From the Pales Management Group
(This newsletter can be downloaded for printing – please click here)
Table of contents;
- Recent Events
- September Anniversary celebrations
- The Pales Peace Choir
- Gardening and Wildlife Tail-peace
This month has been quieter at the Pales but there have still been many things happening, including changing our name. We had called ourselves a Steering Group because the Threshing Meeting suggested that title but we feel we are more of a Management Group rather than a Steering Group.
The July issue of The Friend included an article by Peter Rivers covering all aspects of the Pales, which featured on the cover too.
We are continuing our discussions with our architects and will have a display, available during the Anniversary celebrations, of some of the many ideas we are considering for future development.
The Pales has been named as one of the Sacred Places in Wales in a competition to select the top one; the winner will receive prize money and a lot of publicity. You can find more details and vote on their website – please click here.
The Pales is well known as a haven of Peace and quiet for Ffriends but it is also a haven of Peace for local wildlife – we have added a regular Tail-peace to the Newsletter which will include nature notes on wildlife in and around the Pales.
On Saturday 12th August Elders and Overseers met at the Pales for a quiet day, sharing Meeting for Worship and lunch and spending time getting to know each other better as a community.
We have spent much time and effort planning the events that will help us celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Pales and we begin this Newsletter with a detailed description of the week’s events.
300th Anniversary celebrations September 11-17
Over the last year the variety of activities which have taken place at the Pales has demonstrated its versatility, ranging from a quiet retreat for reflection, to a welcoming centre for community gatherings. During our celebratory week we will be exploring different aspects of the Pales and its setting. We hope that our varied programme includes something that will appeal to you. All events are free.
- Monday 11th The week will start with a walk on Penybont Common led by the local historian Derek Turner. The Common has many historical associations and is very likely the ‘Radnorshire Common’ where George Fox preached to a large gathering in 1657, assisted by the Welsh Quaker John ap John. In the afternoon we will step backwards in time and look at the underlying geology. The quarry close to the Meeting House, where the strata from the Silurian period are clearly revealed, is recognised as a site of special scientific interest; our guide here will be the geologist Joe Botting.
- Tuesday 12th will be an Art Day – bring your own art materials and be inspired by the surrounding landscape. This will also be an occasion to discuss whether there would be interest in some structured art days in 2018, similar to the one we held in June. Come with your ideas.
- Wednesday 13th will be an opportunity to respond to the special character of the place: a quiet day of reflection on Quaker Testimonies led by Peter Rivers.
- Thursday 14 will be our History Day; several distinguished historians, including the Pales former wardens, Martin and Lynda Williams, will be speaking on different aspects of Quaker history, with some special references to Wales.
- Friday 15th will be an Open Day, with the opportunity to talk to Quakers, explore the grounds and to discuss ideas for the future.
- Saturday 16th, the Pales Peace choir, which meets monthly at the Pales, will hold a concert in the afternoon; afterwards there will be a campfire and refreshments – bring some food to share.
- And finally on Sunday 17th there will be a Meeting for Worship at 3pm. (as there is on every third Sunday of the month).
What is the anniversary about? As Martin Williams has written, 1717 ‘marks the beginning of the Pales as we know it today’ It is likely, though not absolutely certain, that the existing stone-walled and thatched building that contains the schoolroom and meeting house dates from around this time, three hundred years ago. By this time there had been Quakers in the area for over 50 years, meeting in each others’ houses. The early years were hard, with persecution, imprisonment and fines, and many emigrated to America as a result. (The first Meeting House in Pennsylvania is called Radnor). But others remained, and a burial ground was acquired, first mentioned in a lease of 1673, and referred to in a second deed of 1694 as ‘ paled or fenced in roundabout’. In 1716 ( or 1717 in today’s calendar) another deed refers to a dwelling house and outbuildings, garden and woods . The present buildings may date from this period. The schoolroom door bears the date 1745, which may refer to alterations completed at this time. It is possible that originally this room, with shutters opening to the Meeting Room, may have been designed for women’s meetings. It was used as a schoolroom when a school was established at the Pales in the 19th century.
What is the Pales peace choir?
The Pales Peace Choir are a group of people who love singing and meet on the 3rd Saturday or each month at The Pales, to sing about peace and social justice. They would welcome new members. To join, no previous experience is required and there is no need to read music . You do not need to be a Quaker. The songs are taught by ear and are sung together in harmony.
For more information contact Susie:
We now have a gardener who cuts the grass on a regular basis and an occasional gardener who comes in as required. But there is always more to do. On October the 1st we are holding one of our regular Gardening Days – we are meeting at Llandrindod Meeting House to join Llandrindod LM for Meeting for Worship at 11.00 then going up to the Pales for a shared lunch followed by and afternoon of gardening. All are welcome to join us.
Carole Chapman, our Friend in Residence, has had some very close encounters with the local wildlife. She is hoping that the mouse in the airing-cupboard does not decide to take up permanent residence and she is taking steps to discourage it. But the hedgehog, who will come and walk around while Carole sits enjoying the view, is welcome to return at any time. Hares have appeared in the adjoining fields and are regularly seen frolicking – Carole is hopeful that they have made a form in the farmers hedge. Bats have also been seen circling the building at dusk.
One wildlife puzzle that took us a while to solve was ‘Who’s been eating our posters?’ The Poster board on the outside of the Pales has been repaired and repainted by Jan Shivel and it was put back up by Peter Hussey. Derek James hand painted the left hand side and we placed a poster on the right only for it to be nibbled by something. After some head-scratching we decided it was wood wasps harvesting the paper for their nests. We are hoping that pasting the poster onto the board will solve this problem – watch this space.