Monday, 29 June 2015

Coming Soon....

Several interesting events are happening over July. Here are a few of them:

On the 4th July there will be an organ recital at St Mary's church by Aled Liddington, featuring music by American composers.
On 9th July, at the Swan, the University of Cusop Dingle is meeting. Richard Booth will be the speaker for the evening, on the topic "Wales Needs Hay - Hay Does Not Need Wales".
This is a topic which has been close to his heart ever since he commissioned the wooden statue that used to stand in the grounds of the castle, of the Welsh Development Board official shooting himself in the foot! It now stands near the top of Backfold, unfortunately positioned as if it's having a pee against the wall!
Over the weekend of the 10th - 12th July is Beer on the Wye in Hereford, the annual beer festival. I usually try to get to that.
On the 11th July, the Leamington Sinfonia will be in St Mary's church, playing a selection of classical pieces from Vivaldi to Butterworth, so covering the late 17th century to just before the First World War.
The afternoon of the 12th is also the date of the Hay Music event in the garden of Dorstone House (bring a picnic). This time it's Marisol Lee and Mingjung Baek, a Korean violin and piano duo. Tickets are available from Booth Books at £12 each.
The following weekend, the Phil Rickman Appreciation Society will be in Hay, visiting sites mentioned in the book Magus of Hay, including a tour of the castle, and having a dinner at the Three Tuns. I'll be with them on the Saturday - on the Sunday they'll be going up to Capel-y-ffin, where the apparition of Our Lady was seen (by a school boy who was frightened by it, and wanted to hit it with a stick!).
And on 19th July Ann Shingler will be playing classical piano at St Mary's, with tea and cakes afterwards.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Day of the Food Fair

There was a lot going on in town on Saturday.
A cycle race in aid of Cystic Fibrosis was coming over the bridge to the clock tower in bursts of cyclists throughout the morning.
Tinto House garden was open, as part of the National Garden Scheme - it was open today as well. Tim the Gardener spent the afternoon talking to visitors, and explaining what the plants are. I saw him later, having a well deserved pint of Guinness outside the Rose and Crown.
And the Food Fair was in full swing all day. I got bread from Talgarth Mill, meat from Trealy Farm, cake from one of the ladies who does the WI stall on the market on Thursdays, and beer from Jacobi brewery. Outside herbs were on sale, and a ladies' choir was singing. Later there was a brass band. There were crafts in the Buttermarket, too.
And the sun shone - a lovely summer day.

and today the marquee was taken over by Hay Does Vintage - clothes and furniture and all manner of vintage stuff.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Small Business Saturday

The accountant's office on Castle Street, with Hay's own Big Issue seller standing on the corner.

Friday, 26 June 2015

A Trip Through Mid Wales

Brian kindly invited me to go with him and the dogs for the day, for a tour of charity shops and riverside walks up as far as Llanidloes.
I hadn't been to Llanidloes for years, though at one time I went up once a year to see the big quilt fair there, so of course I said yes.
We started off in Llandrindod Wells, home of the Victorian festival in August - this year they're embracing Steampunk, and Professor Elemental will be there, entertaining with his unique brand of patter song/rap on Victorian themes. It was market day in the little car park between Aldi and the railway station, and ladies were selling jam and marmalade in the covered walkway where the new shops are.
We picked up a few books there, and went on to Rhayader.
We started to see red kites wheeling over the fields. The red kite feeding station is just on the edge of Rhayader. I was taken there one year for a rather splendid birthday treat - we had lunch in the country hotel close to the feeding station, saw the kites feed, and had a walk in the woods.
There's a lovely riverside walk with a car park down a side turning to the rugby club. Not that they're playing rugby at the moment. The pitch is unmown, and being left as a wildflower meadow to encourage butterflies, shrews and voles, and hunting barn owls. There's also a bit of a sculpture trail by the river. We spotted a man up a tree (made of metal), an owl, a dragon and a bat which was also a bird box.

