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Sudol Media
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Sudol Media
World News

Welsh village defies vandals with life-sized nativity scene

by Donna Birrell

A village in Wales has created a life-sized nativity scene, a year after the previous one was fire- bombed by vandals. 

The community in Raglan in Gwent rallied round to create the new pieces after the stable set in the local bus shelter was destroyed on Christmas Eve last year.

Lyndon Price is one of the volunteers behind the nativity scene project. He's been telling Premier why the community is determined to defy the vandals this year.

"Last year's scene was created in the bus shelter right in the centre of the village in the shadow of St Patrick's church. It's a beautiful setting and looks just like an old stable. Last year was an awful year for everyone and so it was wonderful to see it and give that Christmas spirit back to the community. It took months of work to create and it was put up on Christmas Eve. Then someone fire-bombed the whole thing, destroying all the figures and the bus shelter in the process. It was absolutely atrocious, devastating and beyond words."

Three years ago, the display's figure of Mary was stolen and two shepherds were also taken in 2019. 

"The community absolutely adore this symbol and suddenly, one evening out of the blue Mary disappeared, never to be seen again. Leaving the community absolutely devastated that somebody amongst them could do this to such a such a lovely symbol."

But over the last year, new characters have been created, designed by Liz Friendship, a retired theatre design lecturer. Lyndon Price says she spends a few hours each day creating the costumes.  

"They're real theatre costumes and the work and the detail that goes into them is absolutely phenomenal. We have electricians, we have carpenters, and together, everyone just brings the community together. All for these few weeks, just before Christmas, just to bring that a little bit of joy and a little bit of hope to everyone." 

Lyndon Price says the village has stepped up security around the nativity this year with more CCTV. It's also been sited in a more central location outside the local Beaufort Hotel where it's hoped guests and residents will keep an eye on any suspicious activity. 

"This year, particularly after last year's devastation, nobody wanted to be beaten, everyone wanted to carry on and do it again. Regardless of everything that's gone on before. Everyone got together, did it, produced it and it's back!"


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