Myddfai Village SOS


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Myddfai

Sarah Beeny meets the residents of Myddfai in Carmarthenshire, who applied for a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to build a new village hall and set up a business.


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The British countryside.

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With green valleys, wild mountains, rolling farmlands and forests,

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the landscape is as diverse as it is beautiful.

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Many dream of escaping to the simple country life.

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But for those who live in rural Britain, it's a different story.

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Traditional industries are in decline and across the land

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local shops, pubs and farms, the very cornerstone

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of country life, are closing at an alarming rate.

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It just seems that the heartbeat of our

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green and pleasant land is fast disappearing.

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This was a really vibrant shopping street

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and now we've got one pub left and that's it.

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You need to keep these places safe and secure for our children to come and enjoy.

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The one thing the countryside has going for it is the people who call it home.

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But what if locals were able to take matters into their own hands and

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what if groups of volunteers were given a load of money to turn

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their dreams into realities and put the spirit back into their communities?

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We're only going to succeed in this project

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if we involve as many people from the community as possible.

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Good service. Want good service.

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With just 12 months to pull it off, putting their villages back on the maps is not going to be easy.

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-I just know that we're going to have battles every step of the way.

-Hmm.

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I have no building experience whatsoever.

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What a shambles.

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But the results might just be spectacular.

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It's the biggest chance we've ever had to do something amazing.

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Well done.

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It's a big ask but it could work.

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When the village of Myddfai has to demolish its past to secure its future...

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This is a village that needs to keep its traditions. Isn't it?

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It's over to you guys whether it's a success or not in the long term.

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..can a traditional community come to terms with change?

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Or will it pull them apart?

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Explain to people, explain what's going on.

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If I've been seen as the representative of change, so be it.

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Hidden within the shadows of the Brecon Beacons

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lies the tiny traditional Welsh village of Myddfai.

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With a 1,000-year history, rich in folklore and legend,

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40 years ago, it was the centre of a thriving community.

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Now, it's struggling for survival.

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Myddfai has lost all its amenities.

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And with no job opportunities here besides farming,

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the village's population is now just 82.

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There was big families here, the place was full,

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heaving, everybody enjoyed it.

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Now we've lost them all. You hardly see anybody.

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You wake up one day and you think, gosh, we've lost so much.

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I mean, Myddfai is just haemorrhaging away

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unless we do something about it.

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It's incredibly quiet here.

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It's sort of lifeless, really.

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It's actually really rather sad.

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The next generation that should have kept Myddfai alive has steadily moved away.

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with devastating consequences on the village,

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and the older generation they have left behind.

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The way it has changed in the last 40 years, you'd hardly believe it was possible to change.

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For instance, first of all the smithy stopped being a smithy really in the '50s.

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So that would have started changing.

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Then the carpenter kept going until probably the '70s and '80s, that went.

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The pub has closed, that's a big knock to the area, especially to the youngsters.

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They loved coming there on the Friday night.

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It was heaving there and it was lovely to see.

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Everybody enjoying it and putting the world in its place.

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The turning point in the village was the closing of the shop.

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Mrs Richards went old and nobody wanted to take the shop on.

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Closing the petrol pumps.

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Then came, very sadly, closed the school.

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-Where are the children?

-At the seaside.

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You know, when you close the school, you lose everybody, don't you?

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SPEAKS WELSH

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If you lose the young people, all of a sudden, 20, 30 years

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down the line, you've lost a community,

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you've lost 50, 60 people who should be here at the moment.

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They've moved on.

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So, unless we can allow the youngsters to come back

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and live here, it could decline into an old age pensioners' village.

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Myddfai has a rich and colourful past but right now it's dead, really.

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It needs a beating heart back in it to regenerate it for the future

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because without that,

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I think there's a danger it just ends up a massive retirement home.

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Ironically, the key to securing the village's future could lie in its past.

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An ancient local legend tells of how, 1,000 years ago,

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in a lake above the village, a mythical lady rose from the waters.

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Her son became the first Physician of Myddfai.

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The area became world-famous amongst medical herbalists.

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The village flourished as a centre of excellence for herbal medicine for centuries.

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People think it's a legend. It's not a legend. It was facts.

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Emmlyn Morgan has farmed here his whole life.

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They did cure people. That was the only medicine available for people.

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They were known all over the world.

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-So actually Myddfai really was once on the map in a big way?

-Yes, of course.

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There's no other village I know of that can be proud of their physicians

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and they're proud of their history.

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A group of locals believe setting up a business making products

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inspired by this tradition

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could generate jobs in the village, and a reason for tourists to come here.

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The man spearheading this plan is Hugh Davies.

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Since he retired here from the Midlands,

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he's been deeply affected by the village's plight.

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Myddfai is a beautiful historical village with a huge tradition

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and the custodians of both the landscape around us

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and this little community have been here many generations.

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It would make me feel very sad for it to gradually go into complete decline

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or just become a holiday home centre entirely.

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The opportunities for economic regeneration

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and for social regeneration

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will get more and more distant.

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Myddfai needs now to find a new way forward, another future.

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Currently the only meeting place for locals is their quaint village hall.

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But there's a problem!

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The kitchen has been condemned, and the rest of the building is in a terrible state.

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These days, it doesn't quite pull in the locals as much as it should.

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Hugh's not alone in his passion to change things.

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The village currently has very little to offer local mum, Lesley,

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and her children.

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Our particular village, the village hall is so important as there isn't anywhere else to meet.

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Welsh culture traditionally has singing festivals or plays,

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that's very much our culture and it would be great

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to bring them back here but this hall is really depressing and cold.

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Nobody wants to come here any more so that's why it's so important to us.

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As well as starting up a business, Hugh intends to give the locals

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a building, the likes of which they have never seen before!

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What we want is to replace the old village hall with something bigger.

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A village hall plus, if you like, so that the community themselves

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will find that they've got a facility that they can do things in.

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At the moment, they can't imagine.

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To make all this happen, it will take a lot of money.

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But fortunately, Myddfai just hit the jackpot!

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1,2,3.

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CHAMPAGNE CORK POPS AND CHEERING

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They have been awarded a grant for £430,000 from the Big lottery Fund

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as part of a scheme to boost rural communities.

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The village can now go ahead with the building on which all of its hopes of regeneration now hang.

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The shop will be a platform for local products and artists.

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Visitors will be able to learn about the area's rich history

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over a cup of herbal tea.

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An auditorium will give the village a new space to gather in.

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The rest of the money will help set up a village trading company.

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As part of the grant, the village must employ outside help.

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And they think they've found just the woman for the job.

