The Pembrokeshire Herald 05/07/2024

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Ex Mayor faces jail time for child images

THE FORMER mayor of Pembroke Dock, Terry Judkins, has been warned he could face jail time after admitting to new charges related to the possession and distribution of indecent images of children.

Judkins, 55, first appeared at Swansea Crown Court in May, where he pleaded guilty to two offences. These included making two Category C indecent images of children and possessing a prohibited image of a child, all dated between September 27, 2018, and August 5, 2021. He denied charges of possessing extreme pornographic images depicting bestiality.

Man admits to child sex offences in court

A MAN from Pembrokeshire, Paul Stuart Chesher, 66, has pleaded guilty to serious child sex offences at Swansea Crown Court.

Chesher, from Herbrandston, appeared in court on Friday, 21 June, where he admitted to multiple charges.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, specifically masturbation, without believing she was over 16.

occurred in September 2021.

Additionally, Chesher admitted to attempting to engage in sexual communication with the same victim for sexual gratification, also without reasonably believing she was over 16. This communication occurred between August and October 2021.

Chesher, who has admitted all charges, is scheduled to be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court next month.

On June 20, Judkins, residing on Bush Street in Pembroke Dock, returned to Swansea Crown Court, where he admitted to the Category A offence. Prosecutor Helen Randall revealed that an analysis of Judkins’ mobile phone

In addition to these charges, Judkins was also accused of making 52 Category A indecent images of children within the same timeframe. This particular charge had been adjourned for further consideration of the evidence.

indicated he had been distributing images as well. Judkins pleaded guilty to distributing two Category A images on July 25, 2020, but denied distributing one Category A image on August 29, 2020.

Ms Randall stated that the pleas Judkins entered were acceptable, and as a result, a trial

would not be pursued for the remaining charges.

Judge Catherine Richards has ordered a pre-sentence report and granted Judkins bail until his sentencing on July 15. She issued a stark warning to the defendant: “All options will be open to the court. That will include immediate custody.”

Male, 74, dies after getting into difficulties in pond

A MULTI AGENCY operation took place on June 27 in the St Davids area after a man got into difficulty in water. Following a 999 call, police, fire, and ambulance attended the gentleman, but sadly he died at the scene.

The fire service confirmed that its Swift Water Rescue Team located and retrieved the man from a three-metredeep pond, measuring 40m x 20m.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “We attended after a report of a male who had got into difficulties in water at an address in

St David’s on Thursday, June 27.

“Officers attended, along with colleagues from the fire and rescue service and ambulance, however, sadly, a 74-year-old man died at the scene.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.

“His next of kin have been informed of the incident, as well as HM Coroner.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “At 3.55pm on Thursday, June 27th, Mid and West Wales Fires and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) crews from Haverfordwest, St Davids

and Carmarthen Fire Stations were called to an incident near St Davids.

“One male was located and retrieved from water by the Swift Water Rescue Team from a pond measuring 40m by 20m and 3m deep.

“The incident required a multi-agency response, with Dyfed-Powys Police, Air Ambulance and paramedics also in attendance.

“MAWWFRS crews left the scene at 6.05pm.”

These offences

Mother accused of ‘causing unnecessary suffering’ to four children

A PEMBROKESHIRE mother has appeared before magistrates charged with neglecting her children and causing them unnecessary suffering or injury.

The 37-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday to face five charges of assaulting, ill treating, neglecting or abandoning four children, who are between the ages of one and ten.

Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told magistrates that when officers visited her property in Pembroke Dock, they discovered the children in ‘extremely poor conditions’.

“There was no appropriate bedding nor beds, the children were

crying upon the officers’ arrival, their bedding was unhygienic and so too was the kitchen,” she said.

“One child had significant development delay, however the child hadn’t been sent for an ultrasound between the dates in question.”

The ill treatment of the children is alleged to have taken place between June 1, 2021 and June 23, 2022 at a property in Pembroke Dock.

No pleas were entered by the defendant to any of the five charges.

Following a request by the Crown, magistrates declined jurisdiction and the case will now proceed at Swansea Crown Court on August 2.

The defendant was released on unconditional bail.

Power tools stolen in burglary

A PREMISES in Slade Lane, Haverfordwest, was burgled between midnight on June 19 and 6am on Friday, June 21.

The police said: “We are investigating a burglary at a property in Slade Lane, Haverfordwest which has occurred between midnight of 19th June

and 6am, 21st June 2024,” said a force spokesperson.

“Various out houses were targeted with items stolen including a Stihl chainsaw and Milwaukee 18v drill.

“Have you been

offered to purchase such items recently?

“Officers are interested in hearing from persons with any information that could help us with our investigations, particularly those who may have been in the Slade Lane area with dash camera footage or that have noticed any persons or vehicles

acting suspiciously. If you have any information that could help enquiries, please get in touch.”

You can contact police by ringing the nonemergency 101 number, emailing

The crime reference number in this case is 24*548839.

Body found in search for missing 85-year-old

POLICE confirmed on Wednesday (Jul 3) that a body has been found in the search for a missing 50-yearold man from Cross Hands.

Dyfed-Powys Police launched an appeal to help find Charles after he was reported missing from his home last week.

It was believed he had last been seen in the Brynamman area.

Charles’ family have been informed, police sad.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Sadly, we can confirm a body has been found in the search for Charles.

“Formal identification has not been completed however his next of kin have been informed, and our thoughts are with the family.”

Overturned milk tanker in Narberth


services responded to an overturned milk tanker along the B4314 in Narberth on Monday afternoon (Jul 1).

Three fire engines, ambulance and police were dispatched to the incident.

The driver was assisted out of the vehicle, and was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to hospital.

A local farmer helped


firefighters to block the milk seeping from the tanker into a nearby stream.

Police assisted with traffic control whilst the operation was ongoing.

A Spokesperson for the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service told The Pembrokeshire Herald:

“At 3.49pm on Monday, July 1st, crews from Narberth, Pembroke

Dock and Whitland Fire Stations were called to an incident along the B4314 in Narberth.

“Crews responded to an overturned milk tanker containing approximately 20,000 litres of milk. Crews assisted the driver out of the vehicle who was then assessed by onscene paramedics and conveyed to hospital by road ambulance.

“Crews and a local farmer blocked the flow of milk spilling from the

vehicle from entering the watercourse.

“Natural Resources Wales was informed of the incident and the milk company attended the scene to decant the remaining milk from the overturned tanker to another. DyfedPowys Police was also in attendance and the road was closed during the incident and the vehicle’s recovery.

“MAWWFRS crews left the scene at 7.33pm.”

Bridge closed to all traffic over concerns for welfare

THE CLEDDAU BRIDGE was closed to traffic on Saturday (Jun 29) after police were called over concerns for an individual.

An RNLI lifeboat from Angle Lifeboat Station as well as a local coastguard rescue team were also called out to standby.

The bridge remained closed between around 6.30pm and 8.30pm whilst crews dealt with the incident.

The emergency services have been asked for a comment.

Custody for man who threatened to rape

A COURT has heard how a man spat into the mouths of police officers and threatened to rape their wives, mothers and children after being conveyed to hospital for treatment.

Police were called to Glangwili Hospital on June 1 after paramedics reported that the man they were attempting to treat had become aggressive.

When they arrived, they discovered Christopher Evans lying on the floor, being restrained by several paramedics.

“He kicked out at one of the officers to the chest and told him to f*** off,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“He then spat towards one of the officers, making direct contact with his face. And some went directly into his mouth.”

Ms Jackson said that Evans, who is of no fixed abode, continued to spit at the officers on three separate occasions.

A victim impact from one of the officers was read out to the court.

“It never crossed my mind that trying to help a person in need would result in an incident like this,” he said.

“I now live in continuous fear of an illness or a virus that I may have contracted as a result of the spitting.

“This could have an impact on me for the rest of my life.”

Ms Jackson said that Evans’ unacceptable behaviour continued after he was placed inside the police van


“He started kicking out and on several occasions he made threats that he was going to rape the officers’ mothers, wives and children,” she said.

She quoted him as saying to the officers, ‘One day I’ll be standing in your garden to kill you and your family.”

On June 30 Evans was seen to take two sandwiches from Greggs, Carmarthen, and walk out of the store without making any attempt to pay for them. Officers then received a report from Tesco Extra stating that Evans, who had been banned from entering the store, had taken two bottles of beer from a shelf and was throwing them around the store. He then left after stealing beer worth £3.18.

Miss Jackson concluded by saying the offences were committed within two days of Evans being granted conditional bail by District Judge Mark Layton at a previous hearing at Llanelli magistrates court.

Evans pleaded guilty to two charges of assaulting emergency workers by beating, two charges of theft and a charge of criminal damage at Tesco Extra, Carmarthen.

He was sentenced to 26 weeks in custody. He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to each of the police officers, £6.56 compensation to Tesco Extra and £6 compensation to Greggs. He must also pay £170 costs and a £154 court surcharge.

Tufnell wins in Mid and South Pembrokeshire

LABOUR have won the Mid and South Pembrokeshire seat in a tightly fought race against Stephen Crabb, the incumbent, who has served Pembrokeshire for nineteen years.

Henry Tufnell said it had been a very hardfought campaign. He said: “I would like to pay tribute to Stephen Crabb for his nineteen years of work here in Pembrokeshire, and all the other candidates. When asked what his priorities will be as the new MP for Mid and South Pembrokeshire, Tufnell said: “As I was talking through the campaign there is an importance of getting good well paid jobs here in the county, through Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan. I think that the opportunities in the Milford Haven waterway are really exciting, so I want to try and harness Labour’s plan and put that into action here in Pembrokeshire.”

Speaking to The Pembrokeshire Herald after the declaration, Stephen Crabb said: “First and foremost I am pleased with my campaign team, we knew at the outset that it was going to be incredibly difficult – that we were behind in the polls. We have built support as we have gone through this

campaign. But the other party which built support very quickly was reform.

“That is what ultimately has cost us victory tonight. It is disappointing but that is democracy.”

Stuart Marchant from Reform said that the Reform vote locally “sends a really important message”.

“Reform UK has made its mark, today is a sea-change in UK politics. Reform have entered the political arena in the UK. We will be back – this gives us the dynamite to take our mission onwards.”


Cymru, Cris Tomos



Looking concerned: Crabb as he realises he’s hasn’t got the numbers
Relaxed: Tufnell and team at the count
Lost their deposit: Liberal Democrats
Received nearly 8000 votes: Reform UK are on the rise
Tom Sinclair

Lake wins Ceredigion Preseli for Plaid Cymru

BEN LAKE has been re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Ceredigion Preseli, securing Plaid Cymru’s hold on the seat in tonight’s election.

Ben retained his seat with a total of 21,738 votes, outperforming the Liberal Democrats and Labour. This marks the third consecutive election victory for Lake, who first claimed the seat from Liberal Democrat Mark Williams in 2017 and successfully defended it against Conservative Aled Thomas in 2019.

In his victory speech, Ben expressed his gratitude, stating: “I would like to thank everybody including my competitors who have been part of a great campaign.”

The full election results for Ceredigion Preseli are as follows:

Ceredigion Preseli results

Plaid Cymru, Ben Lake

Votes 21,738

Share 46.9%

Share change +15.8

Liberal Democrat, Mark Williams

Votes 6,949

Share 15.0%

Share change +0.4

Labour, Jackie Jones

Votes 5,386

Share 11.6%

Share change -9.2

Reform UK, Karl Pollard Votes 5,374

Share 11.6%

Share change +7.6

Conservative, Aled Thomas Votes 4,763

Share 10.3%

Share change -18.0

Green, Tomos Barlow Votes 1,864

Share 4.0%

Share change +2.7

Workers Party of Britain, Taghrid Al-Mawed Votes 228

Share 0.5%

Share change +0.5

Mark Williams, who came second for the Liberal Democrats, commented: “It’s better than coming third. Second this time. It was a positive campaign and I’m very grateful for all the votes. Clearly Ben won an emphatic victory and deserves praise.

“Many issues are unresolved, however, and me and my party will continue to campaign on them.”

How Wales changed at the General Election

Labour triumphs in landslide victory

IN a historic political shift, Labour leader Keir Starmer has declared an “age of national renewal” as his party secured a landslide victory in the UK General Election, ending 14 years of Conservative governance. Starmer’s win ushers in a new era for Britain, with promises to “start to rebuild our country.”

Starmer, set to officially become Prime Minister later today following Rishi Sunak’s concession, addressed jubilant supporters at the Tate Modern in London. He expressed optimism, stating that the “sunlight of hope” was shining once more in Britain, bringing relief to many who felt burdened by the prolonged Conservative rule.

As election results rolled in, the scale of Labour’s triumph became evident. Labour won 411 seats, leaving the Conservatives trailing with just 119 seats and a handful still to declare. This dramatic shift indicates a commanding majority of

about 170 seats for Labour.

The party’s dominance extended to Scotland, where the SNP was reduced to a mere eight seats, while the Liberal Democrats celebrated their best-ever performance, securing at least 71 seats.

The Reform party also made notable gains, with leader Nigel Farage finally entering Parliament on his

eighth attempt by winning in Clacton. The Greens celebrated four victories, surprising many with wins in Waveney, North Herefordshire, and Bristol Central, and retaining their seat in Brighton.

However, Labour faced unexpected defeats in five constituencies to proPalestine independent candidates. High-profile casualties included Jonathan Ashworth in Leicester South and former Labour leader

Jeremy Corbyn reclaiming Islington North. Plaid Cymru is expected to secure four seats.

Despite Labour’s significant seat gain, their vote share was only 34%, slightly up from 2019 but lower than Jeremy Corbyn’s 40% in 2017. The Conservative vote share plummeted by 20 percentage points to 24%, with Reform capturing 14% and the Liberal Democrats close behind at 12%. Tactical voting against the Tories

significantly boosted Ed Davey’s Liberal Democrats, reflected in their high seat count.

In his victory speech, Starmer acknowledged the long journey to this triumph.

“Four and a half years of work, changing the party. This is what it is for. A changed Labour party, ready to serve our country, ready to restore Britain to the service of working people,” he declared.

He promised that while the road ahead would not be

easy, the opportunity to reclaim Britain’s future was now within reach.

Outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak conceded defeat gracefully, emphasizing the importance of a peaceful transition of power. At his election count, he reflected on a “difficult night” for his party and accepted responsibility for the loss. Despite the setback, Sunak retained his seat in Richmond, North Yorkshire, by a margin of over 12,000 votes.

“The British people have delivered a sobering verdict tonight, there is much to learn … and I take responsibility for the loss,” Sunak stated. He expressed gratitude to the Conservative candidates who, despite their efforts, were unsuccessful. “To the many good, hard-working Conservative candidates who lost tonight, despite their tireless efforts, their local records and delivery, and their dedication to their communities. I am sorry,” he added. was a win by wide margin with shallow vote

THE EXIT poll was not as bad as some of the campaign polls predicted for the Conservative Party. Nevertheless, it was cataclysmic.

And throughout the night, things got steadily worse.

The Conservatives are reduced to barely 120 seats, which is by far the worst result in their history.

Meanwhile, Labour, whose vote share fell compared to 2017, found themselves with the sort of majority that they could only have dreamed about, even at the nadir of the Truss interlude.

The big winners of the night were the Liberal Democrats, who now have 71 seats.

In Wales, Plaid Cymru had a superb night, winning four seats, while the Green Party won four in England.

Reform fulfilled the Conservatives’ worst fears by also gaining four seats. A strong showing in the poll that mattered did not result in the number of seats some opinion polls suggested for the limited company. However, in seat after seat, a vote for Reform UK handed victory to Labour candidates.

While the big story is, of course, how the Conservative vote crumbled, the election

contains a number of takeaways that should also alarm the Labour Party and caveat Reform’s relative success in its first big national test.

The first issue is turnout.

Overall turnout was historically low at less than 60%. That means four in ten eligible voters did not bother to vote for any party or even attend a polling station to spoil their ballot.

While turnout was high in individual constituencies, the low level of voting in most constituencies showed the extent of the UK population’s disengagement with the political process.

In Blaenau Gwent, turnout was less than 44%, the sort of figure that should alarm any political party.

Secondly, despite gaining a massive majority, the Labour vote only increased very slightly on its abysmal showing in 2019.

There was no massive increase in Labour’s share of the vote across the UK. The Party’s vote share FELL in those seats it already held, rising by only around four percent in seats previously held by the Conservatives.

The story of the night, therefore, is not any great

enthusiasm for Labour but voters’ determination to give the Conservatives a damned good kicking.

And the size of the shoeing can be gauged by some of the startling losses overnight.

Liz Truss, whose disastrous - and mercifully brief tenure - in Number Ten had a majority over Labour of over 26,000 votes in 2019. In 2024, Labour won her South West Norfolk seat by 630 votes on the back of an extraordinary 26.2% swing from Conservative to Labour.

At the age of 48, Ms

Truss finds herself an exPM and now an ex-MP on the political scrapheap.

For Jacob Rees Mogg in North East Somerset and Hanham, the scale of the reversal was even greater. Sir Jacob held the predecessor seat with a majority in excess of 13,000. On Thursday, that became a Labour majority of over 5,000.

Labour had its share of reverses.

Shadow Cabinet Member Thangam Debbonnaire, one of Kier Starmer’s closest political allies, was defending a

majority of almost 30,000 in her redrawn Bristol constituency and lost in a Green landslide by over 10,400 votes.

Jonathan Ashworth, another Labour Shadow Minister, saw his 23,000 majority in Leicester South evaporate as the Independent Shockat Adam won by just under 1,000.

In Scotland, the headline battle between Labour and the SNP ended decisively in the former’s favour. Labour’s vote share rose by over 17%, while the SNP’s nosedived by over 15%.

The SNP, which as recently as 2017 almost swept Scotland’s Westminster constituencies, is now reduced to a Westminster rump of nine MPs.

The SNP’s difficulties in Scotland mirror those of the Conservatives in England.

A long-standing government, beset by scandal, developed an unerring ability to shoot itself in the foot and the head with the same bullet. Churn at the top, speaking to itself more than the nation, wasting time on nuances of ideology and performing to its membership, left both the SNP and the Conservatives vulnerable to voter rejection.

In England, repulsed or despondent Conservative voters either stayed at

home or voted for Reform UK. In Scotland, SNP voters did the same.

In Wales, Labour now faces some tough electoral challenges of its own.

The Labour vote share in England increased by around 1.6%. However, in Wales, Labour’s vote share fell by almost 4%.

While the Conservative Party lost all its existing Welsh seats, its share fell less than it did across England.

Labour’s Welsh gains could be a potentially poisoned chalice.

With Senedd elections under a revised and superficially more proportional electoral system due in two years, Labour faces a squeeze from Reform in its traditional South and East Wales heartlands and widespread unpopularity outside them. The next two years could be a matter of life and death for one-party rule in Wales: Change was Labour’s rallying cry on July 4. In 2026, it’s more likely to be “No Change”.

A smart Conservative, Plaid or Reform strategist would spend time thinking about using Labour’s superficially successful slogan from this General Election in the next one to the Welsh Parliament.

Tom Sinclair
Landslide: New Prime Minister, Keir Starmer (Image: PA)
New start: Labour won 411 seats

Total annihilation of Tories in Wales

THE WELSH Conservative Party has been completely wiped out in Wales in the latest General Election, marking a significant shift in the political landscape of the region. Labour emerged victorious, securing all but five of the 32 Welsh Commons seats. Plaid Cymru captured four seats, while the Liberal Democrats won Brecon, Radnor & Cwm Tawe.

In stark contrast to the 2019 election results, where the Tories held 14 of the 40 seats, Labour had 22, and Plaid Cymru maintained their four seats. This recent outcome represents a dramatic change, with Labour now holding 27 seats in Wales.

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies expressed his disappointment on X, stating, “We are a party

that exists to govern and improve people’s opportunities. Let’s be frank: We’ve let a lot of people down.”

He acknowledged the party’s solid record in Welsh communities across various levels of government, from local councils to the Senedd and Parliament, and emphasised the need to rebuild the party ahead of the 2026 elections. Davies stressed the importance of not taking lifelong Conservative voters for granted as the first step in this rebuilding process. This election marks the first time in 23 years that the Tories have been entirely ousted from Wales, reminiscent of the 2001 scenario when there was no Conservative representation in the

region. The

returning those constituencies to Labour.

Plaid Cymru also had a strong showing, retaining their four seats, and the Liberal Democrats managed to secure one seat. The early signs of this outcome were apparent when the nowformer Welsh Secretary, David TC Davies, conceded defeat hours before the results were announced, stating he had only prepared a concession speech.

