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Visitors continue to come to Talgarth Mill from all over the world with one of our guides counting 17 different nationalities last year.  A recent mention in the National Geographic and another in the Guardian will I hope help to bring more people to Talgarth from far and wide, but meanwhile I want to remind those living locally of what the Mill has to offer them.

Those living within the town can apply for a pass so that they can visit the Mill and the Riverside Gardens free of charge as often as they wish.  It’s now nearly two years since this initiative was started so this seems a good time to remind you to pick up an application form from reception so that you can come and enjoy our gardens this summer.

A successful grant application to Carers Wales, “Cuppa for Carers” scheme means that we have an extra opportunity to share the Mill with those who are unable to get out and about as much as they would like to.  The scheme is designed to support all those who are unpaid carers, along with those for whom they are caring, and as well as a cuppa and cake a range of activities will be arranged in consultation with those who attend the group.  Gatherings are once a month on a Thursday afternoon.  Please ring Sue Bidmead on 01497 847217 if you require further information, or watch out for a poster on our notice board saying when the next meeting is taking place.

Watch out too for our regular Wednesday Craft Workshops during half terms and the school holidays.  These are held in the Granary and there are various ones planned, ranging from making book marks to friendship bracelets, bath bombs and stick weaving.  These workshops are designed for families of all ages.  No need to book, just turn up on the day and spend as little or as long as you like getting to grips with a new craft.  There is a charge but we aim to keep it at a minimum and it’s usually under a fiver per person.  For dates see our website, Facebook page or our noticeboard.

Now some dates for your diary as by popular request, Pizza Nights are back at The Bakers’ Table.  Booking is essential as the evening in May was quickly sold out.  There’s a meal deal of garlic bread, pizza and salad followed by Rowlestone Farm Ice Cream for £15.00 a head.  Bambino pizza and ice cream £7.50.  The pizzas are made from scratch with olive oil enriched dough and are cooked in the wood fired oven.  Pizza Nights are planned for 10th June, 22nd July and 12th August

A right Royal day at the Mill

HRH Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall

It all began in April, with a visit from Dame Shan Legge-Bourke. She called into the Mill to ask if we might be able to host a visit from HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall during their annual summer break. Dame Shan said that the Royals would be particularly interested in the Mill for its community credentials, and let it drop that Their Royal Highnesses enjoy our bread when they are staying in the area. What followed was a recce, supposed to be discreet, but try hiding 9 of the Royals’ officials and having a discreet conversation in the café, especially when one of them was over 6’ tall, and they were all dressed in a distinctly ‘London look’! It was agreed that we would be put forward, that we would have to wait a couple of weeks to find out, and that we couldn’t tell anyone who the VIPs we were inviting them to meet were. We got the go ahead and had to quickly compile a list of invitees. Volunteers, staff, Talgarth school and suppliers were all included. When it came to café customers, we had to put the names of our regulars in a hat and draw lots, as space was limited. Two weeks before, we were allowed to say who was coming, but not at what time, and excitement began to mount as people planned what to wear!

On the day, guests had to arrive by 9.30am. As the time of the Royals’ arrival drew nearer, Dame Shan’s invited guests arrived, and we lined up at the gate to greet their Royal Highnesses. Having introduced them to Bruce and Rosie Williams, Liz and I took Prince Charles and the Duchess around the Mill and gardens, where they met volunteers, local school children and grain suppliers. In the café they met the rest of the guests before trying their hands at kneading bread. After unveiling a plaque to commemorate the visit, they met some of the Craft Shop’s artists, then went for a walkabout on The Square.

A baker's life for me.

bread rolls

4am Saturday morning is when I start the biggest bake of the week.  Now, I know compared with bakers who work through the night, 4am might sound reasonable to some, but I have tried baking through the night a few times, and it''s a killer; plus I am nearer to 50 than I am to 40, so 4am it is. 

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No Two Days Are Ever The Same...

Rob baker

I love the Mill; it’s so full of surprises. No two days are ever the same and invariably days don’t turn out the way I expect them to.
I thought New Year’s Eve – a grey, wet day, would be quiet with no, or very few, visitors or volunteers. Wrong!

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Something extraordinary is happening here...

I spent many of my formative years growing up around here when the main reason to visit Hay-on-Wye was to buy a horse and there was no reason at all to visit its neighbour, Talgarth, other than to visit the superb ‘George the Butcher’. In fact, during the early 1970s, I took a good friend of mine to an old pub where they still had real sawdust on the floors just so he could see what it was like! Lorry drivers who mistakenly decided to travel through Talgarth often found that they could not navigate the sharp corner near the bridge, and regretted their choice of route particularly if their vehicle had damaged the mill house in the town centre.

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