Showing posts from August 9, 2009

Anyone for croquet at Llanfairfechan?

The frequently-heard cry on the West Shore at Llanfairfechan, North Wales, is, ‘Anyone for croquet?’
And it’s an invitation being delivered with some extra volume now that the Llanfairfechan and North Wales Croquet Club has officially opened its new clubhouse.
“We want to make sure as many people as possible know that there is an opportunity to take part in croquet in North Wales,” club chairman Jack Pattenden said during a grand opening attended by civic dignitaries and officials from the sport’s UK governing body.
The new clubhouse in Llanfairfechan has sprung up next to the manicured lawns at West Shore thanks to a grant of £93,187 from CFAP – the Welsh Assembly Government’s Community Facilities and Activities Programme.
Mr Pattenden said: “Our members played their part in fund-raising and we raised cash through other sources, but the bulk of the sum came from the Welsh Assembly Government.
“And we are very proud of the fact that they have recognised what is, after all, a fledgling and …

Cardiff date for Carmarthenshire mascots

Carmarthenshire County Council’s healthy eating and environment mascots Dylan and Eco Eli are due to perform at a local government seminar.
The pair will help to show how the authority delivers excellence in front line services, as part of the Association for Public Service Excellence’s annual seminar at Cardiff City Hall in September.
The conference, which will be hosted by Olympian Colin Jackson, will explore how local government can move forward, ‘from recession to progression’.
Carmarthenshire County Council will contribute to the seminar by showcasing the authority’s successful Healthy Eating Roadshows, which have been widely praised as an innovative way of promoting healthy lifestyles to children in primary schools.
Elin Cullen, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Head of Business and Specialist Services, said: “It will be great to show other authority’s the innovative ways that we take key healthy eating messages to school children across the county.
“The roadshows have proved hugely …

Carmarthen teenager's Wii delight

Eating healthy school meals has certainly paid off for one Carmarthen teenager, who has picked up a Nintendo Wii for his efforts.
Queen Elizabeth High year eight pupil Matthew Swan clocked up the most points for the healthy food he had bought in the school canteen during the last six months of the 2008-09 term.
The competition was organised by Carmarthenshire County Council as part of its efforts to promote healthy eating.
It was sponsored by two of the authority’s suppliers, Brakes and Welsh Bros.
QE High was chosen for the competition as it operates a cashless system which issues positive points each time a healthy food option is purchased, and negative points when less healthy food is bought.
Marketing officer Helen Bailey said: “At the end of every month I would collect the names of the top ten healthiest eating pupils, and we placed posters around the school letting pupils know who was in the running. “It was interesting to see the names change from month to month.”
Even school assista…

Carmarthenshire £1.2m grant fund launched

Rural businesses in Carmarthenshire could benefit from a new £1.2million grant fund being launched by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The Rural Conversion Grant will enable eligible new or existing businesses to convert redundant buildings for business use.
This project has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and is supported by Carmarthenshire County Council.
Applicants demonstrating a need for support can apply for up to 50 per cent of the eligible project cost. Applications that will be considered must provide tangible benefits to the local economy in terms of quantity and quality of direct jobs created or safeguarded as a result of the grant.
Physical Regeneration Project Officer Mike Bull said: “The scheme is now welcoming applications and our team will be able to provide full support during the application process to guide people through in th…

Towy conservation project launched

Green-fingered Towy Valley locals are being given the chance to learn about managing habitats, hedgerows and woodlands under a unique partnership scheme.
Tywi Afon Yr Oesoedd, a Carmarthenshire County Coucil-led project which is aimed at conserving the landscape, environment and the heritage of the Towy Valley, has teamed up with Coed Cyrmu to run a free woodland management training course.
The course will provide local people with a chance to learn about thinning, coppicing, tree planting and woodland diversity.
The event is being held on Thursday, September 24, near Broad Oak.
The day will include two farm visits to look at a range of broadleaved woodlands.
The Tywi Afon Yr Oesoedd team has also joined up with Coleg Sir Gar to run a number of reduced cost training courses at the Gelli Aur campus during autumn 2009 and summer 2010.
Courses include hedgelaying; hedgerow planting and management; strained wire fencing; watercourse management; grassland management and pond management.
Anna Hobb…

Award for Llandeilo brewer

Award-winning West Wales brewer Evan-Evans has won a top prize for one of its cask ales at the world-renowned Great British Beer Festival in London.
The Llandeilo-based company was awarded a third prize for its flagship brand Cwrw in the Best Bitter category.
Simon Buckley, Chief Executive of Evan-Evans, said: “We are extremely proud to be voted one of the top brewers in the United Kingdom at this prestigious beer festival.
“To be voted one of the top three brewers of Best Bitter in the UK, out of a total of 670 brewers, is a great achievement for the brewing team in Llandeilo.
“This is the category which is most important in the industry as it represents what our everyday customer drinks.
“No other brewer in Wales won a prize, and we now feel confident that we are certainly one of the best, if not The Best cask ale brewery in the Principality.
“We offer more choice of beer than any other brewer, brands that are well brewed and with the heritage of being brewed by Wales’s oldest brewing fam…

Carmarthen building restored to glory

Another Carmarthen town centre building has been restored to its former glory.
No.54 King Street, a prominent four-storey building has been brought back to splendour under the Town Scheme Partnership between Carmarthenshire County Council and historic monuments body Cadw.
The partnership, which has enjoyed much success since its formation in 2003, targets run-down buildings in the town’s conservation area to enhance their appearance and bring them back in to proper use.
Extensive repairs have been carried out at No 54 under the scheme, including the reinstatement of its ground floor window, and the ‘reduced shaft with corbel and capital’ beneath the prominent bay window.
Work also included repairs to the roof, hacking off of unsightly fish-scale render which was applied in the early 70s, and the re-rendering of walls in a lime mortar.
The colour scheme was specially chosen by the owner to blend in with the surrounding Conservation Area.
The cost of repairs was in the region of £100,000, w…

500 chalked up . . .