On, then, to Llanidloes, which is a pretty little town, once well known for flannel production. One old flannel mill on the edge of town has been converted into flats, with little balconies over the river - you can still see the archway at the bottom of the building where the water wheel which powered the mill was. It also has a rather fine market hall:

There's a museum on the upper floor dedicated to timber framed buildings in the area and their construction, which is quite fascinating.
We had lunch in the vegetarian cafe (I think it was the Old Oak) - Brian had a jacket potato with lots of pasta salad and coleslaw, and I had the tomato, pesto and pepper soup, which were lovely.
We also got to see the end of the Wool and Willow Festival in the Minerva Arts Centre. This is the place I used to go to the quilt festivals, but this time they had clothes, and rag rugs and willow baskets and felt pictures, and the biggest cardigan I've ever seen! It's a cardigan for Cardigan, and was a community project with many knitters taking part to create a collage of the historic buildings of the town, with ships on the sea, a little coracle on the river, and all sorts of lovely little details. It hung from the ceiling so people could walk round it. I think it was on display at Wonderwool earlier this year.
We had moved from the River Wye to the River Severn, and Llanidloes is quite close to the headwaters of both. In the park by the river, we found this:

the goddess Sabrina (the Roman name for the Severn) with fish around her skirt hem and a bowl in her hands - full of copper coins, as if the locals give her offerings.

On the way back, we stopped at Rhayader again for afternoon tea at the Old Swan tea rooms, right on the central crossroads. Rhayader has a very simple format - being basically a crossroads with the streets named North, South, East and West. The treacle tart and Victoria sponge, both with ice cream, was delicious!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Another Busy Weekend

They've been erecting the marquee in the square this evening for two events over the weekend.
On Saturday there's the Food Fair, and on Sunday it's Hay Does Vintage.
I'm looking forward to stocking up the food cupboard with some tasty goodies, and maybe some nice beer, too.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Concert for Gwernyfed School

On 28 June, weather permitting, Glasbury Arts is organising a Harp in the Park recital in the Gwernyfed High School Victorian Rose Garden (how many state schools have one of those?) at 2.30pm with Katherine Thomas, principal harpist with WNO, leading guest violinist Laurence Kempton. If the weather is poor it will be held in the schools purpose built and very well equipped drama studio (why is Powys wanting to spend £50 million on a new building?).
Details and tickets available online at – please come and support both Glasbury Arts and Gwernyfed High School.

(it seemed easiest just to cut and paste this from the lastest information on the website, where there is a petition to save Gwernyfed School from closure).

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Big Skill

When I got off the bus from Brecon on Saturday afternoon, there was still time for me to go up to the Castle to see the end of the day's events at the Big Skill - after I'd dropped off my deadly weapons, of course, and changed my boots. The re-enactment boots look great, but they really rub my ankles after a while!
People were packing up, but in that sort of languid way that you do when you've had a good day. There was a basket weaving stall, and one where you could make your own stool, and beautiful pyrography items, and felted pictures. While I watched, two little boys were having their names burned into the tops of stools they had just made themselves, by the pyrography ladies. The Shepherds ice cream van was there, and a clay pizza oven. Adele Nozedar was there, with her Garden Forager book, and there was this:

The lady who designed this apparently makes a different mandala every month, and then produces a calendar of the pictures.

On the way home, I met Isabelle and her dog. She's an elderly lady who used to live in Hay but now has a place in Glasbury, and I carried her bag down to the bus stop by the Clock Tower for her - only to find that the bus had gone about an hour before, and there was no sign of any timetable for the Browns bus that also runs on that route. While we were standing there, wondering what to do, the chap from Rose's Books came out and locked up. He didn't know about the bus times either, but he was willing to run Isabelle home in his car.
After all that, I thought I deserved a pint in the Rose and Crown - I'd seen Brian on the way up the hill, and arranged to meet him there. He knows Isabelle too - when she lived in Hay he once stayed up with her until two in the morning when she locked herself out of her house. The police weren't interested, the people who had her spare key were on holiday in Africa (and lived in Dorstone anyway), and they had to call a locksmith out from Hereford.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Mustering for Agincourt in Brecon

There were showers, but they didn't seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the participants in the Agincourt Commemoration in Brecon yesterday.
I went in costume, of course, with my longbow and authentic medieval arrows. It was a bit of a cobbled together job, because I usually re-enact 13th century, but I had a pair of trousers with each leg a different colour, a green jerkin that laces up the front, and a green velvet cloak, and my authentic boots, so the ensemble didn't look too bad.
There was a big gathering around the Wellington statue in the middle of town, with the Mayor and various other civic dignitaries in their chains and hats and ceremonial costumes. Someone read out the muster list in English and Welsh ("Lord so-and-so from such-a-place brought seven archers") and as he called them out, groups of children in blue and white tabards, marked with a red cross, would be led out to take their place in the parade. I was delighted to see that the local Gurkha population hadn't been left out, as one of the contingents was a group of Gurkhas, following the Nepali flag as their battle standard.
Then a lady in medieval dress read out a poem written in 1915 to encourage local men to join up for the First World War, which mentioned Agincourt. The mayor said a few words, the cadets with drums struck up a march, and the parade headed off to the cathedral. I followed on behind.
Up at the cathedral, there were activities for children in the barn by the cafe, and tents set up in the grounds with re-enactors. The Freemen of Gwent were impressive - they also had archery targets set up.
At the far end of the lawn was Brecknock Museum's tent:

