Showing posts from August 28, 2011

Joseph Atkin's latest Aberglasney column

Aberglasney’s Head Gardener Joseph Atkin continues his weekly column in the South Wales Evening Post -
The past few mornings have had that ominous coolness that reminds you autumn is not too far away.
With the change in season, it is a good time to think about what to grow indoors or in a conservatory.
At Aberglasney, we have recently revamped the Ninfarium (high walled atrium), which is very important during the winter as it provides shelter and interest for the hardier visitor.
The Ninfarium is kept relatively cool, never gets direct light and is heated to a minimum of 6OC, so it is very similar to conservatories, garage windows or utility rooms.
This environment can prove to be a very tricky place to grow plants as it is not tropical, but more mild temperate and very shady, especially in the winter.
The plants that grow there really have to earn their keep, as space is at a premium and they need to I provide a really good show or a long season of interest.
The ground cover, or to b…

Good win for Johnstown Juniors

Football match report from Phil Grice -
Johnstown United 3 Llanelli Radicals 1
Johnstown United, promoted last year from Division Three, began their life in Division 2 with an emphatic win over the highly competent senior-division stalwarts Llanelli Radicals.
This match, played in appalling weather conditions, was not a push-over for United.
The first half hour was even with Llanelli going very close to scoring only to be denied by an outstanding display in goal from United's diminutive goal-keeper Jason King, leaping high in the air to with a double saving effort to keep Llanelli's two six-foot strikers wondering how they failed to score.
After half an hour, however, Johnstown's talented midfield began to take command, and having won a corner saw new signing Aled Thomas sail above the opposition to head in Johnstown's first – and a possible candidate for their goal of the year.
Nicky Upton, Danny Butler and the rest simply dominated the middle of the pitch, and Llanell…

Alfie Boe Llanelli concert a sell-out

A sell-out capacity audience will welcome West End singing star and Classical Brits nominee Alfie Boe when he performs in Llanelli in September.
Alfie Boe will join the great voices of the Llanelli Choral Society, Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Singers, pianist Jean Hywel, organist Huw Tregelles Williams – all under the direction of John Hywel Williams MBE – for the sell-out performance at the grand setting of Llanelli’s Tabernacle Chapel.
Alfie Boe – regarded as the nation’s favourite tenor – is no stranger to the world famous stage of both opera and the West End as well as television and radio broadcasts.
Currently enjoying record sales of his albums, Alfie is currently reprising the starring role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables in London’s West End at the personal request of Sir Cameron Mackintosh, ahead of Alfie’s sell-out UK “Bring Him Home Tour” later this year.
“It is thrilling to see the performance an absolute sell-out”, explains acclaimed local conductor, John Hywel Wi…

Aberystwyth student shortlisted for top award

Aberystwyth zoology student Victoria Franks has been short-listed for the “Best Biology Student” prize in the 2011 European Science, Engineering & Technology (SET) Awards.
Victoria is one of only three out of 600 to have made it on to the short list. She now faces an interview in London to decide the overall winner.
Victoria graduated with 1st Class honours earlier this year and had to write a 2,000 word synopsis of her final year honours project. Titled “Brains or daring: shoaling fish follow the leader”, it investigated social learning in guppies, a tropical fish. On hearing the news, Victoria said “I’m amazed but delighted. I loved being at Aberystwyth, and studying the guppies’ behaviour for my project was fascinating!”
Victoria was nominated by her tutor, Dr Rupert Marshall, lecturer in Animal Behaviour at Aberystwyth University. “I am thrilled for Victoria. She was an excellent student, excited by science and a delightful person to work with. I wish her well for th…

September diary for Llanelli Rotary Club

The diary of meetings for Llanelli Rotary Club for September is as follows -
Friday, September 9, lunch, Fellowship; Tuesday, September 13, Club Council meeting (5.15pm); Wednesday, September 14, evening meeting, speaker to be confirmed; Friday, September 23, lunch, Fellowship; Wednesday, September 28, evening meeting, speaker to be confirmed.
The club website is at -

