• Montgomery - News

  • 0 Mayor's Notes

    Mayor's Notes   I am honoured to have been re-elected as Mayor of this beautiful town. Brett and I truly value all your friendship and support.   Montgomery has a hard-working Town Council and, although we have sadly said farewell to long serving and valued Councillors Mike Mills and Lionel Weaver, we warmly welcome new Councillor Cyndy Humphreys, who brings her many skills to the team.   Montgomery-Hungarian Day was truly a special occasion with a warm and joyous atmosphere. A debt of gratitude to those councillors, community members and businesses who ensured its success. Business boomed and Monty’s Arany brew was a smash hit here and across Hungary. The Welsh-Hungarian concert in the church rounded off the day perfectly.   Whilst thinking about the castle, a reminder: the car park is for castle visitors only and no dogs are allowed on the site. CADW set the requirements, not the hard working custodians, so please assist by observing them.   The Coffee Morning and Silent Auction was another notable event, raising over £2,000 for Ukrainian charities. Montgomery is delighted to welcome our first Ukrainian family and applaud the perseverance of Sue and Mark Michaels in ensuring their safe arrival.   A busy summer ahead, with the Jubilee Street Party and Montgomeryshire Literary Festival in June, and everyone looking forward to the return of the Street Fair, Open Gardens and Marc Corbett-Weaver’s long-awaited concert.   Town Council is moving to the next stage of the community survey and action plan. A summary from the first stage will be found with the June/July Crier.   We are working closely with the Montgomery Community Buildings Preservation Trust as they take on the lease for the Town Hall and encourage more activities and events, while ensuring the future of the fabric of this lovely building at the heart of our town.   Looking forward to working with and for you all over the coming year.   - Jill Kibble, Mayor

  • 0 Mayor’s Coffee Morning raises a magnificent sum for Ukrainians

    Residents of Montgomery have been delighted to see the recent return of the traditional Saturday morning coffee mornings at their Town Hall. Last Saturday was a coffee morning with a difference to raise funds in support of Ukrainians. Organised by the Town Council, the morning included a sealed bids auction co-ordinated by local artist Josette Gresty who had gathered a range of beautifully crafted items generously donated by herself and fellow artists and makers. Visitors enjoyed the spread of delicious home-baked cakes and pastries and a grand raffle run by the Town Crier, and were able to purchase unique Okami Makes origami cards from 11 year old Jenny Bailey-Beech. Outside, in front of the Town Hall and in glorious spring sunshine, beneath the fluttering Ukrainian and Welsh flags, Monty Folk played a variety of tunes throughout the morning. Their busking resulted in more generous donations and the catchy tunes had people dancing in the street. The town was delighted to welcome its newest residents to the event - a family escaped from war-torn Ukraine who are staying with a Montgomery host family. They were joined by another family being hosted in Bishops Castle. In common with other refugees, it has taken many weeks of perseverance supported by their host families to obtain all the necessary documentation to come to Britain. Thanks to the generosity of those attending, the Town Council have raised well over £1500 which will be split between Médecins Sans Frontières working in Ukraine and the Red Cross supporting refugee camps in eastern Hungary where the town has links with the Mayor and Council of Kunàgota.

  • 0 Mayor's Notes

    A busy couple of months in Montgomery. Final touches are being made to the Montgomery Community Buildings Preservation Trust taking on the Town Hall lease to ensure our gracious civic building is kept in good repair and remains a thriving community resource. Another beautiful building, the Institute, is steadily being repurposed. Lesley Williams and the  Trustees are showing great initiative in ensuring this is another vibrant multi-purpose resource. Thanks to everyone who assisted with a lively Winter Tea with local musicians, a delicious tea and abundant cake. Also, everyone involved with the bustling Community Fayre, which showcased many of the 54 Montgomery groups and organisations. Our multi-skilled community leads me to Town Council elections in May. If you are a team worker with a passion for Montgomery and are a forward, positive thinker then please consider standing for Council*. Happy to talk to anyone interested; it can be immensely rewarding. Two important events for your diary: Ukrainian Fundraiser Coffee Morning on Saturday 30th April and the Montgomery-Hungarian Day on Saturday 14th May. Thank you to everyone who completed the Community Survey. The comments are extremely valuable and are currently being analysed. Initial results in the next Crier. Thank you too for all your support this year. It’s been a considerable honour and a privilege to be your Mayor. Jill Kibble - Mayor *applications should be submitted by 4.00pm on 5th April

