Showing posts from August 30, 2009

Quote of the day

"I am rather in favour of larger-than-life newspaper bosses, but he was a bit too large" - the late journalist and dramatist Keith Waterhouse on Robert Maxwell.
Well said, sir!
Farewell Waterhouse. What a hero. I still have a treasured copy of his book on newspaper style.

Roadshows for Carmarthenshire

Individuals and community groups are being invited to a round of community regeneration roadshows to find out how they can get their hands on some cash.
The roadshows, which will call in on the Llanelli, Teifi, Gwendraeth, Aman, Taf, Myrddin and Tywi areas of Carmarthenshire, will promote various community regeneration grant support schemes.
Carmarthenshire County Council regeneration officers will be on hand to explain the kind of grants available, and will be able to discuss eligibility requirements.
There are many types of grant available in Carmarthenshire, ranging from culture and arts to leisure and sport.
Carmarthenshire County Council administers many of the funds.
They include the County Collaboration Fund which supports voluntary community groups, registered charities, and town, rural and community councils, on projects to improve community facilities, physical environments, parks and play areas.
Amongst others, there is also a Social Grant for voluntary and charitable social welf…

Carmarthenshire is top for Duke's award

Carmarthenshire Youth Service’s delivery of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has topped the league in the table of Welsh Unitary Authorities.
Over the past year the Carmarthenshire Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has grown from strength to strength with more than five hundred people achieving a qualification, which is a fifty one percent increase on last year; this has come about through more adult volunteers helping to deliver the Awards programme.
More young people described as socially excluded or disaffected have succeeded in the Award which is nearly all due to Youth Service workers delivering the award.
The Award encourages young people to volunteer for community service and this year young people have given 11884 voluntary hours to their communities.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has been recommended as an effective way of measuring the impact of youth work on young people within the National Youth Service Strategy for Wales and the Welsh assembly Government’s 14-19 Learning Pathway recomme…

Quote of the day

"Being 50 is like the dollar and the euro - it doesn't buy you what it did" - Actor Hugh Laurie.
Having hit the big Five Zero I cannot do anything but agree . . .

Rent date for Llanelli Youth Theatre

Llanelli Youth Theatre brings Larson’s Tony Award-winning Rent to Theatr Elli, from September 8-12, as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations.
Rent is an exuberant, East Village rock version of La Bohème, which brings Puccini’s famous opera bang up-to date.
Stirring and life-affirming, Rent captures the heart and spirit of a generation of struggling artists, addicts and impoverished young people living in the shadow of Aids, battling the coming wave of gentrification.
A time capsule of a world where hope crawls out of dark despair, these Bohemians find the salvation of love with each other and prove there can be a better world.
There will be a preview on September 8 and a special anniversary gala performance on September 11.
For more information see Tickets are available from the box office on 0845 2263510 priced £8 to £10 with tickets for the anniversary gala performance £15.

Concert at Ffos Las

The chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council is hosting a charity concert at Ffos Las Racecourse next month.
The concert will take place on Saturday October 3 and is in aid of the chosen charities of chairman Cllr Tyssul Evans, the Chemotherapy Unit at the West Wales General Hospital, Glangwili, and the Ophthalmology Unit serving Glanamman, Llanelli and Glangwili Hospitals.
The artists will be Côr Merched Glannau’r Gwendraeth with conductor Margaret Morgan and accompanist Geraint Rees; soloist Eirlys Myfanwy Davies, and Seindorf Arian Crwbin with conductor Julian Jones. The compère for the evening will be Mansel Thomas.
The evening will start at 7pm. Tickets costing £5 are available from Eira Evans on 01267 224060 or Cllr Tyssul Evans on 01554 810396.

Scooter Derby in the Gwendraeth!

Residents of a Gwendraeth Valley sheltered housing scheme will be staging a scooter derby at the weekend.
Residents of Nantyglo sheltered housing complex in Pontyberem are looking forward to a fun day and to proving they still have plenty of go.
The Nantyglo Derby will take place in Pontyberem Park at 2pm this Sunday.
The Derby Queen for the day will be tenant Eileen Powell who will go on a parade through the village. There will be a table top sale and refreshments after the event.
For Nantyglo sheltered scheme officer Amanda Wheelhouse the Derby is quite literally a dream come true.
Amanda said: “After the Ffos Las Racecourse opened I had a dream of scooters going round like racehorses. I told the tenants about it and we decided to have a scooter derby with fancy dress.
“We have got the village involved and have found sponsorship for those taking part to raise funds. It is going to be great fun.
“We want to show people that if they are elderly or infirm they can still have fun regardless of…

Date for Fred Walters funeral

The funeral of former Llanelli Reds soccer captain Fred Walters will be held at Llanelli Crematorium on Tuesday, September 8, at 11.30am.
Fred played for the Reds during the 60s, 70s and 80s as well as representing Haverfordwest,Pengelli and Gorseinon football clubs.
After finishng his playing days, Fred took up refereeing and officiated in the Carmarthenshire and Welsh Leagues.

Top 100 hates

Can you add to the list here?
This is survey released today.
It's called Lactofree's Annual Intolerance Survey.
Top 100 most annoying things in UK -
1. Chavs
2. People driving close behind you
3. People who smell
4. People who eat with their mouth open
5. Rude shop assistants
6. Foreign call centres
7. Stepping in dog poo
8. People who cough and do not cover their mouths
9. Slow internet connections
10. Poor customer service
11. Dog owners that don't clean up after their dog
12. Noisy Eaters
13. Cold-callers
14. Door-to-door salesman
15. Stubbing your toe
16. Bullying
17. Computer crashing losing work you've spent three hours doing
18. People who talk loudly on their mobile phones
19. Spam email
20. The nation's obsession with Z-list celebrities
21. Leaving a tissue in a pocket and putting it in a washing machine
22. Driving slow in the fast lane
23. Adverts in between programmes
24. Toilets you have to pay for
25. The nation's obsession with the Katie & Peter split saga
26. People rea…

Strange, but true . . .

A musical in Florida about death, drooping, dentures, and other topics of ageing is finding a strong following.
Since opening earlier this summer, Assisted Living: The Musical has been met with waiting lists weeks long and retirement communities across the region calling to book private performances.
The topics include elderly romance, senior driving and Viagra. Among the song titles: Help! I've Fallen For You And I Can't Get Up, Nobody Loves You When You Suffer Gout, I Got The Lost-My-Dentures-On-Steak-Night Blues and Goin' To The Chapel And I'm Gonna Get Buried.
Having recently marked 50 here, I am starting to identify with the fan base for this one!

Quote of the day

"My opinion ranges from maybe to possibly to probably, depending on what I had for breakfast" - Professor John Shepherd, Fellow in Earth System Science at the University of Southampton, enters the argument about whether measures to control climate change could also have an adverse effect on the planet.
If he doesn't know, then there's no hope for me!

Llandrindod shoplifter is banned

Thanks to the collaboration between Dyfed-Powys Police and the business community in Llandrindod Wells a prolific shoplifter has been banned from 20 stores in the town.
The six-month banning-order is the first as part of the Steal and Be Banned initiative (SABB), which was launched last month. The male, who pleaded guilty and convicted last week, was handed the additional order following a SABB committee meeting earlier this week.
PC Paul Dyer has been instrumental in ensuring SABB was introduced, he says: “In partnership we introduced this innovative scheme to combat shoplifting in the town and help to reduce theft-related crime, thus making Llandrindod Wells a safer place for everybody to live.
“This banning-order demonstrates the effectiveness of this collaboration and sends out a clear message to would-be-offenders who want to shoplift in the town. You will be banned!”
SABB in numbers:
20 retail premises have signed-up to SABB
The loss of revenue to retail premises from shoplifting can …

Graduate scheme works for Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire County Council has appointed a new graduate trainee.
Jo-Anne Jones will start work in the Council's Social Care and Housing department shortly.
The 22 year-old from Newgale is the latest recruit to the Council's Graduate Development Scheme, which enlists the services of some of the County's brightest, local, youngsters to help it provide its services.
More than a dozen young people have been taken on since the scheme was launched in 2001.
"I'm absolutely thrilled," said Jo-Anne, who graduated from Bristol University this summer with a 2:1 in Geography.
"I wanted to stay at home in Pembrokeshire near my friends and family and develop a career here. I've been keeping an eye out for graduate opportunities in the County and the Council seemed like a really good employer."
While she works in the Housing Division, Jo-Anne, who attended Ysgol Dewi Sant, will also study for a Diploma in Housing and Professional Practice on a day release course a…

Gwendraeth firms get grants boost

Businesses in the Gwendraeth Valley have won grants worth almost £30,000 thanks to the South West Wales Local Investment Fund (LIF).
Six companies have already been successful in gaining funding from the new scheme, which is aimed at helping small and medium sized companies in south west Wales.
They include Cross Hands companies Shufflebottom Ltd, Govinda’s, Dyfed Menswear, Logic One Automation and Morgan and Morgan Ltd; Ferryside’s Three Rivers Hotel and Spa, and Broadleaf Timber of Llandybie.
The LIF grants have enabled the companies to grow at a time when most are experiencing tough times due to the recession.
John Cavill, joint proprietor of the Three Rivers Hotel and Spa, said: “This grant has enabled us to generate extra business as it went towards the conversion of a cart shed in to tourist accommodation.
“We have a good relationship with our business development officer, and she told us about the scheme and that we may be eligible for a grant, so we applied.”
The South Wales Local I…

Warning over scams in Dyfed-Powys

Dyfed-Powys Police are currently receiving regular reports that members of the public within the force area are being specifically targeted by fraudsters.
The types of frauds currently coming to our attention are collectively known as Advance Fee Frauds.
The term Advance Fee Fraud is well named, because whether it refers to a substantial Lottery win or an inheritance of £1,000s from a long lost relative the catch is always the same, in order to release the funds various processing fees or taxes have to be paid first, in advance.
It is only after victims have sent, often £100s or £1,000s that they eventually realise that there was no lottery win and there was no inheritance; and that it was all a scam.
The lottery scams tend to be based on the Canadian or Spanish Lotteries or more recently the Euromillions Lottery.
Detective Inspector Richard Hopkin of the Financial Crime Team said: "These types of fraud prey on an individual’s hopes of getting something for nothing.
"It is quite s…

Tributes to Mr Chevron in Pembroke

Tributes have been paid to Phil Thompson, who is retiring as Public Affairs Manager of oil giant Chevron at its Pembroke refinery.
Phil has been the public face of the company for many years and is known for organising and sponsoring local events and charities on behalf of Chevron.
He will shortly be travelling to Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE for his charitable work.
Representatives of some of those good causes gathered in County Hall, Haverfordwest, when the Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor Anne Hughes, organised a reception to mark his impending retirement.
She told guests that Chevron (formerly Texaco and previously Regent) had contributed around £950,000 to local charities and that Phil was the driving force behind it for much of his 35 years with the company.
She presented him with two engraved whisky tumblers and also read a tribute from Chris Llewellyn, the Council's music co-ordinator. He praised Chevron's involvement with the county's music s…

Carmarthenshire leads the rubbish stakes

New figures show Carmarthenshire had the greatest overall reduction in the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill in 2008/09.
The county was also well under its target for the amount of biodegradable waste – which includes paper, cardboard, kitchen scraps and garden cuttings – that can be landfilled.
The figures have been released by Environment Agency Wales as part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Landfill Allowances Scheme (LAS) which limits the amount of biodegradable waste councils are allowed to send to landfill.
The purpose of the scheme is to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and to encourage recycling and composting.
During 2008/09 Carmarthenshire sent 29,625 tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste to landfill – which is well under its allowance of 40,398 tonnes and a reduction of 28 per cent compared to the previous year.
Waste bosses at Carmarthenshire County Council have welcomed the figures which show the success of the green bin/blue bag scheme which has b…


Police in Atlanta, Georgia, are hunting a man who escaped after he was arrested for drunk driving.
The truck driver was handcuffed and put in the back of a patrol car before the arresting officer went to search the lorry the culprit was driving, which turned out to be stolen.
When he returned, he discovered not only had the suspect was missing, but that he had driven off in the policeman's car.
Oh dear!