Jamie wins apprenticeship prize

A Trimsaran man has won a two-year construction apprenticeship following an innovative competition to promote the profile of apprenticeships in Carmarthenshire.
Jamie Owens was crowned winner of Next Steps 2011 at a winner’s ceremony in Llanelli’s Parc Y Scarlets.
He beat off competition from five other candidates to claim the prize – a paid apprenticeship with Llanelli and Gwendraeth based construction firm Lloyd & Gravell Ltd.
Next Steps has run in Carmarthenshire for the second time, as a partnership between Lloyd & Gravell, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Property Services division, Coleg Sir Gar and Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association (CCTAL).
On taking the title, the 20-year-old rugby player said: “I still can’t quite believe it – this is a fantastic start towards building a future for myself and I'm really looking forward to starting work with Lloyd & Gravell.
“The competition was a great experience - everyone on it was awesome and really looked …

Llanelli bar owner fined £2,000

The owner of a Llanelli bar has been fined £2,000 for failing to comply with an enforcement notice to rectify unauthorised works at the listed building.
Douglas Andrew Lewis pleaded guilty at Llanelli Magistrates Court to the offence under Section 43 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court was told that on February 3, 2010, Lewis pleaded guilty to carrying out unauthorised works to a Grade II listed building, Stamps, the former Post Office in Station Road, Llanelli, and was fined £3,600 and ordered to pay £2,000 costs.
The work involved construction of a rear extension, erection of a external galvanised steel staircase, erection of a new canopy within the rear yard, replacement of timber sliding sash windows with casement uPVC windows, cutting off the lower part of double panelled gates, construction of timber decking, and an accumulation of lighting, signage and aerials to the external eleva…

Campaign to help school crossing officers

A safety campaign is being launched to help protect school crossing patrol officers.
The county council’s road safety unit is launching a ‘Stop Means Stop’ campaign following an increased number of incidents involving motorists failing to stop for lollipop men and women.
Starting in September to coincide with the new school term, the “Stop Means Stop” initiative is aimed at some drivers who fail to stop or are rude and abusive to school crossing patrols.
The campaign will be backed up with radio advertising, school banners, posters and leaflets.
Road safety manager Keith Griffiths said: “School crossing patrol officers play a vital role by ensuring school children are provided with a safe route to and from school. They should be able to do this without fear of intimidation and threatening behaviour from some inconsiderate motorists.
“The school crossing patrol team are amongst the most committed group of people that continue to play a very important role in keeping our community a sa…

Spotlight on Llanelli's ghostly tales

Tales of ghosts and ghouls in Llanelli have been revived since a spooky photograph was handed in to the town library.
The picture, apparently showing a ghostly figure of a woman standing outside Llanelly House, was given to staff at Llanelli Library. They discovered it was a hoax as the same image could be downloaded from the internet.
However, it has sparked interest in the ghost of Llanelly House and of other spooky tales around the town.
It has also brought back memories of TV’s Most Haunted programme, filmed in Llanelli in 2009.
Library staff have had people call in to discuss the photograph and the many tales of ghosts in the area. The most famous is Mira Turner, the serving girl who killed herself at Llanelly House after rumours surrounding her and a married butler. However, there are many other stories of ghostly goings-on in Llanelli. They include:
• Parc Howard Mansion where a nurse and World War One soldier are said to haunt.
• Stradey Woods where different sightings have be…

Recycling chance in Llanboidy

Residents in Llandboidy are being urged to have a good clear out and recycle any rubbish they have lying around the home.
A ‘Recycling on the go’ event is being held today (Saturday, September 3) in the village car park.
Householders can take advantage of this 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 i…

