Monday, 25 March 2019

Independence Weekend and #Bookstagram Hay 2019

It's the 42nd anniversary of Hay Independence this coming weekend, and the celebrations will be going on over the 30th March and 1st April, and on to the following weekend.

On Saturday 30th March The Story of Books is holding its fourth Wayzgoose, a traditional gathering of printers, bookbinders and papermakers. This one is special because it is also the launch of a new bookshop in Hay, Balch & Balch - Printed Press Bookshop. It will be the only bookshop of its kind, specialising in books published by expert letterpress printers.
There will also be 'Printers Pies', ale and folk music - a lot to squeeze into a small space!
And it's all free.

Also on the Saturday is Computerella at the Parish Hall. Hay Junior Youth Theatre (ages from 4 to 11) present their latest show - who can fix the Royal computer?
Later, Hay Senior Youth Theatre (12 to 15 year olds) present Techno In-dependence, specially written for Hay Independence Day and funded by Powys County Council's Integrated Care Fund. Set in a fake TV studio, it features interactive debate with film, masks and theatre, and teenagers' views on what's good and not-so-good about today's technology.
Each show costs £2.50 to get in.

On Independence Day itself, April 1st, the Richard Booth Lecture will take place in the Globe. David Batterham, who got his start in bookdealing with Richard Booth, will share his 50 years of experience with the audience. The talk will be followed by a panel discussion on the ongoing legacy of the King of Hay.

Friday 5th April has several events throughout the day, starting with What is the Story of Your Business? at the Globe, a drop in event with business coach Helen Campbell.
In the evening there is a Launch Party for the weekend at Booth's Bookshop hosted by Adele Nozedar and Lizzie Harper (who have collaborated on books on foraging). They're also a good double act!
Meanwhile, just down the road in Glasbury Jake Hughes will be at the Chapel on the Green launching his new album with a mushroom-based feast and live music, with paintings and prints by David MacCarthy.
And in the Globe in the evening, for only £5, their regular feature Desert Island Picks will feature Dame Jacqueline Wilson, interviewed by Jasper Fforde. The author of Tracy Beaker and many other children's books will be sharing her favourite 8 records and 8 books.

On Saturday 6th April, events start at the Globe with Young Writers of Bookstagram, with aspiring authors reading extracts of their works and talking about the writing process and the challenges of getting published. The discussion will be chaired by Elke Desanghere of HarperCollins.
At 11am, there will be a Royal Procession, starting at the Clock Tower.
The Junior Youth Theatre will be doing another performance of Computerella at the Parish Hall in the afternoon, with another performance of Techno In-dependence later in the afternoon.
Also at the Parish Hall, this year's Hay Citizen of the Year Award will be given by the Mayor of Hay, in recognition of outstanding voluntary service to Hay over the previous year.

At Hay School there will be a creative writing workshop with Emma Beynon called Writing Royalty, inspired by King Richard Booth. Regal paraphernalia will be supplied to get the creative juices flowing!
Later she will be hosting a second writers' workshop called Writers Rule, for children aged between 12 and 17.
Also at Hay School will be Billie Charity, the local photographer, hosting the Photographic Grid Project. This is a project in which participants will take photos from various locations across Hay, which will then be combined into a grid to reveal a whole new vision of the town. There are 15 places only available for this project, for children aged between 10 and 16, and participants will need a camera or phone with email capability. The project is free.

While the children are making a photographic grid of Hay, there are 8 places at Radnor House to join Julia Joplin to make a picture with wire, book pages and found objects from nature. This project costs £25 each, but includes afternoon tea and home made cake.

In the evening at the Globe there's a Bookstagrammer Book Quiz, the Second Official Bookstagrammy Awards and the Hay Independence Party with DJ Max Galactic.

Throughout the weekend there will also be exhibitions.
At the Chapel on the Green in Glasbury will be Darkness at the Edge of Town by Daniel MacCarthy, and Hay Makers will be exhibiting Book Arts.