An intriguing development in this election was the performance of Reform UK, which came second in 12 of the Labour victories, surpassing the Tories and other parties. This could pose a challenge for Labour in the upcoming Senedd

As the Welsh Tories reflect on their losses, Andrew RT Davies has reiterated the party’s failures and the need for substantial change. Despite the setbacks, the Conservatives still hold 16 of the 60 seats in the Welsh Senedd, while Welsh Labour has half the seats, Plaid Cymru has 13, and the Welsh Lib Dems have one seat, now occupied by Jane Dodds, MP for Brecon, Radnor & Cwm Tawe.

Nationally, the Conservative Party is predicted to win just 131 seats, the lowest in its history, while Labour is projected to secure 410 seats, achieving an overall majority of 170. This wider national trend underscores the significant challenges facing the Conservative Party as they move forward.

Motorist admits to officers: ‘I’ve smoked a joint

A MOTORIST has been disqualified from driving after refusing to provide blood tests for analysis despite telling officers he’d ‘smoked a joint’ earlier that day.

Lee Miskin, 50, was stopped by officers on February 10 as he drove his vehicle along the A477 at Milton.

“Information had been passed to the officers that the defendant had been seen driving,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“When they spoke to the defendant, the officers could see two open containers of alcohol inside the vehicle.

“They could also smell cannabis.”

Miskin was arrested on suspicion of driving over the drink-drive limit, and when he arrived at the police station he consented to provide two breath samples, both of which were below the drinkdrive threshold.

“But he refused to provide a drug test,” continued Abigail Jackson. “He said he’d

smoked a joint that morning, and he knew he was going to be over the limit.”

Miskin originally denied the charge of failing to provide a specimen for analysis, however he changed his plea to guilty on June 13, which was when his trial was scheduled to take place at Haverfordwest magistrates court.

Miskin, of St David Close, Hubberston, Milford Haven, has nine previous convictions for 16 offences; these include two drink-driving convictions imposed in 2004 and 2008 and being in charge of a vehicle whilst unfit through drugs in 2018.

After considering a probation report, magistrates disqualified Miskin from driving for 24 months. He was also sentenced to an 18-month community order during which he must carry out 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days which will include engagement with the Dyfed Drugs and Alcohol Service. He was fined £108 and ordered to pay £300 prosecution costs and a £114 court surcharge.

19-year-old motorist banned



motorist has been dealt a three-year disqualification after driving when he was over the prescribed legal drug limit.

James Turner was found to have 96mcg of the cocaine derivative benzoylecgonine in his system when he was stopped by police officers for a routine check on the evening of December 27.

In 2022, Turner was convicted of driving over the drink-drive limit.

“He made a foolish mistake around the Christmas period, and did something he doesn’t normally do,” his solicitor, Tom Lloyd, told Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday.

“He took drugs.”

Turner, of Robert Street, Milford Haven was pulled over by officers close to his home address, in order for a routine stop check to be carried out on his vehicle, namely a white Vauxhall Corsa. A roadside drugs test proved positive, while subsequent blood tests carried out at the police station showed he had 96 mcg of benzoylecgonine in his blood. The legal limit is 50.

After considering character references submitted to the court by Turner’s solicitor, magistrates disqualified him from driving for 36 months. He was fined £366 and ordered to pay a £146 court surcharge and £85 costs.

‘Boris bounce’ that turned much of North Wales blue in 2019 has now dissipated,
elections in 2026.
Tom Sinclair
David TC Davies, Welsh Secretary, lost his seat

JCB driver caught driving after taking cannabis

A JCB driver has been disqualified by magistrates after being caught driving a Ford transit van through Maes y Frenni, Crymych.

Paul Smith, 48, was stopped by police officers on the morning of December 13.

“When they spoke to the driver, the driver admitted that he’d smoked cannabis the previous day,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

A roadside drugs wipe proved positive and further blood samples carried out at the police station confirmed Smith had 3 mcg of tetrahydrocannabinol in his system. The prescribed legal limit is 2.

Call to help windsurfer was false alarm with good intent

“He told the officers he’d taken the cannabis three days before, not one as was stated by the Crown Prosecution, and he believed this was sufficient time for the drugs to have metabolised from his system.,” he said.

“ He was completely honest with them.”

Mr Kelleher said that Smith is currently employed as a JCB driver.

“The ban is going to affect him considerably and will result in him now having to lose his job,” he said.

Smith was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was fined £80 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £32 surcharge.

Smith, of Pwlldyfarch, Talog, Carmarthen , pleaded guilty to drug-driving. He was legally represented in court by Mr Mchael Kelleher.

TENBY lifeboat was launched yesterday evening, July 3, following reports of a windsurfer in difficulty.

A member of the

public contacted HM Coastguard to say that a windsurfer off the coast of Pendine appeared to be in trouble.

However, shortly

before the volunteer crew arrived just before 7pm, a further report confirmed that the windsurfer was not in difficulty and didn’t require assista The call was treated as a false alarm with good intent and the lifeboat stood down to return to station.

Buy it back to keep it – Community ownership opportunity opens

ONE of the most exciting products of Pembrokeshire is community ownership. An idea whose time has come, it is spreading like thistle down.

On Thursday 11th July a new community asset will be offered. All are welcome to co-own Newport Pemb’s large successful wholefood shop.

Although Cris Tomos was not the first to seed the magic of community ownership, his dynamism created a veritable blizzard of winged seeds. They flew through Pembrokeshire and on to neighbouring Ceredigion. Landing in Cardigan the largest single community investment to date took root - nearly an acre of inner town with shops, houses and the cash-cow carpark. The idea flew north and west, alighting in remote vales and hills where sprouted community cafes, shops, pubs, libraries, businesses in villages and towns across rural Wales.

This form of economic ownership is neither capitalist nor state socialist. It is community centric socialism, a native Welsh breed. The businesses are place based social assets delivering something vital or enriching to the life of the area. Shares are bought by residents, visitors and others who want the area to thrive, but also, to varying degrees, want an income or the benefits of ownership. They can stroll down the street into their shops or cafes, library, cinema, theatre, swimming pool, industry and enjoy, or show off their estate, and pass it on to descendents. They receive a double dividend, financial and quality of life. No matter how many shares a person buys they only have one vote in selecting the management committee or to make decisions, but they receive income according to share payouts in the usual way.

This week is the launch of a new share offer, all are welcome, to consider taking a share of the ownership of Wholefoods of Newport. This spacious shop would be impressive in a city like Bristol, but its only customers are the residents and guests of Newport Pembrokeshire, a village shaped town of 1000 residents, doubling in the holiday seasons. The venture is carried on a tide of local ownership. Two years ago this community bought Havards to stop it closing, the first community owned hardware shop in the UK, others followed suit. Even before this, in Newport, there was a library, an information centre and a craft collective,

all community run. In such a small town, that is remarkable.

Newport bucks the trend of dying town centres. Its success has been attributed to its wealthy residents but this is missing the point. Half a century ago, when I arrived, it was not rich. It was a traditional small Welsh town with a lot of older people and only one café which then closed. But it kept its full complement of traditional shops due to family loyalty to their trades, and some highly committed individuals opening new ventures, a bookshop, a wholefood shop, later a herbal dispensary. The full complement of shops was a key attraction to people who could afford to live anywhere. They felt they were stepping back into a saner sweeter time, like a street in Beatrix Potter. ‘I’ts all so.. so human scale!” exclaimed my mum on her visits, and people abandoned the cities to do their Christmas shopping in old world quiet settings, like Newport and Narberth.

To organise a community share offer takes a lot of preparation, In this case a dedicated team who have never worked together before, they had done many things in their professional lives but never this. Week in and out ever since the idea was floated at

Newport’s Food festival last Autumn, this team have been meeting, planning, designing, translating, researching, wading through spreadsheets and due procedures. On the outside I have been witness to the quantities of work done with good humour and collaboration as they discovered their varying skills and consolidated into a team. Thursday is the day they open the door to the share offer, see advert opposite.

There is so much to be ashamed of in our old country, and now I mean the UK, so much. But dare I be

proud that this ability for strangers to come together and take on a major enterprise at absolutely no material gain to themselves, out of love of local food, good shopping, their community and a sane sustainable future, is a specialism of our shores? This collaborative impulse may have its origin in the industrial organising forced on an oppressed working class as their way to regain strength through unity, or possibly further back in the diggers, it flowered during WWII. Wherever it began it keeps alive hope for the future of humanity, a candle in the gathering global gloom.

The committee with the Wholefood shop owners.

Drug-driver is sentenced following three-car pileup

A MOTORIST responsible for a three-car Christmas pile-up on the A40 near Penblewin has appeared before magistrates after pleading guilty to drug-driving.

Police received a call on the night of December 19 that three vehicles had collided on the A40 between Penblewin and Whitland.

When offices arrived at the scene, they discovered the collision which included a Ford Fiesta that was being driven by Marco Lewis, 31.

“It was obvious to the officers that he was intoxicated as his eyes were extremely glazed and he was unsteady on his feet,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“It was also apparent that he was unable to focus on what was being said to him.”

Lewis admitted to the officers that he had been driving the Fiesta at the time of the collision and had also been carrying a passenger. He claimed the vehicle was relatively new, resulting in him swerving across the road and colliding head-on with oncoming vehicles.

A roadside drugs wipe proved positive and Lewis was taken to the police custody suite for blood tests to be carried out

for analyses. These confirmed he had been driving with 1,200 mcg of diazepam in his blood. The threshold limit is 550 mcg. A number of other illegal drugs were found in his blood, however these were all below the legal limit.

Lewis, of Victoria Close, Narberth, pleaded guilty to a charge of driving above the specified legal drug limit.

Magistrates requested a probation report prior to sentencing the defendant.

Probation officer Julie Norman informed magistrates that the incident occurred during a particularly difficult time for Lewis, following his sister’s death earlier in the year, aged 24.

“This was a trigger for his drug abuse,” she said. “After the offence, he took matters into his own hands and has received treatment from the drugs team and is now abstinent from all substances. He was discharged from their services in May, so this is a very positive step in the right direction.”

Lewis was placed on a 12-month community order during which he must carry out 15 rehabilitation requirement days. He was fined £120 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £114 court surcharge. He was disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Pembroke Dock resident admits sexually assaulting another man

A MAN from Pembroke Dock has admitted sexually assaulting another man at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court.

Matthew Gilbert, 39, of Water Street, appeared charged with sexual assault.

The court was told

Blast furnace at Port Talbot Steelworks to close

ONE of its historic furnaces closed down today (Friday).

Blast Furnace 5 (BF5), which has been operating since 1959, will shut as part of Tata Steel UK’s extensive restructure.

Port Talbot’s other furnace is set to end production of liquid iron in September, paving the way for the construction of a greener electric arc furnace next year.

Local residents have been warned about the sights and sounds associated with the cooling of BF5. The furnace, which had undergone major rebuilding and renovation works to

remain operational, is now preparing for its final shutdown. Earlier this week, engineers began altering the raw ingredients poured into the blast furnace to facilitate its decommissioning. Plumes of steam and whooshing sounds were anticipated ahead of the final tapping of liquid iron on Thursday evening or Friday morning.

BF5 began its operational life in May 1959, initially producing 11,800 tonnes of iron a week. Production peaked

in 2009, with output exceeding 57,000 tonnes per week.

The furnace’s history is marred by a tragedy that struck in November 2001, when an explosion killed three steelworkers and severely injured 12 others.

The explosion, which was caused by water coming into contact with hot materials in the furnace, resulted in tonnes of molten iron bursting from the structure and lifting the top of the massive furnace into the air. The disaster claimed the lives of Stephen Galsworthy, 25, Andrew Hutin, 20, and Len Radford, 53.

A £65 million rebuilding

of the furnace, along with subsequent upgrades, enabled it to continue producing the liquid iron crucial for Port Talbot’s steelworks. However, its closure is now imminent as part of Tata Steel UK’s broad restructuring efforts. While BF5 will close this week, Blast Furnace 4 is scheduled to shut in September, ending Port Talbot’s capability to produce liquid iron from ore.

The restructuring will have significant implications for the workforce, with approximately 2,800 out of Tata’s 8,000 employees set to lose their jobs.

that Gilbert is alleged to have touched the man without his consent in Neyland on September 28 last year.

Gilbert will be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on July 17, and he was granted bail until then.

Tom Sinclair

Armed Forces Day celebrated in Pembroke Dock and Milford Haven


June 29 the community gathered outside the Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre to celebrate Armed Forces Day, honouring the service and dedication of military personnel. The event featured historical military vehicles and reenactors in authentic uniforms, capturing the spirit of the past.

The Milford Haven Sea Cadets were in attendance, joining veterans and other participants in showcasing their pride. The cadets displayed impressive skills, reinforcing the event’s focus on teamwork and dedication.

The Mayor of Pembroke Dock delivered a heartfelt

speech, highlighting the significance of the day and expressing the community’s gratitude for the Armed Forces’ contributions. The ceremony included a presentation of colours, adding to the sense of tradition and respect.

In addition, a smaller event took place at the Royal British Legion in Milford Haven, which was also well attended. This gathering further emphasised the community’s support for the military.

Armed Forces Day in Pembroke Dock and Milford Haven was a memorable occasion, fostering a strong sense of community and appreciation for those who serve.

A dazzling display awaits at Tenby’s Summer Spectacular

TENBY is gearing up for its muchanticipated Summer Fireworks Spectacular, set to light up the skies on August 11 and 25. The event, kicking off at 3 PM, promises an evening filled with food stalls, live music, and entertainment, culminating in a breathtaking fireworks display. Prime viewing spots include the harbour, Castle Hill, and North Beach, ensuring everyone can enjoy the show.

Organised by the Tenby Round Table, this community event aims to support local charities, with all proceeds going towards various community initiatives. The fireworks display is professionally managed, ensuring both safety and a stunning visual experience. Visitors and locals alike are invited to join in the festivities, making it a perfect summer evening to remember.

Tenby’s Summer Fireworks Spectacular is more than just a pyrotechnic display; it’s a

celebration of community spirit and local culture.

The event’s popularity has grown over the years, attracting visitors from near and far, all eager to witness the vibrant atmosphere and dazzling lights. The combination of live music, delicious food, and the enchanting coastal backdrop makes

it an unmissable event for families, friends, and fireworks enthusiasts.

The organisers have also emphasised the importance of sustainability and safety, with measures in place to ensure minimal environmental impact and maximum enjoyment for all attendees. Local businesses and vendors are set to showcase their offerings, adding to the festive spirit and providing

a taste of Tenby’s unique charm.

For those planning to attend, it’s advisable to arrive early to secure the best spots and fully immerse in the pre-show festivities. The event is not just a highlight of Tenby’s summer calendar but also a testament to the town’s vibrant community life and its commitment to creating memorable experiences for all.

Coastguard helicopter rescues person in distress

A PERSON in danger in the water off a popular local beach has been plucked to safety by a coastguard helicopter in a multiagency rescue involving coastguards and local lifeboats.

Just before 7.16pm yesterday, Thursday, June 27, a member of the public contacted coastguards, reporting a person in difficulty in the water off Llangrannog.

Coastguard rescue teams from New Quay, Cardigan, and Fishguard were tasked to the incident, as well as both New Quay lifeboats and the coastguard rescue helicopter.

The New Quay Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) and All Weather Lifeboat (ALB), which were out on a training exercise, quickly arrived on the scene. The casualty had managed to get onto a rocky outcrop and was swiftly located.

Due to the precarious

Tom Sinclair

position, the ILB could not safely reach the casualty, and the coastguard rescue teams were unable to access the outcrop for a rope rescue. It was determined that a helicopter winch rescue was the only viable option.

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 187 lowered

a winch person onto the outcrop. Meanwhile, coastguard rescue teams prepared a helicopter landing site on Llangrannog Beach.

The casualty was safely winched to the beach and reunited with their family.

“This was a great example of emergency services working together,” said a spokesperson for New


AS I’ve mentioned, my beloved has a keen interest in politics.

It’s why, in recent weeks, I’ve become concerned about her eyesight.

The number of times I’ve looked up from reading the adventures of Alf Tupper, “the tough of the track” in the Victor Annual 1967, to see her rolling her eyes at the TV while one or other of a series of suited idiots spouts tosh makes me wonder if politics—like other activities that shall remain nameless— causes blindness.

I’ve already decided that I will not cast my vote. I discovered, to my horror, that the Monster Raving Loony Party is not putting forward a candidate in Mid & South Pembrokeshire. While there are a couple of suitably deranged alternatives standing for other parties, they are either too loony or not quite loony enough.

So, on the day of what the newspapers, telly, and Radio Four insist on telling me is the most important election in recent history, I shall be at home drinking tea and considering the plot intricacies of Captain Hurricane in my small stash of vintage Valiant Annuals.

At some point, I shall move on to Wham! and the misadventures of Grimly Feendish, the Rottenest Crook in the World.

What bliss!

My darling one, on the other hand, will be combing the airwaves for election updates and waiting for Clive Myrie to appear on the screen.

meal inside him. She certainly seems keen to give him one.

Although, I might have misheard that bit.

Sometime around ten o’clock, my beloved’s excitement will reach fever pitch when the first exit poll appears.

A couple of hours later, when she’s on her third cup of cocoa, she’ll drop off in front of the telly after the first results roll in.

By that time, I’ll be tucked up in bed and dreaming of what would happen if I ruled the world.

Based on previous experience, Angelina Jolie will be involved, as well as an unfeasibly large quantity of pingpong balls, pogo sticks, and water balloons.

Then, around two in the morning, my darlingest one will make her way to bed and inform me that I’ll never guess who’s lost their seat.

She’s right.

I won’t.

So, she’ll tell me.

Then I’ll spend a sleepless hour while my beloved snores next to me, wondering whether the person she named is the one who always reminds me of Professor Yaffle from Bagpuss or the one who looks like a slightly stunned photocopier salesman.

Slowly, I’ll return to sleep—deep sleep. There will still be pingpong balls and water balloons. However, I have a horrible feeling Angelina Jolie will be replaced by Ann Widdecombe on a pogo stick.

Quay Coastguard Rescue Team.

HM Coastguard Cardigan added, “It was great working with all the other services this evening and an excellent result with the person safe and well and back on shore with their family. Well done to all.

“If you see anyone in trouble around the coast, please dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

The missus likes Clive Myrie but thinks he needs a good

Thinking it through, perhaps I’ll be better off staying awake. Who wouldn’t want to see this election’s Portaloo moment?

Pembrokeshire flies the flag for brilliant beaches


has once again underlined its status as home to some of the best beaches in Wales following another successful year of awards.

Seventeen Pembrokeshire beaches have picked up either Blue Flag or Green Coast Awards in the Wales Coast Awards 2024.

Proudly flying the Blue Flag in 2024 are: Tenby North, Tenby South, Tenby Castle, Newgale, Saundersfoot, Dale, Whitesands, Coppet Hall, Poppit Sands and Broad Haven (north).

The Blue Flag Award is recognised around the world as a symbol of quality.

A further seven county beaches also achieved Green Coast Awards.

The Green Coast Awards recognise the ‘hidden gems’ of the coastline which also have excellent quality of water but not the same level of infrastructure as traditional seaside resorts.

The Green Coast Awards went to Abereiddy, Freshwater

East, Manorbier, Penally, Caerfai, Druidston and West Angle Bay. Pembrokeshire County Council Leisure Services Manager, Gary Nicholas, said: “We are extremely pleased to have matched last year’s results with 17 of our fantastic beaches again being recognised in the Wales Coast Awards. “This doesn’t happen by accident,

it underlines the yearround efforts to maintain our beaches and keep the Pembrokeshire coastline a brilliant place to live and visit.”

Owen Derbyshire, Keep Wales Tidy Chief Executive said: “We’re delighted to see another successful year of Coast Awards here in Wales, with 49 stunning locations recognised among the world’s best.

“Achieving these prestigious awards means meeting rigorous standards put in place to ensure the safe enjoyment of visitors now and in years to come. This success is testament to the hard work of all involved in maintaining and enhancing the natural beauty of our Welsh coastline.”

Bespoke Individuals: Fostering community and support in Pembroke

IN the heart of Pembroke, a remarkable initiative called “Bespoke Individuals” has been making waves as a vibrant social and support group. This inclusive gathering is designed for adults with spinal cord injuries and mobility challenges, offering a welcoming environment for individuals and their carers.

Meeting every Tuesday at the Tanyard, the group opens its doors to adults aged 18 and over, providing a space where members can engage in various activities ranging from games and sports to arts, crafts, and even wheelchair boxing. With a keen focus on reducing social isolation, Bespoke Individuals has become a cornerstone for many seeking connection and camaraderie.

During the summer, the group expands its repertoire with barbecues and outings, further enhancing the community spirit. The sessions run from 1:45 PM to 3:45 PM, fostering an ever-growing membership that thrives on mutual support and shared experiences. For more information, interested individuals can contact the group via phone at 07436 877 685 or email at bindividuals@ With a strong presence on social media, Bespoke Individuals continues to build friendships and reduce barriers, proving that support and socialisation are crucial

Tom Sinclair

elements of well-being. For further details, visit their website at www. bespokeindividuals.

