The Old Bell Museum at Montgomery opens its doors to welcome visitors for the summer season from Saturday 6th April. The museum, run entirely by volunteers, has many themed rooms and spaces, each focusing on local history in and around Montgomery. Exhibits include information about the excavation of Montgomery Castle, and the original site at Hendomen; a room dedicated to the former workhouse at Forden, with some touching histories; an exhibition about the railway and the terrible railway disaster of 1921 - a head on collision in which 17 people lost their lives. As a visitor from London commented on a well-known review site, “This is a great museum. Didn’t realised how many rooms there were. I’d definitely recommend this.” There are exhibits to attract all interests and ages, with plenty of local and social history, and a fascinating (and sometimes gruesome) display of medical instruments used in times gone by. The museum is open until September, and the cost is £2 for adults and 50p for children. For details of days and times of opening, or to arrange a group visit, contact the curator on 01686 668313.
Montgomery Energy Group environmentalists Jeremy Thorp and Jenny Brignell were in London last week for The Climate Coalition's 'Green Heart Hero Awards'. Jeremy was nominated for an award for being "an inspiring individual acting to protect all we love from climate change". The worthy winner of this category was 10-year-old Elsie Luna who has challenged the big oil companies about their continued extraction of fossil fuels. Jenny Brignell said, "It was lovely to see and hear about lots of inspiring people and projects at The Climate Coalition Green Heart Hero Awards, and good to see lots of politicians who care about the environment attending, despite other distractions, and trying to put climate change on the political agenda." Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies managed to join the pair for part of the award ceremony, as well as providing a quick tour of Westminster. He said, "Minister Claire Perry was in splendid form and Clive Anderson, Chair of the Woodland Trust, ran the show in his usual entertaining style. I have known Jeremy a while and he’s a pragmatic environmentalist. It was something of an environmental day for me, as I had also spent an hour at an event where David Attenborough was star guest, highlighting the problem of plastic. Congratulations Jeremy." Jeremy Thorp said, "I was grateful for the nomination which gave us the opportunity to attend this event and meet lots of inspiring people. Unfortunately, other current affairs issues have hogged the limelight this past two years, masking the much more important issue of climate change, so events like this are good for highlighting what is still happening behind the scenes. Average global temperatures are already more than 1 degree above pre-industrial levels and rising, and if they rise to more than 1.5 degrees above, then it is almost certain that there will be an ever-worsening humanitarian crisis on the planet. Attending this event has helped to renew our energy levels and we hope to continue to do our bit in Montgomery to raise awareness of this vital issue."
The Montgomery Community Speed Watch volunteers recently recorded vehicle speeds for a total of 3 hours over 4 different periods. They recorded 31 motorists exceeding the 30mph speed limit of whom 15 were driving at over 40mph and a further 3 were over 50mph. Community Speed Watch (CSW) is a group of volunteers who, with support from their local Neighbourhood Policing Team, monitor speeds of vehicles in their villages and towns. Vehicles exceeding the speed limit are referred to the Police with the aim of educating drivers. The emphasis is on raising awareness of speeding in an area to drivers, with drivers exceeding the speed limit receiving warning letters advising them they have passed through a CSW area. Those who are recorded exceeding the speed limits subsequently may have action taken against them. The Montgomery CSW group would like more members of the community to volunteer to take part, and interested applicants are welcome to contact the PCSOs at Newtown Police Station via NewtownNPT@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk
Montgomery Dementia Friends is continuing to make progress towards its goal of making Montgomery a ‘Dementia Friendly’ town. At their recent meeting, a constitution was agreed, officers appointed, and an action plan developed. In addition, committee members, together with a number of volunteers, have attended Dementia Friends training and are keen to put it into action. The group hopes to support people living with dementia in Montgomery and the surrounding area in various ways, such as signposting to information sources, helplines, and social events. A key aspect of the action plan is to disseminate education and training about dementia to the whole community including local businesses, children and young people, and local groups. Wendy Beaven, the group’s secretary, said, “We are thrilled by the enthusiasm shown for this project, and have organised training for the businesses in town on the 17th of March. Businesses who complete the training will receive a notification sign from the Alzheimer’s Society, which they can display in their windows, telling people they are Dementia Friendly.” Six businesses have already signed up to undertake the training. Image: Volunteers from Montgomery Dementia Friends, each of whom has attended Dementia Friends training
Trustees and volunteers turned up for the “Spring Clean” at the Old Bell Museum on the 2nd March, ready to prepare the museum for its Easter opening. Dr Ann Welton, honorary curator, said,”We rely on volunteer help to keep the museum open for visitors. The building, and the collections, take some cleaning - so we organise this in the period when the museum is closed to visitors.” The museum, described by a visitor from Boston, Massachusetts on a well known review site as ”a little gem” contains over nine rooms of interesting items relating to Montgomery through the ages, including items about the castle, gaol, workhouse, railway, agriculture, trade and life in Montgomery; and currently includes a special exhibition of medical instruments from times gone by. Montgomery Mayoress Pat Weaver said, “It was good to see people turn up to help, and to see how carefully the items are cleaned and restored.” She added, ”I was particularly pleased to clean the cupboard which holds a fireman’s helmet that belonged to the Mayor’s grandfather when he was a firefighter in Montgomery.” The award-winning museum, run by the Civic Society, will be open from the first weekend in April until early October, and the Civic Society can arrange group visits outside normal opening hours - please contact email@example.com Image: Montgomery Mayoress, Pat Weaver, helps out with the “spring clean” at the Old Bell Museum