Showing posts from January 2, 2011

Peniel win the mini match at Richmond

Match report from the latest mini-football match staged at Richmond Park, Carmarthen (at half-time during the Carmarthen 0 Neath 3 Welsh Premier League match).
Report by Phil Grice -
Ysgol Peniel 4 Model School 0
This children's mini-football match at half-time brought smiles back to the long faces watching the main Town v Neath game.
Model started strongly enough with Ryan Pegren breaking through into Peniel's goal-mouth, but Peniel soon took command.
A goal early in the first half saw from Ben Jones saw Peniel go one-nil up.
The second half was all Peniel. An excellent strike from Caleb Williams followed by another from Jack Green took Peniel up to 3-0.
Model organised a mini fightback with Lewis Morgan going close, but when Ben Jones scored his second and made made it 4-0 for Peniel, the match was over.
Model's goal-keeeper Caleb Maddock ensured that Peniel only scored four by pulling off some excellent saves. But Peniel won this match because they were an all-round team with e…

Carmarthenshire apprentice scheme wins praise

A Carmarthenshire apprentice scheme has been recognised as a leader in its field at a national award ceremony.
Despite missing out on the overall award, the Carmarthenshire Shared Apprentice scheme was singled out for praise at the National Training Awards overall winners’ ceremony in London in December.
The Shared Apprenticeship Scheme, which offers opportunities for young people to enter the construction sector in Carmarthenshire, had previously won the NTA’s Wales regional award in September.
The scheme is run by Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association Ltd (CCTAL), CITB-ConstructionSkills Wales, Coleg Sir Gar and Carmarthenshire County Council.
The judges comments read: “The judges concluded that this is an innovative approach to apprenticeships. While the success of the programme is clearly evidenced in the entry, the judges were pleased to see that the CCTAL approach is currently being evaluated as the future model for all apprenticeships in England and Wales.
“The potent…

Council backs pupil's deportation fight

Carmarthenshire County Council has thrown its support behind a school’s bid to fight a deportation order served on one of its pupils.
Carmarthen’s Queen Elizabeth High School is working closely with barristers acting on behalf of student Ahmer Rana, who is due to be deported to Pakistan.
Mr Rana was smuggled in to the UK aged 14 by his parents who feared that he was in danger of being killed by enemies of his father.
He has sinced been cared for by a foster family in Nantycaws, Carmarthen.
The UK Border Agency had told Mr Rana that he must leave the UK following his 18th birthday on Christmas Day. An appeal court judge also agreed that he should leave the UK, saying that Mr Rana had failed to prove that he faces persecution.
Now, barristers acting on his behalf have now lodged an extension in the High Court so that a further appeal can be made for him to stay in the UK.
As part of this legal challenge, the school, and Mr Rana’s barristers, had asked the county council if it would support i…

New organic food campaign launched

The Organic Centre Wales (OCW) will be supporting a high profile three-year campaign to promote organic food in the UK.
The £2m campaign, paid for by organic businesses and match-funding from the EU, invites consumers to discover what organic means to them, by challenging their perceptions and discovering their own reason for loving it.
In Wales, OCW will be ensuring bilingual press coverage of the campaign, and using its messages to support generic promotion work under its Better Organic Business Links (BOBL) project.
Launched in January 2011 under the banner ‘There are lots of reasons to love organic – discover yours’, the campaign consists of press advertising, PR and digital marketing and aims to democratize organic by using everyday people to talk about their reasons for buying and loving organic.
Sue Fowler, Director of OCW, says: “We know that people want to eat natural and great tasting food which matches their perception of organic. This campaign will raise the profile of organi…

Carmarthen lose to Neath

Carmarthen 0 Neath 3 in the Welsh Premier League. But it wasn't as bad as it sounds. Trundle scored two towards the end. Town hit post and had other chances.

Off to Carmarthen

Big match tonight - Carmarthen Town v Neath at Richmond Park in the Welsh Premier League. Tomi Morgan to receive his manager of the month (October) award before the match. Ysgol y Peniel v Model school in the half-time mini-football match. Busy night and three points needed for Town!

