Showing posts from March 2, 2014

Carmarthenshire’s Baton Relay takes to the road

A host of activities across the county’s schools are planned as Carmarthenshire’s Baton Relay takes to the road on Monday.
Commonwealth Games themed assemblies, lessons, displays, competitions, games are just some of the celebrations that are due to be hosted by 19 schools and colleges across the county.
To coincide with Commonwealth Day, the baton will begin its 100-mile journey at Newcastle Emlyn School on Monday before making its way around Carmarthen, Ammanford and Llanelli in a month long relay on foot car and cycle.
Organisers Carmarthenshire County Council’s sports development team has been working closely with schools in a bid to inspire the county’s youngsters ahead of the Commonwealth Games this summer.
Finishing touches are being added to the baton which has a local flavour and features a dragon and Carmarthen’s own legendary wizard Merlin.
The council’s sports and leisure manager Carl Daniels said: “We’re about to embark on an extremely exciting month-long project aiming to use…

Large landscape print of Burry Port has been unveiled at sheltered project

A large landscape print of Burry Port has been unveiled by tenants at the town’s Tan Y Bryn Sheltered Scheme.
The tenants had commissioned local photographer Robert Nesbitt to take the shot, giving a panoramic view of the town and the coast beyond.
It has become a focal point of the communal lounge, with tenants and their visitors able to enjoy the view without having to step out of their front door.
Sheltered Scheme Officer Wendy King said: “It’s become the main topic of conversation with the tenants as every time they look at it they see and recognise something different.”
Tan Y Bryn is one of 21 Sheltered Schemes run by Carmarthenshire County Council.
Whilst offering older people the independence they desire, with every self-contained flat having its own front door – they also benefit from 24-hour emergency cover via Careline and secure door entry systems for extra peace of mind.
Communal facilities, such as a shared lounge, allow tenants to socialise with their neighbours if they wish.

Award-winning architects give their views on chapel and church conversions

The South Wales Evening Post newspaper asked the award-winning Lewis Architects to give their views on the conversion and renovation of chapels and churches.
To put it in context, the Post were running a special ‘planning focus’ feature on the issue.
The comments were used in the following story. See link to the story on the South Wales Evening Post website -
Obviously, for editorial purposes, a few words were edited out of our submitted comments.
The full Lewis Partnership statement for the newspaper is below -
Philip Lewis, seated, managing director of the Lewis Partnership, and Wynford Lewis, chairman of the Lewis Partnership. Award-winning architects the Lewis Partnership know all about the challenges of converting and renovating chapels and churches.
“It’s a task which requires a high degree of sensitivity and a great deal of imagination,” said Philip Lewis, managing …

Planned sports fee increases could be halted in Carmarthenshire

Planned increases in charges for sporting facilities from 2015 could be stopped pending a review, Carmarthenshire’s Leader announced today.
Cllr Kevin Madge said he would be seeking the support of the Executive Board to review the proposed charges which have caused considerable concern amongst sports clubs.
The increase planned for 2014-15 will go ahead, however those charges remain lower than the national average.
It was the hikes earmarked for years two and three – 2015/16 and 2016/17 – which have caused the most concern.
They were being brought in to remove the subsidy of almost £300,000 which it currently costs the council to maintain some clubs.
Over half the sporting clubs in Carmarthenshire operate without county council subsidies, either running their own facilities or using those of the town or community councils.
A number of asset transfers, where sporting facilities currently run by the county council are handed over to either town or community councils or sporting organisations,…

Carmarthenshire pupils celebrate the national Fairtrade Fortnight

Carmarthenshire school pupils will be going bananas to celebrate the national Fairtrade Fortnight.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s catering department is laying on a special themed lunch to mark the event, which will take place on Thursday, March 6.
Pupils can tuck into a tasty homemade spaghetti bolognaise with peas and garlic bread, followed by Fairtrade banana, ice cream and homemade hot chocolate sauce.
Fairtrade Fortnight encourages fair terms of trade for millions of farmers and workers in developing countries. Climate change, rising food and fuel costs, and volatile market prices mean they face an uncertain future.
Catering Services Manager Sandra Weigel said: “It is important that we show our support to Fairtrade as it links in well with our efforts to deliver a healthy and nutritionally balanced school meals service which quite literally doesn't cost the earth.“
The menus have been specially devised using the Saffron system which measures nutritional quality to the milligram.