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Tory Councillor Jo Gideon is giving up the bright lights of Thanet,

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to spend one year living and working in Myddfai.

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It's the most fantastic opportunity.

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If I could write my own ideal job spec, it would be "Set up a business.

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"Help rural regeneration." Who wouldn't say yes to that?

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Not only is Jo a successful businesswoman, but as a local politician,

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she has been a driving force in the regeneration of Thanet,

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one of the most deprived areas of Britain.

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Helping communities to develop and everything really matters to me.

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Whether it's in Thanet or Wales, actually the key thing

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is about helping people to improve their circumstances.

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That's what drives me.

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Jo thinks she knows exactly how to reverse the village's decline.

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To really turn it around, Myddfai needs a brand

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that pulls together everything that happens there, all the values of the community.

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It needs this destination brand that actually will bring people,

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new people, new blood to Myddfai. And the world will know where we are.

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Jo might have been a political hit in Kent.

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But can she come up with a rousing speech

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to rally a small Welsh village behind her?

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Jo has moved to the depths of the Welsh Countryside,

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and is adjusting to her new surroundings.

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Jo's plan to develop a village brand is going to be especially tough,

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given that here in Myddfai,

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branding is something farmers do to their sheep.

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They don't yet see it because they don't quite understand what branding is, even,

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but I see it very clearly that it's a fantastic opportunity.

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My vision is to produce a Myddfai herb and beauty product range based on the physicians of Myddfai.

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We'll have things like teas, beauty products, culinary herbs.

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And also, there are lots of craftspeople in the village

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so we'll be able to incorporate local crafts within the Myddfai brand.

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It's a big challenge for anyone to set up a new business,

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but in a small rural community it's going to be even tougher.

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Jo will have to be focused and aware.

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A ruthless and tough approach may work in a city,

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but in a small village, she's going to have to tread very carefully.

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A world apart from her life in Kent, this country cottage will be Jo's home for the next year.

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Hello, hi. Nice to meet you.

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Hi. Come on in.

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-This is gorgeous.

-This is a very special place.

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Kind of surrounded by all the natural herbs and things

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that are what this project is all about.

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I'm really lucky to have found this and in the heart of the village,

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-which is what it's all about.

-Great.

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-This is the nicest boardroom I've ever sat in, I have to say.

-And me!

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Today, Jo is on a mission to find out what Myddfai can make for her village brand.

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Jo has found the perfect opportunity to road-test the brand

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on the public - the Royal Welsh Show.

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It's Europe's biggest agricultural event. And it's in just three weeks' time.

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Jo's asked local crafters to come up with products they think will be hot sellers.

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The grand prize, the chance to sell through Myddfai's brand.

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Lesley has a part-time job 15 miles away.

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So as a mum, it would be a great opportunity for her to work closer to home.

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She's been busy developing a range of soaps.

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-Have a smell.

-They look good enough to eat!

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Cupcake-shaped - they might want to eat them!

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Oh, wow. So how many kits will you be able to make?

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Probably only about 25 at the moment.

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I can make a product that someone's willing to pay for.

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That in itself is actually an achievement.

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Not everybody can say they've done that, which is quite nice.

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Someone would pay money for something that you've made yourself.

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Jo is quickly finding that Myddfai's crafters are not used to working to deadlines,

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and are more accustomed to working at their own pace.

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Jo's call to arms is getting some highly skilled crafters,

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like 75-year-old John, to dust down his tools.

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Well, it was my full time work until I retired.

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Now it's just a hobby, yes.

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So, I don't... I don't charge for my time.

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John's wife Carol has been seeing a lot less of him recently!

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He was more or less your classic retired person -

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you know, a bit of gardening,

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wishing the pub was still open,

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watching the telly, and all of that.

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And now there's so much to do.

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I used to ask Carol, I'd say, "What's on the agenda today?"

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If anybody is a little bit frightened at the pace of entrepreneurial activity,

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now's the time that they'll feel it

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because everybody knows that it has to be ready,

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and there's a lot of work between now and then to make that happen.

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I'm pretty nervous.

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Everything's happening so quickly.

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It's a real experience.

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Fun but frightening.

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First on my list today is Sue.

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Sue is doing the quilting kits

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and mobile phone holders.

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I think she's a little bit apprehensive

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because I think she's finding the quantities a bit daunting.

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I'm actually making up 50.

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Obviously we're hoping to sell all of them at the Royal Welsh, but...

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That's the thing -

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are we going to sell all of them, or be left with them all?

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Hi, Sue?

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Hello! How's it going?

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Last week I thought I was nervous.

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This week I know I am.

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Why? Is there anything in particular that's worrying you?

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I'm actually concerned about whether it's going to, you know, sell.

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We'll just have to wait and see, won't we?

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That's what the Royal Welsh is all about.

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-Finding out what works, and what doesn't.

-Yeah.

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With their first deadline looming, Jo has asked the retired folk of Myddfai

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to help out in the village's only meeting space,

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its crumbling hall.

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Jo has brought in a range of dried herbs and teas

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to make sure the village's tradition of herbal healing

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has a 21st century twist.

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I want you to label the jars...

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Recently hired as the project's coordinator,

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Lesley's first job is to make sure everyone pulls their weight.

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You need to try to keep it a bit lower because that's a bit crumpled.

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Sorry, Margaret.

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So, this is tea production down this end.

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Yes, we're packing them into different-sized bags.

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So, this is where you're weighing out your herbs?

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It all looks rather naughty, to be honest. But anyway...!

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THEY LAUGH

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All totally legal!

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'More accustomed to cake making in the WI meetings,

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'the ageing workforce is struggling to meet Jo's targets.'

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I'm getting a little bit stressed because we really don't know

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how successful we're going to be at the Royal Welsh.

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Worst case scenario, we could sell half a dozen jars of tea,

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and the weather could be awful and nobody will turn up.

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I'm getting a little bit on edge.

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With the villagers' hopes of regeneration

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riding on their new village brand, it simply has to succeed.

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We're hoping, obviously, that it will totally rejuvenate the village,

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and bring it back to its former glory.

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It's the day of the Royal Welsh Show.

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With 200,000 visitors expected,

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Jo will soon find out exactly what the public make

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of Myddfai's crafts and herbal products.

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-How big a village are you?

-80 people.

-Oh!

-So we're tiny. We're absolutely tiny.

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But we punch well above our weight.

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This is the acid test for the first launch of the products.

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Will the people actually put their hands in their pockets and buy our things?

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It's an unbelievable experience,

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coming into a place like the Royal Welsh Show,

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with all these stalls,

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and thinking that my little, humble, pocket things

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are also part of the things on sale.

