Pembrokeshire Literary Tourism
With the help of PLANED, we have put in a grant aid application for a project called "Pembrokeshire Literary Tourism" under the Welsh Govwernment's Tourism Product Innovation Fund (TPIF). We should know the outcome early in April. If successful, we will be able to employ a Project Officer to help in the development of the Martha Morgan Country project, and also to bring in a number of innovations associated with the year of Legends. We will post info as soon as we know more........
Tales from Willie Jenkins
We have managed toobtain a small clip from a very anvient BBC Wales documentary, first shown in 1970. In it, John Seymour talks very affectionately about his neighbours. It's a glimpse into another world, and the high spot is the interview with Willie Jenkins of Ffynnonau, in which he describes encounters with corpse candles, jumping vipers and flying toads. Here it is:
Angel Mountain Newsletter No 3
This has just been published (22 February 2017), and has been sent out to our mailing list via Mailchimp. If anybody else would like a copy, we will be happy to send it as a PDF. Alternatively, you can request to be added to our mailing list. Just send us a message via our Contact page.
Talk at Oriel y Parc
On Wed 4th January 2017 I'll be giving a talk at Oriel y Parc in St David's. Start at 7 pm. Everybody welcome!
Year of Legends
13 December 2016
Next year (2017) will be the designated Year of Legends, and Visit Wales and the other tourism organizations will all be throwing a lot of energy into promoting this as a theme, with the object of greatly enhancing the "visitor experience" and pulling more visitors into Wales. There was a useful networking meeting in St David's last week, and it looks as if there will be very welcome cooperation between Pembs CC, Visit Wales, the NPA, Pembs Tourism, PLANED and other organizations. A number of very jolly projects are in the pipeline. One of them will be "Martha Morgan Country, Phase 2". Watch this space.......
13 December 2016
In order to make our mailings more efficient and professional, we have started a Mailchimp mailing list for supporters. The list needs a lot of work to make it up-to-date, but bear with us! We hope that our second Newsletter will go out via Mailchimp before Christmas.
Angel Mountain News 1
Update, 4th November 2016
The first Angel Mountain Newsletter is now available, specifically for those who have asked to be kept informed of progress, or who have offered to help to bring a film or TV project to fruition. There is some privileged information in it, which is why it will not be published on the web. It will be published now and then, when there are significant matters to report! If you would like to subscribe, please send your Email address to us HERE and we will send you a copy of the Newsletter in PDF format.
An Angel Mountain Film?
Ever since the publication of "On Angel Mountain" there has been a demand from readers for either a feature film or a TV costume drama series based on the books of the saga. The latter is the preferred option of most readers, and I agree with them in that each novel contains quite enough drama for three or four full-length TV episodes, and with eight novels there would be no problem in creating 24 or even 32 episodes.
But bringing an idea to fruition is an immensely difficult task. Costume dramas are notoriously expensive to make, and it is not uncommon for a big series to come out at more than a million pounds per episode. Even modern dramas (using modern clothes for the characters, and shot in largely unmodified "everyday" locations like streets and house interiors) can cost over £300,000 per hour. Big money. And nobody invests that sort of money unless he / she is completely convinced that the investment will be repaid and that there will be a tidy profit from UK-based transmissions and from foreign sales to Amazon Prime, Netflix or one of the other big global players in the TV market.
But we are not intimidated. There is a ready market for top-quality drama -- maybe not in Wales (and that's a pity) but further afield. So we are making contacts all over the place and gradually forming up a project in conjunction with two small Welsh companies. At the same time we are preparing the ground through ongoing contacts with the tourist industry, the creative industries sector of the Welsh Government, Ffilm Cymru, politicians, universities, and our local authorities.
Update 14th October 2016: we are now talking to three different companies who bring different skills to the table. Ideally, we would like one of them (a production company) to take the lead, with the other two bringing in their own specialisms. Within the next fortnight we will be having a meeting to discuss the way forward.
Watch this space.......
No more walks this season (2016) unless there is a request involving a group of at least six people. Charges -- £5 for adults and £2 for children. All proceeds to Newport Community Library fund.
The launch of the project took place in the Commodore's Lounge, Boat Club, Parrog, Newport, on Sunday 3rd April 2016.