It's been a slow start to this blog, but it has now hit a mini-milestone with 500 page views so far. Next stop, four figures.
Message to visitors - tell your pals.

Green Flag for Gelli Aur

Gelli Aur Country Park is flying the Green Flag for its high standards and stunning views.
The Green Flag Awards, organized by Keep Britain Tidy, GreenSpace and BTCV, recognise and reward the best parks in the country.
The council-managed Gelli Aur Country Park impressed judges with its well managed green space, signage and amenities.
The award was presented to grounds maintenance manager Paul Murray and assistant manager Gerwyn Thomas who work for the council’s Street Scene division and park senior ranger Mike Smith by TV presenter Michaela Strachan at a special ceremony at the Pavilion Theatre in Bournemouth.
Now the flag is flying at Gelli Aur’s visitor centre for all to see.
Council chairman Councillor Tyssul Evans who attended the special flag-raising ceremony said: “Gelli Aur is set in 60 acres of wooded parkland surrounding a magnificent country mansion house with commanding views across the beautiful Tywi Valley.
“There is lots to see and do including fabulous nature trails, a deer …

Ffos Las ready for grand opening day

Ffos Las Racecourse near Carway, Llanelli, has staged two horse racing fixtures to rave reviews, and now it is gearing up for its 'official' grand opening.
The ceremony will be conducted by television's former 'Voice of Racing' Sir Peter O'Sullevan - and Wales's own Cerys Matthews will be in concert on Friday 28 August.
Cerys is looking forward to visiting the first turf racecourse to open in Britain for more than 70 years.
"I am delighted and excited to have been asked to sing at the new Ffos Las Racecourse on 28 August," she said. "It is close to where I grew up and will definitely bring new interest and business to this part of Wales. I think it's going to be a lovely day for everyone."
While the inaugural racing fixture in June was a sell-out, the Carmarthenshire racecourse stressed that tickets still remain available for the big day later this month. Advance booking is advised to avoid possible disappointment.
The afternoon includes …

Llanelli firm gets top award

One of Llanelli’s most dynamic businesses has received a prestigious international quality award.
The PAI group of companies, based at Heol Rhosyn, Dafen Park, Llanelli, has just received a landmark ISO certificate.
The quality management award recognises the PAI group’s achievements in audio-visual, lighting, sound and sign work in the leisure, retail, education, heritage and sports industries.
“It is a very noteable achievement for our group of companies,” said PAI group director Paul Adams.
“It is a reflection of the importance we put into quality management in a huge range of different projects.
“We are very proud to receive the ISO 9001:2008 certificate and it is a testament to the hard work of every member of staff in the PAI group.”
The PAI group has more than four decades of experience in helping businesses with audio-visual, lighting, sound and dynamic signage.
PAI group technical director Andy Bonehill said: “Our philosophy is founded on providing value for money, while not comprom…

Mark James - Blogger of the Year

Carmarthenshire Council chief executive Mark James wins the inaugural Lloyd Award for Blogger of the Year.
Tune in to his blog on the thisiscarmarthenshire site and you will see why.
There is always the risk of the pot calling the kettle black and I hold my hands up and admit that sometimes as a much as a week goes by without updating this blog.
But I am way off the pace when compared to Mr James.
The Mark James blog works at level few can challenge - just one entry, back on March 12.
And that was about something that happened back in January.
I suppose he can plead pressure of work, lack of time etc. But he could always delegate the updating to someone.
The only entry is worth repeating in all its glory -

I VERY much enjoyed the Parc y Scarlets official opening recently, which was a huge success enjoyed by the largest home crowd the Scarlets have ever had.
The stadium at Pemberton was awash with red shirts and the sounds of "Sospan Fach" and "Yma o Hyd" as the home team t…

Get well soon, Jon

Spare a thought for Ysgol Tre-Gib schoolboy Jon Llewelyn who is recovering in Glangwili Hospital after being seriously hurt in a road accident just over a week after winning the British Schools javelin crown in Northern Ireland. He missed out on the Celtic Games in Carmarthen at the weekend. Get well soon, Jon.
See South Wales Guardian opinion story -

How to save newspapers - by Charlie Brooker

The weird and wonderful Charlie Brooker is on form again in The Guardian today.
He has a solution to the problem of how to make money from publishing news on the internet . . .
On your desktop: a cartoon purse filled with fat gold coins. Pull out a penny. It shimmers on the screen. Drag it toward a "coin slot" situated right there on the web page you want to view, and drop it in. It disappears with a satisfying ker-chunk. And you're in. If you're feeling cavalier, you can throw your coin toward the slot; with practice it won't bounce off the rim.
One page costs one penny: not too off-putting for anyone – and crucially, the teeny spoonful of fun and satisfaction you derived from playing with that virtual coin each time is worth the penny anyway.
Wonder if Rupert Murdoch will give it a go?
For the full Brooker see -