West Wales Graded Badminton Competition debuts in Pembrokeshire

THIS weekend, Pembrokeshire welcomed elite badminton players from across Wales to the firstever West Wales Graded competition. Hosted by Haverfordwest Badminton Club, the event showcased over 100 players vying for ranking points at the impressive Pembrokeshire Sports Village.

The graded competition is a series of 4 tournaments across held across Wales in which Badminton Wales, the national governing body of badminton, pick the best players to compete in the annual Four Nations Graded International against England, Scotland and Ireland.

Badminton Wales Huw John, who has played badminton for over 50 years and a former All England Masters singles champion described the event as “Truly fantastic, a super tournament. It was wonderful to see some new faces taking part and what a lovely place Pembrokeshire is to come and visit. The event has been a credit to your club.” Huw currently trains young and upcoming badminton talents like Miya Pan and Janis Leung and it was no surprise to him that both players reached the Women’s singles final, with Miya eventually taking the crown. The standout


performer of the day in the men’s E/F grade competitions was Jamie Noble, who achieved a remarkable treble by winning the men’s

singles, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles.

Jamie, a 24-year-old from Flintshire, North Wales, shared his excitement:

“This is the first time

I’ve won all three events at a single competition, and it feels good — quite surreal, to be honest. I’m exhausted though, and my legs are still hurting

48 hours later! I really enjoyed the day; it was a great event with a good standard of play, and I had some tough but fun games.”

Jamie has been playing badminton since the age of 7 but has faced challenges this year due to injuries. The West Wales Graded competition marked his return to competitive play after over two months. Jamie’s talent became evident at age 11 when he received one-onone coaching from Luke Tanner, a coach based in North Wales. Now, he plays twice, sometimes three times a week, and encourages others to take up the sport, citing its fun nature and fitness benefits.

The club expressed their gratitude for the crucial funding provided by Valero, without which the competition would not have been possible. Stephen Thornton, Valero’s Manager of Public Affairs, commented: “Hosting this event is a fantastic achievement for Haverfordwest Badminton Club and for the sport in the county. Valero’s ethos is all about promoting inclusivity and excellence, and this event encapsulates both.”

Following the success of the competition, Badminton Wales has revealed that it is very likely they will return to Pembrokeshire in 2025.

RAF top brass visits Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre

WALES’ senior RAF officer, Air Commodore Rob Woods, sampled Pembrokeshire’s rich aviation heritage when he paid his first official visit to the county on Friday (Jun 21).

Appointed Air Officer Wales in March, Air Commodore Woods – joined by his Staff Officer Flight Lieutenant Ella Fortune – was welcomed to Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre by trustees and many members of the volunteer team. His tour of the centre took in the extensive

Tom Sinclair

displays on the RAF flying boat station at Pembroke Dock , including the wartime Sunderland which sank in the Haven waterway.

There was a surprise reunion with Air Commodore Woods meeting again with retired Squadron Leader Mike Hayes who was part of his team when commanding officer at RAF St Athan, Cardiff. Mike is a volunteer at the centre.

Also greeting him

were representatives of several organisations and individuals involved in recording and remembering Pembrokeshire’s aviation history.

The Heritage Centre has developed very close connections with the RAF Wales team on several projects and plans for future links were discussed.

Later, Air Commodore Woods was welcomed at Carew Cheriton Control Tower museum where other chapters in Pembrokeshire’s aviation story are told.

Miya Pan receiving her Women’s Singles winners medal
Jamie Noble receiving his Men’s Singles winners medal, the first of three during the day!

World War II veterans honoured guests at Heritage Centre

FOUR World War II Veterans, whose combined ages total 397 years, were honoured guests at a unique gathering hosted by Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre for the older person’s charity, Age Cymru Dyfed.

This coincided with an exhibition at the centre marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day and the invasion of Occupied Europe in 1944.

Royal Navy Veteran Tony Bird, of Freshwater East, believed to be Pembrokeshire’s last surviving veteran of the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944, served aboard the Flower class corvette HMS Clematis – part of a huge fleet protecting the invasion. Tony recently celebrated his 100th birthday.

Joining him were 101-year-old Neville Bowen, of Ammanford, a Royal Navy gunner on wartime Atlantic convoys;

Duncan Hilling (98), of Saundersfoot, a Royal Welch Fusilier who served in India and with occupying forces in Japan at war’s end, and Idwal Davies (98), of Llanelli, a Royal Armoured Corps Churchill tank crewman.

They were supported by veterans of other military eras, representatives of the Royal Navy, the Army and RAF, the Royal British Legion, and the veterans staff and volunteer team of Age Cymru Dyfed.

Colonel James Phillips, Veterans Commissioner, and Lieutenant Colonel Hayley Edwards, AFC Regional Liaison Officer, were among the guests.

Hugh Morgan, Age Cymru Dyfed Veterans Coordinator, said: “It was wonderful to witness Tony, Neville, Duncan and Idwal recounting stories from 80 years ago and so obviously enjoying each other’s company and it was also a tremendous privilege

for the invited guests to be in the presence of ‘our greatest generation’.”

In additional to Tony Bird, the Heritage Centre’s D-Day

exhibition features the stories of many local servicemen who took part in the Normandy campaign following the D-Day landings. They

include Royal Marine Ted Owens, Army despatch rider Gordon Prime and Maurice Mullins, who arrived in France in a glider on June 6th.

The Centre’s D-Day exhibition is on display for the rest of the year. The Centre is open Mondays to Fridays, 10 am to 4 pm.

Crymych Chief Fire Officer presented with British Empire Medal

ON FRIDAY (Jun 28)

Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas joined the crew from Crymych Fire Station, and working in partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council, welcomed His Majesty’s LordLieutenant of Dyfed –Miss Sara Edwards to present Watch Manager (WM) Euros Edwards with his British Empire Medal.

WM Euros Edwards proudly attended Crymych Fire Station accompanied by close friends and family, along with fellow members of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) to receive his British Empire Medal. This medal celebrates his long-standing career and his commitment to the community of Crymych.

Euros’ career started at MAWWFRS, known then as Dyfed Fire

Brigade, in 1979. He was subsequently promoted to Leading Firefighter in 1987 and Sub-Officer in 1988. Euros has served the communities of Pembrokeshire and MAWWFRS faithfully for over 40 years and has played a prominent role in maintaining high levels of availability at Crymych Fire Station during this time.

In 1998, he was instrumental in introducing a voluntary Co-Responder scheme to Crymych, an initiative which has provided invaluable support for local Ambulance and has saved many lives in the communities of North Pembrokeshire. To support the CoResponder scheme, Euros has also played a key role in raising over £40,000 to purchase a

new vehicle for the Fire Station, which illustrates his drive and commitment to supporting his local community.

On receiving the British Empire Medal, WM Euros Edwards said: “I am very humbled and proud to be awarded the British Empire Medal. After 44 years of Service, the commitment that On-Call must give, I wouldn’t change a thing. I have enjoyed my time in the Service. If there is anyone out there that would like to give back to their community, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service are currently looking for OnCall Firefighters.”

Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas said: “I am delighted that Euros’ commitment and dedication has been recognised by His Majesty the King in the 2024 New Year Honours List. This award recognises Euros’ hard work and

lifelong devotion to his local community and the leadership that he has provided to the crew at Crymych Fire Station.”

The afternoon was a joyous occasion and a real celebration of Euros’ long service achievements and

dedication to the Fire and Rescue Service throughout the years. Many congratulations Euros.

New partnership enables inclusive access to the Milford Haven Waterway

THE PORT OF MILFORD HAVEN and Blue Horizons Surf School are proud to announce a new partnership that enables more inclusive access to the Milford Haven Waterway. The monthly boat trips onboard a vessel that can facilitate safe embarkation for wheelchair users are enabling more people to safely enjoy the waterway and the associated wellbeing benefits that brings.

As custodians of the Milford Haven Waterway, the Port of Milford Haven actively promotes, encourages and enables sustainable recreational use of the Haven. There is increasing recognition of the importance of spending time in and around the water and nature, also known as ‘blue spaces’, and studies have proven it to have a positive impact on physical and mental wellbeing.

and learning about our fascinating waterway. The feedback has shown it has positively impacted so many in varied ways; the calming effects of watching the water swirl by, the salt air helping bring a better night’s sleep, the support of a team onboard and the company of like-minded people allowing them the chance to relax and enjoy an adventurous activity together. Every trip has a unique story to tell and we feel very privileged to be a part of it.”

Blue Horizons Surf School is a Community Interest Company offering surf lessons, beach days and coastal exploration for children and adults in Pembrokeshire. This collaboration merges the dedication Blue Horizon has to inclusivity and the Port’s commitment to providing a safe and enjoyable waterway, as well as equality and diversity.

The Port of Milford Haven’s community

outreach programme focuses on providing opportunities for young people, enjoyment of the waterway and promoting skills and jobs. The boat trips, which are on board a vessel provided by Dale Sailing in Neyland, will take small groups to explore the different areas of the Milford Haven Waterway. Each trip is adapted to the needs of those attending to ensure it’s a safe space to socialise and explore.

Oliver Bird from Blue Horizons Surf School, said “The inspiration for these boat trips in Pembrokeshire was born from listening to individuals and families with shared experiences in order to understand what was needed to make a boat trip truly accessible. The trips give everyone the opportunity to safely and comfortably experience the open seas, seeing a different aspect of our beautiful coastline

Supporting the trips, Coxswain at the Port of Milford Haven, Graham Howells added:

“After a conversation with a friend whose son has cerebral palsy and autism, it became apparent that accessible adventure activities in Pembrokeshire were severely limited. Blue Horizons had been running accessible surfing sessions last summer, but their season had to come to a halt as the water temperature dropped in the autumn. The idea that we might be able

to get people and their carers out on a warm dry boat was met with great enthusiasm by all partners concerned. It is my great pleasure to be involved on behalf of the Port of Milford Haven. We are extremely grateful for the Port’s financial support and to Dale Sailing for the use of an accessible boat. I hope this is just the beginning of an exciting opportunity to provide accessible activities and respite for service users, their families and carers.” Communications and Marketing Director at the Port, Anna Malloy, commented “We’re really excited to be partnering with Blue Horizons. At the Port we’re committed to ensuring safe enjoyment of the Milford Haven Waterway for all, and who knows, maybe the experience of being out on the waters will inspire some of the passengers to consider a career in maritime. What a fantastic outcome that would be!” For more information about the boat trips, contact Blue Horizons CIC Surf Club on Facebook.

A Welsh flavour at the Llandeilo Antiques and Vintage Fair

The next Antiques and Vintage Fair will be held at the Llandeilo Civic Hall on Saturday 6thJuly

Nestling into the Carmarthenshire countryside Llandeilo is a busy town ,lying on the outskirts of Carmarthen and just 15 minutes away from the end of the M4, it’s conveniently .The Civic Hall can be found right in the Centre of the town ,opposite the main Car park. Here you will find a bustling, vibrant Fair with lots of antiques and vintage on display. The variety is impressive ,with lots to keep your interest.There will be a number of outside stands to compliment the inside displays.Here you will find a good selection of gardening tools and and some unusual items.

The Llandeilo fair has a rich cross section of antiques and vintage on offer, including collections of rare Welsh pottery, art and textiles.

However one area of collecting that has become popular is the collecting of old miners snuff / tobacco boxes.

Snuff boxes date from a time when snuff taking was a popular habit, from 18th to mid 19th century. Snuff boxes could be exquisitely made and valuable; the cheapest were made from potato pulp or brass. The habit lingered on amongst the aristocracy and monarchy.

However there’s some debate as to whether the humble brass boxes that the Welsh miners carried were in fact to carry twist tobacco and not snuff. Miners commonly carried tobacco tins such as these, often containing ‘twist’, or chewing tobacco. Smoking was of course not permitted underground, and chewing tobacco provided an alternative. As well as allowing a lost tin to be returned, these details could presumably help with identification should the worst happen, and the owner be killed or badly wounded in a colliery accident.

Surprisingly, although mentioned in the list of commonly collected types of mining memorabilia on the NMMA’s website, there has been nothing written to date regarding either miner’s tobacco tins or snuff boxes.

These boxes were regarded as being fairly commonplace until collector’s fever became all pervasive and they became more difficult to find.

not really be used for snuff. They were too big, subject to splitting at the hinge, and liable to fall open after rough usage. The only other item they could conceivably been designed to hold was “Twist” chewing tobacco – being topped up daily from a larger brass storage tin kept in their owners’ homes. Twist’ is made from dark- fired leaf, which is then twisted or spun into

A typical Welsh miners’ tobacco or snuff tin bearing its original owners name and address - “A. E. BOON / 10 PRESTON ST. / ABERTILLERY”.This original is of brass and measures approximately 3 inches long and has a hinged lid .

The majority of these tins belonged to miners. Most of the place names are colliery related, and the addresses – where they are marked –confirm this. However, there are rare ones for example with the name RADYR inscribed on the tin .RADYR use to be a large coal siding junction outside Cardiff. The nearest collieries to this location (Rockwood Colliery and Nantgarw) were some three miles away. There must have been a large number of manual workers ,not colliery related , who used these tins. Also some agricultural workers used them apart from when they were not allowed to smoke during the corn harvests.

Now, for what purpose were these tins really used? From their general appearance and size (typically oval of 75 mm by 45 mm by 20 mm deep) plus method of manufacture, they could

understand that miners in the northern areas took snuff extensively, and that chewing tobacco was kept in trouser or jacket pockets.

Both are rectangular and 2.5 and 3 inches tall respectively. The three number combination lock examples bears the name of “LEWIS POWELL” of

The obverse and reverse sides of a highly engraved 3 inch long brass tobacco tin. The obverse bears the name of the tin’s once owner “DAVID WATKINS” plus the date “1890”.

a long lengths. It was the cheapest tobacco available. Chewing tobacco also prevented the miners mouths from drying out from breathing in the dust-laden air of the mine.

A typical storage tin similar to many of those used in the homes of late C19th Welsh miners for storing “Twist” tobacco. This brass example measures approximately 6 inches tall by 2.5 inches diameter.

Some of the tobacco tins still retain the dark tobacco deposit, and smell sweetly pungent. So what about snuff? This was certainly used by the Welsh miners - but to what extent? Snuff was sold in small tins and so there was no need for any purpose-made snuff tin. I

In appearance the tobacco tins are usually oval, with some rectangular with rounded edges. They are made commonly of brass, of varying quality of construction from thin to quite substantive. The thin type dents and cracks easily, and there is almost invariably damage around the hinge to most of the brass tins with subsequent repair by soldering. This is a good area to examine for coal/ oil deposits to confirm mining use. The best quality – and scarcetins were made of nickel, and have better endured the years of use. A further type of extremely ornate and well-crafted brass tin exists which have complex locking mechanisms in place of their simple and usual tightly fastening lids. At least one of these examples also has a “dummy” spring-loaded opening button. If pressed down this unsuspecting brass button retracts allowing a steel pin to project out of its centre into the finger or thumb of the uninitiated!

“PORTH” plus the date “1902”. The second, four number combination lock example, has been styled in the form of a book. It carries a personal name plus the location name “TREHARRIS” on its reverse side.

Most of the more collectable surviving tins are punched (often quite crudely) with the miner’s name, year, and place of residence. The majority of these miner’s tins were produced between 1890 and 1928, but there must be earlier ones to be found and of course many later ones continuing to the closure of the collieries. Some have the miner’s full address – which is reflected in the purchase price today! Again, most have punched designs and patterns, many quite intricate. On some, the curved baseline guide marks made with a metal scriber can still be seen and on others the lines form part of the design. More rarely, with good quality tins the name of the manufacturer is also stamped inside the base of the tin. These manufacturers sometimes appear in commercial directories of the period listed as ironmongers, though they were not the only people to have made them. Some boxes were even made in colliery lamp rooms while

Two “fanncy” tobacco tins - Both have combination number locks and are elaborately engraved on all sides.

patterned, ready to have their ultimate owner’s details added in a final customisation stage.

A scarce example of

a tobacco tin bearing makers details on the inside of its bowl. In this case the maker is clearly stated as being one “THOMAS EVANS” of Treherbert, South Wales.

As with all collectibles in today’s markets the condition of antique tobacco tins greatly influences prices.However these little boxes that were shaped to easily slide into a pocket,are almost unique to Wales and Somerset and make ideal start to collecting a bit of Welsh history.

Glynda Speed who will be standing at the Llandeilo fair will be displaying an impressive collection of these rare welsh miners tins . This monthly fair doesn’t disappoint and people are amazed at the quality on offer of genuine antiques with a good representation of silver, jewellery and interior design pieces plus the specialised interests of militaria, coins and postcards, gardinaliaa and tools. There will be also collections of vintage textiles and always examples of welsh blankets

.Refreshments will be available and ample parking can be found opposite the hall.Doors open at 10 am until 4pm. Admission is just £2 Dogs are welcome at the fair.

others were custom made by local tinsmiths. It is further interesting to note that some boxes appear to have been made pre-

For more information follow Derwen Antiques on FB and Instagram , or go to the web site wwwderwen antiques.

New state of the art creamery officially opens


CREAMERY has officially launched its cutting-edge milk processing facility in Pembrokeshire, marking a significant milestone in its mission to bring ‘fully Welsh’ milk to Welsh consumers.

The creamery opened on Tuesday (Jul 2). It is the only BRCGS-accredited liquid milk facility in Wales, meaning it is the only facility able to supply major retailers in Wales with Welsh milk. By removing the need for Welsh milk to be transported to bottling plants in England, Pembrokeshire

Creamery is reducing food miles, increasing supply chain efficiency,

creating new skilled jobs, and supporting local farming communities.


Creamery, which has created around 80 new jobs, has the capacity to bottle more than a million litres of milk a week and has recently announced major deals to supply own-branded milk to Asda and Lidl stores across Wales. When the dairy reaches full capacity, it will be able to supply around 2 million litres of milk a week.


The development of Pembrokeshire

Creamery was initially supported by the Welsh Government

Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs, said: “I am delighted that the new Pembrokeshire Creamery has started processing Welsh milk for Lidl and Asda. This new facility, supported by Welsh Government Rural Development investment underlines the commitment of the Welsh Government to the dairy sector in Wales. This investment ensures that milk which previously had to be transported to England is now processed in Wales. As a result, Welsh consumers will now be able to buy Welsh milk, produced in Wales.

and Pembrokeshire

County Council when they formed a joint venture to create the Pembrokeshire Food Park. This was instrumental as it created the plots and infrastructure required (drainage, water, and power) for Pembrokeshire

Creamery to locate its new state-of-the-art dairy.

Subsequent Welsh Government support was awarded with £5 million grant funding through the Food Business Investment Scheme and an additional £1.4 million of grant funding from the Food Business Accelerator Scheme.

Funding support has also been provided

by HSBC and to date, nearly £20 million has been invested in the site to process highquality Welsh milk that is farmed, bottled, and sold in Wales.

The company recently announced plans to support the development of a second milk processing line and automated trolley fillers, meeting the growing demand for locally sourced Welsh milk while ensuring the industry’s future sustainability.

Commenting on the opening, Mark McQuade, managing director of Pembrokeshire Creamery Ltd said: “This has been a great opportunity to celebrate our early successes and all that means for

the people that we’ve employed and the dairy farmers who we work with. We’re creating new markets with major retailers for authentic Welsh milk which in turn is helping us complete our mission to deliver sustainably sourced Welsh milk, bottled right here in Wales while offering a fair and transparent price to farmers.

“We are already committing to more investment and increasing our capacity – and we would like to thank all of the people locally, our staff and suppliers, who have supported us as we’ve built and opened our new state-of-the-art facility,” he said.

Huw Irranca-Davies,

“This commitment is part of our vision for achieving growth and productivity improvement which benefits the workforce, people and society. It also supports the industry to reach high levels of sustainability, raising the Food and Drink industry’s reputation in Wales, the UK and overseas,” he said.

Led by an experienced team, Pembrokeshire Creamery emphasises fair pricing for farmers who tirelessly produce high-quality Welsh milk. Their commitment extends to paying a fair market-related price for dairy farmers, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare, which is consistent with their aspiration to be at the forefront of the dairy industry.

At the heart of Pembrokeshire Creamery’s mission lies a commitment to sourcing 100% of its milk from Welsh cows, reducing food miles, and supporting local farming communities. Their ultimate goal is to be the leading supplier of Welsh milk.

Images Martin Cavaney/ Pembrokeshire Creamery

Paul Sartori receives donation to continue support to Dementia patients

PAUL SARTORI Hospice at Home, a local charity, supporting end of life and palliative patients, their families and carers have recently been awarded a grant from Elise Pilkington Charitable Trust. The grant of £10,000 has been given to extend its previous support given to patients living at home with dementia in Pembrokeshire.

