‘Find.ers.Keep.ers’ sheds light on the threat of bridleways becoming extinguished in the UK. ‘Áo dài’ challenges diversity representation in the British and Welsh landscape, while the film ‘Walking Together’ is a meditative walk on horseback exploring our relationships with more-than-humans, specifically equines.
Through a series of performative acts, SLQS questions ideas around rights to roam, land rights and diversity in the equestrian world. As a Franco-Vietnamese artist and urban-dwelling rider living in East London, she immerses herself in the British and Welsh countryside, changing the colour of its landscape.
A Franco-Vietnamese artist living in the UK, SLQS’s work is multi-disciplinary and researches artistic processes to decolonise spatial orders from imperialist, sexist and racist structures.
SLQS has presented work at Totally Thames, Spitalfields Music, Rich Mix, Procreate Project, Live Art Development Agency, Royal College of Art, Brunel Museum, Migration Museum, Museum of the Home and Attenborough Art Centre. She is currently a selected member of UKNA New Artist Collective 2022-23 taking place in Lincoln.
Artists, writers and performers are being invited to attend the symposium for discussions about ‘other’ bodies in the British and Welsh landscape and relationships with animals, plants.
‘More than human relations’ will also be discussed which may include interests in proximity, animal perspectives and interspecies hybridity and how these ideas may intersect with rights to roam and land access.
Tickets for symposium can be booked at: https://moma.cymru/. Also view the symposium call out for papers at: https://www.artsterritoryexchange.com/blog/2023/4/14/roanm
aTE is an arts-organisation interested in ideas of distance, connectivity and remoteness. Creating a vast global network of connected topographies and reaching the world's most isolated places, aTE facilitates collaboration between artists in remote and wilderness locations or those that feel themselves to be ‘remote’ in other ways, cut off from the networks which usually sustain a practice.
The organisation also hosts events, bringing together exchange participants and helping them to realise their collaborations in the form of exhibitions, lectures, publications, ‘face to face’ and virtual residencies.
A renowned vineyard on the Shropshire-Powys border is due to launch its popular wine tours in May.
Kerry Vale Vineyard, near Montgomery is getting ready to welcome tour guests when guided tours restart for the new season on Saturday, May 6.
The vineyard offers a range of attractions, including guided tours, a well-stocked cellar door shop which sells a range of local artisan gifts and an onsite café, with a reputation for home cooked food and delicious baked goods.
The vineyard also boasts an impressive Roman history - there was once a fort where the vineyard now sits - providing an additional point of interest to visitors.
Event manager and tour guide Nadine Roach said: “Our tours run three times a week from May until the end of September and are always a popular highlight in the calendar.
“We have customers coming from all over the UK to learn how we grow grapes which make world-class wines from Shropshire’s stoney soil. As well as learning about how we manage our vines, harvest and winemaking, customers enjoy four different wines to sample - a great way to conclude the tour!
“Kerry Vale Vineyard has always been a family run business and hospitality is at the heart of what we do. Guests can expect a warm welcome and an engaging, entertaining time as we explore the vineyard and taste our award winning wines.”
Vineyard tours are a great team activity for corporate away days or to celebrate a special event with family and friends.
As well as their scheduled tours, which run every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 11am, the vineyard is available to book from May to September for private groups with minimum number of 12.
Prebooking is essential and many dates are already full, so book early to avoid disappointment. For more details, and to book a tour visit www.kerryvalevineyard.co.uk or call 01588 620627.
Kerry Vale Vineyard owner Russell Cooke leads a vineyard tour and wine tasting.
Around 6,000 visitors from across the UK and around the world were attracted to the hugely successful Wonderwool Wales, the award-winning show that celebrates all that’s great about Welsh wool and natural fibres, at the weekend.
Many of the 230 exhibitors described the 17th show, held at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, as the best yet and several first time exhibitors pledged to return next year following buoyant sales over the two days.
The annual festival brings together people and businesses with a passion for Welsh wool and its versatility as a material for creative crafts, designer clothes, home furnishings and more.
Wonderwool Wales covers everything from the start to the end of the creative process. Exhibits of sheep, goats, raw and hand dyed fibres, yarn for knitting and crochet, embellishments, equipment, dyes and books can be found alongside superb examples of finished textile art, craft, clothing and home furnishings.
