If the proof of anything is in the pudding then when you throw in starters, mains aperitifs, cocktails and puddings you can expect a unanimous verdict.
That verdict was ‘a resounding success’ as Llanelli Town Centre became packed full of the most wonderful variety of street food on Saturday (Oct 16).
Wood fired pizzas, hog roasts, greek food, Asian food, Welsh food, cocktails, cider, local craft ales, cakes, cinnamon roasted nuts, donuts, brownies and cakes of every shape and colour were on offer as well as a host of musical talent performing slap bang in the middle of Stepney Square ensuring that the crowds of people who came from goodness knows where, were fed, watered and entertained.
This was another successful event for Ymlaen Llanelli. Crowds filled Stepney Street and Vaughan Street to savour the fantastic variety of food and drink on offer from the stall holders who were housed in market tents or who had brought along their own vehicles.
For those who remember the good old days of a packed town centre, this was a journey back to those days but with far more variety for the shopper than was on offer back in the 1970’s.
Families queued up for a taste of the different, the exotic and the locally produced fare on offer. Mayor of Llanelli Cllr Philip Warlow and Mayoress Cllr Janet Williams were there walking around the stalls and stopping to say hello to people including those raising money for charity outside Llanelly House. Cllr Warlow said that it was fantastic to see the town centre buzzing with activity. He said: “This is so good to see. It is great for the town.” Cllr Williams agreed and said that she was just so please to see so many people shopping in the town and hoped it would continue.
Mandy Jenkins of Ymlaen Llanelli said that all but one of the stall holders had turned up and that some were selling out of produce before lunchtime. Mandy said: “This has been another success and we are so pleased for the businesses who have done so well. There is so much on offer and people are coming from out of town to shop here.”
At Llanelli library we caught up with Scarlets historian Les Williams who was arranging photos for the 150 year celebration of the Scarlets in Llanelli. Les said: “We could do with a bigger space, we could fill this place three times over.” The knowledge Les has regarding the club is incredible.
You can ask Les any question on the Scarlets like how many games have the club played and how many wins have the club had since they began. In an instant Les came up with a number and said it was a 62% success rate.
Children were catered for with a huge amount of lego on the tables of the library and a huge selection of books in English and Welsh. Outside the library was a vintage bus providing arts and craft activities.
Llanelli comes in for criticism quite often and we all know that it has its problems. When you see the town thriving and full of people on a Saturday in October it really does give you hope that it can be turned around if the people responsible look at what works and adapt accordingly.
It would be unrealistic to have a day like that every day of the week but the presence of so much choice is what draws in the people. Perhaps it is time that we reimagine our town centre and come up with a long term plan, which includes a large area for street food, events, parking, picnics, working, learning and promoting all that is good from local people. Gwaith a Gwasanaeth; Ymlaen Llanelli.