  • 0 Community Fayre

    On Saturday 12th March, Montgomery Town Hall hosted a Community Fayre where many of the Town’s 54 organisations and groups were represented. With stalls, refreshments, raffle and live music filling the building, and even the weather being marginally spring-like, it felt like the town was returning to its pre-pandemic atmosphere.  Artist Jo Gresty was there representing Solstice Painters, a Montgomery artists’ group and said, “It was a really enjoyable morning and we may have a few new members so we can start up again in the summer.  It was a great success and we were certainly busy.” Sandi Coppi, representing the OUCH group and Versus Arthritis, said, “It was a blast! I love this place.” Visitor to the Fayre, Deborah Simmonds, commented, “It was a lovely morning and a great turn out. Very enjoyable to see the locals together again and to meet some new faces.”  Graham Evans from PAVO, who co-organised the event along with the Town Council and a working group from community organisations, said, “What a great event to be involved with! It was lovely to see so many people back in the Town Hall and enjoying what Montgomery has to offer, and the atmosphere was great. It's so important to have a strong community spirit, especially during challenging times, and Montgomery has that in abundance.”  He added, “Many thanks to all the clubs and organisations for making it such a successful event and to the public for coming out to support. A special thanks to the working group who came together to arrange and run the first Community Fayre in Montgomery. We smashed all the objectives and more!” Mayor Jill Kibble concluded, “Great day at the Community Fayre. What a buzz there was. Organisations picking up new members, coffee mornings restarted, a splendid raffle and a lovely ambience with chatting, music, fun for the tinies and a real sense of community. Only Montgomery could have 54 organisations and groups in this, the smallest of towns. I am proud of everyone who does so much for the town. Big thanks to Lydia Bassett for organising the music entertainment and Graham Evans for all his excellent organisation - pleasure working with you." Bowling Club, Carnival Committee, Chatterbox, Christmas Lights / Festival, Church Choir, Civic Society, Clwb Coffi Cymraeg, Clwb Eiddew, Community News Team, Côr Trefaldwyn, Cricket Club, Crier Team, Destination Montgomery, Flower Club, Flower Arrangers (Church), Friends of Montgomery Playpark, Friends of Montgomery School, Games Afternoon / Monty on the Board, Gardening Club, Institute / Library Committee, Junior Football Club, Knit and Natter, Mini Montys baby and toddler group, Montgomery Community Buildings Preservation Trust (Town Hall Trust), Montgomery Community Care Project, Montgomery Dementia Friends, Montgomery Energy Group, Montgomery Football Club, Montgomeryshire Literary Festival (town committee), Montgomery Music and Drama, Montgomery Music Live, Montgomery Peer Support Group (ME/ Fibromyalgia), Monty Folk band, Monty Hour team, Monty Movers running club, Monty Muscle, Movie Club, OUCH/Versus Arthritis, Rainbows/Brownies/Guides/Rangers, Recreation Committee (Activity Centre), Scouts/Cubs, Show Committee, Snooker Club, Solstice Painters, St Nicholas Bell Ringers, Street Fair, Taste Montgomery, Tennis Club, Town Tidy Team, Trefaldwyn Ladies Club, Trefoil Guild, Walkers are Welcome Montgomery, Wednesday Walkers

  • 0 Wonderful winter tea

    The post-Christmas season in Montgomery normally sees the Mayor and Town Council host a lunch for senior residents. Given the exigencies of the last couple of years, this has proved impossible, so this year the Council determined to host a different type of function that could be more easily postponed if necessary but still provide opportunity for a get-together. A Winter Tea and Entertainment was planned for January, when omicron forced yet another cancellation. The rescheduled event finally took place on February 19th and forty members of the community enjoyed a convivial afternoon in the Town Hall feasting on a range of savouries provided by Katrina Collins and a variety of cakes baked and served by Councillors.  The afternoon was enlivened by some first class entertainment from local musicians: Monty Folk; a Dragon Big Band trio; and Molly Read singing a selection of sixties and seventies songs. Inevitably, the party-goers required little encouragement to join in with the singing and showed their warm appreciation of our musicians with much cheering. Molly enjoyed joining in with another community event and said, “It was so special to see so many smiley faces again. There was a really great atmosphere in the town hall, and it truly made me appreciate living in such a friendly, lively town.” The afternoon was additionally brightened by the Town Crier, Christmas crackers and a fun lucky dip, so none went home empty-handed. The Montgomery community spirit that has brought us through two challenging years was shining through. As guests John and Laura Brown commented, “It was a wonderful afternoon, with excellent food and entertainment. A great effort which we all thoroughly enjoyed.” Mayor Jill Kibble reminded everyone that the Dragon Big Band was now well and truly back and could be enjoyed with the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw and others on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month in the Town Hall, 8pm – 10pm,  from March 2nd.