A new, short documentary, highlighting the forgotten potential of wool in textiles and the industry’s urgent need for sustainable solutions, was well received on its Wales premier at the event.
The work of four students from the University of West England in Bristol, Forgotten Fibre delves into the applications of wool in the textile industry and its sustainable uses, as an alternative to synthetics made from plastics.
Two of the people interviewed in the documentary - Jen Hunter from Fernhill Fleece and Fibre near Bristol, Marina Skua, a yarn dyer and hand-knit designer based in Wiltshire – exhibited at the show.
Two new books were promoted at this year’s event. Ria Burns, who designs and makes sustainable knitwear in Bristol, chose to launch her new book, Dyeing Yarn Naturally, at Wonderwool Wales, where TOFT founder Kerry Lord’s latest publication, Alexandra’s Garden: Flowers, which features patterns to make 30 crochet flowers, was also promoted.
A special exhibition of map wall hangings, depicting seven different places around the UK, was a popular feature. It was the first and last chance to see all the wall hangings, which celebrate the combined creativity of more than 180 knitters, together in one place
The exhibition was co-ordinated by Sue Howell, who founded the Knit Your Town Project in response to the immense amount of interest shown in a knitted map of Llandysul, exhibited at Wonderwool Wales 2017.
Many visitors grabbed the chance to attend the ever-popular Woolschool workshops to learn or perfect their skills with help from an expert, while the Sheep Walk fashion parades of garments made by exhibitors attracted packed audiences.
Wonderwool Wales director Chrissie Menzies was delighted with the attendance and the positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors.
“We were overwhelmed with the number of visitors on Saturday - the show was really buzzing,” she said. “There has been so much lovely feedback, with both visitors and exhibitors saying that Wonderwool Wales is the best and only show to go to now.
“They also commented on what a friendly show it is, having a wonderful atmosphere and nothing but positive vibes, and how happy and helpful our lovely stewards are.”
Exhibitor Helen Hickman, owner of Nellie and Eve, who hand dyes British wool yarns using botanical extracts and natural dyeing methods from her base near Llanwrda, said: “It was an amazing event. Everyone attending appreciates wool and all its benefits.
“Wonderwool Wales has really gathered momentum and people have it in their diaries as a place to go to. There is nothing like it in the UK or Europe and that’s why it attracts visitors from around the world.
“I met visitors from the USA, Sweden and Netherland and another German lady, who usually brings a team with her, was very disappointed that she was unable to attend because of strikes in Germany.”
One of the visitors from the USA was Donny Schultz from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania who said: “This is my first time at Wonderwool Wales and I am having a great time. I have found some really unique pieces, yarns and wools and I am just learning about the craft. It’s a pleasure to be here in Wales.”
Exhibitor Becca Tansley from Ewe and Ply, which has shops in Oswestry and Shrewsbury, said: “For us, it was the best Wonderwool Wales yet. The attendance was up on last year and people were genuinely interested in what we had on our stand.
“Wonderwool Wales has got a tremendous following and people come to the event to have a good time with the intention of looking at what’s on offer and spending their pocket money.”
Wendy and Graham Thorner, who run Mid Wales Willow near Llanidloes, exhibited for the first time at Wonderwool Wales and their willow dragonflies and baskets were very popular with visitors.
“The show was right up there with the best we have done,” said Wendy. “We enjoyed the ambience and everything about the show, including the visitors who, without exception, were all lovely. The show has inspired me to take up knitting again after a 40-year gap.”
Another delighted first time exhibitor was Torie Wilson, of Feral Fibres from Sussex, who makes bespoke woven wares, such as shawls, rugs, clothing and homeware, from sustainable, handspun and hand-dyed British wool yarn.
“The response from everybody, including visitors, exhibitors and staff, was just overwhelming,” said Torie who launched her business online in 2020. “I didn’t know what to expect, as I know my stall is a bit different, but it was wonderful and couldn’t have gone any better.
“I secured a couple of commissions and made contact with other exhibitors about possibly working in collaboration. There were more than 200 exhibitors at the show and everybody offered something different. It’s really important to highlight the variations of wool.”
