WILDINGS had already been in business for 32 years when the Transporter Bridge opened in 1906.

Now it’s recreated itself with a stylish new identity as fresh as tomorrow. The re-opening was a joy. Ladies of mature years recalled that they bought their utility school uniforms there ‘in the war.’

Wildings have earned the trust and loyalty of Newportonians who will repay the friendly shop with their custom. Other ingrate firms betrayed us and fled to bleak warehouses on the city’s periphery.

After recent nightmares, the only way forward for city centre retailing is up. The Phoenix will rise from the ashes. The happy optimism of the Wilding’s re-opening celebration will spread in a Newport renaissance.

* Politics is in a rare turmoil.

Part of the collateral damage of the Euro vote was that Newport was denied our own MEP by a smidgeon of votes. Happily, Jayne Bryant is established as a charismatic serious politician. She won the primary election in Welsh Labour with a 66% vote. Her tireless campaigning won her respect throughout the country.

She will have a bright future.

* The value to Newport of the NATO summit must not be exaggerated in the way the Ryder Cup was over-hyped.

But it is a unique world event that will shape Newport’s image. Jessica Morden and I want the influential visitors to witness the best of life here. We plan to ensure that the favourable publicity is not hi-jacked by other cities.

The Newport summit comes as a turbulent point in European history. Decisions taken here could have profound consequences for world peace. Protests are legitimate and necessary. All views should be ventilated. That’s the Newport tradition.

The venue was chosen to show the best of Wales and the UK. The most powerful leaders of the Western world will be our guests. We must greet them with respect and courtesy. Newport earned international goodwill as the splendid venue for the meeting of Europe’s foreign ministers in 2008.

In September we can further enhance our good name worldwide.

* It’s an omen-not to be ignored.

Frear the Chancellor of the Exchequer's cat escaped from Downing Street and padded down to the area of my London flat in Vauxhall. He was captured and returned to George Osborne in a limousine, the only appropriate transport for Conservative fat cats.

Time to worry when the cat leaves the sinking ship.