• Montgomery - News

  • 0 Montgomery Library update

    • Community
    • by Montgomery Wales News Team
    • 07-04-2021

    As many of you know, the Library/Institute is routinely used as a polling station and is due to be so again this May 6th.   This time, however, we will be using this main library room, so that a one-way system can be employed and social distancing applied, in line with Covid restriction requirements.   Whilst libraries are now permitted to open, we have chosen to leave it closed until after the election. This way, the room can be cleaned and prepared and kept as virus-free as possible ready for voting.   Apologies to all those waiting to borrow books.   Lesley Williams Library Co-ordinator

  • 0 Proposed Plans for Montgomery Play Park Revealed

    Earlier in March, Friends of Montgomery Play Park announced that Earth Wrights  were selected as the company to develop the play park project for the town. Since then the group have been working closely with them to get plans ready to share with a wider community. The design of the park and the amount of space available in the new location, next to the football ground on the recreation field, will lend itself to a development which could be completed in a staged process depending on the level of funding achieved. Therefore, during April the Friends are inviting local involvement to help evaluate the proposal and prioritise aspects of the scheme that are deemed to be of most value and best serve the community.  All the plans and background information can be found at the Friends new online page http://play.montgomery.cloud including a fantastic fly through video and an evaluation survey which will close midnight 25 April. Physical plans and copies of the survey will be up at the Town Hall and at the Institute for those who don’t have access to the internet. We encourage people to complete this community survey, as the feedback will help inform the final designs in preparation for a planning application.  Crucially, the Friends are working with Montgomery Church in Wales Primary School to gain the opinion and feedback from pupils. As potential direct users of the park, their considerations will be key to the final design. Earth Wrights will be available for an online public discussion during the second half of April (date yet to be confirmed and announced on the Friends Facebook Page @montgomeryplaypark), where members of the Earth Wrights Team will be on hand to answer questions.  If you would like to get in touch directly with the Friends you can email playpark@montgomery.cloud or send a message via Facebook @montgomeryplaypark

  • 0 Mayor's notes

    It is with mixed feelings that this is my last Mayor’s Notes before I hand over to my successor. I would like to thank those of you that have given me your support and encouragement; it has been very much appreciated. It has been a very troubled two years between everything but thankfully we have got through it. The Covid pandemic has been a very trying time for all of us but things are easing slowly and getting back to what is being called a new normal. It would be great to see the Town Hall being used again for events and the return of the Saturday Coffee Mornings. Jane and I wish you all a pleasant summer and send our good wishes to Montgomery’s residents. Haydn Andrew - Mayor

  • 0 Great oaks from little acorns

    Julie Davies, a former Montgomery Town Councillor, who was the very first lady to sign the historic record as a Freeman of Montgomery, following a change in the law which allowed women to hold this historic, inherited honour, had a strong and abiding love for her home town.  Julie sadly died in early 2020 but her spirit very much lives on thanks to a number of generous bequests to community groups in the town; and now to her specially grown oak.  Passionate about nature and wildlife, some ten years ago Julie grew a number of trees from seed and as the oak grew strongly she hoped that it would eventually find a place in the town. Cllr Lionel Weaver, also a Freeman of the town, and who looks after the town’s Whitegate Pool area, identified a spot for the tree, and Julie's partner, Ian Ward, assisted Lionel  to plant the oak.  Lionel said “I was pleased to be able to find a special place for this oak, and to plant it as a tribute to Julie where it will, in time,  grace the area as a majestic tree providing a  home for a range of wildlife.” Julie grew a number of trees and bushes and Ian has also planted a hazel at the Whitegate Pool area. Both will be a splendid memorial to Julie and a tribute to her service to Montgomery and the community. Photo: Julie with her father Colin, who was the keeper of the Freemen archive, wearing the Freemen of Montgomery tartan

