Since lockdown, Montgomery Church children have been meeting online weekly on a Sunday morning. They wanted to show that their faith makes a difference, so decided that they would raise money for Tearfund’s ‘Twin a Tap’ scheme. The idea of this scheme is to twin a tap in Montgomery Church with one in a community affected by poverty. The donations give training and a means of making a simple tap, so that communities affected by poverty can understand good hygiene and easily wash their hands to help protect themselves from the effects of Covid-19. Each child has decided how they will raise money and is aiming to complete their own fundraising by the end of June. Sponsored events include hula hooping, piano scales and a sponsored walk on crutches. Keri, age 11, will be completing a hoopathon challenge aiming for 5000 spins in one session. Keri attended hula hoop classes with Nula Hula in Montgomery Town Hall and Nula says, “I’m very proud that Keri is taking her hooping to the next level and I wish her all the best of luck in her big challenge!” Jenny, age 9, who makes and sells greetings cards as ‘Okami Makes’, will be donating the proceeds from direct sales of her Fathers’ Day cards to the ‘Twin a Tap’ fundraising. Okami Makes can be found on facebook. Lucy, age 5, says of Children’s Church, “I enjoy seeing the people and listening to the bible stories.” She is the youngest of the church children taking part in the fundraising project, and has been doing jobs for her family as her way to raise money. Lucy says she is pleased to be able to help make sure people can wash their hands with clean water.
While for the moment tennis facilities remain closed in Wales, Montgomery Tennis Club is looking forward to a time when tennis can recommence and has placed a contract with a specialist Wales-based company to clean and re-paint their two floodlit courts. The work on the courts should be completed by mid June and the Club hopes to be ready to welcome existing players and new members when restrictions are relaxed, perhaps following the next statement from the First Minister on 18th June. Club Chairman, Richard Macdonald, said, “Tennis facilities remain closed in Wales but we have some light at the end of the tunnel and the work going ahead on the courts is a plus side for the club. Please look at our Montgomery Tennis Club website for information and membership details. Do come along and enjoy some outdoor exercise on our courts when tennis recommences. New members are always made welcome.” Montgomery Tennis Club website: clubspark.lta.org.uk/MontgomeryTennisClub Photo from June 2019
Martha Jones, aged 8, and Carys Richards, aged 9, both pupils of Montgomery Church in Wales School, were successful finalists in the Welsh Learners recitation at the National Urdd Eisteddfod T broadcast on S4C and Radio Cymru last week. The Eisteddfod T (Eisteddfod i ti, o'r tŷ) is an alternative Eisteddfod arranged this year due to the postponement of the traditional event due to have been held in Denbighshire. The Urdd organisers knew what a disappointment the postponement would be for their thousands of active members, so they created Eisteddfod T, a virtual eisteddfod televised daily throughout the half term week. Both Martha and Carys submitted a video of their chosen Welsh learners' recitation and were delighted each to be selected in the top 3 entries in a very popular category. Martha competed in the recitation for years 3 and below on the Monday, then Carys competed in the recitation for years 4 to 6 on the Tuesday. Both Martha’s and Carys’ videos were shown on S4C and the girls were also interviewed live from their homes. Martha was awarded runner up and Carys awarded first place for their respective competitions, which is an amazing achievement. Martha said: “I was disappointed not to be able to compete at the area Eisteddfod earlier in March because of Covid-19, so I was excited to be able to enter Eisteddfod T. When I heard I had made the top 3 I was really excited! I was a bit nervous on the day because I was the first welsh learner on the live show and I didn’t know what they would ask me, but I was pleased to be on TV representing my School.” Carys said: “I had fun recording my video at home but had no idea when I sent it in that I would be selected as a finalist. I was very pleased to be awarded first place; it was a shock but I feel very proud. I was a little nervous being interviewed on live television but it was exciting too.” Both girls were taught the recitation pieces by Ceinwen Morris of Forden. Over the last 6 years Ceinwen has kindly volunteered her time to help teach all children at Montgomery school wishing to take part in Urdd competitions including recitation, solo singing and, for the first time this year, a unison singing party. Anna Griggs, Head Teacher at Montgomery Church in Wales school, said: “After the children and Ceinwen had dedicated many hours preparing for Eisteddfod yr Urdd 2020, it was a huge disappointment when it was understandably cancelled. So for Eisteddfod T to run via online videos this year was a fantastic idea. And what a bonus to see two of our pupils finish in the top three nationally!” She added, “I want to personally thank Alwena Richards and Ceinwen Morris as they really enable our small school to have the capacity to pursue a range of Urdd competitions each year and contribute to ensuring that Welsh language and culture has a high profile at our school.” As well as the categories planned for the traditional eisteddfod, the Eisteddfod T also introduced a whole new series of categories, including lip synch, talented pets, and whole family events - all filmed at home whilst people isolated themselves. Many of the video entries are now available on the S4C website and YouTube, and the Montgomery videos can be accessed from the Montgomery Culture Community Connection YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/MontyCCC Individual video links: https://youtu.be/1QQEQw6EIDQ and https://youtu.be/yLr2hekDjGc Photo credit: Phil Blagg
