During the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year of 1977 a fund was set up to utilise money donated by the public - ‘The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Trust’.
At this time Colonel J.J. Davis was Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Ceredigion, and he and his wife Mrs Betty Davis, having been inspired by a visit to the Outward Bound Centre near Aberdovey, decided to fundraise for monies to build a residential centre on their estate at Ciliau Aeron where disabled and disadvantaged young people could holiday.
An initial donation of £25,000 came from the Jubilee Trust.
Having no children of their own to whom they could pass on their estate it was decided to register a charity, which could administrate future enjoyment of it by the visitors to the centre, and by the local community.
Mrs Davis especially identified very closely with the local farmers and rural way of life around Ciliau Aeron.
This was the start of Ty Glyn Davis Trust, which subsequently fundraised for some years until 1987, when Ceredigion District Council became involved in installing a wheelchair accessible circular footpath from the road and around the outside of the walled garden.
The intention was that the public, especially visitors to the proposed centre and local people, could enjoy the formally planted Victorian woodlands bounded by the rivers Camel and Aeron.
This project was successfully accomplished by the Council’s Community Program teams, so they were commissioned to build the current middle block of the holiday centre.
Also around this period teams of Community Volunteers from schemes run by the Prince’s Trust worked clearing scrub from the woodland, and constructed a deep pool near the Aeron for the otter population with a wooden observation hide for visitors to watch them.
When the Order of St. John in Cardiff answered an appeal for help from Ty Glyn the two outlying wings of the centre were built, with financial support from themselves and also the South Wales philanthropist Sir Stanley Thomas, who remains as President of Ty Glyn Trust.
The extended and improved holiday centre was opened by The Duchess of Gloucester.
Colonel Davis was able to hear the laughter of children playing around the centre before he died. Unfortunately, after his death, Mrs. Davis herself was left for the last part of her life in very constrained financial straits.
She never veered one iota, however, from her desire to see the beautiful and tranquil grounds of the estate passed on for the benefit of less fortunate young people and the local community. This was to be the standing, and it is our hope to be an everlasting legacy of her husband and herself.
A successful application to The Heritage Lottery Fund saw the huge stretches of stone walling around the garden renovated and made safe for use, a children’s play area installed and clearance and re-planting carried out.
Today the Centre is used by families and groups from across the UK, and the woodlands and garden are a cherished resource for visitors and locals alike. Directors of the Trust can feel happy that the dreams and intentions of Colonel and Mrs. Davis have been respected and achieved.
With the essential support of our clients and the people of the area this can continue to be so.