Some comments from members, and more about our holiday adventures

“More than a testimonial, this is a note to express my gratitude towards LETS organisation.

This is more or less when I decided to get rid of my old car that I joined LETS and it made it very easy. There were many trips to the tip, back and forth to the train station and especially people picking us up after some gigs for our daughter, when there are no buses any more. In our times of ecological threat it feels good to be able to contribute in the reduction of carbon emission, by taking the bus whenever possible and rely on LETS when it is not.

There were also precious help and advice about computer matters, garden, electricity…

At the time of leaving this region, again it is so useful to trade the furniture and things we can’t take with us and make it a fruitful income that will be precious for the help definitely needed for the final clearing and cleaning of the house and garden.

I really hope I will be able to find another group as dynamic wherever I go!”

“I think a lot of people feel they don’t have any skills or experience that would be useful or that they will be asked to do things all the time. Maybe it would be good to stress the way it actually works.

I think it is brilliant!”

“Having been a member for 3 or 4 years, I have found LETS immensely useful in so many ways: pictures mended and hung; small sewing jobs done; curtain rail and small cupboard put up, to mention just a few things.

Best of all, some of these kind people have become friends and I have been able to help them, too. When one moves to a new area, as I did to Ewelme in January 2010, it’s such a help to join a friendly organisation like LETS. One soon has a nucleus of acquaintances, and bumping into them around the local area induces a good feeling of belonging.”

“Join LETS. Go on, do it!

My decision to join LETS was based largely on having cupboards full of tools, a passion for fixing things and a little more spare time than had previously been the case—but I was also aware that there were new faces to meet and, on both counts,  LETS has kept me pleasantly amused for several years.

Being in a minority within the group—by which I mean a chap—has its advantages but it would be a fine thing if more men joined the scheme. Nevertheless, LETS has been a most enjoyable way of keeping various skills current and has let me draw services that lady members invariably do better, such as curtaining, clothing repairs, ironing, advice and help with interior design and decorating; even assistance with keeping an unruly garden on the straight and narrow. I mustn’t forget a very welcome rescue mission when I had a plumbing emergency.

Social activities have (dare I say this?) exceeded expectations, although I must attribute this to one or two members who have a genius for this sort of thing: such is life. They know who they are but I’ll spare any blushes. This is an extra way to earn castles, two per person attending, as well as a way to build trust for giving you house keys to someone for a few days’ watering and puss care.

LETS Holiday in September 2022

We had a terrific group holiday in September. It has been voted the Best LETS Holiday ever!The photograph  shows the house at Nolton Haven that 11 of us stayed in for a week in September. The location was just as good as it looks. Only a few steps to the beach, in a quiet, sheltered cove.

We are all agreed that we had a really good week, with lots of outings and activities and friendships, both new and renewed.  In fact, it was so good that we are thinking of returning to the same place next year.

We were very fortunate to have amongst the group one member  who not only knew the area but had grown up only a few miles away. This was very useful when it came to advice about which castle to visit, or which restaurant to go to. And her knowledge of local history, especially the Landsker Line, an important line of castles delineating Welsh from English-speaking Wales originating in the 12th Century, was invaluable. The ruins of one of the castles could still be seen in Roch, Margaret’s home village.

We did visit several castles. Here is the impressive Carew Castle, still in very good shape:




Nalini really entered into the spirit of the day and got put into the stocks!

Carew had the added interest of an 18th Century Tidal Mill, still in good working order and with some renewal of parts, could be generating electricity and be connected to the grid.

The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path runs from our beach in both directions, north and south and there were terrific views across the sea to St. Brides Bay and St. Davids with Ramsay Island in one direction and towards Milford Haven and the islands of Skomer and Skokholm in the other.

The RNLI had training days for their beach lifeguards in our cove, using jet-skis with body boards attached. It was fun watching them from the cliff but sobering when we later saw one being used to save a surfer’s life on TV in “Saving Lives at Sea”, the programme about the amazing RNLI.

We had the unexpected experience of a rescue mission ourselves. David organised a boat trip for the group to Ramsay Island, which is a short way off the coast at St. Justinians. It was quite a blustery day and we wrapped up well for the crossing.

But we had only been at sea for ten minutes or so when the skipper told us that he had been advised to go to the aid of a fisherman whose engine had stopped working. The channel between Ramsay Island and St. Justinians is very deep and fast-flowing and the fisherman would have been in real peril if we had not gone to his rescue. A rope was thrown from our boat and we towed him back to his mooring.

We continued our trip to Ramsay Island which has a fascinating geological history, and has a large seal colony. They haul out onto the beaches there to have their pups. So although it was increasingly cold and windy we all very much enjoyed our trip with a very knowledgeable guide and saw plenty of seals and interesting rock formations.

Unfortunately the puffins, who are a large attraction on the island, had all migrated back to wherever puffins go for the winter, so there weren’t too many interesting birds. We hope to vist them in 2023!

It wasn’t all activities, we had relaxing times in the house just being together, and there was a very complicated jigsaw on the go the whole time, to which anyone and everyone contributed. As well as time to catch up with reading, or just chatting.

Meal at Broad Haven

Sitting around the breakfast table and chatting over another coffee was good too, and it’s always interesting hearing about other people’s experiences. One couple were particularly energetic and were up and out before the rest of us, eager to get into the sea as soon as possible!

Visiting St. Davids was of course on everyone’s to-do list. Unfortunately the cathedral was closed to sight-seeing because of the Queen’s death and period of mourning, but it was still possible to go in and sit for a while and quietly absorb the atmosphere. It is the smallest cathedral in the country and avoided being raided by the Vikings because it sits in a hollow and is invisible from the sea.

In the best LETS tradition, evening meals were prepared by 2 different people each evening (not the person they came with!) apart from the group dinner which is usually on the last evening. Shopping and cooking for 11 is quite a challenge, but everyone rose to the occasion and we had some great food. And you really get to know somebody when you are sharing a kitchen with them!

We had a couple of fun evenings when we played board games after dinner and we celebrated the week by going out on the last night to a very nice local Italian restaurant, so nobody had to cook that night.

So here’s to the LETS 2023 holiday. We are planning to return to Nolton Haven in June as there was so much more to see.