“This funding has come at a crucial time for us. We had funding for a few trails where we recognised a need for support. We know the difference this care makes to local families supporting a relative with dementia at home. It can be exhausting. Quite often they cannot leave their loved one unattended and they get very little time to themselves, which can have a great impact on the family carer. This project will increase the resilience of the family carer and support the patient in a familiar environment where they feel comfortable and secure,” said Laura Hugman, Clinical Team Manager at Paul Sartori Hospice at Home.

The award will fund up to 232 hours of hands-on home nursing care, allowing day and night-time respite for those families who are struggling. Families can

access support during the day – so they can address their own care needs, attend appointments, catch up with friends, enjoy their hobbies or just rest. Families who need respite can also access support during the night. They will have peace of mind knowing that their loved one is looked after by Paul Sartori staff who are experienced and trained in many complex medical conditions.

“We were delighted

to hear that the Elise Pilkington Charitable Trust have agreed to support this muchneeded provision in Pembrokeshire,” said Judith Williams, Grant Development Officer at Paul Sartori Hospice at Home.

“The Elise Pilkington Trust were delighted to be able to support this important work at Paul Sartori in supporting end of life patients with advanced dementia. This

fits very well with our aims of supporting projects dedicated to addressing the needs of older people with advanced dementia (and their carers) in domestic, community and formal care settings,” said Ruth Tarry, Chairman from the Elise Pilkington Charitable Trust.

This follows on from support provided by NFU Mutual’s Agency Giving Fund and the Hywel Dda University Health Board, where both trials

proved invaluable for local families. Although Dementia was not recognised until recently as something you can die of. According to the Office for National Statistics, Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was recorded as one of the leading causes of death in Wales in April 2023.

The Paul Sartori Hospice at Home Clinical Staff Team are aware of the difference supporting those living with

Dementia and the impact on families and will work with the Admiral and Marie Curie Dementia Nurses to enhance the support locally.

The Paul Sartori Team play an important part in supporting end of life patients and their families, which also enhances the provision of other local services. With the team’s flexible and rapid approach, they support the patient’s wish to be cared for in their own home. They offer a patient-centred approach to care – assessing patients, referring to other internal services, work closely with other healthcare providers and are available as advisors. They provide a wide range of other services, including home nursing care, 24hour support, standby service, complementary therapy, bereavement and counselling support, physiotherapy, future care planning and training. These services enable people in the later stages of any life limiting illness to be cared for and to die at home with dignity, independence, pain free and surrounded by those they hold most dear if that is their wish. Further information on the charity and its services can be obtained by visiting their website www.paulsartori. org, or by phoning 01437 763223.

New directors are ‘leading the way’ at solicitors firm


based JCP Solicitors has recently appointed

two new Directors, demonstrating the law firm’s commitment

to developing future leaders. This double promotion names Lauren Protheroe in Medical Negligence and Ben Davies in Property Litigation as Directors at the awardwinning business.

Starting her legal career at JCP Solicitors in 2014 on an Undergraduate Placement Scheme with Swansea University, Lauren Protheroe became one of the first candidates at JCP to be offered a training contract whilst only a 2nd year law student. Since then, Lauren’s career has gone from strength

to strength, becoming a leading expert in Medical Negligence in the region, successfully concluding cases of surgical errors, delays in diagnosis, orthopaedic and ophthalmic injuries. Lauren also works with the team’s most experienced practitioners on multi-million-pound complex birth injury matters.

Ben Davies joined JCP Solicitors’ Property Litigation team in 2019 as an Associate Solicitor. Ben has since made his name supporting local and national clients with a broad range of complex property disputes and

has substantial litigation experience, having assisted in securing numerous successful outcomes at trial for his clients. Ben is quickly establishing himself as the go-to professional in South Wales for providing legal advice to residential landlords, due to his expertise in dealing with residential possession proceedings under the new Renting Home (Wales) Act.

Hayley Davies, CEO at JCP Solicitors, said: “Lauren and Ben both exemplify our core values and clientfocused approach. Both were named in the 2024

Legal 500 as key lawyers in their respective teams, further strengthening our offering in their specialist practice areas.

“All our promotions demonstrate our commitment to professional development and finding our business owners of tomorrow, as we strive to support our people to get the most out of their careers. I look forward to seeing the development of Lauren and Ben’s careers as they continue their professional journey at JCP.”

To find out more about JCP Solicitors, visit

A modern twist on a British children’s classic

IT’S been nearly a decade since all age groups attending the Torch Youth Theatre have appeared on stage together. This July’s production of The Wind and the Willows will bring over 40 young people to the stage in this wonderful, endearing show with a modern Torch Theatre twist and including the Torch Voices Choir.

The British classic is inspired by the wellknown children’s novelist Kenneth Grahame, who first published Wind and the Willows in 1908. Since then, the muchloved family favourite has been adapted to film and theatre and everyone has fallen in love with the heroic Badger, Ratty, Mole and of course the utterly splendid Toad of Toad Hall.

Celebrating friendship, loyalty and adventure, the actors aged eight to 18 will delight every member of the family this July, with a classic tale filled with picnics, ‘poop poops’ and a few unexpected twists.

Tim Howe, Torch

Theatre’s Senior Manager for Youth and Community is eagerly looking forward to this adaptation of The Wind and the Willows by Glyn Maxwell:

“It has been quite a while since our main house stage has been filled with a Torch Youth Theatre production, and what better way to do it than with this story of enduring friendship set beside the riverbank. In this version Mole, Ratty, Badger, and of course the world-famous Toad take on the villainous Wild Wooders, the dastardly Weasel and a mysterious yellow monster called ‘The Slurpex’. Come and see if our heroes can defeat them all,” said Tim.

He added: “We are incredibly excited to be providing this opportunity to our young people, we know that alongside a spectacular production our rehearsal room and theatre will be filled with memories being made and friendships

being formed. Not only does this production provide irreplaceable lifelong memories, but also supports our young people with long term benefits for mental health and wellbeing. We are always on the

lookout for individuals and businesses to support this vital work so if this is something you are interested in please do get in touch.”

Torch Youth Theatre cannot wait to welcome you all along for a

Toadaly-tastic time! POOP POOP!

Book your tickets online or call 01646 695267.

The Wind and The Willows will be performed on the Torch Theatre stage

from Monday 22 to Wednesday 24 July at 6.30pm. Ticket prices: £10. £8 concessions. To book your tickets or for further information, contact the Box Office on 01646 695267 or visit

International audience for Pembroke and District Male Voice Choir

VISITORS from Canada and Australia were among the large audience when Pembroke and District Male Voice Choir staged at St John’s Church, Tenby, on Tuesday June 25.

They were invited to add their voices to mark the 95th birthday of the choir’s senior member, second tenor Frank Harries, who has been a chorister for 67 years.

Frank and colleagues were in excellent form, the varied and thoughtful programme chosen by Musical Director Juliet Rossiter being warmly applauded.

Soloists were singer/ songwriter and first tenor Peter Halifax, on guitar, and flautist Alyson Griffiths, and Alyson joined MC Matthew John in a duet of well remembered wartime

Tom Sinclair

songs. Matthew, renowned for his jokes, chose one about Scottish football, luckily without any of

the audience confessing to be from ‘north of the border’!

Following the retirement of their

accompanist the choir has been fortunate to call on the support of Peter Griffiths, already accompanist to a number

of county musical groups, to stand in for this and further concerts. He was warmly thanked by choristers and audience.

The choir is keen to hear from pianists who would like to be a key part of this well regarded and successful music team. Further information available from the choir secretary on 07572 080401.

Choristers were especially pleased to welcome Caroline, wife of their first tenor colleague, the late David Asparassa. Thanks from the church were extended by Liz Storey and church ladies later provided fine refreshments in the schoolroom. They were thanked by Choir Chairman Huw Morgan. Next concert is on Sunday July 21 at Angle Church.

Stephen Seagull and the special relationship

Caw-caw! Hey, fellow feathered friends and landlubbers! Stephen Seagull here, perched high and keeping an eye on the skies and the sea, ready to dive into the week’s big fishy issues. Let’s talk about something clamshell-rattling: the UK’s so-called “special relationship” with the US.

You see, folks, we’ve been flapping our wings and pretending we’re best buds with the big eagle across the pond ever since they swooped in during World War II. They helped keep the nasties at bay, and we thought we had a love story for the ages. But alas, it’s more like a seagull swooping down to steal your chips – it’s all about what they can grab!

We’ve been flying in formation with the US for ages, often with disastrous results for others. Just look at the mess we made in Iran in ‘53, or the chaos of the 20-year Afghan war, or

the catastrophe in Iraq in 2003. And let’s not even squawk about the current horrors in Gaza,

where our so-called leaders are backing the wrong flocks.

Now, if the big orange eagle, Trump, flaps back into the White House, it’s going to be a stormy sky for all of us. He’s got a special flutter with the iron rooster, Putin, and that spells trouble. This isn’t just a squabble over breadcrumbs; it’s a fight for our nests and peace.

Trump’s been cozying up to Putin like a seagull to a fish market. If he’s back in charge, expect the US to turn its back on Ukraine, leaving Europe to fend for itself. That’s

like leaving a chick to defend its nest against a hawk! If Europe doesn’t step up, Putin might just spread his wings even further.

Here in the UK, we need to rethink our defence. Our current forces couldn’t stop a crab, let alone a bear. We’re running out of ammunition, and our missiles are rustier than an old trawler. It’s time to shore up our defenses, folks!

And those shiny nukes we’ve been bragging about? They’re about as useful as a soggy fish stick without US say-so. If Trump’s in charge, our so-called

deterrent is just a pile of costly pebbles. Let’s not waste more on that.

Speaking of waste, let’s not forget our stance on Israel and Palestine. A new Labour government should stand for peace and justice, not just flap their wings aimlessly. It’s time to embargo those British arms to Israel and support the International Criminal Court’s decisions.

As the US potentially drifts back to fossil fuels under Trump, we should be soaring into the future with green technologies. Let’s leave the old oil barrels behind and embrace the

winds of change. Independence from the US might be a risky flight, but sticking with a Trump-led America is a guaranteed crash. We need to prepare our nests and be ready to defend our skies. Squawk to the US voters: don’t let a convict and wannabe dictator back into the White House. But most importantly, let’s look out for ourselves and each other.

Stay alert, keep your wings strong, and never stop squawking for what’s right. Until next week, this is Stephen Seagull, signing off with a caw-caw and a splash!

Badger and the highway to hell

BY THE time

you read this, votes will have been cast, tallied, and counted, and the results of the General Election will be known.

While Badger writes this column, a large Labour majority seems certain. Things could change. Badger doubts it.

Badger suspects that voters become bored with one party in power for too long, especially in an age dominated by trivia, gossip, and endless social media and media muckraking.

That is not to say that political parties don’t bring adverse publicity upon themselves. However, that is not because politicians are not like you and me. It’s because politicians are like you and me that they keep on doing and saying stupid things.

The difference is that politicians are public figures, and their follies and scandals play out in public. Ours play out mostly in private.

The other significant difference is that those who are driven to put themselves forward for election are those with enough self-belief to put themselves in the spotlight.

With self-belief comes certainty.

With excessive certainty comes what the writers of Ancient Greek epic poetry and drama called “hubris”.

Hubris is not only excessive pride, arrogance, or selfconfidence.

Instead, in the correct sense, hubris speaks of defiance of the gods.

In a sense, our rulemakers are inclined to be rule-breakers.

The power to make rules is intoxicating and gives those with that power a buzz.

Think of it this way, please, readers.

If you drink in moderation - one or two snifters here and there - your booze intake will not affect your ability to function as a human being. If you swallow the best ten pints of Stella out of twelve every night, you will end up a brain-damaged wreck putting Gordon’s on your Corn Flakes simply to function.

The ability to make rules or make decisions intoxicates the same way.

If they exercise selfcontrol, politicians can function as legislators and, more importantly, as human beings.

Power is good if it gives you a buzz and sharpens you up. When politicians get drunk on it, disaster follows.

Without self-control, politicians are no better than the lout who drinks seven pints and then gets behind the wheel of the car believing they’re fit to drive.

A drunken bum might get away with drunk driving for a while. In the end, however, there’s inevitably a car crash.

Parties that have been in power for too long are like a drinker who starts with a glass of wine with dinner, realises that wine isn’t giving the same buzz, eventually progresses to a bottle of whiskey a day, and ends up years later boiling boot polish under a bridge.

Self-control is

important, and it’s never more important than it is in those who make decisions that affect others.

The other side of the same psychology is those who are possessed of certainty but seek to exercise power in other ways.

There are many ways to participate in a nation’s life without engaging in the traditional political processes.

Supporting protest and resistance, engaging in campaigns pushing a particular aim, and becoming active in single-issue campaigns.

The problematic end of such activities is similar to what Badger said about those engaged in party politics. The belief that your views and those of your friends are the ONLY reasonable views leads to a pair of dubious assumptions.

Firstly, the idea that those who do not agree with you - by your own definition or that of your friendsare unreasonable and can be either ignored or abused.

Secondly, the campaign to which you are attached is the ONLY issue that counts.

The longer you spend in an echo chamber, the harder it is to discriminate between messages with genuine good intent and those shepherding you, in tiny steps, towards extremism.

Badger uses social media to stay in touch with his friends, access material of interest to him that he would

otherwise be unable to get his paws on, and read Welsh and international news.

A significant proportion of social media users use it to spread hate, division, and conspiracy theories so crackers that they defy description. Not all that long ago, the nutters on the social media bus were mostly American.

Nowadays, there are ding-a-lings absolutely everywhere, spewing hate and intolerance on a massive scale.

It’s only when you consider questions of scale that you realise that hate-mongers and extremists are a tiny fraction of social media.

What they have is bandwidth.

The nutters who unquestioningly defend terrorists or excuse atrocities on the basis that their victims “were asking for it”, the racists, and the bigots:

they appear much bigger than they are because every fringe group and lunatic follows and retweets and shares whatever other fringe groups and lunatics post.

It’s less one large online bubble than small farts combining to make a big stink.

They’re rather like the groups and factions that batten onto the larger political parties.

Just because the members of those groups make a lot of noise does not mean their views present a recipe for good government—or any government.

As Badger is fed up with saying, we live in a representative democracy. You do not elect someone to represent only yourself and your opinions and prejudices; you choose the person who will also best represent others. That’s why local

connections matter for candidates.

An MP doesn’t do what you tell them. They are not delegates for every opinion shoved their way. They represent everyone, including those whose views you -and theyoppose.

Your representative, whoever it is, in whatever legislature they sit, and whichever party’s rosette they wear owes you one thing only: their judgement.

That way, it is possible to dislikeeven despise - the party your representative stands for but admire their ability to get things done for the people and communities they serve.

However you voted, dear readers, Badger hopes your representative does their best for you, yours, and Pembrokeshire.

Carnival season is upon us!

MILFORD HAVEN is abuzz with anticipation as the annual Milford Haven Carnival approaches, set to light up the streets this Saturday with an explosion of colour, music, and excitement.

The muchanticipated procession will commence at 1:00pm from Waterloo Square. From there, the parade will weave its way down St Anne’s Road, a bustling route sure to be lined with eager spectators. The colourful cavalcade will then ascend the historic Hamilton Terrace, known for its picturesque views, before making a grand descent down Charles Street. The final destination is the lively Milford Waterfront, where an afternoon of unparalleled entertainment awaits.

This year’s carnival promises to be an unforgettable experience, packed with activities and performances to delight visitors of all ages. Among the myriad attractions, the Defying Gravity team is set to steal the show with their heartstopping performance. Combining the highoctane thrills of freestyle BMX and

the extreme sport of mountainboarding, their act features a series of breath-taking aerial stunts that will leave audiences on the edge of their seats.

In addition to the Defying Gravity show, the Milford Haven Waterfront will host a variety of live music acts, local food stalls offering delicious treats, and numerous funfair rides to keep the festive spirit alive. Street performers and entertainers will also be scattered through the parade, adding to the joyous atmosphere with their captivating acts.

Community engagement is at the heart of the Milford Haven Carnival, with local schools, businesses, and organisations coming together to create a spectacular event.

Carnival-goers can expect to see intricately designed floats, energetic dance troupes, and spirited marching bands, all contributing to the vibrant tapestry of the parade.

The Milford Haven Carnival is more than just a day of fun; it’s a celebration of community spirit and local culture. Families, friends, and visitors from near and far gather

to revel in the festivities, making memories that will last a lifetime. The event also provides an excellent opportunity for local businesses to showcase their offerings, adding to the

economic vibrancy of the town.

As the countdown to the 2024 Milford Haven Carnival continues, excitement is reaching fever pitch. So, mark your calendars, gather your friends and family, and head to Milford Haven for a day filled with joy, laughter, and unforgettable moments. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary event – we’ll see you there!

Fly me to the moon

STARRING the illustrious Scarlett Johansson and the charismatic Channing Tatum, “Fly Me to the Moon” is an incisive and stylish comedy-drama that unfolds against the dramatic backdrop of NASA’s historic Apollo 11 moon landing. The film artfully blends humour and tension, capturing the high stakes and immense pressures of this pivotal moment in history.

At the heart of the story is Kelly Jones, portrayed by Johansson, a sharp and savvy marketing expert brought in to revamp NASA’s public image. Her arrival on the scene ignites a flurry of activity and tension, particularly for Cole Davis, played by Tatum, the beleaguered launch director already grappling with the enormous challenges of the mission. Jones’s unconventional methods and dynamic personality create a whirlwind of chaos, complicating Davis’s already formidable task.

The plot thickens when the White House, recognising the critical importance of the Apollo 11 mission and the potential for failure, mandates a contingency plan. They instruct Jones to orchestrate a fake moon landing as a backup measure, ensuring that the mission appears successful regardless of the actual outcome. This directive adds another layer of complexity and urgency, propelling the narrative towards a gripping countdown to launch.

“Fly Me to the Moon” deftly captures the intricate dance between innovation and deception, set against the backdrop of one of humanity’s most ambitious endeavours. The film’s blend of sharp wit, compelling drama, and historical significance promises an engaging and thoughtprovoking cinematic experience, highlighting the extraordinary lengths to which people will go in the pursuit of success and public perception.

Deadpool and Wolverine

MARVEL has officially unveiled supervillain Sabretooth in Deadpool & Wolverine via a new trailer teasing a long-awaited rematch.

The trailer features Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine eager to face his rival Sabretooth, with Deadpool cheering

from the sidelines. Sabretooth, played by Tyler Mane, first appeared as a Magneto henchman in the 2000 X-Men film, where he had a memorable skirmish with Wolverine. Now, over 20 years later, he returns for multiverse adventures, showing no signs of calming down.

My Lady Jane wisks its way on to Prime Video

THIS exuberantly imaginative take on the nine-day queen features shapeshifting servants transforming into owls. It’s a delightful, entertaining piece of escapism, ideal for summer viewing.

I would have loved to witness the pitch for “My Lady Jane,” whether for its original book form or as an adaptation to Prime Video.

“It’s the story of Lady Jane Grey.”


“The Nine Day Queen.”

“Ah, one of Henry the Eighth’s six wives? Or Henry the Sixth’s eight wives? I forget. Also, explain the Jane Eyre/ Charlotte Brontë thing again.”

“Jane Eyre: title. Brontë: author. Lady

Jane Grey: greatgranddaughter of Henry VII, great-niece of Henry VIII, cousin to Mary I, Elizabeth I, and Edward VI. She succeeded him – for the aforementioned nine days – and preceded Mary and Elizabeth. Executed for her trouble.”

“I don’t really think we’re in the market for … ”

“But it’s a mashup. Events tweaked and rewritten wholesale. Plus, shapeshifting magic. It’s for youngsters. Ish. People swear.”

“But no one knows her story. They won’t know what’s been tweaked or rewritten. They won’t know if there’s any clever commentary on history going on.”

“Some will, some won’t. They’ll still have a wild story and

shapeshifting magic. Go on. You’ve got billions of pounds. Take a punt.”

“Bloody hell. All right.”

I imagine the conversation went something like that. And the results are well worth it. Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows’ 2016 book (the first of a slightly nauseating series known as the Lady Janies) has been transformed into a romp by Gemma Burgess. Burgess, author of the popular New Adult series Brooklyn Girls, has streamlined the narrative while preserving the original’s energy. The sense that things could shift from the outrageous to the completely absurd remains intact. This, to be clear, makes the new offering a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

For starters, the show avoids becoming the earnest feminist rewriting of history we’ve come to expect – despite a voiceover stating: “She could have been the leader England needed. Instead, history remembers her as the ultimate damsel in distress. Fuck that.”