Here's the picture they shared on Facebook. The chap in the picture, Conan, said that all the artefacts from the museum are packed away now while the renovation/rebuilding work goes on, so he's hoping that the museum will take the opportunity to go out with some of their artefacts to events like the Agincourt celebration, to keep them in the public eye until they re-open again with new displays. They also have a short time-lapse film of the staff dismantling the exhibits on their facebook page.
Music was provided by Alan Cooper and Simon Newcombe, in motley.
Also happening in Brecon yesterday was a craft fair in the Market Hall - I left the medieval fayre early to give myself plenty of time to get to the bus station, so I could have a look round. A couple of the ladies behind the stalls were interested in hearing about the Agincourt celebrations, and as I was leaving I saw one of the organisers of the event going round, with a standard bearer.
There was some lovely stuff on display - the hall was full. They hold the craft fairs on every third Saturday of the month. The next one will be on July 18th.
And in the main street, the Brecon Farmers' Market was happening, too, with several stall holders getting into the spirit of the day by dressing up in medieval tunics. Buster Grant of Brecon Brewing was there, dispensing Archer's Ale, dressed as a monk.
It was a lovely day. I had great fun, chatting to people about medieval archery and local history, and the battle of Agincourt itself, and meeting some people I haven't seen for ages, like the chap who sells tools from a stall on the way into the market hall, who also organises the regular militaria fairs they hold there.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Small Business Saturday

House of Vintage, at the end of Castle Street.
When I first came to Hay, this was the SWALEC office, with a lovely lady who could sort out any problems people had with their bills in person. SWALEC closed the office down, and replaced it with a phone in the middle of SPAR - so if you had a problem you had to juggle the phone and bill and whatever else you needed while people were reaching past you to take tins off the shelves. There was a petition against the closure, but it was ignored. The phone in SPAR is long gone.
So then it became a bookshop, part of Andy Cooke's empire, and when that closed down it became a pop-up antique shop which called itself The Old Electric Shop. The people running The Old Electric Shop then moved down to the other end of town, to what had been the Jigsaw and Teddy Bear Shop, but kept the name.
And now it's an antique shop again.

Friday, 19 June 2015

The Hedge

I picked up a copy of a new local magazine at the wholefood shop today. It's called The Hedge, and I'd got the second edition. The letter from the editors at the beginning describes the magazine as a "not for profit community publication concerned with sharing projects and ideas for a sustainable future." It contains stories and poems as well as articles about a market garden (they don't actually say where it is, beyond "between Ruarden and Lydbrook", but the website, places them in the Forest of Dean), sustainable living, birds and plants. There's an article about fracking, too, and adverts for ethical and ecological local companies - Tools for Self Reliance is in there, as well as an independent midwife, a hairdresser who uses only natural and organic products, plant dyeing workshops with, vegetable boxes and cheeses, yurts and camping and so on.
The profits from the first magazine went to Action for Botton, a Camphill Community in Yorkshire which is threatened by changes in social care provision (which seems to want everything organised in neat little boxes, rather than an actual community of real human beings living together). There's a support group called Botton Buddies, and the websites are and
I went with my husband to look at a Camphill Community once, with a view to joining them - this one overlooked the estuary of the River Severn and was in a beautiful location on the edge of the Forest of Dean. The Communities cater for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems, with workshops producing items for sale to a high standard. The one I visited had a bakery, pottery, and basket making and a wood workshop. They also had their own library, and a small theatre where they could put on plays and concerts. We were very impressed - everyone was friendly and asked who we were and where we'd come from, and the atmosphere was relaxed and happy - but we weren't ready to commit ourselves at the time.
The proceeds from the current magazine will be going to Nepal, to the Kamala Foundation which helps to improve the lives of women and children and is trying to rebuild an orphanage after the recent earthquakes, and the Himalayan Permaculture Centre, which works in 21 remote villages. Their websites are and

