Gower e-News: Issue 12 - Magnificent May!

Page 1

GOWER NEWS Gower’s Hyper-Local News, Event and Information Guide


Wales Coast Path Opens 5th May 2012

‣ Gower News & Events ‣ Top PR Tips ‣ Cooking with Gower Chillis ‣ Shipwrecks and Smuggling ‣ White Lady of Oystermouth ‣ REESY Photography ‣ Business News ‣ Gower Bike Ride ‣ Walking the Gower ‣ Gardening ‣ Weather Feature

© Cover Picture of Three Cliffs Bay: Nick Rees | www.reesyphotography.co.uk

Issue 12 27th April 2012

⦿ Whiteford Lighthouse

Hidden History

Situated off the secluded north Gower coast near Cwm Ivy Woods, Llanmadoc, this rusting, decommissioned castiron lighthouse was built in the late 1800’s. No longer in use, this former lighthouse now stands only as a reminder of the perilous dangers sometimes manifested by the ferocious seas and sand banks of the estuary.

Be safe! Check local tide times before any coastal activity and make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you plan to return.



Gower e-News

Gower’s Hyper-Local News, Event and Information Guide INSIDE


⦿ Events: Gorseinon


Food/Craft Festival

Gardening: Touchwood Garden (Killay)


Business: New Ventures in Pennard and Parkmill


Literature: Alina: The White Lady of Oystermouth



Walking the Gower: Pwlldu Head

⦿ History: Shipwrecks and Smuggling at Port Eynon 06 NEWS 08 PRODUCE & CRAFT MARKETS 10 EVENTS 16 PR TIPS 20 THAI CURRY PUFFS









All things Gower

Editor’s Welcome One of the main aims of Gower News is to ‘promote all things Gower’. Run simply by a few local folk with a shared vision for bringing Gower to life for all - Gower News is all about sharing local knowledge and information in as many and varied ways possible. Having reached the 12th edition milestone, varied Gower-related content never ceases to materialise in the Gower e-News inbox. Already lots of interesting news is cropping up ready for the June 2012 edition due out on 25th May 2012. I was in Farnborough during the publication of the last edition, having spent some time in London at the Media Trust spring conference; I recall the weather was rather fine and dandy. How things can change in one month! Still, in spite of the all wet and windy weather, there’s plenty to do and see around Gower and Swansea Bay. If you’re lacking inspiration, then hopefully the features in this edition will motivate you to experience the fullness of Gower in its various guises. Have a magnificent May!



GOWER NEWS 27th April 2012 Editor / Design / Illustration Ian Ambrose Publisher Gower News www.gowernews.co.uk | editorial@gowernews.co.uk Gower News and Gower e-News are online hyper-local news, event and information publications. Distribution This e-publication is freely distributed through Gower News’ e-newsletter and online media network. www.gowernews.co.uk Views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Gower News or its Editor. Gower News does not accept responsibility for the products, goods or services featured or advertised throughout this e-publication. Gower News does not personally endorse any business, organisation, product or service featured in this publication. Every effort is made to ensure the information contained within this publication is accurate and up to date. Event details believed to be correct at time of publication. The contents of this publication are subject copyright and must not be reproduced in any way without the express prior permission of the publisher.



LOCAL NEWS All Change: Local Bus Services Amended Local bus operator First Cymru has made a number of changes to its local network - effective from 15 April 2012. Some journeys on Sunday evenings in Swansea – with the exception of those on Service 82A – are being removed from the timetables. Talking about the alterations, Kevin Hart, General Manager for First in South and West Wales, says: "While we always regret the need to withdrawn any journeys, we have had to do this in some places in order to balance the books. Put simply, in some cases the costs of operating some journeys far outweighs the amount we take in fares on the buses themselves. This situation cannot be sustained in the long run so we have reviewed the network and have removed from the timetables those journeys that are no longer commercially viable. We would advise customers to look at the new timetables to see how the changes being made may impact on them.” Your Views: Local Development Plan (LDP) The City and County of Swansea is formulating other planning policy documents alongside the LDP, which will both inform the preparation of this Plan and provide Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) to the adopted Swansea Unitary Development Plan (UDP). A public consultation exercise on the ‘Planning For Community Safety Supplementary Planning Guidance’ draft document will end at 4:30pm on 1st June 2012. Representations can be made via the planning econsultation system at http://swansea.jdi-consult.net/ planningconsultations, sent to ldp@swansea.gov.uk or by post to the following address: Planning Policy Team, City and County of Swansea Council, Room 2.6.2, Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea, SA1 3SN. Learn Emergency Life Support: Call Betty on 01792 232 955 Betty Jenkins is a local HeartStart Coordinator and would like to hear from local groups wishing to undergo emergency life support training. 6


gowernews.co.uk Hear to Meet? Action on Hearing Loss Cymru are launching a new Hear to Meet social gathering for adults in the Gower who wear hearing aids or are experiencing hearing loss. Hear to Meet will launch at Willow Court, Clyne Common on 19th June this year. From 11am, there will be an information talk and chance to get your hearing screened for free. From 1pm there is a chance for adults over 50 years with hearing loss to get together and meet over tea and cake. There will be a quiz and a chance to plan activities that they would like to do together at future Hear to Meet events. All are welcome. Hearing loss affects 4 out of 10 people over 50 years old and as many as 7 out of 10 people over 70 years. Hearing loss can be very isolating as talking to friends and family becomes harder to hear and requires more effort. This can often lead to withdrawal from social situations and an increasingly lonely lifestyle. Some people can go for days without talking to anyone. Hear to Meet provides a friendly and welcoming opportunity to meet new people, share experiences about hearing loss, and enjoy taking part in hobbies and activities such as books, films or crafts. It will tackle the loneliness often felt by adults experiencing hearing loss. If you are interested in attending, or know someone who might be, please get in touch. Could you make a real difference to someone with a hearing loss? Hear to Meet urgently requires volunteers to host Hear to Meet events, organise refreshments and join guests in conversation and activities. Full training will be provided and expenses reimbursed. If you are interested, please get in touch with Becky on 02920 333 378 or email becky.oatley@hearingloss.org.uk 7


Pontarddulais Produce and Craft Market Second Wednesday of every month between 9.30am - 12.30pm The Institute, 45 St. Teilo Street, Pontarddulais. 885890 Mumbles Produce and Craft Market Second Saturday of every month between 9.00am - 1.00pm The Dairy Car Park, Oystermouth Square, Mumbles. 361012 Gorseinon Food Festival Saturday 28th April 2012, 10am - 5pm Canolfan Gorseinon Centre, Millers Drive, SA4 4QN Gorseinon Canolfan Food and Craft Fayre Second Saturday of every month between 9.30am - 1.00pm Canolfan Centre, Millers Drive, Gorseinon. 893266 Pennard Produce and Craft Market Second Sunday of every month between 9.30am - 12.30pm Pennard Community Centre, Pennard. 448399 Penclawdd Produce and Craft Market Third Saturday of every month between 9.30am - 12.30pm Community Centre, Banc Bach, Penclawdd. 850147 Clydach Produce and Craft Market Last Saturday of each month between 10.00am - 1.30pm Moose Hall, Beryl Road, Clydach. 07707 787791

Local Produce 8


GORSEINON CRAFT FESTIVAL SUNDAY 29th APRIL 2012 10AM - 4PM Gower Crafts and Artisans in the Marquee Invite You to a Fun Sunday! JEWELLERY, TEXTILES, WOOL PRODUCTS, FUSED GLASS, CARDS, WOODEN FURNITURE AND BOXES, CERAMICS, SLATE and DRIFTWOOD PIECES. Join the workshops for children and create some OLYMPIC ART with Sara Holden of “Sculptures by the Sea” Create Olympic Medals, Bronze, Silver or Gold and/or Snazzy Olympic Spectacles from willow, cane and other materials ready for the greatest sporting event in the world: Olympics 2012.

& Craft Markets 9


Eighth Gower Walking Festival: 9-24 June, 2012


Centred on Britain’s first AONB, the Gower WalkingWhat’s On Around Gower? Festival is a2012-04-28: great Gorseinon Food Festival Saturday opportunity to see 28th April 2012 the wonderful 2012-04-29: Gorseinon Craft Festival Sunday scenery and 29th April 2012 abundant wildlife of 2012-05-05: Boardwalk/Fence Repairs with the Gower peninsula The National Trust, Gower and surrounds.

Get Regular Updates...

