry Day.
  • Jeff Beatty and the Beetles.
  • Art Workshops programs have been published.
  • Early news of the Annual Lecture.
  • Friends of the Pales publicity stand.
  • Tailpeace

Report on the Ecology Day.

The day began with a presentation on the revolutionary Rasa hydrogen-fuelled battery-free electric car, developed by Riversimple on the Llandrindod Ddole Enterprise Park.  No heavy batteries with their increasingly-scarce cobalt content, and no carbon emissions – just water vapour.  The intrepid audience that made the journey despite the previous night’s snow was amply rewarded:  Victoria Griffiths (business and service provision) and Nico Sergent (powertrain engineering, ex Williams Formula 1) gave a comprehensive presentation covering technical detail, design philosophy and company philosophy.  This was followed by much discussion, ranging from software security to the planned all-inclusive leasing contract.

Tim Coleridge’s talk on building insulation reflected the sad state of the UK building stock, the weakness of building regulations, and the apathy of the Government (especially, Tim says, in comparison with other European countries).  The construction and operation of buildings account for 50% of UK carbon dioxide emissions of energy from fossil fuels. 

 If the Government took sustainability seriously, they would be getting to grips with this. He stressed the very high heat loss from the UK’s poorly-constructed, poorly-regulated building stock, and the high risk of damp build-up and timber rot in fitting internal wall insulation in old properties – such as the Pales!  If it were not for the carbon dioxide emissions we would be best staying with heating oil!

Dr Alan Owen covered the potential pitfalls of a range of space heating systems:  air turbulence affecting output of poorly-sited wind turbines, carbon dioxide emission implications for wood pellets imported from Europe, and ineffectiveness of ground source heat pumps for poorly-insulated properties


Report on the Poetry Day.

The showery weather on April 23 did not deter fifteen poetry enthusiasts who gathered in the Pales schoolroom, warmed by a friendly log fire, for a very enjoyable day led by Trish Munn and Linda Murray-Hale.  Participants came from a wide area of Powys and the Marches, and ranged from practising poets and writers to complete amateurs.  Trish and Linda gently brought us together through some warm up exercises to put us in the mood, starting with some relaxing breathing followed by an ingenious exercise:  writing down random words in a ‘stream of consciousness’ to combat that (oh so familiar) feeling of panic when confronted with a blank piece of paper.

Heads bent in concentration, light falling on grey hair
Glowing fire, flickering sparks, shimmering, crackling
Minds alone, isolated, floating in silence
Papers rustling….

We then shared details about the ‘meaningful object’ each of us had brought, and were encouraged to write about it, which produced a great variety of themes.  Three of us had brought pebbles or stones and we contemplated life and death over millennia.  Others spoke movingly about how their object linked them with someone who had died.  One of our group introduced us to Japanese poetry in translation: the special form of the 31 syllable waka, and the poets’ practice of writing ‘death verse’ before they died.  An example by Ryokan ( 1758-1831):

Now its shows its underside

And now its surface as it turns –

Falling Maple leaf

We also shared poems by other poets.  After an excellent shared lunch we scattered to do some more writing on the theme of death and came together for discussion afterwards.  There was much enthusiasm for having another session later in the year, perhaps on the theme of autumn.  The’feedback’ forms were very positive: a ‘stimulating’ ‘challenging’, ‘enjoyable’ experience, ‘the ‘coming togetherness’ of the group’ – were some of the comments, reinforcing the feeling that there was scope for other occasions of this type.

Bridget Cherry (with thanks  to Geoffrey Wilkinson for the details on Japanese poetry) 


Jeff Beatty and the Beetles.

Beetle and Insect Day at the Pales – Wednesday May 15th.

Discover the wildlife hidden in this quiet, rural location, led by Jeff Beatty  (with help from the Natural History Museum)

Jeff is a biologist, ecologist and educationalist holding qualifications from the Universities of Manchester, Oxford and the Open University.

The purpose of the day is to discover some of the wildlife with which we share The Pales, especially insects, which are in decline in the U.K., and to help to conserve, to monitor, to increase and diversify our insect population in consultation with the Natural History Museum.

No special expertise or equipment required, but cameras are welcome.

There is no charge, but voluntary contributions for The Pales are welcome. Bring your own lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided.


Art Workshops programs have been published.

Each workshop costs £20 individually or £50 for all three booked together.

Please note that each event has a list of materials and tools required to participate in the workshops fully.

Full details are on the Pales website –

Drawing Workshop – please click here.

Printmaking Workshop – please click here.

Painting Workshop – please click here.

To book a place on any of these workshops please complete the booking form – please click here.


Early news of the Annual Lecture.

Ruth Moore-Williams has been invited to give this year’s Pales Lecture in September. Ruth is a Quaker Prison Chaplain and gave a wonderful, animating talk at a recent gathering of Friends in Wales. “The lovely thing about Ruth’s presentation of the very serious matter of being a prison chaplain is that she brings humour and a very lively, almost slapstick, style.” (Peter Hussey.) She will probably bring her harp and hurdy gurdy so it will not be a sombre presentation – Ruth has suggested the title – “More Than a Pile of Porridge – Learning How to Quake.  Confessions of an L Plate Quaker Prison Chaplain”.




Friends of the Pales publicity stand. 

With so many events booked to use the Pales this year the PMG have decided to have a display board dedicated to the Friends of the Pales appeal. The board will explain to visitors what the purpose of the appeal is and how they can get involved. The display has been made to stand on an easel just like the ones that would have been common in School Rooms.




Future Events.

The following have been arranged and others are being planned for later in the year.

May 15th

Ecology Day – Jeff Beatty – for booking please click here.

June 5th/12th/19th

Art Days (proposed charges £50 for three days or £20 per day) – booking available through the website – please click here.

June 16th

Taizé at the Pales – a day exploring and singing – please click here.

July 2nd

Walking and Singing with Sue Harries

July 20th

Summer Concert with The Klezmonauts

August 15th

Green Art for all ages.

Sept 22nd

Open Pales Peace Choir Day

Sept 29th

Annual Lecture – Quakers in Action – Prison Work, by Ruth Moore-Williams


Why not join the PMG? The Pales Management Group currently consists of eight Friends – Bridget Cherry, Jeff Beatty, Peter Hussey, Carole Chapman, Angela Coleridge, John Senior, Derek James and Chris Robertson. Obviously most of the time we are very busy, planning for the future and making sure everything at the Pales runs like clockwork but we always find time in our busy meetings to enjoy the peace and solace on offer at the Pales and to have a jolly good shared lunch too. If this sounds like something you would enjoy then why not consider joining the Group, not just for the food obviously, but to help this most worthwhile of projects. Have a chat with any of us to see what is involved.

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