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But I've absolutely no idea whether any of them have gone at all.

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Sales figures and consumer reaction will help Jo decide

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which products will be developed, and which products will be dropped.

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It's a masculine flavour...

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-Absolutely disgusting.

-Is it?

-Yeah.

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-Is it really?

-It's horrible!

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The herbal teas may need some refining,

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but the beauty products and scented gifts have been a big hit.

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What I like is the smell. You know, the smell of the soaps is just...

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You could eat it! It's fantastic.

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Don't eat it! It's soap.

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I bought a lavender bag, myself,

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which will be very good - keeps the moths away.

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-And she's bought an apron to cook.

-Yes, I bought an apron.

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The visitors at the stand may be able to part with a few quid on some herbal soap,

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but it's not going to sustain a business with global aspirations.

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In a month's time, Jo will launch brand Myddfai

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to national and international retailers at Birmingham's NEC.

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But, before she can do that,

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she's going to have to fine-tune the product range,

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and drop the items that just haven't delivered.

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PHONE RINGS

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-Hello?

-Hi, Sue.

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-It's Jo.

-Hi, Jo. How are you?

-I'm fine.

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I just wanted to give you the feedback

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on the number of products sold.

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As you know, we had an awful lot on the stand.

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We only managed to sell one of the seven folders made up, and one kit.

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Oops.

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I think we just need to think

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where the best place to market the products would be.

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Sue is one of two crafters whose products now won't be going to the NEC.

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It's a mixture of disappointment and relief,

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because I honestly did think that if it had been a roaring success,

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I'd be sat behind a sewing machine forever!

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So... And it's a learning experience.

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So, you've just got to take it all on board.

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I've been brought in to help this village regenerate

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through earning as much money as possible through a business.

0:21:320:21:35

Now, if that means that we have to make some tough business decisions,

0:21:350:21:38

then that's what we're going to have to do.

0:21:380:21:40

People need to understand that.

0:21:400:21:42

It may seem harsh, but Jo's hard-nosed approach

0:21:450:21:48

has built a remarkable product range from scratch in just three months.

0:21:480:21:52

But if the trading company is to secure big money orders

0:21:520:21:57

from high street retailers,

0:21:570:21:59

they're going to have to make sure every item relates

0:21:590:22:02

to Myddfai's unique selling point.

0:22:020:22:04

The next plan is to take a stand at the NEC in Birmingham,

0:22:080:22:13

which is a huge exhibition, and what are you going to be taking there?

0:22:130:22:18

We've selected the best sellers, basically.

0:22:180:22:21

Things that fit very nicely into the theme of the herbal traditions.

0:22:210:22:28

The story of the physicians is so strong,

0:22:280:22:30

you should just keep on - that's your marketing line, in a way.

0:22:300:22:34

The story of the herbs is what gets people to Myddfai.

0:22:340:22:37

Yes, and that has to be clear and exciting.

0:22:380:22:41

While Jo has focused on building the village brand,

0:22:420:22:45

Hugh has been busy, too.

0:22:450:22:48

After months of red tape, he has finally got the green light to start the build.

0:22:480:22:53

I have a three-dimensional model of your new hall,

0:22:530:22:56

-which might make it a bit easier to visualise.

-That's great.

0:22:560:23:01

I don't know if you know, planning permission has been approved.

0:23:010:23:05

-Ooo!

-Oh, wow!

0:23:050:23:06

Fantastic, isn't it?

0:23:060:23:09

Wonderful.

0:23:090:23:10

Absolutely superb.

0:23:100:23:12

It's going to be beyond any dream I'd ever hoped.

0:23:120:23:16

At last we have planning permission and need to get rid of the old hall. Down it'll come,

0:23:160:23:21

and as soon as we've got that down then we're ready to go,

0:23:210:23:25

and the contractors will move in and start digging.

0:23:250:23:29

We've got a lot to do in a very short time.

0:23:290:23:30

It doesn't look possible, but we'll get there.

0:23:300:23:32

The old hall is due to be demolished in just a few days' time.

0:23:330:23:38

There is now huge pressure on the trading company

0:23:380:23:41

to deliver enough sales to make sure the new hall is a success.

0:23:410:23:45

Jo and project co-ordinator Lesley are at the NEC Autumn Fair,

0:23:460:23:52

to pitch their brand directly to some of Britain's biggest high street buyers.

0:23:520:23:56

With 2,5000 independent retailers

0:24:040:24:07

competing for business, competition is fierce.

0:24:070:24:10

Yep, ready for action. Raring to go!

0:24:120:24:15

We've got to try and convince them that our brand is going to be big,

0:24:150:24:18

and they need it in their shops.

0:24:180:24:20

This brand has definitely got world potential.

0:24:200:24:24

I mean, everybody who's seen it has said it's absolutely superb.

0:24:240:24:30

So, hopefully we should start doing some serious talking

0:24:300:24:34

in the next few minutes.

0:24:340:24:36

-Are you gift shop, or...

-Yes, from Wales.

0:24:360:24:38

From Wales? Fantastic!

0:24:380:24:41

Smaller Welsh retailers are quick to embrace the Myddfai brand.

0:24:410:24:46

This is absolutely brilliant.

0:24:460:24:47

It's one of the best Welsh product stands that I've seen.

0:24:470:24:50

Wonderful to hear, isn't it?

0:24:500:24:52

Fantastic! Thank you very much.

0:24:520:24:54

The more lucrative market from England is proving harder to crack.

0:24:540:24:58

Yeah, I'm a branding person, basically.

0:24:590:25:02

Do you like our brand?

0:25:020:25:04

-No. It's unpronounceable.

-Right.

0:25:040:25:06

-But it's a village, it's Myddfai...

-I don't care what your village is.

0:25:060:25:10

If you want to go outside Wales, that's a very hard name to say,

0:25:100:25:13

and I'm not sure I'd even want to say it,

0:25:130:25:15

and that's a huge disadvantage in starting a brand.

0:25:150:25:18

That's good feedback, interesting.

0:25:180:25:20

The name they've built their entire brand around

0:25:200:25:22

means little to people outside of Wales,

0:25:220:25:25

putting their company at a serious disadvantage.

0:25:250:25:28

It's the double 'D', that's the only thing that people don't get.

0:25:300:25:33

I think 'Mid-vye' is what most English people kind of say,

0:25:330:25:37

or 'My-dvye'.

0:25:370:25:39

I don't think it'll change, we just have to get people to know it.

