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A Visit to the Flat Holm.…


A Visit to the Flat Holm. BY RAMBLER. Dr Barnardo's work for destitute children has been brought somewhat prominently before the people of Cardiff during the past few weeks, but there are yet, doubtless, many hundreds who know literally nothing of what has been attempted, and what has actually been done. The apace at my disposal will not permit me at this time to go at all fully into the history of the movement which was originated by Dr Barnardo many years ago, but I feel it to be a work of great importance, and one which ought to be more liberally patronised, and have therefore placed myself in com- munication with Mr Corner, the manager of the •"Home" in Cardiff, and in a week or two hope to be able to place before my readers a more detailed statement of the work, in the hope that the sympathy of the readers of the Ghronicle might be aroused, and ,that, as a result, more practical aid will be forthcoming. For some time Mr Corner worked Cardiff and district single handed, but he has recently gathered a few ladies and gentleman together, and has formed a local committee, hence the work has become some- what lighter, and at the same time more effective. Three weeks or a month ago, a street collection was taken up with the result that X162 were collected. The expenses for the first of these collections was rather heavy, boxes, &c., having to be provided, but after all expenses had been defrayed J6150 were sent away to the Doctor. This was a handsome sum, but yet much more, it is hoped, will be realised in future years. The Committee who solicited aLd obtained the assistance of a large number of "workers" in the street collection thought that I further good might result, if they organised an outing at a cheap rate for the workers and their friends, hence it was resolved if satisfactory arrangements could be made, to visit the Flat Holme. Mr E. xlandcock, junr., of Cardiff, who had previously shown sympathy with Dr Barnardo's work, was waited upon, ^5 he at once very generously placed at the disposal Of the Committee his steam tug 44 Falcon." The day haying been fixed upon, viz., Monday (Bank Holiday), tickets were issued, and about 130 availed themselves of the privilege of visiting the island, so weH known by name to every one, but of which in reality almost everyone is ignorant, except that it is be place whereon stands the lighthouse. On Monday morning, although the weatber was, iatrly fine, yet there were not wanting judications that -the day would be stormy, but nevertheless over a hundred assembled at the Cardiff Pier Head, from "WbeDCtt they emb J'J¡ed at about 8.30, The steamer) then proceeded to the Penarth Pier, where a detach- ment of about twenty were taken on board, these being mostly ladies- A dose of Mother Seigel's syrup, which is such an excellent preventative of sea sickness, was taken by some of the gentler sex, before leaving home, and I am pleased to say it fully maintained its reputation, for whilst these ladies generally dare not "fcot a boat," they did not even feel any of those unpleasant sensations which they have isually so much dreaded. Thanks to Mr Pike, I was one of the few favoured visitors, and to him and the comraittee I feel greatly indebted. When we had safely embarked and the good Falcon had got well under weigh, I glanced me round to see what sort of company I was in. I paraded the boat from one end to the other, and having satisfied myself that all was well. I settled down near to an elderly gentleman who was rasping away at an old fiddle. When we got about midwav between Penarth and the Holme. the boat began to roll, and one young lady said ° I Oh, would I were a bird, And home I soon would fly." But she wasn't a bird, and though the waves lashed the boat, and the spray sometimes played its little pranks, and "christened" us, yet we had to submit, and make the best of it. Some of the youngsters on board were delighted to have their faces kiased by the spray. At length steam was shut off, the tug was brought to a stand still, and then we noticed three small boais coming to take us on shore. We were all more or less impatient to plant our feet on terra firms, but I with a thoughtfulness to be commended, some of the commanders," directed that the ladies and children, with one or two gentlemen with each party, should be taken on shore first. We did not linger long on the Beach, bat as soon as possible made our way to the farm house, and hotel where we were to be entertained to dinner and tea. Here we planted our luggage," for we had brought with us an ad lib supply of coats, wraps, &c., and one or two thoughtful young ladies had even provided themselves with extra pairs of shoes. After lemonades and stone gingers had been dis- pensed. some of us proceeded to view the attractions of the islan J, while others found pleasure ia games of rounders, cricket, See. Near to the farm house we observed the mounds of which the poet wrote: f. Three forgotten mounds mark the rude graves None knows of whom; but those of men who breathed, And bore their part in life and looked to heaven, As man looks now they died and left no name'! Fancy might think, armd the wilderness Of waves, they sought to hide from human eyes All memory of their fortunes." According to tradition the,graeti in question are those of the three knights who slew Thomas a Becket, at Canterbury Cathedral. We proceeded to the lighthouse, which stands about 156 feet high on its southern point, and was erected in 1737. It shows an cccular light with red and white sectors visible at a distance of about 18 miles. We found the good officer in charge of this wonderful structure in the best of humours, he wa« very chatty and anxious to give us all the information he could. We were to be sure and have a look at one another's likeness by looking through the reflec- tors. This we did, and could they have been put on cardboard as we saw them, they would meet with an immense sale. From the top of the lighthouse we bad a grand view of the Channel and the English and Welsh coasts. ° We next proceeded to view the batteries, and LNit F. W. Butt-Thompson, gave us a very interesting lecture on guns, old and new, shot, shell, &c., The rain which for some little time had been threatening, now began to pour, and my miifh which had hitherto done duty for a walkingstick, afforded me protection from the storm. It was drawing on time for dinner, aud with one consent we began to make for the