Audience captivated by talk on Flat Holm

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

By Contributed Item
in Local People

Members of Barry Men’s Forum were treated to a very detailed talk with illustrations by Peter Sampson of the Flat Holm Society, which is partly financed by the Council and City of Cardiff and has been listed as a place of Special Scientific Interest.

Sailings to the island are available from March to late September from Cardiff Bay.

The island has a very long history with occupation dating back to Anglo Saxon and Viking times and recently, evidence of prehistoric animals roaming the island has been discovered.

Saint Cadoc, a 5th century monk also known as the Abbot of Llancarfan, used the island as a place of solitude for his religious writings.

Flat Holm, because of its location, was used over the years as a fortress to protect Cardiff and Bristol and around 1860, using a line of defence known as the Palmerston Forts at the outbreak of World War Two, the island was rearmed.

The island has had three lighthouses, the earliest in 1737, when more than 60 people perished in a storm and in 1938. The most recent loss was the SS Middlesex in 1941.

In 1896, a hospital was built on the island to isolate sailors with serious diseases such as cholera and finally closed in 1936.

Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first wireless signals over water to Lavernock Point in 1897.

Flat Holm has a vast variety of rare flora and fauna and its sea bird colonies are a joy to behold. The island has many buildings in the process of restoration, including an old farmhouse which doubles up as a public house for thirsty day visitors.

For the people who have never visited the island, it is a must-see, with its abundance of rare plants, wildlife and historic buildings.

The Forum meets every Thursday at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Aberystwyth Crescent at 10am. The next speaker will be Anthony Clement, whose topic will be ‘The Mighty Mustang’, the World War Two Allied fighter plane.

New members welcome; contact Mac Tanner on 01446 743455.

PG

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