  • 0 Orchard fruit for all

    Despite the rain last week, some of Montgomery School's Eco Superheroes (members of the Eco-Committee) spent an afternoon planting fruit trees on the school field. The traditional Welsh apple trees were provided by Cultivate as part of a programme funded by Social Farms and Gardens to support community food growing. Richard Edwards, Chair of Cultivate and a Newtown Town Councillor, was successful in a bid for a large number of traditional variety Welsh fruit trees, and worked with the Vale of Montgomery Cluster of Councils to place these at new sites across the area. 25 of the trees are now in new homes in three locations around Montgomery. Jeremy Thorp and Jenny Brignell from Montgomery Energy Group helped the children with their planting. Anna Griggs, Headteacher, said, “The project is a brilliant example of community working between Cultivate, MEG and the school. We are so excited to extend our school orchard and the native Welsh fruit trees are a link to our past and our future. Thank you to Jenny and Jeremy for their ongoing support of our Eco Committee. In a few years' time the trees will enable our pupils to pick their own snack from their school orchard and also use for cooking in the new Food Technology room that we are having installed in the school.” Eco Committee member Freija said, “We planted the native Welsh fruit trees so that we can grow fruit at school to eat and cook with. The fruit might also be used if children forget their snack. Planting the trees is helping climate change by reducing carbon dioxide and creating more habitats for insects too.” Trees from the same programme were also planted by community gardening volunteers at the community orchard on Forden Road, and by members of the Town Council and Town Tidy team in a newly cleared area near the town football pitch and changing rooms, with the support of the Club. There were assorted old Welsh varietal fruit trees, including apples, pears and damsons.  Cllr Rob Harper said, “We cleared the ground by the changing rooms thinking to make it more visually appealing to the public, and also to provide free fresh fruit in years to come. As we all know, trees are an important part of our lives. It is hoped that when the fruit trees develop, that the fruit will be picked and eaten. Who knows, they might even feature in a Montgomery bake-off! Massive thanks to my brilliant volunteers for their hard work, help, tools and support. Not to mention working in very wet, cold and windy conditions to plant fruit trees of five different Welsh varieties.”

  • 0 Clerk retires after 20 years of service

    The Town Council marked a special occasion at a small lunchtime event on 1 February as Town Clerk, Glenys Smith, retired. At the same event, Councillors were delighted to welcome new Clerk, Helen Royall. Glenys leaves big shoes to fill, but the wig and gown fit perfectly!  Glenys has been clerking the Council for over twenty years, serving the town and a variety of Mayors and Councillors during this time. She has overseen many changes and projects, significantly the transfer of the Town Hall from Powys County Council to the Town Council, and its subsequent refurbishment and imminent leasing to the Montgomery Community Buildings Trust. Being a Town Clerk is a varied and demanding role in a town as active as Montgomery. It requires skill, diplomacy and commitment, all of which Glenys has shown in abundance. Over the years, Glenys worked at gaining her professional clerking qualifications, ensuring she kept abreast of changing financial and governance regulations. Never one to count hours spent on Council business, Glenys could always be relied upon to have time for residents and business owners in town and to deal appropriately with a range of challenges. Clerking is a responsible position and a good clerk is crucial to the smooth and efficient running of a Council. Montgomery has been fortunate to have a loyal and hardworking clerk all these years.  At the lunchtime event last Tuesday, Glenys was presented with bouquets and a framed drawing of Montgomery by talented local artist, Charlotte Durie - a permanent reminder of Montgomery as Glenys and husband, Tony, move from Kerry to the West Midlands to be nearer their grandchildren. Town Crier, Sue Blower, had a special proclamation for the occasion and Mayor, Jill Kibble called for a toast to thank Glenys for her service to the town and wish her a long and happy retirement. Glenys responded: “During my years as Town Clerk to Montgomery Town Council, I worked with many councillors, all of them with the wellbeing of the town at the forefront of their thoughts and decisions. We had our differences, but a professional working relationship and mutual respect was always maintained. “I have been proud and privileged to be Town Clerk to the council - I cannot believe twenty years has gone so fast! Montgomery will always be part of me and I will carry with me many lovely memories of people I have met along the way. “A new era is starting for the Town Council with their new Town Clerk and I wish Helen and Montgomery Town Council all the very best in the many deliberations that await them. “Finally - as I ride off into the sunset! - I would like to thank councillors for my beautiful bouquets of flowers, the framed drawing of Arthur Street with the Town Hall in the distance and of course my mini Town Crier magnet.” Photos: Retiring Town Clerk Glenys Smith (centre) pictured with Mayor Jill Kibble (left) and Town Crier Sue Blower  

