When in the 1440s the folk of Bugeildy saw the newly built Bryndraenog, they asked Ai lleuad yw ai lliw dydd? - Is it the moon or the light of day? At least that's what the bard Ieuan ap Hywel Swrdwal reported, for the light that shone through it's new fangled windows brought: Golau dydd, mae'n glod iddi, i'w gweled nos i'n gwlad ni - Daylight, praise to it, seen at night in our land. Of course that was then. Today the good Radnorians are up in arms about Powys County Council's street light switch-off and the subsequent return to the dark ages.
According to Mr Howse gas street lights arrived in Knighton in 1852 with Presteigne following in 1859, while electricity came to Llandrindod in 1897. So the irate ratepayers do have a point. If the provision of street lighting was possible in the century before last, well ...... oh and of course the County Council's first reaction to any financial shortfall is cut services, rather than cut senior staff.
At the same time the Radnorian blog supports this return to the dark. The urbanisation of our county has surely gone too far and the return of so many stars to our night sky is to be welcomed. No doubt a little common sense could have been displayed as to which lights were switched off, but the principle is right. As to the pensioners complaining that they've had to buy a torch, is that such a hardship? The question of anti-social behaviour is more serious, but surely this is one that our police and courts should be addressing robustly and as a matter of urgency rather than relying on a few lights.