Woman fined for leaving glass bottles

A Gwendraeth Valley woman has been fined by the courts for leaving glass bottles at the side of the recycling banks in Cross Hands.
Shane Sander, aged 52, of Clos y Cwm, Penygroes, pleaded guilty to an offence of littering at Llanelli Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that the council’s environmental enforcement officers were on duty at the bring site at Cross Hands Co-op when they saw a woman get out of her vehicle with two carrier bags of glass bottles.
They saw the woman put two glass bottles in the glass recycling bank, then place the two carrier bags on the floor at the side of the bin, walk away and get into her car. She was about to drive away when the officers approached the vehicle and explained that an offence had been witnessed.
The woman got out of the car and proceeded to put all the bottles in the bank. The officers asked her why she had made an attempt to put bottles in the recycling bin and then walk away …

Scrap metal offences result in fine

A man has been prosecuted by Carmarthenshire County Council for failing to fill in the appropriate documentation for the waste he was carrying.
Harry John Jones, aged 49, of Gwelfor, Fishguard, pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Ammanford Magistrates Court.
The court heard that Jones was stopped by police and the council’s environmental enforcement officers in a white Mercedes Atego lorry on the A48 near Nantycaws as part of a joint operation targeting scrap metal thefts in Carmarthenshire. The vehicle was carrying a large consignment of scrap metals.
Jones told the officers that he was a registered waste carrier but that he had not completed waste transfer notes for the scrap metal.
He was cautioned and told that the facts of the case would be reported for the consideration of prosecuting him for the offence.
Jones was fined £350 by magistrates and ordered to pay £100 towards prosecution costs.
The council now hopes this case wil…

Suspended sentence for benefit fraud

An Amman Valley man has been given a suspended prison sentence for fraudulently claiming almost £20,000 Housing Benefit.
Noel John Rogers, age 64, pleaded guilty at Llanelli Magistrates Court to offences contrary to Section 112 Social Security Administration Act 1992.
Rogers claimed Housing Benefit from May 2000 at his home in Cwmamman Road, Glanamman, a privately rented property.
An investigation into his benefit claim was made following a suspicion that he had failed to declare ownership of another property. Enquiries revealed that he had been the owner of a property in Parc Bryn Rhos, Glanamman, since November 1996. It was also established that he had been in receipt of a British Coal Board Pension since April 2000.
An Inspection of his Benefit records showed that Rogers had failed to declare that he owned another property or that he received a private pension.
As a result of failing to declare his correct circumstances, Rogers was overpaid Housing Benefit of £19,914.75 from May 8,…

Communities First a hit in Pantyffynnon

Youngsters in Pantyffynnon have been doing everything from cookery to kickboxing this summer – thanks to Communities First.
Now residents are being invited to a meeting to help decide how the Communities First programme will go forward in Pantyffynnon.
Following a variety of summer programmes run by Communities First over the years, and partnership working with the likes of Carmarthenshire Youth and Children’s Association and Carmarthenshire’s Play Team, children in Pantyffynnon have been having a blast this year.
Communities First development worker Emma Martin-Jewell said: “We have been fortunate to link into the very popular Fit 4 Fun Big Lottery project which is managed by the Carmarthenshire Youth and Children’s Association.
“As a result of working in partnership we have been able to provide cookery workshops, circus skills, dance, sports and kickboxing. The Carmarthenshire Play team have also spent the day developing children’s skills through building dens, and playing games. B…

Off to Cowbridge

Off to a Rotary District training seminar at Cowbridge Comprehensive. Hope I don't get detention!
Meanwhile, nice spotlight on Nia Greville's latest success at The Ashburnham Championship Links Golf Course in the South Wales Evening Post today.

Merlin Bike Ride helps charities

A group of Carmarthenshire County Council employees from the Department for Education together with some friends put their best wheel forward and participated in the Merlin Bike Ride.
Some were complete novices but after training over the past few months they completed various routes of up to 57 miles each that included the challenge of scaling the Black Mountain.
The organisation of the event was second to none and they would encourage anyone to give it a go.
Most importantly between them they raised a total of £2,776.36 for the Lily Foundation, Cancer Research, the Breast Care Unit at Prince Philip Hospital and Beat Cymru.
They would like to thank everyone who supported and sponsored them especially some local businesses in the Llanddarog area namely Owen Evans Haulage, Butchers Arms, Jenkins Refrigeration and Farmer John.

