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Showing posts from August 21, 2011

Joseph Atkin's Aberglasney column

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Aberglasney’s Head Gardener Joseph Atkin continues his weekly column in the South Wales Evening Post -
With September looming, the garden usually looks dry and a little tired but not this year.
The monsoon summer, which is not as much of a shock as it used to be, provides different types of challenges to other years.
This year, in our area anyway, the foliage is still green and the moisture lovers are more than happy.
This is not the same for the rest of the country many of the gardeners over the border are complaining of no rain. So these different conditions give different gardeners and plants advantages and disadvantages.
An important part of gardening is studying your plants to see how they have done in the conditions that you have.
I have spent a lot of time studying the new woodland garden we have created to see how different plants cope with the conditions.
This is really interesting as the soil in this area is really damp in fact the site has stayed wet all season. It has thr…

Carmarthen Town match report from last night

Carmarthen Town 2 Port Talbot 0
Welsh Premier League Friday 26th August 2011 – 7.30pm
This was always going to be a stern test of Carmarthen Town’s Welsh Premier League credentials, with Town making the worst possible start to the season and Port Talbot arriving with an unbeaten record.
The good news is that Town came through the examination with flying colours, with a well-organised and robust defence balanced by some quick-fire and determined counter-attacking.
Nicky Palmer's 19th minute strike gave Tomi Morgan’s men the best possible start.
The move started with a positive break from the back.
Teenage winger Steffan Williams made a break down the right flank and pulled the ball back neatly into the path of Palmer, who drilled the ball home to record Town's first goal of the current campaign.
Town’s second goal was even better, coming in the closing minutes of the match.
Captain Tim Hicks held the ball up just outside the right-hand side of the penalty area. A quick swivel a…

Great win for Carmarthen Town

Great win for Carmarthen Town last night - 2-0 at home to Port Talbot. Nicky Palmer and Cledan Davies scored. First points of the Welsh Premier League season!

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column from the Journal

The latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column from the Carmarthen Journal (sorry, little late posting this week!) -
An appeal has gone out for football fans to rally behind Carmarthen Town AFC as they stage their first Friday night home match of the Welsh Premier League campaign.
Town entertain Port Talbot at Richmond Park, kick-off 7.30pm.
“It is sure to be a searching test for Town as we bid to improve on a difficult start to the season,” said club vice-chairman Robert Lloyd.
“There is a real buzz about football in the area with the elevation of Swansea City to the Premier League.
“Fortunately, this is one of our home fixtures which doesn’t clash with a Swans match at The Liberty Stadium in Swansea, so it is a great opportunity for Swans supporters to rally behind their ‘local’ team.
“Maintaining a Welsh Premier League side to represent Carmarthen and West Wales in the top flight of Welsh football is a full-time job and I’d also appeal to football fans to c…

Off to Carmarthen

Off to Carmarthen for the Welsh Premier League match between Carmarthen Town and Port Talbot, kick-off 7.30pm at Richmond Park.

Key farming conference for Aberystwyth

Some of the world’s most important scientists in the field of livestock will be converging on Aberystwyth in September for one of the most important farming conferences of the year.
The international symposium will provide them and representatives from the food and farming industries with an opportunity to discuss the future of the farm animal sector in the face of the major challenges facing the planet.
According to the organisers, the proceedings could affect the sector’s prospects and the livelihood of millions of farmers for many years to come.
The conference, between 6 and 9 September, will focus on herbivore animals – from cattle in Wales to snails in Nigeria, sheep in Mongolia and rabbits in Spain.
The conference will also be an opportunity to show an international audience some of the pioneering research work taking place at IBERS – the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University – and in farms in mid Wales.
IBERS is organising the conf…

How strange . . .

Two misdirected letters arrived at Lloyd HQ this morning.
Can only assume my business card must be lurking on a couple of desks out there.
One to the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Dr Christianne Glossop and the other to the chairman of Carmarthenshire Council Councillor Ivor Jackson.
I am happy to make it clear that neither resides at 84 New Road, Llanelli!

