Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Love Zimbabwe Sponsored Walk

Congratulations to Martha from Love Zimbabwe for a valiant effort!
She didn't make it the full distance of 22 miles, either barefoot or in walking boots, but she got a lot further than anyone I know would have!
The full story is in the Brecon and Radnor Express this week.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Third Fairtrade Christmas Market

We had better weather than Brilley Christmas Craft Fair last week! It stayed above freezing.
Love Zimbabwe were there, of course. Martha, who runs the stall, was in the Brecon and Radnor Express this week. Tomorrow she's doing a sponsored walk of twenty two miles to raise awareness of the problems of women in Zimbabwe - and she's doing it barefoot. In December. She said she was going to put goose grease on her feet to protect them, like Channel swimmers do.
Tools for Self Reliance were there for the first time, with tools that have been refurbished here, and tools that have been made by blacksmiths in Tanzania. They seemed to have a pretty good day, and went home with the trailer a bit lighter.
The lady from Bagage does more than just bags now, because she has a little shop in Newcastle Emlyn. I rather liked her chickens made out of re-cycled plastic bags.
We also had Jump4Timbuktu, Zimele, Athene English with Burmese scarves, herbfarmacy, the Egyptian patchwork stall, Darling Buds of Hay selling Christmas wreaths, and free mince pies and mulled apple juice from the committee, as well as local calendars that we were selling for Lisa Marie of Wye Local (who was unable to come because she was ill). We were also sorry not to see Jackie and her Castello de Haia soaps, but she had a family crisis and was also unable to come.
The Town Cryer did a sterling job for us, and also Cried for The Village Quire, two of whom were supplying the music - trumpet and cornet carols, and a bit of close harmony singing.
And we should also thank the Mayor of Hay, Mary Fellowes, for officially opening the fair.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Preparing for the Christmas market

We've been distributing flyers around town (and as far afield as Brecon) to advertise our Third Fairtrade Christmas Market, on the 11th December, in Hay Buttermarket.
When I went into one of the shops in Hay today, the lady told me that one of the flyers has got as far as Poland!
They have a regular customer for religious books in Poland, so now she always slips in a leaflet to tell him what's going on in Hay, and this week, it was the Fairtrade flyer! I don't suppose he'll be coming to the Market, but it's nice that the news gets so far from home.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Fairtrade Christmas Fair

Plans for the third annual Fairtrade Hay Christmas Fair seem to be going well, with nine confirmed stalls and a couple still to come, and a nice mixture of Fairtrade and local products. Some old favourites like Love Zimbabwe and Jump4Timbuktu will be back along with newcomers like patchwork from an Egyptian Christian community and Tools for Self Reliance from Crickhowell (who work with people in Tanzania). There will also be mulled apple juice and mince pies, and possibly some local Christmas trees too.
The date for your diaries is Saturday 11th December, from 10am to 5pm, in the Buttermarket, Hay (with seasonal live music).

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Cyclists Set Off

I've just come back from waving off the Hay cyclists as they set off over the Brecon Beacons to Ammanford. Luke and Anna are using a tandem, and Jo arrived festooned with Fairtrade balloons to go a little way with them, along with her partner Noel, who was taking photos.
It was lovely to see the chap from Marcher TV, come to record the event for posterity. He interviewed Jo and Luke before they set off.
The support vehicle is one of the Drover Holiday cars, with a cycle rack on the roof, so our weary cyclists should be arriving back in Hay this evening, having handed on the scroll to the cyclists of Ammanford for the final run down to Cardiff.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Passing on of the Scroll

The passing over of the scroll at the Council Chambers, with Ray from Bridgnorth and his two friends (in the yellow jackets), Anna from Hay, Jo Eliot (in the pink), Roger Williams the MP, Lady Matilda de Breos, and Mary Fellowes the Mayor.

Reception at the Council Chambers

Today was the day that the 500 Mile Fairtrade Bike Ride came through Hay-on-Wye.
Three cyclists did the 60 miles from Bridgnorth (or perhaps a bit more than 60 miles when they got lost/went the pretty way in the small lanes). Ray, who is 68 years old, did the entire 60 miles, with his two beautiful young assistants doing 30 miles each and sharing the driving of the support vehicle.
We had quite a gathering to greet them to Hay: Roger Williams, the MP; Mary Fellowes the Mayor; Fiona Howard the headmistress of the Primary School (which was the first Fairtrade primary school in Wales); Peter Lloyd, a previous mayor and member of the council; Mike Like, another councillor; George the Town Cryer, who gave the official welcome; Jo Eliot of the Fairtrade group, who organised the event, and Lady Matilda de Breos (who built Hay Castle in the 12th Century).
Also there were the contingent from Drover Holidays led by Anna Heywood and her husband, who are doing the 60 miles from Hay to Ammanford tomorrow, with a brief stop off at Brecon, which is the other Fairtrade town on the route. One of the cyclists for tomorrow was also representing the Co-op this evening - he came straight from work in his official jacket, which was nice because the Co-op kindly donated the wine for the evening. All the snacks were either Fairtrade (from the Co-op) or local produce, which was Tyrell's Crisps. We had three well known local buskers, led by Briar, to sing the Proclaimers hit 500 Miles with Fairtrade words, and Tim from the Transition Towns group. Sally (and Poreg the dog), who support the Fairtrade group in Hay, came along too. If I've missed anyone out, I apologise - it was quite packed in the Council Chambers, anyway).
Kirsty Williams, our AM, was unable to attend as she was somewhere in North Wales, but sent her good wishes.
The official scroll was signed by the Bridgnorth cyclists and handed over ceremonially to Anna, who will sign it along with all the other cyclists who get to Ammanford tomorrow evening, and pass it on to their cyclists for the next stage, which will be down to Cardiff and the finishing line.
Tomorrow, the Hay contingent will depart from Drover Holidays, near the main car park, at 9am, with as many people with bikes who wish to join them for a little way. Apparently Ammanford are putting on a circus skills workshop to greet them in the evening.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