Additionally, our Lady Jane (Emily Bader) is a spirited character who escapes to the hills with her loyal servant Susannah (Máiréad Tyers) upon learning of her mother’s plans to secure the endangered Grey family fortunes by marrying her off to a man she’s never met, Lord Guildford Dudley (Edward Bluemel). However, the wildly imaginative premise shines through at all times.

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

“THE ONES WHO LIVE” demonstrates that “The Walking Dead,” with its lead character at the helm, continues to craft emotionally resonant narratives.

This episode showcases the narrative flexibility of the franchise, introducing an epic love story set against the backdrop of the walker apocalypse.

AMC has finally allocated a budget that

matches its ambitions, allowing the world hinted at in previous instalments to be fully realised. Longstanding story arcs and mysteries from the past

five years are beginning to find resolution.

With five to six years of anticipation built up, satisfying fans is no small feat, yet Episode 1 achieves this by delivering a fresh and engaging experience for viewers, drawing them back into the characters’ lives.

Andrew Lincoln reprises his role as Rick Grimes seamlessly, delivering one of his most compelling

performances to date. The narrative adeptly balances social commentary with a central romance plot that anchors the show. If the quality of the next five episodes matches this standard, the franchise could potentially achieve another season of toptier acclaim, possibly offering a satisfying conclusion that some felt Season 11 of the main series lacked.

ALRIGHT, you cheeky rascals, let’s dive into the murky waters of gaming inspiration, shall we? It’s a breath of fresh air when developers come clean about where they’re pinching their ideas from.

None of that sneaky business, just pure, unadulterated homage. I mean, remember the 90s? SNK, with their Fatal Fury, acted like they’d never even heard of Street Fighter. Crash Nitro? Nah, never laid eyes on Mario Kart, apparently. And don’t get me started on Free Radical swearing blind they didn’t peek at Halo while cooking up Haze. Ubisoft, with Immortals: Fenix Rising, pretending The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was some distant fairy tale. Absolute bollocks, the lot of it. That kind of blatant denial really grinds my gears.

So, hats off to Super Evil Megacorp, who had the stones to stand up and say, “Yeah, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Splintered Fate? Totally inspired by Hades.” Bravo! Finally, some honesty! This game is a love letter to Hades, wrapped up in a sewer-soaked shell.

They’ve taken the Hades

blueprint, dissected it, and stitched it back together with a Turtles twist. You’ve got dialogue in those familiar text boxes, combat mechanics lifted straight from Hades’ playbook, and environments that scream Hades—just with extra sewer pipes and neon green goo. The roguelike structure is a direct clone. But instead of skirting around it, they’ve owned up and paid their respects, turning theft into tribute. And for that, I tip my hat.

However, let’s not sugarcoat it—the game is a cornucopia of unoriginality. The story? Duller than dishwater. Splinter’s been kidnapped by Shredder. Wow, revolutionary! The turtles, pizza-loving as ever, embark on a rescue mission. The dialogue? Pure gibberish, a cacophony of meaningless prattle that I’d rather disable from the get-go. The gameplay, while mechanically solid, suffers on an iPhone. Even my iPhone 14 Pro Max couldn’t save the tiny turtles from blending into the background. Half an hour of squinting and I’d had enough—moved it to the Apple TV, and only then did the chaos on screen make sense.


Now, make no mistake, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Splintered Fate is tough. Like Hades, Dead Cells, and Slay the Spire, it’s all about randomly generated rooms and relentless enemies. Die, and it’s back to square one. Hence, co-op is your salvation. Three turtle-loving mates are essential. On a bigger screen, you can strategize, protect each other, and progress through the game’s labyrinthine challenges.

Each turtle has its own class and abilities. Raphael’s your nimble fighter, Leo’s the balanced one, and I went for Donatello, the team’s tank. Upgrades are vital, and choosing the right traits and attacks is the difference between glorious victory and ignominious defeat.

So, while Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Splintered Fate won’t win awards for originality, immersion, or aesthetics, it’s a decently entertaining Hades clone. It’s got just the right sprinkle of Turtles magic, challenging enough for roguelike aficionados, and a good bit of fun with friends. A solid, if unremarkable, homage to its much-revered inspiration.

about your plans as they are. They’ll be off to a head start, of course, since they’ve been looking forward to this ever since you suggested it. But once they actually see you, and see that look in your eyes, it really won’t matter where you are or what you’re doing.


Whether you’re at work or at play, you won’t be able to sit still for a single second. You’ll be ready, willing, and able to do whatever it takes to get things done. Just be sure to save some energy for after dark, when things will definitely become more interesting and more intriguing, as your companion will undoubtedly agree. Ready or not, here comes the good stuff.

LEO Nothing short of intense, meaningful conversation will do at the moment, and anyone who deliberately tries to avoid the issue via pointless, trivial chitchat will receive their just desserts: a chilly stare and a fleeting glimpse of the back of your head. By the same token, if you’ve been deliberately avoiding a topic your sweetheart has tried to bring up for weeks, you’ll change your tune in a hurry. You may even wish they’d let it slide just a little bit longer.


If you need something, and to be honest, you’ve never been good at admitting it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how quickly a family member jumps to your aid. Before you start feeling guilty about it, though, think of how many times you’ve helped out not just this particular person but everyone who’s related to you. You get to lean on loved ones every now and then too!

LIBRA Your skills as negotiator, mediator, and go-between have been famous for what seems like forever, and with good reason. You can talk anyone into anything so long as you believe in your heart that it’s the right thing to do. So when you’re approached by someone who needs you to help them deliver the unvarnished truth, you won’t just accept the job, you’ll volunteer for it. And well you should.

SCORPIO At the moment, you just won’t be able to stand the idea of not getting what you want, especially when it comes to the object of your attention. Whether it happens to be a person whose eye you’ve been trying to catch, or an item you’ve been lusting after, you’ll do what you can to have it. And you’ll have plenty of help to get it. Call in some of those overdue favors. Don’t be shy.

SAGITTARIUS You’re famous for your connection to anything that has fur, feathers, or leaves, and for your willingness to do whatever it takes to keep them happy. You’ve also been known to extend your kindness to the underdog, even if they arrive in human form. So when someone comes along with a sad story today, you’ll be more than happy to help. Just don’t forget about your own needs in the process.

CAPRICORN Fasten your seat belt and put your tray table in its upright position. You’re about to take flight, and that applies to every possible corner of your life, but especially to affairs of the heart. So if you’ve been seeing someone casually, that won’t be the case any longer. One or both of you will either want to make a commitment or say goodbye. But don’t worry. The heavens are chock-full of romance, and betting on anything other than commitment just wouldn’t be prudent.

AQUARIUS Someone has been paying some very careful attention to you from afarfor a while now. They’ve made a mental list of everything about you, from your favorite movies to your favorite kind of ice cream. Anyone who’s put this much energy into getting to know you would obviously make quite an attentive lover. Think of them as a secret admirer. The good news is that they’re ready to tell you all about it.


wITH eddIe THe game guru

Children encouraged to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge

LAUNCHING in libraries across Wales on Saturday 6 July, the Summer Reading Challenge is a free activity enabling young children to read for pleasure during the summer holidays.

All children aged 4-11 can visit their local library, register for the challenge, select 6 books of their choice and once the challenge is completed will receive a certificate, with rewards along the way. An online

version of the challenge is also available.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Lynne Neagle said:

“I know what a great pleasure it is to be truly absorbed in a book. The Summer Reading Challenge is a really fantastic way for children to develop reading skills, discover new authors and gain a lifelong passion for books.

“That’s why we are funding the scheme

again this year to make sure all children have the opportunity to continue their reading during the summer holidays.”

The theme for the challenge this year is ‘Marvelous Makers’ with new books to be discovered, including a new Welsh Language booklist from the Books Council of Wales who are delivering the Welsh Government funded scheme in Wales in partnership with the Reading Agency.

The Books Council of Wales are arranging a Summer Reading Challenge event at Denbigh Library on Wednesday 10 July with writer Leisa Mererid talking about her new book and taking part in yoga activities with children from a local primary school, Ysgol Twm o’r Nant.

Bethan Jones, Head of Children’s Books and Reading Promotion at the Book Council of Wales said:

“We are thrilled to be working alongside the Reading Agency to develop bilingual resources for the 2024 Summer Reading Challenge. The funding from Welsh Government ensures that we can produce bilingual resources and highlight relevant Welsh titles to inspire a love of reading amongst children and young people.

“This year’s Summer Reading Challenge has a fabulous theme, sure to unleash power of creativity through reading. The Summer Reading Challenge is an excellent opportunity to discover new books, authors and illustrators as well as making the most of the excellent services and workshops within the local Library –all for free!”

The Welsh Government funding also supports the Winter Mini Challenge which takes place during the winter holiday

Many libraries offer a variety of events and activities for children and families to enjoy for free throughout the summer. Find your local library.

Youngsters celebrate Welsh culture at inaugural Gŵyl Hirddydd


A DELIGHTFUL celebration of the Welsh language and culture took place at the ‘Gŵyl Hirddydd Haf’ Summer Solstice Festival at the Urdd Centre, Pentre Ifan with Year Five school children.

The festival, held on Thursday, June 20th, was a vibrant event filled with educational and entertaining activities aimed at fostering a love for the Welsh language, celebrating our habitat, and cultivating a sense of belonging.

There were 140 children from ten Pembrokeshire schools taking part in a diverse array of workshops and excursions designed to ignite the curiosity and creativity of the young learners.

There was also storytelling, willow waving a lively twmpath, and a spectacular live gig by the renowned band Bwncath, which brought the day’s festivities to a rousing close.

Dafydd Vaughan, Youth Officer with Menter Iaith Sir Benfro, shared his enthusiasm:

“Gŵyl Hirddydd Haf was a wonderful opportunity for our young learners to immerse themselves in a

The day’s itinerary included a poetic forest walk, language-based trivia, mindfulness sessions with Delun and Aled, and a captivating live performance in the woods by Mari Mathias. Artistic expression was encouraged in an art session with Efa BlosseMason, while Ynni Da provided engaging Welsh music activities. Additionally, Rhagoriaith led insightful sessions on eco-linguistics.

wide range of activities to celebrate our Welsh language and culture.”

Catrin Phillips, Welsh Language Development Officer at Pembrokeshire County Council, added: “It was inspiring to see the children’s curiosity and creativity flourish throughout the day. Events like these play a crucial role in promoting the Welsh language and fostering a strong sense of community among our young people.”

The event was a joint effort organised by Pembrokeshire County Council and Menter Iaith Sir Benfro, with the support of the Urdd and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Special thanks are extended to Llaeth Preseli, Cegin Cawl Potsh, and Pitsa de for their delicious food offerings, enjoyed by both children and staff.

The festival concluded with a striking ceremony where the Twrch Trwyth effigy and the children’s written promises for the future were ceremoniously burned. The inspiration for the festival’s logo came from Manon of Ysgol Eglwyswrw, the winner of the logo

competition. This event was organised by Catrin Phillips, Dafydd Vaughan, and Owain Dafydd. Reflecting on the success of this year’s festival, the organisers hope to make ‘Gŵyl Hirddydd Haf’ an annual celebration of Welsh language and culture.

Help keep animals safe in the heat, urges RSPCA

AFTER receiving a large number of worrying calls to their cruelty line, the RSPCA is reminding people that all animals can suffer during hot weather.

important to remember that other animals may be suffering too,” she added.

With the current heatwave set to last and even more calls coming in this week, the charity has issued their top 10 tips on what to do to make sure all our animals are safe from the heat.

Stories such as the tragic death of pet pug Merlin during a Channel crossing on a P&O ferry have been a sobering reminder to dog owners of the risk they face.

However, it isn’t just dogs that can suffer. Just over last weekend the RSPCA received nearly 400 calls about animals affected by the rising temperatures, including a rabbit left outside without shade or water; a parrot left trapped in a hot car; a cage of hamsters left in a petshop window in direct sunlight; a horse left tethered in 82 degree heat unable to move to get water; a cat trapped in a glass box and around 30 chicks kept in a wire cage with no access to shade.

“Hot weather can cause problems for all animals. Every summer we urge people to take extra precautions during the heat but sadly our inspectors on the ground are still being faced with distressing situations that could have been avoided,” said RSPCA pet welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson.

“We have already had calls about animals such as rabbits dying in their cages due to the heat and lack of access to water. While we hope the message is starting to get through to people that hot cars can be death traps for dogs, it is really

1. Never leave an animal in a car in warm weather. On warm or sunny days cars heat up quickly. Every summer RSPCA inspectors are regularly called out to reports of animals being left in hot cars. Sadly, some of them die because of their thoughtless owners. Pets should not be left in conservatories, greenhouses and caravans either.

2. Don’t let your pet get sunburned. Animals can suffer from sunburn too, particularly white cats and dogs. Ear-tip cancer is more common in white cats and is very similar to malignant melanoma in humans. Owners should cover any white extremities, especially ear tips, with pet safe sun cream at least once a day before the animal goes outside.

3. Make sure all pets have access to shade and a constant supply of fresh drinking water. All cages and enclosures should be kept in the shade. Watch out for warning signs of heatstroke. If your dog pants heavily, is lethargic or collapses put them in a cool spot and spray with cool water immediately. Always contact a vet urgently for advice.

4. Check your pets for fleas, ticks and mites. Heat brings out nasty creepy-crawlies, so check pets regularly. Excessive scratching and itching are the first signs of infestation. If your pets have fleas a flea treatment from your vet is advised..

5. Check twice a day for fly-strike. Flies like to lay their eggs in fur of rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs and cats. If an animal infected with fly-strike is not treated straight away it could die a painful death. Animals should be kept clean and their back end checked every day. If it is dirty, clean immediately with warm water and dry. Bedding should be changed every week during the summer.

6. Don’t allow animals to exercise excessively in the heat. During hot weather walk your dog in the cooler periods such as early morning or eveningwhen it is at a decreased risk of heatstroke.

7. Fish suffer in hot weather too. Keep indoor fish tanks out of direct sunlight, change the water regularly and keep them clear of algae, which spread much faster on sunny days. Outside, spray a hose over ponds to top up water levels and replace lost oxygen.

8. Don’t leave pets home alone when you go on holiday. It is an offence to abandon an animal in circumstances likely to cause it unnecessary suffering.

Make sure pets are left in the care of a responsible person (such as a friend, relative or pet sitter) or a reputable boarding kennel.

9. Be wildlifefriendly in the garden. Take care when using a lawn-mower or strimmer - both can be deadly to animals. Hedgehogs in long grass may curl up if they feel threatened and toads tend to squat down rather than run away. Keep pesticides out of reach of animals or switch to non-toxic deterrents.

10. Search bonfires before burning garden rubbish. Lizards, grass snakes, hedgehogs and toads often seek sanctuary in heaps of garden refuse.

West Wales farm prosecuted for polluting 12km of waterways

A FAMILY farm business at Rhydsais Farm in Talgarreg, Ceredigion, has been prosecuted after a slurry store collapse resulted in the pollution of at least 12km of waterways.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) found Rhydsais Cyf guilty of environmental crime after the farm’s slurry store collapsed on February 16, 2022, which released between 60,000 and 70,000 gallons of slurry into an unnamed tributary of the Afon Clettwr Fach.

Water sample analysis from the subsequent investigation showed significant pollution levels extending from Rhydsais Farm to the confluence of the Afon Clettwr with the Afon Teifi, 12km away.

Rhydsais Cyf was found guilty of an offence under the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2016. It was ordered to pay a total of £13,035. This included a £5,000 fine, a victim surcharge of £190 and £7,845 towards NRW’s costs of bringing the


The unnamed tributary flows into the Afon Clettwr Fach, which flows into the Afon Clettwr, which eventually flows into the Afon Teifi.

The collapse of the slurry store was initially reported to NRW by one of the directors of Rhydsais Cyf, and subsequent pollution reports were made to NRW by members of the public downstream of the farm.

Natural Resources Wales environment officers were diverted from other duties to investigate the

incident on the farm and to assess the downstream impact.

On the day of the incident, the river downstream was found to be heavily discoloured and covered in foam, with a strong odour of slurry.

Six dead fish were discovered in the Afon Clettwr Fach the day after the incident. This likely underestimates the total fish kill as the pollution had caused poor visibility, and the rivers were in high flow following rain, NRW said.


A day after the incident,

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water alerted NRW to unusually high levels of ammonia detected at the Llechryd Water Treatment Works abstraction point which supplies water to properties in south Ceredigion.

The abstraction point was promptly closed until ammonia levels had dropped. The elevated level of ammonia may have been due to the Rhydsais slurry flowing through.

During the investigation, it was revealed that the collapsed slurry store had been in place since the 1970s and had not

received any formal maintenance apart from visual inspections in the past decade.

NRW contended in court that the pollution was caused by the slurry store being beyond its lifespan and had not been maintained properly.

Team leader of the Ceredigion Environment Team, Dr Carol Fielding, said: “The impact of this incident was felt well beyond the stream that the slurry entered. It damaged water quality and local wildlife within the catchment of the Afon Teifi.

“Every farmer has a duty to ensure their slurry stores are structurally sound to prevent such disasters.

“We will not hesitate to take enforcement action – including prosecution –when we have evidence of serious environmental breaches.

“We regulate and work with farmers to avoid damage to the environment and we encourage them to contact us or Farming Connect for advice and support.”

My Food Plate brings farm to fork to life

A collaborative farm to fork event taking place in Carmarthenshire saw the farm to fork story come to life for over 1,000 school pupils across 3 days this week

My Food Plate / Fy Mhlat Bwyd. a 3-day event organized by Carmarthenshire Young Farmers Club, saw school children get the opportunity to learn about local food production, the importance of farming and sustaining a healthy environment. Over 1,000 primary and secondary pupils from a range of local schools attended the event at Carmarthenshire Showground.

The event was supported by Castell Howell Foods and Hybu Cig Cymru- Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) who provided interactive cooking workshops where they used PGI Welsh Beef, Welsh cheese and local produce to create Welsh Beef

pasta bolognese. The dish iwas replicated in school dinners across the Carmarthenshire during this week in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council. Children also had the opportunity to see live farm animals, farm machinery and meet local food farmers and food producers gave the children a live insight into food production in Wales.

Esyllt Thomas, Carmarthenshire YFC’s Rural Affairs officer explained: “We’ve been looking forward to hosting ‘My Food Plate’ for the first time in Carmarthenshire alongside current and former members, local businesses, and companies. The response has been incredible. As a current member of the Young Farmers Club, I find it important to promote local businesses - established and new –as well as to showcase the hard work farmers do across the UK.”

Edward Morgan, ESG Manager at Castell Howell: “My Food Plate is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with HCC and engage directly with over 1000 school children. As suppliers to Carmarthenshire schools we work closely with the catering team and where possible promote Welsh ingredients and dishes. It’s great to see one of their dishes being the central food theme as this event.”

Elwen Roberts, HCC’s Consumer Executive, commented: “We were thrilled to support this fantastic event and help bring the farming story to life. PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef are the cornerstone of the agriculture sector in Wales and we showcased not only how they are produced sustainably, but the benefits they have in our diets.”

Carys Thomas, County Organiser for Carmarthenshire YFC

added: “Carmarthenshire YFC is proud of the event ‘Fy Mhlât Bwyd’ for Primary school aged children from Carmarthenshire. It’s important that we can show the origin of food, the importance of the countryside, farm machinery, and importantly farm safety. We hope that the children and teachers had fun but also learn the importance of our rural communities. Thank you to all who have helped the movement ensure that we can hold this event, from volunteers, members, local businesses, suppliers, and friends.”

Other organisations part-taking in the event included Gelli Aur college, NFU Cymru, Chickwood Poultry, Dyffryn Cothi Goats, Meirion Jones Sheepdog Trials, Meirion Thomas Sheepdog Trials, T Alun Jones, Carmarthenshire County Council, Tallis Amos and Y Stand Llaeth.

Elwen Roberts cooked PGI Welsh Beef at the My Food Plate event

A fantastic resource at Danger Point Centre, Talacre

A huge change from politics following some fantastic husting events last week, saw FUW representatives invited to attend a wonderful resource, Pentre Peryglon / Danger Point in Flintshire. Situated on the site of a former farm, the renovated stone buildings have had numerous functions, but is now home to an activity centre focused on offering children and young people life skills and experiences within different sectors.

Established 18 years ago with support from North Wales Police, the independent charity centre in Talacre, famous for its Point of Ayre lighthouse, is a great hit! Children, families and schools walk through the state of the art centre stopping by in a life sized kitchen, bedroom, living room, farmyard, a boat at a seaside, a train station, a full

sized train carriage, a shop, an outdoor road crossing and an electrical sub-station working through scenarios, interactive activities and games with an adult tour guide. Many of these specialist guides are former teachers.

