DAY CENTRE -- Staff from the East Radnorshire Day Centre wish to clear up some local misunderstandings about the Christmas gifts for members, and report that the Centre operates a Members Comfort Fund, which is run fully by the members and for the members, and is quite separate from the business finances for the day-to-day operation of the Centre. The members raise these funds themselves in order to pay for such events as Christmas parties, presents, entertainments and day excursions throughout the year. The Day Centre does not fund any of this. This year it was decided, through a 'reminiscence' programme, to purchase a small hamper for each member, with all the special items they had fondly remembered from 'Christmas Past'. From the feed-back received the members were delighted with these gifts.

BURNS NIGHT -- The Arkwright Hall at Kinsham is hosting a celebration of the poet Robert Burns on Saturday, January 25, at 8.00 pm. Everyone is invited to go along and enjoy traditional Burns Night fare, Scottish dancing, and good company. Tickets are £10 per person, and are available from Fran Johnstone.

TWINNING ASSOCIATION -- Members of the Presteigne and Norton Twinning Association are holding their first Annual General Meeting on Friday, January 17, at 7.30 pm in the Assembly Rooms. The meeting will be followed by refreshments, and two French comedy films, 'Insomnie' and 'Happy Anniversary' - both directed by Pierre Etaux. Admission for the films and refreshments will be £2, and everyone is welcome. For people wishing to join the association the annual membership fee is £5. Presteigne and Norton are now 'twinned' with Ligne, in Brittany.

JUDGE'S LODGINGS -- Staff at the Judge's Lodgings and Tourist Information Centre in the Shire Hall have now finished their very successful 2002 season, and are closed to the public for the next few weeks while getting on with their 'housekeeping' and preparing a new exhibition for the start of the next season in March. The exhibition will be based on 'Law and Order' in Radnorshire over the past 200 years and will be located, appropriately enough, in the 'holding cells' where prisoners used to wait for their cases to be heard. Of course, Assize trials were still being held in the town just over 30 years ago, with many of Presteigne's older residents remembering watching the Judge's procession from the Shire Hall to St. Andrew's Church for the service before the start of each Sessions. The Shire Hall staff are raising money to restore the original memorial stone to Mary Morgan, which is now held in the Lodgings. This, rather florid, memorial was originally erected by the Earl of Aylesbury - friend and colleague of Mr Justice Hardinge, who sentenced Mary - describing him as 'her benevolent judge' who 'roused... a first sense of guilt and remorse' in her by his 'eloquent and humane exertions'. The stone is now weathered and flaking, and requiring expert restoration. Sadly the two Victorian Dinners being held this month, are both fully booked!

HISTORY GROUP -- The Byton, Combe, Kinsham and Stapleton History Group met in the Arkwright Hall on January 8, for a talk on the 'History of the Middle Lugg Valley since the Last Ice Age' by Lt Col. I Zvegintzov. It is difficult, now, to imagine the topography of the valley at the end of the last Ice Age, when the melting ice revealed a drastically changed landscape. The Lugg, no longer able to follow its original course because of the glacial moraine blocking the area around Woodhouses, began to force its way down the gorge below the present Kinsham Court, taking centuries to drain the valley - and leaving Byton Bog as a reminder of the past. Colonel Zvegintzov explained the early development of agriculture and field patterns, and the fascinating continuity of field names up to the present day.

MOVEMENT TO MUSIC -- If you're over 50 and feeling the need of some pleasant exercise, Carol Bowen invites you to come along to the Legion Club on Tuesdays, between 6.30 and 7.30 pm, for gentle exercise - standing, or sitting! Each session costs £2.50, and all (over 50!) are welcome.

FILM FANS -- Presteigne Film Society's next presentation is 'The Day I became a Woman' on Friday, January 24, at 8.00 pm in the Assembly Rooms. This Iranian film, directed by Marziyeh Meshkini, deals, in three episodes, with stories of three women living on the Persian Gulf, whose lives eventually intertwine. 'A deeply moving film, full of powerful images, a statement about individuality and courage in the face of seemingly irresistible pressures.' The film is sub-titled and has a 'U' category.