Monday, 3 December 2012

How the Christmas Fair Went

Normally, I'd be able to write a first hand report, complete with pictures, but I had a migraine on the morning of the fair, so couldn't do anything. Our nice shiny new display board stayed in my front room, but there was a Fairtrade table with mulled apple juice and cakes and leaflets - and all the apple juice was sold. Barbara and Reg set everything up, after James had delivered the table and all the rest of the equipment, and Barbara manned the stall until Julia took over in the afternoon. Jan organised the apple juice, cakes were made by Jo and Lesley and several other people. And of course, Chris organised all the stalls with all the wonderful Fairtrade goods. We couldn't manage without him! Jump4Timbuktu were there, of course, and so were Tools For Self Reliance, and a lot of the favourites from previous years, as well as new faces.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Find Us on Facebook

Someone in the comments below our Christmas poster has pointed out that the poster says "Find us on Facebook" - but up until now we had neglected to make it easy for people to do that - a bit technical, I thought, until I had a go. Now we have the link in the side bar so you can go straight to the Fairtrade Hay Facebook page!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Friday, 16 November 2012

Eighteen Rabbits

The "Purveyor of Finest Junk" has moved out of the premises at Hay Castle, and the space has just been taken over by Hay's newest pop-up shop. Eighteen Rabbit sells Fairtrade gifts from all over the world. When I went up there earlier today I saw pottery and sparkly mirrors from Mexico, gourd lamps from Thailand, knitted hats and wrist warmers and scarves from Nepal, and all sorts of other interesting things, at quite reasonable prices. The shop is run by Louise Davies and Andrew Williams, who already run a sustainable event management agency called Seventeen Events, and it will be open until the end of December. They also trade online, at (and even their free bookmarks are printed on recycled paper). They are also on Twitter, which is probably the easiest way to find the website. When I went looking for it (it's still very new) I found it under So, why Eighteen Rabbit? When they were in Honduras, they came across monuments in honour of a Mayan king with that name, and he was associated with arts and creativity.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Looking Ahead

We have our renewal from Fairtrade Wales, but we're not resting on our laurels! Over what we can laughingly call our "summer" we have had a presence at Jo Eliot's Open Garden, where we raised money on the tea stall, the Hay Together Fair in the Castle grounds, and our Community Picnic. All the wine at the recent Hay Film Festival was Fairtrade, too. Soon it will be time for our Christmas Fair, and we're already looking forward to Fairtrade Fortnight next February (a cheese and wine evening is in the planning stages).

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Community Fair

There's a new group in Hay called Hay Together, which is trying to act as an umbrella group - a way of getting the voices of ordinary Hay people heard when official decisions are being made by the County Council and so on. Yesterday they held a Community Fair at Hay Castle, and invited every group and organisation in Hay to attend to publicise what they do and to show what a variety of things are going on in Hay. Of course, Fairtrade Hay was represented there. I couldn't be there until the very end, but it seemed as if everyone had a good time - the atmosphere was laid back and relaxed, and the members of the Fairtrade group who manned the stall were very enthusiastic about it all. Apart from the Fairtrade stall, there were groups for the Cheesemarket restoration, and the local Lions Club, the Campaign for Realistic Parking, Rob Soldat the local storyteller, singers and musicians, Foxwhelp Morris, and lots more. There were a couple of local policemen there, too, and members of the Town Council - as well as our County Councillor, Gareth Ratcliffe, who was handing out leaflets for the local golf club when I saw him.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Community Picnic

It was a bit of a grey day, but about 50 people turned up for the picnic and activities at Hayfield Gardens. There was a bit of shelter in the form of the geodome, belonging to the people who own the field - who also kindly provided a sand truck! Paul Hartley played co-operative games; Christina made nature art with the children; there was sticky sticks to play and willow weaving. Phoebe showed people round the community garden, and there were snacks available for anyone who didn't bring their own picnic.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Community Picnic