Classic in the Llanelli Star this week

There's a classic in the Llanelli Star this week.
Obviously, one of the reporters didn't quite understand the description of Llanelli Vicar the Reverend 'Canon' Sian Jones.
In the story, it managed to transform itself into Ken and Sian Jones!
http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Director-proud-new-baby-garden/story-13191381-detail/story.html

GCSE joy in Carmarthenshire

Pupils in Carmarthenshire are celebrating excellent results in the GCSEs.
As in the WJEC “A” and ‘’AS’’ level results, the percentages for grades A*-C, and overall passes, have surpassed the Welsh averages, and in doing so, have largely maintained the considerable achievements of previous years.
Whilst paying tribute to their efforts and success, Carmarthenshire County Council also wishes to acknowledge the dedication and support given to them by their schools, teaching, support staff and, naturally, the parents for whom today will be a proud day.
• In Carmarthenshire 19.5% of pupils were awarded the highest two grades (A* and A), compared to the all Wales average of 19.5%.
• 67.8% achieved grades A* - C, compared to the Welsh average of 66.5%.
• Grades A* - G were achieved by 99% of Carmarthenshire pupils compared with the Welsh average of 98.7%.
• Particularly pleasing were the continued good standards in the following core subjects:-
List shows, in order, Subject Grades A*…

Putting my editor's hat on again!

Head down this morning - editing the copy for tonight's recording of the Llanelli Talking Newspaper for the Blind.

Baron Rowlands addresses Llanelli Rotary Club

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Baron Rowlands (Ted Rowlands) of Merthyr Tydfil and of Rhymney was the guest speaker at the meeting of Llanelli Rotary Club held at the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli. He is pictured with Llanelli Rotary Club president Graham Williams.
Lord Rowlands gave an eloquent address outlining his lengthy career in politics, first as an MP and now as a member of the House of Lords.
Lord Rowlands, who lives in Kidwelly, was formally thanked for his talk by Carl Lucas, past president of Llanelli Rotary Club.

Alan Evans has the rest of us 'green' with envy

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St Clears photographer Alan Evans has launched a magical new facility at his studio.
He now has 'green screen' to create special photographic effects.
Alan reckons his facility is unique in Wales as green screens are rarely found outside of television and movie studios.
He says -
"You can now own those lovely cars you always wanted.
"Have a picture taken with Kate Winslett, Jennifer Lopez or Larry Grayson, whoever you choose.
"It's great fun for all the family and a magical idea for that special Christmas gift.
"The possibilities for the facility are endless.
"We are happy to work with people on their ideas and create something special.
"It is ideal as a chance for children to dress up as a superhero and be placed in a Hollywood film set.
"It is a unique facility in Wales, with only the BBC using green screen technology for programmes like Dr Who.
"There's a warm invitation to one and all to come and see how it all works!"

Fly-tipping campaign hailed a success

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A drive to tackle fly-tipping and clean up Carmarthenshire has been hailed a success.
More than four tonnes of rubbish was removed and two people were fined for throwing litter during the week-long ‘Total Focus’ campaign.
Various awareness-raising activities were held throughout the week from litter-picks to community skip days and waste carrier stop-checks.
The Fly-tipping Action Wales initiative included Carmarthenshire County Council, Keep Wales Tidy, Dyfed-Powys Police, Environment Agency Wales, Tidy Towns, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Llwynhendy Communities First.
‘Bring and Take’ community skip days were held in Heol y Gelynen in Brynaman; Park Hall in Carmarthen, Caecoed in Llandybie and at the 5 Ty’s in Llanelli. Householders could take along any unwanted items in good condition to ‘swap’ as well as get rid of other household rubbish in the skips provided. More than four tonnes of rubbish was disposed of with as much as possible being recycled. Fly-tipping A…