Monday, 15 June 2015

Chicken Farming

Good news for the Golden Valley Action Group, as Herefordshire County Council have refused planning permission for two broiler sheds on a farm in the Golden Valley, not far from Hay. However, the group are remaining vigilant in case other planning applications are put forward in the area.
I hope the farmer can find a better way to diversify.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

More to do Next Weekend

As well as Mallyfest, over the river, and the Agincourt commemoration in Brecon, Hay Castle will be open over the weekend for The Big Skill. On Saturday, it starts at 11am and goes on until 7pm, so I might be able to catch the end of it when I come back from Brecon - and on Sunday it's open from 10am to 4pm.
There'll be lots of traditional crafts on show, including craft workshops, music and food.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Small Business Saturday

Chamaeleon and Coffee Shop Isis

Friday, 12 June 2015

Off to Presteigne

Market day in Hay is great. There are lots of stalls selling all sorts of things, up in the main square and down by the Clock Tower - including a new one with woollen goods including a stuffed llama the size of a small dog! In fact a real small dog was being carried past it when I was there, so it didn't attack the llama!
Down at the bottom of the hill, round the Clock Tower the road has been blocked off so that the stalls can spread out safely. There's delicious bread, and Hungarian sausages, and olives, and Weobley Ash with their lovely apple juice and vintage stuff and CDs and old clothes, and falafels.
Unfortunately, it seems that people have been walking down as far as the stalls, and then turning back, which is bad news for the bookshops beyond the stalls.
So Brian of Belle Books decided to close his shop for the day, and invited me to go with him on a drive up to Presteigne.
We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world - and I'm sure we saw a red kite flying over the fields (but it wouldn't turn round so we could see if it had a forked tail).
We went round the charity shops, and got talking to a lady in one which is supporting the volunteer drivers who take people to hospital. The lady behind the counter was going up to Llandrindod Wells for an X-ray on her wrist soon, and wasn't sure how she'd get there if there were no hospital cars. She was also keen to go to a meeting in a few days' time to save the local bus routes - some have already been axed, so they can't get to Leominster any more, and they don't want Presteigne to be completely cut off from the rest of the world. They've already lost their last bank.
We had lunch at the Hat Shop, which is a lovely cafe, and on the way back to Hay we stopped at the New Strand at Eardisley for a soft drink - it was a hot and sunny day. We looked at the books there, too, of course - the New Strand is a cafe, pub and bookshop combined.
And there was a dream cottage for sale on the edge of Eardisley - black and white timber framed, with a mass of yellow roses around the door.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Case for the Beacons Learning Campus

Powys County Council have put out a document - it's available on their website - putting the case in favour of the re-organisation of secondary schools in Powys which involves closing Gwernyfed School and re-building Brecon High School.
It's 136 pages long, and full of graphs and tables. There's a bit of jargon - what on earth is an "Optimism Bias", for instance? It's something that has a price tag, anyway.
It breaks the case up into five parts: Strategic, Economic, Commercial, Financial and Management. So you can see the main thrust of the argument revolves around money. They are doing this in association with the Neath Port Talbot Group of Colleges - which used to be Coleg Powys. They would supply the teaching of courses between the ages of 16 and 19.
They also mention that they have been in contact with the Welsh Assembly about their plans since 2010, though the head of Gwernyfed only found out about it a couple of months ago. They want to have everything up and running by 2018.
Something that didn't quite make sense to me was the statement that "the Council will build on the expertise gained from its successful School Modernisation Programme to develop a proposal". I wonder what successful School Modernisation Programme that is, since all I've seen over the past few years is a grand scheme to close small village primary schools and concentrate the children in larger primary schools like Hay - and some of the small schools have indeed closed, but we're still waiting for a new school in Hay.