Mountain busk raises £1,000 for charity

Oxjam Brecon staged a charity busk on the top of Pen-Y-Fan on with an estimated 50 volunteers and buskers broadcasting their support for Oxfam GB.
Pen Y Fan (2,907 ft) is the highest point in the Brecon Beacons.
Now known locally as the "Mountain Busk", this Oxjam Brecon "fundraiser with a difference" raised nearly £1000 in sponsorship and donations.
Stewart Webb, Takeover Manager, said: "The Mountain Busk seems to have captured the imagination this year. It's a great way of getting everyone together through music in support of Oxfam GB and identifying our 15th October "Takeover" event with its setting within The Brecon Beacons National Park."
More than 50 top bands and music acts across all genres will be appearing in six venues in Brecon on Saturday 15th October.
The festival kicks off at 1.30 pm.
Entry to all events is by a single £7 wristband ticket available from Theatr Brycheiniog Box Office (01874 611622) or online via : http://www.w…

Latest Simon Buckley 'Iechyd Da' column from the Journal

The latest Iechyd Da beer column written by Llandeilo brewer Simon Buckley in the Carmarthen Journal -
September is a busy time for us brewers. The harvest is in and the hop pickers are busy and, before we know it, we will be choosing our malts and hops for the 2012 campaign.
For the last three weeks I have been working on our plans for 2012 and the development of a series of new beers for the guest ale market.
It’s all been about new hop varieties, new malts, and then blending the malts and hops together to get that perfect balance of biscuity malt flavours, balanced with different styles of bitterness.
All that is left now is to brew these beers with passion and care. The end result, I know, will be a wonderful new range of great cask beers.
Next year will see new Evan-Evans brands and Archers beers for the English market.
And, to proudly celebrate 245 years of family brewing, there will be a new brand, WH Buckley.
These Buckley brands will be a new set of heritage beers named afte…

Council staff enjoy wildlife photography

The beauty of Carmarthenshire's wildlife has been captured by county council staff.
A wildlife photography competition was held this summer, open to all council employees.
Photos were submitted of species and habitats, and the competition was judged by staff at the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, who said they were impressed by the standard of photography and range of wildlife captured.

Wayne Jones won the species section with his picture of a brimstone butterfly (above), and Christine Hopkins won the habitat section with her photograph of meadow flowers (below).

A range of habitats, including the coast, woodlands, hay meadows, parkland and uplands were captured, whilst insects and birds dominated the species category with dragonflies, butterflies and some dynamic action shots of birds.
The winners and highly commended photos can be seen on the biodiversity pages of the council’s website –
Carmarthenshire’s biodiversity officer Isabel Macho sa…

Music festival a success at market

Shoppers and visitors to Carmarthen enjoyed entertainment at the Little Clock Music Festival.
The event was part of a programme of activities taking place at Carmarthen Market.
At the Little Clock Music Festival bands played from 10am to 4pm. First on was Gildas, followed by Fflur Dafydd, The Suspects, Lowri Evans and Kazak Stanleys.
On Friday, September 2, back to school cooking was 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.”

Property marking project for Pantyffynnon

A property marking scheme is underway in the Pantyffynnon area to help tighten up security for people at risk.
Funded by the Community Safety Partnership, it is being run in conjunction with Communities First Pantyffynnon and reassures residents by marking their valuables using the most up-to-date technology aimed at preventing burglaries and reducing theft.
The SelectaDNA marking kits work by applying a clear fluid to items of value, such as laptops, computer equipment, TVs, DVD players, iPods and mobile phones. Not only is it almost impossible to remove, but each kit has a unique code (similar to human DNA) that cannot be duplicated in any way shape or form. This means if the property is stolen and recovered by police it can easily be traced back to its owner – and irrefutably link the criminal to the burglary or break-in.
Communities First were able to register people interested in the initiative through their partnership board, the local pensioners group and those who live alone a…

