Hello & Welcome

to the July edition of TheBAY

As we go to press, we are experiencing some of the warmest weather in over 40 years.

I well remember the summer of ’76; it was the year I did my A levels and had to sit my exams in an unbearably hot hall. Liz Hinds too remembers that summer as long and hot. This month Liz’s article talks about hope – without which we’d be pretty miserable. Hope gives us something to look forward to and I’m pretty hopeful that this summer’s going to be a good one. Fingers crossed.

Next month sees the 100th annual Gower Show. We’ll be there as usual come rain or shine! If you’ve never been, or haven’t for some time, this is surely the year to go. There really is something for all the family, from the livestock, (who can resist the dear little piggies?) to the craft tents and exhibitors from all around the area. The entertainment in the arenas is well worth sitting down to watch; showjumping, men wielding chainsaws and of course the novelty dog show – does your dog have the waggiest tail?

We’ve got 5 family tickets to give away again this year. Each ticket admits 2 adults and 2 children or 2 seniors, and is worth £30 each. Details of how to enter can be found in the Lifestyle and Leisure section, but don’t delay as the competition ends on 28th June.

Staying on Gower, Ian Bateman strays from his usual detailed instructions for a walk this month, to tell us about a marathon of a walk that he undertook recently. If you think that walking 50 miles in one day sounds a bit extreme, read Ian’s account and you’ll see just how gruelling it really was. It isn’t for the faint hearted, but we’ve included a map – just in case you are tempted.

While you’re taking a stroll around the coast, you could keep your eyes peeled for ancient artefacts. Swansea Museum has an exhibition of The Lost Treasures of Swansea Bay, which should perhaps be renamed the Found Treasures of Swansea Bay. It features all sorts of interesting historic finds turned up by one intrepid metal detectorist – a word that my spell-checker says doesn’t exist.

Charles Wilson Watkins has been doing a bit of digging this month, but purely in the archives and has come up with an article on the history of dentures. This should be made compulsory reading for all kids who are tempted to neglect their teeth – I guarantee it will make them reach for the toothbrush.

A little further afield, Nick Smith’s To The Ends of the Earth, takes him on a road trip through Persia. His photography is outstanding and you may wonder how we manage to get someone of his calibre to write for us. It is a question I ask myself every month. My only regret is that our format doesn’t allow for us to print his images any larger.

Sarla Langdon has come up with some good reads for this summer. My favourite is by a local author. Rebecca F John’s debut novel, The Haunting of Henry Twist had me from the very first paragraph. I confess that I don’t get to the end of all of Sarla’s recommendations, but this time I agree wholeheartedly with her high praise for this book and look forward to future publications by Rebecca John.

Dr Isabella Brey’s tree for July is the  sycamore. Bay HQ is a wooden summer house in our garden and is situated at the foot of an enormous sycamore tree. In fact when Simon, my other half and designer of the magazine built the studio, he actually had to shape it around the trunk of the tree. We should be ok for another ten years or so, but then the tree’s girth will have increased and will probably nudge the office off its perch. I’d always thought that the sycamore was native to the UK, but now know that they were introduced in the Middle Ages or earlier.

I hope you enjoy our nature articles – there can’t be many local magazines to feature a bug and a tree each month – but it certainly makes a change from society pages!

I’m sure you’ll like this month’s magazine – with luck you’ll be able to read it in the sunshine. We’ll be back in August – have a fab month.