A delegation from Charleville Heritage Society travelled to Fishguard in Wales over the Christmas period to further discuss the feasibility of twinning the local society with that of the Croesgoch Heritage Society, which is located in the village just outside of Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Contact has been made with Martin Roberts the chairman of the Croesgoch group last October and the visit of PJ McCarthy, Michael Donegan and Michael McGrath was a follow-up to those discussions. The mutual reaction was that such an arrangement would be beneficial to both organisations as both have a lot in common, such as that both are located in intensive farming areas, albeit Charleville is inland, while Croesgoch is primarily adjacent to the Pembrokeshire coast. The close-by village of Abereiddy’s Blue Lagoon is the location for a heat of the Red Bull World Cliff Diving Series, which occurs in September of this year.
Martin Roberts, a retired secondary school teacher is the driving force behind the Heritage Group and he is in much demand as a historian delivering after dinner talks and lectures to groups within a wide radius of Croesgoch. “Our focus is on young people and we organise a local history competition titled ‘Harvesting Our Past’ among the school children, where we ask the children (aged 8 – 13 years) to complete a history project by selecting a topic such as a field, a farm, a mill or building etc., and then to research it and write up the history with assistance from their parents and grandparents so that three generations are involved. They then submit their project, which is judged by a panel of heritage exerts.” said Martin.
The winners get a trophy and entries have also been submitted to national competition, where the entrants have also been very successful. They have already been Highly Commended in the UK National Parks Volunteer Awards in 2013, the Age Friendly Community Awards in 2013 and were also winners of ‘The 2016 Welsh Schools Heritage Initiative.’
The Croesgoch Heritage Group was formed by a group of people interested in local history in 2006 and they meet every month in the village church hall. They organise the exhibition of the children’s local history projects in the vestry attached to the local Baptist Church where the parents and other local people come to view the work of the children.
The village of Croesgoch (which translates from the Welsh as Red Cross) is some six miles from the port of Fishguard, which will be so familiar to the thousands of Irish emigrants from the Munster area, who travelled from the Port of Cork on the ship the ‘Innisfallen.’ when they left the country to seek employment in the U.K in the fifties and sixties.
The outcome of the meeting was that both organisations decided to enter into a twinning arrangement, which will be formalised when the Welsh delegation visits Charleville later on this year.