At some point in the next few weeks, if you live in the immediate area, a leaflet inviting you to join in the celebrations for Cardigan’s 900th anniversary will drop through your door.

Thousands of these are being distributed around the area. It’s a big job and it takes a lot of volunteers to get the message out there, but then 900 is a whole lot of years to celebrate and it is important that no-one who should be invited misses out.

Along with the invitation on the leaflet to you and your family, is a request that you begin a search for any photos and historic items you have. The Big History Exhibition, planned to run throughout the year at different venues around town will only be successful if local people join in providing the exhibits.

Recent history, of which most people have some record, covers approximately the past one hundred and fifty years. Thanks to the advantages of photography and other technology the twentieth century offered a wealth of opportunity to record and mark the passing of time. So there are pictures and documents, and even films, of the 20th century which have been in families for years in cupboards, photo albums, or in the chest in the attic left behind when Aunt Morfa passed away. What we want you to do is find any of those memories that relate to Cardigan and environs – pictures of farming, buildings, businesses, hospitals, schools, civic portraits, local personalities etc., and bring them into the light of day.

Given this will only take us back 150 years ago however, there will remain at least 750 years of Cardigan’s life without records. Sadly there are no handy photos laying around in peoples’ attics dating from the Civil War when the town was siding with Cromwell and his Roundheads, nor from 1176 when The Lord Rhys staged the biggest music and poetry festival ever known, in his newly built, state of the art castle. Long years will continue to be hidden from us in any kind of detail.

But those years are not a complete blank. We do know that here and there are artefacts, painted portraits, old maps, ancient deeds and such, that date back beyond the hundred and fifty years of the camera. So now is the time to start looking for them and asking around in the family for whatever ancient heirlooms exist.

A photograph taken to a Scanning Day in July will be recorded with full details of ownership. The owner of the photograph never parts with it, merely allows it to be scanned and takes it home again. The picture is then fed into a complex index and data base, and for that there is expert help available to ensure that the process is effected in a fully professional way. If you think you might like to do more than simply find a contribution from your attic there are many ways in which you could join with the rest of the team now putting it all together. Volunteers for scanning, distributing leaflets, club activities etc are more than welcome. Ring 01239 614343 and ask for 2010 office with your ideas.