Saturday, 25th January, 2014

The Smallest City In Wales

     And probably the smallest in Britain.

St. Davids was the destination of that very funny man, Mark Steele, this week.   His visits to various places in Britain are well worth a listen.   They’re on Radio 4 UK on Wednesday evenings, and are repeated on Radio 4 Extra a week later.

I learned a few things about that sweet little city by listening to Mark chatting away and ridiculing the place in a very kindly way.   He stood before an audience made up of locals, and they laughed in all the right places.

I’m sure that Mark’s programme has given a hidden boost to our tourist trade, certainly that of Pembrokeshire.

And I will forgive the announcer who introduced the programme and called the place “St. David” because it was so good to hear the closing credits given in Welsh.   It seems that the old language is making a bit of a comeback in The Little England Beyond Wales.

If you missed it, you can hear the show again on ‘Listen Again’ – just visit the Radio 4 Homepage and follow the links.

Another Effect On Tourism

     This time, the effect is not a good one.   Rhossili Bay was named as one of the most beautiful of European beaches.   Alas, this week the cliff along the beach collapsed.

The landslide injured nobody, but the beach could have done without all that loose rock.   And there are warnings that there may be another landslide imminent.

The reasons for the incident have been blamed on the heavy rain which Rhossili Bay, as in all parts of our land, has received.   Bear in mind, too, that these rains started back in the Summer, though there have been more of them over Winter.

It is the smaller, often unreported incidents which must alert us to the Climate Crisis – a thing denied by the remoter Wasteminster government.   I’m sure our own Welsh government are not that stupid:  denial can lead to worse effects than being open about the Climate Crisis would.

Church In Crisis

     Yes, yes – I know that most churches and chapels in our once very Christian land are struggling to find congregations.   But, when I was up in Powys recently, I heard a strange complaint in Builth Wells.

Apparently, the parish-church – the splendid building called St. Mary’s – has a space problem.

No, its congregations do not overflow into the churchyard every Sunday.   But its former parishioners will soon have nowhere to go.

Rev. Neil Hook, the vicar, has revealed that there is very little room left in the graveyard.   And, even in a lovely little town like Builth, people are not immortal.   So people who have passed on may have to be buried in churchyards belonging to rural churches because the Builth graveyard is bounded by busy roads so has no hope of expansion.

I wonder what will happen if, after someone has been prepared for burial, a note is found in their Will that they must be buried at St. Mary’s.  There could be no more room to fulfil that request.   The phrase “all dressed up and nowhere to go” springs to mind.

(Mind, I heard of a place in England – Lincolnshire, I think – where the local council is asking for permission to reuse grave-spaces!)

Picture in Archie Lowe, Editor.docimg201


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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