Leader Pat Keegan
Approximately a dozen people attended this evening meeting which was set up by club member Pat Keegan.
The party made its way down from the car park towards a “rough” area in front of the clubhouse where grass was rank but still held flowers such as Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, Restharrow Ononis repens, Marsh Cudweed Gnaphalium uliginosum, Lady’s Bedstraw Galium verum, Yellow Rattle Rhinanthus minor, Yarrow Achillea millefolium and Pyramidal Orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis. Flying above the grass were several Marbled White butterflies Melanargia galathea, a striking member of the Satyridae (Brown) family. It is, in fact, a black coloured butterfly with white markings. An abundant butterfly in “some” favoured locations along the Carmarthen‐shire coast and coalfield.
The party ascended the nearby embankment to walk along the path of Stanley’s former tramway, part of a complex system built to connect the coal mines at Gwscwm and nearby Furnace Iron Works, and Stanley’s pits near Pembrey House with Pembrey Harbour. Walking for 200m or so, members descended to walk in the opposite direction beside the 17th fairway on which a drainage ditch was noted to contain several interesting plants despite obviously having been sprayed with weedkiller sometime earlier. Plants included some attractive sheets of Bog Pimpernel Anagallis tenella in full flower, Southern Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa, Brookweed Samolus valerandi and Slender Club‐rush Isolepis cernua.
Moving off the fairway and on to a rough patch, in fact an area where an old World War 2 military base had been built, Rough Chervil Chaerophyllum temulum, Mignonette Reseda lutea, Red Bartsia Odonites vernus, Common Mallow Malva sylvestris and Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca were observed.
The final stage of the walk was along an adjacent right of way before heading back towards the clubhouse on an easterly‐heading path through damp rank grassland with frequent stands of Common Reed Phragmites australis and a single plant of pink‐ flowering Sweet‐William Dianthus barbatus escaped from nearby gardens. The path continued, passing by a large stand of Broad‐ leaved Bamboo Sasa palmata spreading out from back gardens of houses in the small residential estate known as “The Links”, several Spindles Euonymus europaeus and a large White Poplar Populus alba tree.
It was commented that near this spot the old Pembrey Canal which brought coal from pits in the Gwendraeth Valley ended at a wharf called Glo Caled for onward movement by tramway. This name is now attached to a modern house on what is now “The Links”. Another house was lived in by Captain Brian Trubshaw, former chief test pilot of Concorde. The meeting ended at dusk as the group made their way back along Links Road reflecting that the tour encapsulated the history of the Pembrey area, from extraction of the local mineral resources, to early industry and transport links, an interlude of military use and, finally, leisure.