Gorffennaf 2004 July


Opinions expressed in letters submitted to “Y Bont” are purely those of the writers, but the editors reserve the right to edit letters submitted.

Dear Editor,

A Village is for life not just for Christmas.
Carrog is a small welsh village situated in the Dee Valley, a beautiful place to be, or so it has been described recently. A village that has been here and supported a community since Owain Glyndwr first locked up an invader in Carchardy.
The little village has a thriving pub, a fantastic village hail, a successful school, three active places of worship. Until recently it had a general store and post office, a beating heart in the community, but sadly this heart has stopped, the shop is no more.
The pub thrives in summer time, but what about winter? Visitors are rare and local trade is limited. Carrog isn’t so popular when the days draw in.
The school has sufficient pupils at the moment to keep it going and has the right staff doing an excellent job. But what are the predictions for the next few years? There is limited space for young blood in Carrog to keep the School going.
There is talk of building new properties on Cae’r Efail, this will bring new life to the village, a shot in the arm which it needs to keep or attract new population and discourage outward migration. Promise for the future maybe?
Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have 11 more families in the village. By the law of averages, that would be 22 more adults and 22 more children. The school would welcome the possibility of having 22 potential pupils. That would keep it going, and guarantee the high standard of education supplied.
What if the General store and Post office had 11 more families to serve? Would the doors still be closed? What if the church and chapels had a few more bodies in their congregation? Would they then be at risk of following the same fate as Carchardy? What if the pub had more regulars during the winter months, would the winter be such a threat? What of Neuadd 2000? A hub in the community waiting to stretched to its full potential.
But why build new properties and ruin a beautiful meadow to keep the village going when we already have the housing stock? Why build new when the existing can be taken away by the auctioneers gavel, when do you stop building to replace? Will Carrog town centre be a sign of enough?
There are 11 cottages in Carrog that used to be family homes, 11 more families contributing to the community, 11 more families feeding the school, shop, pub and hall. Where are these cottages now? They now form part of someone else’s suburbia, they are now part of someone else’s community, but they are still here. Empty and bar ren to the community, they have become holiday homes. Busy usually at Christmas and a few other select weekends during the year.
These homes are quietly engulfing our community. Would Carrog be such an attractive place with no school, no pub, no hall, no community spirit, just a faceless vil1e with the occasional “Good moming” as someone greets somebody who lives here somewhere, sometimes. A challenge for our assembly halt, slow down, legislate, discourage this erosion of community. Not just on our behalf but on behalf of all the other communities UK wide that are suffering in this way.
We await your lead.
Name and address supplied.

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Dear Editor

Carrog somewhere to retire to ...
If the main attraction of Carrog is that of somewhere to retire to, then for once in my life I am not late... in fact I am about 30 years early (more if the government raises the retirement age!).
I first visited Carrog 3 years ago when my dad bought a house here and fell in love with the beauty and tranquillity immediately. He moved into Tawelfa and I have visited many times since: the usual “catch up with family” weekend visits, Christmases and New Year, and a couple of one week holidays. The visits became more frequent and various things occurred concerning family that made me realise that it was time I moved back to Wales; after all I was in danger of having lived in a foreign country (England) for longer than time spent in my homeland! Fate was at work whilst I was thinking all this, as a suitable job was advertised in Wrexham which I applied for and was successful in getting. This meant I had to find somewhere to live. However I also had to make my house in Sheffield habitable for other people before leaving... I had only lived in it for 4 years so there were one or two outstanding jobs e.g., a new kitchen, replastering and decorating. This meant the last couple of months were spent doing DIY, not really leaving me any time to find a place to live in Wales.
So dad offered his spare room (on a temporary basis he keeps telling me) whilst I look for a house to buy. (Am I really too old to be living with a parent? They all do it on Eastenders...). The problem is now I really like living in Carrog, yes, it is “very quiet” (if you don’t consider the sound of birds, sheep, cows, school children, events in the village hall, church bells, steam train, etc.). I would say peaceful; I can go walking and cycling in stunning countryside straight from the house; it has a pub that serves a decent pint of Guinness and excellent food; people are friendly; and the drive to work only takes 10 minutes longer than in Sheffield, but is 15 miles further. The only disappointment is the closure of the village shop. Sheffield is a wonderful city and I really enjoyed living there for 10 years, but I felt worn out by city life and spent a lot of time escaping to the Peak District or coming to Wales for weekends. Carrog has much more appeal as a place to live after a hard day’s work.
Ruth Price.

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