Meeting on January 17th 2022 Tonfanau through the ages

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QuentinDeakin
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Meeting on January 17th 2022 Tonfanau through the ages

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At their Zoom meeting on Monday 17th January the local theme of the history of Tonfanau proved popular, attracting interested visitors as well as members. The speaker, Dr Quentin Deakin, covered its history from pre-historic evidence of Bronze and Iron Age trading and settlement to the end of any military role for the Second World War camp in 1966, also considering in outline, in passing from earliest to modern times, the area’s long history of farming and the granite quarry opened in 1892. The main focus was the World War Two and the early decades of the Cold War, when the camp played a vital role in training, working as a ‘Cooperation Unit’ alongside Morfa airfield in Tywyn and then was employed for National Service and finally Junior Leaders training. He also covered the use of the camp for housing refugees from Idi Amin’s Uganda in 1972, the dramatic impact of the camp’s closure for the local economy and the use of the site as a film set in the 1980’s. Memoirs, including some from his own interviews with veterans, together with a wealth of photographs of the camp in its day and such remains as are still to be seen, helped to bring the subject to life. After the talk the discussion focused on veterans’ own memories. At the next meeting on Monday 21st February members and other invited speakers will be asked to share more of their own experiences and knowledge, including the wider context of National Service and the Cold War.
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