Dear WEA Llanelli Member/Supporter


Just a reminder that our November in-person lecture takes place this coming Thursday with speaker Louis Barfe, with an illustrated lecture entitled Sunshine & Laughter: the story of Morecambe and Wise – something a little bit different as we approach the festive season.  Louis has sent us a brief biography, which I include below, and will be bringing copies of his latest book for sale on the night – perfect for your Christmas list. He specialises in the history of light entertainment, and has an amazing knowledge in this area so the question and answer session afterwards should be very interesting.


Louis Barfe is a leading historian, specialising in the field of light entertainment. His first book, 'Where Have All The Good Times Gone? The rise and fall of the record industry' was published in 2004, and was followed in 2008 by 'Turned Out Nice Again: the story of British light entertainment'. Since then, he has written biographies of Les Dawson, Sir Ken Dodd and Morecambe and Wise.


In addition to writing, he has worked as a research consultant on Horrible Histories for the BBC, Come On Down: The Game Show Story, The Comedy Years and Les Dawson Forever for ITV, and It Was Alright In The 70s for Channel 4. He also wrote and presented the BBC Radio 4 documentary 'Does The Team Drink', exploring the relationship between alcohol and comedy.


As in October, the lecture will be held at EJ’s Cafe Bar, Vauxhall, Llanelli at 7.30pm (doors open from 7pm). Drinks will be available from the bar, and there is ample free parking nearby.


Please sign in when you arrive, and bring your completed membership form and remittance if you have not done so already – please include correct change or a cheque as we will be unable to provide change for membership remittances. There will be forms available if you need to do this on the night.


Please check our website before setting off in case there are any last-minute changes to arrangements


Current guidelines on Covid are here:


This will be our last lecture until January, but we will keep you updated and have a full list of exciting speakers lined up for the New Year. We hope to see you on Thursday.


Best wishes


Ruth Price


WEA Llanelli




Cyfarchion i’n Cyd-Aelodau / Greetings to our Fellow Members, Dyma cylchlythur arall gan y Cadeirydd a’r Pwyllgor gan obeithio eich bod i gyd yn cadw’n iawn / Here is another newsletter for Llanelli branch members from the Chairman and Committee, hoping that you are all still well. Following a recent Zoom committee meeting,I am writing to you to make you aware of recent activities and on-going plans for courses and lectures. Obviously, our activities have been severely curtailed over the last 12 months due to the Covid – 19 Pandemic, and looking ahead over the next few months, this is likely to continue to be the case. Our ability to organise live “ face to face “ courses and lectures has been badly affected, but I am pleased to report that your committee has been able to facilitate a number of on-line courses during the October-December,2020 period. These included an International Politics course with Stephen David on Monday mornings, a Painting for Pleasure course with Vivian Rhule, also run on Mondays and 2 Music Appreciation courses with Chris Weeks. If you have not been able to participate so far, further opportunities are now available. As the lock-down process has been further tightened from Dec. onwards, our plans to potentially hold face-to-face classes and lectures in the first half of 2021 have had to be postponed until the overall situation improves considerably and lock-downs are eased. No municipal buildings and halls are currently available for such meetings and this situation is likely to continue at least until the Easter period. However, your officers and committee have been in discussions with Adult Learning Wales ( ALW ), through Ray Neil in our Swansea office and also with our Chief Executive, Kathryn Robson in Cardiff and Beth John, the Regional Coordinator for South and West Wales, about further on-line courses and possible extensions to existing offerings. I can now confirm that the International Politics course is continuing this month with Stephen David, on Monday mornings, for 10 weeks, between 10am- 12 noon. Stephen is also offering on – line courses on “ The Black American Experience “ ( Tuesdays 2-4 pm ) and a Welsh Political and Social history course – “Land of My Fathers” ( Fridays – 10am-12noon ), both being 10 week courses. Anyone wishing to participate in these courses should contact Stephen on 07980-989218 or 01639-885697 or by e-mail at or via Ray Neil at the Swansea office on 01792-467791 or 07780006182 or by e-mail at We are also continuing to run our “Painting for Pleasure“ courses with Vivian Rhule on Mondays – check with Vivian if interested at 01792-869587 or 07969-343053 or on e-mail – or via Ray Neil at the Swansea office. Finally, our “Music Appreciation” courses, run by Chris Weeks are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays – for further details, contact Chris Weeks at 07774 -775029 or by e-mail at or once again via Ray Neil at the Swansea office. Adult Learning Wales, who provide the tutors for the courses run via WEA Llanelli, also have a range of vocational and skills courses on offer and you can access these via the ALW website. We are also considering whether any of these latter programmes might be offered via the local branch, but we would need ALW support to facilitate this and discussions are on-going. Regarding WEA Llanelli lectures, we are also looking at the possibility of hosting our Thursday monthly lectures on-line via Zoom or equivalent and are in discussions with some potential speakers who would be able to offer this option. We will let you know if we are able to set this up, and how you can take part. In the meantime, please check our website for updates on courses and lectures, and Adult Learning Wales’s website for courses which are available to all. Please feel free to circulate this information to your friends and family who may wish to take part in the interesting opportunities available. WEA Llanelli Miscellany, our annual publication, is nearing completion. Our Editor, Carole Ann Smith, has been working hard gathering articles for the latest edition. When it is eventually published, assistance from members would be greatly appreciated in its distribution, especially at the moment when its usual outlets are not as accessible. Hopefully, the above information will give you some options to participate in our activities, although we understand that not everyone is able to do this due to lack of equipment/facilities, Unfortunately, at the moment, this is all we are able to offer. Finally, we understand that our former secretary John Edwards, is in Llanelli hospital after a recent fall and we therefore extend to him our best wishes for a speedy recovery. If anyone wishes to make any financial donations/ membership subscriptions, these can be forwarded to Ruth Price (Membership Secretary), Chris Slader (our Treasurer) or myself in due course. We are also eager to have active volunteers for our small committee, and would particularly welcome those with digital skills at the present time, as this is not the forte of all committee members. In the meantime, wishing you continued good health during these trying times and best wishes for 2021.Any comments or questions may be directed to myself or any committee member. Please find committee contact details/membership forms below: Kind Regards /Pob Bendith and on behalf of your committee, Bill Griffiths WEA Llanelli Branch Chairman.


