Wherever you go in the world you’re never far from someone with a connection to Wokingham or Wales as I found out on Friday when I had a meeting with Peter Francombe, Head of Tourism Engagement for Visit Wales in Crickhowell, who although Welsh grew up in Wokingham and went to school at St Paul’s and Walter County. The link didn’t stop there as he played for Crystal Palace where my husband’s cousin was an apprentice so we talked about Wales, football and Wokingham during our meeting. Naturally we talked about rugby too. Last month was the annual Estate Fayre and NGS Open Garden at Glanusk where there were 38 stands of Welsh food, drink and artisans attracting over 1000 visitors who enjoyed a talk by Terry Walton everyone’s favourite allotment expert, Georgie Newbery who is something quite magical in the grown not flown flower world, Harry Legge-Bourke 7th generation custodian and owner of Glanusk Estate where the Green Man Festival takes place every year and this year saw the opening of the Glanusk Oak Collection which is one of the largest private oak collections and home to over 200 cultivars. Again another link to Wokingham or Oakingham.
With the weather threatening to be difficult and different to weather we had been blessed with in previous years I was grateful for a tall friend to help erect gazebos.
The Monmouth Male Voice Choir preformed in the afternoon which was very popular, Aneirin Hughes was one of the founders together with Matthew Hall (who wrote Keeping Faith which is due to return to the BBC late this year). Some of you will know Aneirin from Hinterland and Keeping Faith and he had a read of last month’s column, seen here with a choir member, again another Wokingham/Wales connection.
I’ve seen series 2 of Un Bore Mercher, the Welsh version and it’s an absolute belter so am eagerly awaiting Keeping Faith series 2. Wales is so accessible, it always has been but now with the bridge tolls abolished it’s a straight run and takes me less than 2 and a quarter hours to get to the Brecon Beacons National Park, which was voted the best destination in Wales at the Tourism Awards. It’s the Visit Wales Year of Discovery this year, what are you waiting for?