Volunteers needed for Green project

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Volunteers are needed to help older people in Carmarthenshire go green.
Carmarthenshire County Council has teamed up with Age Concern Sir Gâr and Menter Cwm Gwendraeth to assist older people with recycling.
The aim is to support and encourage older people to separate their waste, educate them on what can and can’t go in the blue bag, and help them to recycle their glass.
Age Concern Sir Gâr chief officer Ann Dymock said: “Those of us with transport or living near a bottle bank can find it easy to pop over and dispose of the odd bottle or jam jar, but for some people it can be more difficult, particularly for older people, and that can be very distressing when they want to recycle but are struggling to do so. We are hoping that people will come forward and recycle glass for others at the same time as their own, and also make a new friend at the same time.”
Volunteers will be given full training and support and the council’s Street Scene division will also provide protective clothing (a…

Citizenship ceremony in Carmarthen

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More people have become new British citizens at a ceremony in Carmarthen Register Office.
The citizenship ceremony was held to formally welcome on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government new people to Britain and to Carmarthenshire. The new citizens live in Llanelli, Ammanford, Merlin’s Bridge and Carmarthen.
Designed to enhance the significance and importance of becoming a British Citizen, the aim of the ceremony, provided by Carmarthenshire County Council’s registration service, is also to provide each individual with a memorable occasion and help them celebrate with their friends and family a new sense of place and belonging.
Chair of Dyfed Powys Police Mrs Delyth Humfryes MBE presented the new citizens with their certificates, and soprano Catrin Thomas sang during the break.
Saji Attuchira Scaria of Dafen said: “The service was very good and I enjoyed the ceremony, I am pleased that I am a British citizen now.”
Carmarthenshire’s statutory services executive board member Cllr Philip Hug…

Tyler in running for 'Not The Booker Prize'

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An Aberystwyth PhD student whose debut novel has already met with considerable acclaim is celebrating further success after being placed on the shortlist of a literary award organised by The Guardian.
‘Fireball’, by Tyler Keevil, who is currently studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Aberystwyth, has been voted by readers and reviewers onto a shortlist of six novels for ‘Not the Booker Prize’, described as the UK’s ‘most rambunctious literary prize’.
The award is open to novels which were eligible for the Booker Prize but were not shortlisted for it, and is voted for by visitors to the Guardian website.
Although he now lives in mid Wales, Tyler Keevil is originally from Vancouver, Canada, where the novel is set.
It tells the story of four teenage characters during a hot summer and the events that lead up to the death of Chris, the complex and misunderstood best friend of the protagonist, who drives a stolen police car over a cliff to his death.
Voters for the award are asked to s…

Another step forward for our talking newspaper

Just finished a test run of the new kit at the Llanelli Talking Newspaper for the Blind. It works - we are now in the digital age!

Brewer Simon Buckley on Radio Wales today

You can listen again to Llandeilo brewer Simon Buckley on the Radio Wales phone-in on the RW website iPlayer thingy - http://ning.it/qT6mAs

Free electricity offer - but you'd better be quick!

The clock is ticking for Carmarthenshire residents wanting to receive free electricity.
Time is running out for people wanting to sign up to the Government’s Feed in Tariff scheme.
Under the project, anyone who installs solar panels on their roof will receive free electricity and also get paid for the surplus electricity they produce.
The aim is to encourage people to take up renewable technology.
It has proved so popular that the scheme is being reviewed and from next April the financial benefits are likely to decrease.
Sustainability officers at Carmarthenshire County Council are now calling on residents to sign up and enjoy the rewards the programme offers.
Sustainability Manager Kendal Davies said: “The council is committed to reducing the county’s carbon footprint and is actively promoting the importance of sustainable living across the area.
“Renewable energy systems can lead to real financial savings as well as a reduction in energy costs and carbon emissions.
“The Feed in Tari…