  • 0 Greetings exchanged on national days

    As Montgomery celebrated St David’s Day, both the day and Wales Week were also being celebrated much further afield in South Eastern Hungary. The Welsh flag was projected onto Bréda Castle in Lőkösháza accompanied by Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, and in nearby Kunágota, from the school and playground to the library and mayor’s office, everyone was learning about Wales for Wales Week Hungary - with some of the posters featuring Montgomery and a familiar face, Town Crier Sue Blower.  Montgomery Mayor, Cllr Haydn Andrew, received a splendid illustrated book of Kunágota history along with a presentation pack and message from dignitaries of the town. Haydn commented, “We were delighted to receive this very special book on St David's Day. It will hopefully be placed in our Old Bell museum to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. We hope a good many of those visitors will be from Hungary in better times. The citizens of Kunágota expressed their wish to strengthen relations over the coming years and we are certainly looking forward to continuing to build bridges between our two cultures and extend the warm hand of Montgomery friendship over the 2,300kms to Kunágota.”  Many members of the Montgomery community offered greetings to Hungary and Kunágota as they celebrated their National Day on March 15th, which commemorates the Revolution and the War of Independence against Austrian-Hapsburg rule in 1848–1849. The greetings included a variety of displays in red, white and green - the shared colours of the Hungarian and Welsh flags.  The Eaves & Lord bookshop window display featured a beautifully executed rendition of traditional Hungarian designs by Montgomery artist Jo Gresty. Helen Hayes baked some delicious authentic pogácsa, and the Montgomery Rangers came up trumps with their original red, white and green craft creations including origami flowers, painted rocks and drawings. Mayor Haydn displayed his Kunágota book and presentation album alongside a red, white and green floral display and said, “I have responded to the gift from Kunágota with a letter which has been translated into Hungarian, and was delighted to participate in sending greetings for the Hungarian National Day on March 15th.”  Rising to a challenge from opera singer and founder member and Chair of the Welsh Hungarian Cultural Association, Elizabeth Sillo, Montgomery’s community folk band Monty Folk created their own recording of a favourite Hungarian spring folk song, ‘Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt’. (Available on the YouTube channel via tinyurl.com/MontyCCC.) Because of lockdown rules in Wales, each band member recorded themselves on their phones and laptops at home, and then edited them together. Elizabeth sent voice recordings to Lydia Bassett so she could sing the track in Hungarian. Lydia said, “I was very nervous singing in Hungarian, but I am glad we accepted the challenge and we really enjoyed learning and playing the song. When we saw the lovely messages the people of Hungary sent to Wales for St David’s Day we wanted to reply with a message marking their national day. Tavaszi szél is a very special song to the people of Hungary, very much about the coming of Spring, and it felt a lovely way to send a message from Montgomery to help with their celebrations.” More stories about Welsh-Hungarian relations and the Montgomery-Hungary connection can be found on the Magyar Cymru page run by Balint Brunner, co-founder of the WHCA, at https://www.facebook.com/MagyarCymru

  • 0 Writing competition winners announced

    • Community
    • by Montgomery Wales News Team
    • 10-03-2021

    Last year, postmistress Denice Jaunzens challenged Montgomery residents to write about their experiences of living through lockdown, through creative writing, poetry or an essay. A writing competition was judged by Denice together with Barry Lord and Richard Eaves from the bookshop. Each winner was awarded a cash prize and a book token, sponsored by Montgomery Post Office and Eaves & Lord bookshop. The winner of the junior entry was Ciaran Taylor, who was commended by organiser Denice for his superb efforts. Ciaran is well-known to Montgomery residents as he regularly volunteers at public events; for this work, he was awarded the title of Honorary Freeman of Montgomery, of which he is very proud. A former student at Bishops Castle Community College, Ciaran, aged 16, is now studying Sports and Public Services at Newtown College, and he hopes to continue a career in public service by joining the Fire Service. The adult winners were Cyndy Humphreys for poetry, and Charlie Vaughan Jones for the best essay.  The prose award winner wished to remain anonymous, and asked that their cash prize be donated to the local food bank. Denice said, “We were thrilled with the quality of the writing, and it was a very difficult task for us to choose just one winner in each category.” All the stories will be made available to read on the Montgomery Wales website shortly.

  • 0 Public Consultation Meeting: Housing Development at the Junction of Forden Rd and New Rd

    A planning application has been submitted to Powys County Council for what local residents know as "the care home site" at the corner of New Road and Forden Road. This application for 33 affordable/local needs homes can be viewed now at https://pa.powys.gov.uk/online-applications/ by searching for the reference 20/2118/FUL. The site plans have been placed in the Town Council noticeboard in Broad Street and on the back of the Town Hall. (Please remember to keep social distance when viewing these.) The Town Council organised a public meeting online on the 4th March at 7pm. This enabled residents to learn more about the proposals, share their own views with members of the Town Council, which will be submitting its own response to the application, and ask questions of the developers. The Town Council would of course have preferred to have a public meeting in the Town Hall, but that was not possible due to Covid rules. This meeting was recorded this meeting so those who missed it could catch up. Video link: https://montgomery.cloud/town/4mar21.mp4 Note that the Town Council is a statutory consultee on planning matters, and can make comments/recommendations but not decisions. If you wish the Town Council to be aware of any comments you make to the Planning Officer, then please copy these to the Town Clerk townclerk@montgomery-wales.uk

