Saturday, 5th November, 2011.

Don’t Drink And Drive

     I’m sure you all know that monument a couple of miles out of Llandovery.   It’s the one to the driver of a coach who was killed when the vehicle he was driving went off the road in the mid-1800s.

He had – it is alleged (there were no breathalysers back then!) – been drinking heavily and went straight when he should have gone round the bend where that monument now stands.   Rumour says it was a cold night and he and his passengers were in a hurry to get to the inn at Llandovery for a warm.

Anyway, the monument is unique inasmuch as there’s not another one anywhere commemorating such a death of such a man.   Quite posh it is, too.

Well, it seems to have been bumped by a hit and run driver recently and work to repair the damage and the natural crack in its stone is taking place.

That old monument and the other, more modern signs around that bend should serve as a reminder to us all not to drink and drive and, perhaps, to drive a little slower, anyway.

Nothing Changes

     And nothing can change until we find some way of keeping foolish people off the roads.

Whether their foolishness is caused by booze, bravado or low-IQs, they are a hazard to sensible road-users.   That is witnessed by the lads who thought they could beat the police in a car-chase.

Not only did they try to beat the unbeatable (the police have two-way radios now, lads!), they also hit the parapet of an historic bridge.   The bridge over the Usk at Crickhowell has stood there, unmolested by drunken coach-drivers or daft motorists, since the early 1700s.   It is a place to visit and just stand and stare at its arches and to listen to the river flowing through them.

So those two lads have secured their place in history . . . if that’s what they wanted.   But what a way to be remembered!

A Bridge Too Noisy

     “What – more comments about roads and bridges?!” I hear you cry, dear reader.   Well, this is a bit different.

Up in Gwynedd, the Council has decided to spend £400,000 on ensuring that a new steel bridge over a busy main road near Tregarth is sound-proofed.   It’ll get a special rubber coating which will deaden the road-noise for horses – and, presumably, riders – which pass over it.

And I think the money is better spent that way than on vicious war-planes which zoom low over rural Wales.   Their noise is the price Wales pays to keep Mother England free.

And There’s More

     These maniacs who pedal their cycles too fast along the Taff Trail near our capital city are being warned to slow down.   It’s alleged that they have been known to knock over walkers and have bumped a fair few dogs.

I always thought that dog-walkers kept a wary eye open for hazards which may affect their little darlings.   I always thought that, in crowded areas, dogs should be kept on a short lead.

But, perhaps, those things have not been made law and become part of the Health & Safety rhubarb.   All I do know is that there are more and more irresponsible dog-owners around these days – I’ve stepped in a fair bit of their irresponsibility!

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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