It’s a cold and blustery day in Pembrokeshire and the little village of Tegryn, possibly the highest point of the county, is no stranger to the wind.
Rod Bowen has kindly agreed to show me around Canolfan Clydau , the community centre that serves this little hamlet with a host of activities.
“The cost of building the centre was met by European funding ,” Rod tells me, “ It was two years in the making and opened in 2014.”
It’s a delightful little building, created right next to the school on what was once part of the school car park.
Rod shows me around, two offices, a large hall that can be divided in two and a gleaming stainless steel kitchen with everything anyone could need for catering or cookery workshops. There are also two accessible toilets.
Rod shows me the lighting system that is available for events in the hall and explains that they also have a projection screen. The hall can accommodate 110 standing and 86 seated…perfect for this little community of around 110 households.
“We used to produce a newsletter every two months ,” Rod tells me, “ It contained news and information and stories about local people. About 35% of the village are indigenous welsh speaking folks and we always had plenty of interesting things to write about.”
I am curious to know what happened to the newsletter.
“ We stopped in 2010 because of the problems with finding enough people to collate and deliver it regularly. There is a lot of work involved in putting a newsletter together. We make good use of Facebook and have our own website but we would very much like to revive the newsletter. It’s something we are considering and we would love to hear from anyone who would like to help.”
So what else happens here at Canolfan Clydau?
“The school use the hall for P.E. and concerts. We have regular events like Bowls, Yoga, Table Tennis , and Football Training. We also have dinner clubs and tea clubs and the local welfare group have their meetings here. We have ‘pop in’ nights once a month with bring and share , board games etc. It’s a chance for people to just get together. People can also access high fibre internet for free here. We are a Hot Spot , although B.T don’t have us on their advertised hot spot list yet. We are working on getting ourselves recognised.”
“The building is well used but the 9 person committee, who oversee all aspects of the halls management, are always looking for new activities and events. We work with the Arts Council, and have dramatic performances here on a regular basis, mainly comedies, which are most popular with local people.”
Rod tells me about the I.T. workshops that have provided information and practical support in the past and the centres plans to start up again soon. They are also in the process of starting a walking group, and have plans for a Goldy Oldies singing night in the near future.
“ We work very closely with the community to find out what they want and are always looking for new ideas. The local pub sometimes provides alcohol for events here but generally we avoid entering into competition with them, so we don’t have our own bar here. If the pub cannot provide drinks and alcohol is required, we ask people to bring their own. It works well.”
It’s clear looking at the events coming up that a lot of thought goes in to providing as much variety as possible for the community.
“We have a Pop up Vegan café booked for the 26th of April and on the 27th Breaking the Rules, a popular Status Quo tribute band will be playing here. Paul Davies has his surgeries here and a number of organisations hire the office spaces for meetings regularly.”
Rod shows me the automatic lighting and heating system that means the hall can be ready for all events without the need for a caretaker to trot out in all weathers before and after. They are also proud of their electric charge point so non petrol cars can be topped up. Very useful.
Rod and the committee are interested to hear of anyone wanting to volunteer their time and ideas to this centre. “ We are keen to try new ideas but we are also committed to celebrating the history of this place and it’s people . There are so many stories that we would love to hear and with the school planning their 170th anniversary in 2020, there is no better time for people to get involved.”
July 1, 2019 9:30 am – 11:30 am
July 1, 2019 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
July 1, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
July 2, 2019
July 3, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm