Stalwart of village community retires after 43 years helping to transform derelict mill

When Maureen Wilde walked onto the site of the Llangedwyn Mill in 1979, she never dreamt she would still be there more than 40 years later.

Maureen Wilde at her surprise retirement celebration
Maureen Wilde at her surprise retirement celebration

From her first involvement she went on to run what became the Llangedwyn Mill & Craft Centre along with the Antur Tanat Cain Charity based at the mill in the Tanat Valley, near Oswestry.

Mrs Wilde recently enjoyed a surprise retirement celebration attended by family, friends, neighbours and colleagues, along with some of the original stalwarts of the project to restore the mill.

Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams was also at the event and congratulated Mrs Wilde, whom he described as a Llangedwyn champion and stalwart

Mrs Wilde said: “When I first walked onto the mill site in 1979, I never thought I would still be there over 40 years later!

“It was lovely to meet up with friends, present and former tenants of the mill, including Dick Richards and Paddy Moindrot, who were the original stalwarts of so many local projects.

"There are also so many good people who are no longer with us, such as David Rowlands who was chairman director and my mentor for 30 years, and Councillor Bob Edwards, likewise, who first had the vision for Antur Tanat Cain - as well as too many others to mention individually but all remembered.

“I would like to thank my husband, Keith, who has worked hard over the years whenever called upon to make the mill and the various projects we have taken on a success. I also want to wish the new management team all the very best for the future.”

Craig Williams MP said: “Maureen truly is the definition of a ‘local champion’. Since she first became involved with the mill in 1979, it has been completely renovated from a derelict site to a thriving hub; providing jobs and new skills for young people and creating units for small businesses to grow and develop.

"Under her leadership, the mill was the location for Wales’ first ‘telecentre’, providing training in computing and internet use during its infancy."

He added: “For over 30 years, Maureen and her husband Keith have worked tirelessly getting up in the early hours every other Sunday morning, to set up and run the charity car boot sales held at the mill. This has raised thousands of pounds for local charities. They have also recently overseen the establishment of Jubilee Luncheon Clubs for the elderly.

“On top of this, Maureen played a crucial role in establishing and obtaining funding for local recreation associations within Llangedwyn and the surrounding areas, and was a founder member alongside others of the Tanat Chronicle and the Tanat Theatre Club. In her ‘spare time’, Maureen also remains a Llangedwyn community councillor, and was a governor of Llangedwyn CIW Primary School for many years.

“I was very pleased to be able join Maureen and her family and friends at this very special celebration. It truly is the end of an era for Llangedwyn, and I wish both Maureen and her husband Keith a very happy retirement.”

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