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'We always wonder what they mean. I'm going to learn a lot.' DICTIONARY OF WELSH PLACE NAMES IS GIVEN TO THE DUCHESS.

Byline: RACHAEL MISSTEAR & RUTH DAVIES rachael.misstear@walesonline.co.uk

THE Duchess of Cornwall has seen first hand how some of Britain's most prized art collections are being catalogued and printed at a small West Wales printing press.

It came during the start of Prince Charles and Camilla's summer tour of Wales, which included a trip to the last home of Dylan Thomas.

In a separate first engagement from her husband, the duchess visited independent publishing house Gomer Press at Llandysul, Ceredigion - a fourth generation, family-run printing and binding business.

As well as learning about the production process, Camilla was told about Gomer's work printing for the Public Catalogue Foundation - of which she is patron.

The PCF was created in 2003 by the businessmen and diplomat Fred Hohler, who was frustrated at the lack of catalogues at many public collections. It has so far photographed paintings by some 46,000 artists in more than 3,000 locations over 10 years, and now the largest and most wide-ranging collection of paintings in the world has been gathered together.

The duchess was told how Gomer Press, founded in 1892 by John David Lewis, won the contract back from a China-based printers thanks to its competitive pricing.

Quipping about the company founder's name, Mr Hohler said: "What a privilege it is once again to see you in one of the remoter branches of John Lewis partnership.

The duchess met Vince Lloyd a folder operator who has been working with the business for 48 years - following his father, Dewi Lloyd, who also worked for the company for more than 50 years.

"It was great to meet the duchess and to tell her about my role within the business. I feel very proud to be part of a family business which has been part of the community for many generations."

As well as copies of the Welsh collection of PCF books, the duchess was presented with a book called Dictionary of the Place Names of Wales by Hywel Wyn Owen and Richard Morgan.

Thanking staff at Gomer, she said "This really is wonderful. We're always wondering what they all mean. I'm going to learn a lot."

On his first engagement of the day, Prince Charles met members of the Llandovery Development Partnership and local council representatives at Wales' first rural work hub. The Llandovery Work Hub, in the town's information centre, is a shared work space designed to combat feelings of isolation experienced by many running a business in rural areas. Pupils from Ysgol Rhys Pritchard and Llandovery College sang the British and Welsh anthems to welcome the prince.

Llandovery town councillor Nigel Burgess said locals now viewed the Prince as of one of their own.

He said: "We're just a small town in the heart of rural Wales, so the fact that our future king chose this neck of the woods to be his home means a great deal to people."

The prince then presented long service medals to Dyfed-Powys Police staff at the force's headquarters at Llangunnor, Carmarthen.

Just after 1pm, the royal couple arrived in Laugharne in their blue Bentley before walking the windy path to the famous spot where Dylan Thomas lived. The prince is patron of the Dylan Thomas 100 Festival, which is gearing up for a year of celebrations in 2014 to mark the centenary of Dylan's birth.

The Boathouse was where Thomas wrote his famous play Under Milk Wood in his now legendary writing shed - and the cottage was where he lived with wife Caitlin and his three children during the last four years of his life from 1949 to 1953.

Charles and Camilla were given a tour of the writing shed, with the Prince merging history with technology when he stepped inside the writing shed to use a laptop to launch Carmarthenshire Council's new Dylan Thomas website, www.dylanthomasboathouse.com.

Among the well-wishers was Thomas's granddaughter, Hannah Elis, who led Charles down the steep steps to the Boathouse.

He stopped to observe a plaque to Thomas' late daughter, Aeronwy. The tribute to her read: "How time has ticked a heaven around the stars."

After the couple unveiled a commemorative slate plaque, the duchess was presented with a posy by Charlie Jackson, 3, Dylan's greatgrandson.

CAPTION(S):

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall examine a plaque at the Boathouse

The Duchess of Cornwall outside the family home of Dylan Thomas, in Laugharne

Picture:.Peter Byrne/PA Wire
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 2, 2013
Words:741
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