Celebrities to star at RDP Sir Gâr's Mentro evening for young entrepreneurs

RDP Sir Gâr's Mentro Project is hosting an evening with business celebrities for rural Carmarthenshire's young entrepreneurs.
The evening will feature motivational talks from international actress Samira Mohamed Ali, Dr Nerys Jones (Agri Advisor Solicitors), Ann Hughes (Designer) and Efa Gruffudd-Jones (Chief Executive of the Urdd) to inspire future businesspeople from rural areas of the county.
Samira said: "I’m really looking forward to being part of the evening. Mentro is a fantastic programme that enables young entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas with the right guidance and provides a great platform for future small and medium enterprise owners in Wales, who are the backbone of the Welsh economy."
Mentro is run by Menter Bro Dinefwr and is part of the RDP Sir Gâr Rural Entrepreneurship project, providing free business support to young people aged between 16 and 30. Funding for the project has come from the Rural Development Plan (RDP) for Wales 2007 – 2013…

Ammanford resident wins ‘Back to Work Bundle’ in competition

An Ammanford resident who won work training and advice in a One Carmarthenshire/Un Sir Gar competition has now found a new job in just seven weeks.
Kim Maisey, from Ammanford, won a ‘Back to Work Bundle’ including job training in the Where’s 1 competition launched in early November.
With the support of the team he had four job interviews and has started work with TSM Ltd on contract to Day’s Rentals at Gorseinon.
The Where’s 1 team toured the county with a giant pink 1, with the aim of raising awareness of the services that the project offers, which include back to work support, training and apprenticeship signposting.
Radio Carmarthenshire and Scarlet FM supported Un Sir Gar/One Carmarthenshire in organising the competition by providing clues and updating listeners on where ‘1’ was each day. Locations included Ammanford, Carmarthen, Llanelli, St Clears and Llandovery, where the team battled a mixture of wind, rain and frost.
Participants were invited to discuss various ‘Back to Work’ need…

Big clean-up operation planned for Cefn Sidan Beach in Pembrey

A massive clean-up is being held at Cefn Sidan Beach in Pembrey following the New Year storms.
Up to 90mph winds together with the recent high tides caused lots of debris and litter to get washed up on the Blue Flag beach.
Pembrey Country Park rangers have now teamed up with Tidy Towns and Keep Wales Tidy to organise the clean-up on Thursday, March 20 and are appealing for volunteers to come along and help.
It is being held between 10am and 12noon, but volunteers are being urged to meet in car park 2 at 9.30am. Tools and equipment will be made available; volunteers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear and if possible bring gloves.
Executive Board Member for Regeneration and Leisure Councillor Meryl Gravell said: “The recent storms have caused a lot of rubbish to wash up on the beach, from larger items such as fishing nets, plastic drums, tree branches and parts of old boats as well as general litter.
“We are very grateful to Keep Wales Tidy and Tidy Towns for organising the clean-…

Vote for Carmarthen special needs and autism unit

People are being asked to support Myrddin Special Unit in Carmarthen which has been named as a finalist in a national competition to win an £80,000 classroom.
The Special Needs and Autism Unit was selected from almost 400 schools that entered the competition run by education magazine Times Educational Supplement (TES). It will now battle it out against five other shortlisted schools in a public vote to win the Clearspace Education classroom.
The competition was open to all primary and secondary schools in the UK. The panel of five judges was impressed with Myrddin’s plan to create an Assistive Technology Centre which would provide life-changing technology for their students with severe learning difficulties.
Ceri Lilly, Teacher in Charge of Myrddin Special Unit, said: "Our vision for an assistive technology centre based at our small but very special school, could be just a step away from becoming a reality. We would equip the classroom with cutting edge technology to aid communicat…

Social entrepreneur Kevin Green speaking to business leaders in London this evening

