The Christmas Festival committee were pleased and privileged to welcome Andrew Logan to Montgomery to judge the 'Christmas Celebrations' window competition. Andrew Logan is a local artist, sculptor and jewellery designer based in Berriew with his work found at https://shop.andrewlogan.com and https://andrewloganmuseum.org Andrew judged the competition based on two categories - business and residential/domestic properties. Andrew had a wide variety of designs and displays to choose from and the Christmas Festival Committee, on behalf of Andrew Logan, are pleased to announce that the Bookshop (Eaves & Lord) and The Flower House were the joint winning entries for the business properties and two properties on Broad Street and Castle Street were the joint winning entries for the residential/domestic properties category. Andrew was really impressed with all the entries and a prize from the competition sponsors and an autographed postcard from Andrew Logan will be handed to all entrants. Andrew commented it was difficult to make a choice from such an array of fantastic and creative entries. The prizes were left on doorsteps / mailboxes on the morning of Sunday 20th December following the latest lockdown news. Well done to everyone, it has been a fun and exciting build up to the judging and especially during the visit by Andrew and his team. The Montgomery Christmas Festival Committee would like to offer a big thank you to Andrew Logan for his creative inspiration and innovation and feedback about all the entries. Thank you to all the competitors and the businesses who have sponsored the event, namely RVW Pugh, Montgomery Waters, SJ Roberts and Pickstock Homes - we couldn’t have made this happen without you all. Please keep an eye out for the red hearts displaying #montymagic while walking around the town, especially along Broad Street and Arthur Street. Best wishes to you all over the festive period.
Montgomery school children from years 4, 5 and 6 have been commended in the Hungarian national press after a video produced locally in the town went viral in the country. The Montgomery “Building Bridges” video, produced as a response to one produced by Magyar Cymru earlier this year, is intended to build further links between Montgomery and Hungary, where János Arany’s famous poem, ‘The Bards of Wales’, recounts a tale based at Montgomery Castle. The children worked on a greeting in both Welsh and Hungarian for the video, and were supported with their pronunciation by Veronica Hopkins, a Montgomery resident who speaks Hungarian, having Hungarian parents and relatives and being a frequent visitor to the country. The Hungarian Daily News reported that “the students of the local Ysgol Trefaldwyn primary school greet the Hungarians with a perfect pronunciation at the beginning of the short film”. As well as appearing in 11 national newspapers in the country, the story of the video also made national Hungarian TV. The video has now been viewed over 60,000 times with more than 30,000 views on YouTube and more than that again on social media channels. It is available on YouTube via https://tinyurl.com/MontyCCC.
The Christmas Festival Committee are organising a Christmas display window competition themed ‘Christmas celebrations’. The competition is open to both businesses and private properties in Montgomery.An entry form needs to be completed, and is available from email@example.com or at the Bunners shop. Please return the form 28th November (private properties) and 27th November (businesses).The windows will be judged the week before Christmas, but all entries for businesses must be mounted and on display before 28th November.The committee have been fortunate to secure money prizes from local companies:RVW Pugh https://www.rvwpugh.co.ukMontgomery Waters https://www.montgomeryspring.co.ukand SJ Roberts Construction https://www.sjroberts.comGood luck to all entrants! Image: a Christmas window in Broad Street from our 2018 live advent calendar
Our Harvest and Healthy Living Week We have spent the last few weeks giving thanks for Harvest and also promoting healthy living. One of our farming families also donated resources for our younger pupils to make some Harvest Scarecrows. Science and Technology The upper school have been completing science investigations comparing different forms of exercise and the impact on their pulse rates. They have ensured fair testing by repeating tests and building in equal rest periods. After half term the Y2/3 class will receive toothbrushes and we are hoping to organise a virtual tour of a dental surgery with Mr Simkin, a parent and a dentist. Expressive Arts Our Y4/5/6 musicians composed and performed a piece of music on the theme of journeys using a range of tuned and untuned instruments. One depicted searching food and used tribal music as their inspiration and another showed the journey of water from source to the sea. Language, Literacy and Communication Our youngest class learnt and performed the Talk for Writing story 'Little Red Hen.' It is remarkable to think that our reception children have only been with us for a matter of weeks. Humanities, including RE and Collective Worship We have engaged in class assemblies with the theme of Harvest and also enjoyed our regular Open the Book online assemblies. Our RE focus has been on pilgrimages.
Montgomery cyclist Emma Serjeant finished her season on a literal high, by coming second in the British Masters Hill Climb Championships, which was held at Carr Lane Hill, Palterton, Derbyshire on the 11th of October. British Masters cycle racing is for male and female racers who are at least 40 years of age. Although Carr Lane hill is only 1475 m in length, it has a maximum gradient of 15%. Hill climbs are run as time trials, with riders setting off at one minute intervals to beat both the gradient and the clock. Emma said, “It’s been a very strange year with a number of my key races having been cancelled, but it was good to be out racing again against some of the top masters cyclists in the UK.” She added, “After pushing as hard as I could, I was beaten by 5 seconds by winner Sandra McKay - but I was very happy with my silver medal and a large bottle of beer!”