Cash aid for renewable heating systems

Carmarthenshire residents are being urged to move quickly to benefit from a new grant for renewable heating.
Cash aid is being offered to help homeowners install renewable heating systems.
The funding has just been launched by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and will be given on a first come first served basis.
Grants of up to £1,250 are available and up to 25,000 installations will be funded under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme.
Carmarthenshire County Council sustainability advisers have called on residents to apply for their share of the pot.
Grants will be given for ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers, air source heat pumps and solar thermal hot water panels.
The scheme is aimed at helping people living off the mains gas supply, who have to rely on inefficient electric heating.
Carmarthenshire’s Sustainability Advisor Eurgain Powell said: “The council is committed to reducing carbon emissions and is actively promoting the importance of sustainable livi…

Classic photo from old Star days

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I am in the process of collecting as many old photos as possible from my days at the Llanelli Star, Carmarthen Journal and the South Wales Evening Post.
This has kindly been sent to me by Jude Rogers, who was (once upon a time) our Saturday/Holiday helper in the Star newsroom in the old offices in Station Road, Llanelli.
She started out at as a work experience helper, but developed into much, much more.
Today, Jude Rogers is a columnist and music writer for The Guardian, Observer, The Word and the New Statesman.
Basically, she is doing the things I wish I'd done 30 years ago . . .
In the picture, we have Vicky Caig (now Douch), someone who looks like a younger version of the once-upon-a-time editor of the Llanelli Star, and Jude Rogers.
It's a classic!

Teddy Bear's picnic at library

A Teddy Bear’s picnic is taking place at Llanelli Children’s Library next month.
The event is being held on Tuesday, September, 6, from 2.15pm to 2.45pm, and will launch a new season of under-fives storytimes.
All pre-school children are welcome to attend and are asked to take along their favourite teddy.
For more information contact the library on 01554 773538.

Urban garden wildlife survey starts

People living in Carmarthen or Llanelli are being asked to look out for a leaflet coming through their doors asking for help to find out about wildlife living in their gardens.
The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and Carmarthenshire County Council have teamed together to find out about wildlife living in urban gardens.
The ‘Carmarthenshire Urban Garden Wildlife Survey’, aims to discover all about the hidden wildlife in the county’s two largest towns.
Biodiversity Officer Isabel Macho said that gardens provide a refuge for a huge variety of wildlife. In towns, a large proportion of available wildlife habitat is provided by gardens, which are the ‘green lungs’ of urban areas. Gardens and allotments can also be important wildlife corridors in a built up area. Over recent years gardens have become increasingly important habitats for wildlife, including for many species now rare in the wider countryside.
Some species found in gardens can help with various things - hedgehogs are nat…

Fined for dumping rubbish in Llandovery

A man has each been fined £75 for dumping bags of rubbish on the ground at the recycling bring site in Llandovery.
The council’s environmental enforcement officers were on duty at the site when they saw a vehicle towing a large trailer stop directly in front of the bring banks.
A male got out of the vehicle and unloaded several blue and black bags which he placed on the ground. He then unloaded a cardboard box containing bottles which he put in the glass bank, but then left the box on the ground.
As the man started to pull away from the site, the officers approached him explaining who they were and what they had seen. They searched the bags and found a large amount of food waste and other general waste that could not be recycled.
The officers highlighted the sign at the entrance to the bring site which clearly stated that no items were to be left on the ground.
He was issued with a fixed penalty notice for £75. Failure to pay could lead to prosecution in the magistrates court and a ma…

Worries about Carmarthenshire dog breeding farm

Jacqueline Baker has dropped me a line expressing her concerns about the licensing of a dog breeding farm in Carmarthenshire.
The publication of these thoughts is intended to stimulate discussion on the issue -
Mrs Baker said -
I and many others are upset and furious that Carmarthenshire Council have licensed a dog breeding farm at Beili Bedw - there are around 200 dogs in this place cared for by one man and his wife, part-time.
The fact that this license has been given is appalling.
However, the council is in the process of approving retrospective planning for this facility.
Many think that this is the time to end 'puppy farming'.
Welsh Government First Minister Carwyn Jones issued a press release on August 9 setting out the Welsh Assembly's commitment to ending this practice.
However, Carmarthenshire council seem happy to condone these places. This might provoke interesting discussion on your blog?
The following is an extract from a blog on puppy farming which can be foun…