Social entrepreneur Kevin Green will be speaking to business leaders in London this evening on 'Encouraging Entrepreneurship in Wales'.
Mr Green will be speaking at the Welsh Government's London HQ in Victoria Street at an event hosted by the Prince's Trust.
Mr Green said: "As a member of the Entrepreneurship Panel for Wales, I am delighted to be given the honour of addressing a select audience of London-based business leaders.
"I care passionately about Wales and encouraging entrepreneurship in Wales, so the topic of the talk is right up my street!"
Other speakers at tonight's event include Edwina Hart, the Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport; Lesley Kirkpatrick, Director, Prince’s Trust Cymru, young ambassadors from Prince’s Trust Cymru and Cilla Davies, Chair, Prince’s Trust Cymru.
Mr Green will highlight the strong private sector engagement with Welsh Government in Wales through his role with the Entrepreneurship Panel.
He wil…

Join in the fun for the Mothers' Union Tea Cosy competition

In households across West Wales there will soon be great ideas for decorative tea cosies being turned into a reality ready for the St Davids Diocese Mothers' Union Tea Cosy Competition. The event was launched by St Davids Mothers' Union President Brenda Evans. The purpose of the competition is to raise awareness and funds for the Mothers' Union’s Wheels Appeal which provides funding for members in distant lands to support families in need.
All hand made tea cosy entries may be decorated in any style and be both practical and decorative. Brenda Evans said “Mothers' Union members are known for their innovative ways and so I’m looking forward to seeing how imaginative they will be in designing tea cosies.”
Competition entries can be received at any time during March and April. The closing date is April 30 and the winners will be announced at the Welsh Afternoon Tea Party in Bancyfelin village hall on Saturday, May 10 where all of the entries will be auctioned to raise funds…

The latest 'On Song' column from the Llanelli Star

The latest 'On Song' column about the choral scene in and around Llanelli from the Llanelli Star - 
Côr Meibion Llanelli choristers are currently looking forward to performing at the Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday, April 1.
Other events scheduled for the year include a trip to Salzburg in Austria in November.
This year is Côr Meibion Llanelli’s 50th anniversary year.
“It’s a great year to be a member of the choir,” said choir chairman Mr Harries.
“We are always on the look-out for new members. Anyone interested can pop along to one of our weekly rehearsal sessions to meet members and get a feel for what it would be like to be part of our 50th anniversary year.”
Côr Meibion Llanelli rehearsals are at Furnace Community Hall in Llanelli, 7pm on Mondays and Thursdays.
Burry Port Male Voice Choir will be taking part in a Cymanfa Ganu (community singing event) at 7pm on March 9 at Jerusalem Chapel, Burry Port.
The event will raise funds for the Burry Port National Eisteddfod comm…

Aberystwyth University to open a new campus in Mauritius

Aberystwyth University has formally announced its ambition to open a new campus in Mauritius.
The announcement was be made by Professor April McMahon, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, at a conference in London hosted by the Mauritius Board of Investment.
Aberystwyth University is working with Mauritius based Boston Campus Limited and is planning to launch four undergraduate degree programmes and one MSc postgraduate programme for September 2014, subject to accreditation by the Mauritius Tertiary Education Commission.
The programmes are also subject to approval by Aberystwyth University’s Senate.
The academic programmes proposed for the 2014/15 academic year are BSc degrees in Accounting and Finance; Business Finance; Business Management; Management with Law and the MSc Masters in International Business, all of which currently run at Aberystwyth University.
For September 2014 the proposal is to deliver the courses in premises operated by Boston Campus Limited in CyberCity, Ebène, …

Aberystwyth academic helps stage world premier of 'lost song'

Thanks to the research of Dr David Russell Hulme, Director of Music and Reader at Aberystwyth University, BBC Radio 2 is set to broadcast the world premiere of a lost song by Gilbert and Sullivan.
Friday Night is Music Night, which is hugely popular all over the world, presents a Gilbert and Sullivan evening on Friday 7 March, featuring several songs reconstructed from incomplete material by Dr Hulme, widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on Sullivan’s manuscripts.
The premiere is of a ballad for the principal contralto in The Sorcerer. It was cut just before the first performance in 1877 in a tightening-up operation and has never been heard in public.
The words survived but the musical material was discarded, believed lost until an incomplete set of orchestral parts surfaced recently. From these Dr Hulme reconstructed a complete orchestral score and voice part.
“Reconstruction of this kind is not about composing a tune in the right style that fits nicely with the surviving b…