! E E FR

2012-05-05: Forest School SNPT Family Fun Day

This year there are Walk, Cwm Ivy with 73 guided 2012-05-06: walks andDawn Chorus The National Trust, Gower l i a m activities for e We’ll experienced2012-05-06: walkers Loughor Inshore Rescue Family E E R Fun Day you a F to leisurely strollers.

r e w o G f copy o ! e-News

2012-05-12: Coeden Fach Tree Nursery Open Day - 12th May 2012 2012-05-12: Big Beach Clean Up, 12th May 2012, Knab Rock, Mumbles, Swansea

vi a p u n g i S or e t i s b e our w k Faceboo page.

2012-05-12: Cheese and Cider Weekend at The Gower Heritage Centre, Swansea 2012-05-17: Father's Day Lunch at Willow Court at Campion Gardens Retirement Village

GOWER NEWS Gower’s Hyper-Local News, Event and Information Guide

2012-05-18: Tea Dance at Willow Court at Campion Gardens Retirement Village Issue 11 30th March 2012



2012-05-19: Dawn Chorus Walk & Simple Breakfast, St Madoc Centre, Gower

2012-05-19: Nearly New Sale in aid of Wales Air Ambulance


2012-06-02: Bracken Clearance at Cwm Ivy Tor with The National Trust, Gower



whatsongower.co.uk Eighth Gower Walking Festival: 9-24 June 2012 Centred on Britain’s first AONB, the Gower Walking Festival is a great opportunity to s e e t h e wo n d e r f u l scenery and abundant wildlife of the Gower peninsula and surrounds. This year there are 73 guided walks and activities for experienced walkers to leisurely strollers.

D A O L N L W A DO ESTI V F E E R TH O CHU BR http://issuu.com/gowernews/docs/gwf2012 11



Tell us about your Gower and Swansea Bay events... Email your event details to: editorial@gowernews.co.uk

Organised by Loughor Inshore Rescue Loughor Inshore Rescue are proud to Present

Family Fun-day 2012 Sunday 6th May 12-7pm At

The Lifeboat Station Gwydr Place Loughor SA4 6TW

Come and join us on our 2ndAnnual Family Fun Day come down and meet the Crew and enjoy an afternoon of relaxation by the River. Fully licenced bar and BBQ and free parking at INA Bearings Stalls and attractions for all the Family. In Attendance: South Wales Police-Mid & West Wales Fire Brigade– Welsh Ambulance– Mobile Coastguard Mud Rescue Unit Helicopters are subject to availability! FREE ENTRY In an Emergencycharity Dial 999 and askNo for the1024113. Coastguard Registered



Forest School SNPT Saturday 5th May 2012 Open Day @ Bishop’s Wood Nature Reserve, Caswell, Swansea Call in anytime from 11.00am to 3.00pm

A free family fun day out! Campfire Craft workshops Environmental activities and more.. Den Building


For more information, please see our website: www.forestschoolsnpt.org.uk Funded by the Rural Development Plan for those living in the RDP area



MURTON MAY DAY EVENT Murton May Day Event: Murton Green, Gower

A chance to meet Pennard First Responders: volunteers from the local community who donate their spare time to attend appropriate 999 calls; they provide first hand emergency care to people in their own community until an ambulance vehicle reaches the scene. All volunteers are trained by the Welsh Ambulance Service to administer basic first aid skills, oxygen therapy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator.

1pm, Monday 7th May 2012 Traditional maypole dancing, refreshments, ice creams, candy floss, inflatables, stalls and much more...including the miniature garden and unusual/character fruit and veg competitions. Lots of fun for the whole family. http://www.gowercc.org.uk/bishopston/ bishopstonhome.php

Learn Emergency Life Support. Watch the British Heart Foundation’s online video starring Vinnie Jones: www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/life-saving-skills/hands-only-cpr.aspx

Pennard First Responders 14


www.coedenfach.wetpaint.com 15


Editorial Words by: Ian Ambrose BA (Hons) Public Services, FInstAM(Dip), MInstLM | Citizen Journalist/Editor, Gower News Citizen journalism: helping to shape news in the 21st century! Journalism has changed, and so has the way in which people hear about, read, see, interact and consume news on a daily basis. News reporting is no longer the sole remit of professional journalists working in traditional settings - you only have to look back to Libya and more recently, Syria, to see that in some situations globally, citizens are getting their news noticed - particularly through the use of Twitter and YouTube - and are becoming the first to break news items ahead of traditional mainstream media outlets. Blottr.com - a user generated news service - is one website which is facilitating ways that allow citizens to generate news stories as they break; traditional media outlets are also creating innovative ways to enable citizens to shape the news before it is ‘broadcast’. According to Dan Roberts, the Guardian’s national editor: "All media is blurring together in a new way." Speaking at the ‘Hitting the Headlines’ Media Trust Conference in London earlier this month week, Dan explained about how the Guardian is experimenting with #opennews as a way of allowing readers to shape the Guardian’s news coverage. The Guardian’s Open Newslist allows citizens to interact with the Guardian’s editors and reporters about upcoming stories as they work on them - this allows the Guardian to consider other views that may not have come to light until after a news item has been published and made public. Relevance, it would seem, is more important than audience size. Citizen journalism news service, Blottr.com, launched in August 2010 and currently generates around 3 million unique visitors a month. Blottr.com believes ‘the best news stories come from people at the scene who are able to capture and report on stories as they unfold’. However, some argue that sites such as Blottr.com cannot really compete with mainstream media. But according to Blottr’s founder, Adam Baker, when it comes to audience size: “It's about relevance, not numbers.”



Lessons in Managing a Successful PR Campaign The issue of relevance is perhaps a particularly important point to remember, especially for business and organisations looking to secure press coverage. It seems the key to successful public relations communication is the relevance of news to a particular audience: whether its the launch of a national integrated marketing campaign by a major not for profit organisation, or the celebrity presentation of a cheque at a small charity’s annual summer fayre, the relevance of the message to the target audience is the important point to remember.

Photo: Sue Llewellyn, Gavin Sheppard, Janet Street Porter and Adam Baker discuss the 'Future of News' at the Hitting the Headlines Conference in London.

5 LESSONS FROM ‘HITTING THE HEADLINES’ MEDIA TRUST SPRING CONFERENCE 2012 1. Develop a media communications strategy and commit it to writing. It may be the last thing on your ‘to do list’, but taking time to think about who your target audience is will be time well spent. Once you have defined your target audience, you need to think about the ways in which the media can best help you communicate your messages. Caroline Vogt from Aegis Media suggests that if you can tap into an emotion (e.g. people’s passions, what people enjoy or something that creates a sense of community), then it's much more powerful. How consumers absorb media and advertising has also changed: models of persuading people to like or buy a product or service are becoming old-school - the new model of marketing is about tapping into people’s passions by communicating to them the real emotional benefits of buying or liking your product or service. 17


Editorial 2. Generic press releases are unlikely to have much impact. Rather than spending valuable time writing and sending out generic press releases, first consider the types of media outlets that best apply to your target audience. As a hyper-local media outlet, Gower News is bombarded by press releases on a daily basis - many simply do not get used because they are considered largely irrelevant to Gower News readers. When you are ready to communicate a piece of news to a news outlet, first pick up the phone and speak directly to a journalist within your chosen media outlet about your news. By having a conversation with a journalist within the media outlet that best matches your target audience, you are much more likely to find out what exactly the media outlet would like to hear about and when. Armed with this information, you can shape your press release accordingly, and are therefore much more likely to have your news item used by the media outlet you are targeting with your news story. 3. If talking to mainstream media: supply what they need. Again, this comes back to getting in touch directly with relevant journalists and asking them for feedback. Most media outlets have topicrelated journalists. If your news is in response to crime, don’t contact the journalist responsible for the sports column! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so a good quality photograph to accompany your news story is also quite essential. Don’t forget that most journalists’ time is limited; make their life easy by supplying what they need in an accessible way. Copy should be sent in an email and not just as a PDF.