Chance to win scholarships at theatre arts school

Cue lights . . . cue action . . . cue a big chance to win a scholarship at a leading Carmarthenshire performing arts school.
Stagecoach Theatre Arts Carmarthen is staging its annual scholarship workshops on Saturday, January 22.
Scholarships, which run for a year at Stagecoach, are available for two age groups – 4 to 6 and 7 to 18-year-olds.
“The scholarships are highly valued and offer a fabulous chance for youngsters who love to sing, dance and act,” said Stagecoach Carmarthen principal Liane Davies.
“It’s a great chance for youngsters to win one year’s free tuition with Stagecoach Theatre Arts Carmarthen.
“The workshops are very friendly, but there are only limited spaces available, so anyone interested in taking part should get in touch very quickly. All you need to book a free place on the workshops is energy and enthusiasm.
“Perhaps you have a child who loves to sing, or loves to dance, or loves to act, or loves to do all three! The workshops offer a great route into taking part in th…

Embroiderers put on show at Botanic

Lunchtimes at the National Botanic Garden of Wales are being illuminated by the work of Swansea Embroiderers.
Members of the Swansea branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild have their work on show now in the Garden’s award-winning Seasons restaurant.
Guild spokeswoman Elizabeth Hughes said: “Our members range from those who have a high level of skill to others who are absolute beginners, but all have an interest in stitch and all forms of textile art and design.”
Elizabeth explained that modern ‘embroidery’ embraces many new techniques, and a huge range of threads and fabrics are now available, as well as more unlikely materials such as wire, wood, paper and glass.
She added: “We hold talks, workshops and day-schools with the aim of teaching new skills and developing fresh ideas. And new members, of any level, are welcome.”
The exhibition will be in Seasons restaurant until the end of February.

New 'get tough' policy on stray horses

Robust policies are being put in place to dispose of stray horses in Carmarthenshire.
A stakeholders meeting of those having concerns of stray horses across the county was called in Llanelli to find a solution to the problem which escalated, especially in the Llanelli coast area, over the Christmas holiday period.
Police who were present at the meeting agreed to support Carmarthenshire County Council and prosecute those found responsible for straying horses and damages caused by them for recent past incidents and any in the future.
Stakeholders present at the meeting included public and private sector landowners and the RSPCA.
Those who had incurred costs with damaged or fouled ground were asked to draw up costs of restitution so they could be presented to those who might be prosecuted.
Several roads in Llanelli have been closed for up to a week between Christmas the New Year because of the dangers of up to 100 horses straying between Bynea and Kidwelly.
Many of the horses have been rounde…

'Aber' team helps 2012 Cultural Olympiad

A creative team from Aberystwyth University is to make a major contribution to the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad
Following the critical success of National Theatre Wales’ award-winning production of The Persians on the military training ranges of mid-Wales last summer, the creators of the work, Professor Mike Pearson, Simon Banham and Mike Brookes of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, have been invited to make a new production for the company as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2012 World Shakespeare Festival, which will celebrate how the world performs, teaches and engages with Shakespeare.
The Festival will form part of the London 2012 Festival which is at the heart of cultural celebrations surrounding the London Olympic Games, and will showcase the best of UK and international creative talent in world-class productions across the UK.
Colriolan/us will see the Aberystwyth team that created The Persians reunited in a re-imagined version of the tale of the …

Heard the one about the Irishman?

