Denice takes part in historic online Plygain event

Plygain services where people come together to celebrate the festive season with traditional carols across Wales had to be different this year because of the pandemic.

Instead of gathering, singers and groups were encouraged to submit a recording of their own performance and these were put together into two films, and shared as virtual Plygain across social media on December 20 and January 3.

One of those taking part was Denice Jaunzens from Montgomery who said: “I had to consider carefully, as you cannot sing a song that someone else has already chosen.

“It was a worthwhile challenge and it’s an honour to play a part in maintaining this tradition as a Welsh learner. I was very grateful to the organisers of the online format.

“I was fortunate to have assistance from my guitar teacher with the production of the video.”

Her contribution was filmed at Claudia Lis Ceramics where Barry Edwards was able to use his professional recording equipment.

Denice, Montgomery’s busy postmistress, also hosts the Welsh language book and conversation group, Clwb Eiddew, which won an award for its work last year in supporting Welsh learners.

The Plygeiniau Rhithiol (Online Plygains) can be viewed on the TRAC Cymru channel and Denice’s contribution is part of Plygain Rhithiol 2.

The many joys of outdoors learning

Children in Montgomery who have been home from school have been using the cold weather to learn about science and nature.

Following a post on social media from Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, which encouraged children and adults to create soap bubbles outside in freezing temperatures and watch the patterns emerge, a number of local residents responded.

Katie Owen, from Hendomen, posted a photograph of the frozen bubbles she had achieved with her children while Judith Baker shared a frost patterned bubble her granddaughter Isabella had photographed in Solihull and sent to her.

Christmas Festival chairman praise for community

Twelfth night has passed and the small Christmas Festival committee with the help of four ‘Monty muscle’ volunteers have now completed the task of removing all the Christmas lights from the town’s buildings and trees.

Chair of the Christmas Festival Committee, Sue Blower, said: “This may not have been a usual Christmas season, but what enjoyment for the locals to see the town fully illuminated once again.

“I am so glad this was able just to be enjoyed by all during these difficult times of the pandemic.

“This is a form of social care for our community, making the town a festive display of togetherness and joy.”

Taking down the lights was no mean task, out early on a cold and dank Saturday.

But the volunteers’ cheerful disposition and eagerness to get the job done, wearing masks and gloves and remaining socially distant, saw the task done in a morning.

Sue described their efforts as “a true juggling act which warmed my heart.”

Sue added: “As chairman of Montgomery Christmas Festival Committee my sincere thanks go out to all. I wish everyone good health and happy socialising in times to come.”

The members of the committee, who also run the annual street fair in the town, are considering potential community competitions and events for the spring and summer.

Details of these plans will be released as opportunities to socialise again are reintroduced by the Welsh Governments and events can be added once again to the town’s calendar.

Diary dates and church closure

Market: Simon’s fish stall and Amanda’s Bread return to Montgomery’s Thursday Market from Thursday January 14, alongside Offa’s Veg fruit and veg.

St Nicholas’ Church: Sadly due to the high levels of virus around, there will not be any services in the church for the next few weeks.

The churchyard is still a place where all are welcome to look at the amazing Montgomery view, think and pray.

For information or invitations to online Church events, email Rev Alexis on

Recording Wildlife in Montgomeryshire: On Wednesday January 20 at 7pm, Simon Boyes (Bird Recorder for Montgomeryshire) and Clare Boyes (Bee and Wasp Recorder for Montgomeryshire) will talk about their work on Zoom via

This is the first virtual ‘Monty Hour’ in a series being organised by residents.

Meanwhile future events are also being added to the calendar at the same link