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(no longer running - details here for interest)

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The Ogmore-by-Sea Retired Residents Association (ORRA) was founded on Wednesday, 26th February, 1969 and this first official meeting was held in the Seabank Country Club.  The aim of the association was to provide a meeting place for the Senior Citizens of the village, particularly those living on their own.  Two founder members were Stan Bevan and Peggy Oakes.  A letter inviting people to join was delivered (by the milkman!) to every household in Ogmore-by-Sea  on 14th April, 1969.  By this time meetings were being held regularly on the first and third Thursday every month at the Sea Lawns Hotel which was also the venue for the first Christmas Meal.  In May 1969 membership was opened to residents of the Parish of St. Brides Major. 

Although in future years the group enjoyed festive fare at the Brig y Don and Little West Restaurants, for example, meetings were held in the Sea Lawns, Ogmore-by-Sea, until the closure of this establishment in November, 2005.  After a few months of meeting in Southerndown at All Saints Church or the Three Golden Cups, in 2006 the group began to meet at The Watermill, Ogmore Village.  At the beginning of each new session (ie after Christmas, Easter and the summer holiday period) members met for lunch at 12.30 pm before the meeting commenced, as well as for a Christmas lunch in December and a strawberry tea at the last meeting before the summer break.

By 2011 these quite informal social occasions were once again held in All Saints Church, Southerndown, starting at 1.45 pm and finishing by 3.30 pm.  The management committee, elected annually, organised a programme of talks and other activities.  Membership was open to anyone who was interested and, with grants from local government bodies, membership fees were kept to a minimum.  New members were always welcome and arrangements for transport from St. Brides Major and Ogmore-by-Sea and Southerndown was possible.  

In June, 2013, as no one could be found to take on the running of the organisation the club closed with the final social occasions of a cream tea at Ogmore Farm to be held in July and the prospect of a gathering for a Christmas meal in December. 

Guests have spoken about, given demonstrations or shown slides/photographs on a variety of topics: 

Roger Sellick told of cruising the Bristol Channel on paddle steamers Balmoral and Waverley.  He showed beautiful pictures taken from these vessels, including: the Somerset coast, Cleveland Pier, Minehead, Lundy Island, the Gower, Penarth Pier and some photos taken while going under the Severn Bridges.  During the winter months the steamers were on the Clyde and at Milford Haven. 

Slide show by Eric Jowett. 

Writers' Circle. 

Representatives from the Dogs Trust spoke of the good work carried out with stray and unwanted dogs and puppies and their efforts to re-home these animals.  A video of some of the dogs in their care was also shown and details were given on their premises in Court Colman, Penyfai, following the move from Tondu Road, Bridgend. 

Life of a lady pilot by Caroline Brownville. 

Jan brought along her fine collection of sea shells from all over the world.  She explained the differences between three classes of molluscs: bivalves (clams, cockles, oysters, muscles); gastropods (snails, whelks, limpets, slugs); and cephalopods (cuttlefish, octopuses); how a shell (made from a substance secreted by the mantle) evolves and grows; and showed some very interesting specimens ranging in size from quite small to surprisingly large, as well as examples of mother-of-pearl items.  

Roger Sellick on the ss "The Great Britain" lying in dock at Bristol. 

Doreen Gunning, a past president of the South Wales Council for the Deaf, spoke of her work with this charitable organisation.  She was a founder member of the Impaired Hearing Support Group which started in Bridgend in 1994.  The group, meeting at the Evergreen Hall, Bridgend, every month at the time of her visit, enables people to meet and make friends with people who have similar problems.  Trips are organised in the summer months. 

'Our trip to see "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" hosted by Chris Tarrant.' 

Gwerfyl Gardner spoke about her appearances on television quiz programmes such as Fifteen to One, and The Weakest Link which she won. 

Joyce James on "Writing your Memoirs." 

Who was Mother Hubbard? by Wendy Nottingham.  The origin of many nursery rhymes was explained.  Baa Baa Black Sheep was first published in 1744 but is thought to date back to the Middle Ages, possibly to the 13th century, and it is believed it relates to a tax imposed on wool by the king.  White wool was taxed at a higher rate than black wool  One third went to the local lord (the "master") one third to the church (the "dame") and one third was for the farmer (the "little boy who lives down the lane") 

Music provided by the duo "Just Two" 

Journey to Machu Picchu in Peru, by Philip Norman with slides.  Although in ruins, the lost city of the Incas rediscovered in 1991 by Hiram Bingham still has stairways, dwellings, fountains and aqueducts.  Surrounded by jungle and magnificent mountains (including Huayna Picchu which can be climbed for the spectacular views of the site) it is reached by hiking, bus or train, and itself overlooks the Vilcanota River. 

As well as: 

Christmas Party. 

Strawberry Tea in July. 

Members own contributions. 

Competition of “home-grown” floral display. 


Event on 26th February, 2009 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Association. 

Coach trips were organised during the summer months and were open to both members and non-members who were warmly welcomed; destinations included:


Forest of Dean with lunch at Lydbrook. 

Bath - people could spend all day shopping or include a visit to The American Museum in Britain, Claverton Manor, which had a special exhibition of native American objects.  There was an extensive textile collection with more than 40 quilts on display and 18 period rooms showed how Americans lived from the time of the early settlers to the Civil War.


Morton in the Marsh on market day, together with Bourton on the Water. 

City of Gloucester. 

Christmas shopping trip to Cribbs Causeway, Bristol. 

Tewkesbury Market. 

Boat trip. 

Beautiful gardens at Slade with afternoon tea. 

Pick up points can usually be arranged at: A.T.S (Coity Road, Bridgend).; Priory Avenue, Bridgend (bus shelter); Ogmore-by-Sea; Southerndown; and St. Brides Major Post Office; (according to demand). 

(no longer running - details here for interest)

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