Cllr Haydn Andrew has presented a cheque to Wales Air Ambulance, one of his two chosen Mayor’s charities, after stepping down from the role at this year’s Annual Meeting, and will donate an equal amount to Cancer Research UK. Cllr Haydn Andrew’s two years as Montgomery Mayor encompassed unprecedented circumstances and many challenges. Regrettably, due to Covid, he was not able to host any fund raising activities for his chosen charities. Therefore, he decided to donate funds from his Mayor's allowance. Along with partner Jane Lloyd, he presented a cheque for £260 to Wales Air Ambulance at Mid Wales Airport last week, and a cheque of the same value has been sent to Cancer Research UK. Jane said, “While it’s not as much as we would have liked, as unfortunately we were not able to hold any fundraising events, we were pleased to be able to donate some funds to the two charities and support their vital work in some way when it’s been a difficult time for them too.” New Mayor Jill Kibble has selected The DPJ Foundation, a Welsh mental health charity to support those in agriculture and rural communities, as one of her chosen charities. Her other chosen cause is the Montgomery Medical Practice Patients Association, of which she is secretary. She hopes that some events and fundraising will be able to take place during her term in office.
As restrictions are easing, Montgomery Town Crier, Sue Blower, has been back in business with a vengeance after a very literal quiet period, with several appearances in the last fortnight, supporting local charity efforts, businesses and events. Sue, along with other Town Criers across the country, had to be unusually quiet during lockdown, as Town Criers stuck to an arrangement made not to make announcements, or ‘cries’, during the strict lockdown period. Sue did deliver some special messages by video from home, and rang her bell without a ‘cry’ on a couple of occasions, and of course appeared in the Christmas special of Blankety Blank! Sue’s recent return to in-person events has included a bell ring to mark the end of the Montgomery Angels scheme, opening Montgomery couple David and Anthea Wilson’s new gallery and shop in Bishops Castle, along with BC town crier Jeff Aldridge, then welcoming not one but two charity fundraisers as they visited Montgomery. The first was supporting Cari and Emma, from Dolgellau, as they set off from Montgomery Vineyard to walk to White Castle Vineyard, near Abergavenny, to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease. Richard Shackleton, of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, said, “Thanks to the beautiful town of Montgomery for your hospitality and welcome. See you again soon!” The second cry was to greet Alan Bateson from Bishops Castle, raising funds for mental health charity CALM by running the length of the Offa’s Dyke path. Sue met Alan as he reached his half way point at Montgomery, and the flying visit and link to Alan’s story can be seen on the Town’s social media page. Readers may recall Katie and Matt getting engaged at Montgomery Castle on New Year’s Eve 2018, and the community celebrating with them in Broad Street at midnight. Their wedding took place in Michigan this month, and Sue filmed a video message which was presented at the wedding reception. Sue said, “It’s great to be back in business and to support not only Montgomery events, but also those people giving up their time to support a range of charities, who are always welcome in Montgomery.” Sue will be appearing in the Monty Hour slot on July 21, joined by Town Crier colleagues from across the country and the globe, to tell the audience all about the role of Town Crier. See https://montgomery.cloud/hour for details of talks and how to join the session online. Photo: Montgomery Town Crier Sue Blower cuts the ribbon at Border Lights Gallery (L-R: Anthea Wilson, Sue Blower, Bishops Castle Town Crier Jeff Aldridge)
Carys Richards, aged 10, a pupil of Montgomery Church in Wales School, was once again selected as a finalist for the Welsh Learners recitation at the National Urdd Eisteddfod T competition which was broadcast on S4C and Radio Cymru on 1st June. Carys entered her online Welsh Learners recitation entitled “Antur” and was delighted once again to have been selected as a top three finalist. Carys was announced as the overall winner of the competition last year and achieved second place this year. Carys’ video was shown on S4C and she was interviewed live from her home. The Eisteddfod T is a virtual festival, held for the first time in 2020 during the lockdown period, giving children and young people from Wales and beyond a chance to take part in a virtual fun-filled Eisteddfod from the comfort of their homes. Over 12,000 children and young people competed at this year’s Eisteddfod T competition. Montgomery Church in Wales school have had numerous successes at local level and have reached national level for many years thanks to the help of Ceinwen Morris from Forden who has kindly volunteered her time to help teach all children wishing to take part in the Urdd competitions. Carys said: "I love learning Welsh and competing in the recitation competition. I do miss competing in the traditional way on stage but have enjoyed entering online for the last 2 years, and the experience of being interviewed live on television." Anna Griggs, Head Teacher of Montgomery Church in Wales school said: “Carys continues to be an excellent role model promoting Welsh within our school. Her successes at Eisteddfod T have been inspirational for our other pupils. We are all very proud of her”. Photo credit: Phil Blagg
The Friends of Montgomery Play Park were excited to share the proposed play park designs by Earth Wrights with local families, young people and the wider community through online designs, videos and public meetings as well as posters around town. They hope to have reached the majority of the community. The survey has now closed and the nearly 90 responses were very positive regarding the design of a unique playpark for Montgomery that reflected the location and heritage as well as providing exciting play opportunities for a wide range of ages of children. Some good suggestions and comments were made and the Playpark group will be discussing these with Earth Wrights. The major task now facing the project is Fundraising: the Friends hope that a successful lottery bid will cover the majority of the estimated costs, but additional funds will also be needed. If you think you could help and become involved in fundraising initiatives please contact email@example.com The first two 100 Square Club’ draws took place in May and June. May’s numbers were 1st – 76, 2nd – 6 and 3rd – 42 and June’s were 1st - 84, 2nd - 31 and 3rd - 39. Some winners very generously donated their prizes back to the Friends of Montgomery Play Park fundraising pot. The draw is held live on the first of each month on the Montgomery Play Park Facebook page @montgomeryplaypark with the next one in July.