hotel. The tables were laid on the lawn, but the rain continuing, we soon removed them to the bowling alley," and here under shelter we did good justice to the beef, mutton, ham, potatoes, salad, &c., & &c., The day was now about half spent, and it seemed to me we had wandered all over the island, and seen all the sights. I was walking along with my esteemed friend Mr Pike, when we saw a donkey and cart with the Union Jack flying proudly over the donkey's back, and fastened to the cart was a hheet of paper bearing the words one penny each. What does that mean," said Mr Pike to the boy in charge, a penny for the cart and another pennv for the donkey ? "No! said the boy; "a penny each to have a ride." How much a dozen ?" A dozen can't get in, Sir." Well, how many can you carry then?" As many as can get in, Sir." Come on then ladies," said Mr Pike, and have a ride." And in a minnte he was sitting in the bed of the cart. Four or five ladies then got in, and I moun- I ted the driver's seat, whilst the boy tugged away at the donkey's head. All went well for a few steps, when the boy attempt- ed to lead the donkey out of the proper track. Neddy now refused to budge, and although Mr Pike, spoke kindly, the boy pulled and tugged at Journal head, for we had ascertained that that was the donkey's name, and I walloped her with my umbrella, all was in vain. If some young men and women had wills as strong as Jennie's, they would be preserved, perhaps, from many of the snares into which they fall, through being so easily led from the path of duty. When Neddy's head wa3 again turned into the proper direction there was no further trouble, bat those who have had a ride in a donkey cart over øaeb a rough path, cm imagine what ft was like- Having bad our pennyworth, which is about equal to twelve pennyworth of donkey gallop you get at Penarth. we made our. way to the Beach, where for a little time we sat under some overhanging rocks and discussed the. question "Is dancing right?" The discussion was rather one-sided, sol will not trouble my readers with the arguments. Some of us then read th, newg of the day, two or three slept. some played with the pebbles, and a few venturesome souls scaled the rocks. i icture another scene. At one point was a knot of ladies. with a gentleman or two thrown in just to form a variety, discussing another important question viz., Palmistry. The life-line, fate-line, &c., of each hand was noted, but nothing in the form of fortune- telling was attempted. The merits of the science was the principle topic of ci nversation. Later on I was introduced to Mr Corner, the local agent for Br Barnardo, and as I before stated 1 am now in communication with him respecting the work the worthy doctor has in hand. There is no church or place of worship of any kind on the island, neither is there any school, and of coarse we all know the difficulties which the inbab- itants of the island have in reaching either Penarth, Cardiff, or Weston for these purposes. With so many men stationed on the island at the batteries, surely the Church of England ought to provide for their spirit- ual wants. Uieie are yet other attractions on the island, viz, thd Cardiff iuiectious diseases hospital and Crematorium# We bad a peep in at the window of the former. There were to be seen in one room four iron bedsteads with mattresses, and piled on the top of one a quantity of bed linen, &c. We looked in at another wiadow, and here we saw a number of articles of enameled waroo This place I understand has been specially erected for the treatment of cases of cholera. It is erected vert near to the farm and inn, and at a short distance from it is also tbe creautoriurn. This place I did not visit, f as the practice of cremation does not appeal to 1119 in any attractive form. Tea time had now arrived and we were glad to sit down and enjoy the cup that cheers but which does not inebriate. It is said that the Flat Holm is an appetising place, and I can fully concur in this st3te. ment for we were nearly famished, and ready to devour everything which was placed before us. Byron said Famished people must be slowly nursed, And fed by spoonfuls, else they always burst." I have therefore been careful to say we were nearfy famished, for this terrible event which Bryon spoke of was avoided. Whilst we were having tea we were able to smile at the stoim, for the rain was descending heavily, but after tea it bubsided for a time, and we took another walk to watch the huge waves as they dashed and foamed against the rugged rocks. This privilege was not, however, to be enjoyed for long, Again the rain pelted down, and dun the large room at the hotel became crowded, and with Miss Pike at the piauo, the assembled company joined heartily in singing a numberof hymns from Moody and Sankay's I collection. As a slight variation, Mrs. Trass sang with much feeling, the solo « Will you meet me at the fountain ? the response being heartily rendere4 by all assembled. Mr. Guolston, who for some years was engaged in missionary labour in China, sang in the language of the Celestials, the translation of our popular hymn, « Guide me, 0 Thou great Jehovah." Short addresses were given by Mr. Trass and Mr. Goulston. and prayer was also offered by these two gentlemen before the party dispersed to make their way to the beach to re embark for home. It was intended to have had a cruise to Weston and round, but this was abandoned in consequence of the unfavourable state of the weather. The home trip will not soon be forgotten by many who were on board. The winds blew, the rain poured in torrents, and the waves leaped over the boat, so that many of the party were wetted through. Several were sea-sick, and quite ill, but nevertheless a large number joined in singing hymns such as We are out on the ocean sailing," -1 The life-boat," &c. When we reached Penarth, one lady said No mprl) sea for me," whilst another said >' There's no place like home," and as we p-tsaed the turnstile, one symja* thiser among those who watched oar arrival, unkindly compared our appearance to that of "drowned fish," Although Monday was not one of the most favour* able days for visiting the Flat Holme, yet we all felfi none the less grateful to Mr Corner and his committee for having organised such an outing, and we sincerely hope that the special work in which he k engage4 will be even more abundantly blessed, and that Dr, Barnardo will long be spared to carry on such a grand and noble institution n The "Chronicle" Office for Printing.