The audience at the Sheep Walk fashion parade.
The reopening day special pauses at Castle Caereinion in April 1963. A since-modified example of the basic toastrack carriage seen directly behind the loco will return for the gala event. Photo: W&LLR Archive
Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway (W&LLR) will stage an Anniversary Gala weekend on June 17 and 18 to celebrate two significant events, one exactly twice as old as the other.
On April 6, 1963, 60 years ago, the W&LLR reopened as a heritage railway run by volunteers. Another 60 years and two days earlier, on April 4, 1903 the line had opened for the first time with much pomp and ceremony in both Welshpool and Llanfair Caereinion.
When the preservation company began operations in April 1963, it was in a very uncertain environment. At the time there were just two preserved railways operating in Wales - Talyllyn Railway had been a volunteer operation since 1951 and the Ffestiniog Railway had reopened its first short section in 1955.
But the Welshpool & Llanfair volunteers faced a new challenge as they were leasing the line from British Railways, with all the bureaucracy that entailed. Not until 1973 was the line purchased from BR.
The early years were marked by severe cash shortages and the project was almost doomed when the bridge over the River Banwy partially collapsed in 1964. But the volunteers overcame these challenges and the line has steadily grown in prominence to become the major tourist attraction it is today.
The gala event will celebrate the line’s history and future. Without doubt, the highlight is set to be the return to service of 0-8-0T steam locomotive 699.01 ‘Sir Drefaldwyn’, following a long overhaul delayed by such issues as the Covid pandemic.
The return to service of ‘Sir Drefaldwyn’ will be the major highlight of the gala. The loco is seen here in 2014 with correct Austrian carriage stock before the latest overhaul started.
Photo: Kevin Heywood/W&LLR
Sir D has its own prominent place in the line’s preservation history. Built in 1944 in France by Société Franco-Belge for the then occupying German military, it never saw service before the supply depot it was stored in was captured by Allied forces.
The loco was then sent to work in Austria and it was discovered redundant on a siding by W&L members in 1968, following the gift to the railway of four open-balconied carriages by the Austrian Zillertalbahn line.
Sir D was not the first steam locomotive to arrive at the W&L after preservation, but it was the first to be regularly rostered on the line’s passenger trains, entering service in spring 1970 and proving a most powerful engine able to pull the heaviest loads.
The loco worked until 2000 when its boiler ticket expired and, with other heavy-haulage locos then available, it was placed in store, restoration not beginning until 2014.
The Anniversary Gala will also recall important parts of the W&LLR’s history and will include a return to the line for one of the first carriages secured by the preservationists.
With the W&LLR’s own carriages having been scrapped in the 1930s, following the withdrawal of the passenger service, the new company had to look for stock and, in 1961, secured a set of very basic ‘toastrack’ carriages from the Upnor & Lodge Hill Railway, a naval line in Kent.
These were modified in service with the W&LLR and served the line well until better vehicles became available and they were sold to the Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway, back in Kent. Thanks to the S&KLR, one carriage will return to Wales to recreate the look of trains in the line’s earliest preservation years.
Other highlights of the weekend will include re-enactments of important events in the railway’s history. Among these are the cutting of the first sod ceremony and the chairman's speech on re-opening to a recreation of the jazz trains run in the 1980s and an evening dining train. It is also hoped to have other visiting vehicles on static display.
Trains will run between Welshpool and Llanfair Caereinon throughout the weekend. Full details of the event and ticket booking facilities will be found on the railway’s website at www.wllr.org.uk/upcoming-events.
The Coronation of King Charles III on May 6 is fast approaching. If you're looking for an event to mark this special occasion, MWT Cymru (Mid Wales Tourism) has collated the following list from members across Mid Wales.
Powis Castle and Garden, Welshpool. ©National Trust Image - Joe Wainwright.
Powis Castle’s celebrations span the whole bank holiday weekend
Coronation Crown Trail at Powis Castle
May 6 – 8, Powis Castle and Garden, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 8RF
In celebration of the King's Coronation, the Crown Trail will keep the whole family busy around the castle. Spot the crowns hidden in paintings and plasterwork, on ceilings and furniture - how many will you find?
Normal admission prices do apply.
