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      21.03.2008 21:58
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      I live here.

      Mold............Land of beauty
      Mold.............Land of mystery
      Mold............Land of surprises

      That's the TV commercial sorted, now I just need to think about how to make it actually true.

      Let's be honest about this, we all sort of find it easy to say disparaging things about where we live. People could live in Disneyland Paris and say there was nothing to do round here. Secretly, we all sort of like it or we'd move to somewhere else we could find tedious.

      I actually like living in Mold so there. OK so it has a name that sounds like fungus and no-one knows where it is but I'm a refugee here and I've been treated well by the people who I once accused, along with everyone else, of molesting sheep. In fact, the livestock in these parts seem perfectly happy.

      I've lived in Mold for 6 years now, imported here by my wife after being deported by the previous one. I love it here, have always felt at home, have learned to count to 10 in Welsh and feel as if I'm nearly in the countryside compared to the former conurbation of Birkenhead.

      There ain't much here and I haven't got a lot to mention but what I do shall be with genuine affection. Especially 'Naked Tuesday' where the residents parade naked around the environs.

      Where is it?
      --------------
      Well, all around me. For you though, bung CH7 into the google maps search and you'll be pointed straight at it. It's in Wales. Just. About 7 miles in to be precise. 11 miles from Chester and 11 miles from Wrexham. 10 miles to the North lies the Dee estuary and from the hills just outside, you get spectacular views right across the Cheshire plain and to Liverpool, 20 miles away. At the mention of hills, the town is nestled in the Clwydian Mountain range - hardly Everest proportion but Moel Famau, the largest mountain is about 1000+ ft. The surrounding area is mostly farmland and forestry. If you want bigger mountains, Betwys-y-Coad is about 35 miles West en route to Snowdon. Sounds nice?

      The town
      -----------
      Is small, about 2 miles in circumference, following a pretty circular pattern. Houses are a mix of the old (late 1800's) and the new. Mostly new - not a lot of 1930's stuff though there is a bit around. The population is fairly small, 10000-12000 at most. There are about 4 primary schools and 2 secondary schools, which seems a lot for the population but here in Wales you have to have a Welsh-speaking school as well as the English-speaking.
      The town is dominated by the 13th Century church that sits at the top of the high street. Earlier evidence of population here is provided by the Mott and Bailey fort that sits, or rather sat, on the top of Bailey Hill adjacent to the church.

      The shopping

      Mold is a lovely market town. On a Monday and Friday, livestock is still auctioned in the Market behind the shops. On Wednesday and Saturday, the High Street is closed off and a large market takes over, selling the usual market stuff with plant stall, meat, 'get you mobile phone unlocked here', 'out of date food' stalls and DIY. I love walking through looking for bargains I don't want. It's really buzzy with people and you can only walk at snails pace because of the bodies.

      The High Street itself is a decreasingly healthy mix of big names and small independents. The is a Woolies, Argos, WHSmith, New Look to name a few mixed in with independent shoe shops, DIY and deli's. I mention decreasingly because, like most High Streets, the big boys are taking over and small outlets are giving way to charity shops. Shame. There are also 3 million café's - about 3 per person (my maths is crap). You won't starve.

      Just away from the High Street, there is the 24-hour Tescos, Aldi, Homebase and McDonalds. All of these big names are placed 'sympathetically'. It isn't an industrial estate, they just seem to manage to nestle within the arms of a historic, old market town. It's quite clever really.

      The surrounds
      -----------------
      There isn't a lot of 'big named' places around here but there is generally pleasant countryside. The local beauty spot of Loggerheads, with it's woods and river is our usual hunting ground. But the surrounding countryside is generally good climbing and walking fodder. The North Wales coast, Chester and Snowdonia are all half and hour to 45 minutes away from town.

      Transport.
      ------------
      The train station is long gone, but buses are frequent and regular. For drivers, there is a good link to the M56 and M6 beyond. I drive to work in Birkenhead 25 miles away every day and it takes but 35 minutes. In the opposite direction, the North Wales coast road will quickly get you to Conway, llanddudno and Caernafon.

      Well, that's Mold in less than 900 words. Good effort me.
      You can't really describe a place as a function of what it contains. Places have residual emotional vibrations that you have to feel and Mold has always felt good come rain or shine. I recommend that you sell up and move here.

      Thanks for reading
      May be on other review sites whose name(s) I forget.

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