A smoke filled room gives youngsters a real life scenario on what should be done in the event of a fire; role play is a key element when older children are asked to act as shopkeeper and customer wanting to buy vapes at the shop and in the garage what exactly should young children be wary of if they see a skull sign on liquids? The centre is a relevant, vibrant location that informs, guides and empowers children and young people to make good and safe choices in their day to day lives as they mature.

The FUW representatives were invited to offer our specialist farming insight into the ‘farm and rural’ section of the centre, to give first hand experience and

WG unveils BTB testing changes

HUW IRRANCADAVIES, the Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs, has made further changes to TB testing in Wales after meeting with and listening to farmers across Wales.

ideas into updating some elements of the 18 year old section. Keen to play our part, our discussions turned to safety, machinery, animal behaviour and educating countryside visitors how to behave well in a rural landscape. Danger Point staff were keen to learn from actual real life farmers as we explained that ‘the outdoor play area used by some irresponsible dog owners’ off leads walking haphazardly across livestock filled fields, is actually a busy high risk working site for farmers!

It was a breath of fresh air to see interested individuals keen to engage and understand more about modern day farming. Their work is fundamentally important as they educate many youngsters, now without the close link of the past to rural life, food production and farm practices. We look forward to working further with Danger Point as we continue our new working relationship.

The changes, announced last week, respond to industry feedback and have been made to simplify procedures without compromising the risk of disease spread.

The Cabinet Secretary said the changes to the specific types of TB tests involved have also taken into account the resources required by farmers and vets and cost-effectiveness.

Cabinet Secretary Huw Irranca-Davies said: “Since my appointment in March, I have made a point of meeting farmers, vets and others across the industry to listen to their concerns around TB and the burden and anxieties these can cause.

“I’m pleased to announce that further changes - which have been made in response to industry feedback - are now in place.

“Recognising the impact on farmers, their families, and their businesses is at the forefront of my mind.

“Last month I accepted all the Technical Advisory Group’s advice regarding the on-farm slaughter of TB reactors.

“We have worked alongside APHA and already implemented changes to the management of pregnant cattle.

“Our programme for eradicating Bovine

TB is centred around partnership working with our farmers and vets, this is crucial to reaching our shared goal of a TB-free Wales.”

James Evans MS, Shadow Rural Affairs Minister, said: “Although it is welcome that the Labour Government are finally listening to feedback from the farming community, more needs to be done to eradicate this horrific disease.

“Behind every TB outbreak is a farmer and a family. The human impact and cost cannot be ignored.

“The Labour Government must do more, follow the science and utilise all the tools available in the toolbox to eradicate this horrific disease and bring much needed peace of mind to the farming community.”


The changes to four specific aspects of TB testing in Wales are:

Routine testing of calves under 42 days in a TB incident will no longer be carried out unless the TB risk from these animals is considered high.

Reactors are very rarely identified in this age group. Occasionally, groups of young calves fed raw milk from a cow with a tuberculous udder are identified. In such circumstances, consideration will be given to short-interval testing of calves under 42 days of age.

Routine surveillance testing in Approved Finishing Units (AFUs), or Licensed Finishing

Units (LFUs) is ceasing unless the risk is considered high.

These are indoor biosecure units, where cattle can only move to another AFU (from an AFU), a slaughter gathering, or directly to slaughter. Slaughterhouse post-mortem surveillance provides protection to the food chain. A reduction in testing costs may encourage the setting up of more AFUs in Wales.

Default Skin testing of a cattle herd, following slaughterhouse suspicion alone, will cease to be a requirement.

Having considered the evidence, the Welsh Government is content that a herd check test is no longer needed if the sample from the suspect animal identified at inspection in a slaughterhouse is negative on laboratory testing.

If, on the other hand, the slaughterhouse sample test result is positive, then the herd will be marked forward for a further test 60 days after the animal left the herd. This test will count as the first breakdown test.

Tracing tests will continue to reduce the risk of TB spread through the movements of cattle from TB breakdown herds. However, data analysis of trace tests currently supports a move away from trace testing of all cattle moved in low-risk situations.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) will continue to assess the need for these types of tests.

Maserati GranTurismo wins Coupé of the Year

The new generation Maserati GranTurismo has been bestowed the honour of Coupé of the Year at the prestigious Auto Express New Car Awards 2024.

Out of 25 categories, the Maserati GranTurismo, in Trofeo guise, triumphed through its excellent blend of dynamic performance, with leading -edge technology and Italian engineering heritage.

The awards are based on the opinions of the team at Auto Express, who have put all of the eligible cars through their paces, evaluating every aspect of their overall performance, price and quality.

The GranTurismo, Maserati’s icon, and is arrived in UK showrooms just a few months ago, in both petrol form, as Modena and Trofeo, as well as Folgore (‘lightning’ in Italian) – the Italian luxury car brand’s first allelectric model.

“A wonderful balance between driving pleasure and cross-continental style and comfort, the Maserati GranTurismo is a GT (grand tourer) that can do it all,” said

Auto Express Editor Paul Barker. “It’s an exclusive and beautiful top-end coupé that gives Maserati even more new levels of desirability.”

The Auto Express New Car Awards highlight the best cars available in the market across a wealth of categories, as well as overall Car of the Year. Auto Express prioritises the things that are important to car buyers, helping people choose the right car for them, whatever their budget or requirements.

The new Maserati GranTurismo embodies

the ideal fusion of timeless Italian elegance with modern automotive innovation. Its sleek, aerodynamic design pays homage to the brand’s rich heritage, while incorporating contemporary elements that enhance both aesthetics and performance. The four-seater coupé’s aggressive front fascia, sculpted lines and distinctive Maserati trident emblem exude a sense of luxury and sophistication that is hard to rival in its class.

Under the bonnet,

the triumphant Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo features potent threelitre twin-turbo V6 Nettuno engine which delivers an impressive 580 horsepower and thrilling acceleration. This powertrain, allied to a finely tuned chassis and suspension setup, ensures engaging handling, with a compliant ride and sumptuous cabin comfort for longer journeys.

John Mcllroy, Editorat-large of Auto Express said, “The GranTurismo’s subjective appeal is backed up by a broad

set of abilities, which is what objectively defines a great GT.”

Commenting on the award win, Maserati North Europe General Manager, Peter Charters said, “We are incredibly proud that the Maserati GranTurismo has been honoured as the Coupé of the Year 2024 by Auto Express. Our icon truly embodies the spirit of Maserati and this accolade reflects our everlasting passion and dedication to creating desirable cars with the finest levels of luxury, performance and style.”

Kia EV9 scoops category win at Auto Express New Car Awards 2024

The Kia EV9 has been named victorious at the Auto Express New Car Awards 2024, collecting a category win as ‘Large Company Car of the Year’, flexing its award-winning credentials yet again.

The awards are decided following a lengthy and detailed judging process by the editorial team at Auto Express. The team analyse all elements of the customer proposition including,

price, practicality, styling, tech, safety equipment, connectivity, powertrain efficiency and more, and how these factors measure up against the competition.

Customer deliveries of the Kia EV9 first commenced in January 2024, and it has proven a popular model with Kia customers, fleet and retail alike. Currently with a split of roughly 60:40 in favour of fleet sales, the EV9 is one of the most flexible new cars on

sale, capable of suiting a wide range of needs for company car users.

Offered with two per cent Benefit-in-Kind, a range of up to 349 miles on a single charge, ultra-fast 800V charging capacity[1], and space for six or seven; depending on trim level opted for, the EV9 makes perfect sense for company car users who either require cavernous cargo space, or those who regularly undertake longer journeys.

“Kia is a brand that blurs the boundaries between mainstream and premium brands, and the striking EV9 is the brand’s poshest car yet,” said Auto Express Editor Paul Barker. “Strong performance, a smooth ride and aesthetics that offer genuine wow-factor both inside and out combine with genuine practicality thanks to its up-to seven-seat layout.”

Further success for the EV9 came in the form of recognition as a ‘Highly

Commended’ model in the ‘Large SUV of the Year’ class, while the Kia Sportage picked up the same commendation in its own category, the ‘Mid-sized SUV of the Year’ class.

Kia’s smaller models have previously impressed the Auto Express team, too.

In 2022, the Kia Niro collected the prize for ‘Small SUV of the Year’; that particular model’s first award from any publication which helped

the small SUV get off to a flying start.

Kia’s bold electrification plans also mean that the only way is up for company car users, as the brand’s already vast EV lineup is set to grow to 15 worldwide by 2027. The EV9 will be joined by the smaller EV3 later this year, which will also offer a competitive package to UK customers, personal and company car shopper alike.

New MG3 Hybrid+ lands major award

Only a couple of months after arriving in UK showrooms, MG’s all-new hybrid supermini has secured its first major award from Auto Express. The MG3 Hybrid+ was crowned Affordable Hybrid of the Year in London last night. Auto Express Editor Paul Barker said:

“The new MG3 Hybrid+ packs a huge amount of punch for such a compact footprint, whether we’re talking about efficiency, price, performance or ride and refinement. It’s incredibly good value when you look at what you

get for the money and is one of the best and most recommendable cars we’ve driven all year.”

The new MG3 Hybrid+ also secured a Highly Commended rating in the highly-competitive Supermini of the Year category. David Allison, Head of Product and Planning for MG Motor UK commented:

“MG always strives to offer customers affordable cars, however it is equally pleasing to hear that the performance and efficiency of the advanced hybrid engine and the overall refinement of the

MG3 impressed the Auto Express team. It is an excellent start for our allnew supermini.”

The MG4 EV continues to impress both motoring experts and customers, there were two Highly Commended results for the hatchback in the Small Company Car of the Year and Affordable Electric Car Year awards. To date the MG4 has won over 30 major awards for the UK motoring pres.

The dramatic MG Cyberster, the world’s first two seat EV convertible to go into production and which will feature

prominently at the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed, was also Highly Commended in the Convertible of the Year section.

The Auto Express New Car Awards highlight the best in the business across 25 categories, as well as our overall Car of the Year. Auto Express prioritises the things that are important to car buyers, picking out the most impressive cars available over the entire automotive landscape, helping people choose the right car for them, whatever their budget or requirements.

5 Practical Tips for Managing Stress

STRESS is an unavoidable part of life, but how we manage it can significantly impact our overall well-being. In today’s fast-paced world, stress levels are higher than ever, making it essential to develop effective strategies to cope. This comprehensive guide offers practical tips for managing stress. As the owner and mental health specialist at Maple Leaf Therapy, Lauren Baker along her team of mental health specialists are committed to helping individuals navigate their mental health challenges and this article is no exception. The private mental health practice, now expanded with a new location in Swansea City Centre, provides a range of services tailored to support mental wellbeing.

Understanding Stress and Its Impact

Defining Stress

Stress is a natural response to challenging or threatening situations. It triggers a cascade of physiological and psychological reactions designed to help us cope with perceived threats. This response, known as the “fight or flight” response, is beneficial in short bursts. However, chronic stress can have detrimental effects on our health.

Physiological Impact

Chronic stress can lead to various physical health problems, including cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure and heart disease, digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, and weakened immune function. Elevated cortisol levels over prolonged periods can disrupt almost all body processes, increasing the risk of numerous health problems.

Psychological Impact

can provide a sense of stability and predictability, which is crucial for managing stress. When our days are organised, we can better anticipate and prepare for risky situations, reducing the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed. A routine helps create a balance between work, rest, and leisure, ensuring that we allocate time for those activities that make us who we are.

Components of a Healthy Routine

Sleep: We all know sleep is essential for physical and mental health and it happens to be one of the topics brought up most often in therapy. Sleep hygiene is an important part of getting a good routine, as well as establishing consistent wake and bed times, even on the weekends

Nutrition: If your diet goes during stressful periods, consider how to lower the barriers to eating healthy food in your life. This may look like a meal subscription service or even batch-cooking on the weekends to ensure the fastest meal is still healthy.

The Role of Social Support

A strong support system is vital for managing stress. Social connections provide emotional comfort, practical assistance, and a sense of belonging. Sharing your feelings and experiences with others can lighten the emotional load and provide new perspectives on coping with stress. This can mean reaching out to family or friends more when things get stressful, counter to the withdrawal that can be tempting. In the absence of a strong social support network, therapy can be a vital tool for feeling understood.

Effective Stress

Management Techniques

Mindfulness and Meditation

technique is diaphragmatic breathing, which involves deep breaths from the diaphragm rather than shallow breaths from the chest. This type of breathing can stimulate the body’s relaxation response, lowering heart rate and blood pressure. For those that find slow breathing unhelpful, try more intense ones, such as the Wim Hof breathing techniques.

Physical Activity

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to combat stress. Physical activity increases the production of endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators. It also helps reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Regular exercise can improve mood, boost energy levels, and enhance overall well-being. Choose activities you enjoy, such as walking, running, swimming, or dancing, and make them a regular part of your routine. Even once a fortnight can benefit your mental health!

Time Management

Effective time management can help reduce feeling overwhelmed and improve productivity. Prioritizing tasks and breaking them into manageable steps can make them seem less daunting. Use tools like to-do lists, planners, and digital apps to organize your tasks and set realistic deadlines. It’s also crucial to make the time to organise, for example taking 10 minutes on a Monday morning to update to-do lists and schedules.

Symptoms that may indicate the need for professional help include persistent anxiety or depression, difficulty functioning in daily life, and physical health problems related to stress.

Services Offered at Maple Leaf Therapy At Maple Leaf Therapy, we offer personalized mental health support through one-to-one sessions with our specialists. Our offices are in Barry, Penarth, and our newly opened location in Swansea City Centre. Our team of experienced psychologists and mental health professionals are dedicated to helping individuals manage stress and improve their overall mental health.

A therapeutic approach to reducing stress includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), an evidencebased therapy that focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to stress. It has been proven effective in treating a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. Maple Leaf Therapy uses CBT and other complementary techniques suited to individual needs.

HThe psychological effects of stress are equally concerning. Chronic stress can contribute to anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. It can also impair cognitive functions, such as memory and concentration, leading to decreased productivity and performance. Moreover, stress can affect our emotional regulation, resulting in mood swings, irritability, and feeling overwhelmed or burned out.

The Importance of Routine and Self-Care

Establishing a Routine A well-structured routine

Exercise: Regular physical activity is a powerful stress reliever. Getting all that energy out physically stops that energy from turning inwards and causing negative thought spirals.

Relaxation: Schedule time for relaxation and hobbies. Whether it’s reading, gardening, or spending time with loved ones, engaging in activities you enjoy can help recharge your mind and body. If you don’t have a hobby, then ask: What’s something you’ve always wanted to try? Chances are, there’s a way to try it if you think outside the box.

Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment. It can help you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, allowing you to respond to stress more effectively. Meditation, a form of mindfulness practice, involves focused attention and relaxation techniques. Regular mindfulness and meditation practice can reduce stress, improve emotional regulation, and enhance overall well-being. There are many apps and even Youtube videos for guided relaxation. It can be very helpful for some, but others might need more active strategies.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises are simple yet powerful techniques for managing stress. They can be done anywhere and anytime to promote relaxation. One effective

Creative Outlets

Engaging in creative activities can provide a therapeutic escape from stress. Whether it’s drawing, painting, writing, or playing music, creative outlets allow you to express your emotions and channel your energy into something positive. These activities can also provide a sense of accomplishment and boost self-esteem. Creative outlets can really unlock that escape that people reach out for when stressed.

Seeking Professional Help When Needed

Recognizing When to Seek Help

While many stress management techniques can be effective, there are times when professional help is necessary. If you find yourself feeling out of control or unable to reduce your stress despite trying various strategies, it’s important to seek support from a mental health professional.

In addition to individual therapy, we offer corporate mental health services, supporting employees through therapy, workshops, and consultations. Our corporate services are designed to promote mental well-being in the workplace, reduce stress, and enhance productivity. We work with companies to create customized programs that address the specific needs of their employees.


Stress is a manageable part of life, but if it becomes overwhelming, professional help is just a call or click away. Appointments can be booked online at www. or by calling 07936635077. Don’t hesitate to reach out— taking the first step towards managing your stress is a sign of strength and selfcare.

By understanding stress and its impact, establishing a routine, building a support system, and employing effective stress management techniques, you can significantly reduce the negative effects of stress. Remember, it’s important to prioritize self-care and seek professional help when needed.

Childhood trauma linked to ill-health in adults

OUR childhood experiences shape our health, well-being and behaviour.

Exposure to trauma or intense stress, referred to as “adverse childhood experiences” (Aces) by experts, is linked to a multitude of negative outcomes later in life. These include an increased risk of developing physical and mental health problems, engaging in risky behaviour, experiencing violence and lower educational attainment.

My colleagues and I wanted to understand the effect that childhood trauma may have on our relationships with healthcare professionals and gauge the level of comfort people have when visiting health settings.

Our new research shows that Aces can be linked to distrust in health services and lower levels of comfort in hospitals and clinics.

The types of Aces that academic studies measure can vary. They typically include experiencing physical, emotional or

sexual abuse, parental separation or divorce, growing up in a home where there is domestic violence or abuse, mental illness, drug or alcohol misuse, or where a household member has been in prison.

Aces are relatively common. Research conducted in the UK has found that around half of people report they have experienced at least one Ace, while around one in ten report four or more Aces.

Studies in more vulnerable populations find a much higher level of Aces, with more than half of male prisoners in one UK study reporting four or more Aces.

Childhood trauma is linked with how comfortable people feel in hospitals and clinics. Aces are thought to influence neurological and emotional development, affecting emotion regulation and stress tolerance.

Research also suggests a correlation between Aces and difficulties with delayed

gratification, which is the ability to wait for a larger reward rather than taking a smaller one immediately. Aces may also be linked to lower levels of actions that benefit others, such as cooperation or helping people in need.

A growing body of international research reveals a concerning link between exposure to multiple Aces and a multitude of negative life outcomes. These include a greater likelihood of developing chronic illnesses like cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, selfharm and suicide.

Aces have also been linked to an increased use of healthcare services such as visiting accident and emergency departments, having an overnight stay in hospital or frequent GP use.

Until now, very little research has explored whether Aces may be linked to how people engage with health services or how comfortable they feel in

health settings.


We conducted an online survey with 1,696 adults in England and Wales. We found that, in comparison to people who had not experienced any childhood trauma, people who had experienced four or more Aces were more likely to think that health professionals do not care about their health or understand their problems.

Compared to people who reported no Aces,

people with four or more Aces were also more than twice as likely to report low levels of comfort when using hospitals, GP clinics and dental surgeries.

In Wales and England alone, Aces are estimated to cost £42 billion. This cost is associated with various health problems, including illnesses like cancer and risk factors like smoking.

So, unravelling the factors that could enhance healthcare engagement is crucial. This knowledge may allow us to understand people’s needs better

and tailor health services accordingly.

Fostering stronger relationships between patients and healthcare workers and enhancing patient comfort could potentially increase service uptake and, ultimately, improve healthcare delivery.

Dr Kat Ford is a Research Fellow at Bangor University’s School of Health Sciences. This article is published under a Creative Commons licence by The Conversation. Read the original article here.


New Chair appointed at the Port of Milford Haven

THE PORT of Milford Haven is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Siân George as its new Chair. Appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport, Siân took over the role on 22nd June 2024.

Siân succeeds Dr Chris Martin who joined the Port as Vice-Chair in 2012 and became Chair in 2017 overseeing key steps in the Port’s development.

Dr Siân George, Chair at the Port of Milford Haven said “I am delighted to join the Port of Milford Haven and look forward to working with the team to achieve our goals for the business and for the region. I am very much looking forward to building on the great work undertaken during Dr Chris Martin’s tenure and continuing to ensure the Port plays its part in creating a wealth of new opportunities for current and future generations.”

Tom Sawyer, Chief Executive at the Port of Milford Haven said “Siân joins us at an exciting time. We are making significant investments in our pilotage operations to ensure we keep delivering our Waterway customer’s

Siân brings a wealth of Board level experience, with a notable maritime, energy and safety focus. She is particularly recognised for her experience and knowledge of the marine renewables sector, where she has been a strong voice for UK and European policy and regulatory reform, working with stakeholders to help secure over €300m of public funding initiatives for the sector and overseeing an award winning strategic vision for developing Europe’s marine energy resources. Siân has a strong reputation for fostering constructive stakeholder relationships, and extensive experience working in safety-critical and highly regulated sectors.

needs, safely and effectively. We are also focused on expanding the influence Pembroke Port has within the FLOW, wave and tidal

industries to become a key hub for green industrial growth. And, through our investment in Milford Waterfront and other areas of

hospitality and tourism, we are strengthening Pembrokeshire’s reputation as a must visit destination for UK holidaymakers.”

Image by Vanessa Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Glamorous Fashion Show

Image by Vanessa, a designer fashion boutique on Milford Waterfront, celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a sold out, fashion filled afternoon at Tŷ Milford Waterfront in May.