When it comes to audience size: “It's about relevance, not numbers.” Adam Baker, Blottr.com 18


Lessons in Managing a Successful PR Campaign 4. Make use of the community newswire. The Community Newswire at the Media Trust sent out nearly 800 stories during January and February 2012. The service helps charities, communities and citizen journalists get their stories into the national and regional media. The best of the submitted press releases and photos are selected and written up by dedicated Press Association journalists and distributed to thousands of newsrooms across the UK. Even if you haven't got a specific news item, keep an eye on the news to see if something your organisation is doing can be pegged to the current news agenda; look out for angles that can be turned into a story! 5. Don’t forget the power of social media and your own public relations and marketing communication systems. Your own website and social media channels are vital aspects of your communications mix. These communication tools allow you to communicate your messages in the way you want them to be - without the spin! Make sure your website is regularly updated with fresh new copy that has been well written and in a way that can be easily understood. If this is an area that you need help with then there are lots of quality resources available on the Media Trust website: ➡http://www.mediatrust.org For more information about this year’s Hitting the Headlines conference and for other media related resources, please check out these links: ➡http://resources.mediatrust.org/events/hitting-the-headlines ➡http://www.mediatrust.org/newswire ➡http://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/life-saving-skills/hands-onlycpr.aspx ➡http://www.blottr.com ➡http://www.journalism.co.uk ➡http://www.gowernews.co.uk






Thai Curry Puffs Following two recent local produce events hosted by Gower Chillis, I was inspired to commit this recipe to writing which was passed to me some years ago. With chillis being a key ingredient to these parcels of delicious aromatic flavours, I thought it appropriate to share this recipe now that Gower has its very own local chilli producer. The recipe can be tailored to be hot and fiery or mild and creamy - it all depends on the amount and type of chillis you choose to use, balanced alongside varying amounts of curry power and coconut milk to suit your taste. The following recipe is reasonably spicy - though not too fiery and hot! Ingredients: Makes approximately 30 small curry puff parcels. Gower Chillis Gower Chillis sauces can be purchased from the Bay Bistro Shop in Rhossili and the Gower Wildflower Centre at Blackhills/ Fairwood. Products also available direct via: www.gowerchillis.com or by calling Andrew on 07854 319768 (mobile rates apply). The Gower Chillis 'Green Label' sauce has a Thai feel to it as it’s flavoured with garlic, lime and coriander. “This sauce would be particularly good with Thai Curry,” said Andrew Brooks of Gower Chillis. Fa c eb o o k : G o w e r C h i l l i s Twitter: @AndrewBr00ks

2 chicken breasts; 1 carrot; 1 potato; 1 stick of celery; 1 red and 1 green chilli; 5 garlic cloves; 1” piece of ginger; 1 onion; 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds; 2 cardamon pods; 2 cloves; 1 small cup of peas; 1 chicken stock cube; 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder; 200ml of coconut milk; handful of fresh coriander; a few splashes of tabasco sauce; salt and pepper to taste; 2 x 500g packs of ready to roll puff pastry; 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil; and 2 whisked eggs (with a little salt) for glazing 21





Thai Curry Puffs Equipment and Method:

Curry Puff Filling:

a large wok or non-stick pan; a small pan for parboiling vegetables; a round 3� diameter pastry cutter; an egg-wash brush; and a non-stick baking tray

1. Dice the carrot and potato into small square pieces, place in a pan of cold water (slightly salted) and parboil the vegetable pieces until tender (this will take around 3 minutes from when the water boils); 2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in the wok adding the mustard seeds, cardamon pods and cloves until the seeds start popping. At this point remove the spices from the heat; 3. Drain the parboiled vegetables and set aside; 4. Chop the onion into small pieces, place the wok back onto a medium heat, add the onion pieces and gently fry (do not let the onion brown); 5. Add to the wok finely chopped garlic and ginger, gently frying for a minute; 6. Dice the chicken into small pieces and add to the wok, stirring the mixture gently until the chicken is sealed; 7. Put on food preparation gloves (optional) and finely chop one red and green chilli (removing the seeds for a less fiery mixture); 8. Add the chopped chillis along with one finely chopped stick of celery; 9. Add to the mixture the chicken stock cube and mix gently; 10. Now add the parboiled vegetables and peas to the mixture; 11. Sprinkle over a level teaspoon of curry powder; 12. Add a few dashes of tabasco sauce; 13. Pour around 200ml of coconut milk into the mixture (adding a little more or less to create a wet, but not too runny mixture); 14. Allow the mixture to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the mixture is pipping hot; 15. Add salt and pepper to taste; then finally 16. Add chopped coriander, stir gently and set mixture aside to cool. 23





Thai Curry Puffs Curry Puff Parcels: The easiest way to make these delicious fragrant curry parcels is to use shop bought, ready made puff pastry (be sure to remove the pastry from the fridge about 20 minutes before rolling it). 1. Sprinkle some plain flour onto a clean work surface; 2. Roll out the pastry with a floured rolling pin until the pastry is about 3mm thick; 3. Using a round pastry cutter, cut out as many pieces as possible. Recycle the off-cuts of pastry by re-rolling and cutting out extra pieces; 4. Once cut, slightly roll each pastry piece until a little thinner; 5. Spoon approximately a teaspoon of mixture, placing it in the centre of a piece of pastry; 6. Brush some egg-wash around the edges of the pastry, then add another piece of pastry on top. Slightly press down the edges of the parcel to seal; 7. Using the pastry cutter, place the cutter over the parcel to trim the edges of the parcel. You should be left with a neat round pastry parcel filled with your curry mixture; 8. Repeat the process until you have used up all your pastry/mixture; 9. Place your parcels on a greased baking tray; 10.Wash the top of each parcel with egg-wash; then finally 11.Place the parcels on the baking tray into a pre-heated oven (190°C/ 375°F/GM5) and cook for around 20-25 minutes (the parcels should look brown and puffy). Curry puffs can be served hot or cold. Cooled curry puffs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 24 hours.

Enjoy! ©2012 Words and images by: Ian Ambrose | Editor, Gower News Recipe adapted from a concept by Nelly Wilson, Aldershot. 25



Shipwrecks and Smuggling By Frances Bevan

Frances Bevan was formerly a history correspondent on the Swindon Advertiser; she has written extensively on people, places and events in the history of Swindon.

During the late 18th and 19th centuries the remote Gower coastline was a lucrative haven for smugglers. Beneath the cliffs at Port Eynon, a cave called Culver Hole is set between two rock faces and has a masonry wall and a staircase leading up four floors. Culver Hole is believed to have links with the legendary 11th century castle at Port Eynon, but in more recent history in came in handy for stowing away contraband.

Frances has a number of blogs, of which ‘Dear George...’ is one. The ‘Dear George...’ blog tells the real-life story of 15-year-old George Bevan who left home to begin an apprenticeship in his uncle’s ironmonger’s shop in Llandudno; the blog focuses on subsequent correspondence between the boy and his family in Gower that was to run for over 50 years.

Va r i o u s s m u g g l i n g g a n g s operated under the very noses of the establishment making the job of the customs officials particularly difficult. Farms at Great and Little Highway occupied by William Hawkin Arthur, the self-styled smuggling k i n g, w e r e t h e c e n t r e o f operations. Seemingly invincible, it was customs officer Francis Bevan, an ancestor of both Silvanus and Anne, who in 1804 seized some 420 casks of spirits from a concealed cellar in both farmhouses, causing the collapse of this particular gang’s operations.

If you would like to read more about the Bevan family from Gower visit: georgebevan.blogspot.co.uk © 2012. Unless otherwise stated: text and images courtesy of Frances Bevan - ‘Dear George...’ 26


Shipwrecks and Smuggling

Culver Hole is believed to have links with the legendary 11th century castle at Port Eynon, but in more recent history in came in handy for stowing away contraband.

Culver Hole: Early 20th century. Photographer unknown - © Dear George...

Culver Hole: As seen today. © Photograph - Gower News.

This incident illustrates just how dangerous the work of customs officers could be as Francis had to contend with a mob of more than 200 people as he endeavoured to get the casks into safe keeping. Guarding the haul in transit proved equally difficult and by the time the consignment reached Swansea it was found to be 17 casks short. In a subsequent report Francis explained how he had given up some of the casks to secure the safe transference of the bulk of the shipment. Like so many Gowerians, many of the Bevan men folk chose to go to sea rather than scratch a living from farming, but the risks were high. Silvanus’ brother Francis was lost at sea, drowned coming home from Cuba on July 12, 1851. 27


History Letters from the Bevan family in Overton to apprentice ironmonger George in Llandudno contain frequent references to relatives and neighbours gone to sea and sometimes lost at sea. From the first publication of The Cambrian newspaper in 1804 until the end of the 20th century there were 250 reported shipwrecks along the Gower coastline. In a letter to George dated January 23, 1879 Anne writes – “Last Monday night a Norweggian Barque came on Shore under Slade Cliff Laden with Indian Corn, Maize. All the Crew are saved & are at Porteynon. The men round here have got work getting out the Cargo. Frank has been up seeing the wreck this afternoon.” In a community dominated by events at sea, Anne’s letter to George dated March 10, 1879 makes reference to events surrounding one particular shipwreck. On the evening of Tuesday February 11, 1879, the Mary Stenhouse, a Liverpool ship carrying 350 tons of pig iron, ran aground at Rhossilli. The ship launched a boat conveying nine members of the twenty strong crew, including the master’s wife, Mrs Hedgecock but it capsized before reaching the shore and all ten people on board were drowned. The remaining crew members were safely rescued. Lloyds Agent George Gibbs, Anne’s cousin, sent the tug Hero to go to the aid of the stricken vessel which was later towed to Swansea. “Mrs George Gibbs of Porteynon is gone to Liverpool today about the Salvage of the Mary Stenhouse. If you see an account of the Trial in any newspaper send it for your Father to read there is great talk about it here,” Anne writes to her son. But for some of the local men there was work to be had from salvaging the ships that ran aground on the Gower coast. In January 1881 Sill writes to his brother George about the coal carrying Cresswell that was wrecked to the west of Slade’s foot. 28


Shipwrecks and Smuggling

The Horton and Port Eynon RNLI Lifeboat Station at as seen today. © Photograph - Gower News.