Quote of the day

"Concorde was an aristocrat in a republican era. So it was doomed" - Design expert Stephen Bayley on the supersonic aircraft.
It's so sad the iconic Concorde was allowed to fade away.
Why can't we build something like it again?
It was a design classic and a symbol of 'Great' British engineering (OK, perhaps a little bit of French in there, as well!).

Best bit nicked from someone else's blog tonight

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand, chocolate in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO-HOO, what a ride!"
It could only be the great Ian Skidmore.
See his Skidmore's Island blog -

Bad night for Carmarthen Town AFC

Carmarthen Town's ropey start to the season continued tonight in the Loosemores League Cup. They lost 0-1 at home to Port Talbot. Nicky Holloway scored the goal.

Tough at the top for Mark James

It's tough at the top for Carmarthenshire Council chief executive Mark James today as he rides the latest wave of criticism from the Taxpayers' Alliance.
Tonight's South Wales Evening Post reports -
The Post can reveal Mr James took home between £160,000 and £170,00 in 2008/9.
For the full story see -

Treherbert Band blowing strong at HQ

Treherbert Band stalwart Brian Pritchard doesn’t blow his own trumpet; he plays the cornet!
But he’s more than happy to trumpet the help his band has received from the Welsh Assembly Government.
“I cannot praise the Welsh Assembly Government enough,” Mr Pritchard said as he surveyed the refurbished Band Room in Upper Taff Street.
“The cash they provided has done us proud in improving the Band Room and giving the whole community a facility everyone can use with pride.”
The Rhondda Valley band’s improvement project was made possible thanks to a £37,380 grant from CFAP – the Welsh Assembly Government’s Community Facilities and Activities Programme.
“We have had money from other sources as well, but the Welsh Assembly Government’s grant tipped the balance to make the project work,” said Mr Pritchard.
“The work was long overdue as the Band Room was 30 years old and in a poor state of repair. The building didn’t have a disabled toilet or disabled access.
“The change in the building today has been …

Dennis the donkey in the running again

Dennis, the donkey with a Gavin Henson gelled mane, is bidding to become the first donkey to win the Britain’s Best Beach Donkey competition twice.
Not only is Dennis a huge hit and favourite with children on Llanelli beach within Llanelli Millennium Coastal Park, but he travels the country given rides to children in deprived areas and guests at posh peoples’ parties.
He was recently booked to give rides at Top Gear, Richard Hammond’s son’s private party.
Executive board member of Carmarthenshire County Council who manage the park is Cllr Clive Scourfield, who said: “Dennis is a huge hit on Llanelli beach and has become quite a celebrity nationwide. He is becoming quite an embassadonkey for the county.”
The Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary holds its Britain’s Best Beach Donkey competition every year to recognise and reward high standards of donkey care and welfare.
The society introduced the competition in 2004 to highlight the use of beach donkeys and remind coast visitors of the age-old pleasur…

Cross Hands nightclub licence reviewed

A Cross Hands nightclub has had its licence reviewed and stricter conditions imposed after police found under age drinkers celebrating there before Christmas.
The Gwernllwyn Country Club in Heol Llandeilo had its licence reviewed at a meeting of Carmarthenshire County Council’s licensing committee. The review had been requested by the police but local residents also gave evidence.
Police licensing officer Mike Price said that that a police officer driving past the Gwernllwyn Country Club last December 16 saw youngsters in the car park near the entrance. One of them was a young man so drunk he had to be held up by the others. He was found to be just 16. Other police were called and went into the club.
He said: “The officers witnessed a large number of drunken young people and some appeared to be under the age of 18 years. One of the officers saw a drunken male person vomiting near the bar area. There was also evidence of recent vomiting nearby.”
Police checked some of the people there and …

Pendine to star in promotion

Pendine Sands, the home of World land speed records, is to feature in the promotion of the Vauxhall Insignia VXR in September.
They say in the 1920’s the VXR would have been heralded the fastest car in the world.
That was when on the fine miles-long Pendine Sands Malcolm Campbell and JG Parry-Thomas heroically shifted the World Land Speed Record from 146.1mph to 174.22mph.
More than 80 years Vauxhall return to Pendine Sands – now a Carmarthenshire County Council managed beach and part Ministry of Defence firing rangein what they describe as an eclectic mix – with a car that would have taken the record from Malcolm Campbell in 1924.
Vauxhall drive the VXR along the very stretch where the records were set (with all necessary permissions and clearances), albeit a little more slowly, and reflect on the superhuman efforts that saw Campbell and Bluebird into the record books but Parry-Thomas to an untimely end.
The Vauxhall film crew visited the Pendine Museum of Speed and see Parry-Thomas’s b…