0:25:390:25:43

Myddfai is what we're branding,

0:25:430:25:45

it's the place as well as all the products, so...

0:25:450:25:49

And we spent a lot of money on it,

0:25:490:25:50

so, I don't think we can backtrack now, we haven't got the money to do it.

0:25:500:25:54

By the end of the fair, money is still an issue.

0:25:540:25:57

They may have landed £4,000 in small orders,

0:25:590:26:02

but not the killer deal Jo was looking for.

0:26:020:26:06

Every new company going to a trade fair

0:26:080:26:10

hopes that a big high street name's going to walk on the stand

0:26:100:26:14

and you go from zero to mega-business in one fell swoop.

0:26:140:26:19

That didn't happen.

0:26:190:26:21

The pronunciation of Myddfai is not something that I find difficult,

0:26:210:26:24

but clearly you forget that for people from the other side of the bridge,

0:26:240:26:28

you know, in England and beyond,

0:26:280:26:30

it's difficult to even to know how to pronounce Myddfai.

0:26:300:26:33

I think, actually, that it's a talking point.

0:26:330:26:37

People look at it, they struggle, but they remember you,

0:26:370:26:40

you're the company with the name they can't pronounce,

0:26:400:26:43

and hopefully, as the brand becomes familiar,

0:26:430:26:46

people will learn how to speak a little bit of Welsh.

0:26:460:26:49

The future of the trading company may be up in the air,

0:26:560:27:00

but the villagers do know one thing for sure -

0:27:000:27:03

tomorrow, their old hall is to be demolished.

0:27:030:27:05

Tonight, they're gathering to celebrate its past.

0:27:070:27:12

For 60 years, this has been the heart of their village,

0:27:120:27:16

a place to meet and keep their rich traditions and Welsh heritage alive.

0:27:160:27:20

And now it's time to say goodbye.

0:27:200:27:24

I know that this building holds many fond memories for everybody,

0:27:240:27:28

so please spend this evening enjoying those memories

0:27:280:27:30

and sharing them with each other.

0:27:300:27:33

LAUGHTER

0:27:370:27:40

Yes, I remember John.

0:27:400:27:43

His bed was on fire?

0:27:430:27:45

Oh, it was such a view, such excitement!

0:27:450:27:48

It's a time to reflect upon decades of memories,

0:27:510:27:54

and ponder the uncertainties of days to come.

0:27:540:27:58

I'm one of the few here tonight that remembers this hall,

0:27:580:28:03

this building, being built.

0:28:030:28:06

It was an exciting time, and it is, nowadays,

0:28:060:28:11

an exciting time once again.

0:28:110:28:14

But I will look back with great enjoyment

0:28:140:28:17

at the things that have gone here,

0:28:170:28:19

because this was a heart of the village.

0:28:190:28:21

APPLAUSE

0:28:210:28:23

And can I wish, in your wisdom, all of you,

0:28:240:28:26

that we don't forget that this is a village

0:28:260:28:30

that needs to keep its traditions, isn't it?

0:28:300:28:34

When the hall is demolished they will have nowhere to meet

0:28:340:28:37

until the new hall is completed.

0:28:370:28:40

As it will be six months till they can gather again under one roof,

0:28:400:28:43

it's crucial the villagers keep their community spirit alive.

0:28:430:28:47

Emmlyn has sung in the choir here for 50 years,

0:28:470:28:51

a childhood memory of a building that will be reduced to rubble in the morning.

0:28:510:28:57

SINGING

0:28:570:28:59

APPLAUSE

0:28:590:29:01

Wow.

0:29:140:29:15

We've had lots of memories, lots of happy memories,

0:29:260:29:29

and we both had our wedding receptions here.

0:29:290:29:33

Yes, yes.

0:29:330:29:35

1956, we got married,

0:29:360:29:38

and we had about 50 guests - quite a lot in those days.

0:29:380:29:42

Supported everything that was going on here over the years.

0:29:450:29:49

It's the end of an era, end of the old hall.

0:29:500:29:53

Farewell to an old friend, as they say.

0:29:530:29:56

I really, honestly didn't think I'd feel quite so nostalgic.

0:30:000:30:04

It's a bit mind-blowing.

0:30:070:30:10

I feel sorry to see it coming down, I feel very sorry,

0:30:110:30:14

because, you know, we've been brought up in it.

0:30:140:30:19

We've been brought up here for the last 50 years,

0:30:190:30:21

we've enjoyed every minute in there.

0:30:210:30:23

We had a lot of fun there.

0:30:230:30:25

And it's come to an end.

0:30:370:30:39

It's certainly going to be a gap in having a heart in the village.

0:30:400:30:44

It's that thing that the community saw the village hall very much

0:30:440:30:48

as the heart and where people come together,

0:30:480:30:50

and that coming-together will be more difficult until the new hall's up.

0:30:500:30:54

A week later, the builders have moved in

0:31:120:31:16

to begin the construction of the new village hall.

0:31:160:31:19

Whoa.

0:31:190:31:21

When I came yesterday, they were just clearing the boundary here,

0:31:220:31:25

I come today, almost the entire footing of the building

0:31:250:31:29

is not only dug, it's full of concrete.

0:31:290:31:31

It's buzzing around the community now.

0:31:310:31:34

"Wow, look, won't it be good?"

0:31:340:31:35

And I'm hoping that the community,

0:31:350:31:38

when they see these walls rising up out of the ground,

0:31:380:31:41

they'll get a real sense of what we're about here,

0:31:410:31:44

because this project starts and finishes with the community of Myddfai.

0:31:440:31:47

There's someone else in the village who is fired up by the project - Mike Hill.

0:31:520:31:57

'If you're looking at rejuvenation,

0:31:570:31:59

'you do have to create some sort of sustainable business.'

0:31:590:32:02

If you don't, nobody's going to come to the village - why would they bother?

0:32:020:32:07

Mike has left his job as an optician to start working part time

0:32:070:32:10

as the trading company's new administrator.

0:32:100:32:13

What I don't want to see in a year's time is I'm not doing that

0:32:130:32:17

because the project hasn't been successful,

0:32:170:32:20

so it's in my interest to drive the project forward

0:32:200:32:23

and make it what we want it to be, which is a sustainable business.

0:32:230:32:27

Today, Jo has enlisted Mike to help her win

0:32:350:32:38

a crucial order for the trading company.

0:32:380:32:42

If they pull it off, it could really help Myddfai get back in business.

0:32:420:32:46

After disappointing sales at the NEC,

0:32:490:32:51

the brand needs success, not least to keep the confidence of the locals.