Number 33


The annual periodical published by the Llanelli Branch of the WEA


Our latest edition, priced at £5, is now available


For further details please contact:-


Carole Ann Smith, Editor


tel: 01792 891679


What’s in Amrywiaeth Llanelli Miscellany No. 33:


Welcome to this 33rd edition of Miscellany – a blend of history, memoir, genealogy, poetry and local interest.


Many of you will remember Roscoe Howells, a respected former chairman of WEA Llanelli for twelve years and a life member, who died in May this year. Susan Thomas, dear friend to Roscoe and his late wife Winifred, has written a tribute in his honour.


Phil Cope who talked on the ‘Living Wells of Wales’ at the November lecture, has contributed an article focusing on the wells in Carmarthenshire. He has written and illustrated five books on the sacred springs, holy wells and spas of Britain.


Graham Davies writes on Sir Josiah Mason, a man influential in Burry Port’s history. From his own humble background and early beginnings Josiah Mason shared his ultimate wealth, establishing schools, homes and places for the vulnerable.


John Edwards, Llanelli’s esteemed writer and historian, has been writing his autobiography and I am delighted to include the first part in this issue – there will be more to follow. John has recorded Llanelli’s history in several books, and that of the WEA Llanelli up to its 100th anniversary in 2014. He was the first editor of Miscellany, when it was launched in 1986, the idea of Brynmor Voyle, then chairman of the Branch. John edited a total of fifteen editions.


Alun Gibbard has written a number of books including those on social history, biography, books in the Welsh language and the history of the Scarlets. Here he recalls his early days moving to Bynea from Dowlais in ‘To Bynea and the Moon’.


Stephen David, a regular contributor and tutor with Addysg Oedolion Cymru/ Adult Learning Wales, tells the tale of Shoni Sguborfawr. The history classes he takes for the Branch in Llangennech Community Centre are popular and much enjoyed by those attending.


Lyn John writes on Scale House in Seaside and Byron Davies on a Llanelli Directory and Guide, dated 1897. Both of these historians have been contributing to Miscellany for many years and their work recording the town’s history should be commended.


The Llanelli writer, the late William Glynne-Jones, whose stories have featured in past issues, wrote on the traditions of New Year as a child in ‘Dydd Calennig’. I thank Claudia James, his granddaughter, for sending it to me. Keeping it in the family, I’m pleased to introduce an article ‘Films and Me’ by his son, Dennis Jones – his memories of going to the pictures in Llanelli during the war years.











Derek Smith asks ‘How did the Romans get from Llanelli to Carmarthen?’; David Wallington tells a poignant story of the First World War in ‘Letters from a Dear Friend’; Anne Williams recalls her weekend visits to her aunt and uncle’s farm in Kidwelly in ‘Parc Y Box Farm’; and Marjorie Witty, Margaret Davies and Chris Davies, members of The Llanelli Branch of the Dyfed Family History Society, write on ‘Climbing the Apple Tree’, ‘My Cousin William’ and ‘My Grandfather Bill Edmunds’ respectively.


Sonia Davies has composed a hauntingly beautiful poem ‘Mynwent at Trebuan’. Shân Thomas’ poem in Welsh ‘Llundain 1666’ is set in London after the plague and great fire. Jean Harding’s poem ‘Still a Fox’ was placed first in poetry in the Bridgend Writers’ Circle Savikar Award. I had the honour of judging their award this year and this sonnet to a fox captures the creature’s relationship with humans - ‘I may let you feed me, but never tame.’


The summer project by PeopleSpeakUp ‘Llanelli Voices’ was an inspiration to many – the young, the not so young – all ages in fact, but read about it and the poetry composed by those who took part.


The Branch has hosted some excellent speakers at their lectures over the years and details of these can be found at: – but still to come in 2020 are Adam Price, AM and Plaid Cymru Leader; Hugh J. Evans, Head of Community Rail; Transport for Wales Rail Services; Angharad Phillips, Regency Restoration: Volunteer and Administration Officer at National Botanic Garden of Wales; and Jennifer Thomas, MA Oxford retired lecturer in English Language and Literature at the Graig College.


Classes in Art ‘Painting for Pleasure’, Music and History are still running but the Creative Writing classes have taken a break. It was from these sessions, held in the Town Hall, that the Llanelli Writers’ Circle was formed in February 1990. The Circle’s 30th anniversary is an achievement and has put Llanelli on the map with a number of successes since its beginning, including winning a first prize for its anthology Athena in the prestigious Writing Magazine anthology awards.


I would like to thank all the writers and historians for their generous contributions to this issue, Clive Davies for his help and support in producing Miscellany, and for the striking cover design. My thanks also to Alun Gibbard for checking Welsh language queries and to Lyn John for his advice on local history queries.


If you would like to contribute to Miscellany please get in contact. Your stories of memorable events, the changes to where you lived, went to school, to work…social history is important – as we remember and record how much has changed over the years.


And finally, my thanks to all of you who support this annual periodical. Diolch yn fawr.



Carole Ann Smith

November 2019