Have you heard the one about the Irish singer/songwriter and the software designer who walked into a pub with a great idea?
Pub and restaurant owners in Wales are starting to hear the story - and they are quickly appreciating that it’s no joke.
“Business Cook is a recipe for business success,” Ammanford-based entrepreneur Patrick Lawlor said.
“The food led businesses we are now talking to quickly realise we don’t have many jokes to tell them, but we do have a money-making marketing system which should leave them laughing all the way to the bank.”
Mr Lawlor, already a widely respected musician, has teamed up with business partner and software designer Richard Chubb to develop new hi-tech tools which can boost profits for hotel, restaurants, takeaways and pub grub venues.
“Essentially, we have developed tools which make it easy to increase customers and therefore profit,” said Mr Lawlor.
“In these difficult economic times, food outlets need to use every available tool to keep the businesses g…

Aberystwyth leads climate change battle

Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences is heading a £3.9 million project to improve our understanding of the amounts of damaging methane that are emitted by agriculture and the value of the industry’s attempts to control it.
Working with teams from six other institutions across the UK, IBERS’ scientists will be assessing the amount of methane being released into the atmosphere by agricultural livestock and generating data that allow more accurate estimates of emissions throughout the UK.
“The fact that IBERS has been chosen to lead this work is recognition of the Institute’s international reputation,” said IBERS Director, Professor Wayne Powell.
“Our world-class scientists have been working for many years on various projects to reduce methane emissions and, as well as working at the cutting edge of the new genomic technologies, we have more than 90 years’ experience of plant and animal breeding.”
The work on methane is part of a broader £12.6…

Aberystwyth scientists head to the Antarctic

Scientists from the Universities of Aberystwyth and Leeds are teaming up and heading off on an Antarctic polar expedition this month to learn more about the climate history of the region.
Led by Professor Neil Glasser from the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University, the team will be heading to part of the coldest, windiest, highest and driest continent on Earth to hunt for clues that will tell us more about how the glaciers and ice sheets of the north-eastern Antarctic Peninsula behaved in past climates and what we can expect in the future.
The Antarctic Peninsula has suffered above average warming over the past half-century, with around a 2.5°C temperature increase since 1950. This warming is causing glaciers and ice shelves to melt, releasing large volumes of fresh water into the oceans which not only raises sea level, but also influences deep sea circulation and regional climate.
However, scientists do not fully understand the relationship between air and …

Boost for town centre businesses in Ammanford

Grant aid is now available to businesses in Ammanford Town Centre to improve their shop fronts.
Businesses are invited to apply for a Town Improvement Grant (TIG) to improve their premises.
It is envisaged that the improvements will enhance the visual appearance of the buildings, increase local confidence and encourage private sector investment in the town.
The Town Improvement Grant (TIG) will assist and encourage the private sector to undertake environmental improvements to their commercial properties.
Funding up to 75% of eligible costs will be available per property up to a maximum of £25,000.
Eligible organisations that can apply for a grant include small, medium and micro enterprises (SME’s) and Community Enterprises.
Cllr Hugh Evans, who represents Ammanford, said: “I am delighted that the council plans to introduce a Town Improvement Grant scheme and hope that as many local businesses as possible will take advantage of the opportunity to improve their shopfronts.”
Executive board mem…

20,000 visits chalked up!

Many thanks, folks. Thanks to you, dear readers and visitors, this blog is continuing to pick up more hits.
It's now hit the 20,000 page views mark.
That's a 1,000 views since December 12.
Keep the hits coming, folks! Much appreciated.
Many thanks.
See earlier blog -
Meanwhile, the blog has chalked up its first visitor from El Salvador.
The full country by country list (figures from January 6, 2010) is as follows -
United Kingdom (GB) 5,525; United States (US) 621; India (IN) 56; Canada (CA) 43; Germany (DE) 43; Australia (AU) 42; Europe (EU) 35; Belgium (BE) 30; Qatar (QA) 29; France (FR) 28; Japan (JP) 27; Ireland (IE) 27; Italy (IT) 23; Malaysia (MY) 16; Netherlands (NL) 14; New Zealand (NZ) 13; Russian Federation (RU) 12; Spain (ES) 12; United Arab Emirates (AE) 11; Taiwan (TW) 11; Philippines (PH) 10; Pakistan (PK) 9; Singapore (SG) 9; Sweden (SE) 8; Denmark (DK) 8; Austria (AT) 7; South Africa (ZA) 7; Brazil (BR)…

Zig-zag day across South Wales

Off to Carmarthen, then Bridgend, then Cardiff, then back to Llandeilo. A zig-zag meetings day in South Wales!

