Saturday, 1st September, 2012.

Where IS Wales?!

     It seems to me that, if you live anywhere outside Wales, you may not know where our country is!

This week, there have been two things which have prompted that statement.

The first was hearing an episode of “4 Joneses & A Jenkins” on Radio4Extra.   As I’ve mentioned before, the series is supposed to be set “in the shadow of the Long Mynd”.   And the accents used by the mainly-English actors are pseudo-Welsh.   However, those accents sound nothing like the accents I hear when I’m on the Welsh side of Offa’s Dyke in that part of the Marches.

The radio accents vary from South Walian to North Walian – and a lot in between.   What else would you expect when English actors are hired to play Welsh parts?

Indeed, the programmes are produced not in Wales, but in a place called Bodenham in Herefordshire – that county is in Mother England (in case people living in Wales didn’t know . . . ).

And does “the shadow of the Long Mynd”, a hill in Shropshire, England, really fall across any bit of Wales?!

And Next . . .

     . . . a friend of mine lives slap-dab (or near enough) in the centre of our land.   His home is in part of what we call West Wales.

His phone rang, and it was a junk-call from a commercial company trying to sell him something or other.   The girl who called was, clearly, English, and she told him that he lived along the Shropshire border!

As this came as a surprise to him – though he knew there’d been strong Westerly winds recently – he asked how she knew that.

“Oh – from your SY Postcode,” she told him.   SY denotes the Shrewsbury – a town in England – area.

He informed her that she’d jumped to conclusions and that, when Wales becomes independent, we shall throw off the yoke of tyrannical English Postcodes!

That confused her!

Buyer Beware!

     In the middle of Aberystwyth, there’s a car-park the surveillance-cameras of which are supervised by a company called ParkingEye.   There are no human car-park attendants there these days.

The company has been sending out Notices to several parkers over a fair period of time telling them that they are being charged for parking longer than the two-hour limit allowed – even though many of those accusations have been clearly unfounded!

There is an Appeal process, but many people can’t be bothered to appeal against the accusation.   Many people, too, have simply ignored the Notices.

And the company do not seem to have chased up the “illegal parkers” for payment!

Ceredigion County Council (Aber is in that fair county) chased ParkingEye a couple of years ago, but the company seems to have made all sorts of excuses, and – I understand – the Council gave up trying to sort things out.

Now, after being informed by one “illegal” parker of his situation, the local MP, Mark Williams, the local AM, Elin Jones, and a Welsh newspaper are investigating the situation.   And the informant has had no replies to his “Signed For” letters.

One of the ways of paying the fines is by credit or debit card, via an automated telephone-system.

I wonder – and this is in no way an accusation – how safe it is to give one’s card details to any company which seems to make so many mistakes, fails to reply to letters and e-mails, and causes so many complaints.

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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.
This entry was posted in News and politics, Wales, Welsh Affairs. Bookmark the permalink.

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