Over the last few weeks, 1st Montgomery Rangers split themselves into three teams and prepared packs of items to be sent to a group of each team's choosing. This was the final clause in the 'Make Change' badge that the Rangers have been working on over the summer. One team sent stationery items to a school in Tanzania (twinned with their own school here in the UK); another sent 'thank you' packs with sweet treats to care workers at Llys Hafren in Welshpool; and the third team sent similar packs to NHS workers at Montgomery Medical Practice. All the packs contained personal messages from the girls in addition to the other items. The packs have been really well-received. A Montgomery Medical Practice spokesperson posted on their social media, “A big thank you to 1st Montgomery Rangers who have dropped off some packs for members of the practice team. The packs contained some lovely items for the team, with little notes of positivity! Thank you for the thoughtful gesture.” One of the Rangers, Seren, commented, “It was an enjoyable experience giving something good to someone during such a tough time.” Rosa and Leela added, “We really enjoyed assembling the packs and creating the cards, knowing that they will go to people who need them.”
Cllr. Gwil Stephenson will be running online drop-in 'Zoom' sessions for one hour each week from the 22nd September usually on a Tuesday 6-7 pm, for more information and a link to the Zoom session please go to: Drop In Zoom Session or scan the QR code with your phone. These session are essentially for anyone in Montgomery and the surrounding area but anyone that has an interest in Montgomery can join. The sessions are open to any topic not just Montgomery itself. This includes trying out Zoom if you are new to teleconferencing. You may come and go as you please ... you can join for a few minutes or the whole hour. You will be asked for your name, postcode and email address in order to obtain the Zoom link the first time you attend a session.
When Ms Anna Griggs was appointed Headteacher at Montgomery Church in Wales School, she explained to the School Council that she wanted to create more opportunities for outdoor learning, and to build on the work already started at the school and its allotment, by developing an area in the school field. Having secured Awards for All lottery funding, a forest school site was created, with support from Fran, a Montgomery resident who runs the Woodland Pack Company, and Martin and colleagues from Cope Community. With pupils having created plans and contributed ideas, the different activity zones created included a secure pond, mud kitchens, a seating/cooking area, a stage area, a bug hotel, stepping stones and some den building areas. Over recent weeks, work has taken place to create a growing area, including recycled plastic raised beds, and to begin a sensory herb garden - all with materials and labour donated by friends of the school, parents and local businesses. During lockdown, the school Eco Committee has been working on identifying which crops to grow. Russell and Ade from Russell Francis kindly donated and delivered three bags of excellent topsoil, and Derwen Garden Centre and Morrisons Welshpool, have provided plants and seeds. Headteacher Anna Griggs said, “I have a real passion for outdoor learning. It is an essential part of the new curriculum, but it is even more important during the COVID19 crisis. We are using the outdoors to help safeguard children whilst providing health and wellbeing opportunities alongside rich learning opportunities.” The next phase includes erecting a metal shed for storage. Whilst the components are already on site, the school needs to work out how to complete the construction whilst maintaining social distancing. The outdoor learning site will be available for pre-school children to use as well as learners from the school, and there may be opportunities for some community use in the future. Once the site is complete, the school plans to run a competition to name the area, which will then have a grand opening. Ms Griggs said, “We look forward to inviting the people who have enabled this project to happen so that the children can say a huge thank you.”
Montgomery Energy Group (MEG) held its June meeting online and discussed the future of bike use in and around Montgomery. Across the UK, as well as in Montgomery, people have been walking and using their bikes more during lockdown. There is a free bike scheme in Montgomery, passing on bikes from people that have finished using them, to people that want a bike; and far more people have been asking for a bike during this time from the scheme, with over 150 having been safely given out during the lockdown period. Jeremy Thorp from MEG said, “This is great to see and good for our health and the environment, but how can we make sure it continues after lockdown ends?” At the meeting, members learned that in the UK, our cycling infrastructure is far worse than on the continent, but the government is promising to put more resources into cycling. They then discussed, if funds could be found, what should be the priority in Montgomery? The result is that MEG has set up a survey to find out what would make it easier to walk and cycle in Montgomery so that they know what to concentrate their efforts on. Jeremy said, “Please take our short survey (it is only 10 questions) to help keep this cycling and walking momentum going.” You can find the questionnaire at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/T59PT85 or email your thoughts to Jeremy.firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny Bailey-Beech from Montgomery, who is only 9 years old, has been creating beautiful origami cards for sale under the brand Okami Makes. The cards, each one of which is unique, are available from a number of shops in Montgomery, and the Okami Makes facebook page, which her parents help run. From the beginning of her venture, Jenny determined to donate some of the proceeds from her cards to charity, and she has now been able to hand a cheque for £100 to her favourite charity, Havenmore Hedgehog Rescue. Rose Lambert from the charity said, “Thank you so much Jenny, we’ve bought three boxes of puppy milk for the hoglets so far.” Jenny is planning to donate the proceeds from her Fathers’ Day cards to the Twin a Tap charity, which works with Tearfund in Africa, and which Montgomery Children’s Church have chosen as their charity to support during lockdown.