Featuring 10 models and 130 outfits covering everything from black tie events to summer casual, the fashion show demonstrated how the versatile and classy fashion at Vanessa’s draws in clientele from all over the UK. The event was in support of Gelliswick Ladies Choir, who performed for attendees.

Discussing the event, Vanessa Hackett, Owner of Image by Vanessa said: “It was a pleasure to be able to celebrate my 20th Anniversary with my customers. I would like to extend a huge thank you to all who attended the show. Over £1400 was raised for Gelliswick Community Choir and I cannot thank our customers enough for their support and


I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors The Port of Milford Haven, Tŷ Milford Waterfront and Pure West Radio. Plus, an extra special thank you to all our fabulous models and my staff, without whom the event would not have been possible.

I can’t believe it’s

been 20 years since I first opened my doors on Milford Waterfront. It’s been a pleasure to grow my business in such a beautiful location.”

Natalie Hunt, Destination Manager at Milford Waterfront, and featured model at the Fashion Show added: “Image by Vanessa’s is an amazing success story for

businesses. Having been at Milford Waterfront for 20 years, Image by Vanessa’s is a true staple of what is on offer here for visitors.

We are so proud to be the home to such a well-run and truly unique fashion boutique. Vanessa’s brings visitors from all over to get beautifully curated fashion pieces for events, holidays

and every day. We are incredibly pleased to have supported Vanessa’s anniversary fashion show and to continue to collaborate in the future.”

To find out more about where you can shop, eat and enjoy at Milford Waterfront, please visit www.milfordwaterfront.

UK’s longest serving bus driver’s ‘two return trips to the moon’

A bus driver, thought to be the UK’s longest serving, has vowed to stay behind the wheel at the age of 76 after travelling the equivalent of almost two return trips to the moon.

Kenny Beckers from Sandfields in Swansea has been named First Bus’ longest serving member of staff, having transported an estimated seven million customers and travelling about 800,000 miles in his nearly six decades as a driver.

The Swansea-born grandfather started his bus career at the age of 18, after leaving Llamsamlet Secondary Modern School, when he became a bus conductor after just two days training for what was then called South Wales Transport. Fast forward three years, to November 1969, when he was legally allowed to drive a bus at the age of 21.

The former printer and tyre fitter fondly remembers his early years as a driver when he started at the Brunswick Street depot in Swansea before moving to the city’s Ravenhill depot, saying: “It was great being a driver in 1969. We had so many routes and carried so many passengers, including lots from all the factories, the collieries and British Steel at Port Talbot, but, of course, all that declined in the 1980s.

“I also remember we had double deckers back then, but passengers were only allowed to smoke on the top deck. Upstairs was like a mist. All the factory girls and everybody else was up there smoking, it was unbelievable.”

While Kenny, who is married with four children and eight grandchildren, has worked for five different companies over his

transport career, mainly because of takeovers and management buyouts, he is proud to have continued working in the same place and in the same role.

Now in semiretirement, Kenny’s two days a week driving is a far cry from when he started in the 1960s,

working six days a week on the equivalent of £38 per month. And he puts his long career in the bus industry down to his supportive wife, Linda, whom he says “played an important part in me being able to work on the buses for so long, as she was often left to look after our four

children alone for long periods of time.”

He has seen many changes in his time, but recognises that now offering more services while trying to encourage more customers is a tough balancing act.

He said: “The loss of commuters has been

a pram or a buggy you just had to fold it up and get on with it. We now have buses that lower, pavements that are higher and ramps.

“It’s great to see services increasing again in Swansea, as the key to getting people back on the bus is by putting on more services, but I completely understand that it’s a fine line. But, things are definitely picking up, and that’s great news.”

While Kenny says 99% of his passengers are great, and he has seen three or four generations travelling with him, some of his fondest memories are from the 1960s and 1970s when he would regularly pick up the Swansea Football Team en-route to their training ground, at a time when he describes the bus industry as reminiscent of the hit ITV sitcom ‘On The Buses’.

He said: “We could do and say things that you can’t do now. We had about 300 drivers and 300 conductors, and we could really wind each other up like the antics in that comedy show.”

the biggest change. The reduction in office workers and shop workers, and more people buying cars, means we’ve seen a decline in bus travel.

“However, we are doing a lot more for disabled people now.

Back in the day, buses had steps so if you had

Despite his six decades working and now entering his 77th year, Kenny says he has no plans to give up driving: “Once my body feels like enough is enough then I’ll give up, but I don’t like putting a time on things. I’ve seen people put times on stuff, and then everything goes haywire for a time. I don’t want to put a date on it.

“In all my years working I’ve never really thought about giving up the job, and I can honestly say I’ve never had that moment of ‘I’ve had enough, I’m off’. So long as I feel good and my health’s good, then I’ll keep going.”

S‘Social Partnership works!’ claims Labour Minister

OUTLINING a Wales-specific vision for an economy that promotes fair work and equality - The Social Partnership Minister, Sarah Murphy, gave her first keynote speech since her appointment to Cabinet.

The ‘Welsh Way’, the Minister told a delegation in Cardiff, including the Future Generations Commissioner, trade unions and representatives from the public and private sectors, is: “…based on relationships borne out of trust and respect. And during the current economic climate, it’s more important than ever before.”

The Minister said: “In Wales, we have a longstanding and successful blueprint for working in social partnership, bringing together partners from across government, employers, and trade unions to collaborate and co-produce solutions to shared problems.

“We’ve been doing it for a long time. It is an embedded way of working in Wales. It’s ‘the Welsh Way.’

“I believe that the ‘Welsh way’ should be characterised by shared ownership of problems and a shared commitment

to joint solutions. It’s a model that transcends barriers.

“It provides us with an opportunity to build an economy that promotes fair work, equality, and economic, social and environmental justice. One where we all have a voice.”

The Welsh Government established the Social Partnership Council a little over a year ago, placing Social Partnership on a statutory

footing. By law, public bodies are required not just to consult but also to seek consensus or actively compromise with their recognised trade unions.

Examples of social partnership in practice include the Real Living Wage being implemented in the social care sector in Wales through the collective efforts of employers, unions and the government. The Retail Forum has been

established for members of the retail sector, along with government and trade unions, to collectively address key issues facing the sector.

Reflecting on these examples, the Minister concluded: “It’s a proven model. It works”

“We are working in partnership to make a difference for our communities, our economy and our country - ensuring workers’ voices are heard.

“Bringing together the collective expertise of social partners to lead to better outcomes for people right across Wales and changing lives.” In addition to overseeing social partnerships, Sarah Murphy’s Ministerial responsibilities also cover living wages, fair work, tourism, the hospitality and retail sectors, the creative sector and public procurement across Wales.

No guarantee WG will spend NHS money on Welsh NHS


That’s a patient’s average wait for treatment in Wales.

And, with it being an average, there will be some patients waiting much longer.

The figure arose when Altaf Hussain, the Shadow Social Care Minister, questioned Labour’s Eluned Morgan in the Senedd on Wednesday, July 3.

Dr Hussain, a former Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, pressed Baroness Morgan about health service funding in Wales.

He asked the Cabinet Secretary: “We have the longest waiting lists in the UK, and over 21,000 people waiting

longer than two years for treatment. This is shameful.

“Cabinet Secretary: Sir Keir Starmer is seeking to become the next occupant of No. 10.

“He has promised to treat 2 million more patients each year in order to tackle waiting lists in England.

“How are you planning to tackle Wales’s ever-growing waiting lists? What is the Welsh Government plan?”

The Minister did not disclose whether the Welsh Government has a plan other than to keep ploughing the sands.

However, her answer inadvertently revealed that no matter how much more money is

given to the NHS in England, the Welsh Government will not use the resulting funding to address waiting lists in Wales—with some of the money hived off into other departments’ expenditures.

Baroness Morgan said: “If Labour is elected and that money goes into the NHS, then we will get a consequential from that, and obviously it will be up to the Cabinet to determine how we spend that money.

“I will certainly be making the case, and I think I have managed to make the case for a proportion of that, at least, if not all of it, to come to help us tackle waiting lists, which are the biggest headache,

probably, for me at the moment.”

Dr Altaf Hussain MS said: “The long waits that patients have to endure, in pain, for NHS treatment in Labour-run Wales are shameful.

“Labour-run Wales has the longest NHS waits in the whole UK,

and they’ve just hit a new record. Yet Labour’s Health Minister boasts that patients “only” have to wait 22 weeks on average for treatment.

“Labour ministers may be proud of this record, but the Welsh Conservatives want better for Wales.”

Minister has no answers on violence in schools

Carrying a weapon is no longer a reportable reason for exclusion

Teachers face more abuse, assaults and threats by students

NEW research conducted by NASUWT

– The Teachers’ Union shows that almost 10% of teachers in Wales have experienced pupils bringing weapons to school in the past year.

However, according to guidance issued by the Welsh Government in April, carrying a weapon no longer applies as a reportable reason for exclusion.

At the NASUWT Cymru Conference in Swansea this weekend, members will debate three motions to address pupil behaviour, including an urgent motion calling for the Welsh Government to allow exclusions when pupils bring weapons to school.

As the Welsh Government guidance stands, possession of an offensive weapon in a school is a criminal offence that can result in a custodial sentence but is not a reason for excluding a student.

There have been a number of violent incidents at schools in Wales, including Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, Carmarthenshire, where teachers and a pupil were injured during a stabbing in April.

Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said: “Teachers have a right to a safe working environment, and children and young people are entitled to learn out of harm’s way. Yet violence in Welsh schools continues to escalate, and our teachers grow desperate over the lack of support available to them and their pupils.

“Last year, we published a Behaviour Report that revealed teachers were regularly experiencing physical and verbal abuse in the classroom. Our new findings on pupils

bringing weapons into schools must serve as a wakeup call to employers and the Government. They can no longer ignore the behaviour crisis unfolding in our classrooms.

“We cannot leave our teachers to deal with dangerous pupil behaviour alone. Teachers urgently require support from leaders, external agencies, local authorities, and from the Government – who must make sure that the education system in Wales has enough funding and provision to keep everyone safe.”

Neil Butler, National Official for Wales, said: “It seems there is no end to the abuse teachers are expected to tolerate. NASUWT is deeply concerned about the physical and mental well-being of members, many of whom now

feel unsafe in their classrooms every day.

“Our teachers face many challenges when it comes to pupil behaviour, including poor behaviour management policies, a lack of support from senior leaders in school, and a lack of alternative provision for struggling pupils outside of mainstream schools.

“NASUWT is calling on the Welsh Government to hold a Behaviour Summit for all education stakeholders in Wales so we can work together to tackle this problem through an agreed Action Plan.

“Teachers are there to teach – not to serve as bodyguards, punch bags or referees.

“But when pupils are bringing weapons into school, we can only expect assaults on teachers and learners to increase.

“The removal of

‘possessing a weapon’ from the Welsh Government Guidance just looks as though the Government is trying to brush the issue under the carpet rather than confront it.”

Speaking in the Senedd on Tuesday, July 2, the Shadow Education Minister, Joel James MS, raised the NASUWT report with the Cabinet Secretary for Education.

Mr James said: “In the last 12 months, nearly 40 per cent of teachers in Wales reported experiencing violence or physical abuse in the classroom; 95 per cent have experienced verbal abuse in the classroom; and 91 per cent claimed that they’ve been sworn at by pupils.

“Teachers have also alleged that they have been shoved or barged, hit or punched, kicked, spat at and headbutted, and some have reported

having chairs thrown at them.”

Mr James asked the Cabinet Secretary: “Why do you think this is happening? What, in your mind, has changed so significantly that pupils are acting in this way?”

The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Lynne Neagle, did not appear to know the answer to that question but suggested the pandemic could be related to increased antisocial behaviour in schools.

Ms Neagle said: “Obviously, we want all our schools to be safe, welcoming places for all children and young people and our staff.

“Local authorities and schools have a responsibility to ensure that schools are safe places for people to work.

“You’re asking me why this is happening. I think that’s a really complex question.

“What is clear to me as Cabinet Secretary is a whole range of societal problems are now playing out in our schools, and that has become worse since the pandemic.

“I believe that a purpose-driven, engaging curriculum is something that will actually help engage children and young people and improve behaviour in schools.”

How much comfort that is to teachers facing the daily risk of abuse, harassment, and assault from students is open to question.

“I’m aware of the NASUWT research that you’ve referred to and discussed school behaviour with them recently. I have also discussed it with other trade unions. It is an area of concern.

we will be waking up to the results of the 4th July General Election. The polls have consistently shown that Labour will form the next Government. A long campaign and the polls have hardly shifted since PM Sunak called the election, a few weeks back. The only real shift was when Nigel Farage announced he would be standing and Reform UK got a bounce, mainly at the expense of the Tories. We will see what develops on Friday 5th July.

I would like to thank Alistair Cameron who stood for the Welsh Liberal Democrats here in Mid & South Pembrokeshire and to voters who voted for him. Whatever the result, we will continue to promote liberalism here in Pembrokeshire and beyond. Our need is probably greater than ever. The UK has to rebuild our badly damaged relationship with Europe after the Tories have taken us out of the EU and Labour don’t seem to be in any rush to rejoin, let alone rejoin the Single Market and Customs Union.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey marked last Saturday’s Armed Forces Day by calling for those serving and veterans and their families to be given a Fair Deal.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto includes measures to reverse the troop cuts which have left the army at its smallest size since the Napoleonic era, strengthen the Armed Forces Covenant and an ambition to increase defence spending to 2.5% of GDP.

Ed Davey said that these measures would give serving military personnel a package of support “worthy of the

sacrifices they and their families have made”.

The Party’s manifesto also put forward proposals for a new commission aimed at securing a cross-party consensus on improving conditions for serving personnel and veterans.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

“Today is a day to express our gratitude to every single person who is serving or has served in our armed forces.

“Each one of them has given so much in order to keep us all safe and they deserve a fair deal, worthy of the sacrifices they and their families have made.

“That is why I and the Liberal Democrats are proud to have put forward a manifesto that would give veterans, their families, and those serving the resources and the support that they deserve and need to keep us safe.”

The Liberal Democrat manifesto included plans to:

• Reverse the 10,000 personnel troop cuts

• An ambition to increase defence spending to 2.5% of GDP

• Improve military housing

• Strengthening the Armed Forces Covenant by placing a legal duty on the Defence Secretary and government departments to give it due regard

• Accept the recommendations of the Atherton Report on women in the armed forces

• Ensuring that military compensation for illness or injury does not count towards means testing benefits

• Establishing a “Fair Deal for Service Personnel, Veterans and Families Commission”

First North Wales veterans’ jobs fair and conference

T HE first jobs fair and conference for veterans, service leavers and families in North Wales has taken place in Wrexham, linking the Armed Forces community directly with local and national employers.

the armed forces and attended the event.

He said: “It’s a particular pleasure for me to be at this event in North Wales, and to meet some of the veterans and the employers who are attending.

If you have any issues or comments, please contact me at

The jobs fair took place alongside a conference for employers which highlighted the many benefits veterans can bring to the workplace.

Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport Ken Skates has responsibility for

“This event has 25 employers with active jobs and it’s great to see how they can link up with veterans. The conference running alongside the fair also gives the opportunity for employers to hear about the benefits of employing veterans and service leavers can bring.

“Employers at the event include, for example, Transport for Wales, Gold Award holders in the Employer Recognition Scheme and hugely supportive of developing a truly inclusive environment for the Armed forces community.

“Our veterans bring unique skills and experience which can truly benefit employers. I’m pleased that in North Wales 172 employers so far have pledged their support by signing the Armed Forces covenant.”

Julianne Williams from the Forces Employment charity said: “The Wales Employment Fair is personally the highlight of my year, as I get to be involved in Welsh based talent whether it’s from the Welsh based companies or the still serving or veterans. I am an RAF veteran and I served for 25 years and I chose to come back home and find work in Wales. I only wish that something like this was available to me when I left.”

Senedd moves to automatically enrol voters

PLANS to automatically register voters cleared the penultimate hurdle in the Senedd’s legislative process – with 400,000 people potentially set to be added to the register.

Mick Antoniw, counsel general and the Welsh Government’s chief legal adviser described the elections and elected bodies bill as “groundbreaking.”

He told the Senedd an incoming Labour UK Government would be committed to following Wales’ lead on automatic registration, with a similar model likely to be rolled out.

He said, “For Wales, it will potentially mean some 400,000 people being added to that register.

“If it is extended to the rest of the UK for nondevolved elections, you are talking about seven or eight million people who are not on the register.

“Now, it says something about our democracy when you have so many people who are not on the register – not even in a position to vote.”


Peter Fox, the Conservatives’ shadow local government secretary, pointed out that vulnerable people – such as those fleeing domestic abuse – may wish to opt-out.

Mr Fox said, “We need to be careful with people’s information, as people often wish to remain anonymous for a good reason.”

Members agreed to his amendment, which would increase the notice period for somebody to be registered to vote without application to 60 days.

However, another of Mr Fox’s amendments— aimed at empowering disabled people to vote in person, “something that’s a fundamental right in our society”—was narrowly defeated.

Speaking after the debate on July 2, the former Monmouthshire council leader accused Labour of prioritising electoral change over tackling long NHS waiting lists.


Rhys ab Owen, who represents South Wales Central and sits as an independent in the Senedd, focused on disabled people’s participation in politics.

Calling for clearer information about accessibility, he told the chamber: “Imagine, if you may, that you are a disabled voter in Wales.

“Let’s say you have to use a wheelchair. You’re going to the polling station to cast your vote, as is your human right, and then you find you can’t get up the steps.”

Mr ab Owen warned: “It can make you feel helpless, dehumanised, to know that this is permitted to happen in a democratic society. And this isn’t just a hypothetical situation – this is the reality for thousands of people or voters across Wales.”

The former barrister pointed to a poll by the charity Sense, which showed that nearly half of disabled people believe they are not important to political parties.

Under the bill, Welsh ministers will be under

a duty to improve diversity in Senedd and council structures –with tailored support for characteristics protected by equality law.


The bill, which contentious amendments about deception have overshadowed, would also lay the groundwork for councillors to be given cash when they are voted out.

Councillors who unsuccessfully run for re-election could receive “resettlement payments,” dubbed in some quarters as “golden handshakes,” but those who stand down would not.

The policy aims to remove barriers, such as for people with caring responsibilities, and ease the transition for those who are giving up their careers to stand for election.

Wales’ 22 local authorities have about 1,250 councillors. Similar transitional arrangements are already in place for unseated Senedd members and MPs.

After the 2021 election, 20 ex-Senedd

members were awarded payments from £14,000 to £50,000, costing the public purse £632,000, according to a freedom of information request.


If the bill is passed, community councillors would be barred from being Senedd members.

South Wales Central MS Joel James serves on Llantwit Fardre community council, and a Conservative amendment seeking to remove the disqualification was defeated.

However, the South Wales Central MS reached an agreement on a related amendment that would ensure clerks cannot be members of community councils.

He told the Senedd: “I’ve always been concerned by that. I think, as a clerk, you need to be politically neutral, and this role should be restricted.

“As, maybe, an opposition politician, or maybe an independent, what confidence would I have that the conversations I have with that clerk, or the advice I

was given, would be fair?”


Adam Price tabled ultimately unsuccessful amendments, calling for voters to be given a “right to know” whether artificial intelligence has been used in electoral literature.

The former Plaid Cymru leader raised a “frightening” recent Dispatches documentary on the potential for technology to have a detrimental impact on democracy.

He said, “ It could have very dangerous implications for the integrity of our political discourse over coming years, and we can’t afford to remain static.”

The bill now moves to the fourth and final legislative stage—a vote of the whole Senedd on the proposals as amended, which has been pencilled in for July 9 at about 4 p.m.

With Labour and Plaid Cymru’s support and no legal challenge expected, the bill is likely to be passed next week – with royal assent to follow.

Chris Haines ICNN Senedd reporter

death notices


MILLER Maurice Freshwater East The death occurred peacefully at Withybush Hospital on Wednesday 19th June 2024 of Mr. Maurice Miller, affectionately known as ‘Max’ aged 72 years, of Jason Road, Freshwater East. Devoted Husband to Ingrid. Much loved Dad and Step Dad to Vicky and Lisa. The funeral service will take place on Thursday 11th July 2024 at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth at 2:30pm. There will be family flowers only with donations in lieu if desired for R.N.L.I c/o E.C. Thomas & Son Funeral Directors, 21, Main Street, Pembroke SA71 4JS (01646) 682680 & Zoar Chapel Funeral Home, Llanteg, Narberth SA67 8QH (01834) 831876 or via www.ecthomasandson.


