Red Challenge

by Gethin Thomas February. 19, 2021 311 views

A relative on Facebook sent me a link today, called The Daily Haiku. It was a cropped shot of a red house that I immediately recognised.

After a bit of a trawl through my back catalogue, I found the two shots I took back in 2006. This is my preferred one below.

So if you are in lockdown and looking for ideas of what to post, how about you find your reddest photo ever from your back catalogue and accept the Red Challenge.

It is called Kennixton Farmhouse and is in the National Museum of Wales outpost, St. Fagans National Museum of History. The museum mostly consists of historical buildings that would have been lost had they not been dismantled and rebuilt here at the open air museum.

The original location of the house was in Llangennith, Gower, Glamorgan. It was built in three phases, 1610, 1680 & c.1750.

St. Fagans was one of the first museums of buildings in the world and pioneered the idea of dismantling and rebuilding endangered buildings. This farmhouse was moved here in 1952, and it was opened to the public in 1955. It is amazing to think that it's later stage had only been built 202 years before it was dismantled and it has already been in it's new home for 70 years.

The red colour of the walls was thought to protect the house against evil spirits, as did the berries of the rowan tree in the garden and the carved figures which can be seen just inside the front door.

Although the house was moved to the museum in 1952, the farm buildings associated with it were not offered at the time. It was to be 50 years later, however, that the barn and calves cotts were donated, so that they could take their rightful place alongside the farmhouse as they are today.

In West Wales there is a tradition of salmon fishing from small round basket like boats called coracles. There are different types of coracle and associated equipment.

When my late father passed away some years ago I was given some very old objects which were not deemed to be of any great importance. One item was a small wooden paddle with a painting of a salmon on it. It seemed to be quite old and in my view it needed careful handling and restoration. I decided to gift this paddle to St. Fagans Folk Museum as it was then.

I delivered the paddle in person and the curator who received it thanked me and said it probably wasn't of great importance and looked like tourist art but they were grateful for the donation. It was a coracle paddle, no doubt about it but probably just made for decoration.

I forgot all about it only to receive a letter from the museum a month or two later. The experts had now examined it and it turned out to be a very rare Teifi coracle paddle, which they were able to tell from the shape and design. My grandparents had lived in a smallholding on the river Teifi and had salmon fishing rights. As a child I remember this paddle hanging from a beam in one of the outbuildings and I believe it was hanging there when they bought the property in the late 1960's. So this Teifi coracle paddle had probably not travelled more than a quarter of a mile in it's entire life before it was passed to my father and then to me.

The paddle has a distinctive shaped handle which identifies it as a Teifi, there is only one like it shown on the museum website to give you an idea of what it looks like.

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There are 5 comments , add yours!
R Kuerbovich 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Great post and great story! thanks!

3 months, 4 weeks ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 4 months ago

Gonna look what I can find old or new. You will see me soon.

4 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 4 months ago

New word of the day " coracle".

4 months ago Edited
Craig Casterline 4 months ago

Challenge accepted. I was trying to think of what to post next and this gives me direction. Thank you.

4 months ago Edited
Gethin Thomas Replied to Craig Casterline 4 months ago

I had a feeling you might run with it. smile With a lot of people not able to get out and take new photos I thought it would be nice for everyone to go back and see what they did in the past. If you've been taking photos for a long time it's amazing what you find.

4 months ago Edited