Coronation events on Saturday, May 6:
Barmouth, Southern Snowdonia. © Crown copyright (2007) Visit Wales
Barmouth Coronation Party
May 6, The Promenade, Barmouth, Gwynedd, LL42 1NF
Starting at 5pm, finishing at 11pm. Free entry.
Celebrate in Barmouth with live music and DJ on the sound stage with lights projecting out across the beach. Hosted by Barmouth Town Council.
Talyllyn Railway | Coronation Train
May 6, depart Wharf Station at 11:05am Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway, Gorsaf Wharf Station, Tywyn, Gwynedd, LL36 9EY
Join Talyllyn Railway for a Special Train Journey to celebrate the coronation. The only railway to have run trains for the Coronation of the last two serving monarchs, it will celebrate using the original headboard from 1953 and then swap to a new headboard, dedicated to the new king, to mark this momentous occasion.
The special train will depart Wharf at 11:05am. Choose to include a royal afternoon tea comprising a selection of sandwiches, including the famous Coronation Chicken, freshly baked scones, King’s Fruit cake plus other savouries and salad plus freshly made tea or coffee.
The afternoon tea will be served at Abergynolwyn at reserved tables.
Mellington Hall Country House Hotel & Holiday Home Park.
Celebrate at Mellington Hall
May 6, 1pm onwards. Mellington Hall Country House Hotel & Holiday Home Park, Mellington, Churchstoke SY15 6HX
Mellington Hall Country House Hotel & Holiday Home Park will be celebrating the King’s Coronation on May 6 from 1pm on the back lawn. Open to non-residents and locals who are asked to bring their own table and chairs but no food or drink.
Free and live entertainment, donkey rides and much more, plus a barbecue too.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with numbers to assist with catering.
Welshpool Coronation Concert Poster
Welshpool Coronation Concert
May 6, 2pm - 10pm. Street event in Broad Street / High Street, Welshpool
To celebrate the Coronation of King Charles lll, following the success of an event to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee last year, Welshpool 1940s Weekend is putting on a special all day event that will include tribute bands, craft stalls, charity stalls, classic cars and much more. The event is totally free.
Both Broad Street and High Street, from the traffic lights to Jehu Road, will be closed to traffic between 12 noon and 11pm.
Coronation events on Sunday, May 7:
Coronation Picnic in the Park, Newtown
May 7, 2pm - 5:30pm
On Sunday, May 7, there will be a 'Picnic in the Park' at Newtown Town Hall grounds between 2pm and 5.30pm, with a bouncy castle, ice cream and candy floss, face painting and donkey rides to name just a few.
Disco Daddy Coronation party, Welshpool
May 7, 12 - 2pm or 3 - 5pm
Town Hall, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 7PG
Two hours of free party games, disco and much more. This free Coronation party for primary school aged children will provide lots of fun, games and dancing. Each child will receive a small gift and tea will be served too (allergies can be catered for).
Full details available from Kim at the Welshpool Town Council on 01938 553142
Coronation events on Monday, May 8
Montgomery town centre which is hosting a Coronation Big Lunch.
Montgomery Big Lunch
Broad Street / Arthur Street, Montgomery SY15 6PL
May 8, 12:30 - 4:30pm
Celebrate in Montgomery with a Community Coronation Day street lunch. There will be street food vendors or people can bring your own lunch or order a picnic lunch. Fun and games for children and live music. Tables provided.
More events throughout the year, plus things to do and places to stay can be found on www.visitmidwales.co.uk
Are you hosting a coronation event? Events can be submitted to Visit Mid Wales here: https://www.visitmidwales.co.uk/information/submit-event
MWT Cymru, the membership and marketing organisation behind Visit Mid Wales, represents over 600 businesses throughout Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia. More information here: www.mwtcymru.co.uk
VRï’s UK tour includes dates at Hermon Arts, Oswestry on May 20, Mwldan, Cardigan, supporting Breabach, on June 7 and Aberystwyth Arts Centre on June 8.
The trio comprises Jordan Price Williams (cello, voice), Aneirin Jones (violin, voice) and Patrick Rimes (viola, violin), young men from deepest, darkest chapel-going Wales.
