(he has made an ‘ole)

Yes, after several years of planning and fund-raising, the big day has come. Thunderbirds are go. Work on our glorious new palace of the people started on Tuesday 3rd January. The noble team from Davies and Evans moved in and things are moving fast. As an aside, we expect cafe turnover from the sale of bacon butties and our excellent Meat Feast Breakfasts (available 9.30-2.30) to increase considerably over the coming months.

People are now asking “When will it be finished?”. I dunno, some people will never be satisfied. “Are we nearly there yet?” Remember, Grasshopper, the longest journey begins with a single step. The journey should be savoured. Tourists worry about the destination, true travellers enjoy every minute of the process, marvelling at the varied vistas that unroll along the road.

Come on, cut to the mustard! (excellent Toloja mustard available in the shop, remember) When WILL it be finished? Don’t ask me! How should I know? If I could see six months into the future I’d be lying on a sunny beach somewhere, spending my Lottery winnings.

Go on, give us a hint… Oh all right, if things go according to plan, the main building should be ready about September. We’ll then move in some time in October, when we’re quiet. The intention is that we’ll stay open throughout the process, although we’ll probably have to shut the kitchen for a few days while equipment is moved over – we’ll still do our excellent coffee and home-made cakes, but no sarnies or hot food. The existing building will then be demolished in November and the space re-developed as car-parking. So, apart from some minor landscaping work it’ll all be over by Christmas. (I seem to remember someone said that in 1914, and four years later…)

And thinking of car-parking: obviously we’ve lost quite a few parking spaces. There are still nine spaces at the side of the building, which are reserved for customers. Please be careful when entering or leaving – we have a mirror on order to reduce the risk of collisions at the corner.

The state of progress can be seen in the photo above. As you can see, the main activity to date has been the delivery and installation of a large hole where the petrol station used to be. We were very lucky to be able to commission the Welsh subsidiary of a world-leading hole manufacturer to prepare this hole for us. The parent company, based in Shropshire, were pioneers in the use of metal in the manufacture of industrial and domestic holes. Everyone in Wales is familiar with the All-English Tin Hole Manufacturing Company Ltd. In the past they have worked with a major British maker of minted confectionary, as well as the state government of Arizona in the Colorado pond redevelopment project (now the Grand Canyon).

Oh yes, and you can just see the entrance to my command bunker just to the right of Thunderbird 7. The emergency escape tunnel will lead from there up to a deserted lead mine in the hills, from where I can command our forces in the event of a hostile attack by the evil inhabitants of Meirioneth with their crazed plans for Mid-Welsh domination.

I think that’s all the news for this week – exciting isn’t it! We’ll keep publishing progress reports and photos, but remember, we’re staying open, so come on in and spend, spend, spend. (We have some jolly good deals on remaindered Christmas goodies at the moment)

[and don’t think I’ve forgotten about the whispering…you may have tried to be clever, but I still see your little cliques muttering together out in the car park, dressed as “builders”.  And don’t think that disguising yourselves as five-year-olds playing with the big jigsaw will help…I have eyes and ears everywhere…]