Saturday 18 June 2011

Gŵyl Fwyd Castellnewydd Emlyn (oh, and the Phallus)

It is good to report that the first food festival in Newcastle Emlyn has been a great success.

We were incredibly lucky with the weather, with heavy showers just before the event started, but an otherwise dry day. Attendance was high, and all of the stalls have been busy. The most encouraging thing was the quality and range of food and other produce on offer, and just about all of it from within a few miles of the town. There were local meat producers, cheeses, chutneys, cakes, bread, fruit and vegetables. My 8 year-old son wolfed down a rabbit burger, followed by a local toffee ice cream.

Even better than all of this was that the event was a local initiative, organised and put together by a small group of dedicated local people, and they deserve all the praise I am sure they will get. It was good also to see our MP, Jonathan Edwards, there and supporting the event.

While trailing round the festival, I had a chance to talk to one of the town councillors about the phallus scandal. The letter, which was in the form of an e-mail, bore a close resemblance to one posted some weeks back on the website and which has lain there dormant ever since. Here it is:

I've got a feeling that we may be hearing some more about this.

As some readers will be aware, Newcastle Emlyn has been living under the shadow of a supermarket planning application for the last two years, a subject I will come back to another time. The sad fact is that Carmarthenshire County Council is still in love with big shopping centres and supermarkets. The most recent council "newspaper" trumpeted the arrival of yet more chain stores, restaurants, etc. in the new St. Catherine's Walk centre in Carmarthen, where you will find not one locally owned business.

So for once let's celebrate what ordinary local people, small businesses and local growers and producers have achieved.

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