Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tuesday 31st - Visiting Leicester

Richard III - earliest surviving painting dated c1529
Crowds file past Richard III's statue as they queue to see the coffin in Leicester Cathedral
The coffin of Richard III
Thousands flocked to Leicester for a week of events which began on Sunday 29th March with Richard’s last journey from Bosworth Field to Leicester Cathedral: thousands of people lined the route.  Thousands more went to see him lie in state in the Cathedral during the 3 days prior to his interment there, all of which was broadcast live to the nation.  It was infectious and I have to admit, I was there. By coincidence I had planned a trip to Bosworth some time ago, following as I do the Tudor story:  I wanted to see the place where it all happened.  So I just couldn’t resist going up to Leicester to see the coffin bearing Richard’s mortal remains in Leicester Cathedral – even though it meant queuing up for well over an hour! 

Friday March 20th - Haggar's Night

William Haggar 1851-1925 - Pioneer of the British Film Industry
Vicki Haggar tell the story of her great grandfather, William Haggar
Sue Howley plays the piano accompaniment to the silent movies
It was full house at Pembroke Town Hall on Friday March 20th when the Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society held a ‘Night at the Silent Movies’ in celebration of the life and work of William Haggar  (1851-1925), a pioneer of the film industry.  Haggar’s Night was a real trip into the past, to a time over a century ago when those silent, moving pictures were an amazing new invention.  It was Vicki Haggar, great granddaughter of William Haggar, who introduced the event.  
Between 1902 and 1909, Haggar made between 40 to 60 films but only a few survive.  Thanks to the Haggar family we are fortunate to have copies of five, including the Maid of Cefn Ydfa which, in its day, was a sensation and made Haggar’s fortune: these have been deposited in Pembroke Museum and form an important part of our collection.  During the course of the evening the films were shown to live piano accompaniment by musician and composer Sue Howley.  We were fortunate indeed to have Sue play for us – she is a brilliant pianist interpreting the films in her music which breathed new life into them.  This is how they were meant to be seen and the experience was quite enthralling. 
 The evening ended to the stirring notes of God Save the Queen (as was once the custom).  I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed Haggar’s Night – certainly one of the most memorable events we as a Society have staged.

Friday March 20th - solar eclipse in Pembroke

The solar eclipse in Pembroke
A bright sunny day, without a cloud in the sky - so here in Pembroke we could see the eclipse but it was only a partial one, covering 70 per cent of the sun.  Although by no means dark, yet a subdued, rather eerie light threw the castle into shadow while previously it was lit by brilliant sunshine.