0:32:510:32:55

Big meeting today, there is an awful lot at stake,

0:32:550:32:59

because once you're dealing with a larger company,

0:32:590:33:02

I think that gives us credibility with other organisations,

0:33:020:33:06

so it's really key that we get this right today.

0:33:060:33:10

Yeah, it is a biggie today, we need some cash in the bank

0:33:100:33:14

and, hopefully, this will be where we start to bring it in.

0:33:140:33:17

National cancer charity Tenovus have invited Jo and Mike

0:33:170:33:20

to pitch for a potentially lucrative deal to fill some

0:33:200:33:23

of its 67 stores with the trading company's merchandise.

0:33:230:33:28

There are certain lines which we feel could go

0:33:280:33:30

to all of our shops in Wales - there's 38 of them -

0:33:300:33:34

and, potentially, some in England as well,

0:33:340:33:37

and we are looking for exactly this sort of stuff.

0:33:370:33:42

As the meeting progresses,

0:33:420:33:44

it's clear the product range is hitting the mark.

0:33:440:33:47

Presumably you could have these in any size.

0:33:470:33:50

Yes, absolutely.

0:33:500:33:51

They will be a best seller.

0:33:510:33:53

Things like these, which we would see as till pick-up lines,

0:33:550:33:59

I think we would want to do all-store.

0:33:590:34:01

Given the nature of the product,

0:34:030:34:05

are you able to supply that sort of quantity, initially?

0:34:050:34:09

Um, it is a one-man activity,

0:34:090:34:12

but it's a one-man activity who's experienced in producing these

0:34:120:34:17

and can possibly sub-contract.

0:34:170:34:20

With a pledge of an order worth £10,000 in the bag,

0:34:200:34:23

the deal has surpassed all expectations.

0:34:230:34:27

Thanks.

0:34:270:34:29

-Amazing.

-Amazing, amazing.

0:34:290:34:31

'Just great people to deal with, and if everything comes to fruition,'

0:34:310:34:35

what we've discussed in there, we're on our way.

0:34:350:34:38

I feel elated, exhausted, um, excited,

0:34:380:34:42

you know, all those emotions, and, um...

0:34:420:34:46

..and just a little bit terrified

0:34:460:34:49

that we've got to go back to Myddfai and deliver this now!

0:34:490:34:52

SHEEP BLEATING

0:34:520:34:54

Back in the village, Lesley goes to break the news

0:34:550:34:59

to woodcraftsman John that he can't hang up his tools just yet.

0:34:590:35:03

Got some news to tell you.

0:35:030:35:04

Lesley's got some news for us.

0:35:040:35:07

We've got a big order for a company called Tenovus.

0:35:070:35:11

We're talking possibly around about 1,400 key-rings we'd need.

0:35:110:35:14

Phew, that's a lot.

0:35:140:35:16

Yeah, as soon as.

0:35:160:35:18

It sounds really, really good.

0:35:180:35:19

I think it's...

0:35:190:35:21

..it's quite a shock!

0:35:210:35:23

Until John was brought out of retirement by Jo,

0:35:230:35:26

his mind was preoccupied with his battle against skin cancer.

0:35:260:35:30

I almost want to use the word "miracle",

0:35:300:35:34

which is a bit strong - it's just joyful.

0:35:340:35:36

It's great to have him back again, it's lovely.

0:35:360:35:40

Usually what happens with people when they retire,

0:35:420:35:45

they gradually sort of fade away...

0:35:450:35:47

HE LAUGHS

0:35:470:35:48

..but I shan't fade away.

0:35:480:35:50

Over the winter months, the new hall begins to very visibly take shape.

0:35:550:36:01

With no meeting-place in the village,

0:36:010:36:04

Jo and her most loyal volunteers

0:36:040:36:06

continue to build up the trading company behind closed doors.

0:36:060:36:10

As winter progresses, the project team are unable to keep

0:36:130:36:16

the wider community involved in their plans.

0:36:160:36:19

So, when spring arrives, it's only a small group of people

0:36:270:36:31

from the heart of the village who are excited

0:36:310:36:34

by the new hall and what it has to offer.

0:36:340:36:36

Look at the size of it in here now.

0:36:360:36:38

It's really amazing.

0:36:380:36:41

Mind you, it's a huge space now, it's bigger than I envisaged,

0:36:410:36:44

I don't know about you.

0:36:440:36:45

Hello, how are you?

0:36:450:36:47

-It's been all change here.

-Very much changed, yeah.

0:36:470:36:50

-Amazing. Good to see you.

-Nice to see you.

0:36:500:36:52

'Hugh's state of the art hall has so much more

0:36:520:36:56

'to offer the villagers than its draughty old predecessor.'

0:36:560:36:59

So, you'll have a cafe, you'll have theatre?

0:36:590:37:02

This auditorium is rigged as a complete theatre, yeah.

0:37:020:37:05

OK, cafe, theatre, classes...

0:37:050:37:07

Classes, conferences, black-tie charity events...

0:37:070:37:12

-...weddings?

-Weddings.

0:37:120:37:14

It's pretty much geared up to cater for all those markets.

0:37:140:37:18

I see there being enormous amounts of potential to invigorate people,

0:37:200:37:24

to sort of think, maybe they could start little businesses here,

0:37:240:37:28

which will, by its very nature, encourage people to come and live here.

0:37:280:37:31

This is one of the hopes we had for the whole project,

0:37:310:37:34

that it would encourage individual initiatives and start-up businesses.

0:37:340:37:38

It's not just businesses making things,

0:37:380:37:41

it's the classes and crafts and things we could have in the hall.

0:37:410:37:44

Absolutely.

0:37:440:37:45

That would bring more people to the village,

0:37:450:37:48

make it more prosperous, bring a bit of life back into it.

0:37:480:37:52

This is a wonderful and inspiring building,

0:37:520:37:54

but it is really big, and I think the big challenge now

0:37:540:37:58

is to get enough people engaged so there's enough things

0:37:580:38:01

being sold in the shop and there's enough activity going on

0:38:010:38:04

so that it doesn't end up a great, huge white elephant.

0:38:040:38:08

'It is the sheer size of a hall that is causing alarm to spread

0:38:090:38:13

'amongst the farming community.'

0:38:130:38:15

One thing that has concerned most people

0:38:150:38:17

is that we're not sure about the full costings of anything.

0:38:170:38:21

We haven't been involved, we don't know enough about it and how thing's are going to cost,

0:38:210:38:25

I think there'll be a lot of hidden costing.

0:38:250:38:28

How are we going to run it?

0:38:280:38:29

How are we going to finance everything, are we going to fill it?