After being closed for the whole of the 2020 season due to the pandemic, the Old Bell Museum has reopened in June, acting Chairman Eric Fairbrother was pleased to announce. The Museum is initially opening for two days a week on Thursdays and Saturdays between the hours of 11am and 4pm. It is preferred that visitors book online, though it is possible to attend without a booking if numbers in the museum allow. There will be limits on the numbers in the museum at any one time to ensure proper compliance with Covid regulations and all the necessary Covid protocols will be in place including that visitors, apart from children, will be required to wear a mask. Risk assessments have been done covering visitors and stewards. Eric said, “We hope as Covid restrictions are eased we will be able to open more days in the week and allow more visitors in at any one time.” He added, “In the meantime, we would welcome help to staff the Museum and we are appealing to Montgomery folk who have previously helped with stewarding to come forward. Please contact Secretary David Thomas on 01686 668934 if you are able to help.” The Old Bell, like all museums and visitor attractions, has lost a great deal of revenue over the past twelve months and, with the restrictive opening in place, is not anticipating much revenue this year. Eric said, “Any donations to support the Old Bell, which is your museum, would be much appreciated, and can be posted through my door at Bronwylfa in Broad Street. Thank you.” Photo: G17 Photography Services
With restrictions easing and life looking more normal, the decision has been taken to stand down the Montgomery Neighbourhood Angels, set up at the beginning of the pandemic to coordinate community support in and around Montgomery. The scheme will be formally closed in June, and the plan is to transfer remaining funds to the Montgomery Welfare Fund. County Cllr Stephen Hayes, who initiated the scheme, along with Cerys Thomas and Claire Weston from the Community News Team, said, “If COVID should come back for a third wave, we’re confident that we have a resilient, caring community which will look out for neighbours. Meanwhile, it seems only fair to let our wonderful Angels and their support team lay down their responsibilities.” He added, “We owe our thanks to each and every one for stepping up so promptly and enthusiastically when the need arose, and getting on with the job. Along the way we solved problems like how to conduct COVID-safe money transactions, new friendships were established across the generations, and some Angels experienced for the first time the feel-good boost of volunteering.” The scheme was supported by PAVO and Montgomery Town Council, and “Angels” have been invited to a small thank-you event on Sunday the 13th of June.
Montgomery Town Council has a new mayor, after Cllr Haydn Andrew stood down at the Annual Meeting following two years in the role. Cllr Andrew addressed the council, thanking the clerk and his partner Jane as Mayoress for their support during the two years, and wishing good luck to the new Mayor and Deputy. He told the council, “This has been a stressful time for all of us, in many ways, and it has been disappointing not to be able to carry out many of the activities, including fundraising events, that the Mayoress and I had planned.” Despite this, Cllr Andrew will still be able to make a donation to his chosen charities, Wales Air Ambulance and Cancer Research. New Mayor Cllr Jill Kibble thanked Cllr Andrew for his service in this very difficult period, during which she had served as his deputy, and said that he had shown his mettle as an ambassador of the town. She told the meeting she was delighted to have Wendy Beaven as Deputy Mayor and Deputy Chair and looked forward to working together to move the Council forward as a team to serve Montgomery. Cllr Kibble said, “Montgomery has a splendid community, as has really been shown over the past 16 months. As Town Council we are here to support that.” She wishes to focus on a town plan, involving the town’s residents and businesses, and supporting the town during recovery from the covid period. She is keen to see community activities re-established, including groups and events in the town hall, with people having the confidence to be out and about again and assisting the town economy. Cllr Kibble announced that her chosen charities would be the DPJ charity, and the Montgomery Medical Practice Patients Association, of which she is secretary. While there won’t be a Mayor Making event this year, the new Mayor hopes that some events and fundraising will be able to take place during her term in office. County Cllr Stephen Hayes, also in attendance, expressed his admiration and thanks to Cllr Andrew for the dignified manner in which he had carried out the role over the past two years. Photo: Cllr Jill Kibble (centre) pictured at the Whitegates Wildlife Area with Cllr Lionel Weaver and Tammy Stretton of the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust.
