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Talog Community Hall Postal Survey 2023

At the beginning of October 2023, on behalf of the Talog Hall Committee, Royal Mail delivered 6314 questionnaires to every domestic address in post code sectors SA33 4, SA33 5 and SA33 6. 505 were returned over a three-month period and the Committee would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond. Sadly the Hall is coming to the end of its life as structure and is no longer capable of being refurbished. Therefore, rebuilding, whilst keeping the character of the existing building, is the only viable option.

Talog Hall has served the community for over 105 years. It is currently used most days for at least one community activity. It is also the home of the renowned Dawnswr Talog, and provides a rehearsal facility for Cor Hafodwenog. A few years ago it provided a thriving youth club and in earlier times still, dramas, concerts and live entertainment. In this predominantly Welsh speaking area, the Hall provides an exemplar of how a community can come together, irrespective of language or nation of birth. However, the Welsh Language is at the core of all activities in the Hall, as is the promotion and preservation of the language and the cultural history of the area.

The information received in the survey results is key to a new Hall, as it provides evidence of demand, based on the responses from you, the community, which can be used to support grant applications toward future works. It is essential that funds are raised to ensure that the current activities continue and provide something to build on for the future.

Five questions were asked. The first three sought views on the building of a new hall, the likelihood of a negative effect on the community’s social life, should we lose the hall and whether a new building would help and improve the cultural and social life of the community. Over 98% of the responses strongly agreed or agreed that a new hall should be built as to lose it will have a negative effect on the community and a new building would improve cultural and social life.

The last two questions asked what activities should take place in the Hall and whether families would be likely to attend them. The response to these questions was overwhelming in the number and variety of activities suggested, far too many to list individually. However, we have tried to compile them into categories for the types of specific activities suggested.

The activities suggested by the respondents that should take place, are shown in the table below.

Toddler and baby group, activities and clubs for children and young people.771
Welsh for adults classes, eisteddfodau, noswaithiau lawen, merched a wawr.288
Arts based activities, music, dancing, crafts.276
Daytime and evening social activities, markets, coffee and cake, food nights, special interest groups, meetings.271
Indoor sports and activities, including keep fit, pub games and board games, quizzes, meditation etc.221
Activities for the elderly.197
Concerts and dramas, singing groups, either performing or practicing, films.193
Evening classes, history, archaeololgy, book clubs.185
Shop, IT access, advice centre, warm hub, function hire, service access, car charging points, café etc.

Activities that respondents said they or their families would attend are shown in the table below,

Daytime and evening social activities, markets, coffee and cake, food nights, special interest groups, meetings.313
Evening classes, history, archaeololgy, book clubs.185
Concerts and dramas, singing groups, either performing or practicing, films.164
Arts based activities, music, dancing, crafts.124
Indoor sports and activities, including keep fit, pub games and board games, quizzes, meditation etc.119
Welsh for adults classes, eisteddfodau, noswaithiau lawen, merched a wawr.98
Toddler and baby group, activities and clubs for children and young people.56
Activities for the elderly.36
Shop, IT access, advice centre, warm hub, function hire, service access, car charging points, café etc.25

We received dozens of comments, suggestions and adviceon the survey return sheets. For all of these we are very grateful and will consider them as we plan the Hall’s reconstruction. There were suggestions that refurbishing the Hall should be an aim in order to preserve it. Unfortunately we have a been advised that the Hall has only limited time left before it becomes irreversibly structurally unsound, however, it is our wish to create a new building incorporating the general feel and character of the existing building whilst ensuring compliance with safety, energy saving and generating needs. We have received offers of help and advice from other Hall committees that have gone through similar reconstruction projects for which we extend our thanks and will contact in due course.

Once again, thanks to all who participated and for taking an interest in our Hall.

2024 Talog Art Competition

This year’s art competition will be open to 3 categories:
up to 11 years old
11 to 17
Over 17.

Title of this year‘s competition is
“Your village through the seasons”.
Entries can be any form of art, painting, drawing, Cross-stitch etc. No photography
This year we thought it would be nice if the three local primary schools in Meidrim, Cynwyl Elfed and Trelech will join in maybe as part of their school activities.