Cross Hands fly-tippers fined

Two people have been fined for fly-tipping at the council’s mini recycling centre at Cross Hands Business Park.
The council’s environmental enforcement officers were on patrol in the area when they saw a man dump three black bags at the site.
The officers approached the man and searched the bags and found building waste in them.
As a result, he was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £75.
Shortly after a woman was seen depositing black bags containing bedding, soiled clothing and shoes near to the clothes recycling banks.
The female was about to leave the area when she was approached by the officers and subsequently issued with a £75 fixed penalty notice
Failure to pay the fines within 14 days could result in prosecution in the magistrates court and a maximum penalty of up to £2,500.
It is hoped these fines will act as a warning to others. Unfortunately, fly-tipping is becoming an increasing problem at bring sites across the county.
Executive board member for the environment Councillor Hayd…

Quote of the day

"Indeed, what is to stop me, if I am diagnosed with a debilitating illness now, from shooting a critic who has panned one of my books, knowing that I'll be able to get away with it?" - Thriller writer Ian Rankin, who believes that the release of the Lockerbie bomber "on compassionate grounds" was tantamount to granting authors a licence to kill critics.
Interesting thought, but I don't think Mr Rankin will be able to get away with it.

New lease of life for St Hilary hall

IT’S a classic ‘chocolate box’ village scene – narrow and leafy village lanes, a 16th century thatched roof pub, a 12th century church and historic stone-built houses at every turn.
A horse-drawn carriage would fit snugly into the scene – and, in fact, visitors to picturesque St Hilary, near Cowbridge, will often find themselves sharing the road with a pony and trap.
The casual visitor will sigh in admiration and wonder what could be missing from such a glorious gem of a village?
Well, up until recently, the missing piece in the jigsaw was a working village hall.
“It was damp, decrepit, veering towards derelict in places and didn’t give anyone the slightest encouragement to use it,” hall trustee David Hawkins admitted.
“Today, though, the story is so very different and we now have a village hall we can be proud to call our own.”
The transformation has been sparked by a grant of £48,267 from CFAP – the Welsh Assembly Government’s Community Facilities and Activities Programme.
“And I am glad t…

Well done, Alison

All my Alison Thorpe bets went pear-shaped at Ffos Las on Friday, but the Carmarthen trainer came good today at Huntingdon with 7-2 winner Orchard King and 12-1 second Come West.
That made up nicely for Ffos Las.
Thanks, Alison!

Quote of the day

"They make me salivate. They create a tingling sensation in parts of my body that other cars and Danish lagers cannot reach, and a growing part of me wants one very badly" - James May, of Top Gear fame, on the Ferrari.
For once in my life, I am tempted to agree with Mr May, see photo below!

Reds on form

Good result for the Reds of Llanelli this afternoon. The Reds beat Gap Connah's Quay 5-0. The goals were scored by Craig Moses (3), Rhys Griffiths and Owain Warlow.

Llanelli Coastal Park casts a net

Llanelli's Millennium Coastal Park is casting out to catch fishermen.
The whole area from Bynea to Pembrey represents a remarkable transformation from the factories of the industrial days to the tranquil wildlife rich haven of parkland.
Carmarthenshire County Council manages the MCP. Executive board member for regeneration and leisure services, Cllr Clive Scourfield, said: “Providing fishing within the lakes and ponds created there will allow more people to get out into the natural environment and learn to respect wildlife right on their doorstep.“
MCP countryside officer Simeon Jones said: “It has been shown that spending time in the natural environment makes us feel better.”
Fishing will be managed in a conservation friendly way where stocks will be self-sustaining in the three ponds. The MCP has six ponds altogether and Sandy Water Lake.
There'll be plenty of space for wildlife and other users of the park. The benefits of fishing and wildlife will be promoted and go hand-in-han…