“The wreck has been bought by the firm ‘Bevan & Co,’ comprising C & S Bevan, J Steven Overton, J. Stephen Porteynon, J. Hughes, for £50. We are therefore very busy every day, wrecking, & expect to clear a little dust by our bargaining…” The Australian barque was a complete wreck with the accident attributed to errors made by the master and the mate. The stipendiary magistrate and nautical assessors suspended the master’s certificate for three months and the mate’s for six at a Board of Trade inquiry held at the Guildhall, Swansea. 29



Like so many Gowerians, many of the Bevan men folk chose to go to sea rather than scratch a living from farming, but the risks were high. Silvanus’ brother Francis was lost at sea, drowned coming home from Cuba on July 12, 1851.

“The schooner Emma of Plymouth going from Newport to the South of Cornwall with coal put in on Oxwich Sand today having carried away her main sail & other sails she would not steer. They expect to save the ship by discharging her so we are expecting coal cheap,” Sill continued in the same letter. Following the wreck of the Agnes Jack on January 27, 1883 and just ten days later the Surprise, lost with all hands under Overton cliffs, a lifeboat station at Port Eynon was opened in 1884. But the dangerous location of this station saw it closed in 1919 following the loss of the lifeboat Janet in 1916 when it went to the aid of the S.S. Dunvegan. Three members of the crew lost their lives that night. Coxswain Billy Gibbs, William Eynon second coxswain and lifeboatman George Harry are remembered on a memorial looking out to sea in the churchyard at St Cattwg’s, Port Eynon. Read more about casualties along the dangerous Gower coastline on: http://www.shipwrecks-wales.co.uk



Shipwrecks and Smuggling

Lifeboatmen and Sailor Memorial: St. Cattwg's Church, Port Eynon, Gower Š Photograph - Gower News. 31


Book Launch

The Author: Ann Thomas Biography: Writing poetry and making up stories since she was a child, Ann only started to write seriously when her children were grown. Her main ambition is to write science fiction, but along the way she got distracted by local history and poetry about her stroke. Taking early retirement gave her the chance to concentrate on her writing.



Alina: The White Lady of Oystermouth The book uses the life of Alina de Breos to tell the story of the barons' rebellion which started in the Lordship of Gower in 1320 and eventually led to the toppling of Edward II from the English throne. Alina ended up with her son in the Tower of London, her husband executed and all her estates confiscated. When Edward II was deposed, the Lordship of Gower was returned to her in an act of mercy by Edward III, and legend has it that she built the chapel on Oystermouth Castle. Talking about her new book, Ann said: “One day I was standing in Swansea town centre, opposite the ruins of Swansea Castle, and I wondered what the castle and the town were like in the castle’s heyday. I searched the internet and went to the library, and found a remarkable story that captured my imagination. Three years later, and lots more research and writing, and there is a book!” Ann’s Book: ‘Alina’ The White Lady of Oystermouth is now available at the following outlets in Swansea and Gower: ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Swansea Museum National Waterfront Museum Swansea City Centre Tourist Information Centre Uplands Bookshop Mumbles Tourist Information Centre Cover to Cover Bookshop Shepherds at Parkmill Gower Heritage Centre Gower Kite and Surf Centre, Pitton Cross Caravan Park, Rhossili ✓ Reynoldston Post Office ✓ Crofty Post Office E-book available on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145799 Oystermouth Castle is scheduled to re-open on 16th June 2012, Ann’s new book will be on sale in the Visitors Centre in Alina’s Chapel. 33


Local Personality

Nick “EXTREME SUNBATHING” in New Zealand! Name: Nick Rees - REESY by nickname! Age: 23 Job: Events & Marketing Associate within the surf industry.

Picture: G-Land, Indonesia.

Education: I went to Bishopston Comprehensive and later graduated from the University of Birmingham with a 2:1 in Sports Management.

I grew up in Mumbles and have always taken advantage of the coastal lifestyle we’re so lucky to have on our doorstep. 34



...However, you’re always just a ‘sense of adventure and a rented scooter trip away’ from discovering little corners of secluded paradise with empty waves!

You've travelled a bit recently, what was the most inspirational place you visited and did you get any good photographs?

When I travelled, I always took my camera wherever I went. I ended up taking over 11,500 photos, so yes, I like to think I captured a couple of good shots, some of which I aim to get on my website soon!

Out of the 14 countries I visited, I would say Indonesia was the most inspirational place with its unique mixture of paradise islands, world class surf breaks and crazy nightlife to top it off!


Photography © Nick Rees: www.reesyphotography.co.uk

“ My style of photography comes down to my natural appreciation of Gower and my love for sharing my experiences with others. I always keep my camera with me and rarely plan to take a photo - it usually just happens! ”


Local Personality HOCKEY


We hear you’re ok at hockey!

So you're into surfing, what advice do have for people just starting out?

Yeah, I’ve played hockey all my life (since the age 5) and started as a youngster at Swansea Bay Hockey Club. I’ve gone on to captain every age group of Welsh Hockey and currently represent the Senior Team.

Beginners should always get a lesson with a local surf school to start. From that point onwards, surfing’s all about just getting in the water and enjoying yourself.

I’m sponsored by Adidas and aim to represent Wales in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“ To capture Gower at its best you have to understand the environment and the effects of weather patterns and tidal movement.You also need a sense of adventure and a desire to get off the beaten track. Finally, experiment with your camera and your creativity: if you’re using a small digital camera and taking a photo of the sunset, experiment by taking a few through the lenses of your sunglasses, you may be suprised at the colours produced! ”

REESY PHOTOGRAPHY Do you only do landscape photography? Although I specialise in landscapes, I’m always open to new ideas and recently did a wedding shoot and a number of international sports events which can be seen on my Facebook page. If you need a photographer for anything, then feel free to contact me, I’m always open to suggestions!

www.reesyphotography.co.uk @REESYPhotograph Reesy Photograph 36


Nick Rees (REESY) What is you most inspirational Gower spot for photography and why? Llangennith frequently provides me with fun surf and epic sunsets, a combination that usually results in some cool shots.

Photography Š Nick Rees: www.reesyphotography.co.uk

My style of photography comes down to my natural appreciation of the Gower and my love for sharing my experiences with others. I always keep my camera with me and rarely plan to take a photo, it usually just happens!

BIG thanks to Nick for letting Gower News use his image of Three Cliffs on the cover. 37





Remember, going in the sea is a potentially dangerous activity. This is a guide only. Take notice of all local advice and signs. Please exercise common sense and caution.

h water



-0m 8m 16m 79m 38m 87m 25m 52m 66m 66m 46m 04m 44m 75m 39m 12m 43m 07m 68m 12m 37m 45m 39m 20m 90m 51m 04m 50m

