Saturday, 20th February, 2016

Blunting The Axe?

     I’m told that there’s a projected plan to undo some of the evil done by The Beeching Axe back in the 1960s.

In case you’re too young or older people haven’t told you, Doctor Beeching was the son-in-law of the then-  Tory Transport Minister, Ernie Marples.   Beeching’s brief – at least so Joe Public was told – was to ensure that all railway lines were profitable, and that the ones which weren’t should be made so.   And, if a line was really doing badly, simply close it.

The Axe – as it was dubbed by the Left Wing press which Britain used to have – fell on and destroyed the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth line.   That meant Aberystwyth and much of the West side Mid-Wales no longer had a rail-link with Cardiff.

What a coincidence that this happened at the time when Welsh nationalists had made their first demonstration for independence on the bridge in Aberystwyth!

But now, it seems, Plaid Cymru have a seemingly costly plan to restore the line.

Alas, that plan has upset a fair few people, for the route of the old line has become The Ystwyth Trail – a long-distance footpath which is used by lots and lots of walkers (and strollers), both local to the old line and visitors to the beautiful area.   Much of Ceredigion’s economy is based on the holiday-trade, so the Trail is a great asset.

Perhaps there will be a protest-movement formed.   If I hear anything, I shall let you know.

Cast Your Cares Away

     About twenty-five years ago, Gwynfor Griffiths threw a message-in-a-bottle into the sea off Caernarfon pier up there in North Wales.   It was, it seems, some sort of experiment to see if such things ever turned up and were read by someone.

It did and it was.

A chap called Jonathan Scott was windsurfing some forty miles along the coast and just happened to spot the bottle.   Having read the message – which gave Gwynfor Griffiths’ name and address, Jonathan started to search for the bottle-dropper.

And he found him, for Gwynfor was still living at the same address as he’d written on his message.   What a surprise he had when he was told it had been found!

Now then, being a keen Keep Wales Tidy man, I hope this story doesn’t start a spate of bottle-dropping round our coast!   It could be said to be dropping litter . . .

The Cost Of Crime

     Two police-forces in Wales have been told to remove their digits and do better at reducing crime in our land.

I have great admiration for our police, and wouldn’t do their job these days for all the tea in Welsh caddies.   We live in a society which is getting more and more violent, even in some of our rural areas.

And our police do as much as they can to sort things.   But something needs to be done.

That something is to recruit more coppers so that patrols can be increased, and more criminals can be apprehended.

And we know that such a plan would cost money.   But those who want improvements are always very slow in spending money.

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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