Some of what the document says is very interesting. Both Gwernyfed and Brecon have surplus places at the moment, and Powys County Council expects the number of young people in the county to fall further in the next few years. 33% of employment in Powys is in the areas of education, health and public administration, with about 70% being in small businesses, including agriculture. So they want to organise the local education system with this in mind, so that school pupils can go on to find local employment, including self-employment. They expect the total population of Powys to rise over the next few years, but mostly by inward migration of adults.
They also want to offer a wider selection of courses in Welsh, and can only do this, they say, by putting all the Welsh speakers together. In Builth Wells. Gwernyfed, at the moment, offers no Welsh medium teaching at all.
As far as the buildings are concerned, Brecon desperately needs to be rebuilt, and Gwernyfed is a mixture of modern buildings with reasonably good disabled access and a Victorian Grade II listed manor house, which is difficult to make accessible to wheelchair users.
They give various options for the future, including doing nothing and just maintaining the buildings they have, which they dismiss in favour of the new Learning Campus at Brecon. However, they do say that simply rebuilding Brecon High is a possible option.
They also mention the costs of travel to school, and say that in some cases the disadvantages of long journeys for the pupils might outweigh the advantages of a new school building and access to extra courses.

It also seems that they do not have planning permission yet, and they are a little doubtful about the political situation - if it changes at Welsh Government level, there may not be support for the new Campus. They also need a "successful" public consultation (in other words, one that goes the way they want it to). The document mentions public opposition to the plans, but doesn't say what they are going to do about it, apart from pressing ahead with their preferred plan.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Busy Weekend Coming Up

Tickets are now on sale at Golesworthy's for this year's Mallyfest, on 20th June. This was great fun last year, with lots of good music going on at Baskerville Hall, and lots of money raised for the renovation of the chapel where Mally Powell's funeral was held.

It was a great day (and evening) out last year, but I'll be in Brecon, where they're commemorating the muster of the South Welsh for Agincourt with a Medieval Festival. Any excuse to wear medieval clothes and carry a longbow!
The names of all the men from Brecon who marched off to Agincourt are known from the muster roll, so children from local schools will be taking on the name of an archer for the day. I think it's a great way to get local children interested in their own history.
So: "Cry God for Harry! England and St George!" (even the Welshmen!).

Monday, 8 June 2015

Day out in Malvern

I promised myself that, if I could fill the trolley I used to wheel my dog around in with books, on a trip to Malvern, I would take the next step and ask to rent a small unit in Broad Street Books. This is strictly a hobby - I don't expect to make money out of it particularly (or not for a while, anyway), but it's an extra string to my bow just in case I need it in the future.
I'd chosen a lovely sunny day, and the bus ride to the station was enlivened by chatting to the ladies from North Carolina. It's a pretty cheap journey, too - £7.80 day return on the train, through lovely countryside, and with a good view of the British Camp on the Malverns - the Iron Age hill fort.
Great Malvern station is at the bottom of the hill, so I set off to the top and wheeled my way gently down, from charity shop to charity shop. Years ago, when I had a (much bigger) book unit selling science fiction, and a husband who could drive a van, we'd always done well at Malvern. Since then, some places had stopped selling second hand books, but others, like the Amnesty Bookshop, had opened. The staff there on a Friday are an entertainment in themselves, whether it was struggling with a difficult till or talking about local gossip.
Great Malvern must be a nightmare for anyone in a wheelchair. I saw a chap in a wheelchair getting off a local bus - the driver put the ramp down for him - but after that, the main street is very steep, and lots of the shops have steps to get in and out.
I thought about visiting Elgar's favourite tea rooms, the Blue Bird - but it's up a staircase, and there was no way I was going to get my laden trolley up there at that stage. I had a half of Jennings Cumberland Ale at the Unicorn instead, and later went in Henry's Cafe for a snack. I've no idea why I was the only customer - the scrambled egg was lovely, and I had a nice pot of tea with it.
I also had a nosy up to The Courtyard, a group of shops behind the crescent shaped parade of shops at the top of the hill. The shops themselves were closed up - it looked like an experiment that had failed - but in the wall nearby there was something that looked like a fireplace. Inside the "fireplace", though, was rock, green with weed and dripping with water - and this was the spring from which Malvern Spring Water had first been taken. Now they use another spring on the other side of the hill, with a better flow of water, but this was also a saint's well (I'm afraid I've forgotten the name of the saint) who set up his hermitage there before the nearby Priory was thought of. There was a plaque on the wall beside it.
It was when I got back to the station, fully laden, that I realised the flaw in my plan. Stairs. On the way out, with an empty trolley, I had stepped straight onto the platform from the street, and straight off the train at the other end at the exit. On the way back, with a ton of books to lug around, I had to go under the underpass, down the stairs on one side, and up on the other. And back at Hereford, I had to get up the stairs onto the bridge, and down the other side. Fortunately for me, three lovely girls, and a man, surrounded me and helped me carry the trolley up and down. Or I might still be struggling!
But I had to get back to Hereford first - and a combination of two people stepping in front of trains that day (one at Worcester and one at Droitwich Spa) meant serious disruption for the line. The staff at the station were as helpful as they could be, and on the way into Birmingham they had arranged for train tickets to be used on certain bus services, but it still took about two hours for a train to head for Hereford. I was given a form to fill in for a refund - but it was only £7.80 (and I would have been entitled to £3.90) and I was in Hereford in time to get the last bus back to Hay, so I haven't bothered. For someone on a longer journey it would probably have been worth claiming.
So I had plenty of time to browse the little bookshop on the station platform, and start reading one of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series that I'd picked up earlier (she's a very good writer - I really felt as if I was there at the Highland Gathering she described).
So the experiment worked. I can go book buying with the trolley, though I'll have to think more about how to tackle stairs next time!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Visitors from Foreign Parts