1 11.10 9.95m 23.33 12.03 9.90m 2 ------ ------ 12.24 13.21 9.65m 3 00.59 9.55m 14.03 14.56 9.87m 16.02 10.42m 4 02.44 9.89m 15.24 16.51 11.00m 5 03.51 10.59m 16.19 11.52m 6 04.39 11.32m 17.05 17.33 17.48 18.14 11.94m 7 broughton 05.23 11.94mbay 18.54 12.25m 8 06.06 12.43m 18.29 WSW 12.77m 19.10 19.33 12.45m 9 Ideal 06.48swell: 12.94m Bottom: Sand19.51 20.12 12.52m 10 07.30 20.51 12.42m 11Max/Min 08.11 12.91m rideable:20.31 8’/2’ 12.64m 21.12 21.31 12.13m 12Wave 08.52 type: * Ì]Ê ivÌÃ 22.15 11.64m 13 09.35 12.13m 21.56 Best tide: High 23.06 11.01m 14 10.22 11.41m 22.47 Best 10.61m wind: SE23.54 15 11.21 ------ -----12.55 10.21m 16 ------ ------ 12.38 14.26 10.15m 17 01.23 10.01m 14.11 15.49 10.59m 18 02.58 10.30m 15.36 16.51 11.18m 19 04.07 10.93m 16.33 17.39 11.67m 20 04.57 11.51m 17.17 18.19 12.00m 21 05.36 11.93m 17.54 18.55 12.16m 22 06.12 12.17m 18.27 19.29 12.19m 23 06.46 12.26m 19.00 Ideal swell: to S 12.21m 19.30 24 W07.18 20.00 12.11m 20.30 11.92m 07.49 12.06m 20.00 Bottom:25Sand 11.63m rideable: 26 08.18 20.57Max/Min 12’/1’11.82m 20.27 11.26m 27 08.46 11.49m 20.54 21.25 Wave type: Beach, L&R11.08m 28 09.15 21.24 21.55 10.81m Best tide: 29 All 22.35 10.28m 09.48 10.61m 22.01 10.09m 22.58 30 10.35 Best wind: E 31 11.45 9.69m ------

rhossili bay

burry port9.73m 1 00.18 9.95m

9.78m 9.54m 9.60m 10.18m 10.90m 11.56m 12.10m 12.50m 12.75m 12.83m 12.71m 12.35m 11.77m 11.04m 10.34m 10.01m 9.93m 10.41m 11.02m 11.53m 11.87m 12.06m 12.12m 12.07m 11.92m 11.68m 11.36m 10.95m 10.47m 10.00m ------

2 01.52 3 03.07 10.59m 4 04.03 11.33m 5 40.51 11.97m 6 05.38 12.47m 7 06.24 12.80m 8 07.09 12.95m 9 07.52 12.88m 10 08.36 12.58m 11 09.21 12.06m 12 10.09 11.36m 13 11.07 10.63m 14 ------ -----15 01.00 10.19m 16 02.24 10.33m 17 03.33 10.78m 18 04024 11.25m 19 05.05 11.61m 20 05.42 11.84m 21 06.18 11.94m 22 06.51 11.93m 23 07.23 11.83m 24 07.54 11.66m 25 08.24 11.41m 26 08.54 11.10m 27 09.29 10.74m Llangennith 28 10.15 10.36m 29 11.18 10.05m 30 ------ ------

broughton bay

rhossili bay


13.15 14.41 15.42 16.32 17.18 18.03 18.47 19.30 20.12 20.56 21.42 22.36 23.41 12.19 13.43 15.03 16.01 16.45 17.22 17.57 18.30 19.03 19.33 20.03 20.31 21.03 21.42 22.36 23.48 12.36

9.67m 10.17m 10.90m 11.60m 12.18m 12.60m 12.85m 12.91m 12.76m 12.39m 11.81m 11.13m 10.51m 10.08m 9.96m 10.30m 10.82m 11.29m 11.63m 11.85m 11.95m 11.94m 11.83m 11.64m 11.39m 11.07m 10.70m 10.35m 10.14m 10.00m

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31



01.09 02.22 03.24 04.18 05.09 06.00 06.48 07.36 08.23 09.10 09.59 10.52 11.52 00.27 01.36 02.43 03.39 04.27 05.09 05.48 06.25 07.00 07.33 08.06 08.40 09.17 10.01 10.55 -----00.30 01.40

13.55 10.33m 1 02.46 11.23m 15.24 15.02 10.92m 2 03.48 11.64m 16.22 12.00m 17.15 15.58 11.56m 3 04.45B4297 16.48 12.10m 4 05.40 12.26m 18.06 17.37 12.50m 5 06.33 12.39m 18.56 12.74m 6 07.24 12.39m 19.44 18.24 7 08.12 12.26m 20.31 19.11 12.80m A484 19.57 12.67m 8 08.58 11.99m 21.18 20.43 12.37m 9 09.43 11.61m 22.06 21.32 11.91m 10 10.29 11.17m 22.54 22.24 11.37m 11 11.17 10.72m 23.47 23.22 10.86m 12 ------ ------ 12.10 13 00.45 10.46m 13.13 ------ -----13.00 10.13m 14 01.48 10.32m 14.21 14.12 10.20m 15 02.51 10.40m 15.23 15.15 10.52m 16 03.48 10.65m 16.15 16.06 10.92m 17 04.38 10.94m 17.00 17.41 16.48 11.28m 18 05.22 11.20m Three 18.18 17.27 11.55m 19 06.02 11.39mCrosses 18.04 11.72m 20 06.39 11.50m 18.53 11.77m 21 07.15 11.54m 19.27 18.39 B4295 22 07.51 11.54m 20.01 19.12 11.74m B4271 19.43 11.63m 23 08.27 11.49m 20.37 20.15 11.47m 24 09.04 11.40m 21.16 20.49 11.27m 25 09.45 11.26m 22.00 21.29 11.04m 26 10.31 11.06m 22.54 22.19 10.82m 27 11.26 10.85m 23.55 23.21 10.65m 28 ------ ------ 12.31 29 01.04 10.84m 13.43 12.00 10.44m A4118 13.10 10.55m 30 02.16 10.95m 14.57 14.21 10.89m

10.27m 10.73m 11.33m 11.89m 12.33m 12.61m 12.72m 12.65m 12.40m 11.98m 11.43m 10.86m 10.37m 10.50m 10.41m 10.57m 10.86m 11.16m 11.40m 11.56m 11.62m 11.61m 11.53m 11.39m 11.21m 11.00m 10.76m 10.54m -----10.65m 10.86m



to/from West Wales



the north road

the south road

11.37m 11.86m 12.25m 12.51m 12.62m 47 46 12.59m 12.40m A48 12.09m A483 A4070 11.68m 11.23m A4067 10.79m A484 10.34m 10.13m 10.18m 10.46m 10.85m 11.21m 11.48m 11.65m A4118 11.73m Sketty 11.74m Killay 11.70m 11.62m A4216 11.50m 11.33mA4118 Sketty Lane 11.12m info@greatgoweroutdoors.com 10.93m A4067 10.70m Blackpill 10.75m B4436 11.04m

at Clyne Farm Centre, Mumbles, Swansea.




17.46 12.21m 1 06.34 12.24m 18.52 12.59m 2 07.10 12.27m 19.28 12.52m 18.32 12.50m @gowersurfersmap 19.14 12.61m 3 07.44 12.19m 20.01 12.32m 19.54 12.55m 4 08.15 12.00m 20.33 12.00m 5 08.45 11.71m 21.02 11.58m 20.31 12.35mgowersurfersmap 21.06 12.01m 6 09.12 11.34m 21.31 11.09m 11.56m 7 09.43 10.90m 22.05 10.54m 21.40 gowersurfersmap@gmail.com 22.12 11.03m 8 10.21 10.39m 22.51 9.96m 22.50 10.47m 9 11.15 9.88m ------ -----10 00.00 9.52m 12.35 9.59m 23.40 9.93m 11 01.45 9.51m 14.27 9.86m 12.01 9.80m 12 03.09 10.07m 15.35 10.54m 13.35 9.64m 15.11 10.03m 13 04.03 10.77m 16.22 11.24m 16.09 10.65m 14 04.45 11.42m 17.03 11.85m Easy –15good for beginners and experienced surfers 11.95m 17.43 12.31m 05.26 16.53 11.25m 17.33 11.73m 16 06.06 12.33m 18.24 12.63m 18.10 12.10m 17 06.46 12.58m 19.03 12.80m 12.69m 19.44 12.80m 07.26 18.48 12.35m 18– for Caution intermediate and experienced surfers 19.26 12.50m 19 08.06 12.62m 20.24 12.60m 20.03 12.52m 20 08.46 12.36m 21.06 12.17m 20.42 12.39m 21 09.30 11.89m 21.52 11.54m Danger 10.80m 22.50only 10.20 11.26msurfers 21.22 12.06m 22– experienced 22.07 11.55m 23 11.25 10.61m ------ -----23.03 10.90m 24 00.06 10.18m 12.50 10.24m ------ -----25 01.39 10.04m 14.24 10.43m 12.59 10.25m 26 03.05 10.45m 15.39 11.03m 14.33 10.42m 27 04.07 11.08m 16.32 11.65m 15.51 11.03m 28 04.54 11.62m 17.15 12.10m 16.48 11.69m 29 05.33 11.98m 17.52 12.36m 17.34 12.19m 30 06.09 12.17m 18.27 12.43m 18.15 12.48m

Break rating

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31


06.42 07.15 07.45 08.14 08.42 09.12 09.50 10.43 11.57 00.54 02.24 03.26 04.14 04.57 05.39 06.22 07.05 07.48 08.31 09.18 10.12 11.16 -----01.17 02.39 03.41 04.27 05.06 05.42 06.16 06.49

