0 Digital equipment for Town Hall
The Town Council secured European Funding for digital equipment for community halls and venues this summer and now has new equipment in the Town Hall’s lower floor. This was put to immediate good use the week after installation for the screening of Her Late Majesty’s funeral, a photo slide show on market day, and the Town Council hybrid meeting. Cllr Gwil Stephenson, who had been largely responsible for the funding bid, said, “This offered a good opportunity for the community to see the new facility in use but also to raise awareness of the possibilities for community organisations and businesses to promote their events and services as well as run virtual meetings or make and show videos of their activities.” Over the coming months training sessions will be offered to organisations and businesses interested in making full use of this splendid new facility. The Council is also planning on using the equipment to display information about events during markets and coffee mornings.
0 A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Montgomery Castle
An audience of over 200 people watched Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Montgomery Castle on Aug 17th, performed by the Illyria theatre company, who are celebrating their 30th birthday, and directed by Oliver Gray. Over twenty characters were portrayed by means of quick costume changes and the high energy of the five members of the cast, Richard Blackman, Lily Carter, Sarah Coyne, Chris Laishley and Nathan Richard Smith. The course of true love ran anything but smooth as games of fantasy, love and dreams ensued in Shakespeare’s most beguiling comedy. Five couples; three human, one fairy, and one mythical, found their relationships sorely tested, intimately probed and indecently exposed when a troupe of amateur theatricals bumbled into the forest to rehearse a play. This timeless comic masterpiece explored every colour in the spectrum of love, from arranged marriage to elopement; from infatuation to hatred; from chivalric devotion to raw sex. Add to this bawdy mix a heady brew of confusion, magic and mischief, and the result was the most perfectly frothy comedy for a summer evening. The event, supported by Montgomery Town Council and Harrison’s Solicitors, was organised by Mike Mills who said, “After the absence of live theatre in Montgomery for two years due to the pandemic, it was great to be able to stage this performance again. It’s very gratifying to see people turn up, have a picnic and enjoy one of the best outdoor performing theatrical companies in one of the most stunning locations in Powys.” Photo by G17 Photography More photos: https://www.montgomery-wales.uk/play/photo.html
Over the last couple of months, the Friends of Montgomery Play Park have raised funds from a wonderful Jubilee window competition, a coffee morning at the Town Hall, and a percentage of sales proceeds from the ‘It’s All in a Title’ art exhibition. They were also over the moon to be awarded £5,161 from the MCCP (Montgomery Community Care Project) towards an inclusive piece of equipment. At the time of writing, Montgomery Town Council with support from FMPP are putting together a tender document to see contractors deliver Phase 1 of the project during early autumn. This will include earthworks, accessible paths, and a ‘keep’ on the largest mound, with various play items around the base, to include climbing and balance play. A re-worked Lottery application will be submitted in due course, to help deliver Phase 2 and a greater volume of play equipment. The group will continue to fundraise to support the delivery of the park, especially in light of increasing costs. Their next fabulous fundraiser will be a Scarecrow Competition and Trail which will take place from 28th October to 6th November - save the date and watch out for information to follow. The FMPP Localgiving page is still open and continues to receive generous donations. It is a quick and easy way to make a donation and all UK taxpayers are eligible for gift aid to be added to their donation: https://localgiving.org/charity/friends-ofmontgomery-play-park/ At their AGM on September 8th, the group will be looking for new Committee Members to take on the roles of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The current members will still assist with community fundraising, but are looking for fresh energy and input. Please do get in touch if you have any questions or are interested in a role: firstname.lastname@example.org
What a couple of months it has been, as we return to a more social life within everyone’s personal constraints. At Mayor Making, it was a pleasure to host members of our community along with other local Council Chairs, Freemen and the High Sheriff. As stated at the meeting, my aim for the coming year is to continue with community engagement and our 10-year plan, while focusing on transparency, promoting the interests of Montgomery at every opportunity and level, and building effectivepartnerships to benefit the town. A vote of thanks to all the committees who do an amazing, tireless job organising events such as the Street Fair and Show. Two new events this year, Monty Lit Fest and the revised Across Wales Walk route, were such a success they will also become annual fixtures. The splendid Open Gardensevent raised a record sum for my Mayor’s Charity and the Show. These events offer a varied social calendar for residents and a draw for visitors, an important part of our economy. To have such high quality events and performances by musicians of the calibre of MarcCorbett-Weaver is impressive. As the High Sheriff commented, he never ceases to be amazed at how much happens in such a small town. Here, here, Sir! We have been delighted to welcome two new Councillors, Cyndy Humphreys and Ciaran Taylor, but one vacancy remains. Are you passionate about your town? Have you got the commitment and drive to join a hard-working team as we take Montgomery forward whilst retaining all that is best? I am very happy to have a chat to anyone interested. Please contact me at any time, should you have any Montgomery matters or concerns to discuss:email@example.com Wishing you all a most enjoyable summer!
