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-*> TOWYN,

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Improved situation is the keynote of affairs in South Africa this week. The war hasiagain dwindled down largely to company skirmishes by ways of contrast to the lucid outbursts that have ruminated the theatre of action during the past few weeks. The capture of Erasmus is another nlliant feather in Bruce Hamilton's cap, and this, together with the surprise of three laagers almost imultaneonslv, the formation of a howitzer corps, and the republication of the Johannesburg Star, gives a hopeful outlook. As a set-off we must take into consideration the loss of Major Vallentin and 18 men in the Eastern Transvaal. Lamentable "Dough though that is, it still leaves a considerable balance to the good on the week's work. We do not often hear a report from General French, who is Pro-eminently a man of action, and when, as now, he doe. send a communication it is of value in pro- portion to its brevity and rarity. wh S^OW anc^ solemn East, the Gorgeous East, in leisurely and where men hold is ^°nterapfc tke hurry-scurry methods of the West, gain coming into picturesque prominence. The a»9terit C°U,rfc' thafc body of mystic seclusion and famine-^ T S'OWly W*y thr°Ugh °f the M ° 6n provincea to the ancient capital months in Ih^ dynasfc^ Affcer spending many Empire tBe oo^w^J^erior of his unwieldy Forbidden City through miles of kneeling soldiers, accompanied ever by the watchful Dowager. We read of suicide and hunger dogging the pomp and blaze of majesty on its journey, but no such trifles e permitted to ruffle the serenity of the Imperial our When the Emperor moves a whole popu- ation Kow-towa and the hated foreign devils stand a-tiptoe with curiosity, peeping at the brave show. *#* The chief itern of interest in the district during the week has been the Meirion Eisteddfod, Dol- gelley, on New Year's Day, which notwithstanding the threatening weather was well attended. It is satisfactory to notice that it is not losing ground in the public esteem, but we fear that unless some. thing is done to increase the accommodation, it will not retain its high position and character for Very long. The heavy rain during the noon and evening meetings drove the visitors into shelter' but hundreds were unable to gain admission into the Hall for lack of room. It would not be a very difficult matter to raise sufficient money to build a substantial pavilion, as was pointed out at the banquet the previous evening, which will undoubtedly have to be done, if the Eisteddfod is going to exist for many years more. We have no intention of throwing cold water on the efforts of the energetic committee, as they are quite alive to the necessity of doing something, but they will require support of a practical nature. Whether the inhabitants of Dolgelley are prepared to give -t -non support is a matter for them to decide. If a pavilion were built there is no reason why it would not be possible to hold a National Eisteddfod in the county town, and another meeting might be ar- ranged for in the course of the year. All that is needed is a little speculation on the part of the townspeople. It is regrettable that Towyn is so much behind in this matter, for at very nttie cost, auu much trouble a similar meeting could be held, say, in the season. There are plenty of residents who would, we are sure, give every assistance, and as the town is very centrally situated in a district renowned for its musical character, there would be no lack of competitions. Barmouth holds its festival at Easter, and this meeting again is repeat- edly succcessful. What is wanted is a little enter- prise, and we suggest that some of the younger inhabitants, should take the matter up. There is general tendency to leave such work to the older People, but as a rule they are disinclined to venture and while this feeling exists, nothing will be done. It reflects a geod deal on the place, that a meeting of such a truly national character as the eisteddfod cannot gain a footing, amongst people who at one time prided themselves on being smart and up-to- date. There are plenty of institutions which would make it a success, for instance the Debating Society or one of the literaay societies in connection with the chapels. An excellent suggestion has been thrown out by the MONTGOMERY COUNTY TIMES with reference to the train service during the coming season. It is suggested that a fast train should run through from Welshpool to Aberystwyth without a stop, which would do away with the vexatious delays and re- peated changing which now harasses the visitor from London, Liverpool, Birmingham or Man- chester. As a still further improvement, a fast train might be run immediately after to Towyn Aberdovey, Barmouth and the Coast. As things are a t present it takes nearly as much time for a passenger to get here from Welshpool as from London to Welshpool. It is also suggested that the local authorities should pay the difference if the trains were run at a loss, but we think that this con- tingency would be very remote. As everyone knows, the Railway Company are doing their best in these matters, but the fact that it takes about three hours to get over 60 miles is a very serious drawback and it is almost hopeless for places on the Coast to try and compete with other fashion- able resorts which can be reached in two or three hours from any of the large centres of population. Any improvement in this direction would therefore be very heartily welcomed and the local authorities should be ready at all times to render the Company all the assistance they can. Great interest is being taken in various parts of the country at present in the formation of civilian rifle clubs. The majority of people appear to be under the impression that if a man can be induced to join a club of this nature and attend fairly regularly he will make a good soldier. This is one cf the worst fallacies that could ever be expounded, but it chiefly arises from the fact that the Boers have been very successful against well-trained troops. There is however a vast difference between the average Boer and the average Briton. The former, well accustomed to hardships of all descrip- tion, a good shot and rider, with his 'cuteness and absoiutely certain knowledge of the country, can- not be compared with the British tradesman, shop- keeper, clerk, &c., who form the average popula- lation, and who know as much about riding seoutmg, &c., as the man in the moon. It is to be questioned whether this movement will not affect the recruiting of Volunteers, who in future will have need of every man possible. The series of football mStcnes walcu Imyo „v,. played by Aberystwyth and Portmadoc in connec- tion with the Welsh Cup competition were con- cluded last Saturday, when Portmadoc emerged victorions, after a hard-fought game, by two goals to one. No coast team has done very well in this competition, but we hope that Portmadoc will be successful in the next round, and redeem the char- acter of local football. In the Dolgelley Challenge Cup competition, Towyn easily managed to get through the semi-final by defeating the Volunteer Rovers. The final, which also takes place at Dol- gelley, between Dolgelley and Towyn promises to result in a first-rate game as both teams are very evenly matched.