Water-fern © Richard PryceIt is with great sadness that I have to report that Trevor Crosby passed away on 20th September. Kath and I had been to see him a few weeks previously as he had asked us to collect some of his botanical books so that they could be donated to those who would find them useful.  He was still able to think of others, despite being very ill by then. My first memories of him were at Llanelli Naturalists’ meetings with his wife, Brenda, after they had moved down to South Wales following his retirement from his position as Head of the Leeds University Botanical Garden. One very enjoyable outdoor Nats meeting many years ago took us to Gellideg at Llandyfaelog where they lived, for a wildlife walk followed by tea and cakes.  I remember seeing Azolla filliculoides, the Water-fern, for the first time in the small ornamental pond there.  More recently we met him regularly at West Wales Country Gardeners’ meetings and what struck me was that, whatever the subject, Trevor would invariably ask some profound question that demonstrated his already in-depth knowledge. We also met him at a concert at Llandeilo Church last year which brought our attention to his extensive knowledge of classical music.  He was a very considerate and thoughtful man, and will be much missed.

I also have to report the loss of Ceri Lewis, a long standing Llanelli Naturalists’ member who also passed away recently.  I convey condolences to his family.

The Llanelli Naturalists have been fortunate in securing grant-aid from the Countryside Council for Wales thanks to the prompt action of local CCW staff.  The funding will assist in the execution of the Society’s programme of lectures and field-meetings, for the production of the Newsletter and Bulletin and for education and raising public awareness.  To this end we have already started on the production of a web-site and our summer field-events programme includes a meeting in June at Saron Primary School where we hope to assist the pupils, parents and staff in their understanding of nature, as well, I hope, as being able to benefit from their experiences in creating their school and community nature trail.  

I congratulate members of the Llanelli and District Civic Society who have recently taken the initiative of producing a facsimile reprint of John Innes’ Old Llanelli, originally published in 1902, which gives a fascinating account of life in Llanelli in the latter part of the 19th century.  The book, previously only easily available for consultation at Llanelli Reference Library, includes a list of plants mostly recorded R.V. Innes and collated by his daughter, Miss Agnes Innes.  It is a valuable source of early botanical data recorded in the Llanelli district.

We have arranged another comprehensive programme of meetings for the coming season which again includes several field-meetings giving the opportunity for recording and site monitoring whilst indoor meetings, as well as including talks on topics of interest, provide a forum for reviewing past field meetings and discussion of current items of biodiversity interest.  If you have ideas for future speakers or venues for outdoor meetings, or if you can help with posting programmes in prominent places to attract more interest in the Society, I would be very pleased to hear from you.

As the limited production of the 2005 calendar was a great success and provided a moderate profit to the Society, we plan to produce another for 2006.  Copies will be available for sale at the Christmas meeting at £4.00 or £4.75 by post.  May I wish you all a Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year and I look forward to seeing you at meetings in the near future.