Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Trips to the Mansion

Llanelli Coedcae Comprehensive

A bit closer to home today, we made a trip to Parc Howard, Llanelli's famous mansion, with its gardens, park and outdoor leisure facilities. We were lucky with the weather all this morning – it was a bit dull, but the rain held off while we took photos of the duck pond, gardens, trees and the mansion itself. For the rest of the morning, we explored the grounds, with the views to the sea from the bowling green, trees coming into bud and then went on to have a look at the Gorsedd stones.

Above: Coedcae kids relax on Gorsedd Stones in Parc Howard

All of the class were excited by the grand mansion, and, of course, many knew it already as a place to visit and enjoy in leisure time. The grounds and the park offered many creative opportunities and, as with all our field trips, it was important to keep bearing in mind as we took pictures, what was special about this particular place in the landscape. Some very good pictures were taken today and I'm confident that next week, when we go to Pembrey airport for our final field trip, we will take the best shots of all.

Maes y Morfa Juniors

Just as we broke for lunch, the weather broke too. By the time Cheryl and I arrived at the school it was raining quite hard. Thinking there would be greater shelter from the weather, a decision was made to go to Parc Howard instead of the North Dock area. Unlike this morning, we were met by a schools inspector, who was monitoring the project as part of the inspection that was going on at Maes y Morfa. Like us, he didn't seem keen on the rain! Nevertheless, we persevered with our task, braving the weather to take pictures of this special place. Just as we did this morning, the kids made a circuit of the gardens and grounds, ending up at the Gorsedd stones.

Above: Maes y Morfa kids and staff happy despite the rain at Parc Howard

The rain was a good deal lighter most of the time, so we managed to get all the pictures we needed and well very pleased indeed to find the mansion open at the end our tour. We spent a few minutes inside snapping away at the amazing displays of ceramics, as well as trying to place the building in its landscape by taking photos of the views through the windows. Back in class, as well as showing me their best three shots – which were very good – the children did some writing for Mr. Crawford, their teacher, about the three field trips so far. Next week, our plan is to make our final field trip to North Dock, calling in at the amazing Discovery Centre.

Groomed Landscape

One of the outcomes from our work during this project will be a greater understanding of the different types of landscape we have experienced. Parc Howard is an example of a landscape created entirely as a place of leisure, initially by the wealthy Buckley family for their own use and, for nearly one hundred years, in the keeping of the people of the town. Every tree and flower was planted, every area carefully tended and each stone and pathway placed exactly. You might say it is a groomed landscape.

Ken Day

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