Happy birthday, Mum!

Happy birthday to my mum - 83 today. She's wanted to be 'on the internet' for a while . . .

January is free at the 'Botanic'!

The National Botanic Garden of Wales celebrated the start of its 10th anniversary year with FREE admission throughout January. It proved so popular, that they’ve decided to do it again in 2011!
A series of events has been arranged throughout the month to help encourage more people to visit the Garden – which The Times newspaper has branded the “Number 1 Winter Wonderland in the UK”.
Through the month, the highlights include: a ‘Local Producer’ Food Fair; Wood Craft Festival; and Wine Weekend – all taking place in the stunning surrounds of Lord Foster’s Great Glasshouse.
Toy-makers, wood-turners and lovespoon-carvers will be taking over the Glasshouse on the penultimate weekend (Sat & Sun, Jan 22-23); there will be a festival of local food and drink on the last weekend of January (Sat & Sun, Jan 29-30); and a wonderful Wine Weekend on January 15-16.
Head of Marketing and Communications David Hardy said: “Our 2010 ‘FREE January’ was such a big hit with visitors and really helped us …

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column

The latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column from the Carmarthen Journal newspaper -
Richmond Park will host another mini-football match at half-time in the Carmarthen v Neath Welsh Premier League match on Friday night.
“We have already seen two games in this series of mini-football matches – and they have been hugely popular with spectators at Richmond Park,” said Carmarthen Town AFC schools liaison officer Phil Grice.
“There is a great buzz at Richmond Park during floodlit matches and there is sure to be great interest in Friday’s game as it could see former Swansea City hero Lee Trundle playing for Neath.
“Old ‘Magic Daps’ is quite a favourite with the youngsters and I am sure the teams taking part in Friday night’s half-time match are looking forward to the experience.”
The match is part of the Carmarthen Town AFC Community Programme, which is sponsored by EMC Electrical services and Neil Alexander.
Mr Grice added: “The community programme is an excellent veh…

BBC's Hugh Pym drops in on Cricketers

The BBC’s economics editor, Hugh Pym, picked a Cardiff pub to illustrate his story about the rise in VAT last night.
Pym called in at The Cricketers in Cathedral Road, Cardiff, to discuss the impact of a VAT rise which has seen the average price of a pint rise by 6p nationwide.
He interviewed Simon Buckley, chief executive of the West Wales Evan-Evans brewery and owner of The Cricketers and six other pubs and hotels in Wales.
Mr Buckley said: “There will come a moment very shortly when the consumer will say we cannot afford to go to the pub. And when you combine VAT with the fuel cost and the cost of getting to rural pubs, I wonder whether the regional pub – the regional rural pub - has a future.”
The interview was screened on the BBC’s Six and Ten o Clock news programmes.
You can see the interview again on the BBC’s iPlayer -
(About three minutes in . . .)
Picture attached of Hugh Pym interviewing Simon Buckley.
More p…

Simon Buckley interview on iPlayer

Brewer Simon Buckley, left, talks to Hugh Pym about VAT on the BBC Six and 10pm News. See BBC iPlayer about 3 mins in -
Pics of Hugh Pym's visit to The Cricketers in Cathedral Road, Cardiff -

In the news today . . .

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column is in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Nice pic of Dyfrig Dalziel, shorts sponsor for Carmarthen Town AFC, in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Carmarthen Photographic Club meeting at The Clubhouse, Richmond Park, 7.30pm tomorrow, Thursday.

Simon Buckley on 10pm news tonight

Fingers crossed, there should be an interview between Llandeilo brewer Simon Buckley and BBC economics editor Hugh Pym on the 10pm BBC news tonight.

