Wednesday 20 October 2010


An easy drive to help launch our transformed Centre in Ammanford. I had briefly seen it since refurbishment work was completed but was still amazed and delighted, as was everyone else I'm sure, at the quality of the building and new furnishings. It was always a good building but that had been obscured by neglect until we bought it and got Bob the Builder in. The result is a light and airy space quite like an artist's studio with a very generous number of windows.

There is also evident enthusiasm to match our activities to the building, providing a range of training and recreational opportunities aimed at helping people to recover mental health and become more active members of the community. More on Hafal Carmarthenshire here.

I chat to Swansea City FC's Chairman Huw Jenkins who has joined the festivities, carefully not letting on that the only knowledge of the Club I have are the exploits of their mascot Cyril the Swan (see this post). The last time I attended a soccer game was 1979 in a sleepy hamlet in East Anglia. There was a total crowd of nine but under FA rules we still could not get a pint from the bar after the game started, presumably in case we rioted, attacked the opposing fans (an elderly couple with a dog), or went on the rampage in Downham Market. Mr Jenkins is pleased to hear that Hafal Deputy Chief Exec Alun Thomas has a season ticket and I was able to reassure him that he goes for the sport not in order to brawl with the Cardiff fans at their infamous derbies (or so Alun tells me).

Hafal Chair Elin Jones, who is here to launch the restored Centre, tells me she was involved in the St Teilo's church project which I was a little rude about (whoops, small world!) in this post. But so far from being annoyed Elin fills me in on the whole story and also expands my reference to Dafydd William who it seems nearly drowned while crossing the Loughor next to the church during a storm and was inspired by this experience to write the hymn in question. Personally I wouldn't have tried to cross this muddy, steep-banked and treacherous river at low tide and in calm conditions: fervent Methodist William must I feel have trusted to the Almighty rather than to any 18th c. risk assessment.