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Treasure hunters find rings in west Wales

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goldringTREASURE hunters from the Pembrokeshire Prospectors Society, Kevin Higgs and Phil Jenkins, have discovered late medieval and Renaissance gold and silver rings. While using a metal detector, Kevin Higgs discovered a late medieval ring in Pembroke in 2014. Dating back to the 14th century, the ring is of part-hollow construction, with a hexagonal bezel set with a small uncut (cabochon) blue sapphire.

Milford Haven Maritime and Heritage Museum has expressed their interest in acquiring the ring for their collection. A silver-gilt posy-ring finger ring was also found at Carew by Mr Higgs while he was metal detecting in June, the year previously. Narberth Museum have said that they wish to acquire the item. Another Pembrokeshire Prospectors Society member, Phil Jenkins, found a silver gilt fede (faith) ring in Lamphey in October 2013.

The outside of the hoop had a late medieval inscription reading: ‘jaspar: melchior: baltazar’ in a mixture of upper and lower case crude black letter script. This legend invokes the names of the magi, or Three Kings, supposed to be especially effective against falling sickness and fever. Tenby Museum have expressed their desire in acquiring the faith rings. In December 2014, Mr Jenkins also found a gold religious finger ring, engraved with an image of St Catherine holding a sword, in Llandissilio.

A symbol of her martyrdom, a wheel, protrudes from St Catherine’s left side. The hoop is decorated on the shoulders and sides with sprigs and the inside of the hoop bears the legend ‘•en•boen•eure•’ (‘In Good Year’) in late medieval Black Letter script. According to Dr Redknap, such iconographic rings can bear one or more Christian figures or scenes engraved on the bezel, such as the Annunciation with Angel on one panel and Mary on a second panel. Common legends are de bon cuer (‘Be of good heart’) and en boen an.

The discoveries were first reported to the co-ordinator of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales (PAS Cymru), Mark Lodwick, and subsequently reported on by Dr Mark Redknap, who is head of Collections & Research in the Department of History & Archaeology at the National Museum Wales. Dr Redknap said: “These cases provide an intimate insight into fashions and personal devotion circulating in Wales in the later medieval and early modern periods.

“These are significant additions to the growing database of treasure cases from Wales, and will enrich existing collections at the local museums in Tenby, Narberth and Milford Haven who can acquire the artefacts through funds via the Saving Treasures, Telling Stories project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. “Visitors to National Museum Cardiff this year can also see fantastic Welsh treasures alongside extraordinary treasures from all over the world in our exciting exhibition Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology which is on until October.”

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Free parking in Ceredigion for the three Saturdays before Christmas

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PARKNG will be free in all Ceredigion County Council operated Pay and Display car parks on the three Saturdays preceding Christmas this year.

The development follows a decision made the by the Council’s Cabinet on 16 October 2018. Parking charges at Council operated Pay and Display car parks will be waived on 8, 15 and 22 December 2018.

The Cabinet Member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services, Councillor Dafydd Edwards said, “Christmas is a very important time of year for many small businesses in our towns. This decision will support people to prepare for the festivities locally and help small businesses compete with the increasing influence of online shopping.”

The decision contributes towards one of the Council’s corporate priorities of boosting the economy.

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Development of the Welsh Language at Ysgol Bro Pedr a step forward

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A CONSULTATION is to take place on the development of the medium of instruction to Welsh in the foundation phase at Ysgol Bro Pedr, Lampeter.

On 15 March 2018, members of Ysgol Bro Pedr’s Governing Body unanimously agreed to support a consultation on the development of the medium of instruction in the Foundation Phase. In its meeting on 16 October 2018, Cabinet supported and approved the Governing Body’s decision to commence a consultation to develop the medium of instruction to Welsh in the foundation phase at Ysgol Bro Pedr.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services and Lifelong Learning, said, “The Governing body’s decision to seek approval to proceed to consultation supports the wider context noted in Ceredigion’s WESP, to see more seven year old children being educated through the medium of Welsh. The decision also supports the Council’s aim to teach Ceredigion pupils so that they are fully bilingual when they leave primary school and to develop this ability during their time in secondary education.”

Currently, pupils transferring from the reception class to Year 1 are taught in separate classrooms. One classroom is taught mainly through the medium of English and the other through the medium of Welsh. Implementing the decision of the Governing Body would mean that only Welsh-medium education would be provided to the end of the Foundation Phase. English and Welsh medium classes would continue in Key Stage 2.

The formal consultation will begin on 06 November 2018 with an opportunity to present views and comments on the proposal or express support for status quo. In addition, drop in sessions will also be undertaken at the school to allow parents to discuss the proposals in detail with members of the Governing Body and County Council officers.

The Cabinet decision contributes towards realising the Council’s corporate priorities within the Corporate Strategy of investing in people’s future.

If the proposal is approved following the consultation, it would be implemented from 01 September 2019. However, pupils currently receiving their education in the Foundation Phase through the medium of English would continue to do so until they enter Key Stage 2.

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Margaret Jones: 100th birthday of award winning Ceredigion illustrator

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CEREDIGION MUSEUM celebrates the 100th birthday of award winning Ceredigion illustrator Margaret Jones with an exclusive exhibition.

The exhibition Margaret Jones: Celebrating 100, highlighting the career of award winning illustrator Margaret Jones on the eve of her 100th birthday, includes early sketches and unseen drawings owned by the Jones family themselves. The exclusive exhibition opens the door to this famous painter’s art, inviting visitors to discover the ideas, sketches and inner workings of her iconic paintings and illustrations.

The exhibition will feature previously unseen original prints from the ‘Arthur’ series and rare prints from unpublished work including ‘Seven days of the week’, which looks at how the names of the days of the week derive from the sagas of the Nordic Kings and Queens. Archive photo albums and unpublished books will be shown alongside the drawings and prints giving an intimate view of the artist and her life.

Ceredigion Museum’s assistant curator Alice Briggs said, “It has been wonderful to have the chance to delve through the portfolios of Margaret Jones, to discover more about her process of creating her illustrations and to learn more of her own detailed knowledge of the storytelling traditions in which she has illustrated.”

Becoming a professional painter at the age of 60, Margaret became known as one of the leading illustrators in the Celtic tradition and other folklore. Born in England, Margaret brought up her own young family in India with her husband, before being appointed as lecturer in Education Studies at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. Here, her portrayal of the Mabinogi has defined the way a generation of children in Wales imagine the folklore of the nation’s past.

Professor Sioned Davies, the former Head of Welsh at Cardiff University, whose ongoing contribution to Welsh language and culture is highly influential, will open the exhibition on Saturday 27 October at 2pm. All museum visitors are very welcome to attend the official opening.

The Margaret Jones: Celebrating 100 free exhibition will run at Ceredigion Museum gallery from Saturday, 27 October 2018 until 5 January 2019.

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