Survey on waste recycling centres

A survey is being carried out to find out what people think of Carmarthenshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Residents are being urged to visit the council’s website and complete the survey, which is being carried out by the council’s Street Scene division.
Paper copies of the survey are also available at the council’s Customer Service Centres and all five of the HWRCs in the county.
The survey is being carried out at the request of the Task and Finish Group, set up by the Environment Scrutiny Committee, which is currently undertaking a review of the sites.
Group chair Cllr Jim Jones said: “We have already visited the five sites and we were very impressed by what we saw. However, it is important we find out what the public think of the facilities provided at the sites and if they can be improved in any way. I would urge residents to please complete the survey either through the website or by filling in a paper copy if they prefer, it will only take a …

Latest Clay Shaw Butler 'Looking after business' column

Looking after business, the new business page column from the Carmarthen Journal
By Nigel Roberts, finance and banking specialist with Carmarthen-based accountants Clay Shaw Butler

As someone who attended the old Queen Elizabeth Grammar School for Boys in Carmarthen in my youth, I can be expected to have some knowledge of the ‘Classics’.
One quote in particular always comes to mind when I talk to people about business planning.
It is the one from the Roman statesman and orator Cicero, who said, “Before beginning, plan carefully.”
As an aim, it fits the bill perfectly, as time spent planning is never wasted.
Your business plan is a key statement for your business, whether you are just starting up or whether you are a mature operation adjusting to the shifting sands of today’s economy.
The business plan is used for potential investors, banks, finance companies and other stakeholders who may help you raise the money you need for your venture.
It is also the key reference point for planni…

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column from the Journal

The latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column from the Carmarthen Journal -
The spotlight falls on some of Carmarthen Town manager Tomi Morgan’s new recruits to Richmond Park this week –
Steffan Williams (Forward), born 08.06.92. A product of the Bridge Meadow Academy who made 19 starts in his first season in the League. A former member of the Welsh Schoolboy side, he was released from his contract by the Bluebirds in January 2011 before moving to Richmond Park. Now starting his first full season with Carmarthen Town
Cledan Davies (Forward), born 10.03.92. Cledan joins Town from Aberystwyth Town. In fact, he scored the winning goal for Aber against the Old Gold in the last game of last season. He will bring added balance to the Town forward line.
Jack Christopher (Forward), born 18.05.87. Christopher is recognised as one of the most potent strikers in the league. He joins Town from relegated Haverfordwest County where he was their leading goal scorer in the We…

In the news this week . . .

Spotlight on the latest results round-up from The Ashburnham Championship Links Golf Course in the Llanelli Star newspaper this week.
Nice picture spotlight in the Llanelli Star this week on the Jenkins Bakery long-service luncheon held at the Stradey Park Hotel.
Spotlight on Cor Meibion Llanelli's role in the forthcoming Railway Riots concert in the Llanelli Star this week.
Splendid tribute to Norman Lewis - journalist, author, actor, man for all seasons - in the Llanelli Star newspaper this week.
Carmarthen Journal's sport pages have a preview of the crunch Welsh Premier League local derby match between Carmarthen and Llanelli (Weds).
Splendid match report from Carmarthen Town AFC's Welsh Premier League win v Port Talbot in the Carmarthen Journal this week.
Latest results round-up from The Ashburnham Championship Links golf course in the Carmarthen Journal this week.
The award-winning Evan-Evans brewery of Llandeilo backs a brewing industry campaign to buy local - see Ca…

Topping out ceremony for new IBERS building

Professor April McMahon, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, performed a topping out ceremony to mark the completion of the latest phase of construction on the new £8.6m IBERS research and teaching facility at Plas Gogerddan.
Professor McMahon was joined by senior members of staff at IBERS, members of the IBERS External Advisory board, the construction company Willmott Dixon, project managers Davies Langdon and architects Pascal & Watson, for the occasion which was marked by attaching a cutting from a Yew tree on to the building.
Speaking at the ceremony, Professor McMahon said: “This is a highly significant project for IBERS and the University. IBERS is a vitally important engine of research activity for the University and it is fitting that this new development at Gogerddan should house such state of the art facilities. It is good for genetics, agriculture and ecology and will provide a fantastic training ground for students to work across the boundaries of those very di…

Back home at Llanelli HQ

Back home after splendid couple of days in Manchester. Fab concert at MEN Arena (Arcade Fire and Noah and the Whale). Crammed in The Inbetweeners movie and lunch today at Manchester City Centre Rotary Club.