12.23m 12.16m 12.00m 11.75m 11.43m 11.02m 10.56m 10.09m 9.79m 9.58m 10.03m 10.74m 11.45m 12.04m 12.48m 12.75m 12.85m 12.77m 12.48m 12.01m 11.41m 10.83m -----10.13m 10.42m 10.92m 11.40m 11.76m 11.99m 12.08m 12.07m


19.00 19.33 20.33 Port 20.31 Eynon 21.00 21.33 22.18 23.24 -----13.30 14.50 15.45 16.31 17.15 17.59 18.42 19.25 20.09 20.54 21.44 22.42 23.53 12.33 13.57 15.10 16.04 16.48 17.26 18.01 18.36 19.08

12.37m 12.19m 11.91m 11.55m 11.12m 10.63m 10.10m 9.66m -----9.93m 10.52m 11.24m 11.88m 12.39m 12.73m 12.89m 12.86m 12.63m 12.18m 11.55m 10.86m 10.31m 10.49m 10.56m 10.96m 11.43m 11.81m 12.04m 12.14m 12.12m 12.00m



1 07.21 11.96m 19.39 2 07.51 11.76m 20.09 3 08.20 11.49m 20.40 Horton 11.17m 21.14 4 08.52Oxwich 5 09.30 10.79m 21.57 6 10.19 10.43m 22.54 7 11.24 10.18m -----8 00.09 9.88m 12.41 9 01.30 10.11m 13.57 10 02.42 10.67m 15.02 11 03.38 11.33m 15.56 12 04.27 11.93m 16.46 13 05.15 12.40m 17.35 14 horton 06.01 12.71m 18.24 beach 12.84m 15 Ideal 06.47swell: W 19.11 to S 12.80m 19.58 16 07.33 Bottom: Sand 17 08.21 12.58m 20.46 rideable: 6’/2’ 18Max/Min 09.10 12.21m 21.36 11.74m 19Wave 10.03 22.30 type: Beach, L&R 11.25m 20 Best 11.00tide: 23.29 Not high ------ 12.03 21 -----Best10.33m wind: N 22 00.37 13.12 23 01.51 10.31m 14.23 24 02.59 10.58m 15.24 25 03.53 10.97m 16.14 26 04.37 11.35m 16.57 27 05.16 11.65m 17.37 28 05.54 11.85m 18.14 29 06.29 11.93m 18.48 30 07.02 11.90m 19.21

port eynon bay




42 M4

Swansea Tourist Information Centre Plymouth Street Swansea SA1 3QG 01792 468321

to/from East Wales


01792 403333

swansea bay


Ideal swell: Big W to S Bottom: Sand Best wind: NE TO SW

mumbles head

caswell langland bay bay

caswell bay



the muddiest assault course in the world!


oxwich bay


campsite, tipi hire, self catering cottages, horseriding, indoor swansea climbing, archery, gorgewalking and:

11.79m 1 07.33 11.79m 19.54 11.55m 11.52m 2 08.06 11.61m 20.27 11.33m 11.18m 3 08.39 11.39m 21.01 11.07m 10.79m 4 09.15 11.14m 21.41 10.79m 10.37m 5 09.59 10.89m 22.28 10.52m 10.02m 6 10.53 10.67m 23.28 10.33m ------ Ideal7swell: 10.57m ------ -----11.58 Big WSW 10.21m Bottom: 8 00.38 Sand10.32m 13.08 10.67m 10.58mMax/Min 01.51 10.58m 9 rideable: 4’/1’ 14.18 10.99m 11.16mWave10 type:03.00 Beach,11.06m L&R 15.22 11.44m 11.75m Best 04.00 11 tide: High11.62m 16.21 11.89m 12.25m Best 04.54NW12.13m 17.17 12.26m 12 wind: 12.59m 13 05.45 12.51m 18.09 12.51m 12.76m 14 06.35 12.74m 19.00 12.60m 12.76m 12.55m 15 07.24 12.81m 19.49 Ideal 12.34m swell: WSW 12.57m 16 08.12 12.73m 20.36 Bottom: Sand 12.21m 12.00m 17 08.59 12.49m 21.22 11.72m rideable: 6’/2’ 18 09.46 12.13m Max/Min 22.08 11.56m 11.16m 11.06m 19 10.35 11.66m Wave 22.56type: Beach, L&R 10.65m 10.58m 20 11.25 11.16m 23.48 Best tide: Not low 10.85m 10.71m 21 ------ ------ 12.21 Best10.43m wind: NE 10.66m 22 00.49 10.24m 13.25 10.73m 10.16m 10.42m 23 02.00 14.33 10.99m 24 03.09 10.39m 15.36 10.65m 11.29m 25 04.06 10.80m 16.30 10.98m 11.56m 26 04.52 11.22m 17.15 11.30m 11.74m 27 05.33 11.56m 17.54 11.54m 11.82m 28 06.11 11.77m 18.31 11.68m 11.81m 29 06.46 11.87m 19.06 11.72m 11.71m 30 07.19 11.87m 19.39 11.69m 31 07.52 11.82m 20.13 11.61m

oxwich bay




Mumbles Tourist Information Centre Mumbles Methodist Church 520b Mumbles Road Mumbles, Swansea SA3 4DH 01792 361302

Supervised beach (see local signs for details)

Car park

langland bay


Ideal swell: WSW Bottom: Mixed Max/Min rideable: 10’/2’ Wave type: Beach, L&R Best tide: All Best wind: N

Windsurfing Kitesurfing Tourist Information Centre

Easy – good for beginners and experienced surfers

Caution – for intermediate and experienced surfers


mumbles road

www.dragon-hotel.co.uk Our superb location is within easy reach of Swansea's many attractions, beaches and vibrant nightlife.


swansea bay

The Kingsway, Swansea SA1 5LS +44 (0)1792 657100 info@dragon-hotel.co.uk

Danger – experienced surfers only

Ideal swell: Big W to S Bottom: Sand Best wind: NE to SW CASWELL ROAD



Mumbles Tourist Information Centre Mumbles Methodist Church 520b Mumbles Road Mumbles, Swansea SA3 4DH 01792 361302

caswell bay Ideal swell: WSW Bottom: Sand Max/Min rideable: 6’/2’ Wave type: Beach, L&R Best tide: Not low Best wind: NE

langland bay langland bay

Supervised beach

city centre...

The Dragon Hotel boasts 106 bedrooms, AA rosette Brasserie, Piano Bar, 18m heated swimming pool and a fully equipped gymnasium.

to/from City Centre

Published by: / iÊ-ÕÀviÀÃ½Ê >« PO Box 83 Swansea SA3 4XX } ÜiÀÃÕÀviÀà >«J} > °V

Break rating


Located in the http://issuu.com/gowernews/docs/gowersurfersmap2012 heart of Swansea’s Design and production: GMID Design/Brand 01792 641350 www.GMID.co.uk

71m 05m 22m 25m 15m 48 94m 61m 20m 74m 24m -9m 2m 23m 81m 33m 74m 04m 25m 35m 32m 13m 76m 22m 62m 33m 16m 52m 12m 67m 04m



Gower Surfers’ Map ©2012 ÊÀ } ÌÃÊÀiÃiÀÛi`°Ê1 >ÕÌ À Ãi`Ê copying or reproduction is prohibited.



To adjust for British Summertime, add 1 hour from 01.00 March 27th to 01.00 October 30th For approximate low water time, add 6hrs 15 minutes.

(see local signs for details)


Car park


Tourist Information Centre


Ideal swell: WSW Bottom: Mixed Max/Min rideable: 10’/2’ Wave type: Beach, L&R Best tide: All Best wind: N



mumbles head

Remember, going in the sea is a potentially dangerous activity. This is a guide only. Take notice of all local advice and signs. Please exercise common sense and caution.





