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.