DAVIES Kenneth Alun Thomas Blaenwern, Tufton Peacefully on Sunday 23rd June at Withybush Hospital, Ken of Blaenwern, Tufton. Beloved brother of David, Ann & the late Hugh and a loving uncle and great uncle. Funeral service on Friday 12th July at Jabes Chapel, Gwaun Valley at 12 noon followed by interment in the Chapel

Cemetery. Family flowers only. Donations in memory of Ken, can be made to a charity of your own choice. Further enquiries to Paul Jenkins & Sons Funeral Directors, Feidr Castell, Fishguard, SA65 9BB. Tel01348 873250.


HUGHES Victoria Lillis (Vicky) Peacefully, in the care of Lindsey Lodge Hospice, on the 16th of June 2024, aged 70 years. Beloved wife of Alan, mum to Dean, step-mum to Katie, a dear grandma, great-grandma, sister, and sorely missed by all her family and friends. Would family and friends please meet at Woodlands Crematorium, Scunthorpe on Friday the 5th of July 2024 at 2pm for service and committal. Donations in lieu of flowers would be gratefully accepted for “Lindsey Lodge Hospice” and “Macmillan Cancer Support” c/o Jason Threadgold Funeral Director, 19-21 Old Courts Road, Brigg, North Lincs, DN20 8JD. Tel:(01652) 638888


GEORGE Samantha Llangwm Samantha aged 44 died very peacefully in Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester on 15th June. Her loved ones were at her bedside. In

Eastleigh she leaves her devoted partner Stuart and his son Jacob. Here in Pembrokeshire Sam leaves her father Dilwyn and Carol (aka New Mum)and a large family. Samantha was a beautiful, kind and loving niece and cousin. She was a loyal friend. A warm welcome for all to join the family in a service of thanksgiving for Samantha and a Celebration of her life at St. Jerome’s Church, Llangwm at 3.45pm on Friday 12th July. Donations for St Jerome’s Church or a charity of your choice in memory of Samantha may be sent to Elizabeth Davies, 203, New Road, Freystrop, Haverfordwest. SA62 4LQ.


ROBINSON Ann Peacefully on Wednesday 19th June at Glangwili Hospital, aged 91 years, Ann of Common Church Farm, Pendine. A beloved Mum, Granny, Great Granny, and friend. Public funeral service at St Margaret’s Church, Eglwys Gymyn on Monday 8th July at 11:30am, followed by interment in the church yard. Family flowers only please, donations in lieu, if desired, may be made for Afon Taf Gardening Club or Pendine and District Senior Citizens Association or the Fifty-Five Plus Club c/o Peter Evans Funeral Directors, Rosewood, Plashett, Laugharne, Carmarthen, SA33 4TT. Tel: 01994 427 261.


JENNINGS Joan Ceridwen of Haverfordwest Joan passed away peacefully on the 15th June, 2024 aged 86 years. Dearly loved wife to the late Morley, she will be sadly missed by all who knew her. Funeral service, Saturday 6th July, 12.00pm at St. Mary’s Church, Talbenny, Haverfordwest. Family flowers only. All enquiries to Roy Folland & Son Funeral Directors (01437) 763821


DAVIES Denzil Hebron, Hendy gwyn. Yn dawel ddydd Mercher, Mehefin 26ain, bu farw Denzil, gynt o Gwenfro, Hebron, Hendygwyn, yng Nghartref gofal Y Garreg Lwyd, San Cler, yn 97 blwydd oed. Priod hoff y diweddar Ivora, tad annwyl, Bethan, Philip a Huw, tadcu a hendadcu cariadus, a thadyng-nghyfraith parchus. Angladd yng Nghapel Hebron, ddydd Sadwrn, 6ed Gorffennaf am 11.00 o’r gloch. Blodau Teulu yn unig. Rhoddion os dymunir tuag at RNIB Cymru, trwy law Ken Davies a’i Feibion, Blaenwern, Bro Waldo, Clunderwen, SA66 7NQ Ffon: 01437 563319. Denzil, formerly of Gwenfro, Hebron, Whitland, passed away peacefully on Wednesday,

26th June at Y Garreg Lwyd, Care home, St Clears, aged 97. Devoted husband of the late Ivora, loving father of Bethan, Philip and Huw, proud grandfather and greatgrandfather, respected and loved father-in-law. Funeral Service at Hebron Chapel, on Saturday, 6th July, at 11a.m. Family flowers only. Donations if so desired towards RNIB Cymru, c/o Ken Davies & Sons, Funeral Directors, Blaenwern, Bro Waldo, Clunderwen. SA66 7NQ. Tel: 01437 563319.



GETVOLDSEN Anne Formerly of Haverfordwest and Milford Haven. Anne died peacefully on 22nd June 2024 at Yeovil District Hospital aged 85 years. Dearly loved by her devoted husband, Phil and all the family, she will be forever in our hearts. The funeral will take place at Yeovil Crematorium on Friday 19th July at 11.20am. Family flowers only. For further details or to leave a tribute, please contact A.J. Wakely and Sons Funeral Directors on 01935 479913 or visit:


REES Derek Owen Haverfordwest Passed away suddenly at Withybush Hospital Haverfordwest on 20th

June, aged 91. A local journalist and historian, devoted husband to Jean, loving father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather, Derek’s loss will deeply felt by his family and friends. Funeral service to be held at St Mary’s Church Haverfordwest on Wednesday 17th July at 2 pm, followed by cremation at Parc Gwyn, Narbeth at 3:15pm. Family flowers only, donations in lieu to:St Mary’s Restoration Fund c/o Church Treasurer, Pat Swales Barker, 34 Castle High, Haverfordwest, SA61 2SP. Cheques made payable to The Church of St Mary’s The Virgin. Funeral arrangements carried out by Roy Folland and Son Haverfordwest.


DICKIN Brian Letterston Peacefully on Friday 21st June at Withybush Hospital, Brian of Letterston. Beloved husband of the late Sylvia, loving father of Kevin and Sonia, Karen and Anthony, much loved grandfather of Matthew, Aled, Gemma and Jordan, treasured great grandfather of Eva and Alfie, and a dear brother of Ian. Funeral service on Thursday 11th July at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth at 4pm. Family flowers only. Donations in lieu if desired, made payable to the ‘Paul Sartori Foundation’ c/o Paul Jenkins & Sons Funeral Directors, Feidr Castell, Fishguard, SA65 9BB. Tel: 01348 873250.




S & no TI



I share my open letter to Ken Skates MS Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport of Wales: I write as a former director of the Rail Passengers’ Committee for Wales with ongoing concern for public transport provision in Wales.

In particular, we are witnessing the decline of socially necessary bus service provision in both urban and rural areas, often on the grounds of commercial viability. I am fully aware that private entities must provide a return for shareholders, but this is surely where the government needs to step in to support, either by subsidies for services or by supporting concessionary pass schemes which encourage public transport use, especially outside peak times when viability is a consideration.

In my locality, Swansea, I have seen services pared right back on various grounds, with the residual provision being inadequate to cater for demand and resulting

in buses running to capacity well before their destination. Whilst this may be an excellent business strategy for shareholders of large companies like First Group, which recently reported a £204million operating profit, it provides cold comfort for individuals for whom buses are a lifeline. Companies like First Group are nonetheless a critical component of the Welsh economy with many other, possibly less fortunate, businesses relying on them to transport their employees and customers.

The Bus Services (Wales) Bill, which was withdrawn in 2022, would allow bus partnership schemes, bus franchising schemes and allow local authorities to set up and run their own bus services. According to https://www.herald. wales/national-news/ long-awaited-busservices-bill-for-walesalmost-ready/ the Bill will be introduced in the near future. There will be great support for the Bill. This leaflet explains the provisions and aims of the Bill: wales/sites/default/files/ publications/2020-03/ bus-services-wales-billcommunity-guide.pdf

The only alternative

many are left with is a private vehicle, which undermines the Welsh Government’s desire for a modal shift on more sustainable means of transport.

The current situation is dismal outside of Cardiff. For example, in Llanelli which is of significant size within Wales, there is no provision of a link between the railway station and the town centre / bus station. The distance is far too great for people to walk, especially if they have luggage with them [it is not realistic for all people to pay for taxis and they should not have to.] The senior bus passes are very welcome, but the service on many routes is so poor and irregular that many people do not find them of as great value as they should. What about the introduction of a young person’s bus pass (say for under 25’s) which I am fairly certain was introduced by the Scottish government a few years ago? However, there would have to be greatly enhanced service provision for this to be feasible.

Transport for Wales appears preoccupied with the rollout of the South Wales Metro service, seemingly to the detriment of the

for people to choose the train over the car.

One of my contacts in North Wales also reports on something you will be all too familiar with - the inadequacies of the direct service being provided through to London Euston. Another First Group operation, Avanti West Coast appears to treat its Welsh operations as something of an inconvenience.

Frankly it is a delinquent rail operator across its network, but North Wales clearly lacks the prestige of its other destinations such as Manchester or Glasgow which at least have a regular service to mitigate in some way for cancellations and delays.

extremities of its network such as west of Swansea and North Wales.

Transport for Wales has a long way to go before it can be described as a “fully reliable railway.” It is far too easy for trains to be cancelled for all or part of their journeys, especially if heading westwards, e.g. to Fishguard, Holyhead, or Llandudno. Even though large parts of Wales are rural-based, people’s appointments and travel plans are just as important as anywhere else.

For example, it remains impossible to get a train out of North Wales on a Sunday before 0822 and, although this is a small improvement over recent years, it is still relegating this route to little more than branch line status.

I shall come onto the direct North Wales to London service shortly, but when there is no direct train, it remains a requirement to make two changes – at Chester and Crewe – to get to London, because Transport for Wales operates very few direct services to Crewe. Two changes for a principal “intercity” route, along with regular trademark overcrowding between Crewe and Chester, is a disincentive

Take, for example, the 0703 service from Wrexham which only this week has been cancelled on three days out of five. It also offers limited advance tickets, allegedly based on capacity constraints and nothing at all to do with their inability to run timetabled services consistently.

There is a formidable amount of work to be carried out before there is a significant likelihood of a major shift of use between private and public transport. Nonetheless, every journey has to start with a first step and we seem to be on the verge of a great forthcoming opportunity.

Hopefully, an incoming Labour government in Westminster will make good on its pledge to strip the company of its franchise at the earliest opportunity, though it offers little hope for those who try to use this service regularly.

Transport is the bedrock of a strong economy, and I call upon the Welsh Government to seize the opportunity of imminent changes in Westminster to secure greater cooperation for Anglo-Welsh transport and work to restore some of the local services that have fallen victim to commercial imperatives.

PIc Ture oF THe weeK!

























TSP or

England head to the Quaters

NO MATTER how many clichés you invoke, England’s fortunate extratime victory over Slovakia cannot obscure the stark reality: Gareth Southgate must effect changes if he aims to guide the Three Lions to Euro 2024 glory. Drawing too many positives from such a woeful performance would be absurd; this outing could have easily ended in a European Championship exit as ignominious as Iceland’s in 2016. England ought to be heading home, but instead, there’s a lingering hope of “it” still coming home. Rather than witnessing a humiliating exit, fans found themselves chanting about Berlin, buoyed by Jude Bellingham’s heroic overhead kick that rescued the nation just as the clock was winding down.

Harry Kane’s extra-time

goal turned the tide, satisfying those who merely care about results—it’s a job done, onto the next one. Yet, the notion that England still harbour hopes of winning this tournament strains belief.

Yes, they topped their group, yes, they remain undefeated, and yes, the draw is favourable with a quarterfinal against Switzerland looming on Saturday. But surpassing the Swiss, let alone lifting the trophy, will necessitate a significant upshift in performance.

Southgate must maximise this reprieve. If he believes maintaining the status quo during much of the match was correct, rather than making proactive changes, then he is sorely mistaken.

Bellingham’s overhead kick was England’s solitary shot

on target—a stark statistic given Slovakia’s early lead through Ivan Schranz in the 25th minute. It’s far from sufficient, and Southgate surely recognises this.

The decision to wait until the 66th minute for a substitution— forced by Kieran Trippier’s injury—was notable, though not as remarkable as waiting until the 94th minute to introduce Ivan Toney for Phil Foden.

Bellingham’s spectacular goal wasn’t about tactics or team structure; it was a moment of pure brilliance off a long throw and a flick-on.

That goal will endure as an icon, replayed endlessly, the kind of strike every young England supporter will try to emulate for years to come. For me, it’s akin to David Platt’s extra-time winner against Belgium in Italia ‘90—a goal

I’ve recreated countless times in my living room, inadvertently knocking over ornaments in my excitement.

England didn’t lift the World Cup in 1990, but Bobby Robson experimented after a lacklustre start. He rotated players, altered formations, searching for the winning formula, and nearly succeeded. Euro 96 saw Terry Venables similarly tinkering with the team, achieving glory on a memorable night against the Netherlands.

Both times, heartbreak against Germany in penalty shootouts ended the dream, luck deserting when it mattered most.

Perhaps now, fortune is repaying some of what it has taken, granting Southgate an undeserved lifeline. He cannot squander it. Tear it up and try something new. The performance has been so dismal that identifying where to begin is daunting, but change is imperative.

You have to be in it to win it, but surely, better play is a prerequisite.

West Wales Graded Badminton Competition debutes in Pembs

THIS weekend, Pembrokeshire welcomed elite badminton players from across Wales to the first-ever West Wales Graded competition. Hosted by Haverfordwest Badminton Club, the event showcased over 100 players vying for ranking points at the impressive Pembrokeshire Sports Village.

The graded competition is a series of 4 tournaments across held across Wales in which Badminton Wales, the national governing body of badminton, pick the best players to compete in the annual

Four Nations Graded International against England, Scotland and Ireland.

Badminton Wales Huw John, who has played badminton for over 50 years and a former All England Masters singles champion described the event as “Truly fantastic, a super tournament. It was wonderful to see some new faces taking part and what a lovely place Pembrokeshire is to come and visit. The event has been a credit to your club.”

Huw currently trains young and upcoming badminton talents like Miya Pan and Janis Leung and it was no surprise to him that both

players reached the Women’s singles final, with Miya eventually taking the crown.

The standout performer of the day in the men’s E/F grade competitions was Jamie Noble, who achieved a remarkable treble by winning the men’s singles, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles.

Jamie, a 24-year-old from Flintshire, North Wales, shared his excitement:

“This is the first time I’ve won all three events at a single competition, and it feels good — quite surreal, to be honest. I’m exhausted though, and my legs are still hurting 48 hours later! I really enjoyed the day; it was a

great event with a good standard of play, and I had some tough but fun games.”

Jamie has been playing badminton since the age of 7 but has faced challenges this year due to injuries. The West Wales Graded competition marked his return to competitive play after over two months.

Jamie’s talent became evident at age 11 when he received one-onone coaching from Luke Tanner, a coach based in North Wales. Now, he plays twice, sometimes three times a week, and encourages others to take up the sport, citing its fun nature and fitness benefits.

The club expressed their gratitude for the crucial funding provided by Valero, without which the competition would not have been possible. Stephen Thornton, Valero’s Manager of Public Affairs, commented: “Hosting this event is a fantastic achievement for Haverfordwest Badminton Club and for the sport in the county. Valero’s ethos is all about promoting inclusivity and excellence, and this event encapsulates both.” Following the success of the competition, Badminton Wales has revealed that it is very likely they will return to Pembrokeshire in 2025.

Struggling Haverfordwest

win against Saundersfoot

HAVERFORDWEST, languishing at the bottom of the league, were in dire need of a victory to revive their season as they faced Saundersfoot.

Town skipper Phillips won the toss and opted to field, hoping to limit Saundersfoot to a modest total. However, a splendid century from opener Tom Mansbridge set Saundersfoot up for a formidable score. Demonstrating his prowess as one of the county’s finest allrounders, Mansbridge scored 102 off 95 balls, including 15 boundaries. He received valuable support from his brother Jon, who contributed 38 before being stumped, and from James Caine, who added a solid 30.

An impressive late flourish came from Brace, who scored 35 off just 14 balls, leading Saundersfoot to finish on 287/7. Clive Tucker was the standout bowler for Town, taking 2-34. At tea, 287 seemed a daunting target for Town, who have been struggling recently. They knew a significant innings was required to chase down this total.

When Adam James fell for a quick-fire 24, Town found themselves at 70-4, with some of their best batsmen already dismissed. However, wicketkeeper Perera was in scintillating form, quickly settling in and showcasing his stroke-making ability. Jake Merry, at the other end, played a patient

and crucial knock of 36 off 61 balls, providing solid support to Perera. The duo shared a 129run partnership before Merry was trapped lbw by Nick Cope. Perera, however, was determined to see his team through. He struck an outstanding 19 fours and four sixes in his unbeaten 142 off 104 balls, guiding his team to a memorable victory.

Despite Danny Caine’s impressive bowling, taking 2-16 from four overs, and Nick Cope’s commendable figures of 2-36, it wasn’t enough to prevent Town from securing an excellent win. Perera’s remarkable innings will be long remembered as the highlight of a thrilling match.

Llangwm’s Steve Mills goes all out in vital win over Cresselly

L LANGWM ’ S survival in the first division this season has hinged heavily on the exceptional form of Steven Mills. On Saturday, Llangwm faced one of the county’s strongest teams, Cresselly, who also needed a win to stay in touch with the top two.

Llangwm batted first, and Cresselly would have known that Mills’ wicket was the key one to take. With his usual partner, Steve Inward, absent from the lineup, the pressure on Mills was immense.

However, pressure must be his middle name, as he once again scored an outstanding century. His 114 runs came from just 57 balls, dominating everything the Cresselly attack threw at him. Crucially, other players stepped up and made valuable contributions: Waller (24), Chris Inward (30), and Williams (32). As a result, Llangwm set a target of 277 for Cresselly to win. In their chase, Cresselly’s batsmen struggled to gain momentum. Tom Murphy was the only player to

make a half-century, scoring a commendable 67, but his team needed him to push on further. Mills played a crucial role again by taking the wicket of the dangerous Alex Bayley, bowling him out for 32. Luke Brock was instrumental in securing the win for Llangwm, taking 4 wickets for just 7 runs, including the key wicket of Murphy. This victory was vital for Llangwm, lifting them out of the relegation zone. Cresselly remains in third place but is now 20 points behind Neyland, a significant gap.

Thomas carroll Pembrokeshire league Table

RESULTS 22/06/2024

Carew (95) lost to Neyland (193-7) by 98 runs

Cresselly (274-7) beat Haverfordwest (224-8) by 50 runs

Lawrenny (90-3) beat St Ishmaels (89) by 7 wkts

Saundersfoot (271-3) beat Llangwm (133) by 138 runs

Whitland (114-4) beat Narberth (111) by 6 wkts

Burton (273-4) beat Johnston (122) by 151 runs

Herbrandston (110-1) beat Lamphey (109-9) by 9 wkts

Hook (203) lost to Carew II (206-3) by 7 wkts

Llechryd (173-7) lost to Pembroke (174-1) by 9 wkts

Pembroke Dock (152) beat Llanrhian (93) by 59 runs

Haverfordwest II (151-6) lost to Kilgetty (152-7) by 3 wkts

Narberth II (74) lost to Burton II (225-6) by 151 runs

Neyland II (86-2) beat Hook II (85) by 8 wkts

St Ishmaels II (74) lost to Cresselly II (76-2) by 8 wkts

Stackpole (170-2) beat Fishguard (169-6) by 8 wkts

Carew III (155-6) beat Laugharne (154-6) by 4 wkts

Hundleton (328-5) beat Pembroke Dock II (112) by 216 runs

Llangwm II (242-3) beat Llechryd II (85) by 157 runs

Llanrhian II (131-6) lost to Lawrenny II (197-7) by 66 runs

Pembroke II (212-6) beat Saundersfoot II (152) by 60 runs

Crymych (231-5) beat Herbrandston II (119-9) by 112 runs

Haverfordwest III (107-1) beat Stackpole II (106) by 9 wkts

Laugharne II (103) lost to Cresselly III (104-4) by 6 wkts

Neyland III (48) beat Whitland II (49-3) by 7 wkts

Kilgetty II (123) tied with Hundleton II (123-8)

Lamphey II (186-3) lost to Pembroke III (187-1) by 9 wkts

Whitland III (47) lost to Haverfordwest IV (48-1) by 9 wkts

FIXTURES 29/06/2024

Haverfordwest IV v Kilgetty II

Lamphey II v Llechryd III

Whitland III v Hundleton II

Herbrandston II v Cresselly III

Laugharne II v Haverfordwest III

Stackpole II v Neyland III

Carew III v Pembroke II

Hundleton v Llechryd II

Lawrenny II v Laugharne

Llanrhian II v Saundersfoot II

Pembroke Dock II v Llangwm II

Herbrandston II v Cresselly III

Laugharne II v Haverfordwest III

Stackpole II v Neyland III

Haverfordwest IV v Kilgetty II

Lamphey II v Llechryd III

Whitland III v Hundleton II

Struggling Haverfordwest win against Saundersfoot

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