  • 0 Lymore Hall Appeal

    • Community
    • by Montgomery Wales News Team
    • 22-02-2021

    Having written an initial summary of the history of Lymore Hall for The Crier newsletter’s Faces and Places feature, Montgomery resident Oliver Lewis has decided to progress his research to an extended booklet, ‘A Brief and Interesting History of Lymore Hall.’ He explained, “This will be a historical, architectural and social history of this beautiful building, which for three centuries and more was at the heart of our community.” At the moment, Oliver is keen to collect information and see artefacts relating to the hall. He has discovered that there are a lot of items of interest held at the V&A Museum, for example, but Oliver is also keen to hear from people in and around Montgomery. He appeals, “I would welcome any anecdotes, photographs, papers, maps etc. owned personally (and to be supplied on a loaned-basis only) which can inform the historical record of Lymore Hall, its extensive gardens, its ‘pools’ and the Estate more generally, including the cricket ground and surrounding woods.” Any contribution, whether of knowledge or a loan of items, will be acknowledged in the booklet, which will be made available for sale.  If anything springs to mind on this, please email oliver@bringbackbritishrail.org Image: Lymore Hall c.1910

  • 0 Fanfare for Montgomery

    Montgomery’s links with Hungary, through the Building Bridges initiative, are developing rapidly, and through Magyar Cymru a musical friendship has been established with UK-based Hungarian opera singer, Elizabeth Sillo. This in turn has led to a newly commissioned piece of music by composer Georges Gondard being entitled ‘Montgomery Fanfare’. Ms Sillo, who began the annual Hungarian-Welsh concerts in Cardiff, is a founder member of the Welsh Hungarian Cultural Association and organises Europe wide concerts. In this role Elizabeth commissioned an organ piece from French composer Georges Gondard for an anniversary concert in Nice this year. Georges was born in Nice and himself has distant Hungarian connections. He has been a prolific composer of both film scores and concert works including a tribute to Frida Kahlo and a Memoriam for Hiroshima for the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra.  The newly commissioned organ piece was written specifically for Adrian Partington who frequently appears as conductor with the National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales as well as being an organist of international repute. It came as a wonderful surprise that, learning from Elizabeth of the Hungary-Montgomery links, Georges has now entitled his piece a 'Montgomery Fanfare'. It is planned to celebrate the Montgomery-Hungary links with a ‘Hungarian Day’, once Covid restrictions allow. This event will include the postponed unveiling of the plaque presented to Montgomery following the bestowing of an honorary posthumus Freemanship of the town on the Hungarian national poet, János Arany. Arany based his epic allegorical poem The Bards of Wales at Montgomery Castle. Cllr Jill Kibble, who is leading this initiative, as Chair of the Town Council’s Tourism Committee, said, “Plans are advancing and we are hoping to have a really interesting day, welcoming friends from both Wales and Hungary, and including some very special surprises.” She added, “We hope we can host the premiere of a new scoring of Georges Gondard’s work, Montgomery Fanfare, here in Montgomery as part of this.”  Although no date has been able to be set as yet, Jill said, “Watch this space for further news about this exciting event.” Photo: Georges Gondard

  • 0 First contribution to heritage project

    • Community
    • by Montgomery Wales News Team
    • 07-02-2021

    St Nicholas’ Church in Montgomery has received funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund under the ‘15 minutes heritage’ scheme.   As well as improving interpretation of the heritage within the church, the group is gathering information, memories and photographs from those who grew up in Montgomery, and who are happy to share their early recollections of the church. One of the first to contribute was Tracey Williams, herself a professional photographer, who shared a photograph of a number of young people as they celebrated their confirmation service sixty years ago. Tracey has managed to gather most of the names of those pictured and the photograph includes both her father and her uncle. Lydia Bassett from the church project said, “The heritage project group is interested in talking to people about their early recollections of church activity, so if you were in this photograph, and would be happy to share your story, do get in touch.”     Lydia added, “If you have photos of church events from years gone by, we'd love to see those too. This might include events such as outings, picnics or Sunday school activity, as well as services such as this one, or harvest festivals, weddings etc.”      You can contact Lydia with your recollections and photographs by email to lydia@lbarts.co.uk Image: Young people outside St Nicholas’ Church in 1961, following their confirmation service. Copyright Tracey Williams Photography