We are all very much aware of the fact that no newsletter has reached you for over 18 months and applogise for our failure in this respect. Our only excuse is pressure of work and other responsibilities which have to be bome by a small group of volunteers.
There have been plenty of developments during this period and in our AGM on February 23rd, Bethan Rees Jones, our chairperson, referred to them in her report for 2003-04. This newsletter is an adaption of her report with updates included where appropriate. The majority not surprisingly is concerned with the former St. Mary's church.
Former St. Mary's Church
The WDA has awarded us a grant to cover 80% of the architect and quantity surveyor's costs in preparing a specification and cost estimate for the work on the church. We needed this information for our application to the the Heratige Lottery Fund. The remainder of the costs of this preparation work was secured from the Architectural Heratige Fund and Gwynedd Council's Cwlwm Gwledig (Community Regeneration Fund). We have already been promised a 30% grant towards the church's external repair costs by CADW.
We have appointed Wilf Jones, the quantity surveyor to act also as Project Administrator (Financial) to prepare the financial
aspects of the major funding applications in conjunction with our secretary. These have by now been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund but their decision is not expected for some months.
Altar and reredos
The proposals for renovating the church have been revised during the year due to the discovert that the early 2Oth century alter and reredos were designed by CR Ashbee, an architects closely associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement and founder of the Art Workers Guild. The alter is a memoial erected in 1917 to Randall Casson, a prominent figure in Porthmadog, who died while on holiday in 1914 in Taoromina, Sicily.
His only son was killed serving with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, aLongside Robert Graves and Siegfried Sasoon, only weeks after the alter was installed. Randall Casson's nephews included Sir Lewis Casson the actor, and Sir Hugh Casson the architect. The altor was evidently designed to fit the pre-existing mosaic chancel, so the trust has decided that it should remain there. The first floor will be raised to accommodate the reredos, and the office area in the ground floor will be more open-plan to allow a proper view of the alter and reredos. The trust is extremely grafetul to the Poccock family, relatives of Randall Casson, for providing information about the alter.
Tenders from specialists for the repair of the organ show that the cost of repair would amount to between £10,000 and £18,000. Sale to a church or college could raise at least £10,000. As the organ would have no use and would be vulnerable to damage if kept in the building in its new use, we are of the opinion that we should sell it. Any money raised would go to the building restoration fund of the local funding expected by the major funder. Tremadog residents at the AGM agreed that this was acceptable.
We have previously referred to the research by our secretary establishing that the Coadestone Arch is a unique example of the genre and that it is contemporary with the Carlton House Conservatory built by the Prince Regent. How Maddocks got hold of it remains a mystery. We invited tenders from specialists for advice on how to repair and conserve it. The WDA covered 80% of the cost of obtaining this advice from the successful company. Andrew Arrol, our architects, then prepared a specification for the repairs, and obtained tenders from specialists for the repair, and these tenders have form part of the major grant application to the Heratige Lottery Fund. Cadw has already covered 40% of the repair costs.
Madocks' grave at Pere Lachaise cemetary in Paris is a topic that has concerned us for some time. It had been concealed by earth from an adjoining grave; the authorities assured us that it has now been cleared but they do not accept further respnsibility. At the last visit, the headstone had disappeared. If this had been recovered, we feel that it would advantageous to retum it to St. Mary's churchyard, if the neccessary funding could be raised. It would also be desirable to erect a small commemorative plaque at Pere Lachaise Cemetary, since the grave plot itself is now protected from re-use by the large tree growing through the grave.
Tan yr Allt, Madock's home in Tremadog
Nick Golding and John Bewick of Plas Tanrallt, both keen supporters of CCT, inform us that they have discovered traces of wall paintings in the dining room, namely trompe d'oeil niches and a central oval space which was probably the location of the Victory of Neptune painting.
Members of Abergele Historical society visited Tremadog and were escorted around the village by Frances Voelcker, Andrew Arroll andd Peter Trumper. A T.E.Lawrence event at Snowdon Lodge which was well attended and mentioned on TV included a small CCT exhibition and a number of pamphlets were sold.
Changes amongst the trustees
Two valuable members of the Trust resigned recently for personal reasons. Anwen Hughes, a loyal member from the beginning, has left Tremadog and we wish her well and thank her for her contribution. Peter Trumper's expertise in planning and building matters will be sadly missed. We are grateful for his valuable contribution and we wish him well also.
We are pleased to welcome two new trustees, Rev. Graham Johnson of Ty Pab and Lynda Jones of Craig Madog and thank them for their willingess to serve.
In her address, Bethan Rees Jones thanked all the trustees for their support, the Secretary for her indispensable efforts and Enid Jones our treasurer for her efficient stewardship.
During the year, the artist Falcon Hildred has worked with the trustees Dewi Williams and Elsbeth Hughes to design and print leaflets illustrating Tremadog, to be sold in aid of the trust. The trust is extremely grateful to Falcon Hildred for his generous support.
The leaflets are sold in packs of 4 for £1.00 incl. VAT + 35p postage per pack. A grant from the Rebecca Trust covered the cost of producing the leaflets so all the proceeds come to the trust. They may be purchased at the Fleece and the Post Office in Tremadog, or ordered directly, making your cheque payable to "Cyfeillion Cadw Tremadog".