Chairman’s Blog

Calling Offa’s Dyke B&Bs, hotels, camp sites, small shops & cafés Sunday, 29/11/2020

Offa’s Dyke Association

Promoting Offa’s Dyke overseas

Advertising walkers’ accommodation for 2021 season

2020 is a year that none of us will forget quickly, especially if you run a hotel or B&B, or like us here in Knighton at the Offa’s Dyke Centre, a heritage visitor centre. The lockdowns and special measures that we have all had to put in place to become Covid compliant have tested everyone to the limit.

The Offa’s Dyke Association realises that funds are very tight this year but we remain positive and are looking towards the future. The Centre will re-open on 1st March next year with a new Offa’s Dyke exhibition and a season long exhibition of paintings of Offa’s Dyke by artist Dan Llywelyn Hall. With encouraging announcements about a Covid-19 vaccine we hope that by next summer life might once again see walkers enjoying the Dyke and National Trail.

Here is much to look forward to in 2021 including the annual two day Living History Festival in Knighton over weekend of 10th and 11th July .The event is free to the public, funded jointly by the ODA and our friends at Clwyd Powys Archaeological trust. On the 10th there will be a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of Offa’s Dyke Path in 1971. Our new stained glass window by glass artist Stephen Bradley commemorates the anniversary.

We want to play our part in reviving the tourism economy of the Offa’s Dyke corridor. We are proactively promoting Offa’s Dyke, the National Trail and the Welsh Marches to walking and outdoor magazines, newspapers, journalists and travel writers, also walkers’ associations, universities and archaeology groups, both at home and especially overseas. We have written an article for translation into Dutch, German and French, specifically targeting the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Over the next few weeks our press release will be issued far and wide across Europe.

We expect to see an increase in enquiries from potential visitors and of course the aim is to see the enquiries translated into bookings for you. We naturally want people to be able to access as much information as possible about organising their walking holiday along Offa’s Dyke. With this in mind we would very much like to include you and your business in our accommodation listing for 2021.

We are looking for advertisers for our 2021 accommodation guide which is published on both our website and as a hard copy. We are keeping the costs as low as possible – our prices have not increased since 2008. A website listing costs £38 with an additional listing in the book costing another £30. If you are interested then simply email manager@offasdyke.org.uk leaving your phone number and we will contact you.

This link will take you to our accommodation page with a map of the National Trail and Welsh borders. Click on a section of map to reveal icons for individual properties. Simply follow the links from there to see the property information https://offasdyke.org.uk/where-to-stay/accommodation-on-offas-dyke/

By clicking on “click here” on the map page you will see the other very useful way of viewing the properties, a north to south listing https://offasdyke.org.uk/where-to-stay/accommodation-on-offas-dyke/

We from ODA want to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous and healthy 2021.

Thank you,

Dave McGlade

Chairman Offa’s Dyke Association

About us – The Offa’s Dyke Association

  • We were founded in 1969
  • We are a membership-based charity (No 503821) the friends’ group for both Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail and Offa’s Dyke the ancient monument
  • Our aims are the public’s understanding and enjoyment of the Dyke, the Trail and the Welsh border
  • We are actively involved with projects that promote the conservation of the Dyke
  • We operate our own Conservation Fund which supports conservation projects along the Dyke
  • By advertising with us you will be helping us to deliver our charitable aims

 

New Offa’s Dyke Centre exhibition public consultation Sunday, 8/11/2020

NEW OFFA’S DYKE CENTRE EXHIBITION

Please help us with the design of our new exhibition

Prompted by the need to provide visitors to the Offa’s Dyke Centre with a safe and Covid-compliant space the trustees of the Offa’s Dyke Association have decided to create a completely new exhibition for the Centre.

We are doing this because the existing exhibition, dominated by the structure in the middle of the room – a large cross section of Offa’s Dyke – takes up a lot of space. This does not help with social distancing, it inhibits ventilation and light distribution and it reduces the visitor capacity of varied uses / events we use the building for.

The interpretive content of the new exhibition will be presented on a series of smaller, lightweight and portable displays. People will have more space to move around the room and there will be more natural light resulting in less reliance on electrical lighting to illuminate them. This new arrangement will give more flexibility with the use of the room, for example when we need a larger space for an event or for a room hire we will simply move them to one side.

This exercise provides us with an opportunity to re-design the exhibition from scratch and we would like you to help us. We want to know the themes and stories that you would like to see told about Offa’s Dyke, Wat’s Dyke, their landscapes and people. We don’t want the exhibition to be ‘Knighton-centric’ so if you have ideas or stories from your part of the Dyke then please tell us. Your interest might be archaeology, history, geology, trees or wildlife, or maybe something completely different, we would like to know.

The link below will take you to a ‘Google Form’. It shows the existing interpretive material then invites you to explain what you would like to see in its place. If, on the other hand, you are happy with the existing content then that is fine – but please tell us what you think.

https://forms.gle/6MPn4QKTPWbwc2xG9

At the end of the consultation you simply click on a link to submit your responses. Everything that you tell us is gathered anonymously. If, however, you would like to contact us about the consultation or if you are interested in writing some content or supplying photographs or diagrams for the new exhibition then please email me at manager@offasdyke.org.uk

Please respond to the consultation by Monday 16th November. We look forward to seeing you at the Offa’s Dyke Centre which re-opens on 1st March 2021.

Thank you,

Dave McGlade

Chair ODA

Chairman’s Blog – 26th October 2019 Monday, 28/10/2019

Offa’s Dyke Centre welcomes Trefonen school display

We are delighted to exhibit at the Centre an Offa’s Dyke display by pupils from Trefonen primary school. The display was originally curated for the Trefonen Exhibition and Heritage Walk in September, dedicated by the Trefonen Heritage Protection Group to the ODA’s 50th Anniversary.