Start Ups

A shop selling ethically sourced goods has been established at the Gower Heritage Centre, Parkmill, Gower. Run locally by Andrew Jones, the shop stocks goods supplied by Gringo. People wishing to access the shop only are not required to purchase tickets to the Heritage Centre. Opening hours: www.gowerheritagecentre.co.uk Gringo’s aim since 1988 has been to promote fair trade by helping disadvantaged people in the developing world to improve their lives with pride through trade. Gringo is a fair trade wholesaler based in Swansea. 41


Forthcoming Fundraising Events

BHF South Wales Bike Ride 2012 When? Sunday 16th September 2012 – Start 9am Finish 4pm Who? Everyone! Why? Challenge yourself, have fun and raise money for the British Heart Foundation How much? Adults £15 Children £7.50 Where? Swansea Recreation Ground Contact: British Heart Foundation Events Team 0800 169 3672 | www.bhf.org.uk/southwales

Article written by: Ben at Nucleus, Swansea – a local supplier of Surf Clothing and Skate Shoes. 42


BHF South Wales Bike Ride 2012 Gower Bike Ride: The Legend Lives On... Gower has far surpassed iconic status, nowadays, Gower is talked about as though it were some kind of legend. There are many reasons for this “legendary” status but one exceptionally important reason is the popular Gower Bike Ride (now known as the BHF South Wales Bike Ride). In existence for over 25 years, this challenging and extremely fun bike ride takes its participants on the adventure of a lifetime. Over 1000 riders get involved in the bike ride ever year, raising thousands of pounds for the British Heart Foundation – as if you needed another good reason to spend the day cycling around the beautiful Gower peninsula! Everybody is welcome and there are 3 routes to choose from, each as beautiful as the other, some more family friendly than others. All routes start and finish at Swansea Recreation Ground – if you make it all the way! The 16 Mile “Family Friendly” Route The 16 mile route, which is by no means an “easy option”, makes use of the Gower’s fantastic cycle paths which offer the ideal riding route for families and youngsters alike! The 29 Mile “Gower Coast Adventure” Route For those who want to make the most of the beautiful Gower coast, but are not ready for the gruelling 50 mile route, this 29 mile route is ideal. Adventuring towards the West, there really isn’t a better way to see the amazing Gower coastline! The 50 Mile “Mean Machine” Route For the seasoned cyclist who wants to put their training to good use, the 50 mile route will push you to your limits. The route has an extension from the original Gower Bike Ride route and continues on from Fforestfach junction towards Penllergaer via the A483. It approaches Pontarddulais, Llanelli, Gorseinon, Loughor and Waunarlywydd before rejoining the original route along the Gower coast. Be warned, you may need some training before taking on this challenge, but for those that do, the rewards are great! Which ever route you decide to take, just remember to stay safe and ride hard! 43



Pwlldu Head Rural Circular from Pennard Cliffs to Pwlldu Head A gentle to moderate 3.6 mile circular walk from Pennard Cliffs to Pwlldu Head. Words and pictures by Ian Ambrose | Editor, Gower News View this GPS tracked route by visiting Gower News on Runkeeper: http://runkeeper.com/user/gowernews/activity/79102710 With the official opening of the Wales Coast Path taking place in May, this walk takes in part of the Gower and Swansea Bay route providing picturesque coastal views and a taste of rural life in the village of Pennard, Gower.

Cardiff will mark the opening of the Wales Coast Path with a launch event in Cardiff Bay at 11am on Saturday 5th May, where Environment Minister, John Griffiths, will officially open the 870mile/1400km path.

The Wales Coast Path is due to officially open on 5th May 2012 Walks across Wales will take place to coincide with the launch. Details of organised walks can be found on the Ramblers Cymru website: www.ramblers.org.uk/wales 44


walkingthegower.co.uk The walk starts and finishes at Pennard Cliffs; parking is available at the National Trust car park. There is also a public toilet, a shop and two places to grab light refreshments: Three Cliffs Coffee Shop and Maddocks’ Tea Rooms. Allow about 2 hours for the walk - longer if you intend venturing down to Pwlldu Bay before completing the return leg of the walk. Don’t forget to wear suitable clothing and let someone know where you’re heading and what time you’ll be back!

Wales Coast Path

Discover the shape of a nation



Officially opening on 5th May 2012, and with 870 miles of great walking opportunities, the Wales Coast Path allows you to explore the coastal landscape of Wales and enjoy the many delights along the way.

Rhyl Flint




Highlights along the way North Wales Coast & Dee Estuary

Heritage: Wales’ tumultuous past and recent industrial history is in evidence all over the country, and the Coast Path takes you right alongside some of the most fascinating buildings and places. Why not visit Conwy castle, a World Heritage Site and “incomparably the most magnificent of Edward I’s Welsh fortresses”.


Wonderful sandy beaches, family friendly towns and villages, with access to Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail.

Nefyn Abersoch

Isle of Anglesey


Environment: It might be a coast path, but that doesn’t mean to say there’s only the sea to look at. Keep your eyes on the landward side of the route too, and you’ll not be disappointed by the scenery around you. Why not explore the Isle of Anglesey with its stunning geology – it was recently awarded Geopark status.


Escape to this beautiful Welsh island so rich in history, stunning scenery and wide sandy beaches.


Menai, Llyˆn & Meirionnydd This beautiful and often remote region has the mighty Snowdonia National Park as a natural backdrop.

Machynlleth Aberdovey

Coast Path already open and promoted. Improvements are ongoing.


Coast Path not yet promoted. However, many stretches can already be walked.

The majestic sweep of Cardigan Bay affords the walker glimpses of dolphins and porpoise, seals and a host of marine birds.

Wildlife: See rare and protected species of sea birds and wildfowl, large populations of dolphins and seals, walk nature trails, visit nature reserves where wildlife abounds. The Path is truly a paradise for nature lovers. Why not try spotting bottlenose dolphins at New Quay?


Family Fun: The coast of Wales is a great place for families, with a huge range of activities, amusements, castles, nature trails and wildlife reserves, country parks and places to picnic, boat trips to see dolphins and seals, funfairs and adventure centres. Why not try crabbing with expert guides from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Pembrokeshire Explore rugged cliffs, golden beaches and hidden coves in this paradise for wildlife lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


Cycling: There are cycling opportunities in many locations on the Coast Path and great links inland where you can explore some of the finest coastal scenery in Europe. Why not try the 12 mile award-winning Millennium Coastal Path, linking Llanelli and Pembrey Country Park.

Carmarthenshire Cardigan

Soak up the culture and heritage and explore the estuaries of Tywi, Taf and Gwendraeth.

Gower & Swansea Bay

Arts & Crafts: Skilled and proud artists have been a feature of Welsh life for centuries. Inspired by beautiful and dramatic countryside, the range of natural materials available to them, and the history all around them, those traditions thrive today. Why not visit the Dylan Thomas Centre to explore the life and works of this famous Welsh son.


An area of contrasts - from the busy seaside city of Swansea to the stunning coastline of the Gower Peninsula with its award winning golden beaches.

St Davids

Beach Lovers: Enjoy some of the most picturesque and unspoilt beaches in the whole of Britain. In 2011, Keep Wales Tidy awarded the coveted Blue Flag award to 42 Welsh beaches, based on their clean water, litter-free shoreline, visitor amenities and safety. Why not visit Whitmore Bay, Barry Island, for a traditional seaside experience (and as seen on TV’s Gavin & Stacey).


South Wales Coast & Severn Estuary City life, industrial heritage, wildlife watching opportunities and spectacular scenery sit side by side on this constantly changing coastline.

Adrenalin: From abseiling to white water rafting, world-class mountain biking to paragliding, karting to wall climbing, Wales has everything to offer those seeking adventure and an adrenalin buzz. Its stunning coastline and hinterland host a huge range of year-round outdoor activities for all ages. Why not try sea cliff climbing with expert guidance in Menai, Llyˆn and Meirionnydd.

Pembroke Llanelli



Swansea Newport Port Talbot



Barry Island

Photographs © Crown copyright (2011) Visit Wales The completion of an 870 mile long Wales Coast Path by 2012 is a key Welsh Government commitment. The development programme is managed by the Countryside Council for Wales and funded by the Welsh Government, European Regional Development Fund (through the Environment for Growth theme of the Convergence Programme) and the sixteen local authorities and two National Parks through which the path passes.




Swansea City Centre


The Gower Peninsula


Pwlldu Head



SOUTHGATE Pwlldu Wood Start and Finish

P Pwlldu Bay

Graves End Pwlldu Head




Walking the Gower Pwlldu (Part 3) On the previous two walks, featured in the Gower e-News publication, we approached Pwlldu Bay from Caswell Bay and also from Bishopston. This time we approach Pwlldu from the west starting in the village of Southgate, Gower, commencing at Pennard Cliffs. The red arrow on the map opposite points the way to Pwlldu Bay for those wishing to explore the isolated bay with its iconic pebble storm-bank feature. The route from Southgate is reasonably gentle, although there are a few climbs in places - particularly around Pwlldu Head itself. Take care near cliff edges and be sure to keep your dog/s under control as this route passes through farm areas where livestock may be present.

Other related walks in Gower News’ ‘Walking the Gower’ series: ❖ ❖

Caswell to Pwlldu Bishopston to Pwlldu www.walkingthegower.co.uk

This walk is easily accessible by bus: the number 14/14A service from Swansea City Centre stops at the start/finish point. See local bus timetables for further details. If you are looking to make a day of it, then check out the previous walks which can be connected to make one mega walk.



