A fine vintage day out as Llanelli turns back the clock for festival

Lord and Lady Stepney, AKA staff from Llanelly House mingled with the crowds in Llanelli today who had turned out for Ymlaen Llanelli BID’s Vintage Festival. The aristocratic duo seemed perplexed and shocked at the commoners revelling in food, drink and music right on their front doorstep. Lord Stepney had a lesson in modern communication methods and expressed incredulity over the invention of the Internet while Lady Stepney was horrified to find underwear on sale on the street.

The streets were lined with food and product stalls ranging from Vegan cuisine to fast food hot dogs and burgers. The ususal market stalls were also present selling clothing, fruit and veg. For the petrol heads there was an incredible display of old vehicles including a London Route Master red bus, a Ford Capri, an assortment of MG’s Wolsleys, Austins, Triumph and Norton motorcycles and scooters harking back to the 1960’s amongst others.

It was a party atmosphere but alas Russ Abbott was nowhere in sight. Dolly Parton and the Beatles were there as tribute acts. There were plenty of bands on hand to shake the foundations of Llanelly House and the old library building. Those buried in the graveyard of the Parish Church may have felt the vibrations as Rock ‘n’ Roll classics were belted out from under what looked like a bouncy castle inverted.

Crowds mingled, graced deckchairs and benches or else queued up at the stalls to sample many of the artisan products on offer. Parking was FREE and that must have drawn in those penny pinchers who might otherwise have headed for the free parking at the out of town shopping mall.

Llanelli looked more like Swansea on a very busy day. A vision, which was not lost on Mandy Jenkins from Ymlaen Llanelli.

Mandy said that this was a great success and that people had missed the big events. She said: “There is a nice vibe. A lot of stall holders have sold out already. It is packed but we had a minute’s silence for the Queen and people have been very respectful. We did not feel the need to cancel it as people have suffered enough through Covid. Last year people were a bit nervous and still wearing masks but this year people are more relaxed. It’s a proper party atmosphere.”

Asked about the controversy in Carmarthen Town over the BID Mandy said: “We had a ballot last March and we got 94%  for the BID. The calendar of events is established and people look forward to that. I’d like to think that businesses are very happy with the BID.”

It was great to see so many people in the town, which would have reminded people of a certain age of a vintage era when the town was in full swing. The events have a massive draw for people from locals to tourists who are staying in the area.

The next festival is the food and drink festival on 15th October with the Reindeer Parade back on 3rd December.

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