11 January 2009
January 2009 HAPPY NEW YEAR ONE & ALL
How strange it all looks in town with no Woolworth, a town stalwart for more
than my years, on Castle Square
The papers and news reports are full of tales of gloom and doom regarding the
current economic climate. There is no doubt that we will all have to look at how
we spend our income in the next few months but one thing I would urge ALL
Haverfordwest residents to do is remember that we have a huge variety of shops
and services in our area , if you doubt it look at our developing business
Please support these local businesses when you do decide to buy anything.
These are the businesses that employ your family and friends. If they fail to
make a profit then we will face more redundancies and job losses in our area,
something that we canít afford to do.
Another thing we as residents can do to help the townís economy is to promote
it and our attractions to any prospective visitors. We are ideally placed for
anyone who wants a holiday in the most picturesque and historically significant
county in Wales.
Hopefully more people will holiday ďat homeĒ with the Euro getting stronger
against the pound. Letís try and capitalise on this and hopefully generate jobs,
even though they may only be for the tourist season.
Let us as residents have a New Year resolution to tell people how proud we
are of our county town .Haverfordwest has had periods of boom & bust before , we
are in the process of improving our town , new pavements , better Christmas
lights. We are a town of survivors and fighters. Lets all work together and make
sure that in 2010 we are ready for the 900 celebrations with a town that
survived the downturn in the economy by looking out for each other.
Onward & upward.
Next Blog February 2009.
11 January 2009
Blog About Town
"So here it is..."
The town is starting to look really Christmassy, the lights are newly turned on, the shops are decorated ready for the window display competition and town is bustling.
I had a visitor a week ago; we went to VINCENT DAVIES just for a stroll and a cup of coffee. My visitor went into raptures over the stock and variety of Christmas type gifts available in the superstore. Everything from Santa lollipops to whiskey marmalade, china to candles evoking the scent of cinnamon, cloves and Christmas past .I defy anyone not to find THE Christmas present for the most awkward to buy for relative in this shop. Then we went into the Christmas decoration section and children (plus the young at heart) were happily pressing the buttons on all the animated toys and gazing in awe at the coloured lights which were on show by the sleigh full.
Just when we thought things couldn't get more Christmassy we forewent the coffee and ate the full blown Christmas dinner. It was really toothsome and remarkably cheaply priced for the quantity of the courses. Get there early on a Sunday to avoid the queues once the word spreads.
After my visitor left it made me think that we take this store and the Moon and Sixpence for granted. But how many other towns have commercially viable, unique family run stores like Haverfordwest, not only these two but also Ocky White, Tom Hughes and County Clothes?
December offers the chance to sample some really seasonal events.
On Saturday 06 December there is an all day French Market selling food and wine from Normandy, featuring cheese, bread, ham and jam plus many other victuals. Also on this day will be a Christmas Fayre at Withybush Showground from 9a.m. to 4p.m. with stalls and Santa Grotto. It is rumoured that a special person in red suit, black boots and white beard will be arriving by sleigh at 3p.m. on Castle Square.
The Fayre at Withybush will be held again on Sunday 07 December from 9 to 4p.m.
On the weekend of 12/13/14 December there will be a Christmas Fayre at Picton Castle with approx 40 stalls and Santa grotto. Friday is 4 to 8 p.m. while Saturday & Sunday is 10:30a.m. to 5p.m..There is an entrance fee of £3.00 per adult but children under 15 enter free.
Don't forget the seasonally geared FARMERS MARKETS on 05 12 19 & 23 December where Turkeys, Christmas food and flowers will be sold alongside the normal farmers' market fayre.
For those who want entertainment
Castle Square 06 December 3p.m
St Mary's 12 December LUNCHTIME CHRISTMAS MUSIC by the Penfro Minstrels. The concert starts at 12.30; admission, teas and coffees are free.
St Mary's 12 December at 7.30 pm
Haverfordwest Ladies Choir present "CHRISTMAS CHEER" Admission £5 (to include mulled wine and mince pies) by programme £6 at the door.
St David's cathedral Handel's Messiah with Dyfed Choir 7:30p.m. tickets from £10.00 Victoria Bookshop.
St Mary's 14 December at 8.00pm
The LANDSKER SINGERS' Annual Christmas Carol Concert. Tickets £5.
St Mary's 18 December
Annual Haverfordwest Town Council Carol Service; all are welcome.