The eulogy to our dear friend Norman Lewis

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There was a wonderful eulogy from Noel Rees to our good friend Norman Lewis at the funeral service held at Llanelli Crematorium yesterday.
Here is an edited version of Noel's speech -
Jill, Jeremy, Thelma, family and friends . . .
Today, I feel very privileged to be asked, but I feel somewhat inadequate, to pen this tribute to Norman, a man who spent his whole professional working life crafting his own individual and wonderful way with words.

Not, how did he die, but how did he live?
Not what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

Not what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
But how many were sorry when he passed away?

Before every Phoenix Theatre curtain-up, Norman would ask me from his elder statesman’s traditional place in the …

Trostre Camera Club show starts tomorrow

Trostre Camera Club Annual Exhibition runs from tomorrow until Saturday, 9 to 5, in the St Elli precinct in Llanelli. Vote for your favourite picture!

In the news today . . .

Smashing picture spotlight in the Llaneli Star today on the successful junior team at the Ashburnham Championship Links Golf Course.
Llanelli Star puts the spotlight on Ceri Sherlock, new dean of drama at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. 'Llanelli boy done good!'
Smashing picture in the Llanelli Star today of Llanelli Rotary Club president elect Ken Abban with the Shelterbox humanitarian aid kit.
Back page spotlight in the Carmarthen Journal today on Friday night's Welsh Premier League clash between Carmarthen Town and Port Talbot.
Peter Price's Bala v Carmarthen Town AFC match report is in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column is in the Carmarthen Journal sport pages today.
Spotlight on Red Kite Law - the newest and biggest law firm in South West Wales - in the Carmarthen Journal business pages this week.
Spotlight on the new Donna Crawshaw art exhibition at Aberglasney House and Gardens in the Carma…

Music festival at Carmarthen Market

The Little Clock Music Festival is taking place at Carmarthen Market on Friday.
Local bands will be playing from 10am to 4pm. First on is Gildas, followed by Fflur Dafydd, The Suspects, Lowri Evans and Kazak Stanleys.
It is part of a programme of activities taking place at Carmarthen Market every Friday for the rest of the school holidays.
On Friday, September 2, back to school cooking is taking place with the Pumpkin Patch and Dylan the Dragon, Carmarthenshire’s health eating mascot. The Pumpkin Patch teaches children cookery skills in a fun and educational way.
All the activities are organised by Carmarthenshire County Council as part of a drive to promote the market. Resources executive board member Cllr Kevin Madge said: “Carmarthen Market is friendly and welcoming, and offers some of the best local produce in Wales. These activities will provide entertainment for shoppers of all ages, and make the market even more of an attraction.”

Funeral for Norman Lewis. RIP

Just back from funeral for our very dear friend Norman Lewis. Wonderful eulogy from Noel Rees. 'Full house' for service at Llanelli Crem.

Dryslwyn business buys top Charolais cattle

Tory AMs’ leader in call for vote to end fox hunting ban

Betsan returns to her roots with Red Kite Law

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Leading company and commercial specialist Betsan Thomas has returned to her West Wales roots as a partner with the newly-established Red Kite Law.
The biggest law firm in South West Wales is delighted to have Welsh-speaking Betsan on board after she decided to move west from M&A Solicitors in Cardiff.
Red Kite Law managing partner Luke Smith said: “We are delighted to that Betsan has joined Red Kite Law as head of company commercial. Betsan is recognised for her reliable and commercial approach and this reflects and enhances the team we have been building here in South West Wales.
“Our location puts us in a unique position in being able to offer cost-effective quality advice which clients across Wales have responded to excellently. Betsan will be instrumental in our continued development.”
Betsan spent 11 years with M&A in Cardiff, gaining extensive experience advising on a wide range of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, equity investments,…

47,000 visits chalked up!