One of many events that had to be missed out on during the last couple of years, the Montgomery Mayor Making returned this year on 8th July. The ceremony and community event took place at a slightly later point in the year than is traditional - with so many other events having been going on in the Town during the last few weeks! Recently appointed Clerk Helen Royall, Town Crier Sue Blower and Mayor Jill Kibble led the proceedings. Current Mayor Jill Kibble had been unable to be formally invested with a Mayor Making event in 2021, and likewise her predecessor Cllr Haydn Andrew in 2020. Cllr Andrew, who was Mayor in 2019-20 and 2020-21, spoke about the strange times of the pandemic, wished luck to Jill in her second term, and gave a positive “onwards and upwards” message to fellow Councillors. He gave his heartfelt thanks to his Mayoress Jane who had endured various stresses and strains by his side during his term as mayor. Cllr David Jones, Montgomery’s longest serving current Town Councillor, proposed Cllr Kibble as Mayor for 2022-23 which was seconded by Cllr Andrew, and Mayor Kibble duly elected for her second term. Cllr Kibble’s speech celebrated the community and fundraising events that have been able to take place this year, in contrast to last. She announced that her Deputy would be Cllr Wendy Beaven, her chaplain would be Rev Mary Turnock, and her chosen charity for the year would be the DPJ Foundation, which supports mental health in the agricultural sector. Cllr Kibble spoke of community engagement, her ambitions for the coming year, and the Council’s current work with residents to build a 10-year plan for the Town and Council. She proposed votes of thanks to Town Crier, Sue Blower; the Town Clerk, Helen Royall, who has worked incredibly hard since her taking up the post in March; and the Community News Team. She thanked Adam Cusack who looks after the Town’s website and supports the Council in all things technical. She turned to her husband Brett to thank him for his continual and unwavering support, as well as his own community work in areas such as bike recycling and footpath maintenance. Rev. Mary Turnock offered some apposite advice to the Council, drawing on St Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and Timothy, about working together as one body of many parts, being kind to everyone, and avoiding quarrels. She then led the assembly in prayer. Sue Blower was appointed as Town Crier for the 21st year, proposed by Cllr Rob Harper and seconded by new Councillor and childhood friend to Sue, Cllr Cyndy Humphreys. Cllr Beaven explained about the role of the Sergeants at Mace, and the history of maces; Mark Weaver and David Weaver were reappointed as Sergeants at Mace, with fellow freeman Lionel Weaver standing in for them at this ceremony. Paul Hodgson, who was recently granted Honorary Freemanship of Montgomery, was invited forward to celebrate this well-deserved honour, received in recognition of his work in the community including his part in bringing the Town Memorial and Memorial Garden to the Pound, and researching the Town’s fallen. Paul was presented with his Freeman’s tie. After the formal proceedings, everyone was invited to share drinks and a variety of beautiful canapés made by Katrina Collins of Shed38, and convivial conversations between community members continued until darkness fell. Photographs from the Mayor Making can be seen by clicking here: Photos
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.
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
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
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.