Saturday, 5th June, 2010.

Going Without The
Flow

     I had the interesting experience of
driving through
Newtown, Powys, last weekend.   I know it was Bank Holiday and that lots of
visitors would be heading West through our land.   They come mainly from the English Midlands,
and it’s good to have them here.

     It was late afternoon when my journey from
Welshpool to Lampeter encountered
Newtown.

     Did you know that there are four, perhaps
five, sets of traffic-lights in that neat little town?   And that those lights seem to be
unsynchronised?

     Well, maybe that isn’t true.   They appear to be synchronised –
synchronised, that is, to create long, long tail-backs.   The town was a complete bottleneck.

     Down the road, in tiny Llanidloes some
years ago, they had the same problem.  
It was caused by the lovely old market-hall slap in the middle of
Llanidloes’ narrow crossroads.

    So a bypass was built.   It solved traffic problems.   If a little place like dear old Llani can
see what’s happening and sort it, why not the metropolis of its neighbour
Newtown?

 

Power To The
People!

     Sometimes, the only way to put one’s
message across is to perform what, in some quarters, may be termed “an
irresponsible act”.   But parents up by
Corwen took peaceful steps to tell the world – and any British government which
will listen – about their displeasure at the closing of local schools.

     The demonstration took place in the Main
Pavilion at the Urdd Eisteddfod – an ideal spot, of course, to bring home the message
to kids as well as other parents.

     It is so, so easy for somebody sitting in
an office far away to tick all the necessary boxes and get local schools
closed.   There is no “will this benefit
the community?” about these decisions.  
But there is a “how much money can we save?” mentality.

     The closure of local schools – or local
anything, for that matter – is a lessening of our communities.   Growing up together is a very important part
of life.   It bonds the community, it
strengthens the individual.

     You and I both know that, if a war was
started in a foreign country tomorrow, the money would be ready and waiting to
fund the machines of that war.   Why,
then, do we not teach our youngsters – in the local schools still remaining –
the value of peace?   (Or is that a
rhetorical question?)

 

 

There’s Gold In
Them Thar . . .

     . .
.
well, tunnels,
actually.   Well, there would have been
had the evil Commies managed to get across the Channel and invade these Isles
during the Cold War.

     The Rhydymwyn Valley History Society up in
the Gog have found documentary evidence that tunnels – miles of ‘em – under the
local Nature Reserve were going to be the repository for Britain’s gold
reserves way back then.

     I wonder, had history taken different
turns, how that hidey-hole would have benefited
Wales.  
Would the people of our land have been allowed to keep it as a reward
for looking after it?

     I was around during those Cold War
times.   And I was by no means alone in
believing that the Ruskies were ever going to start any aggression – despite
all the propaganda (anybody seen the Yankee film called, I think, “Duck and
Cover”?).

     There is a tradition that, during the
Second World War, had the Nazis ever have invaded our shores, the English Crown
Jewels would have been hidden in a cavern in Aberystwyth.   Near Builth Wells, there is the remains of a
man-made cave which, locals still assure me, was made so that local politicians
could hide in case of invasion or nuclear holocaust and run the country . . . well, I suppose I mean what was
left of it!

 

Health News

     Alcohol can harm the development of
youngsters.   So says our Chief Medical
Officer, Tony Jewell.

     Kids under 15 should never be allowed to
use alcohol, he tells us.

     Are we – as parents – unable to work that
out for ourselves?   And, if not, should
we class the people who feed their offspring booze as been unworthy to be part
of the gene-pool?   Perhaps Mother
Nature’s use of evolution to allow the survival of the fittest has some merit . . .

 

Lest We Forget

     The names of Leonard Worsell and
John John may be unfamiliar to you.   But
the Llanelli 1911 Rail Strike Committee (yes, the group operates today) are
hoping to commemorate those two 20-year old lads who were shot dead by members
of His Majesty The King’s soldiery simply for taking part in that strike for
better pay and conditions.

     Be not deceived –
that was not the first time such an atrocity had happened and was not the
last.   Whether it was the Battle of Peterloo
or the Battle of Kinder Scout or the violence on the picket-lines during the
last Miners’ Strike, these things have gone on.   The reason for them happening is
simple:  the under-class must be kept in
its place by its betters.

     Teach your
children their history – for “the system” never will.

Archie Lowe

achie.lowe@laughingdragons.co.uk

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About Archie Lowe

Though not born in Wales, I have lived and worked here for many years now. I love the place and love that mercurial thing "Welshness". I have been accused of being "a Taffophile" - which is pretty near the truth. The question I ask whenever some idea comes up for the whole of the UK is: "What's in it for Wales". I believe in an independent Wales and am so pleased that our Assembly is a big step on that road.
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