Telecare saves lives in Burry Port

The lives of a Burry Port couple have been saved - twice - thanks to the council’s Telecare service.
William and Nellie Lamb, who now live at the town’s Tan-y-Bryn sheltered housing scheme, are grateful to be alive to tell the tale of how a carbon monoxide alarm, fitted as part of a Telecare package, saved them from being poisoned on two separate occasions.
“We’re very lucky to be alive,” said Mr Lamb, aged 90. “The service is marvellous, and we want to thank everyone, from our social worker to the man who came to fit it.”
Mr and Mrs Lamb’s daughter, Elizabeth Clarke, came to know about the Telecare service after contacting Carmarthenshire County Council for advice on various care options for her parents, who were then living in a chalet at Burry Port’s Shoreline Caravan Park.
One of the services offered was Telecare, where discreet alarm sensors are fitted around the home, which are linked to a 24-hour response team.
A package was installed in summer 2010, and in October the alarms were t…

Recycle your Christmas cards!

Residents in Carmarthenshire are being reminded to recycle their Christmas cards to help plant more trees.
You can recycle your cards this January in special bins in TK Maxx and M&S and the stores will donate money to the Woodland Trust which we will be used for planting trees through its ‘More Trees, More Good’ campaign.
The campaign is also being supported by the Carmarthenshire Centre for Crafts in St Clears so you can take your cards there for recycling too.
The Woodland Trust has been recycling Christmas cards for 14 years but this is the last time they are running the campaign.
If this year’s goal of planting 12,000 trees is reached it will take the total number of trees planted past 200,000 – and one step closer to achieving the ‘More Trees, More Good’ target of doubling the number of native trees across the UK.
Carmarthenshire County Council is backing the campaign and urging residents to do their bit.
Executive board member for the environment Councillor Philip Hughes said: “By…

Can you help with old hand tools?

Do you have any old hand tools lying around the house that could be used to help others?
The Llanelli and Carmarthen Group of Tools for Self Reliance collect and repair unwanted tools and sewing machines which are then sent on to Africa or used for local projects.
The group, which has a refurbishing workshop and collection facility in Bancffosfelen, is part of the nationwide charity.
Group leader Colin Hill said: “Our workshop provides a purposeful and practical volunteering experience for volunteers as well as helping to reuse and recycle tools which are lying unused in the community and which often end up thrown or rusting away.”
If you have anything you can donate contact Colin on 01269 871133. For further information visit

Llanelli woman fined for cigarette butt

A Llanelli woman has been fined £110 and ordered to pay court costs of £100 after dropping a cigarette end.
Donna Armstrong, aged 27, of Brynhyfryd, Llangennech, pleaded guilty by post to an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Ammanford Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that on Saturday, August 14 the council’s environmental enforcement officers were on duty in the McDonalds overflow car park in Carmarthen when they saw a woman throw a cigarette end onto the ground.
The officers approached the woman and explained what they had seen and that it was an offence to throw litter. She was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £75, however she failed to pay it and as a result was prosecuted through the magistrates court.
It is now hoped this case will act as a warning to others that those caught breaking the law will be prosecuted.
Research shows that discarded cigarette ends make up the largest proportion of litter…

Lunch at The Cricketers in Cardiff

Off to lunch and a pow-wow at The Cricketers in Cathedral Road, Cardiff.

Stone grit recycled in Carmarthenshire

Stone grit is being recycled by Carmarthenshire County Council to be reused in towns and villages across the county.
Approximately 300 tonnes of stone grit has been recycled from last year.
Chief Executive Mark James said: “With demand so high this good recycling practice has helped us top up supplies enabling our hard working teams to keep our town centres open for business in these extremes of weather.”
The chippings were collected from the town centres and re-mixed with some white salt and stockpiled for re-use.
It is being used to treat roads and footways in towns and villages as well as in the pedestrianised areas in town centres.
The move helps the council’s salt stocks go further.
Executive board member for the environment Councillor Philip Hughes said: “This is extremely good practice, not only will it help to keep our towns and villages safe for pedestrians during the icy weather, but it will continue to provide a valuable resource for future use.”
Carmarthenshire has 3,531km of roa…

New luncheon clubs are a hit!