An appetising alphabetical adventure is about to reach its 100th country’s cuisine. Five years ago, Stuart and Georgina Taylor, who are passionate about food and cooking, decided to spice up their culinary repertoire (sometimes literally!) by travelling the world, metaphorically, and creating authentic dishes from countries around the globe. Having two small children, Freddie and Sophie, they wanted to encourage them to eat well, taste new flavours, and learn about the world at the same time. And so began their Around the World Food Adventure. The adventure started with Afghanistan, from where the pair created a spicy dish called Kabuli Pulao. Stuart researches the recipes, sources the ingredients and cooks the dishes, and has also done some blogging about their experiences. Each time they prepare a new dish, the children find out about the country, geographically and culturally, reproduce the flag, and take a photo of the meal and flag as a reminder. At the start of the project, the children were a little fussy with what they would eat, being drawn to the familiarity of spaghetti bolognese or pizza, but over the years they have both started to look forward to each dish and mostly enjoy trying them. Sophie, who was 18 months old when the adventure began, has become a keen cook and likes to help her dad in the kitchen whenever she can. Along the way, the family has been joined by baby Charlie, now 2 years old. The family have now reached their 100th country, Lichtenstein, and are planning a meal of Käsknöpfle - triple cheese pasta with sweet onion. Georgii explained, “We have enjoyed all of the dishes, for their flavours and unique tastes. We find ingredients locally where we can, but we have had to be creative about where we find some things, like the Mahi Mahi fish we needed for our dish from Kiribati, which Stu had to source online.” The children have identified their favourite meals, with Freddie enjoying making and eating sushi, from Japan, whilst Sophie said her favourite dish was the jerk chicken and festival with mango salsa from Jamaica, as it was the tastiest and she loved eating outside. For his first Around the World meal, Charlie had Shakshuka from Israel, which has now become a firm family favourite. Stu and Georgii plan to continue what they have begun, and to create a book from all the recipes, photos and flags, to present to their children when they are adults. Photo: Sophie and Stuart prepare Kubaneh bread to accompany Shaksuka
The Friends of Montgomery Play Park have thanked all those who have filled in their survey regarding the proposed designs, saying, “We’ve had some really thoughtful, insightful and useful feedback.” However the group has received fewer than half the number of survey responses their initial survey garnered last year, and would like to have more input from members of the community and potential users of the park before they prepare for the next steps in raising the funds. The designs from Earth Wrights will be reviewed on the basis of the community consultation, and engagement from members of the public will provide vital support towards subsequent funding applications. The group are keen to have local involvement in helping to 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’ online page http://play.montgomery.cloud including a fantastic fly through video, and video discussions with Earth Wrights. Physical plans are also available on the back of the Town Hall for those who don’t have access to the internet. It takes under 5 minutes to complete the survey at https://play.montgomery.cloud/survey and the deadline has been extended to 16th May. If you would like to get in touch directly with the Friends you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message via Facebook @montgomeryplaypark
On Saturday 17th April, Montgomery Bowls Club President Mr Tom Price had the honour of delivering the first wood to open the green for the 2021 bowling season. This first bowl traditionally takes place in mid April each year to formally open the green for the season. On April 17, club members also observed a minute's silence along with the rest of the nation for Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Due to Covid restrictions full play is not currently possible, but some bowling activity has begun to take place, following Bowls Wales guidance, to mark the club opening. Since mid-April, club members are able to take part in some bowling events with social distancing and household mixing requirements in place as outlined by Bowls Wales. From May 10th the 'in house league' will commence with appropriate covid secure measures in place, again in line with the advice from Bowls Wales. New members are always welcome - please contact the Chairman John Thompson on 01686 668079, for more information.