Llanyrafon Manor

2 minute clip of Cwmbran’s Llanyrafon Manor the day before its country fayre- Baking, real ale and wellie-wanging

Just for a bit of fun I did this quick video walking around Llanyrafon Manor today. Tomorrow, Sunday 13 April, is its first traditional country fayre from 10am to 4pm. Free entry. “Celebrating the best of rural produce in Torfaen and Caerphilly” A real ale tent will feature several local brewers. Cwmbran artisan baker Bill King is running a ‘hands on bread dough class’ and Torfaen’s first bake-off champion will be announced. You can watch traditional fun like wellie-wanging, maypole dancing and barrel rolling. A full day of free activities, music and entertainment kicks off at 10am, with food, drink and craft producers from across the region will showcase their…

Paul Matthews, chief executive of Monmouthshire County Council

A career ladder from the mail trolley to the chief exec of Monmouthshire Council- Cwmbran’s Paul Matthews

 Paul Matthews is the chief executive of Monmouthshire County Council but has always lived in Cwmbran. His local government career has taken him from being a teenager delivering mail around the offices at County Hall in Cwmbran to the top officer job at Torfaen’s next-door neighbours. He told Cwmbran Life: “I was born in my parents’ house  in Cresswell Walk in St Dials, not too far from the police training college.” Paul attended all three Fairwater schools, the infants, juniors and comprehensive. After his GCSEs and A-levels he decided to leave school and start work. “I started work straight from school with Gwent County Council where my job was pretty…

These tins of rice pudding will soon be ate by people in Cwmbran who are struggling

Cwmbran foodbanks gave 16,000 meals to struggling residents in the last year. Audioboo with a volunteer

Foodbanks in Cwmbran have given 16,640 meals to struggling residents in the last year. There are two places in the town where people in a crisis can get a food parcel that lasts for three days. Cwmbran Life visited the Salvation Army Hall in Old Cwmbran. An upstairs room stores donations that are made up into parcels on Wednesday afternoons. A volunteer told me that they get so much out of helping people in need and do not judge anyone who comes in. It was nice to hear that a local nursery now has a box to collect items from parents and then drops it in when it’s full. Listen…

The 1960s photo of Cwmbran with Mr Maggs cleaning his windows

Daughter spots her dad cleaning the windows of their flat in a 1960s photo of Cwmbran

This cracking photo was posted on Cwmbran Life’s Facebook page last week and gave one local resident a nice surprise. Pam Cameron has got in touch to say she can spot her late dad cleaning the windows of the flat they once lived in on Pontnewydd Walk during the 1960s. She said: “If you zoom in on the photo you can see my dad, Deryck Maggs, cleaning the inside of the window. We moved in to 1 Pontnewydd Walk fifty years ago from what was then Coronation Road, which is now Llewellyn Road. Our house was near what became the Brookfield School playing field which has now returned to housing.…

Jason Smith, managing director of Blurrt

Farage v Clegg. A Cwmbran firm’s ‘Twitter Worm’ helped broadcasters show how voters felt during the debate

Did you watch the Farage v Clegg debates? Tens of thousands of tweets were sent as the two politicians went head-to-head but it was thanks to the skills of a Cwmbran-based firm that the broadcasters were able to make sense of what the electorate was saying online. Within minutes of the end of the second debate LBC, who organised the event, tweeted: Nigel Farage triumphs again in #EuropeDebate, according to the LBC Twitter Worm http://t.co/ecTJ6Ull3s — LBC (@LBC) April 2, 2014   Over 20 minutes after this a YouGov poll also showed that Farage ‘won’. But it was Blurrt’s real-time analysis before traditional polls can be carried out after an…

The urban beach in Cwmbran town centre

Cwmbran to get its own sandy beach for the summer. Artist’s impression and Audioboo

Yep. You read that right- Cwmbran is getting its own sandy beach that will be built in Gwent Square. Listen to this Audioboo of Michael Bell, events coordinator at Cwmbran Shopping, talking about plans to bring buckets, spades and deckchairs to the town. listen to ‘Michael Bell talks about the urban beach coming to Cwmbran Shopping this summer’ on Audioboo Over 150 tonnes of white sand will transform the square into a summer haven, giving sun-seekers a place to unwind and play from 12 July to 2 September. The 20m x 20m free attraction will allow visitors to relax on deckchairs, feast on ice cream and take part in beach yoga.…

The fairies house days after they moved in during September 2012

Fears that the fairies who live at Cwmbran Boating Lake have abandoned their home

Two years ago visitors to Cwmbran Boating Lake were thrilled to spot that fairies had moved in to one of the trees. But now locals are worried that the state of their front door means they must have moved out. A man who visits the lake most weekends said: “We are worried they have found somewhere better to live and left Cwmbran. The ‘fairy tree’ sign that they put up to announce their arrival in 2012 has faded so it’s now just a faint pink door. The thing is we can’t believe they are still living there in a house in that condition. Surely fairies would take better care of…

Angela Locke (Chair of the St Dials group), Kirsty Hopkins (Treasurer), Deb Rhodes (Secretary) and Tracey James, community housing officer for St Dials with the coffee recycling box at Bron Afon

Tips from some Cwmbran residents who have set up a community group to make their area a better place to live

  St Dials has a bunch of residents who have set up their own community group. I met with them to find out why they did this and the kind of things they have achieved. People talk about 'communities' a lot and it was great to hear from a genuine community group about what it actually means. Angela, the chair, explains how they simply want to make the area a better place to live. Listen to this audioboo to find out more about their work and discover what a 'poop highlighting' event actually is Click the play button     The group is constituted and has successfully applied for grants…