Sunday, 27 July 2014

"We will Remember Them"

Sixty six men from Hay and Cusop marched off to the First and Second World Wars, and never came back. All their names were read out during the short remembrance service to mark the beginning of the First World War this evening, and sixty six long stemmed red roses were laid at the foot of the cenotaph. A trumpeter played the Last Post and Reveille, and three pipers from the Swansea Pipe Band played while the roses were being laid down. Father Richard said prayers, and a gentleman from the British Legion gave a short address, and then the pipers and colour bearers (Gareth Ratcliffe and a lady whose name I don't know) led the gathered crowd, including several veterans wearing their medals, to refreshments at the British Legion club.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Small Business Saturday

Londis, also known as Pughs' after the ladies who run it, and previously known as Havards.
I'm eating a very nice pain au chocolat from there at the moment, with my cup of tea. They also do a range of ready meals I've never seen anywhere else - local ingredients and vacuum packed, with lots of game recipes (which are delicious).

Friday, 25 July 2014

Death of a Thousand Cuts?

First it's the toilets under threat - and the closure has only been postponed until April 2015, unless the Town Council can pull a very rich rabbit out of the hat to fund them.
Then it's the Sunday buses which won't be running after September.
And the playing fields which are being passed over to the sports clubs which use them to maintain, along with the club house.
And now the police and crime commissioner has had the bright idea of closing Hay Police Station and having the police work out of the Library!
I've said from the moment the post was created that these commissioners are a bad idea, and here's further proof of it, if proof were needed.
We've already lost PC Fion, who's been moved back to Brecon, leaving Hay with only a PCSO - a lovely lady, but still.... I remember when we had a police sergeant in town.
I can't see how this could possibly work.
It's bad enough having the phone to the County Council in the Library as part of Library Plus, since there isn't a space in the library where you can have a private conversation. Anyone can listen in.
People go to the police station for all sorts of reasons, and they need to be certain of confidentiality. There isn't a private space in the library, unless they move into the little stock room. Is the police officer going to share the front desk with the librarian - check your books out to the left and report a burglary to the right? Will she have her own phone to use, or will people ringing for the police find themselves talking to the librarian? Or will people have to go to Brecon for all that sort of thing, or do it online?
And, of course, the library might not be there for much longer - if the new school ever gets built, it's supposed to be moving into that building. Will the police move with it, or will the poor PCSO have to set up under the bus shelter at the top of the car park?
It's just as well that this is an area with a low crime rate.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Treasure of Mouse Castle

I saw a friend in town the other day, who lives close to Mouse Castle, right on a public footpath. It's not normally a footpath that gets much use, but in the last week or so her family has been watching as hordes of eager treasure seekers head up to the woods in search of gold topped glass jars full of cash. And that's only one entrance to the woods, which are owned by the Woodland Trust, and so open to the public.
Three young men who followed the clues to the treasure were interviewed in the Hereford Times this week - they came from the Rhondda and Cardiff to search for the £1,000 prize.
Apparently, the jars were left in the wood by an American millionaire, as part of a Twitter treasure hunt called Hidden Cash. They have all now been found.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Timbuktu Silversmith Visits Hay

The visiting silversmith from Timbuktu having his lunch. He's set up his stall and blanket just outside Haymakers, which sells the silver and leatherwork from Timbuktu as a regular feature. He said he was only going to be here today and tomorrow - I presume he'll be visiting other places, as it's a heck of a long way to come for just a couple of days!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Commemorating the Great War

The Royal British Legion are marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of the Great War with a service of remembrance at the cenotaph on Sunday 27th July, at 6.30pm.
There are quite a lot of names on the cenotaph, of young men who marched away from Hay and never came back.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Powys Libraries Under Threat

There's a consultation going on at the moment about choosing between the different options to cut Powys Library services. Despite the county council saying that the libraries are being used now more than ever, the only choices on the table are between various cuts to the services. The survey form can be filled in at, and the main options seem to be cutting opening hours by 20% across the board, closing 5 libraries across the county and closing 11 libraries across the county, with options for the mobile libraries which either reduce their frequency from fortnightly to monthly, or increase their range to fill the gaps left by closing bricks and mortar libraries.
Here in Hay, of course, we're still waiting for the building to start on the new school, which is supposed to be where our library is moving to, at which point the separate library building would be closed down and sold off. I'm not entirely clear on what this means for the Library Plus service, by which council services can be accessed through the library rather than the dedicated council office that Hay used to have.