0:38:290:38:33

Is there going to be enough things happening there?

0:38:330:38:37

We're all fearful that, at the end of the day, there may be

0:38:370:38:40

a shortfall and we might have to dig deep into our own pockets

0:38:400:38:45

just to bail it out.

0:38:450:38:46

The project team call an emergency meeting

0:38:470:38:50

on how to tackle the rumours and win back support.

0:38:500:38:53

It appears as though people

0:38:530:38:54

are beginning to lose their nerve a little bit,

0:38:540:38:57

and I sense a closing of ranks.

0:38:570:38:59

They signed up to take on the challenge.

0:38:590:39:02

Now the challenge is here it's very real,

0:39:020:39:04

and it feels to me as though they're actually scared to face up to it,

0:39:040:39:08

so they're going, "Whoa, whoa."

0:39:080:39:10

There's a real anxiety in the village about what we've built.

0:39:100:39:15

There's an anxiety about what it'll cost to keep the hall running,

0:39:150:39:18

an anxiety about what it's going to cost to use it,

0:39:180:39:22

there's a worry we've run out of money before it's finished,

0:39:220:39:25

and, generally, this whole sense of panic is showing itself

0:39:250:39:29

in the form of people gossiping and being negative,

0:39:290:39:34

and, I suppose, blaming us in a sense

0:39:340:39:36

for having put it there in the first place.

0:39:360:39:39

Emmlyn is more clued-up on marketing and PR than Jo might think,

0:39:420:39:47

especially when it comes to village matters.

0:39:470:39:50

Explain to people, explain to people what's going on

0:39:500:39:53

and get everybody involved, that's what my motto would be.

0:39:530:39:56

To get everybody, all the youngsters,

0:39:560:39:58

all the young children coming up in the locality,

0:39:580:40:01

get everybody involved.

0:40:010:40:03

With just three months left in the village,

0:40:030:40:06

Jo realises she has to take urgent action.

0:40:060:40:10

In what could be the biggest challenge in her political career,

0:40:100:40:13

Jo knows that she must get the village behind her

0:40:130:40:15

to stop the project from folding.

0:40:150:40:18

Unless she can convince the key people in the community to attend

0:40:180:40:21

a crisis meeting, Jo knows all her work in the village will have been for nothing.

0:40:210:40:26

The aim of the meeting is to reassure those people who are worried

0:40:260:40:32

about this big building that has taken centre stage in the community.

0:40:320:40:37

That it's there for the community

0:40:370:40:40

but also as an opportunity for the community.

0:40:400:40:42

It's a fantastic facility but unless the community

0:40:420:40:45

take ownership of it, it's not going to flourish.

0:40:450:40:50

From what I understood,

0:40:560:40:57

the trading section is raising the funds for running the hall after...

0:40:570:41:03

No, you understood wrong already!

0:41:030:41:07

This Saturday is basically a gathering of the community

0:41:070:41:11

cos a lot of people don't really know what's going on.

0:41:110:41:15

What worries me is Dave is in the inner circle of people who

0:41:150:41:21

should know what's going on and

0:41:210:41:23

if he doesn't know, then for people who have really not been

0:41:230:41:28

involved at all, clearly they're not going to have a clue!

0:41:280:41:32

That is worrying.

0:41:320:41:34

Anxious that Chinese whispers about the project might be getting out of control,

0:41:360:41:40

Jo redoubles her efforts to make sure everyone attends the meeting.

0:41:400:41:44

It's about if somebody comes, finds out the information then tells...

0:41:440:41:51

Spread the word, the right word! There's been lots of words spread

0:41:510:41:55

that haven't been entirely accurate.

0:41:550:41:58

Jo is learning that, especially in the thick of lambing season,

0:41:580:42:02

farmers have more pressing matters to address.

0:42:020:42:05

In the farm next door, Emmlyn hasn't slept for two days,

0:42:200:42:24

and has delivered so many lambs he's lost count.

0:42:240:42:28

-How many have you had so far?

-Haven't got a clue. Over a thousand, anyway.

-No?!

0:42:280:42:34

As Emmlyn is one of Myddfai's most highly respected residents,

0:42:380:42:41

Jo knows he could convince the whole community to back the project.

0:42:410:42:46

Shoo, shoo, shoo!

0:42:460:42:48

I'm shooing sheep!

0:42:510:42:53

I think that's the technical term for it.

0:42:540:42:58

Come on, mummy, wherever you are.

0:43:000:43:04

Hope the hall won't be too expensive, that's the trouble.

0:43:040:43:07

Are people worried about that?

0:43:070:43:10

Well yes, compared to the old one but we'll get used to it, no doubt.

0:43:100:43:15

There's a fear the hall is much bigger

0:43:170:43:20

and therefore will cost more to run, more demanding of people's time.

0:43:200:43:26

They're afraid the community has bitten off more than it can chew.

0:43:260:43:30

Two days later

0:43:340:43:35

the villagers gather for the meeting that will make or break the project.

0:43:350:43:40

With Mike and Lesley fighting their corner,

0:43:400:43:43

Jo and Hugh know they simply have to get the village behind the hall and trading company.

0:43:430:43:48

With the new hall unfinished, they've had to hire a marquee.

0:43:490:43:54

Is there plenty of money to finish the hall off?

0:43:540:43:57

The equipment inside is shortage?

0:43:570:43:59

We've got what the budget would bear.

0:43:590:44:01

-Has it been spread around evenly - the kitchen, the curtains, the platforms?

-Yes.

0:44:010:44:06

But the kitchen will be the most money for you. You'll be catering and hiring it out.

0:44:060:44:13

Why have you cut back on the kitchen?

0:44:130:44:16

We haven't cut back on anything.

0:44:160:44:17

That's simply not true.

0:44:170:44:19

-It's coming to me.

-These are Chinese whispers that we set up this meeting to address.

0:44:190:44:24

We've said please come here today.

0:44:240:44:27

I'm suspecting some of the people who said

0:44:270:44:29

they never hear anything aren't here today.

0:44:290:44:32

You know, what more can we do?

0:44:320:44:34

We had to believe, and I hope you guys believe, that the

0:44:340:44:39

aim of building this hall is not just to do what we did before,

0:44:390:44:44

but to bring in new people, and by doing that, it will help regenerate the village.

0:44:440:44:51

Everybody else believes in us, so we have to believe in us.

0:44:510:44:56

If we don't believe in us, then it's not going to happen.

0:44:560:44:59

Ultimately, it's over to you guys

0:44:590:45:02

whether it's a success or not in the long term.

