Saturday, 24th January, 2015.

Places And Communities

     I hear that Pembroke Council is closing five schools.   Yes, they’ll be “replaced” by two new ones.   And that looks as if it isn’t too bad.

But think on:  those five schools have, over the years, brought local youngsters together and helped them get to know each other.   Then, whole communities grow up knowing who’s who.

One could argue – if one wasn’t overly blinkered – that the new schools will be tidier than the old ones, so the youngsters would have a better environment.

Yet the areas which they will serve are bigger than the areas served by the former schools.   And, though the students may get to know each other at those new schools, they will live further away from each other even to the extent of different towns and villages.

So the broad community will not be as close-knit as it once was.

The same thing applies to the closure of workplaces.   Up in Deeside, a hundred-and-twenty-one jobs are disappearing, just like that.   That means that workmates will see less of each other – if they see anything at all of each other.

So it’s not just economic difficulties coming to the area.   It is another step to estranging neighbour from neighbour.

An Interesting Accident

     A lorry ended up in the branch of the Shropshire Union Canal near Abermule.   That little village is on the A483, a road I often travel.

The road was closed for a while, and the lorry has been dragged out of the canal now.

But it poses questions in my mind:  what of the consequences to the environment of such an accident?   And, further:  will it do damage to a symbol of our historical heritage?

That stretch of road follows the canal for some miles.   There are bits of fine wrought-iron along it in places, still there to see.   Much of the tow-path is still walkable.   And one can ponder on the whys and wherefores of that branch of the canal being built in the first place.

I connected England and Wales long before the coming of the railways and may well be the “cause” of the prosperity of Newtown, which was once a small market-town – look at the buildings which remain in the old place to get a glimpse of its history.

Let us be grateful that, even today, most of Wales reflects its history in its buildings and various constructions.

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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