Carmarthenshire's new independent luncheon clubs brought plenty of Christmas spirit to the county’s older residents.
The luncheon clubs, which are now being run by voluntary, community and independent providers, have held their first Christmas parties with traditional turkey roasts and entertainment.
All luncheon clubs, with the exception of those held as part of the county council’s day centre service, are now in the capable hands of the independent sector following a successful transition from local authority control.
Now that they are run independently, it means that older people no longer have to pass eligibility criteria to join.
The clubs are also able to tailor its services to meet local need, and can open for longer – whereas the council had to work around a transport timetable.
Handing over control has also allowed the authority to plough cost-savings back in to frontline services, and direct resources elsewhere – for example, transport resources that were previously used for …

Castles and Princes project wins funding

Carmarthenshire County Council has been awarded a £900,000 contract by CADW to deliver elements of its heritage project, Castles and Princes, over the South West Wales region.
Funding has been made available from the EU Convergence Programme and the Welsh Assembly Government.
The aim of the project is to combine and depict the two intertwined histories of the Princes of Deheubarth and Lords of the Southern March into one unique timeline.
Three ‘must see’ Gateway Sites will be established across the South West, one being in Dinefwr Park.
These will provide the location for visitors to learn and experience this time in Welsh history when two vast dynasties ruled this part of Wales.
Both the Princes and Deheubarth and the Lords of the Southern March built castles from Pembrokeshire right over to the English borders. These castles were the fortresses of their kingdoms and each castle has its story to tell as part of the history’s timeline.
A unique partnership has been created to assist Carmar…

Caffi Cynnes reopens in Pontyberem

Pontyberem’s community café ‘Caffi Cynnes’ has reopened following a make-over.
The café, based next to the Menter Cwm Gwendraeth offices on Coalbrook Road, has been brought up to date with newly decorated walls and kitchen and serving areas.
The menu has also had a revamp, and offers everything from baguettes, sandwiches and toasties to healthy salads and the more traditional cooked breakfast.
The café is run by local Welsh-speaking staff, who provide freshly cooked food, made on the premises.
It has become a regular meeting point for locals who like to meet up and socialise over a coffee and bite to eat.
“It’s lovely to see the community spirit in the café,” said Meinir Griffiths of Menter Cwm Gwendraeth.
“The café is local through and through – from the ladies who run it, to the food they cook, and the people that come to eat with us.”
The café is run as a subsidiary of Menter Cwm Gwendraeth – a Welsh language organisation which encourages community development, sustainability and regenera…

Investors award for Menter Cwm Gwendraeth

Menter Cwm Gwendraeth has become the first Menter Iaith in Wales to win an Investors in People Award.
The good news comes just a month before the Gwendraeth Valley-based Welsh language venture celebrates its 20th birthday.
The Welsh Assembly Government’s Investors in People (IiP) standard is designed to help businesses improve their performance and results by making the most of their staff.
It aims to improve staff management and development, and maximise employees' potential, enabling them to develop new skills.
Menter Cwm Gwendraeth Director Deris Williams said that working with Investors in People was proving to be a real catalyst for positive change in the way the company works.
She said: “We are developing a reputation as a ‘people company’ and every member of staff is given the opportunity to shape our future”.
“We are the first Menter Iaith in Wales to be awarded Investors in People and I’m particularly pleased that it has come as we prepare to celebrate our 20th birthday.”
Press …

Carmarthen 1 Llanelli 3

Carmarthen 1 Llanelli 3 - match report for those who want to start the day with grim reading! See -

Trainer Thorpe off to Hereford

Carmarthen racehorse trainer has Diktalina running in the 3pm at Hereford today.

Happy birthday, Kathryn!

Happy birthday to darling daughter Kathryn today!

Getting back to normal!

Glad the world is starting to return to normal today - although many have taken the extra Bank Hol!