She remembered the fun occasions when we could walk into the school playing fields early in the morning and collect the mushrooms. I remember a cat that we had - called Oedi (Oedi-puss-rex of course) who used to enjoy coming for a walk with us under the trees that by the main wall. Times have clearly changed as we drive passed. Have you noticed how all the schools now have the large, normally green, metal fencing around them and locked gates. No more using the school playing fields for a walk with the dog - the occasional golf shot or seeing kids playing football or rugby in their spare time. It seems to have crept up slowly, but all the open fields now seem to be fenced off. Probably saves on the vandalism, or maybe it is to prevent "strange" people entering the grounds in the aftermath of greater awareness of sexual predators, or Dunblaine style horrors..
But I recall some good times at the old police house... It was cold - I remember that!! We had a back-boiler Rayburn which never really did much with the rest of the house except heat the water. We used to go down to the beach to collect driftwood, to save on coal - times were tight... The front door had to be locked and covered with a curtain to keep the heat from just disappearing - but I remember most of if kindly...
And its location was just within the grounds of Stradey Castle - the stately home of Sir David Mansell-Lewis and his wife Lady Mary... He was Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed. The entrance to the castle grounds was next to the police house by the converted gatehouse known as Red Lodge. It was an ideal place to walk the dogs and children, and only on a couple of occasions did I meet the tall lady in a well used waterproof, who turned out to be Lady Mary herself.
I introduced myself as the Policeman at the end of her garden and she seemed unconcerned that I was strolling around her front garden.
I only called in the house once, it was on a business call - I think it was in relation to advance security for a royal visit. The drawing room shows a seating list for a dinner party with the Queen and Prince Phillip, and some 8 other guests and family, hand written - with ruled pencil marks and hand written names. That was in the late 70's so it may have been associated with that - I do not really recall. But what I do recall was that Sir David did all his work standing up.
I have not gone back into the house again until this week, when Patrick and Claire Mansell- Lewis, who are the current residents and have been refurbishing the building over the last few years, were happy to have the Susie's Choir - Cor Curiad in for three nights to raise money for Ty Bryngwyn Hospice with a musical evening and Carols... I missed two of the concerts but managed to attend the one last Thursday to help with the set up and to provide the mulled wine and stewarding.
But it was also the opportunity to see a few of the rooms of the castle - which is now a wedding venue and accepts tours...
My own telephone camera fails to show the full effect, but they made a nice job of making the room festive.. This was the room used back in the seventies to entertain the Queen. She sat with her back to the fireplace - with Prince Phillip opposite...
So, a good evening was had by all, an opportunity to look inside one of the local places of interest upon my doorstep - enjoy a concert, and raise some money for a good cause..
And with those few thoughts I leave you with this
More than one way to fight your enemies - escalation and new technology rule!