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Published: August 20th 2020
What is the connection between books , a literary festival and an unwelcome visit for Gabby ?. It is Hay on Wye another lovely town on the River Wye. We guessed that Ross on Wye and Hay on Wye would be very similar in character . Small towns with narrow streets full of book shops. Another Butter Market and lots of shops, cafes and pubs . What was different a large and empty car park . Hay welcomed us with plenty of room to park up our hotel on wheels . There were few cars and an area at the bottom of the car park with grass over which Gabbys derrier could park . An added bonus the lovely town had offered us 2 hours free parking . This would give us enough time to have a bite to eat and then to explore . There was though a dark side . A down side - no overnight parking . So no room for our girl tonight . We would have to move on . Another night of moving on to the next stop - if we could find one . Not very inviting Hay especially when your Book festival this
year had been cancelled due to Covid . What is so difficult about charging us motorhomers a fee to stop for the night? Surely £5 from each of us would add to the councils coffers? It seems we would just get the chance to walk around and then have to head off somewhere else .
So what was Hay like ? It was different to Ross in that it was in Wales and not England . In England the streets were marked out to show a one way system . Here it was a free for all. Walk where you like seemed to be the message . Forget about one way systems . Forget social distancing . Lots of gathering on corners . Groups meeting and standing around talking. No sign of a mask . The Welsh Assembly government had made the decision that masks did not have to been worn in shops . It felt odd not to wear them
. We walked first past the castle . High up above the car park it was in the process of being renovated. It had been awarded money from the Lottery and scaffolding covered most of the building
. There are two castles in the town each within a short distance of the other , Both started life as Norman castles fortified in the summer of 1070. The castles were as always destroyed in battle . We were not able to go inside although the gates were open .
We walked down the narrow streets towards the Butter Market . A similarity of the two towns . Ross had a market and so did Hay. I think that of the two I preferred the one in Ross .This Butter Market was built in the form of a Doric temple in 1833 by William Enoch: Hay is the place to go to if you want to buy books .
In the middle of the town was an enormous clock tower. . Situated on the corner of Broad Street and Lion Street it was built in the 1880's and has graced the town ever since . It cost the sum of £600 to build and erect . We were to see more and more of these clock towers in our journey home.
There was not much else to see in Hay and because they did not want us to stay over we moved on . To try our luck in the next small Powys town .
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