St Martin's 18 December 7p.m. to 9p.m
impromptu Christmas entertainment by local talent.
And for those with the spirit of Tiny Tim in their hearts visit the Christmas Tree Festival at St Martin's Church 18 December 10a.m. to 6p.m. & 7 to 9p.m.
Friday 19 December 10a.m. to 6p.m.
Saturday 20 December Noon to 6p.m.
Sunday 21 December 10a.m. to 4p.m.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERY BODY"
Next Blog 01 January 2009
11 January 2009
Blog About Town
Christmas draws ever closer and we all think about places to go to stuff ourselves as full as turkeys. With this in mind I’ve a few places to suggest.
Much as it pains me to mention a place outside Haverfordwest, The Shed in Porthgain was bouncing with customers on an October Monday lunchtime, not half term. O.K. if you enjoy fish of any sort. Not much good if you are a veggie, mind you they do a lovely homemade scone with jam and really, really thick cream.
More locally I must say that I have never had as good a waitress service as I did the other day when I had a dinner for about 40 people in The Golf Club. Rumour has it that they have a new cook who is gradually changing the menu to suit. The food was excellent, plenty of it and reasonably priced. But above it all was the friendly, nothing too much trouble attitude of the serving staff.
Less of the friendly service but with equally excellent food was The Glen. Again rumour has it there has been a change of Chef. The one who used to be at Bellinis is supposedly here now. Presentation is borderline “Nouvelle Cuisine” but with more generous portions.
The chef is accommodating to special dietary requirements with a few days notice, or was when I asked In fact I would go there again , only put off was the noise from the bar but then most of their eating customers were not of an age to be bothered by that .
A friend of mine highly recommends , for that special occasion when only the unusual will do , visiting The County Hotel , whose menu includes the exotic dish of crocodile but make it “ snappy “ if you want to eat there before Christmas.
I welcome any feedback on the new place in town The Black Sheep. Too recently opened for me to report here but watch this space .What this town needs is more places to eat, either in or take away, provided they are good. They should also appeal to all pockets, deep or shallow.
One place that seems to have combined eat in and take away is the George’s .Is there anyone in Haverfordwest who hasn’t tried their food? I have a friend whose wife stocked her freezer, for her husband, on their take aways while she was away on a course. He was disappointed when she returned and cooking standards plummeted. Her next course is in cookery.
Next blog 01 December
11 January 2009
Blog About Town
Two public meetings were held this month and what a difference in the atmosphere, one from the other.
The 900 committee was elected at the Albany meeting room on 18 September 2008 by those in favour giving a cheer and the one good natured boo against from the assembled crowd of easily over 50 citizens.
It sounds as if 2010 will be a good year to take your holiday at home in Haverfordwest. Some of the proposed events include a snooker tournament with famous names, a literature festival and a rugby match with national players.
Plans are afoot for the celebratory year to kick off with Fireworks and a church service incorporating elements of the services for each of the last 9 centuries. Foremost in the 900 committees mind is the fact that they will be a liaising or diarizing body not an organising committee. They will be there to lend advice and ensure that, as far as possible, events will not double up in content or date.
As well as feed back, via the Western Telegraph on ideas for a permanent feature to commemorate the castle’s 900 birthday, dates and events ideas can be made via the secretary Peter Lewis or assistant secretary Glynis Harrison.
Permanent feature could be a nature garden, a statue or what about a renovation project. The Civic Society would attest to the fact that Foley House needs help. Send those ideas in. The other, much less amiable public meeting was one organised by the Civic Society about the lack of parking in town and the traffic problems.
Two facts stuck out like a sore thumb, people are not happy at the lack of long term parking and people have different ideas as to how to resolve it. Not only do the public have divergent views to the county council representatives at the meeting but they also differ amongst themselves.
We do need more long term parking but our town is a lovely character town and a huge monstrosity of two or more layers, in the middle of a residential area (sound familiar) like a multi storey car park would look wildly out of place. Have we really reached the stage where we force workers to park only where we say?
Lots of questions were asked by residents and Ian Westley struck me as having missed a career in politics, by not answering many of them.
The town is starting to take shape. We are at the stage we are all familiar with when you are half way through a decorating job and wished you hadn’t started but, patience and faith in the decorator gets us through.
But why oh why did no one ask the question what will happen to the old swimming pool site when the new leisure centre opens?
The top of town could do with a shot of regeneration in the arm.
Next months Blog on 01 November