Walk ❖ From the National Trust car park at Southgate, head in a south easterly direction following the coastal path. ❖ If the weather is fine then there are plenty of good places to stop along the coastal path to take in the scenery. When visibility is right you can often see the North Devonshire coastline; even Lundy Island out to the south west in the Bristol Channel can be seen when the conditions are right! ❖ After about 15 minutes - providing you are on the path near the cliffs - you will come across a bench which is another nice place to stop and appreciate the views. The area to the left and below is Hunts Bay - a popular fishing spot at low tide. ❖ From the bench continue along the path which heads inland slightly whilst passing Hunts Farm on the left. ❖ Head down the footpath on the right hand side and straight up the other side on reaching the bottom. ❖ Continue to follow the path, meandering slightly through the odd area of bracken and the like. ❖ From here take the path that leads inland and away from the cliffs alongside a fenced off piece of land. ❖ Continue ahead and down the path which will eventually bear left. From here you will again have a clear view of the coast. ❖ Follow the rocky/uneven path covered by overhanging trees. ❖ On reaching the opening at the end of this path, head up to the left and through the wooden gate. ❖ Continue along the path until reaching another gate leading into an open field. Head across the field and through the next two gates. ❖ You should now be at the return point of the walk. If you wish to venture down to Pwlldu Bay, simply follow the road down to the right, observing the signposts for directions. ❖ To complete the walk, bear left along the road through farm land. ❖ Eventually you will reach Hunts Farm - you can either follow the path along the road back to Southgate, or retrace your earlier steps along the cliffs. ❖ For those looking for light refreshments, there are two options: Three Cliffs Coffee Shop (open 7 days a week) or Maddocks’ Tea Room (see tea room window for opening days/hours). 48


walkingthegower.co.uk Hunts Bay/Pennard Cliffs

As we have already read in Frances Bevan’s ‘Shipwrecks and Smuggling’ article, the Gower coast has seen its fair share of shipping disasters. Notably in 1760, 65 people are said to have drowned as a result of the Caesar, on which they were travelling, running aground on an area off Pwlldu Head. The area marked by a rough circle of stones and marked ‘Graves End’ on the Ordnance Survey 164 map is the mass grave of those who perished on 5th November 1760. 49



Touchwood Garden (Killay) opens May and June 2012. See the special collections of Aquilegias at: 4 Clyne Valley Cottages, Killay, Swansea, SA2 7DU Entrance: £1.50, children free. For further information about opening times and/or to make an appointment, please contact Carrie Thomas: (01792) 522443 carrie@touchwoodplants.co.uk www.touchwoodplants.co.uk 50


Carrie Thomas: Touchwood Garden (Killay) Aquilegia vulgaris is one of our beautiful native wild flowers, also known as granny's bonnets, columbines and blodau'r sipsi. Their easy nature and unusual nodding flowers endeared them to ancient cottagers, who bought the wild plants home to grow them, so they have been a popular cottage garden plant for many centuries. Besides the single flowers in a wide range of colours, there are also many different types of double forms that are most desirable, again in a wide colour range, including bicoloured ones. Touchwood opens each Saturday and Sunday from 19th May until 10th June 2012 - keep an eye on the 'garden open' page of www.touchwoodplants.co.uk for updates. However, you don’t need to wait until a weekend to visit Touchwood; it's better if people spread out their visits throughout the week, as parking’s limited. If I'm in, then the garden's open, just ring 522443 or email me on carrie.thomas@ntlworld.com to arrange a suitable time to visit.

New for 2012: Blessings Day Garden entry is free on 24th May 2012 from 1-4pm. You’re invited to come along to bless the garden, plants, flowers, bees and other helpers both seen and unseen. Receive blessings from the garden in return. This will be a chance to be ‘peacefully in the moment’ as you enjoy the special atmosphere amon gst these rare plants. 51



Population, Climate Change and Natural Resources by Chris Ridgway It has been quite an interesting month in terms of weather and Earth Science. There has been a number of newsgrabbing headlines, including: potentially the coldest May in a 100 years; drought conditions across England; and Environment Agency warnings about river and reservoir levels in Wales. Ironically, these followed not so long afterwards with other headlines claiming that April would be the wettest since 2000! However, there is a topic that the various media outlets haven’t really considered or investigated before they put out their ‘drought condition’ and ‘hose pipe ban’ headlines. In short, the affect that the population has on demand for natural resources - in this case, Water - hasn’t really featured in weather-related news lately. It also reveals how as a society, despite all our technological advances, we are still susceptible to the vagaries of the ever-changing natural world. Why these subjects appear to be taboo with mainstream media and commentators, I don’t know? You may have noticed, certainly over the last 3-4 winters, it has been relatively drier and cooler than the ‘traditional’ wet British autumns/winters. In terms of weather patterns it’s nothing new. Whether it’s drier, colder winters, warm hot summers or washout summers, they have all happened before for thousands of years in the grand cycle of ever changing weather patterns and climate changes. The factor that has changed in the equation over the millennia, is that over the 20th Century, the United Kingdom and the World in general has become more populated, especially in dense urban metropolises. 52


Population, Climate Changes and Natural Resources


As a society, despite all our technological advances, we are still susceptible to the vagaries of the ever-changing natural world.




Weather Past natural climate changes and society The early 21st Century currently sees the UK with a relatively large population on a relatively small island. This makes us highly susceptible to other vagaries and changes in weather and long-term climate changes. It is not only the demand on fresh water that becomes an issue, it is the pressures the are placed on other natural resources too. As many readers know, I am an advocate of the solar theory governing changes in weather and climate. The geological evidence suggest there is a correlation between the activity (cycles) of the Sun and changes to the Earth’s climate. For example: within the last 1000 years, from William the Conqueror to the present, we have experienced the Medieval Warm Period (circa 900-1315) and a Little Ice Age (1315-1850). Furthermore, there were many fluctuations between warm and cold prior to this since the end of the last Ice Age. Some scientists are suggesting that solar activity will start to wane over the next 30-40 years. This could potentially lead to significant cooling of the Earth. The worst-case scenario is a repeat of a Maunder (1645-1710) / Dalton (1790-1830) style minimum. These were periods in history when there was exceptionally low solar activity leading to prolonged 40-50 year cooling of the Earth, resulting in Dickensian style winters, Icebergs off Scotland, and the freezing of the river Thames in London!



Population, Climate Changes and Natural Resources Pressures on food and energy Of course, such phenomena is the worst-case scenario. However any significant cooling will still have profound affects on resources such as energy and food production, which currently as a country we are ill prepared for. Given our population and increasing population, in years to come, if the Earth starts to cool, clearly the demand for energy increases as we have to keep warm. As a result of the increased demand, energy prices are likely to increase too. For those vulnerable in society, the affordability of energy costs becomes an issue. Therefore pressures are added to the socio-economic resources like the NHS and Social Services etc. Equally important are the pressures placed on food production. A cooler Earth could potentially see declines in food production due to shorter growing seasons, especially for staple crops like Wheat. The lower volume of product inevitably leads to price increases, coupled of course with the extra cost of energy needed to produce it. In essence, the situation becomes a vicious circle. A familiar sounding pattern of weather We have been lucky until know, we have basked in the 0.8°C warming over the last 150 years since the end of the Little Ice Age (1850). However, nature never stands still; it is a dynamic system constantly changing from periods of warm to cool and back again. It is becoming apparent that the ‘extremities’ in the weather across the globe of recent years is almost a prelude to a potential oncoming cooling period - and it is not unprecedented either! Historical evidence tells us that around the years of transition from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age - from around 1315-1330 - the weather patterns fluctuated widely from consecutive ‘washout summers’ to ‘bitter cold winters’ to ‘baking warm summers’! Any of this sound familiar? 55





Population, Climate Changes and Natural Resources Adapting for changes The poor people of Medieval Britain must not known what hit them: wild swings in weather, crop failures, diseases, the landscape physically changing before their eyes! Clearly they didn’t understand at the time what had hit them! They must have thought the world was falling apart - or some sort of divine retribution! However, they survived it; and they adapted. What a great trait of Homo sapiens. Perhaps a significant factor here was that the population was far smaller than it is today, so the pressures on natural resources for food and warmth were clearly smaller too. The challenge for us today, is how we, as a society, adapt to any potential future changes like our medieval ancestors did. It is also up to politicians and governments to recognise the impact these ‘potential and not to distant problems’ may cause. It is their duty to work out how a large population can endure the rigours of natural climate changes and ensure the infrastructure (energy, water, food production etc.) is in place for society to cope and continue to thrive and advance into the 21st century.

The challenge for us today, is how we, as a society, adapt to any potential future changes like our medieval ancestors did.



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Issue 12 - 27/04/2012 - Copyright 2012 - All Rights Reserved

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