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St. David's at Hayes: "paradise of unique welsh crafted souvenirs"

The Craft Folk market comes to Hayes this week bringing a “paradise of unique Welsh crafted souvenirs’” as part of build up to St David’s Day.

St. David's at Hayes

St. David’s at Hayes

Some shoppers might be surprised to find homemade curry powder as one of the fine examples of Welsh produce.

Paul Willetts, 60, from Merthyr Tydfil, has produced the heady concoctions for the past 20 years.

He said: “It’s the first time I’ve come at this time of the year but I’ve been with the organisers now for over 20 years, which is when I first started manufacturing curry power. “

Paul sees St David’s Day as an opportunity to showcase his unusual but indisputably homemade goods.

“The council likes to have these things as well. It’s good for tourists in the centre of Cardiff and it shows off Welsh produce to tourist so it’s a good thing to have.”
“St David’s Day doesn’t often fall upon a Saturday. This weekend is a one off. Hopefully it will be fairly good for business. “

Susan Jones has run a homemade bag shop in fairs around Wales from her home in Gower fore the past five years. “A lot of us were here Christmas time and business was very good. People were going away from giving money to shops and like to give it to independent traders.

But while such stalls bring in the customers, Helen Meek of RSPB Cymru, who also has a small stall at the market, believes we still don’t do enough to celebrate our national day.

“For any country, their cultural heritage is important and Saint David has an enormous historical significance in Wales.”

“But as a country, we don’t promote ourselves well enough.

“I know that from personal experience going to Skomer Island. It’s got the biggest population of Manx Shearwaters in the world but how many people know that?
“We undersell ourselves,” she said.

Unique items on offer

Unique items on offer

Jamal “Jim” Tagoury works at the Welsh cake stall at Cardiff market. For him, St David’s Day means big business, with orders of 300 and more being the norm.
He said: “The market opens at 5 am so I’ll be there from then.

“I’ll just be cooking Welsh cakes all day”

Jim has worked on the stall for years and has Welsh cakes businesses on the go throughout South Wales but always underestimates the popularity on March 1st.

“Every year I run out of them. I don’t know how but I always get it wrong!
For me, this is the best day in the year.”

But does he agree with Helen, that we don’t do enough to celebrate our cultural heritage?
“No! You want to come in on St David’s Day and see us!”

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