Sunday 19 February 2012: Rural tranquillity?
At 1.30 this morning I was woken by loud bangs and then the sounds of vehicles. I assumed it was young people, maybe kicking cars or banging doors out on the main road. Then I heard running water in the gutter in the small street at the side of our house and saw a policeman walking past so I opened the window and asked him what was going on and he said there was a car burning. It seemed all under control so I went back to sleep. This morning there were the burnt-out shells and partly damaged bodies of at least seven cars, one of which belonged to friends of ours, in the small place next to the church, no more than a hundred metres from our house. The building behind the cars in my photo was once part of the church complex but has now been turned into flats for social housing - a very scary situation for those who saw the flames and smoke rise up in front of their homes. The whole façade up to the second floor was blackened.
There was much discussion about the cause of the blaze in the streets this morning, some saying it was young people misbehaving - méchants - and others saying it could have been an electrical fault in one of the cars. The police were there, investigating.
When we came back from big-city Cardiff on Thursday to our village of 700 inhabitants we didn't expect this!