"Way back in the noughties and under the leadership of Mayor Bob Jones, the Town Council decided that the township of Montgomery needed new signs on the roads to welcome visitors. Rather than pick signs from a catalogue, the council chose to have a competition to design the best signs for the community. Several entries were received from school-children and artists, but in the end the council voted on an entry by Philip Humphreys. The new signs were commissioned, cast by a company in Derbyshire, and fitted at every road entrance to the town. They were quite a spectacle when they were installed, and gave a really wonderful welcome both to visitors and to residents returning home. "Now in 2019, the once bright and beautiful signs are now looking a bit dull and sad! Although over the years many residents including myself have been round and cleaned them all, the Welsh weather has taken its toll, with the sunshine fading the paint and the frost and rain causing the aluminium to corrode - not to mention the salt and grit from winter road maintenance. I spoke to the original sign-makers in Derbyshire, who are still in business and remember making the signs – they even still have all the details of the paint colours. They have agreed to refurbish and repaint the township signs back to their original standard. With a bit of local help, I am going to take all the signs down and drive them over to Derbyshire and then collect and refit them once they have been restored. They will be stripped back to bare aluminium, then primed and repainted, and should then last another 20 years. "I have set up a JustGiving crowdfunding page to raise £1500 to carry out the restoration. We have all been hit with a big council tax raise this year and every pound the Council spend will impact next year’s budget and every household’s pocket, so I thought, why not take this one on and see if we can give the town a boost without hitting those who may not see the benefit of the new signs. The Town Council have agreed to make a contribution if it’s needed. JustGiving is really easy to do: follow the link below or go to justgiving.com and search ‘Montgomery town signs’. Or you can call into the Dragon hotel and make a donation at reception. "Thanks to all of you who have already donated and all who choose to help. If the target is not met, I will refurbish as many signs as I can, starting with the worst one first." - Simon Bedford, Broad Street, Montgomery https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/montgomery-town-signs Picture by G17 Photography Services
Montgomery’s first evening of World Book Night events was a real success. The sixteenth century Eaves and Lord Bookshop, cosy Ivy House and the Den at the Dragon proved perfect venues and the event hosts pulled out all the stops. Lots of good reads and a great event, thanks to the wholehearted participation that made a true Montgomery evening. Star attraction, murder mystery writer Myfanwy Alexander (pictured), entered fully into the spirit of the evening. She cleverly inveigled participants into writing a perfect murder in under an hour, the workshop enlivened by her inimitable wit and perspicacity and a wealth of apposite, and possibly even true, anecdotes. At Ivy House, 15 local people presented their choice of a favourite English or Welsh book with great aplomb, each keeping carefully to the allocated three minutes. Montgomery Music and Drama Society chose spirited excerpts from ‘Under Milk Wood’ ending perfectly with a rendition of ‘Eli's Prayer’ sung by the Town Crier, and harmonised by one and all. The recommended books varied from ‘The Upanishads’ and ‘News from Nowhere’ to ‘Fat Man in France’ and ‘Keeping On, Keeping On’. The full list can be found on the Montgomery Wales Facebook page* and most of the titles can be borrowed from Montgomery Library or purchased from the bookshop, along with Myfanwy's intriguing murder mysteries. To complete the celebration of books and share the joy of reading, The Reading Agency had awarded 80 free copies of Lucinda Riley's ‘The Seven Sisters’ to Montgomery. These were handed out on World Book Night from the Library, Ivy House and Dragon Hotel, to passersby, and to groups in Montgomery, Kerry and Abermule. Myfanwy Alexander will be back in Montgomery on the 4th of June when she will be speaking with Clwb Eiddew (Welsh-language book and conversation group) about her books. She will also be appearing at this year's not-to-be-missed Montgomeryshire Literary Festival at Gregynog (www.montylitfest.com). Next year, this Festival comes to Montgomery - and it promises to be a rather special event. * Link to Recommended Good Reads posthttps://www.facebook.com/montgomerypowys/posts/2241929619352293
"My grateful thanks to Cath and the 1st Montgomery Guides for turning out early on a Bank Holiday morning to help clear the Town Memorial Garden of weeds. The team approached their task without hesitation or murmur, until downing tools as the first woodlouse made an appearance - necessitating some deft negotiation on animal welfare before clearing could recommence. In all over 10 bags were filled with weeds, which a kind parent, Glenn, delivered to recycling. No woodlice were hurt or injured." - Paul Hodgson
Montgomery Town Crier Sue Blower proclaimed the arrival of the Royal baby on 6th May 2019 outside Montgomery Town Hall. On behalf of the Mayor, the Council and the people of the town, the Crier congratulated the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and wished health and happiness to the new family.
Montgomery Church in Wales School’s Class 3 performed their Easter Play, ‘Easter Jubilation’, at the end of the Spring Term. It was a retelling of the Easter story of Jesus entering Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover and the events that followed: his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, his death and burial in a tomb and his resurrection three days after his death. Mrs Steer said, “The class performed very well, singing a total of thirteen different songs, some of which were solos and duets. The children enjoyed making up their own actions to the group songs and did extremely well learning songs with a two-part harmony. We were also very fortunate to have a wonderful backdrop created by Mrs Walton.” Roxy, who played Mary Magdalene, said, “I really enjoyed doing the play because I had a chance to act and to sing a duet.” Megan, who played Bartimaeus, said of the play, “The play was amazing because there were so many different types of songs and I sang a solo - the first verse of Amazing Grace.” The role of Jesus was played by Toby who sang a solo; when asked about the play he said, “Playing the main part was an amazing experience and everyone helped to make it a brilliant play.” === Good Friday saw almost 70 children hop off around the beautiful surroundings of Lymore looking for clues and stickers in order to earn themselves a chocolate treat and a beautiful locally-crafted medal (with thanks to Crafty Farmwife). Lots of fun was had, the sun shone and a fabulous £123.29 was raised for Friends of Montgomery School. Rachel Williams, from Friends of Montgomery School, said, “A huge thank you must go to all those that helped make this Bunny Hop possible and to those who supported the event. The money raised will help buy much needed IT equipment for the children to use at school.” === Just before 6am on 21st April, as it was beginning to get light, the dawn chorus was building up to a crescendo and individuals and small groups of people started gathering at Montgomery Castle with a sense of expectation. A hymn was sung and there were some readings and prayers. One person spotted the sun peeping over the saddle of Corndon Hill and a short break was taken to enjoy a glorious sunrise. The cry went up, “Christ is risen!” and the reply was, “He is Risen indeed, Hallelujah!” Following this, about 30 people enjoyed tea and hot cross buns at the Presbyterian Church. The group were grateful to Rev Mary Turnock and members of the Chapel, for leading the service and providing us with breakfast, and to Glynne Morgan for enabling access to the Castle for the service.