Geler Jones Collection at Llanerchaeron

One of the many items on display within the Geler Jones collection at Llanerchaeron

Capturing a lost way of life, the Geler Jones Collection is a treasure trove of agricultural and domestic machinery from an era when the power of the horse dominated and farming in Wales was rapidly changing.

As the race to mechanise farming practices took place in the 1950s and 60s, small rural collections started popping up as enthusiasts tried to prevent the loss of this way of living. 

Our collection was amassed by Geler Jones, a saddler by trade, and his wife Mair, who lived in Cardigan, just over 20 miles south of Aberaeron. 

Geler had always dreamed of owning a steam-powered traction engine, but they were very expensive. Whilst he waited for one he could afford, he started collecting other items from Ceredigion’s rich rural past. 

Together, Geler and Mair collected over 2000 items of agricultural and domestic machinery; a collection that documents a seismic period of Welsh farming history. From threshing machines and ploughs to shearing machinery and a number of early twentieth century tractors which sit side by side the collection of domestic items, such as butter churns, wooden washing machines and vintage vacuum cleaners.

They purchased land behind their house in Cardigan to house the larger items in the collection, which they opened to the public from time to time. 

Glenys, Geler’s prized steam roller, became a regular feature at Cardigan’s Barley Saturday celebrations and is now one of the main items you will see as you enter the building housing the collection at Llanerchaeron. 

When can I visit the collection? 

It’s open every Wednesday and Friday from March to October and is located just off the farmyard at Llanerchaeron. 

Caring for the collection

In 1993, the National Heritage Memorial Fund financially enabled the National Trust to buy the collection from Geler and Mair. They had made the difficult decision to sell the collection to ensure that it was kept together. 

It was placed in a purpose-built building at Llanerchaeron and in the past few years this has been converted from a storage shed to a display space so that it can be opened to the public to be enjoyed once again, just as Geler and Mair opened their garden to the public all those years ago. 

We’re now ready for the next chapter, building on the histories of each of the items, continuing the conservation and using the collection to tell the story of rural life in Ceredigion.