Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Manchester Bombing

I've been rather preoccupied over the last couple of days, with what's been happening in the city of my birth.
I'm a Mancunian - and I am so proud of the way the people of Manchester have come together after the terrible bomb blast at Manchester Arena.

So for a while my thoughts have been with the people of Manchester - but Hay Festival starts tomorrow, so I'll be back to blogging about Hay again then.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Book Art


Book art at the Cinema Bookshop - the theme is Shakespeare.
Next week, we're getting a new display for the Festival, on the theme of Dylan Thomas.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Hay Tap Orange Card

To be honest, I'd almost forgotten about this.
When Brecon Tap announced that they were in discussions to take over the running of Kilvert's in Hay (and make it their Hay Tap) they did some crowdfunding. I wasn't able to take part when they did this to start Brecon Tap, but the thought of being able to walk up the road to partake of their amazing pies (and the excellent beer) made me look at my finances and decide I could afford to help them out this time.
And then I forgot about it until I saw a friend, who had also put money into the scheme.
The idea was that participants would get a card, with 50% of the amount they had donated on it, to use at the bar of both Hay and Brecon Tap. My friend is a great fan of loyalty cards, and had emailed them to ask when the card would be available, and I met her when she was going up to collect it from behind the bar. Bless her, she had also mentioned that I hadn't got a card yet either, so I went up with her.
So we now have the Orange Card, and since we were there, and didn't have to do much in the afternoon, we decided to use our cards straight away. She had a coffee, and I had a half of the guest ale, which I think was called Thor Ale? and was a collaboration between women brewers. Spicy, and quite strong, and very tasty.

There are so many places where it's possible to get really good beer in Hay!

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Battle of Painscastle

I was stopped the other day by someone who knows of my interest in re-enactment and local history - she wanted to know more about the Battle of Painscastle, which is not far from Hay.
It's not one of the better known battles of medieval history, but it was disastrous for the Welsh.
In 1195, Matilda de Braos's forces caused a "great slaughter" of the Welsh defenders when she took Painscastle - she also built Hay Castle, and her husband William was lord of nearby Huntington.
In 1198, Prince Gwenwynwyn ap Owain of Powys brought up his army to besiege the castle and bring it back under Welsh control, and on 13th August 1198, after mediation had failed, an English army arrived to break the siege, and the justiciar of England, Geoffrey fitz Peter, took the decision to meet Prince Gwenwynwyn in pitched battle.
It was a slaughter. The Welsh forces broke almost straight away and an estimated 3,000 men died - with hardly a man lost on the English side. It was said that the River Bachawy ran red with the blood of the slain. It was one of the biggest massacres in Welsh history, and several of the Welsh princes who accompanied Gwenwynwyn were killed.
After that, the castle passed back and forth between Welsh and English lords, and the earthworks are still impressive. The castle was last in use when it was re-fortified against Owain Glyndwr in around 1400.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Lonesome Stampede

Local band Lonesome Stampede have made an album, and they're launching it at the Globe on Saturday night. The event starts at 8pm, till 11pm, and then they're having an After Party at the Rose and Crown from 11pm until 2am, with DJ Ben and Max's.
So I imagine there'll be a bit of a crowd moving from one venue to the other down Broad Street at about 11pm.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Hay Library on BBC Wales

If you type Mid Wales into the "Local News" box, there's a short story about how matters stand for Hay Library at the moment.
I was quite surprised, this morning, to get a phone call from a nice chap at BBC Wales, who was looking for background information from people who were involved in the campaign to keep the Library open. The press release from HOWLS only went out yesterday, so it was a good job I'd read it on the Facebook page!
I may not have done much for the Publicity Sub-Committee so far - but at least I've now talked to the BBC!

Monday, 15 May 2017

HOWLing at Tomatitos

HOWLS (the Hay-on-Wye Library Supporters group) will be meeting at Tomatitos on Wednesday at 7pm.
They will be taking stock of the situation so far, and making arrangements for activities over the Festival period.
Everyone welcome!