Sunday, 15 August 2010

Last Invasion of Britain 1797 or How Welsh Women Vanquished Napoleon

We've had busy few days (when haven't we!!) with more silage making and more visitors.
The Sons have been off making silage for the Farmer's brother on his farm about 15 miles away which has involved a lot of to-ing & fro-ing of tractors and various pieces of kit buthe weather was ideal and the crop is safely in which is the main thing.

The puppies are doing very well...when I went out to feed them this morning they were all 13 of them deeply asleep in a multi-cloured huddle, many of them lying on their backs with their tiny paws twitching in milky dreams with a musical accompaniment of squeaks & sighs. It was a pity to disturb them so they will be fed a little later when they wake up and can go outside in the sunshine.

We have had a college friend of the Farmer's, and one of his sons staying for a few days. We had not seen them for a few years and so it was lovely to catch up again.
On Friday we went down to Newport Pembs. to visit the Eco-house that has been established  to give information on alternative technologies of various kinds. The Farmer was hoping to find some useful info. on wood boilers. Whilst the place was reasonably interesting it was not very helpful in the way that we had hoped.
After the Eco-house, we went down to Fishguard and whilst eating fish & chips at Goodwick (the small port below Fishguard where the Irish ferry comes in) we had some extraordinary entertainment in the form of a re-enactment of the Last Invasion of Britain. This great historic moment is little known beyond West Wales, but in 1797 a French  invading force landed at Fishguard with the hope of persuading the Welsh to join forces with them and rise up against the English. They were routed by a group of angry Welsh women who in their red cloaks and tall black hats were an intimidating sight. The English militia were called and the French signed the surrender in the Royal Oak pub in the centre of Fishguard.
As we were sitting on the sea wall at Goodwick we saw a small group of men in full 18th century military garb making their way to the cliffs at on side of the beach. The next thing we know this small horde, about 8 in total, bearing muskets and complete with drummer, is charging across the sands yelling incoherently and clambering over the several groynes, towards an even smaller group (about 6) of dastardly Frenchies at the other end of the beach. The valiant English soldiery ran into the fearsome roar of one minute cannon that was firing tennis balls, whereupon the French surrendered immediately and a cry of 'God bless King George the Third ' went up with cheers from the handful of bemused spectators.
It was just like something out of Monty Python!  and then they did it all over again!!!!!

To commemmorate the Last Invasion a superb tapestry was embroidered by 70 women from the Fishguard area which is on display in Fishguard library. The design was based on the Bayeaux Tapestry and tells the story of  the attempted invasion and its failure in great detail and is well worth seeing.

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