Thank you very much, folks. Thanks to you, dear readers and visitors, this blog is continuing to pick up more hits.
It's now hit the 47,000 page views mark.
That's 4,000 more views since August 2.
Keep the hits coming, folks! Much appreciated.
Many thanks.
See earlier post -
http://sirgarblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/43000-visits-chalked-up.html
Meanwhile, the blog has chalked up its first visitor from the Republic of Moldova.
The full country by country list (figures from January 6, 2010) is as follows -
United Kingdom (GB) 15,480; United States (US) 1,747; Belgium (BE) 274; India (IN) 133; Canada (CA) 107; Germany (DE) 101; Australia (AU) 91; France (FR) 90; Taiwan (TW) 85; Ireland (IE) 73; Europe (EU) 57; Spain (ES) 39; Italy (IT) 37; Netherlands (NL) 37; Philippines (PH) 34; Qatar (QA) 29; Pakistan (PK) 28; New Zealand (NZ) 28; Brazil (BR) 27; Malaysia (MY) 26; Poland (PL) 25; United Arab Emirates (AE) 22; Russian Federation (RU) 21; Japan (JP) 21; Singapore (SG) 17; South Afri…

Burry Port Opera to feature a Donizetti favourite

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Burry Port Opera will be performing Donizetti’s amusing, lighthearted opera L’Elisir D’Amore at The Memorial Hall, Burry Port, in November.
Tickets are available from Geoff Rudge on 01554 835659.

Splish-splash sessions prove a big hit

Free splish-splash children’s sessions at Carmarthenshire’s Leisure Centre’s are soaring.
Sport Wales has congratulated the county council for its work in increasing the number of children attending free swimming across the county.
Over the Easter holidays 4,173 children attended free public swims along with 799 children who attended the free structured activities.
This represents an increase of over 500 children in the free public swims and an increase of over 100 children in free structured activities for the same period in 2010.
County executive board member for leisure services, Cllr Clive Scourfield, said: “Free swimming is timetabled during all school holiday periods across the county's five swimming pools.
“It is fantastic to see a growing number of youngsters are taking advantage of this holiday opportunity.”
These statistics placed Carmarthenshire third in Wales for free public swims and sixth for free structured activities.
Additionally, 5,732 over 60s attended free pu…

Pick your Carmarthenshire sports personality!

If you know a sporting talent with Carmarthenshire connections, then get nominating for the county council’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
The council’s Sports Development Unit, with Carmarthenshire Local Sports Council, is holding its annual Sports Personality Awards in January 2012 at Llanelli’s Stradey Park Hotel.
The categories are: Sports personality of the year, young sportsman of the year; young sportswoman of the year; disabled sportsman of the year, disabled sportswoman of the year; sports coach of the year, sports volunteer of the year; young sports volunteer of the year, team of the year; young team of the year and The Ryan Jones memorial award for outstanding services to sport.
There is also a Hall of Fame recognising a longstanding and outstanding contribution to the county’s sporting excellence.
Nomination closing date is November 25.
Nomination forms and further information are now available from the sports development unit on 01554 744350 or email leisure@car…

Songs of Praise event at Burry Port

There will be a Songs of Praise festival at Burry Port harbour on the evening of Bank Holiday Sunday August 28.
Hundreds are expected to attend, creating a cacophony of sound across the waves.
The event has grown in recent years to quite a spectacular festival attracting support from all churches and chapels in the community with more than a 1,000 thronging the harbour walls.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s tourism department is sponsoring the event providing a marquee to accommodate both the championship winning Burry Port town Band and Burry Port Male Voice Voice Choir.
County Councillor Pat Jones said: “The harbour is looking fantastic this year with flags flying and this event is becoming a traditional way to see out the end of the summer holidays in the community.
“Last month we had the carnival. Last weekend we had the fishing festival and now we have a Songs of Praise. You cannot argue that we do not have variety in this busy seaside community!”
Everyone is welcome to attend a…

