This blog shows you the most recent post first. To see where our journey began scroll down or click here
It was the day of the Brexit result. We were stunned by the outcome and having ruled out Tenby, an empty day of rumination stretched ahead. We needed to do something. “Well,” said Harry. “I suppose we could explore a bit. We’re here for another night anyway. Where do you want to go?”
I checked my factsheet. “It looks like the only local Quaker Meeting is in a place called Narberth. It’s a bit north of here. We could go and have a look?”
Other than the Quaker thing, I knew nothing about Narberth. The road in from Tenby was pretty unprepossessing but as we drove through what seemed to be a tiny market town I looked back and forth at the shops and the houses and by the time we had parked the car I knew I liked what I saw.
Apart from a Costcutter and a Spar, all the shops seemed to be independent. There was a butcher, a greengrocer, a flower shop, a hardware store, a newsagents and a number of boutiques and gift shops. We peeped in the door of a Spanish deli called Ultracomida, which looked amazing, but was very busy so we didn’t go in. There were a few pubs and restaurants and several cafés. I think we both felt instantly that this could be something.
Most local Quaker Meetings have their own Meeting House, but there’s an increasing tendency to let go of the costs and organisational difficulties in favour of renting a room for Meeting for Worship. According to my directory of Meetings Quakers in Narberth met at the community centre, so we went to have a look. Inside we found a pin board covered in notices as well as a very friendly and helpful receptionist who was happy to supply local information. There seemed to be a surprising array of things going on in Narberth: yoga classes, aquafit, walking groups, a women’s choir, sewing classes.
I was excited. This seemed like a community I could fit into.
Next came a building called the Queen’s Hall, which seemed to be a live entertainment venue and café underneath a little gallery. I bagged us a table outside and Harry went to buy a Saturday Guardian. “There’s local cheese in that Spar,” he told me. “And local sausages.” Even the convenience stores seemed to be proudly foodie.
We sat in the sunshine, watching the residents of Narberth go by, enjoying our drinks (although maybe not so much what we found in the paper). We were there perhaps three hours. But somehow we were hooked.