Dear Member,

On 29th April this year The Nantmor Mountain Centre Association reached the grand age of sixty! Members and friends, local residents and organisations gathered at Gelli Iago for a happy day of reuniting with old friends and meeting new, eating and relaxing. NMC President Bob James in his address spoke of the magnificent achievement of Nantmor to have weathered the storms of sixty years, and of his hopes that the Association will continue to thrive for many years to come.

After thanking all those who had helped to organise the event for their hard work Suzy announced her resignation as chair, and handed me the baton. Our thanks go to Suzy for her natural leadership and energy over her two busy years of office; thankfully she’ll be hanging in as deputy chair and lending her support as I lead the Association into its next, challenging decade.

One of our affiliated groups then led the proceedings as Richard Norman, a co-leader of Blackwater Valley BP Scouts, kindly presented the Association with an impressive custom built knotting board to replace the old one that had hung in the classroom for years.

We were also pleased to welcome SARDA’s affiliated leader Antony Griffiths who, after talking about their work with the dogs and training, along with members of Aberglaslyn MR Team staged a demonstration of the search dogs working.

A brief photographic record of the day is included with this message. In due course there will be more photos on our new website, including a short video of one of the highlights – a ceremonial tree planting by founder member and first Warden David Dean, helped by Oliver our youngest member. The sapling, a wild crab apple grown from local seed, will replace the iconic old apple which was toppled by a gale some years ago, and we hope will grow and be with us for many years to come.

During March’s AGM there was another significant moment for Nantmor as Toni Davenport announced her resignation as Secretary, Director and Website Manager. Our grateful thanks go to Toni for all her work over the years, which has more recently included bringing the Association into a new digital era of communications. The extensive role of secretary is currently being shared between directors until a suitably qualified candidate emerges from the membership.
If you feel you could help with this or any other matter please contact me and you’ll be welcome to join us at any Zoom meeting.

And now a bit about me, Paul Howells:

I live in rural Pembrokeshire and am currently the HSE Manager for a liquefied natural gas importation facility.

I first came to Gelli Iago way back in the early 1990’s having been invited to come along to a members walking weekend by Vernon Pratt, who sadly passed away recently. I met Vernon through other circles when I lived in Worcester. I made regular trips to Nantmor as Vernon’s guest until I joined as a member.

Work took me away to London and the South East and for many years I didn’t visit the Centre but kept up my membership in the hope that one day I would return. That opportunity arose a few years ago when I moved to south west Wales and started a walking club in my workplace. I became an active member again and eventually a Director, taking on the role of Chair in April, something I am still getting to grips with!

I also have a keen interest in the natural environment. I am chair of the Milford Haven Waterways Environmental Surveillance Group, a collaborative group between regulators and businesses set up to manage and fund academic research and surveillance projects that contribute to our understanding of Haven ecology.

I look forward to helping the Association survive and prosper in these challenging times. I can’t do this single handed so would look to all members to muck in and help – if you feel you have something to offer please let me know!

Paul Howells,
NMC Chair
June 2023