Try your hand at bowls in Carmarthen

Anyone wanting to try bowls is being invited to roll up at the Bro Myrddin Bowling Stadium at Picton Terrace, Carmarthen.
The centre is opening its doors to the public to encourage people of all ages and abilities to take up the sport of bowls for just a £1 for two weeks at evening sessions in September 19th to 30th.
The club has an active junior section and organised coaching sessions for nine to – 16 year olds on Saturday mornings between 10 and – 11:30 a.m starting on September 17th.
The junior section is an important part of the club and youngsters are given every opportunity to develop their talents. Competitions for juniors are held within the club and the more talented youngsters are chosen to represent the club in national competitions.
A number of juniors have in the past represented their country and last season Steffan Harries, a pupil at Ysgol Bro Myrddin had the honour of representing Wales at Under 18 level.
New members are always welcome. Please contact junior co-o…

Learn to swim sessions proving popular

Learn to Swim sessions are proving popular with Carmarthenshire Council.
The council's programme teaches water confidence and aquatic skills from an early age, which enables the swimmer to participate in a variety of different aquatic disciplines at a later stage in their development.
County executive board member for leisure services, Cllr Clive Scourfield, said: “If you are keen for your children to learn to swim Aqua Sir Gâr’s Learn to Swim programme is the best possible way to get in the splash of things.
“Our programme is fun and progressive. As children move from stage to stage and become more confident, the skills become more challenging and they are introduced to new skills as they become better.
“Carmarthenshire boasts some of the best beaches in Wales and it is incumbent on us as a council to make sure we provide the opportunity for parents to get their children water confident and swimming through our leisure centres at the earliest possible opportunity. The Learn to S…

'One-off chance' on large items of rubbish

Householders can take advantage of a one-off chance to dispose of any large items of rubbish for free.
Most household waste can be taken along including bulky waste items such as furniture and electrical goods.
However, asbestos, tyres, paint, garden chemicals, batteries, gas bottles, construction waste and trade waste will not be accepted.
As much as possible will be recycled.
The event has been organised by Carmarthenshire County Council and the aim is to encourage residents to dispose of waste that may otherwise be fly-tipped as well as encourage them to recycle and/or reuse as much of their rubbish as possible.
Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Philip Hughes said: “Bulky waste such as furniture, wood and cardboard left lying in and around homes is a fire hazard and can result in fly-tipping, which is not only a nuisance and unattractive, but is also environmentally harmful and potentially dangerous.
“Much of our waste can also be reused or recycled, from carpets and…

Residents counter 'bad image' of Llanelli estate

Residents of a Llanelli housing estate are fighting back against the ‘bad image’ being given to them in the local press.
Following recent newspaper reports branding Cae Glas, Felinfoel, ‘hell on earth’, local councillor Hugh Richards and a team from the council’s housing department carried out their own door-to-door enquiries to speak directly to tenants.
Of those that gave their views as part of the informal survey, tenants in 20 properties stated that they had not encountered any problems.
Only six agreed that there were problems on the estate.
Cllr Richards said: “We realise that there have been problems in this area, but we do feel that this has been blown out of proportion. The way to deal with problems is to talk to people – and that is why we wanted to give residents the chance to have their say.”
Of the tenants that did share concerns, the problem highlighted most was an apparent rise in young people from other areas of Llanelli congregating in Cae Glas to drink alcohol and ca…

