Old Monty Cider, based at Garthmyl, were absolutely thrilled to be named the Champion Cidermakers of Wales at the Welsh Cider and Perry Championships for the second time in succession.

The championships were held at Caldicot Castle over the Jubilee weekend.

Old Monty received gold medals in the Dry and Oak-Matured Cider, plus a silver in the Sweet Perry and a bronze in the Medium Cider, and secured the trophy following a blind tasting by representatives of most of the Welsh producers.

This was the first time Old Monty have entered their protected status Traditional Welsh Cider and Perry which have to be produced to very strict criteria, so the award was even more gratifying.

Old Monty are the only producer to achieve Welsh Protected Geographical Indication status.

Beacon lit up for jubilee celebration

The town and community of Montgomery joined four days of nationwide celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, beginning on Thursday evening as a beacon was lit near the County Memorial on Town Hill.

The Montgomery Rangers helped build the bonfire and Chris Boundy led the arrangements.

The beacon lighting was witnessed by around 350 people who looked out across the hills to see flickers of light as other similar fires were lit.

Wales Farmer: The beacon is lit in Montgomery. Picture: G17 Photography.

The beacon is lit in Montgomery. Picture: G17 Photography.

They counted another 17 in view, making a chain of celebration across the skyline.

Town Crier Sue Blower said: “I was privileged to present the Jubilee Proclamation for the Platinum Jubilee of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll on Town Hill.

“A wonderful atmosphere and a fabulous community spirit. God Save the Queen.”

Bells ring out

Montgomery’s bells rang out on Friday to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The visiting ringers from north Wales fell just short of ringing a rare ‘full peal’ but promised to come back soon to try again.

Their joyful ringing sounded across the town on Friday afternoon, accompanying the first of the street and neighbourhood Jubilee parties which continued through the weekend.

Street party fun

Following many street and neighbourhood parties in glorious weather on Friday and Saturday, the community completed their calendar of celebrations together on Broad Street on Sunday.

Town Crier Sue Blower thanked everyone for planning and setting up the event while deputy mayor Wendy Beaven wished everyone a wonderful afternoon and hoped they had enjoyed the four days of celebrations.

Mayor Jill Kibble recalled growing up in the earlier part of the Queen’s reign.

Wales Farmer: Street party fun in Montgomery. Picture: G17 Photography.

Street party fun in Montgomery. Picture: G17 Photography.

She considered that communication is probably the biggest change during the 70 years of the Queen’s reign, comparing telephones and computers of the 1950s to those of today, and social media.

Jill read extracts from a reflective and nostalgic poem written by postmistress Denice Jaunzens.

Everyone enjoyed their choice from Jamie Peake’s hog roast, Winsbury Dairy milkshakes and Montgomery Fish Bar, and the town vouncil provided tea, coffee and cake for all. Singers John Brown, Molly Read and Jamie Goodchild performed their own sets and encouraged audience participation in some favourites.

Wales Farmer: Street party fun in Montgomery. Picture: G17 Photography.

Street party fun in Montgomery. Picture: G17 Photography.

Monty Folk provided melodic accompaniment to the festivities and Sue Blower led the national anthems and gave a rendition of Calon Lân.

Mini Montys provided activities for the smallest party-goers, alongside face painting and a crown parade.

Broad Street was filled with friendship, fun and flags for an afternoon which rounded off the week’s celebrations beautifully.

Jubilee displays

A competition organised by Friends of Montgomery Play Park to decorate a window for the Jubilee celebrations received a host of entries.

Competition was close with three entries with the same number of points in joint first place: Plas Offa with its bunting and corgis, which was a clear favourite with the younger judges, Castle Kitchen, whose flower pot corgis had a special mention by the judges, and a beautiful traditional scene at The Old Stores.

Festival returns

Montgomery Walking Festival will be back over the weekend of October 1-2.

The festival will feature a varied range of walks in stunning countryside.

All Montgomery Walking Festival walks are free but booking is essential.

Full details of walks and booking at www.montgomerywalkingfestival.co.uk