Free fitness classes for Carmarthenshire residents

Carmarthenshire residents are being invited to benefit from a wide range of free fitness classes.
An energetic new programme of events has been launched by the Carmarthenshire Communities First team in partnership with Actif, urging people to rethink their lifestyle and get moving.
The aim is to encourage more people to try different activities to keep fit and active. In turn these free fitness classes will offer a good introduction to exercise and will help keep people interest in the long-term fitness.
People who are interested in attending are advised to wear loose clothing andappropriate footwear. For classes dates, times and locations please follow the link Timetable.
Communities First Health Promotion Worker Llyr Lloyd said: “There are many great reasons why we should all take part in more exercise. Keeping active can help with our mood, sharpen our minds and improve our health. We’re pleased to be working with Actif to bring these free fitness classes to the community.”
Executive B…

Carmarthenshire’s Catering Service wins two top industry awards

Carmarthenshire’s Catering Service has won two top industry awards, proving it is top of the pots!
Catering staff were celebrating big wins at the LACA Awards (Lead Association for Catering in Education), which set the standard of excellence for school catering in Wales.
The awards evening was held in Cardiff, when Carmarthenshire walked away with the Welsh Catering Management Team of the Year – given in recognition of outstanding contribution to local authority catering.
The Catering Service Manager Sandra Weigel also won the Welsh Outstanding Achievement Award, in recognition of her outstanding level of management skill, initiative and commitment making an enormous contribution to the catering service.
In addition, Bethan Williams, Cook in Charge of Ammanford Central Kitchen, also received a medal as runner-up for the Primary School Frontline Employee of the Year, an award recognising an exceptional contribution to the catering service within their school.
Cllr Keith Davies, Executive B…

Free breakfast events raise profile of job opportunities in Carmarthenshire

A series of successful events held by Carmarthenshire Communities First Team and Jobs Growth Wales are helping to raise the profile of work experience and apprenticeship opportunities for the young.
The events offered a free breakfast across a variety of venues across the Llanelli and Ammanford cluster * to discuss work experience and apprenticeship opportunities for the young. They proved so popular that an extra breakfast session is planned for Monday, March 10, at Llanelli Library between 10am – 12pm.
The aim is to help 16-24 year olds that are job ready but have had difficulty securing employment by offering exclusive job placements, paid at or above the national minimum wage for a minimum of 25 hours per week.
Communities First Jobs Growth Wales Mentor Hannah Evans said:” We are committed to helping young people get back on their feet. These events have been going really well and are attracting lots of people.”
The programme aims to create employment that can be sustained after the f…

Llandeilo business expands thanks to rural grant

A business in Llandeilo has expanded with the help of an RDP Sir Gâr Redundant Rural Building grant creating two new jobs and safeguarding another.
Biofutures Ltd is a biomass heating company specializing in wood (wood pellet, wood chip and log) fuelled heating systems.
The Biomass Centre was opened officially by Carmarthenshire County Council Chair Cllr Terry Davies.
Established in 2006, the company installs, services, and maintains wood based heating systems for domestic and commercial customers. Having been successful in securing distribution agreements with European manufacturers the company needed more space to cope with demand for their ‘green’ energy product.
Owner Kedrick Davies received funding towards converting two redundant outbuildings for business use in Taliaris. The cedar-clad new building provides the company with a base for its next expansion phase bringing new jobs and business opportunities into the rural community.
Mr Davies said: “The grant has helped to make the new …

Changes to health services across Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire 'will be safe'

The Hywel Dda University Health Board has put out a statement today in the continuing row over changes to health services across Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire - 
Hywel Dda University Health Board will ensure changes to neonatal, maternity, paediatric and gynaecology services across Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire are safe.
The recommendations of an expert panel convened by the Health Minister Professor Mark Drakeford regarding maternity, neonatal, paediatric and gynaecology services in the south of the University Health Board, and also changes to paediatric rotas at Withybush and Glangwili Hospitals will happen over the next few months.
As a part of these changes residents across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire are also set to benefit from new facilities for newborn babies requiring neonatal care. The University Health Board is investing in a new neonatal unit. The new facilities will also include dedicated parent accommodation and will be based at Glangwili Hospita…