Busy day in Manchester

Busy day in Manchester. Now off to Noah and the Whale and Arcade Fire at the MEN Arena.

Off to Aberglasney

Off to lovely Aberglasney Gardens in the heart of the Tywi Valley this morning - then on to Manchester.

Donna Crawshaw featured in the Evening Post

Nice picture spotlight in the Evening Post What's On page today on artist Donna Crawshaw and her exhibition at Aberglasney Gardens.

Côr Meibion Llanelli website updated

The Côr Meibion Llanelli website has been updated with a tweak to the home page and latest news -

Côr Meibion Llanelli on social media

Côr Meibion Llanelli are now in the world of social media.
Cor Meibion

The making of Gulp at Pendine

Love this video of animation shoot at Pendine sands -

Cor Meibion Llanelli members at the Llanelli Festival

Cor Meibion members at the Llanelli Festival -
Cor Meibion Llanelli at the Llanelli Festival

Clay Shaw Butler on social media

Clay Shaw Butler (chartered accountants and business consultants of Carmarthen and Porthcawl) have branched out in social media.
Blog -
Tiwtter -
Facebook -
Clay Shaw Butler

Update on Ashburnham and Jenkins websites . . .

The Ashburnham Golf Club website home page now includes Twitter and Facebook feeds -
The Jenkins Bakery website home page now includes Twitter and Facebook feeds -

Latest results from 'The Ash'

Latest results from the Ashburnham Championship Links Golf Course in Pembrey –
Powell Cup and Medal –
1, Nia Greville, 75 - 06 = 69; 2, Jennifer James, 90 - 18 = 72; 3 Catherine Jones, 89 - 15 = 74.
Howard White Bogey –
1, Yvonne Williams, 1 up (24); Mari Jones, All Sq. (24); 3 Julie Ace, All Sq. (06).
John Pugh Cup –
1, Brian Williams, 37 pts; 2, John Pudner, 37 pts; 3, Jeffrey Passmore, 36 pts.
Brodie Shields Mixed Foursome –
1, Marie and Martin Hale, 87 - 17.0 = 70.0; 2, Alan and Mary McGregor, 88 - 17.0 = 71.0; 3, Paul and Sophie Anderson, 85 - 10.5 = 74.5.
Huw Bowen (Boys) Championship Section 1 –
1, Aled Greville, 82 - 18 = 64; 2, Ben Thomas, 80 - 16 = 64; 3, Aidan Evans, 93 - 28 = 65.
Huw Bowen (Boys) Championship Section 2 –
1, Edward Robert Thomas Spencer, 79 - 16 = 63; 2, Osian Bowen, 90 - 26 = 64; 3, Jordan William Davies, 77 - 12 = 65.
Welsh Dragon Brooch (Ladies) -
1, Leena Lodha, 91 - 21 = 70; 2, Lynette Eileen Mortimer, 101 - 29 = 72; 3, Wyn Parsons, 99 - 26 = 73.

Sad news about shorthand tutor Hazel

Very sad news about Hazel Gibbs Davies. Wonderful lady who taught trainees shorthand at Llanelli Star and Carmarthen Journal -

Jenkins Bakery now on Facebook and Twitter

The famous Jenkins Bakery of Llanelli and South Wales now has a Facebook page called Jenkins Bakery -
And the firm also has a Twitter page - @JenkinsBakery -

This week's special offers with Jenkins Bakery

This week's special offers (inc 2 large corned beef pasties£1.85) are now on the Jenkins Bakery website -