Close Window November 1995


It would be understandable if you thought Cyfeillion Cadw Tremadog had disappeared, but this is not so: we have been busy behind the scenes, as the content of this Newsletter shows. Please forgive our having failed to keep you, our loyal supporters, informed of our activities. Our only excuse is that as volunteers we give time when we can, and our priority has been to meet grant application deadlines.

Tannery UPGRADED to II*

Cadw has re-assessed the importance of the Tannery. As a result of the evidence on site and from archival material submitted to
Cadw by the Trust, it has been upgraded from Grade II to Grade II*. This is an impotent distinction. It confirms the Trust's assessment of the significance of the Tannery and the importance of saving it. The upgrading reflects also the intrinsic value of the whole of Historic Tremadog and its close association with Madocks. To quote from the revised Listing'.

"Although a tannery by the mid nineteenth century and later used as a laundry, this building almost certainly was the loomshop of the woollen factory built in 1805 by William Madocks as an integral part of his scheme to bring prosperity to Traeth Mawr. Between 1798 and 1824 he built the town of Tremadog, the famous Cob which drained the Traeth, and his harbour at Porthmadog. The Factory was, apart from a cornmeal. Madocks' first major development and was placed close to his own house. The complex was centred on the carding and spinning mill and the loomshop which survives This was an enormous building for its period in Wales. and made a great impression. It was given similar aesthetic attention to the rest of the town with a deep-eaved hipped roof, stone yellowed to enhance its appearance, and windows painted olive green. By 1805, woollen 'factories' (combining all processes and using water power) were still extremely rare.However there is clear evidence that Madocksbrought all stages of manufacture into one integratedcomplex, used water power for carding and fulling,and anticipated a time when he might also weavewith water power. This was probably the firstwoollen factory in Wales and of the first generationof such structures purpose-built in Britain''

(There follows a description of the tannery)

''Listed II* despite its poor condition as a central element in the planned settlement of Tremadop a revolutionary structure in the Welsh woollen industry, and one of the first generation of woollen factories in Britain''

Changes amongst Trustees

At the AGM was on 9th March, Dafydd Wyn Jones resigned as a trustee, fearing his other commitments might prevent him carrying out his duties fully. We are glad that he remains as an ex-officio member. Three new members were elected: Gareth Hughes, Elspeth Thomas and Anwen Hughes. All are residents of Tremadog; Elspeth and Anwen are members of St Mary's Church, Tremadog.

Owner declines Trust's over

In the last Newsletter in January we reposed that the Trust was awaiting a response from the owners. The Trust had commissioned an independent valuation of the site from Arwel Jones of Tom Parry, Pofthmadog. Because of the state of the Listed building, and the contamination, the tannery site is unmarketable; Bron Haul is valued at £10,000. The Trust wrote to the present owners of the site, Benada Ltd, to ask them to consider an offer of £10,000 for the whole site. (The directors of Benada are Mr and Mrs Hibberts, whose holiday house is the old Cornmill above the Tannery.) Unfortunately, they declined to consider this offer. They offered to consider this sum for the tannery alone without the rest of the site, and with the Trust accepting liability for the Dwyfor's costs (sum unknown to the Trust) in making the site safe. The Trustees decided to proceed with grant applications, and to consider the question of purchase again if and when these are successful.

St Mary's Church

The Diocese of Bangor closed St Mary's Church, Tremadog in January. The congregation has declined, partly due to a period without a vicar and during which services were not held regularly. The church has not been well maintained recently, and is now in a poor state. The Diocese wishes to sell the Church. Tad Deiniol of the Russian Orthodox Church is interested in acquiring it , but is conceded that the necessary repairs are beyond his Church's means. The Trust is concerned because the Church is an original and integral part of Madocks' design for Tremadog, and an important element of the Townscape and the local landscape. The
Trust has decided that, though it cannot undertake a second large probed now, it will support Tad Deiniol or any other suitable
purchaser in their attempt to repair the church. The spire and the gateway are of particular technical as well as aesthetic interest. (See the Booklet!)

Strategic Development Scheme

BAD NEWS! Once again, the Trust's application through Dwyfor was not successful. In the category applying for |£200,000 or more, there were over 20 applicants of whom 5 were selected. The Welsh Office has reduced the budget this year compared to last.

European Regional Development Fund & Heritage Lottery Fund

The deadline for an application for ERDF grant to finance works starting in 1996 was late September. We made it, despite having to split our application into two to fit their strict categories (tourism and industry cannot mix in their view) and despite a last minute ruling by the Welsh Office, which handles the ERDF applications initially, that Lottery money is public sector funding, not private sector matchfunding. The effect of this is that the Trust will have to raise almost £140,000 which under the correct method of allocating public and private sector funding, could have been requested from the Heritage Lottery. (This is the same trick the Welsh Office tried on the Brecon Jazz Festival, and have had to retract.) The Trust will now contact Heritage Lottery and ERDF at the Welsh Office to try to rectify the situation.

We should hear if the ERDF application has been succesful in March or April; Heritage Lottery will take till next Summer.

Leaflet and Booklet

Enclosed with this Newsletter is a bilingual Leaflet prepared by the Trust for free distribution. The aim is to raise awareness and appreciation of the historical and architectural importance of Tremadog. The Booklet has 8 pages of text, with black and white, and colour photographs. lt outlines Madocks' story, and the development of Tremadog and Porthmadog. It costs £1 .99 and is available
in Tremadog (Post Office and the Derwen Stores) and at Browsers Bookshop in Pothmadog. It can also be obtained by post from the secretary, for £2.50 inclusive of postage and packing. (All proceeds to the Trust.)

Annual General Meeting

The fourth AGM of Cyfeillion Cadw Tremadog will be held on 26th Febuary February 1996 at 7.00 pm in the Memorial Hall, Tremadog. Please Come!

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