A half century of Beer Academy Sommeliers

The Beer Academy has just accredited its 50th Sommelier. Three passionate beer advocates, Jonny Tyson, Lisa Wadlow and John Westlake, passed their viva voce examination with Beer Academy Chief Examiner Alex Barlow to take the number of Beer Academy Sommeliers to 50. Beer Academy Director Simon Jackson said “It was just over three years that the first four Beer Academy Sommeliers received their stripes in late 2011. Now 50 people have been accredited and the next two assessment sessions are already sold out. This qualification has really caught the imagination of beer lovers not only in the UK but around the world.
"The most striking thing about the Beer Academy Sommeliers is not just their fascination with all things beer but their sheer diversity. We have brewers both large and small, pub landlords, professional beer tasters, beer writers and people from outside the industry who just love beer. What they share is an encyclopaedic knowledge of beer - and a passion to spread…

Rising star singer Samuel Morris ready for his Jean Valjean test!

It’s proving to be quite a week for up-and-coming Llanelli singer Samuel Morris.
The 17-year-old student at Ysgol Gyfun y Strade passed his driving test – which makes it easier for him to get to his big stage appearances in Neath.
Samuel is appearing in the lead role appearance of Jean Valjean in Mark Jermin’s production of Les Miserables at the Gwyn Hall in Neath from tomorrow (Weds) until Saturday.
Where he finds time for it all is something of a mystery to his family and friends.
Samuel is studying Welsh, drama and politics at Strade and is also the Head Boy!
“Of course, it’s busy, but it’s great fun,” Samuel said before taking the stage at the Gwyn Hall.
“Life can be a bit of a whirlwind of rehearsals and concert performances, but I love musical theatre.
“It’s my dream to study musical theatre and become a West End star.”
Samuel would love to follow in the footsteps of another ‘local lad’ who made his name playing Jean Valjean and The Phantom of the Opera.
“John Owen Jones is som…

Latest news from the Oriel Myrdddin Gallery in Carmarthen

Latest news from the Oriel Myrdddin Gallery in Carmarthen - 

Anthony Stokes and Jacqueline Poncelet: Bryn Ogwr
8 March/Mawrth - 26 April/Ebrill 2014
Bryn Ogwr is the name of the house in Cwm Ogwr (Ogmore Vale) where Jacqueline Poncelet and Anthony Stokes now live and work. The two separate bodies of recent work in this exhibition were made at Bryn Ogwr; the paintings (Jacqueline Poncelet) and the photographs (Anthony Stokes) respond directly to the surrounding land and townscape. Although there are differences in the medium and methods used to make these works, there are also surprising visual relationships and complementary formal arrangements.

Print International/Printiau Rhyngwladol
3 May/Mai – 14 June/Mehefin 2014
Print International is the 6th edition of a selected exhibition of prints, on tour from Oriel Wrexham. The exhibition was selected by Professor David Ferry from Cardiff School of Art & Design. It incorporates printmaking in its broadest sense, from etchings and li…

Maryellen’s Tearooms now open at Aberglasney House and Gardens

Aberglasney Restoration Trust is delighted to announce that Maryellen’s Tearooms has officially opened at the picturesque gardens in the Tywi Valley.
Sisters Mary Barnett and Ellen Plowman are looking forward to establishing themselves at Aberglasney and will offer good homemade, freshly prepared light lunches and of course traditional afternoon cream teas as well as local beers and ciders and great ice cream.
Wherever possible all the ingredients used will be local and when it comes to fruit, vegetables and salads this will mean Aberglasney’s own vegetable garden is put to good use.
If it’s simply a good cup of tea or coffee that you’re looking for then look no further. The girls will be serving ‘Welsh Brew Tea’ and coffee from small Welsh supplier Argie’s. Visitors will be tempted by some of their delicious homemade cakes. Don’t forget to pick up your hot drinks loyalty card too, for every 9 you buy your 10th is free!
As well as serving Aberglasney’s idyllic terrace seating area, …