It's lovely to meet people who appreciate Hay when they visit! And you can have such interesting conversations!

During the Festival, my neighbours did a table sale outside our houses - I joined them more for the company than the selling (I made a grand total of £3!). We met a family from South Africa who had been canoeing on the Wye - and in the case of the two ladies, falling into the Wye. They were soaked! Even their trainers were too wet to wear, and they were barefoot. They fell on the rails of clothes excitedly, and managed to get complete changes of clothing. Then one of my neighbours disappeared into her house, and came out again with a pair of flip flops and a pair of slippers that she'd been given when staying at a posh hotel, which she gave to the ladies, so at least they could have something on their feet to get back to where they were staying.

And then, the other day, I was on the bus into Hereford and sat next to three lovely ladies from North Carolina. They already knew who I was - they'd been talking to Brian at Belle Books, and he had shown them the pictures of me in Planet Hay (by our own local poet, Huw Parsons). He'd also recited poetry for them, including MacGonagall and Dylan Thomas, and they had returned a few days later, with gifts, to record him reciting the Dylan Thomas!
They were near the end of their stay in the UK, having worked their way down from Scotland. One of the ladies is a writer - she gave me a bookmark advertising her book The Unfading (which also has a website at - and she said that one of her influences was George MacDonald, an early fantasy writer, so it had been very exciting for her to go to the museum where she could see his manuscripts. CS Lewis was another of her influences, and she had discovered George MacDonald because CS Lewis was also a fan of his, so we got talking about CS Lewis visiting the Golden Valley (through which we were passing at the time), and other fantasy authors.
They'd also stopped in the Lake District, at Coniston Water, and discovered the Swallows and Amazons books, as well as visiting Beatrix Potter's farmhouse. And now two of them were on the way to Oxford, while the other was heading for Birmingham. They were very impressed with the way the bus driver managed roads which, to them, were very narrow, and said thebus drivers here must have incredible skills!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Small Business Saturday

PSM Outdoors, selling camping equipment, and even canoes!

Friday, 5 June 2015

Local Development Plans Again

Back to the serious stuff - consultations on the Local Development Plan for the area will take place between 8th June and 20th July.
But not in Hay.
The exhibitions will be in:

8/6/15......Llandrindod Wells , The Gwalia
10/6/15....Welshpool , Neuadd Maldwyn
15/6/15....Ystradgynlais, Welfare Hall

They'll be open from 11am to 7pm, with officers on hand to explain the plans and how comments can be made. The documents will all be available online as well, at

There are lots of people in Hay concerned about the Local Development Plan for this area - or rather, the several plans of Powys, Herefordshire and the National Park - and it's a long way to all of these places (pretty much impossible if you rely on public transport!).

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Window Displays

The shops in Hay always make a special effort to look nice for the Festival - Bartrums had a tree cut from thin board, with pen nibs hiding in the branches; Booths had a paper cut out tea party from Alice in Wonderland, and there were two stuffed swans in the window of The End (with tiny china dolls hatching out of eggs beside them - which was faintly gruesome when you noticed it), but I think my favourite was this one from Goosey Gander:

It's a wonderfully imaginative way of re-using those multi-coloured glass fish that used to be so popular.

Monday, 1 June 2015

That's It Till Next Year

Here are the people from the pop-up shop on Broad Street, manhandling the tricycle off the raised bit in front of the houses - the only way they could get it out! The tricycle was for sale, by the way, for £2,500 (and I never got to ask what all the little drawers were for at the back).

And today it's turned cold, and the rain has been hammering down, just as everybody's gone home.