Annual report Abergavenny Local History Society January 1st to 31st December 2020
The objectives of Abergavenny Local History Society (charity registration number 1098582) are:
1. To promote the local community’s knowledge of and interest in history
2. To provide local historical and general interest information for visitors
3. To support Abergavenny Museum and Castle
Achievements to meet these objectives
1. During the Spring Term 2020 the society members attended lectures on: William Edwards, the Bridge Building Pioneer (Brian Davies), The Rollercoaster Valleys (Joe England) and Megan Watts Hughes and her experiments with sound (Christopher Parry). Then everything stopped for the Covid 19 restrictions. We were unable to continue with lectures, the summer visit programme had to be cancelled and the Annual General Meeting was suspended with the committee agreeing to continue and manage the society remotely.
The email news each month has been invaluable in keeping nearly everyone informed of what was available both on-line and when the Museums were opened for short periods. A Summer Newsletter was emailed to members with extracts from the archived newsletter issues. The Lecture & Visit Team produced the Membership Card with lectures each month from January 2021 but Zoom lectures have now been arranged for 2021 as there appears to be no prospect of holding them in the Borough Theatre for some time. The Membership fee had been increased to £15 (from the £10 which it had been for many years) and fortunately, many people have continued to support the society.
Two panels have been prepared to commemorate the evacuees that were accommodated in Abergavenny during WW2. One of these has now been put up at the Abergavenny Community Centre, previously Park Street School where many of the children attended. The other is awaiting an opportunity to be placed at Brecon Road Station which is off limits currently as it is now Old Station Surgery.
2. To provide information about local history to visitors and more widely, the research group wrote an article called Visit Abergavenny, Gateway to Wales: Researches into Tourism to Abergavenny and District – the Early Years. This was published in the Spring Edition of the Gwent Local History Journal. We assisted with the publication of an article on Rachel Herbert: The Extraordinary Story of a Benefactor, a Deceitful Solicitor and the Chartists written by George Beale in the Autumn Edition of the same journal. The Research Group continued with the transcription of the St Mary Priory Church Records making the records accessible to be searched. Interesting information has emerged from this and will form the basis for future articles. A short account of the research was published in Hanes, the journal of the Brecknock History Societies. Members of the Research group supplied information and illustrations for a memorial video about the First and Second World Wars which was released on-line for November 11th.
We were fortunate in that Frank Olding’s second edition of Discovering Abergavenny: Archaeology & History was completed and was published in Spring. It has been difficult to publicise this new edition as much as we would like, but have sold copies to members. continued on Page 2