The weather in July was awful, and the ground was far too wet for a picnic, so we decided to postpone the event until September. The new date is Sunday, 9th September, from 12 noon to 4.30pm, at the Hayfield Community Garden just up the hill from Hay bridge. We invite everyone to bring a picnic and a blanket, and there will be all sorts of free activities going on during the afternoon. Paul Hartley will be there doing his co-operative games, and there will be live music, face painting, basket making, crafts and nature art. There will also be guided walks around the Community Gardens, and a raffle! There are composting toilets on site, and there is wheelchair access. Here's hoping the weather improves!

Monday, 13 August 2012

A Triumph!

Congratulations to Jo and Noel with their open garden yesterday! 186 people came, and they raised £262 on the teas! This means that the Fairtrade group can put £200 into Shared Interest bonds. And they're doing it all again in September.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Open Garden

As part of the Open Garden scheme, Montpelier Cottage will be opening their garden to the public on 12th August. It's tucked away on the Brilley side of the River Wye, and it really is well worth seeing. There are photos of the garden on - Noel is a writer about plants, gardens and the environment, and a garden designer. They will be raising money for Fairtrade, and hope to get enough to buy a Shared Interest bond with the proceeds. This is a form of investment that goes straight to Fairtrade producers, and Hay Fairtrade have already put money into the scheme. More information can be found at

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Planning for the Picnic

The Fairtrade Fayre in the Buttermarket went quite well over the Festival - we were there on the Tuesday while Jubilee things were happening on the Square. We also had a table at the Africa Day on Sunday, in the Parish Hall. So last night we met to sort out what to do for our next event, which will be the Community Picnic at Hayfield Gardens on Sunday 8th July, from 12 noon to 4.30pm. Paul Hartley will be coming again, with his community games, and Christina will be doing her Nature Art, which was popular last year. Ellie Spencer, of the Beavers, will be doing crafts all afternoon, and the face painter will be there again. There will be games - giant snakes and ladders, a treasure hunt game, and Sticky Sticks construction game - and refreshments - but the idea is to bring a picnic with you! Then on Sunday August 12th and Sunday September 16th, Jo Eliot and Noel Kingsbury will be opening their garden in the National Garden scheme. The charity, of course, will be Fairtrade, so Fairtrade teas and cakes will be available. Noel has a blog, at

Thursday, 24 May 2012

There's going to be a lot going on in the middle of Hay over the Jubilee weekend. As well as the Fairtrade Fayre in the Buttermarket, the Fair on the Square is back with a Jubilee theme, and there will be a procession on the Tuesday, which is the extra Bank Holiday. Meanwhile at the Parish Hall on the Saturday, the Africa Fair is back this year, and there will be a Fairtrade presence there too. This is also over the first weekend of the Hay Festival, and the Globe's Where the Light Gets In, so Hay will have a real carnival atmosphere. And no sooner will we have recovered from all that, there's the Community Picnic up at Hayfield Gardens in July!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Summer Fair

Hay Festival is coming up soon, and there's going to be a lot happening around Hay. There's also the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, of course, and it is on that day that the Buttermarket in the middle of Hay has been booked for a Fairtrade Fair. (It'll make a nice change to have a fair at a warm time of year!). On Tuesday 5th June, some of our regular stall holders will be coming along - like LoveZimbabwe, Bagage and Tools for Self Reliance, as well as a few new faces. Out in the square, there will be children's activities for the Jubilee, a parade of school children, and a picnic. Across the square, there will be food stalls in the Castle Gardens from the Abergavenny Food Fair. On the other side of the Castle there will be a sound stage for Hay Festival, and the shuttle buses will be bringing people to and from the Festival site on the edge of town. Meanwhile, on Sunday 3rd June, the African Fair will be happening in the Parish Hall again, and there will be a Fairtrade information table there, too. And some time in July (trying to avoid clashing with the school fete) there will be another Community Picnic at the Hayfield Gardens, hopefully in conjunction with other groups in town. It's going to be a busy summer!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Take a Step up Cusop Dingle