0:45:020:45:04

The community may have got their concerns off their chest,

0:45:060:45:10

but have Jo's words been enough to sway the most influential elders?

0:45:100:45:14

Remember one thing, ladies and gentlemen, nobody in the area

0:45:200:45:24

or locality has put a hand in their pocket to build this hall.

0:45:240:45:28

APPLAUSE

0:45:280:45:32

So, we're being given the hall, more or less, so let's work together to keep it going.

0:45:320:45:38

Emmlyn's eyes, at least, have been opened to the potential of the new hall.

0:45:420:45:47

This is a brand new hall from scratch.

0:45:470:45:49

There's not an old stone in it.

0:45:490:45:52

I look forward to singing here and I'll sing my guts out.

0:45:520:45:55

I know the choir will do the same.

0:45:550:45:58

Inspired by Emmlyn's rallying speech,

0:46:000:46:03

a small group of volunteers have stepped forward to

0:46:030:46:06

take on the running of the shop.

0:46:060:46:08

But without a village shop for 20 years,

0:46:080:46:12

no-one has the first idea of how to go about it.

0:46:120:46:14

So they're heading to another Welsh village, where the locals

0:46:140:46:18

have been able to keep their shop open by staffing it

0:46:180:46:20

entirely with a work force of volunteers.

0:46:200:46:24

For the people of Llanmadoc, their shop has become so much more than a place to buy the papers.

0:46:240:46:30

This is the village.

0:46:300:46:32

This is where you find out what's going on, meet your neighbours, your friends, have a cup of tea.

0:46:320:46:38

Find out from the local papers what's happening,

0:46:380:46:40

where they can buy fresh stuff, where they can do home baking.

0:46:400:46:45

This is the village, here.

0:46:450:46:48

Can we go in?

0:46:480:46:53

It's all based on volunteers.

0:46:530:46:55

Nobody gets paid except the post mistress.

0:46:550:46:59

We've got home baking group, they bake, volunteers - two every morning and afternoon.

0:46:590:47:03

-How many volunteers on your books?

-About 40 or 50.

0:47:030:47:07

That many.

0:47:070:47:09

One of the most important things is keeping the volunteers happy. Are they around?!

0:47:090:47:15

It's very important to keep them happy.

0:47:150:47:18

-So, you've got a rota then?

-Everybody knows what the rota is.

0:47:180:47:21

It's fixed. Very simple.

0:47:210:47:25

There's some important issues there we need to consider.

0:47:250:47:29

We need dedication and more volunteers.

0:47:290:47:32

That's the bit that's most worrying is being able to open on a regular basis and have volunteers.

0:47:320:47:37

Did you see how many volunteers they had in their books?

0:47:370:47:42

The community were committed and they had a lot of support.

0:47:420:47:47

But with us we haven't got much volunteer support behind us.

0:47:470:47:50

Let's be honest.

0:47:500:47:53

A lot of people against the project are not prepared to volunteer.

0:47:530:47:56

Knowing that the secret of its success

0:47:560:47:59

is the support of the whole village,

0:47:590:48:01

the task of opening their own shop and cafe in just eight weeks seems all the more daunting.

0:48:010:48:07

Just a year ago,

0:48:150:48:18

this was the building that the villagers had to meet in.

0:48:180:48:21

A place where, because the kitchen was condemned,

0:48:210:48:24

they couldn't even share a cup of tea.

0:48:240:48:27

Now, with the financial support of the Big Lottery Fund

0:48:300:48:34

and dedication of Hugh, Jo and a team of locals,

0:48:340:48:37

Myddfai now has a new auditorium, a shop where visitors

0:48:370:48:41

can buy village- crafted goods, its own product range

0:48:410:48:44

and a warm and inviting cafe.

0:48:440:48:47

Just three days from launch, and the impressive new hall

0:48:500:48:54

may be completed, but community support remains a big problem.

0:48:540:48:59

Hugh and Jo have pulled out all the stops to create

0:48:590:49:01

the most impressive community building within 25 miles,

0:49:010:49:06

but it will all have been for nothing unless the locals use it.

0:49:060:49:11

You'd think that knocking down an old decrepit hall and building

0:49:110:49:14

a swanky new one would be met with delight but I think what the old hall represented

0:49:140:49:22

was a rich culture which local people feel is under threat.

0:49:220:49:29

So it's not really surprising

0:49:290:49:30

it's been met with quite a lot of animosity.

0:49:300:49:34

With final preparations for the hall's launch under way,

0:49:340:49:37

no-one knows just how many people will turn up.

0:49:370:49:41

Hugh has poured his heart and soul into the project,

0:49:410:49:46

so failure for him just isn't an option.

0:49:460:49:49

This is something I want to do to help the community.

0:49:490:49:53

I give it every ounce of goodwill that I can,

0:49:530:49:55

and every hour required to make it happen.

0:49:550:49:58

I don't do "not happen."

0:49:580:50:01

I'm not built that way, it's not in me, in my DNA, it's not in whatever.

0:50:010:50:06

I like to make things happen and help people make things happen.

0:50:060:50:12

If it doesn't happen,

0:50:120:50:14

all I'll know is I tried my damndest to make it happen.

0:50:140:50:17

I can't do any more than that.

0:50:170:50:21

It's launch day for the hall.

0:50:340:50:36

It's a big day for Hugh.

0:50:420:50:44

He not only has to win around the locals,

0:50:440:50:46

he also needs to convince potential business customers to hire the hall.

0:50:460:50:51

I'm feeling full of adrenaline.

0:50:540:50:58

And rather tired but the adrenaline is overcoming the tiredness.

0:50:580:51:01

I don't think many of us got much sleep last night.

0:51:010:51:04

Ask me again in about four hours!

0:51:040:51:07

The space is quick to win admirers from outside the village.

0:51:110:51:14

This is a facility that I'd want to use as an organisation

0:51:140:51:18

in the future to show people the real feel of rural Wales,

0:51:180:51:21

what it means to be in a rural community, the spirit of it

0:51:210:51:25

rather than being in a sterile hotel in the middle of Cardiff or Swansea or somewhere like that.

0:51:250:51:32

To meet the rush of first-time customers,

0:51:320:51:36

Lesley has roped in enough volunteers for the shop.

0:51:360:51:39

Really busy. Everyone has said how amazing the place looks

0:51:390:51:42

so hopefully they will all come back, too.

0:51:420:51:45

The feedback has been excellent. Everyone's impressed.

0:51:450:51:49

As well as bringing in money, the new hall also has to win over

0:51:490:51:54

those who hold its predecessor close to their hearts.