Mayor of Carmarthen Charity Appeal Committee event raises £400

The Mayor of Carmarthen Charity Appeals Committee held a successful coffee morning at St Peter’s Civic Hall. More than £400 was raised. The coffee morning, which was well attended, was opened by the Mayor Councillor Doug Rose. There were a variety of stalls representing local groups namely: The League of Friends, Towy Salmon Swimming Club, Carmarthen Guiding, Ty Cymorth Hospice, Carmarthen Town Twinning, and Carmarthen Amateur Operatic Society. The next event being organised by the Appeal Committee is a bingo night at the RAFA Club on the 27 March at 8pm, contact Debby on 01267 222326 for further details. Proceeds raised by the Appeal Committee are directed at local worthy causes.

A well-attended first meeting of the year of the Mayor of Carmarthen Charity Appeal Committee saw the committee discuss a number of fundraising events to be held during 2014. Events being planned during 2014 are the popular Vintage Tea to be held on the 21 June at St Peter’s Civic Hall and a Crafternoon on t…

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery -
Website -

Latest news from Brecon Jazz Club

Latest news from Brecon Jazz Club - 

Tues 18 March / Debs Hancock sings with the Dave Cottle trio - make a diary note now!
Alun Vaughan is on bass, Paul Smith on drums, with Dave Cottle's great jazz piano.
A night to look forward to and a great line-up. All welcome.
Starts 8pm; £6 on the door.
Venue Brecon Jazz Bar, Theatr Brycheiniog.

JAZZ SUPPER Lansdowne Hotel tue 18 March: 6.45 to 7.45 on the night, £5 per person.
Bookings essential please - reply this email. Bookings close at 30 people, these are so popular!
Thanks for your great support, and to Carol & Gill for the fab food.

NOTE THE DATES - see info about Porthcawl Jazz (11-13 April) and BRECON JAZZ Festival (7-10 August) below.
More great festivals and jazz dates for unmissable jazz events in Wales to come.
PORTHCAWL JAZZ FESTIVAL - 11-13th APRIL 2014 (brochure below)

St David's Day concert a big hit at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli

St David’s Day Concert at Ffwrnes. A Loud Applause production featuring The Three Welsh Tenors, the combined Côr Meibion Llanelli (Llanelli Male Choir) and Bridgend Male Choir, Parti Llwchwr, compere Garry Owen.

It may be that the TV company next door to Llanelli’s swish new Ffwrnes Theatre missed a trick by not televising this St David’s Day concert.
Tickets were like hot cakes and those lucky enough to get a seat were rewarded with a dazzling evening full of Welsh passion and hwyl.
This was an evening worthy of recording for posterity and a great showcase for Wales as the land of song.
The Three Welsh Tenors - Aled Hall, Alun Rhys-Jenkins and Rhys Meirion – never disappoint, but they were never going to be able to steal the show in the face of stiff competition from the combined choirs of Côr Meibion Llanelli (Llanelli Male Choir) and Bridgend Male Choir.
They teamed up with the choirs for the finale of Tydi a Roddaist – ‘Amens’ which provided a spine-tingling climax to a great evening’s…

Join the journeys of Carmarthenshire's Country Midwives

They are already loved by countless families across Carmarthenshire and this week the rest of Wales will meet Nan Duncan, Caren Thomas, Sian Maynard, Anwen Evans and Lyn Smith-Hurley, the stars of BBC One Wales’ brand new programme The Country Midwives.
The series of four programmes, filmed throughout 2013 and early 2014, follows the lives of five of our community midwives in rural Carmarthenshire as they visit new mums-to-be and follow them through to delivery.
It gives an insight into the varied work they do, from teaching expectant mothers how to express milk and breastfeed through to labour itself and everything in between.
Home births remain a popular choice within Hywel Dda, particularly within farming communities and Carmarthenshire has one of the highest home birth rates with around 1 in 25 births in the family home.
Caroline Oakley, Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “Our community midwives do a fantastic job providing expectant wome…