The village is immensely proud of its location on the Dyke and it is heart warming and reassuring to see the school encourage this young generation to take such an interest in its local heritage. Presenting the display at the Centre enables us to acknowledge publicly the strong links now cemented between Knighton and Trefonen.

 

Offa’s Dyke Association call for volunteers

Do you have a few hours to spare and interested in discovering what goes on behind the scenes at one of the leading heritage organisations along the Welsh borders? We might be what you are looking for. If you can spare a few hours, just once a week, to help us with day-to-day running of the Offa’s Dyke Centre  then please get in touch. Either call in, email oda@offasdyke.org.uk or ‘phone 01547 528753.

We are a membership-based charity and entirely self-funding. We do not receive any financial assistance from either central or local government.  

The dust never settles  

In its long history the past couple of months were without doubt the busiest that the ODA has ever witnessed. Our 50th anniversary year as the friends’ group for Offa’s Dyke and Offa’s Dyke Path has ushered in many changes, and firsts, as we continue to grow and evolve into a leading conservation orientated heritage organisation. The remainder of the year promises to be just as eventful.

In March the walkers’ Passports arrived from the printers and the finishing touches made to the stamping boxes before their delivery to the 12 stamping stations ready for the slightly early start this year of 15th April. Trailblazer delayed going to press in order to include the Passport in its new edition guidebook to the Trail, so becoming the first publisher to do so. Remember that income from the Passport supports the Offa’s Dyke Conservation Fund; they cost £5 + 99p p&p from our on-line shop.

March and April saw visits to our printers and designers, WPG Group of Welshpool, to commission four pieces of design work. Our new dual purpose Offa’s Dyke Centre / membership leaflet and walkers’ certificates both use the eye catching painting of Offa’s Dyke on Springhill by Knighton artist Elaine Morgan. The certificate costs £3.00 and is now available from the Centre and via our on-line shop.

A new interpretation panel explaining the making of ‘Offa’s Throne’, unveiled at last year’s AGM, was installed only the day before this year’s meeting on 4th May. The fourth design project was a permanent tribute plaque, unveiled at the meeting, to four of our founder members: Frank and June Noble and Ernie and Kathy Kay, all sadly no longer with us.

In April we said goodbye and gave our best wishes to our long serving member of staff Catherine before welcoming Harriet and Rhian to the Centre. Handovers are always busy times but not a moment has been wasted as we begin to work up ideas for taking the Centre forward.

The Kington Spring Walking Festival over the weekend of 13th & 14th April dedicated four walks to the our 50th anniversary and it was a pleasure to talk to a 100+ audience at their buffet on the Saturday evening. Organisers Kington Walks are members of the ODA and I sold a couple of 50th anniversary mugs and they have just announced that their September wakking festival will dedicate another walk, from Kington to Knighton, finishing at the Centre for coffee and cakes. Thanks Kington, looking forward to seeing you again!

The 50th anniversary AGM weekend was a great success with four guest speakers over two days. The proceedings kicked off with the official launch of the walkers’ Passport with keynote speaker Professor Howard Williams from the University of Chester and guest professional singer Emily Boulton stamping their Passports to launch the scheme.

Preparations for our ‘Living History’ Saxon re-enactment event on 13th & 14th July at the Centre, in partnership with Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust, are in full flow. Now that is a date for your diary! Keep an eye on our events page for more details.

Only the week after the AGM two or our trustees, Ian Mackey and Mel Roxby-Mackey, both archaeologists, travelled to Conwy to talk to a primary school about King Offa and the Saxons. Mel is the ODA’s ‘Resident Archaeologist’ and Ian is in charge of our Outreach work. More about their their trip to follow soon.

The offer to talk last week to BBC Radio Shropshire’s Adam Green about the ODA and Centre was too good to miss. Adam said no preparation time, just start talking, as he toured the Centre and park. As soon as we stepped outside the heavens opened but that didn’t dampen our spirits. Adam also interviewed a couple of willing walkers who afterwards visited the Centre, enjoyed some cake refreshments and then bought two Passports. Altogether a good day with two five minute slots on Adam’s evening programme to look forward to.

We couldn’t let the 50th anniversary pass by without a dedicated souvenir and we are proud to announce our limited edition mug. Its design, very kindly donated by artist Mike Middleton (Twitter @wulfgarthebard) features ‘Offa’s Throne’. A must for everyone who loves Offa’s Dyke it costs £6.99 + £3.00 p&p from our on-line shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 2018

Keep an eye on the new ‘ODA at 50’ page and remember, if you live in a village or town along the Dyke or National Trail and would like to organise and affiliate an event to our 50th birthday celebrations then pleas get in touch. So far we can report that walks are planned for next year in Chepstow and Kington.

Donations are now more important to us then ever before. If you have enjoyed your visit to the Offa’s Dyke Centre then please consider making a donation. The Centre has a donation box but you can also make a donation via this website.

At our AGM in May we simplified our membership categories. We now offer ‘Individual’ membership at £20 per year and ‘Joint / Family’ membership at £25 per year. We very much value our loyal membership who enable us to carry out our educational work here at the Centre and to maintain our Conservation Fund. In the past two years we have grant aided four conservation projects with one more in the pipeline for later this year.

We also have a new membership category for charity / not-or-profit / community groups at £20 per year. Contact the Centre on 01547 528753 or email oda@offasdyke.org.uk to request a pdf application form. If a group runs an amenity useful to walkers, for example a community shop or café, then the membership fee entitles the group to a website advertisement. See the Llandegla community shop advert at https://offasdyke.org.uk/where-to-stay/accommodation-on-offas-dyke/

Small shops and tea room / cafés can join for £25 per year and have the same advertisement.