0:51:540:51:58

Like Megan, who spent the happiest day of her life there

0:51:580:52:02

and has recently celebrated her Emerald wedding anniversary.

0:52:020:52:07

I was telling Hugh if it had been opened earlier we'd have been

0:52:070:52:10

celebrating 55 years here of married life.

0:52:100:52:14

Hopefully we'll reach our Diamond wedding anniversary. Who knows?

0:52:140:52:19

For Emmlyn, as the old hall is where he sang his socks off as a young boy,

0:52:190:52:24

the new one has a lot to live up to.

0:52:240:52:28

Tonight we'll be with our local choir, will be singing,

0:52:280:52:31

the choir always supported everything on in Myddfai over the years.

0:52:310:52:36

We were invited to do it tonight and we're very proud to be here.

0:52:360:52:41

I'm looking forward to the choir, there is something special

0:52:410:52:44

about a male voice choir. It's quite a special moment.

0:52:440:52:48

# If I ruled the world

0:52:500:52:55

# Every day would be the first day of spring

0:52:550:53:01

# Every heart would have a new song to sing

0:53:010:53:07

# And we'd sing of the joy every morning would bring... #

0:53:070:53:14

There was hundreds of people there and it was fantastic.

0:53:150:53:18

The response from the crowd, that makes it all to us.

0:53:180:53:22

We sing our hearts out but the response from the crowd was marvellous.

0:53:220:53:26

# Every voice would be a voice to be heard... #

0:53:260:53:30

We sung hundreds of times in the old hall,

0:53:300:53:33

but in this new hall we're the first artists to sing. It's marvellous. It's like being in heaven tonight.

0:53:330:53:40

For Hugh, the night has been an overwhelming success.

0:53:410:53:44

It seems the whole community have turned out to share in a very special night.

0:53:440:53:50

That's the most people Myddfai's ever seen for generations in one place at one time.

0:53:500:53:55

So, I'm absolutely delighted,

0:53:550:53:58

and the spirit and joy and smiles on their faces makes the difference.

0:53:580:54:02

Otherwise, this is just a pile of bricks.

0:54:020:54:04

# ..If I ruled the world

0:54:040:54:10

# The world. #

0:54:120:54:18

After twelve months of living and breathing the brand, the people, and the village,

0:54:470:54:52

it's time for Jo to say goodbye and return home.

0:54:520:54:56

So, you're leaving and how does it feel?

0:54:580:55:01

Good, because it's the right time. Job done, out of here. That was always the plan.

0:55:010:55:07

When I came to the village, I didn't come to make friends with everybody.

0:55:070:55:11

And I think change is very uncomfortable for some people.

0:55:110:55:15

So, if I'd been seen as the representative of change,

0:55:150:55:21

so be it because that's what I was here to do.

0:55:210:55:24

And what have you learned from this? Do you feel a different person?

0:55:240:55:28

Yeah, it's been a personal journey as well

0:55:280:55:31

because as Myddfai's grown with the challenge,

0:55:310:55:35

it's been professionally challenging every step of the way.

0:55:350:55:39

It's been a pleasure.

0:55:390:55:41

'What I experienced is, a couple of people in particular,

0:55:410:55:47

'who have been phenomenal.

0:55:470:55:49

'As human beings, I wouldn't want for better friends,'

0:55:490:55:52

without whom it could never have happened.

0:55:520:55:55

-We'll be in touch.

-For sure.

0:55:550:55:57

This is not the end, this is the beginning!

0:55:570:56:01

With Jo's departure, it will now be down to Hugh, Mike and the rest

0:56:010:56:05

of the villagers to make sure the business continues to grow.

0:56:050:56:08

Absolute pleasure.

0:56:080:56:10

Thank you for being wonderful and...

0:56:100:56:14

I'm not going to blub.

0:56:140:56:16

I don't do that!

0:56:160:56:19

Right, there we go. Start again.

0:56:270:56:30

With seven big bookings for the new hall already in the diary,

0:56:320:56:35

Hugh's and Jo's legacy is beginning to pay off.

0:56:350:56:38

So much has been achieved in such a short period of time,

0:56:380:56:42

which was never possible for the money.

0:56:420:56:44

And never possible in the time.

0:56:440:56:47

That challenge is quite seductive. It pulls you in.

0:56:470:56:51

We've done it.

0:56:510:56:53

In the last year, the village has gone through the biggest change

0:56:530:56:58

in Emmlyn's life here.

0:56:580:57:00

But has it been for the better?

0:57:000:57:03

Marvellous. I think it's a wonderful building. It's a credit to those involved with it.

0:57:030:57:08

Did you expect it to be that amazing?

0:57:080:57:10

No, I didn't know what to expect.

0:57:100:57:13

I just wanted a nice tidy hall and we've had it. A lovely hall.

0:57:130:57:16

What do you feel the next stage is now you've got the hall?

0:57:160:57:21

The next stage is to fill it every week with functions.

0:57:210:57:24

And pull together, that's the most important thing.

0:57:240:57:28

To keep this lovely building going.

0:57:280:57:32

Myddfai now has a building that suits all its needs.

0:57:350:57:39

Built in a year from scratch, it's an amazing achievement.

0:57:390:57:43

The real question for this village

0:57:430:57:45

is what will it look like in 20 years' time?

0:57:450:57:48

I think if the community manages to keep up the momentum,

0:57:480:57:51

and build on their remarkable past and history,

0:57:510:57:54

it might be that Myddfai doesn't just survive, but flies.

0:57:540:58:00

If you have been inspired to create a community project in your area

0:58:030:58:08

and want to find out how to apply, visit our website.

0:58:080:58:11

Will people power be enough to turn around the fortunes of a mining village?

0:58:110:58:15

If everyone gets together, it will benefit everyone.

0:58:150:58:18

It's like a lifeline for everyone in the village.

0:58:180:58:21

Will their ambitious plan leave them in the pits of despair?

0:58:210:58:25

Most of the area is now mud. It's going to be covered in water.

0:58:250:58:29

We've worked really hard to get to this point.

0:58:290:58:32

It is a big disappointment.

0:58:320:58:34

It's shocking news, frankly.

0:58:340:58:36

Where have you gone wrong?

0:58:360:58:39

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:58:490:58:52

E-mail [email protected]

0:58:520:58:55

Sarah Beeny follows a passionate group of locals as they spend a year trying to rescue their community. When the residents of the Welsh village of Myddfai in Carmarthenshire applied for a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to build a new village hall and set up a business, they had no idea what was in store. The village has just 82 residents, but unless all of them support the project the chances of rejuvenation are low.