There will be prizes for:
Best entry in each age group
The judges will be looking for what they believe best interprets or represents the theme of the competition.
The winners of the competition will be announced at the Talog Time week of events in September by a panel of judges.

Rebecca Riots

The Rebecca Riots were a series of protests between 1839 and 1843 by local farmers and workers in response to perceived unfair taxation. “Rebecca” was a man in woman’s clothing, a “huge and frightening figure seated upon a large white horse”. He was supported by “Rebeccaites” wielding arms such as shotguns, axes, sledgehammers, crowbars, scythes, and sticks.
Thomas Thomas, the shopkeeper in Talog, was fined at the heat of the protests. Mr Turner believes he got involved because he had to pay at the Water Street toll-gate whenever collecting goods from the warehouse.
Mr Turner referred to a book “And They Blessed Rebecca” which has several pages about the involvement of Talog in the Riots. What follows is a brief summary – refer to the book for more details!

Three men from Talog: Thomas Thomas; John Harries, of Talog Mill; and Samuel Brown a farmer from Brynmeini Farm; refused to pay the tolls and were fined £2 each with 8s 6d costs (about £2.42p), at a time when a farmworker earned £2.10s.0d (£2.50p) a year, a hefty penalty! However, if fines were paid, Rebecca threatened to burn their goods, and take their lives. The three men refused to pay, and four special constables were dispatched (on foot) to Talog to collect the arrears. They were turned back at Blaenycoed by a mob. Subsequently, a posse of 42 men was dispatched to Talog with handcarts to carry away their furniture. Arriving at 5.30am, the posse seized furniture from John Harries, then went to Talog Shop. However, Thomas Thomas had a receipt to show he had already paid his fine to avoid upsetting his pregnant wife. The posse was on its way to Samuel Brown when Thomas Thomas ran after them to say that if they cared for their own safety they should return the furniture to John Harries, and the fine would be paid. However, with a blast from a conch horn (which is now believed to be in Carmarthen Museum), Rebecca and “four hundred” supporters appeared, outnumbering the posse by ten to one. The Rebeccaites marched the posse to Trawsmawr, to the home of the Justice of the Peace, Captain Davies, who had signed the order. Rebecca ordered the constables to demolish the boundary walls of the house. Over the next few weeks, 2000 troops and 100 police were despatched from London to Carmarthen, but were met by Rebecca at Llanddarog. Further riots ensued, and the workhouse in Carmarthen was demolished. For further information about the ensuing unrest refer to the book. John Harries did not pay his fine and was sentenced to 12 months hard labour. Eight other protestors from Carmarthen pleaded guilty and were sentenced to deportation to Australia. They were taken to Llansteffan, then by ship to Bristol, then train to London, and kept in jail until the convict ship was full before sailing to Tasmania. They were in chains throughout – from their appearance in court until they reached the destination, after 5 months at sea.

And They Blessed Rebecca, Flyleaf
“The people have discovered their immense power” declared one observer when, in 1843, the tranquillity of rural Wales was shattered by an explosion of popular violence whose total unexpectedness, rapid spread and sheer bravado conveyed to a thoroughly shaken establishment all the signs of insurrection. So startling was the eruption that The Times of London sent its most experienced correspondent down to Wales to report on the disturbances and to investigate the causes, while nearly two thousand troops marched into the troubled countryside under British army’s most experienced suppressor of civil disorder, an officer of long and distinguished service who was destined to face the most frustrating job of his career. And out of it all, out of over two hundred and fifty attacks on what the people saw as the symbols of injustice and oppression, grew a legend of a leader call Rebecca. Here, for the first time in many years, is a new look at that legend.
ISBN 0 86383 031 5
Cover photograph / Ken Davies (Photos) Carmarthen, Cover design/Glyn Rees. Publishers/Gomer Press, Llandysul, Dyfed

Source: Eddie Turner, ‘And They Blessed Rebecca’ – Pat Malloy