Welcome to 'The Holywell & District Society'.

Hello all

I do hope everyone is well and keeping safe. Following discussions with committee members on the internet the following actions have been agreed.

Archive Sessions  Mondays 10am - 11am CANCELLED


If any one has any questions with regard to the above actions please email me

g_harrison@sky.com

or telephone me     01352712748

I am always available to chat should anyone feel the need to, do not feel isolated 

Gwladys Harrison - Chair of Holywell and District Society


Go to Meeting ?

The answer to the above question as far as our society is concerned can be accurately answered
in two ways. Firstly with an emphatic ‘No!’ and secondly with a definite ‘Yes!’

A ‘Search for Researchers’ was initiated through the last issue of The Five Villages , in an
endeavour to swell the ranks of our research team, led ably by Ray Bailey and Roy Hamer.
Proposed furtherance of investigations into Wat’s Dyke, Greenfield Dock and The Railways and
Tramways in the Holywell and Greenfield areas, had just begun stimulating some interest with
tentative offers of support. But then, as we all know only too well, the massively swelling ranks
of Covid cataclysmically enveloped and shut down not only our whole country, but our
thriving activities with it. Lockdown was announced on March 23rd 2020, a date and day that few
of us will forget.

The programme for the year which had included four much anticipated talks and ‘The Annual
Outing’, (this year to Liverpool Docks) was thus irrevocably dimmed into our horizons, and
Richard Polden, one time fundraiser for the whole of Wales’ RNLI and doubtlessly already
prepared to speak at our next Society meeting, was firmly locked down at his home in Rhuddlan
and prevented from performing. The idea of any meetings , whether creative, real, live and
breathing was now and for the foreseeable future, well and truly ‘a No No’ and ‘No Go’, not
only for us but for hundreds and even thousands of other community groups throughout the land.

So, nothing to report for Holywell & District Society? Well, not entirely true! No physical
meetings perhaps.... but left unresolved by the lockdown, were several items of ‘unfinished
business’. Realising this, our enterprising Chair, Gwladys Harrison put her mind to researching
‘other ways of communication’, at least for the committee. The internet, adored by many,
dreaded still by some and completely avoided by the technologically panic stricken, was the only
obvious answer. After chivvying and encouragement by phone and email (she’s good at that!),
Gwladys convinced us that we could still partake in a committee meeting at least....... through an
innocent looking link provided by her which enabled us all (well most of us, but that is another
story) to meet each other on screen. Via the auspices of GoToMeeting (‘a video conferencing site
allowing colleagues etc. to meet via the internet in Real Time’ (!)) we were able to see each
other’s faces dotted about our screens in what looked like checkerboard squares.... and chat to
each other from our individual living rooms, called to order of course by the indomitable
Gwladys, from hers.

Over the two meetings already held, unfinished business having been done, two issues of a non
historical nature have been highlighted, both serious. The first, in the words of singer, Deborah
Cox, ‘Where do we go from here?’ must be a question under discussion among members of all
community groups throughout the country. With little idea as to what will happen next, can we
be sure that our membership will remain engaged with us when there is little chance of meeting
as we once did, at least for the forseeable future? Will the premises where we meet remain
available and viable for a post Covid society ? Is distancing now a permanent feature of our
society? Perhaps a vaccine will be quick in coming but will we be able to grasp the vestiges of
our old life and carry on as we once did? Perhaps.... perhaps not ! The questions are endless.
Does an internet existence for societies which have been built up through many years, with
human contact and deep discussion , travel and physical investigation at their core really hold
any promise for safeguarding our futures? After all, conferencing systems such as ZOOM claim
to be able to bring together 100 plus people at one time. In our case, for instance, could it really
replace the large and homely church hall where we met , and invite speakers to educate and
elucidate as of old? How many of our number can ever hope to be computer literate enough to
partake on such a scale and thus maintain our futures?

At present we are simply racking our brains.............and we have another problem besetting our
society, nearer at hand and immediately urgent. Over the years, our Holywell & District Society
has flourished and engaged in useful and productive work....last year our fully paid up
membership numbered fifty three plus constant visitors, an archive group and a research
group.....a flourishing community group by any standards. By next year our Chair, Gwladys will
have retired, come what may. For over a year she has done the job of secretary as well and our
treasurer is retiring also, so we badly need people, especially people with an eye to the future,
and preferably thoroughly computer literate to join our ranks and cover the work to be done to
steer our Society towards a new future.

Witnessing the interest shown in some of the Holywell and District websites dedicated to the
past, lots of people, have spent their Lockdown rummaging in their attics and bringing forth
much previously seen memorabilia....old photos, etc. etc. and posting them for all to see. The
interest in Holywell’s past is there, and many want Holywell’s past safeguarded.

As society rearranges itself, surely there must be many willing to steer their energies and
support to create the future of Holywell & District Society , by filling Chair, Secretarial , or
Treasurer’s roles ? The society is there already, fully formed, with membership still willing and
intact............. but we URGENTLY need new leadership, with the imagination to lead us on to
whatever the future presents .


Sally Brighton (Holywell & District Society Press Officer)


 

Holywell and this part of North Wales has a long distinguished History and has been instrumental in the shaping of the country.

We should be proud of the achievements in the industrial history that has taken place in Greenfield Valley, Halkyn and other places around and about.St. Winefrede's Well

St. Winefride’s Well attracts many visitors, as does the Heritage Park and Basingwerk Abbey.

The town of Holywell has many fine buildings of architectural interest, but over the years some have been lost and efforts should be made to retain those that remain which express the character of the town. The Town Hall, Panton Place and many of those in High Street are of importance.St. Winefrede's Well

Greenfield Valley, Halkyn Mountain, River Dee and Pen y Gelli Woods are local areas which abound with wildlife. These need to be conserved, as well as promoted. Many people who are interested in birds and butterflies etc. are already drawn to the area by the abundance of species but there are many others who have interests that can be drawn upon and their knowledge shared.Old Holywell High Street

The Holywell & District Society offers the opportunity for people who have an interest in local history (industrial, agricultural and social) and environment, landscape and habitat of this area, to share and take part in these interests with likeminded people. It will provide a forum for research and publication for those who have carried on their activities independently.

During the year we hold a series of talks and lectures on a variety of subjects, by both members and distinguished guest speakers. In the mid-year period we have excursions and field trips. These will cover members interests, but also be aimed at those who would find them stimulating.

The Holywell & District Society is open to all, we hope to develop and expand through the interests of its members. If you have specific interest, or even if you have no particular subject in mind, come along. Come and learn more about Holywell and the villages which surround it. Let’s put a bit of pride back into this part of Flintshire Much personal knowledge has been lost, let’s take this opportunity to draw together and pool our information, and don’t let it be lost for the future.


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