Sunday, 28 February 2016

A Pembrokeshire Mongrel - Mwngrel Sir Benfro (2)

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I was pleasantly surprised to receive from the Carmarthen Journal at the beginning of the year, an offer to contribute to their expanding Welsh language content with a column of my own.

Having published my initial column in January, I'm glad to report that the Journal have seen fit to keep this new arrangement going by publishing column number two!

My initial column came in at about 650 words in length but I've managed to bring this second effort in at about 550 words which will be my target for future columns.

A Pembrokeshire Mongrel
Again, whilst the lay-out is slightly altered to the first one of a month ago, it remains eye-catching and I'm pleased with how it has been set out.

So, having again re-published it here in the original Cymraeg, I also do so in English below for those who do not have the good fortune of speaking the language of heaven...

A Pembrokeshire Mongrel (2)

It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to write a regular column for the Journal with my views and opinions from the vantage point of being a Councillor and former Mayor of Cardigan but also from being a ‘Pembrokeshire Mongrel’ – born and raised in my paternal homeland ‘below the Lansker’ around Martletwy but with my maternal heritage ‘above the Landsker’ at Eglwyswrw in the Bro Preseli. All in the language of the ‘wes wes’ (west Walian Welsh dialect) of course!

A Chance Lost for Cardigan Library
The news that Ceredigion Council has decided to downsize Cardigan Library has frustrated many. The frustration lies in the fact that the Council had been offered an opportunity by the owners of Canolfan Teifi where the library has been located for the past 20 years, to remain there rent free for a minimum of 5 years. Efforts to call-in the Cabinet decision for greater scrutiny and to fully consider the offer made, failed however and the authority are now set to move the library from its current location, despite a great amount of anxiety expressed by users about the effect that it will have on the service.

Goodbye to the Rain!
I mentioned in my first column last month about the persistent rain that had well and truly put Eglwyswrw on the map. Since I wrote that column, our little village has gone global – as far as Australia and New Zealand! I even found myself giving a live interview on Dutch Radio about our predicament and in all fairness, their pronunciation of Eglwyswrw was to be commended! But all things come to an end and finally, the weather eased - after 85 days of rain, we had a dry day in the village. We should’ve celebrated really but in fact, there was almost a new sense of frustration abound because we ended up just 4 days short of breaking the near 100 year old British record of 89 days of constant rainfall. They say any publicity is good publicity and it seems that the residents of Eglwyswrw well and truly took to that mantra by the end!

Thank You to Robin Lewis
During my year as Mayor of Cardigan in 2009/10 and particularly when I chaired Ceredigion County Council in 2012/13, I would often find myself in the presence of Dyfed’s Lord Lieutenant Robin Lewis. Not only was he and Mrs Lewis good company, but we also had much in common. His business contacts took him to Whitland, where I was schooled for 13 years and they live in Cresswell Quay near Carew which is only a matter of miles from where I was born and grew up.

So I was really pleased, some years later, to receive an invitation for Alyson and myself, to his recent retirement reception in Carmarthen. It was a good opportunity to catch-up with fellow members of the ‘chain gang’ but more importantly, it gave me the chance to personally thank Robin for his commitment and duty to his role over the past decade and more. But more than that, the fact that he did so with such good humour! Best wishes to Sara Edwards who is known to many of us through her career in journalism, as she steps into Robin’s very sizeable shoes.

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