Here we all are, setting off across the fields up one of the loveliest Dingles in the area. There are lots of good footpaths, and this one started off as part of the Offa's Dyke Path. We turned off to cut across the Dingle to Cusop Church, which is now St Mary's, but was originally dedicated to St Cewydd - the Welsh rain saint! We had some pretty heavy rain at the start of the walk, but the sun came out beautifully later.
Twenty one people (and one dog) came on the walk, and a lot of us brought Fairtrade snacks to share.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Shared Interest

At the Fairtrade meeting, last week, one of the members brought along a copy of the Shared Interest annual review. Shared Interest is the only 100% fairtrade lender in the world, and when the Hay group have some money in the bank, we invest it with Shared Interest, knowing that it will be going where it is needed most. It's their Twentieth Anniversary this year, and they are now active in sixty three countries.
Despite a difficult year in the present economic situation, the Annual Review does mention several success stories. The Hadrian's Wall area - ten miles each side of the Roman wall stretching from the east to the west coasts - is the first World Heritage Site, National Trail and international zone to be awarded Fairtrade status! That's a lot of towns, communities, businesses and schools all coming together to make it happen.
Shared Interest now also have a book out, about their achievements. Harriet Lamb, the Executive Director of Fairtrade Foundation, wrote the foreword, saying: "Never has the mission of Shared Interest been more relevant than today, as the organisation celebrates its twentieth anniversary. All around us lies the wreckage of conventional financing. The reluctant recession means tough times for us all. But if it's tough for us, it is desperate for smallholders and workers in developing countries."
They have also made video blogs on the Fairtrade Big Swap theme - swap your conventional item for a Fairtrade version. This led them away from the usual tea and coffee to such exotic Fairtrade items as socks and vodka!
Their website is now on the list of links on the sidebar.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Fairtrade tent on the Market

There we are, across the market square - it's more of a gazebo than a tent, so it doesn't look quite as overwhelming as I thought it might, though it does have all four sides if anyone wanted to use it as a marquee.
I arrived at lunchtime, when the Indian lady had gone to speak at Hay School, but Christina was there with the Fairtrade leaflets and the treasure game. You can see by all the little flags in the sand tray that a lot of people had a go! Christina put all the flags that were next to the treasure into the Fairtrade bag (made in Mongolia, from felt) which was the star prize, and I pulled out the winner - Emanation Smith - who was thrilled when she was presented with it later!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Plans coming together

Sadly, there was very little interest around town in doing window displays for Fairtrade Fortnight, but we have been able to invite a real Fairtrade producer! They are from India, and they grow cotton, and they will be in the middle of Hay Market on Thursday 1st March to talk to anyone who's interested.
Meanwhile, Fairtrade tea is on special offer at herbfarmacy at the moment!
There will also be a Fairtrade walk on Saturday 3rd March. It will start from the top of the car park at 11am, and head up Cusop Dingle, perhaps with Fairtrade tea at the Old Stables afterwards for anyone who wants to chat.
The Film Society will also be providing Fairtrade snacks and drinks for this month's film.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Fairtrade Fortnight Events

We got together last night to plan what we're doing this year for Fairtrade Fortnight.
The theme this year is Take A Step, so the obvious choice was to involve the Hay Walkers - and maybe even go along on a walk! The idea is to encourage them to bring Fairtrade snacks and drinks along on the walks.
We'll also be out on Market day (hoping it isn't as horrendously windy as last year!) with a sand tray treasure finding game marked out with all the Fairtrade businesses in Hay, and a board where people can write down all their ideas for taking a step towards Fairtrade.
We're also hoping to do something in conjunction with the school, and to get all the Fairtrade businesses in Hay to put something in their windows for the Fortnight.