A very happy 100th birthday today, 13th May 2020, to Mr Cyril Hughes of Mortimer Road, Montgomery. Mr Hughes' neighbours planned a birthday cake and other surprises, which included a personalised message from Town Crier, Sue Blower - video at https://youtu.be/w0QQtrTAPcw Mr Hughes, who worked for Powis Estates woodlands, celebrated outside his home with his wife Margaret, as neighbours cheered and passed on their birthday wishes from a distance. Happy birthday, Mr Hughes!
Llongyfarchion i Glwb Eiddew, Trefaldwyn, sydd wedi derbyn y wobr gyntaf ar gyfer blog fideo yn Eisteddfod y Dysgwyr 2020. Dwedodd Julie Pearce, trefnydd y clwb, “Newyddion da! Mae’r clwb wedi ennill safle cyntaf ar gyfer blog fideo gan unigolyn neu grŵp. Llongyfarchiadau i bawb oedd yn ‘perfformio’ yn y fideo, a diolchiadau mawr i Paul am wneud y fideo. Mae gen i dystysgrif lyfli i’w ddangos i’r aelodau pan dan ni’n medru cyfarfod eto.” Llynedd, enillodd y clwb Grŵp y Flwyddyn, ac mae'r dystysgrif honno yn cael ei harddangos yng Nghaffi Tŷ Eiddew, lle maen nhw'n cyfarfod fel arfer. “Bydd angen i Denice cliriwch silff arall!” gwenodd Julie. Dyd’r grŵp ddim yn gallu cyfarfod ar hyn o bryd wrth gwrs, ond maen nhw’n dechrau defnyddio grŵp Facebook, a mae Julie yn meddwl am geisio cyfarfodydd Zoom i roi cyfle i bawb i siarad Cymraeg efo’n gilydd eto. Gwyliwch eu fideo nhw ar Facebook yma Congratulations to Clwb Eiddew, Montgomery, who have won first prize for a video blog in the 2020 Learners Eisteddfod. Julie Pearce, the club’s organiser, said, “Good news! The club has won first prize for a video blog by an individual or group. Congratulations to everyone who ‘performed’ in the video, and many thanks to Paul for making the video. I have a lovely certificate to show to the members when we can meet again.” Last year, the club won Group of the Year, and that certificate is displayed in the Ivy House Cafe, where they usually meet. “Denice will need to clear us another shelf!” smiled Julie. The group can’t meet at the moment of course, but they are starting to use a facebook group, and Julie is thinking about trying Zoom meetings to give everyone a chance to speak Welsh together again. Watch their video on facebook here
Staff working at the famous Bunners shop in Arthur Street, Montgomery have taken up the “Walk All Over Cancer” challenge and will each aim to complete 10,000 steps a day throughout the month of March, to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. With 10,000 steps averaging 5 miles, each member of staff will have clocked up 155 miles over the month, and there is already a bit of competition hotting up between them! Ann at Bunners said, “Most of us are not finding it too difficult when we are working in the shop - as we are up and down the steps and in and out of the different shop areas, helping customers all day long - but our days off, and especially Sundays, are going to be a real challenge for some of us.” Supporters can donate in the shop, or by sponsoring individual members of staff. Ann said, “People have already been very generous for this worthy cause, and all contributions are welcome.” To donate, pop into the shop, contact a member of staff, or call Bunners store on 01686 668308. The team’s fundraising page link is https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/anns-walk-all-over-cancer-fundraising-page-9 and they can be found on Facebook at fb.me/BunnersMontgomery
On World Book Day, Thursday 5th March, children in Montgomery were delighted to discover gifted books hidden around the town to celebrate the day. The books were hidden by a Montgomery family and each included a note to let the finder know they could take the book home to read and enjoy. The books were hidden by young cousins Megan, Harry and Sam. Megan, age 10, said, “We enjoyed hiding the books and hearing about them being found. We thought that it would be a nice surprise to share our love of reading for World Book Day.” Many of the finders were in fancy dress as the children became aliens and other book characters for the day. Montgomery School children all dressed as aliens, with their theme for the day being the Julia Donaldson book ‘The Smeds and the Smoos’, chosen by teacher Mrs Regan. Foundation Phase researchers found words from the text and wrote in rhyme; years 3 and 4 created clay aliens and green screen aliens who spoke in Welsh; and years 5 and 6 wrote their own alien adventure stories which can be read to younger children in the future. Headteacher Anna Griggs said, “Diolch Mrs Regan for inspiring us with such a rich text and fab theme. We can’t wait for World Book Day 2021!”