They have mined the cultural upheaval of past centuries and drawn inspiration from the incredible story of a time when Wales’ traditional music and dance was suppressed by Methodist chapels. Earlier, the Welsh language was suppressed by Henry VIII’s Act of Union.
Since forming in the summer of 2016, the trio has been in search of an elusive 'chamber-folk' aesthetic – pumping out their native foot-stomping dance tunes whilst maintaining the poise and elegance of a string ensemble. It's a cross-genre idea that's hitherto unheard of in Wales.
Released on the bendigedig label last October, Islais a genir is available to buy via www.vri.cymru, where the full tour dates and ticket links are published.
First Minister Mark Drakeford will visit Milford Haven as Wales gears up for another busy summer tourist season.
The First Minister will visit Tŷ Hotel Milford Waterfront to hear about the preparation work that is underway for the summer.
Celebrating its first anniversary in April, the 100 bedroom hotel is a venture between Celtic Collection and the Port of Milford Haven that employs over 60 people.
Tŷ Hotel Milford Waterfront has exceeded expectations through its first year of trading, successfully attracting a mix of visitors and corporate travellers.
With 3 Bank Holidays and a half term on the horizon, there are plenty of opportunities for people to visit Wales over the next few weeks.
A survey undertaken on January 2023 by Visit Wales, of people living in the UK who had previously contacted VW, shows those who visited in 2022 felt positive about their experiences in Wales.
They were the most satisfied with the ‘quality of the natural environment’ in Wales (83% very satisfied), followed by ‘feeling of safety’ (80%), ‘cleanliness of beaches’ (77%), ‘the welcome you received’ (76%) and ‘places to visit (75%).
On the experience of a holiday in Wales, 78% of overnight visitors rated their experience in Wales as ‘excellent’, a notable rise on 2021 ratings.
The aim of the Welsh Government tourism strategy is to spread tourism benefits throughout Wales, encouraging increased spend in our economy and tackling seasonality by promoting Wales as a nation you can visit all year round.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“We are ambitious for Wales as a tourist destination, and it is clear from the research work that our visitors highly rate their time here.
“We look forward to welcoming visitors from all parts of the globe to Wales to experience the breadth of what we have on offer.
“There’s so much to do and to see, and so many wonderful places to visit across Wales.
“I’d also encourage the people of Wales to go out and discover parts of the country they may have never visited before.
“I know how hard the industry works to ensure that everyone who visits Wales returns home with great memories.
“We will continue to work with communities, visitors and businesses to achieve sustainable growth for tourism across Wales.”
Celtic Collection Chief Executive Ian Edwards said:
“We have been delighted by the enthusiastic response we have received from both the local community in Milford Haven and the thousands of guests who have enjoyed staying in the new Tŷ Hotel during its first year of opening.
“Pembrokeshire is world-renowned as a tourist destination thanks to its spectacular coastline and landscape, as well as its welcoming people, and the hotel is the perfect place to explore all the many attractions that West Wales has to offer.
“With almost all of the guest bedrooms enjoying views of the marina and the working harbour, the hotel also showcases the incredible redevelopment that has taken place at Milford Waterfront.
“As well as welcoming new visitors to Pembrokeshire from all over the world, the local team recruited at Tŷ Hotel has also been delighted to immerse itself in the community, championing the amazing local produce in Dulse restaurant and sponsoring a number of sports teams and events in the surrounding area.”
Read in full on the Welsh Government website.
Open to applications from today (19/04/23) two new pilot discretionary funds are being made available from Event Wales. In a specially-convened industry webinar hosted today and following on from the development of the new Events Strategy for Wales, considered applications to the Sector Development Fund or the Sustainability Innovation Fund for work during the 2023/2024 or 2024/2025 periods are now invited.
Both sector development and event sustainability were identified in the new Strategy as ongoing priorities for the Wales events industry in future years and the funds seek to support projects that specifically target these two important workstreams.
Further guidance on both funds can be found at:
The Rev Phil Jump in the cab of Loco No 4 Edward Thomas with volunteer driver Jonathan Mann, fireman Becky Sharp and the Rev Ian Drummond.
Pilgrims of many Christian denominations travelled from as far as Manchester to join Talyllyn Railway’s annual Easter ‘Stations of The Cross’ event on Good Friday.