Cllr Mike James (Chairman of the National Park Committee) was unable to attend, but Cllr Keith Lewis said a few words on behalf of RNP and Pembs CC, and other kind expressions of support came from Andrew Benham, Mayor of Newport, and from Cllr Paul Harries. Rhiannon James (in Mistress Martha guise) was on hand to look after the guests. Tea and Welsh cakes were distributed by assorted kind helpers. There was a rolling video presentation of Steve's portfolio of photos featuring Rhiannon in many of the key locations from the Angel Mountain stories; an exhibition of some of the best images; and Brian gave an introduction to the new web site. There was also a Power Point presentation of the photo gallery from the site. The winners of the MMC quiz were also announced and presented with their prizes -- the overall winner was Steve Drinkwater.
There was also a display of the eight books of the Saga, and Brian was on hand to talk about his writing and about Mistress Martha and her adventures. He also thanked RNP for its financial support for the project thus far, and Deanna Kastsa for the use of TV screens. In appreciation of their sterling work he presented Rhiannon and Steve with complete sets of the novels of the Saga. Lis Evans, who has read extracts from the Angel Mountain novels at almost every book launch, was on hand to read (very beautifully) a short extract from "Dark Angel" to illustrate the novel's "sense of place."
Steve showed prints of some of his other photographs from the north of the county, and talked briefly about his involvement in the project. Rhiannon also told the guests about her "modelling experience" in the three days of photo shooting, and declared that she had had great fun!
RNP staff were present to explain to guests how they are working to support the rural communities of coastal North Pembrokeshire.
All in all, a very enjoyable occasion enjoyed by more than 60 guests, and an opportunity to acknowledge the enormous support that has come from all sides in order to get the project off the ground.
Legendary Locations Tours
As part of the local campaign to promote the Year of Legends, author Brian John will lead three minibus tours in Pembrokeshire for accommodation providers and others involved in the tourist trade. Dates (to be confirmed):
North Pembrokeshire: Thurs 11th May, 11 am - 3pm, start and finish at Parrog car park, Newport.
Mid Pembrokeshire: Thurs 18th May, 11 am - 3 pm, start and finish at Haverfordwest Castle museum car park.
South Pembrokeshire: Thurs 25th May, 11am - 3 pm, start and finish at Bloomfield Community Centre, Narberth.
Limited places -- 15 persons per tour. First come, first served. £10 per head. Bring packed lunch.
Brian says: "There are hundreds of myths, legends and folk tales in Pembrokeshire, and every one of them is tied to a specific location. There are fairies, mermaids, dragons, giants and ghosts all over the place. Sadly, very few of the locals know these stories or their settings. Since this is the Year of Legends, the Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership is working hard to enhance the 2017 visitor experience of our wonderful county. This is a chance for tourism operators to get to know their local tales -- which they can then pass on to wide-eyed holidaymakers, who might in turn be encouraged to chase down a wide range of mysterious and relatively unknown locations."
Year 0f Legends - free resources
We are grateful to Alan Turner of Pembrokeshire CC for assembling a huge collection of material which can now be freely used by the tourist trade as part of their Year of Legends promotions. The material is stored on a Box site, which enables access to high-quality images suitable for glossy magazine reproduction. Here is the link:
Folk tale Compendium
A number of people have asked me for the links to the folk tale compendium that we have now (with the help of Pembs CC) put onto the web -- free for anybody to use. Here are the 4 links:
Pembrokeshire Folk Tales
The Last Dragon
Fireside Tales from Pembrokeshire
More Pembrokeshire Folk Tales
Tourism News - Feb 2017
1. With the help of PLANED and the other members of the Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership, we have submitted an application for grant aid from the Welsh Government under the Tourism Product Innovation Fund. If we are successful (we will know in early April) we will employ a Project Officer and undertake a range of initiatives associated with literary tourism in Pembrokeshire. High on the agenda will be a more effective "branding" for Martha Morgan Country.
2. Earlier this month there was a very effective "tourism summit" at the Beggars Reach Hotel, Burton, organised by Pembrokeshire Tourism. The theme was the Year of Legends, and there were several very useful presentations from Visit Wales, Pembs Tourism, Pembs CC and other bodies.
Tourism News 2016
Watch this space. We will give details of walks, talks, and any other initiatives relating to this project. Ideally these initiatives will involve cooperation between different tourism sectors, taking advantage of the win / win scenario which motivated Refreshing North Pembrokeshire to support this project financially.
The new "Martha Morgan Country" leaflet is now available, and is being distributed throughout West Wales. Sadly, I did not receive a grant to help with printing and distribution, so the print run had to be smaller than I had hoped. But let's see how it is received before making plans for 2017.
We are currently investigating culture beacons and other interactive media for use on smart phones and tablets.