500 Mile Bike Ride

The programme to welcome the cyclists in the 500 mile bike ride is coming together. We've booked the Council Chambers for wine and nibbles - and the ceremonial handing over of the parchment that's being used as a baton. It's being passed from cyclist to cyclist along the whole 500 mile route. A route which one rider is doing in it's entirity! Most people are only doing one leg of it.
We'll have local musicians singing the Fairtrade version of the Proclaimers' hit 500 Miles and Matilda de Breos, the Norman lady who built Hay Castle, will be there.
We can't compete with Chester, though - they're providing a Roman guard of honour - and Ammanford are having a circus skills workshop with unicycles!
The name of the 500th Fairtrade town is being kept secret till the end of the ride, when all will be revealed via video link-up with Cardiff.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Wheels across Wales....

... and England, too.
There are now 500 Fairtrade Towns, and to celebrate, there will be a 500 mile bike ride across the country, finishing in Cardiff. Different cyclists will be doing different stages of the route, and the riders from Bridgnorth are expected in Hay on Saturday 30th October. The Hay riders, Anna Heywood from Drover Holidays and five friends, will start the 60 miles for Ammanford on Sunday 31st October, with an escort and flags flying! They're starting from just outside Drover Holidays, by the top of the main car park, at 9am.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Signing the Pledge!

The Fairtrade Hay group are going round at the moment collecting pledges from local businesses, to say that they are either selling Fairtrade goods, or using Fairtrade goods themselves (such as FT tea and coffee at teabreaks). These will be used to produce a new Fairtrade Directory for the town.
While I was going round, I discovered that herbfarmacy support a group in South India called Kerala Crafts. They make rather lovely shopping bags out of banana leaves with natural dyes. See for more details.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Royal Welsh Showground

The sun shone yesterday. Today it was not so nice.
We were there to collect signatures for a petition. Wales is a Fairtrade country - in fact, I think it's the first Fairtrade country - and the Royal Welsh Show is one of the biggest events in Wales every year. The Show is not a Fairtrade show.
We chatted to a chap who worked at the Members Pavilion, and he said that they were serving Fairtrade tea and coffee there, but only because they happened to have it with them, rather than it being a matter of policy. He was quite happy to serve Fairtrade as a choice "but not the orange juice," he said. "That tastes horrible!"
He said that other shows made it a condition of the tendering process that the tea and coffee should be Fairtrade - the Eistedfodd is a Fairtrade show now, and that's the other really big Welsh event every year. Other, smaller shows are also often Fairtrade - but not the Royal Welsh. Not yet, at any rate.
That's what the petition was for - to persuade the organisers that there is public interest in the show becoming a Fairtrade show. Most people we approached were happy to sign, which was encouraging, and most of them knew about Fairtrade and what it stood for.
This has been a jointly organised petition amongst the different Fairtrade groups in Powys, with someone going to collect signatures every day of the show.
Pity about the weather.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Garden Party

Well, what a beautiful day for a garden party! The sun was shining, the sky was a cloudless blue, and I'd forgotten how beautiful a little village Cwmbach is.
Lots of people came to enjoy the home made cakes, tea and strawberries and cream, and most of them went away carrying armfuls of plants. It really was the most enjoyable afternoon. I'm not sure how much money was raised for the charity, but it must have been quite a lot, and the Fairtrade logo was prominent on the raffle prizes.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Up Coming Events

There will be a Tea Afternoon at Bronheulwen, Cwmbach, on Saturday 22nd May, from 2pm.
This is in aid of street children in Mysore, India, but will also be an Fairtrade event, as the refreshments and raffle will be using Fairtrade products. Tea! Cakes! Local strawberries and cream! And lots of plants - this is a good chance to restock the garden. Entry £2.50.

