Croeso i Gymru – Welcome to Wales
Tuesday, March 7
Thanks to Dr Trefor Jones, our Welsh-born headteacher in the 1960s who masterminded the purchase of a disused village school in the village of Cwm Penmachno in 1966, almost every Latymerian since have spent time in North Wales. Many have grown to love the country and have found an enduring fascination with Welsh landscape and culture.
Since the first trip to Ysgol Latymer (or "Cwm" as it is fondly known in school) in September 1967, it has hosted innumerable form trips, field trips, music and art trips, Fourteen Peaks trips, as well as various reunions for former students over the years.
While our Year 7s still get to spend a week there, bonding with their Form Group and teachers, in recent years, we began taking our Year 9s away for their winter trip in larger groups of three forms together. Unfortunately, Ysgol Latymer cannot accommodate more than one form at a time so an alternative venue in North Wales was sought.
For this trip we now use the Conway Centre on the southern shore of Anglesey. Its 169 acres of parkland and gardens extend right down to the Menai Strait, and offer wonderful opportunities for outdoor adventures onsite, with the mountains of Eryri National Park (Snowdonia) just a short drive away.
We are often reminded by our alumni that the residential trips they experienced, to North Wales and elsewhere, provide some of the most enjoyable memories of their time at Latymer. The link with North Wales has had a lasting influence on the lives of many Latymerians. Several former students now own properties in the area, while others visit regularly for holidays. It's a rare Latymerian who, on travelling up the A5 and passing the turn-off for Penmachno, can resist a short detour to the head of the valley, for a peak at Cwm!
Keith Whiddon (1974) remembers hearing about the purchase of Ysgol Latymer just before joining the school and being very excited at the prospect of his first trip. During his time at Latymer, he was a keen member of the Madrigal Group who, under the leadership of Carl Browning in the 1970s, rehearsed at Cwm regularly. He recalls how “being part of the Group was the single most formative part of my youth and Cwm was absolutely central to that. We recorded records in the Shiloh Chapel, sang in a slate cavern, learned some Welsh and won a prize at the National Eisteddfod! Proof of just how important it was to us is that most of us remain incredibly close and still revisit Cwm as a group. I now live in the Shropshire hills, in easy reach of Cwm. The place has undoubtedly had a profound influence on my life”.
Ysgol Latymer is available to hire for family and group holidays when not in use by the school. Visit our lettings page for more details.