On Sunday 7th April there's a Book Art workshop at Hay School which costs £35 for half a day (three hour workshop), or £65 for the whole day, with Su Blackwell. There are 10 places available for each session.
Meanwhile at Green Ink Bookshop there will be a Booksellers' Breakfast, with an early look at this year's Hay Festival programme.

At the Globe there's a workshop on Botanical Perfume, Aftershave or Beard Oil, foraging for plants and then learning how to combine them with essential oils and other ingredients to make your own unique blend. There are 20 places for this event, which costs £30 - but you do get to take away your own creation afterwards.
Local authors Catherine Barr and Steve Williams will be launching their book The Story of People at the Globe, a look at human history for 5 to 12 year olds.

At Radnor House, there will be a singing workshop with David Bartlett with afternoon tea and home made cake - the session costs £10 and there are 12 spaces available.
And later at Radnor House is a Literary Salon - The Power of Book Clubs with Poppy Loves Book Club.

And at Hay School there's a chance to learn some Beginners' Welsh with Mari Fforde.

Places on the events can be booked through the Globe, Eighteen Rabbit, Hay Festival Box Office, Radnor House, Addyman Books, Chapel on the Green and Flow.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

New Hours for the Library

Thanks to Hay Festival, the opening hours of Hay Library will be longer from 1st April.
They will be:

Monday 10.30-12.30, 1.30-6.00
Thursday 10.30-12.30, 1.30-6.00
Friday 1.30-6.00
Saturday 10.00-12.30

Becky Shaw of Hay Festival said they were delighted to be able to help with an extra 7 and a half hours every week, and Councillor Rachel Powell, the portfolio holder for Young People and Culture for Powys County Council, said she was very grateful to the Festival, and added: "This is a fantastic example of partnership working for the benefit of the community, particularly the children and young people who can use the resources after school."

And so it is - but it shouldn't be necessary, and it leads to a patchwork of services where some communities can get a 'fantastic example of partnership' and others can't.
Libraries are supposed to be a service for all the public, wherever they might live - not just for the lucky ones who live in communities like Hay, where there are organisations willing to support the library service.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Local MP Found Guilty of False Expenses Claim

Chris Davies, MP for Brecon and Radnor, has been in court about a fraudulent expense claim he put in when setting his offices up back in 2015.
It's a sufficiently serious offence that the magistrate at Westminster Magistrates' Court said he didn't consider his sentencing powers to be sufficient to deal with the case, so it's gone up to the Crown Court for sentencing.
In other words, they're going to throw the book at him.
Reading through the report on the BBC website, the issue seems to be the deliberate nature of the fraud, rather than the amount involved (£700), considering that a Member of Parliament should be held to a high standard of conduct.
This could mean that Brecon and Radnor will be having a by-election soon.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Barriers Around the Old Library

These fences went up a few days ago, around the car parking spaces for the old Library building. Of course, that land will be sold as part of the sale of the Library building, along with the little garden at the other end of the site.
I was chatting to a lady who lives opposite, who said it was a lot more difficult to get residents' cars in and out now, without that extra turning space.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Art and History in Breconshire

Not long now until the Hay History Group's AGM, which will be on Tuesday 26th March at the Parish Hall, starting at 7pm.
This will be followed by a talk by William Gibbs called Illustrating Breconshire. It's about the artists who illustrated Theophilus Jones' History of Breconshire - required reading for anyone with a serious interest in the history of the area! They include Richard Colt Hoare, Thomas Price, Charles Norris and Edward Pugh. Theophilus Jones wrote his great work (of four volumes) in 1805.
Entry is free.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Small Business Sunday

A new gift shop on Backfold, where Haystacks music shop used to be.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Transforming an Old Bank

Meanwhile, further down the street, building work has started in earnest on what used to be the HSBC (and before that the Midland) Bank building. They're cutting new doorways in the wall, and I don't know what they're doing inside, but it's a hard hat area. They've also moved the public bench from the top of the slope to the bottom of the slope, beside the old front door.
It'll be interesting to see the final results.