Our charity’s first field centre was in Pencader, Wales, where we renovated Aber-Gwen Woollen Mill creating a museum, visitor centre, fish hatchery, stock ponds and a shop, all near to Pencader Station.
You can see a photo of Abergwen Mill on our archive site and photos of Pencader by scolling down this page.
World of Water Background
The Late Joyce Latham LAMDA., broadcaster and actor, devoted much of her energies to collecting memorabilia. She co-founded the museum at Aber Gwen Woollen Mill with Arthur Taylor, engineer and watermill enthusiast, where parts of her collection went on display. Throughout the 1970’s she roamed across continents in search of material for her museum.
Although trying her hardest to keep her museum open, alive and prosperous, when Taylor died his heirs eventually forced its closure in 1981.
Joyce continued to grow her museum collections, but as she grew older she travelled less, focusing her activities on teaching acting, elocution and deportment.
On her death in 2013, aged 91, her estate (Latham-Jesse Estate) was distributed across the many charities she had supported throughout her life including World of Water which she co-founded soon after the closure of her museum.
Having charged her charity trustees with her last spark of enthusiasm to continue supporting research into more careful water use and the health and conservation of all waterlife and related water heritage, Joyce bequethed to World of Water a restricted investment fund for buying and managing a property to provide the income stream needed to ensure the continuation and growth of her charity’s work.
The investment fund, whilst not large enough to buy another Aber Gwen Woollen Museum outright, remains ever ready-for-use. Since 2013, World of Water has made unsuccessful offers on several interesting properties.
In the memorandum Joyce left to her trustees about the future of the her Collections, she had more to say about preventing global water pollution and feeding the World’s starving than she did about the actual purpose of her collections. At Aber Gwen Mill Museum, her Collections were used to widen visitor appreciation of the surrounding rivers, woodland, fish hatchery and ponds. Since her death these collections have been used more in highlighting the issues in her memorandum. We hope that the Late Joyce Latham Elam would approve.
On all her travels, she always collected items that captured her curiousity, and her interests were boundless. Those exhibits on loan to the original museum were returned when the museum closed. All other exhibits needed storage. Sadly, many items, especially those stored in three empty pig sties in the Cotswolds, suffered damage beyond restoration.
Today’s ‘Elam Collection’ is much reduced, in museum storage, and sadly not open to the public and World of Water continues to run from its field centre’s kitchen table.
However, the search for a new home for our charity is ever current as we continue to make progress with our present projects, which include:
the loan of items from the Elam Collections for related school projects.
publishing books for children.
digitally recording & shareing news on water heritage.
supporting campaigns on water issues eg. ocean & river rewilding , beach cleans.
fostering a global pollutionless future for our shared finite water resource.
researching more efficient use of water and nutrients in closed-loop food production.
careing for a small plot of ancient woodland in Sussex and three fields in Powys.
offering places for international students through Wwoof and helpX schemes (pre Covid).
promoting #MakeWaterFamous #TidalPower #RiverWatch
culturing plants for rewilding.
writing copy and providing illustrations to community groups for articles, blogs & presentations.
attending events & exhibitions (pre Covid).
Projects in the making include research into:
The canal transport of fuel & flannel.
Water Power from watermills & steam mills.
Washing & Drying [Industrial & Domestic use].
Water & Wool.
Global Water Heritage.
Community Skills & Water footprint education.
Museum curation & archival conservation.
Training & Research into ever better Charity Management.
Low River Severn elver runs.
Water in Malt production and Brewing.
And ongoing Fund raising of course.
A section of the Museum collection includes postcards. The following postcards show Pencader and were donated to World of Water in memory of the Birmingham Engineer, A.E.D. Taylor – our charity’s first patron and its co-founder who bought and masterminded the Mill’s renovation shortly after visiting the Centre for Alternative Technology.
Below, photo of charity co-founder, Joyce Latham Elam (on right of centre) taken whilst on location filming the story of the Fasting Girl of Pencader