Friday, 19 March 2010

The Friends of Oystermouth Castle

Great news! I contacted the chairman of the Friends of Oystermouth Castle to tell him I had finished the first draft of the book, and he invited me to their AGM last night. I also sent him a copy of the book, which he said he would look at before the meeting.

I was the last item on the agenda under 'Any Other Business', but the meeting itself was very interesting, and I have a copy of the plans for the refurbishment and development of the castle over the next few years. They hope to have up to £2.2m to spend, and the plans, especially for the visitors centre in Alina's chapel, are fabulous.

Anyway, I was nervous that they would say that it had been done before, or not be very interested, but the members were great. They all thought it was a great idea, and 12 people have offered to read it - I emailed it to two, and the rest will have photocopies from the chairman. Several people stopped to give me encouragement, and one was a Swansea Councillor, who said he would give me every assistance, and just to ask him if there was anything he could do. He offered to pass the manuscript on to the project manager for the castle development, in Swansea Council. So who knows what will happen.

The chairman was impressed with the book and made some useful comments (like the fact that I spelled 'peninsula' with an r at the end!). I will wait for comment from the others before I start revision. I am much more confident now than I was before.

Monday, 8 March 2010

William at War

Here is a brief list of William's service in war:
1277 & 1282 William served the king during the wars in North Wales
1286 William served with the king on the Continent
1287 Swansea Castle damaged by Rhys ap Meredith. Sacked and burned the town. Castle badly damaged.
1288 Blockade of [Newcastle] Emlyn started 1st Jan. 10th Jan William's siege engine arrived. 20th Jan castle fell with no man lost
1294 William served in west Wales where English settlements were being devastated by the Welsh.
1295/6 Served as 'keeper of the peace' in West Wales
1296 Served in Scotland
1296-98 Served in Flanders
April 1298 William was appointed a commissioner of array, to raise infantry from Gower to fight the Scots in Carlisle
June 1298 Fought at Falkirk – helped defeat William Wallace
July 1304 Reward for service in Scotland, the king granted a charter in October to William for royal jurisdiction
1310 William fought in Scotland
1314 William fought in Scotland at Bannockburn
1317 Another Scottish campaign