The Montgomery Canal photo exhibition is now in place at Montgomery Library. Taking place until 29 February, the exhibition brings together photos taken by members of the local community with a great selection of pictures showing the canal being widely used for a range of leisure and recreational activities. There is a panel dedicated to the restoration of the canal with the focus this year being on the winding hole, a turning point for narrowboats, at Crickheath. It also shows narrowboats built and decorated by the Montgomery Guides. Opening hours for the exhibition are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am to 12 noon and 3pm to 5pm; Thursday 9am to 5pm; and Saturday 9.30am to 12 noon. Cared for by the charity, Glandŵr Cymru, the Canal & River Trust in Wales, the canal is currently being restored by local volunteers as part of a £4 million Montgomery Canal restoration project being funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Currently around half of the canal is navigable but work is underway to bring further stretches back into use. If you would like to support the wider restoration effort of the Montgomery canal, go to www.restorethemontgomerycanal.uk
Montgomery residents took part in dementia awareness training, provided by Montgomery Dementia Friends, this week. During the session, they learned about what can help people with dementia to continue to live full lives in the community. Montgomery Dementia Friends have produced a wallet-sized ‘Hints and tips’ leaflet designed to serve as a quick reference. Businesses and services in the locality will help to distribute the leaflet. Tips on communication, including the use of body language, can be a good starting point when engaging in conversation. Hints about aspects of the environment such as background noise or poor lighting may be useful to some, and others may be interested in how to help people with dementia to make choices when in a shop or café. People with dementia can easily feel lost or have difficulty finding things, and they may find it challenging to handle money. Most fundamentally, dementia can mean that people may experience ‘reality’ differently and can easily become confused when two different realities collide. Patience and tact are called for, and all these skills can be learned. Businesses who display the leaflets have signed a pledge to say they will take part in Dementia Friends training and present a dementia-friendly face with people living with dementia. Those who have signed the pledge will be able to display a Dementia Friendly sticker in their window. According to a 2012 YouGov public survey reported by Alzheimer’s Society, 70% of people with dementia had stopped going out and doing things due to a lack of confidence. The same survey revealed that 35% of people felt uncomfortable or uncertain about having a conversation with a person with dementia. Montgomery Dementia Friends hope that their new leaflet will provide encouragement and support for people living with dementia to remain involved in the community.
The Montgomery Town Hall clock reads 23:50 on the 31st December 2019, and there's not a soul in sight. The Christmas lights twinkle through a fading mist while a soft breeze carries sleepy whispers and echoes of voices in the distance. No, wait -these are not sleepy whispers, it’s a party of revellers pouring out of houses and hotels onto Broad Street and holding hands together to bring in the New Year. Between 23:50 and 23:55, Broad Street is packed and in its centre is Jay Hall who has kindly stepped in for Town Crier Sue Blower. With bells a-ringing and official Crier hat donned, Jay organises the crowd with volunteer help to spread out in readiness for the New Year countdown. 3-2-1 and the New Year is welcomed in with the crowd singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, corks popping, hugging and a fair amount of kissing….. Happy New Year Montgomery!