Had a glorious meal today at a pub that has everything.
Great food, fine ales, welcoming staff, history and an 800 year old oak tree! The Cefn Mably Arms is also 800 years old. It nestles close to the village Church which a relative of the Hitler's deputy Rudolph Hess is buried. It is said to be his mother. When Hess flew to Britain during the war he was captured in Scotland and imprisoned in Maindiff Court in Abergavenny. The gravestone is easy to find to the left of the path from the gate to the church. It is believed that Hess never knew how close he was to his relative's grave.
The Cefn Mably has a fine restaurant and dining room. Four of us today were very happy with a wide choice of meals for carnivores and vegetarians. It is an intriguing place to take visitors to impress them with the the wide variety of glorious Newport Pubs. This one is on the border between Newport and Cardiff. It has a Cardiff postcode but is part of Newport and is firmly in my Newport West constituency.
The 800 years old tree is magnificent and a rarity. It appears to be in rude health in spite of its hazardous location in the pub car park. The village is Llanfihangel-y-fedw. It's been anglicised to Michaelstone-y-fedw. It means 'The church of Michael of the Birch Tree'. Its curious that it's not named after the oak as Llanfihangel-y-derw. The pub landlord told me today that there is big birch tree near the church.
The village has not grown much since ancient times. It's school is now a private house but village life continues. One of the roads with the most expensive houses in Wales is nearby. Druidstone Road is not one that I rely on for the majority of my votes. The village is familiar to me because when I did my O level in Welsh in 1953, one of the poems in a set Welsh book by W J Gruffydd was about Llanfihangel-y-fedw. The pub is perhaps unique is having a regular session on philosphy. What more could anyone desire?
The charm continues.
A press release arrived today:
The Women's March from Wales to Greenham 1981- 2011
Over the next two weeks, people from across Wales will be commemorating the
first Walk to Greenham Common (near Newbury in Berkshire, England) in 1981.
The original 120 mile walk, planned by Ann Pettit and Karmen Cutler around a
Carmarthenshire kitchen table, was a means of protesting against British
Government consent to the USA who, with Prime minister Margaret Thatcher's
help, had announced that they were to base 96 nuclear armed Cruise Missiles
Around 40 walkers left from Cardiff City Hall on the morning of August 26th
1981 - amongst the many who walked the first few miles with them were Jill
Evans (now MEP), Julie Morgan AM and Jane Hutt AM. Paul Flynn MP and David
Morris (later to become MEP for Swansea), met and walked with the group as
they passed through Newport.
On arrival at Greenham on September 5th four of the women chained themselves
to the US Base main gate, and the peace camp, which would last 20 years was
Ordinary women from all over Wales, Britain and across the world supported
the peace camp over the years that followed. A group of women kept the
protest going despite evictions, persecution and an often venomous press.
The slogan 'Greenham Women are Everywhere' illustrated that women going
about their everyday lives were concerned about the fact that our
politicians were seriously planning for a nuclear war, were 'sisters' of the
brave women who kept vigil at the nuclear base. Women from all over Wales
would provide respite, camp at Greenham regularly and people would send
provisions and materials.
Thousands also travelled to Greenham to join in the huge, moving and often
beautiful protests which took place around and at the Women's Camp.
The rest, as they say, is history. The world may not be safer, but those
nuclear armed Cruise missiles and the USAF Base have gone. In 2002 a
commemorative garden was set up to mark the site of the Peace Camp.
On 3rd September 2011 at 1pm many original peace marchers and campers will
travel again from Wales to Greenham to attend a commemorative event to mark
the 30th anniversary of the first March. Côr Cochion, whose members include
original Greenham marcher Sue Lent, will perform. Those attending will also
recommit themselves to working to the abolition of nuclear weapons, for
although the nuclear Cruise Missiles of the 1980s have gone from Britain by
1992, over 22,000 nuclear warheads remain across the world and the British
Government has begun the process of updating its own nuclear weapons system
Trident, at a cost of at least £100billion to the taxpayer.
Jill Gough, National Secretary of CND Cymru supported and went to Greenham
Woman in the 1980s, she said:
"Nuclear weapons do not give us peace of mind and security.
I raised my children in a climate of fear. Like many other women who had
hoped that our children needn't have to live in a world gripped by the
terror, fear, suspicion and bullying that is the language of nuclear weapons
and their possessors, I decided to act."
"While the work of banishing nuclear weapons for ever will take longer than
we had hoped, had it not been for the women at Greenham and those all over
the world who supported them, the journey to a nuclear free world may have
taken even longer **."
"We should pay tribute to all those women, daughters, sisters, mothers and
grandmothers, who gave up an easy life to try and make the world a safer
place for all of us - and our children and grandchildren."