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FLEECING AT ABERYSTWYTH. a.a ALLEGED EXTORTION BY TRADESMEN. VISITORS' COMPLAINT. Something approaching a sensation has been caused in Aberystwyth, by the appearance a few days ago of letters, in the South Wales Daily News, from visitors indignantly pro- testing against the alleged "fleecing" propen- sities of tradesmen in this "go-a-head seaside resort. Very serious and damaging statements are made, and if there is even half a truth in them they are bound to adversely affect the town, which like Tenby, depends almost ex- clusively upon the "visitor industry." In many ways of late Aberystwyth has made itself notorious, not always in an enviable sense, but this new development is calculated to put all its other achievements in the shade. The first letter published was signed "Salo- pian," and was as follows the Britisher's privilege to growl, and I have a deep one to emit. Here am I, a proud Salopian, rusticating at Aberystwyth, in the very hinterland of Cymru, and surrounded by the ancient enemies of my race Time was, and well I know it, when their forbears and mine savagely gripped each other's throats, and revelled in pre- datory visits to each other's territories. What I want to know is-is that ancient feud forgiven and forgotten ? Because if it is, how comes it that I am now being fleeced alive. I came here for health, enjoyment, and rest. I get the first, but the en- joyment is the tradesman's, not mine, and pre- sently he will be resting through the winter months on the fat profits he has extracted out of the purses of myself and other hapless victims. I have spent summer and winter holidays in all the best known resorts on the North, South, and West Coasts of Wales, but this is my first-and it shall be the last-visit to Aberystwyth. Trades- men must live, true; and traders in seaside places may, I grant you, slightly put up their prices during the summer months. It is not this I complain of, but sheer extortion; and if my statement is challenged my wife's records of her business transactions are handy, and these show a difference of 60, 70, and even 100 per cent. between prices of commodities in Aberystwyth when compared with those of the larger towns of the Marches and South Waies. Is there really any justification for this? Perhaps I ought, in strict fairness, to add that the traders whose exorbitant charges I protest against do not, the majority of them, bear Welsh surnames. To this the next day a correspondent, also a, visitor, replied in strong denunciation of the tactics alleged to be in vogue among Aberyst- wyth tradesmen. Signing himself Never Again," he wrote from Newport The experience of your correspondent, Salo- pian," as to the victimisation of holiday-seekers by the tradesmen of Aberystwyth is not, by any means, an isolated one. It is quite understood that tradesmen have to make hay while the sun shines," but there should certainly be a limit as to what is a good profit and an extortionate one. It was my intention to spend the whole of my holidays with my family at Aberystwyth, but as I was not the happy possessor of a South Walet Daily Neicg holiday prize I found that impossible under the conditions prevailing, and had perforce, after a week's experience of the place, to seek a less expensive, though equally salubrious holiday resort. The commodities for sale at Aberystwyth shops were seldom marked with prices, and when a stranger made an inquiry he was first of all scrutinised by the shopman, and the price fixed in accordance with that gentleman's estimate as to what the intended victim was able to pay. Just a few illustrations. Where is the reasonable- ness of asking lOd. per pound for French beans while plums were 8d. and lOd. per pound? On ono occasion a resident entered a shop and pur- chased these articles at 50 per cent. lower than the price demanded of me. Why should the visitors, in the words of Salopian," be fleeced to such an extent ? Then, again, the charges made for accommodation at many of the lodging-houses are ridiculously high and quite out of keeping with the attention and comfort provided. I was not alone in my disgust at this fleecing," for when leaving the town I found companions in the train who had precisely the same grievance, and they, like myself, were glad to quit the place before their holidays expired, and leave the ex- ploiters to salve their consciences (if they have any) as best they may.






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