  • 0 Walking with trees

    As the Platinum Jubilee approaches, attention has turned to the fine avenue of lime trees planted by Montgomery residents in 2002 to mark the Millennium and the Golden Jubilee. Different families in the town contributed to and planted trees along the public footpath through the Lymore Estate. It was intended to plant 50 trees but in the event there was room for only 47.  The trees have thrived and most have grown strongly and now form a beautiful feature leading the eye to the spectacular and ever changing view of Corndon, fondly known as the Millennium Walk. This is a well-used route by residents and also the route into town for walkers on Offa’s Dyke Path. After more than twenty years several trees are outgrowing their supports and it was obvious that some maintenance would be required.  In late January, Phil Ward and Lottie Glover, of Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trusts respectively,  joined a number of residents and Town Councillors for a walk along the avenue and gave a fascinating description of the huge variety of wildlife supported by these lovely trees. It will perhaps be reassuring to one resident, whose family tree had suffered a hedge-cutting accident, that this was probably the best tree in the avenue for a wide variety of beetles.  Phil advised on maintenance of the trees and indeed recommended that it was now time to remove many supports and reduce the guards in height so as not to impede natural growth. Sheep regularly graze the fields and when they rub against the trunks and remove the bark it can result in disease and even death. Montgomery’s Footpath Maintenance volunteers agreed to lead the work over the course of the year.  The group took the opportunity to discuss with Phil and Lottie other measures to increase biodiversity along the edges of the recreation ground and form a wildlife corridor from Whitegates Pool which will link in with the lime avenue and will support the Town Council’s Biodiversity Action Plan.

  • 0 Mayor's Notes

    Firstly, a belated happy new year to everyone. In the end we managed a few Christmas events and our retail businesses did well: keep shopping local!   As restrictions lift, both postponed and new events are in planning. First up will be the Winter Tea on 19th February.   I am delighted to announce that the Montgomeryshire Literary Festival has found a permanent home here in Montgomery, and I am looking forward to an exciting event over the second weekend in June.   The Town Council is moving ahead with the Community Buildings Trust towards their taking on the Town Hall lease. Council will continue to manage the public toilets, markets and coffee mornings. The Trust is not liable for full Council Tax and can apply for additional grants, so will be better placed to run, maintain and improve our important Georgian building. They will be looking to organise some new community events.   With over 50 different groups and societies here, there is no shortage of ways for people to become involved in town and   community. We are most grateful to everyone who puts such time and effort into keeping activities going. Why not join something new in ’22?   The Town Tidy Team continues regular work parties and is making a real difference. We are promoting the Keep Wales Tidy Leave Only Paw Prints campaign and remind everyone of the dangers of not picking up after your dog and disposing of dog bags in a litter bin.   In your Crier you will find a copy of the Community Survey: a vital first step in preparing a Montgomery Plan. Please take a few minutes to complete and return. There is an online version if you prefer, or if others in your household would like to complete one. https://montgomery.cloud/survey We need, and value, everyone’s views.   Jill Kibble - Mayor   Photo: Mayor Jill chats to Richard and Barry in Siop Lyfrau Trefaldwyn / Montgomery Bookshop

  • 0 Great start to new year for play park group

    2022 has begun on a high for the Friends of Montgomery Play Park with an award of £2000 from Postcode Community Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. This funding will go towards the development of a bespoke, imaginative and inclusive play park in Montgomery that offers much-needed enhanced physical play opportunities for all ages and abilities.  Alex Boyd Jones, Chair of the Friends Group, commented, “We have all been working hard to raise funds to get this project off the ground and this grant will help to make those plans a reality. The town desperately needs to have a new play area to replace the old and inadequate facilities. We are hugely grateful to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for this boost for our community.” The Friends have launched a new website at https://playpark.montgomery-wales.uk, which gives a comprehensive overview of the project to date and a chance to see the proposed plans and how people might be able to support the new park. The group is indebted to Adam Cusack from G17 IT Solutions, who has generously supported the project by designing and implementing the website, and to Montgomery Town Council who have given support to hosting and integrating it within the Town website. Plans are underway for further community fundraisers, building on the success of the Scarecrow Trail and Competition last October.  Meanwhile, contributions can still be made to the Localgiving online fundraiser, where donations will help raise £2000 towards a cantilever basket swing, an all inclusive and dynamic piece of equipment voted as one of the favourite items in the proposed plans. Donations can be made at https://localgiving.org/appeal/New_Play_Park_Basket_Swing/