Saturday, 25 May 2013

16. Land's End to John O'Groats. Days 21-23. Art in remotest Wales. Big Walk over Brecon Beacons in hail via Pandy, Hay-on-Wye. Visions of the Virgin Mary at Capel-y-ffin. Eric Gill and David Jones.Duchess of Cornwall in Paris for Emmaus.

Emmaus was started by Abbé Pierre in 1949 in Paris.  It is an international charity which houses and gives work to the homeless. 

On Monday 27 May the Duchess of Cornwall will be travelling to Paris with three Emmaus companions to find out more about the origins of the movement: They will spend time at the Emmaus French community, looking at the similarities and differences to the work in the UK.  

Her Royal Highness, who has been Royal Patron to Emmaus since 2006, will visit one of the oldest Emmaus communities as part of her first solo overseas visit. 

Robbie Brough and David Sansom aim to raise £25,000 for Emmaus Oxford by walking 1,200 miles to John O'Groats. 

They have currently raised a total of £4,390.00 given by 86 donors, the last donor was someone called Green Grandma.
Donations please to:

From Pandy A to B Hay on Wye to C Kington, 
Knighton D and Newcastle on Clun E.

24 May by David Sansom.

"So the last update you had was in Pandy. From leaving the Rising Sun campsite, and a meal bought by my father (who was a real boost to see), we walked up on to the Beacons. The weather was pretty dim. We were told that we could see 7 counties, but we could only really see 100 metres. 
 The first three photos are by Robbie Brough

After walking on top of the beacons, we managed to do 17 miles by pm, where we stopped and had lunch and ambled down into Hay-on-Wye. Here we got some food, stopped at a nice tea room where the owner gave us a pot of tea on the house! We found our campsite on the far side of the town (which was lucky as the town was preparing for the annual Literary Festival). 

The next morning we walked a very pleasant walk to Kington. At Kington we stayed in a campsite next to a bus station (buses leave their depot very early!). Robbie managed to lure a duck into our tent by leaving a bread trail...simple pleasures, simple pleasures. 

We then walked from Kington, through Knighton, the home of Offa's Dyke walking and through to Newcastle-on-Clun. In our guide book* that is a day and 2/3rds. A long old slog of 39km, which included a 3 mile detour as we got lost and the ten rolling hail storms didn't help. We finally reached the campsite really late last night. 

The campsite had a free power shower and a tumble dryer (someone is looking down on us). We ate our sausages and mash in the tent, and went to sleep more or less straight away. Yesterday was easily the hardest day of the walk so far. 

Today we are walking lightly and seeing where we end up. Tomorrow my mum is going to pick us up from wherever we finish and take us to my auntie's house in Shrewsbury for a Sunday's rest. I will follow that up with updates as and when they happen.

All the best,


*"The guide book is the Trailblazer Company book for Offa's Dyke. It basically outlines recommended days, walking lengths and between where; it also gives short outlines of history, culture and  maps of nearby towns".  
David and Robbie passed close to Capel-y-ffin, which has had an interesting history. 

St  Mary's Chapel at Capel-y-ffin, 1762
replaced a 15th century chapel

St Mary's Capel-y-ffin was built after a Frenchwoman from Normandy saw a vision of the Virgin Mary there . It is one of the smallest in Wales, 26 by 13 feet (8 by 4 metres) in the interior.

The Baptist chapel at Capel-y-ffin dates back to 1737 and was built by William and David Prosser.

In 1869 the Anglican monastery Llantony Tertia was built in Capel-y-ffin where the monks and farm workers also had visions of the Virgin. 

Capel-y-ffin (Perpetua)
by David Jones (Gill sans)
Sanctus Christus de Capel-y-ffin 1925
by David Jones. Tate Gallery
The Garden Enclosed 1924
Tate Gallery
Madonna and Child in a Landscape, 
by David Jones. Ditchling Museum

In the 1920s artist Eric Gill,  artist/ poet David Jones and others lived in Llanthony Tertia in an artists' colony, where Gill invented the Perpetua and Gill sans typefaces, which I have used to caption David Jones' wonderful painting of Capel-y-ffin. 

David Jones 1895–1974 became a Catholic in 1921, which could explain the religious subject matter.

 T S Eliot called Jones's poetry and prose In Parenthesis (1937), about the First World War, a work of genius..