The traditional pilgrimage, which began in 2009, visits each of the railway’s stations to re-enact the ‘Stations of the Cross’, marking Jesus’ journey carrying his cross to the place of crucifixion.
Eight stations were selected in this year’s pilgrimage to give more time to tell and reflect on the story. The reflections were led by the Rev Phil Jump, regional minister for North Western Baptist Association, an area stretching from Carlisle to Mid Wales.
The event was organised and co-ordinated by the Rev Ian Drummond, a retired minister living in Tywyn, a member of Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society Council and a railway volunteer for many years.
Lorraine Simkiss, the railway’s general manager (commercial), said “We had an excellent attendance and it is encouraging to have had so many people join us on this poignant and spiritual journey.”
The annual event brings together Christians of many denominations. A collection was made to support work of the Diocese of Matabeleland in Africa, headed by Bishop Cleophas Lunga, a good friend of the railway.
Arron Newby on his way to winning the Rallynuts Stages Rally. Image credit: Malcolm Almond.
Arron Newby claimed his second victory of 2023 on Saturday as he took his Skoda Fabia R5 to a convincing win in the Builth Wells-based Rallynuts Stages Rally.
The 28-year-old driver from Cumbria took control of a hotly contested event on the fifth test when early leader Matt Hirst picked up a puncture. From then on, Newby and co-driver Jamie Edwards threaded their way through the tricky world-class stages with precision, to take the win by an impressive 30 seconds.
2021 winner Elliot Payne and co-driver Tom Woodburn were their nearest challenger, taking their Ford Fiesta Rally2 to second spot, but only by one second ahead of the wounded Hirst who salvaged third after an afternoon to forget.
Sponsored by established racewear and accessory firm Rallynuts Motorsport, the rally is organised by Midland Manor Motor Club. Around 120 crews tackled seven stages in the Myherin, Sweet Lamb, Hafren and Sarnau forests.
Last year's winner Hirst and co-driver Declan Dear set the pace from the outset, setting the fastest time on all four morning stages to head back into the mid-day service with a mighty 20-second lead.
However, the hard work was undone in the afternoon, losing more than 30 seconds with a puncture on the fifth test, before suffering another on the final stage of the rally.
This allowed Newby to take advantage of the ailing Fiesta, setting the pace on the Myherin Main test and again in Cwmysgawen to storm to the win, adding to his Malcolm Wilson Rally Interclub victory last month and taking maximum MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series points in the process.
“That was totally unexpected,” said a shocked Newby at the finish. “It’s been a phenomenal day and there isn’t a mark on the car. The pacenotes were brilliant and the stages are just fantastic down here, it's absolutely mega.
“You know of course we have a little bit in the back of our minds with Craig [Breen] obviously. Our thoughts are still going towards him, but in terms of the pace today, I absolutely loved it, I couldn't be any happier.”
Last week, World Rally Championship driver Craig Breen lost his life in a testing accident for the forthcoming Croatia Rally and the Rallynuts Stages Rally held a one-minute silence ahead of the start as a mark of respect.
The winners also elected not to take part in the traditional champagne spray in his honour.
Payne was thankful for his second place after a difficult day behind the wheel. Issues with the setup of the Fiesta hampered progress in the morning loop and, despite changes in service, couldn’t make inroads on Newby’s lead.
The runner-up spot would offer some consolidation in his second BTRDA title quest which remains firmly alive.
Hirst limped back to the finish with little left of the transmission, to round off the podium but did enough to secure maximum Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship points.
The rally also attracted a healthy two-wheel-drive battle and it was the stunning FIAT 131 Abarth of Nick Elliott and Dave Price which took the honours. They snatched that marker from the grasp of Robert Gough and Paul Morris in their Ford Escort MKII, by just one second on the final stage.
Builth Wells driver Jason Pritchard had the honour of first local driver home in 13th overall in his Ford Escort MKII and was only a handful of seconds behind the leading historic crews.
The Bowler Defender Challenge was won by the Finnish crew of Jorma and Janne Jokela, enjoying over a minute gap to second placed Vanessa Ruck and Chris Cumming.
For full results, head to www.rallynutsrally.co.uk
- Job Vacancies