Sunday, 26 November 2017

Lots to do Around Hay on Winter Festival Weekend

I didn't get it together to buy any tickets for the talks at the Winter Festival this year, but there's been plenty around town to keep me occupied.
A little bit out from the town centre, opposite the Drill Hall on Lion Street in the Mission Hall, Billie Charity and her friend Jemima Stilwell have been holding an exhibition. Half of it is photo portraits, many of them taken at Barry Island, and half paintings.
In the centre of town, the Food Fair was in the marquee on Saturday, and Hay Does Vintage on Sunday. I got a few bits and pieces for Christmas presents there. The weather was appalling, though, and some of the stall holders looked quite cold and damp and miserable. As well as the food, Dawn Lewis was there with the display about her great uncle who won the VC.
Outside, though undercover, there was entertainment from a women's choir, the Brecon Town Band and Talgarth Male Voice Choir - there may have been others. Those were just the ones I heard as I was going round.
And in the Buttermarket there was the Craft Market, while in the Honesty Gardens there was a Flea Market - I bought a lovely silk scarf from one stall, as we searched the skies for a spot of blue among the clouds!
In Booths Bookshop, Santa was settled in an armchair in the Children's department, with two elves assisting, and upstairs Jackie Morris was sitting at her painting table. I got there just in time to hear her read out the poem Starling from The Lost Words to a family.
In the evening I was back at Booths to see the latest plans for the Castle Renovations. Some people had come expecting a formal sit down talk, but it was actually quite informal, with the plans stuck up on the glass cabinets near the front counter, and various trustees available to talk about the plans. A bonus was mulled wine and mince pies! Quite a few locals were there, and there was general approval for the idea of the viewing platform at the top of the tower. It was also quite surprising to find just how many tons of clay/earth had been brought to the site to build up the mound after the medieval castle fell out of use - so the medieval archaeology is actually about six feet under (or possibly more), and the present building is on top of that for the most part - around the main gate is still more or less the medieval level. And the main gate will be opened up for direct access to the car park below fairly soon. Mari Fforde said there would also be a lift for disabled access, and the drive on the other side of the castle would be improved, too.
While we were chatting in the shop, members of the Hay History Group managed to get together to plan Wednesday's trip out to the Thomas Shop and Abbeycwmhir Hall - lifts arranged, times to set off and so on.
I did think of going over to the Old Electric Shop later - the Fordsons were performing Appalachian music there - but it was nice and warm at home, and after a glass of Smoky Famous Grouse and Fever Tree Ginger Ale, I didn't want to move....

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