An Explorer's trip to Cardiff

An Explorer's trip to Cardiff

Taith Sgowt i Gaerdydd
Elen Owens, Grŵp Sgowtiaid Cyntaf Porthaethwy
Fourteen year old Elen Owens is a student at St Gerard’s School in Bangor, and a member of the Menai Bridge Scouts group. Here, she talks about her recent visit to the Senedd in Cardiff for the HLF’s First World War: then and now event.

Last week I travelled to Cardiff to talk to people at an event in the Senedd about a project I’m doing with my Explorers group, which is based on scouting history on Anglesey - particularly during the First World War. Going to Cardiff was amazing - we flew down in a tiny 20 seater plane that smelt the same as an old air museum!

The flight down was very bumpy, but I enjoyed it as I had never flown out of RAF Valley before, and it was a great way to get to know the other Explorers better. When we landed we got a bus into the city centre and walked to the Youth Hostel where we were staying.

At breakfast the next morning we listened to two of the other Explorers, Jack and Sara, speaking on BBC Radio Wales, and later Steffan had an interview with BBC Radio Cymru. These were both exciting because by talking on the radio and letting everyone know about our project, people might come forward with information that we don’t already have and that’ll definitely help us out. 

After that we walked to the Senedd and went upstairs to set up our table of artefacts related to our project research. This was really interesting as I had never been to the Senedd before. I was impressed by the number of stalls already there, but there was no time to hang around as we had to get on and set up our own table! Amongst other things we had a Scout bugle, a 1920’s Scouts hat from Caernarfon and a photograph of the first Holyhead Wolf Patrol on ours.

For the next three hours we chatted with lots of people including Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF, and Richard Bellamy, Head of HLF Wales, who were very intrigued by our project. Both of them said that it was good to see young people interested in our history.

We discussed the items we had on our table and explained to people what they were and what they were for. Whilst doing all this we were all photographed and another Explorer and I were filmed for the Welsh S4C programme, Ffeil.

After the presentation was over we went to the airport and from there we had a much smoother and quieter journey back to RAF Valley.

I enjoyed the trip to the Senedd because it was a first time experience for me, and I also got to know the other Explorers a lot better. It also reminded me how important it is to remember all those who have lost their lives or been injured at war, not just in the First World War but in all the wars that have ever happened, or that are happening now.

Over the next two years we want to find out more about the important contributions Scouts from North Wales made to the First World War. We hope to travel to London and visit museums like the Imperial War Museum to see some of the medals awarded to Anglesey Scouts.

Back home, and thanks to the money from HLF, we have bought a quadcopter camera so we can make a digital map of relevant locations across Anglesey and North Wales which we think will give us useful information for future research.

The money will also be used for training sessions that will help us improve our skills so we can record interviews with people on camera. Another of the training sessions will help us understand better how to collect and copy historical records and ensure they are filed in the best way – having this know-how will help us all in future as the skills will be useful additions to our CVs.

There is a busy time ahead for all of us now, but the Senedd event has certainly given us an excellent starting point for our project.

Efallai y bydd gennych chi ddiddordeb hefyd mewn ...