For more information about the charity, go to

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Fairtrade Sighting

Nice to see that there was a Fairtrade tea and coffee stall at this year's Wonderwool at the Royal Welsh showground.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Schools Poetry Competition

This year, for Fairtrade Fortnight, we involved the local Fairtrade schools by running a poetry competition. Each school chose the best poem from their children to go forward to be finalists, and all the finalists were displayed in Hay Library (thanks, Jayne). Then Mel from the Poetry Bookshop judged the finalists.
The winner was six year old Patrick Morgan, from Clifford School, who got a book of poems and some book tokens, and yesterday morning he had his picture taken at the Library by the nice man from the B&R, with as many of the Fairtrade committee as could come. His mum and his sister and his gran were there to support him, too.
Mel chose the poem because it was happy, all about him eating his Fairtrade banana and thinking of the farmer buying rice and making his house nice, and Mel said that happiness was what Fairtrade and poetry should be all about.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Fairtrade Cathedral

I noticed in the Hereford Times this week that Hereford Cathedral has just become a registered Fairtrade place of worship. They use Fairtrade communion wine, and their cafe and shop will be stocking more Fairtrade goods.
Hereford is already a Fairtrade City.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Something a Bit More Ladylike

This Thursday morning, there was no dressing up in the overalls and turbans. Instead we had all been baking cakes for the Coffee Morning at the Bear - including Cameron, aged 8, who also drew out a lovely sign to go with his muffins (which were delicious).
Barbara did most of the work in the kitchen, Jo ran the raffle, James sat by the door to take the money, and Christina and Soura ran a stall full of wonderful patchwork goods made by a Christian community in Egypt, mostly made out of factory remnants of cotton.
We had a steady stream of people through, who all stopped to chat, and a pleasant morning was had by all.

We also had the relevant pages from the Brecon and Radnor Express and the Hereford Times on display, showing last week's tea lady antics.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Tea Ladies!

We were very lucky with the weather - the sun shone for most of the morning. We set up the tea trolley in the middle of the market, and Shepherds very kindly allowed us to put the urn we'd borrowed from the Cat's Protection League in their private kitchen at the back, and run in and out with hot water. We borrowed the tea trolley from the Youth Group at the Community Centre, and all went down there to dress up and decorate the trolley. Which we then had to wheel through town, with Jo ringing her handbell to announce our coming.
We gave out something like 125 cups of free Fairtrade tea (the Indian Princes variety from the Co-op, who generously gave us supplies). Most people were supportive; some already drank Fairtrade tea, and others commented on how nice it was.
Derek and Tim, both in drag, took one of the big teapots and a stack of cups, and went round the local shops. Derek/'Ophelia' had a long wig and lipstick smeared roughly round his mouth and a brown overall and skirt, and Tim had balloon breasts under a purple dress with a red and yellow wig. We got James into a purple wig and a pinny, but that was as far as he would go. The rest of us girls had turbans and overalls or pinnys.
Photographers turned up from the Brecon and Radnor Express and the Hereford Times, and Marches TV turned up at the end, but didn't really have time to do any filming.
And Les who runs the market asked if we'd like to do it again next week, because it had brightened the place up!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Tea Ladies

We all went round to Jackie's house last night. It wasn't exactly a meeting - and Jackie had laid on some lovely nibbles and drinks. What we were actually doing was comparing costumes for Thursday, when we're all going to dress up as tea ladies and give out free cups of Fairtrade Tea at the Thursday Market. We're borrowing a tea trolley from the Youth Club at the Community Centre, and getting hot water from Shepherds.
The look we were searching for was Nora Batty/Amy Turtle, rather than anything more glamorous (does anyone else remember Crossroads?). Three of us will be cross-dressing, though James refuses to wear a skirt on the grounds that it will be too cold. There was at least one purple wig in evidence for use on the day (and it'll keep someone's head warm!). The rest of us will be wearing the sort of turbans that Hilda Ogden, another style icon for the occasion, used to wear.
It should be a lot of fun, as long as we don't freeze! As Tim, who will be joining us, said, "People will remember the weird ladies who gave them tea, and associate that with the Fairtrade label - and hopefully they'll then want to drink more Fairtrade tea!"

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Congratulations are in Order

Jump4Timbuktu are feeling very proud of themselves at the moment - and so they should be - they've just won the United Nations Gold Star Community Award for Livelihoods for their work between Hay and Timbuktu. The Hay Medics also won a Gold Star for their medical work with Timbuktu.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Plans are Afoot

This year's Fairtrade Fortnight theme is TEA (last year was bananas), and as soon as the dust had cleared from the Christmas Fair, we started planning what we were going to do. We only have until the end of February - Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 22nd February to the 7th March.
For ideas about tea-related events, go to The idea is that we should all swap our usual, non-Fairtrade brand of tea for a Fairtrade brand, which should be a fairly painless change.
We're all quite enthusiastic about the Thursday market on 25th Feb - we plan to dress up as tea ladies, with a tea trolley, and go about the market giving out free samples of delicious Fairtrade tea. Then on Saturday 4th March, we're having another coffee morning at the Bear - the last one was great fun, and also featured lots of yummy cakes made with Fairtrade ingredients.
This year the schools are being asked to contribute to a Poetry Competition, and the finalists, one from each school, will be displayed in Hay Library for voting on the final winner.
Final preparations are being made at a meeting at The Globe at 7.30pm on 1st February - all welcome!