Assembly Member helps stroke awareness campaign

A member of the Welsh Assembly has teamed up with the Stroke Association and Carmarthenshire Council to raise council cleansing staff awareness of the risk of stroke.
Stroke campaigner Joyce Watson AM and the Stroke Association visited the Cillefwr Depot, Johnstown, Carmarthen, to test the blood pressure of refuse workers and depot staff.
Having high blood pressure makes people 40% more likely to have a stroke.
The results were startling – of the 47 people tested, 60% were either borderline or in the high blood pressure category, increasing their risk of stroke.
It was suggested to many that a reduction in their blood pressure reading would significantly improve their health and reduce their risk of stroke.
Of 47 blood pressures taken 19 were normal, 20 were borderline and eight were high, therefore 60% of the readings were borderline to high.
Joyce Watson AM said: “These results are a real wake-up call, but the great news is that everyone we tested can do something about it.
“Strok…

Appeal for help with wildlife survey

If you live in Carmarthen or Llanelli, look out for a leaflet coming through your door that asks for help to find out what wildlife lives in your garden.
The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and Carmarthenshire County Council have teamed together to find out about the wildlife that lives in our urban gardens.
The Carmarthenshire Urban Garden Wildlife Survey aims to discover all about the hidden wildlife in Carmarthenshire’s two largest towns.
Gardens provide a refuge for a huge variety of wildlife.
In our towns, a large proportion of available wildlife habitat is provided by gardens, which are the ‘green lungs’ of our urban areas.
Gardens and allotments can also be important wildlife corridors in a built up area. Over recent years gardens have become increasingly important habitats for wildlife, including for many species now rare in the wider countryside.
Some species found in our gardens can help us out - hedgehogs are natural slug control, ladybirds prey on aphids, worms imp…

Funding boost for Tywi Valley

Funding is being brought into the Tywi Valley to safeguard its landscape and promote its rural heritage and culture.
Canolfan Tywi Centre, based at Dinefwr Farm, Llandeilo, has secured funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Further financial assistance for this project has also been provided by Carmarthenshire County Council, the Countryside Council for Wales and the National Trust.
The Canolfan Tywi Centre will be implementing the Carmarthenshire Landscape and Heritage Grant Scheme will promote the distinctiveness of rural communities by conserving the rural heritage and culture of rural Carmarthenshire.
Furthermore the aim is to protect and enhance the area’s natural environment through protecting the area’s biodiversity and improve the quality of life for rural communities, instilling a sense of place.
There are two grants available under this scheme: the Cul…

Donna Crawshaw show at Aberglasney

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The spotlight will fall on ‘The Art of Donna Crawshaw’ at Aberglasney House and Gardens this week.
The Brecon Beacons artist launches a new exhibition at Aberglasney on Friday evening.
The focus of the show, which runs until September 8, will be the animals and landscape found in and around the Brecon Beacons.
As well as original paintings, there are a selection of signed limited edition prints available at the show at the picturesque Tywi Valley gardens.
Donna will be in attendance most days of the exhibition to meet visitors and to discuss her work and possible commissions. She will also be painting on site.
Roger Evans, chief executive of the Aberglasney Restoration Trust said: “This is a great opportunity to see the work of a well respected artist whose work is exhibited worldwide.”
Donna Crawshaw, SEA SWA, was born in Woking, Surrey, England, in 1960 - and perhaps it was inevitable that she became an artist with her father being the established painter, author and broadcaster Alw…

Carmarthen lose away at Bala

Bala Town 2 Carmarthen Town 0
I am grateful to Peter Price (who in Max Boyce spirit 'was there') for this match report from the Welsh Premier League match between Bala and Carmarthen -
A hotly disputed penalty given by match referee Bryn Markham-Jones four minutes into the second half, turned this match into Bala's favour after Carmarthen Town failed to capitalise on a number of golden opportunities during the first half.
Carmarthen looked positive from the start and in the fifth minute Cledan Davies saw his shot well saved by Bala keeper Terry McCormick after the keeper had only half cleared straight to the winger.
The home side responded well and a neat build up saw Mark Connolly denied by the offside flag when hooking onto a dangerous through ball by Bala captain Mark Jones. Carmarthen drove forward again and Jack Christopher tried an audacious lob from 35 yards that just cleared the crossbar. The offside flag came to Carmarthen's rescue again moments later when B…