Llanyrafon Manor Community Group
It is unlikely that the Manor would be standing today if it weren’t for a group of local volunteers who gathered together in 2006 with a view to saving the building. These campaigners became the Llanyrafon Manor Community Group (LMCG) and it was this group that secured various funding streams which covered the refurbishment of the Manor and its consequent opening.
They have been heavily involved in the restoration and re-use of the Manor and Torfaen County Borough Council retained their pro-active involvement in planning for its future. The LMCG formed an essential part of the ‘design team’ during the refurbishment and took a prominent role in the implementation of the Manor project.
Today the group help with events and running school sessions for young visitors. They greet the public on weekends and are on hand to answer questions relating to the Manor and its past. The gardens are also maintained by a branch of the LMCG who meet every Wednesday morning and a sewing group has recently been established. They are creating a community quilt for display at the Manor and meet on a Tuesday afternoon, inviting anyone with an interest to join them.
It is also thanks to the LMCG that the Manor is able to have a website. Having raised funds through events and membership fees, the group aid the Manor in a number of ways and this is now another step in the development of the Manor project which owes thanks to its dedicated members.
For the website, the LMCG were asked to write a small article. Chairwoman Ray Evans happily returned the following, surmising perfectly the groups feelings towards their dear Manor -
Letter to: Walter Griffith, Gent, Llaneravon 1620
From: Llanyrafon Manor Community Group 2013
Until that wet, dark night in November 2006, we expect you thought your Manor House (which had by then become “The Farm”) was being left to crumble and die, after being boarded up behind a double row of Leylandii and lost in a jungle of overgrown vegetation for over a decade. But that was the night when a public meeting was being held to decide the future of the House, and when called upon, 8 of those attending were passionate enough to volunteer to form a Community Committee with a view to saving the House. This was an essential criteria for application to apply for the necessary funding required to be able to do so.
We were unprepared for the enormity of the task ahead or the timescale. There were many frustrations and setbacks but our passion kept us going (it was naughty not to give us earlier signs that the bats were “living in”) and we changed the name from “The Farm” to The Manor, more befitting such a gem of a now Grade 11* listed house. You will understand our joy when our bid for funding was accepted at last in 2009 and we were able to uncross our fingers.
Finally, in June 2012, the dream came true when the resurrected and restored Manor was opened to the public. Everyone has fallen in love with it and we are repeatedly thanked for helping to save it. The job now done, our role is now that of volunteering help and support to the Manor officers in any way we are able and we have lots of “Friends of the Manor” and always keen to welcome new volunteers. Our Committee Group has remained constant through the past 7 years, so we are still keeping watch so to speak!! We hope you feel as proud as we of achieving our goal, and just recently purely by chance we found a beautiful red rose named “Uncle Walter” which we felt compelled to donate to the Manor garden in your honour. We hope you have pleasure from it in the coming years.
For further information on the LMCG, please contact: