Monday, 30 November 2015

Turning on the Christmas Lights

Most of the pictorial lights that used to go up around town, reindeer and so on, have gone now, the victims of poor storage - and this year the display that usually goes on the clock tower fell over in a gust of wind while the workmen were putting the lights up, and that was the end of that one too.
And the blue lights that went in the trees on Broad Street went kaput, as well, though Broad Street Books/Rest for the Tired have put up their own coloured lights, which gives a festive air to that part of the street.
But we still have the festoons of LED lights along the eaves of Castle Street and the centre of town, and strings of lights down the Pavement, and it all looks very pretty when it's turned on.
The marquee was up for the Food Fair on Saturday and Hay Does Vintage on Sunday, and for Friday evening it was taken over by Hay School and various community groups. A new one was collecting for Syrian refugees under the banner Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees. They feel this area is best suited to offer "respite sanctuary" - short term help for refugees who probably won't want to settle in the area permanently, but who will need somewhere peaceful to get themselves together and be helped with their immediate needs. They were also handing out leaflets with information to combat common myths about refugees (they don't get huge handouts from the State and they don't jump the queue for Council housing, for instance). And it's a sobering thought that there are 4 million refugees from Syria, and only 143 of them have been resettled in the UK so far.
Also in the marquee was Dial-a-Ride, and the Globemakers, a craft group that meets monthly at the Globe - they were making candle lanterns out of jam jars in a corner, which they were encouraging children to decorate. Pughs from Londis were there selling the new Hay Vouchers and displaying one of their Christmas hampers. Outside, Stuart the Greengrocer had a stall.
In another corner were Drover Cycles with a tinsel decorated bike. They are having an open day on Saturday 5th December. They're having a sale of outdoor clothing, and are also selling off ex demo and hire bikes, with competitions and a Turbo Training Demonstration. That's up at their headquarters on Forest Road, near the Doctors' surgery.
The Community Choir sang carols in the Cheese Market, followed by the children of Hay School, and at 7pm the lights were turned on. Despite the foul weather, there was a good turnout, and several shops stayed open for the evening, including Shepherds and Timeless Treasures down the Pavement. (I'm afraid I'd chickened out and gone home by then!)

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