Friends, colleagues, actors, and all good people of our ancient town of Llandovery, formally the Roman town of ALIBUM, lend me your ears!
It is I, Horatio Nelson, Theatre Cat of Llandovery calling to you from my celestial star to answer the question above.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Like many Theatres, all over the country, LLANDOVERY THEATRE was forced to close due to the pandemic, though we were not inactive, as we love our Theatre and with the help of friends kept it safe and beautiful.
In the past year we have been working to be able to be active and welcoming to the visitors to the Urdd Eisteddfod when tragedy struck!
A blistering hot summer last year, followed by torrential rain and in November ‘the ice age’! The roads and pavements so dangerous that no self-respecting cat would venture out, but when the ice melted – DISASTER!
The WALL outside the Theatre in STONE STREET collapsed into the road; described as sounding like two strikes of lightning , as first the innards of the wall fell like an avalanche, and then the lintel crashed down after. Mercifully no-one was hurt! But I have to say Jacky had, what might be termed a grade 6 nervous breakdown at the news.
There followed weeks of search for professionals to rebuild, while we examined and reassessed the damage and how to put it right.
We stared and stared at the debris and the wreck when suddenly it dawned on us.
Did we actually own the WALL in Stone Street? We examined the early deeds of the BRITISH SCHOOL, (now Llandovery Theatre) when in 1867 the Llynwernwood Estate gave a field of 851 sq yards for the building of a school for adults and children of the poor in the Parish of Llandingat.
The Stone Street WALL is around 200 years old, built in stone (what else!) with lime mortar, it’s foundations are in Stone Street and it is built against four feet of soil, It is a HOLDING WALL!
Stone Street is marked on the Surveyor’s drawing of 1867, and, therefore the WALL in Stone Street, holding up 4 feet of ground, predates the gift of land from the Llynwernwood Estate to build the British School in 1867. Ergo, the WALL does not belong to the Theatre.
We have written to our County Council and explained that the WALL in Stone Street was the property of the Carmarthenshire County way before 1867 and they are the owners today on behalf of the good people of Llandovery and Llandingat, and not forgetting Llynwernwood, the home of King Charles 111 when he was our Prince of Wales.
We theatre people are obedient folk, and when the County Council told us to mend the wall, and get it rebuilt before the Urdd Eisteddfod, we obeyed!
If you know Stone Street , go and have a look at the restoration. It is the work of Dylan Thomas! No, not the actor poet but certainly an artist in stonework!
We expect to hear soon from our County Council and patiently await their response.
In the meantime Llandovery Theatre can turn attention to creative projects, plans for a film on the history of the building from its early days and what about a FEMALE VOICE CHOIR? Stand up comedy? A production of UNDER MILK WOOD – these are just some of the dreams we dream of.
So friends, if you are interested to be involved and help us re-open our building and make our theatre available for all to enjoy, please, please contact us – go on our Web page Llandovery Theatre.com and Facebook and leave us a message , tell us what you can do for us, and what we can do for you.
Thank you, and here’s hoping for a wonderful spring and warm but gentle summer.
Stone Street and Victoria Crescent
P.S. What are you doing?
The drawing is by Gwennie aged 6, daughter of Charlotte Turtle , the caption is by Gwennie’s Dad , age unknown to the writer!