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Pembroke Dock: Lantern parade brings town together

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PEMBROKE DOCK was the place to be on Friday (Dec 1) when the community organised Lanterns in the Park parade kickstarted a weekend of events in the town.

Over 600 people packed into the Memorial Park to enjoy the spectacular parade led by Samba Doc ,who set the pace in front of 200 lantern paraders  snaking around the park’s paths.

The lanterns were made by Sand Palace Arts at community workshops funded by Pembroke Dock Festival Group.

Groups who made lanterns included, Pennar Hall Art Club, Messy Church, Pembroke Dock Scouts and Girl Guides as well as community members at open weekend workshops.

Large lanterns included an owl, fox badger and Sunderland the flying pig of Pennar.  An Air Ambulance lantern with a rotating rotor blade took park.

After the parade the huge crowd was treated to a spectacular 20 minute fire show which included fireworks and pyrotechnics. Pembrokeshire Fire Spinners  show dazzled the crowd with their fire juggling and spinning skills, sending sparks which lit up the park and night sky.

Pyro artist Lee Berridge set his 18 foot structure of an owl in a tree alight which drew a huge gasp from the audience and fireworks donated by West Coast Fireworks lit up the structure which was a fantastic spectacle.

Father Christmas appeared and mingled in the crown greeting excited children and handing out sweets.

Samba doc then led the crowds to the park gates with another performance  and after getting the crowd warmed up the fun continued at the Pater Hall where the Festival Group provided free hot dogs and hot chocolate for over 300 people who were entertained by Fusion Community Choir with Father Christmas again mingling and collecting letters from the little ones.

Summing up the event Liz Cook, Community Activist, said: “Lanterns in the Park showed what the Dock can make possible when it pulls together.

“Three weeks ago the parade was not happening but over 30 people from the local community got the job done free of charge. and by working together with the Festival Group and Town Council a fabulous event took place.  I’ve never seen the Pater Hall  and park so packed out, the atmosphere and community spirit was amazing.

“As an informal group we will be working together in the New Year to organise the Midsummer and Winter festivals for the community. A huge thank you to everyone who helped in any way we all did our town proud.

“We couldn’t have done it with local businesses who also donated goods and time including B&M, Pembroke Dock Hire Centre, Rembrandt’s Jewellers and Parfitt’s Carpets.”

Hundreds of photos from the night can be viewed on the Lanterns in the Park Facebook page. If you would like to help out next year contact Liz Cook on 01646 621811.

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​Pembrokeshire Women’s Institutes visits Senedd

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MEMBERS from Women’s Institutes across Pembrokeshire visited the Senedd last week.

Mid and West Wales AM Helen Mary Jones met Pembrokeshire residents and gave a speech giving background to her work as an Assembly Member.

The focus of the meeting was how more women can get involved in politics at a local and national level, particularly when marking 100 years since some women got the vote for the first time.

Plaid Cymru Mid and West Wales AM Helen Mary Jones said: “I was pleased to chat with WI members from Pembrokeshire about how we can get more women involved in Welsh politics.

“There are persistent barriers to get more women involved in public life including the cost involved in standing for election, the time it takes particularly because caring activities usually falls on women. There is also a confidence issue.

“While the National Assembly has a strong reputation in relation to balanced gender representation, more has to be done to protect Wales’s achievements. I’m pleased therefore to see the panel on Assembly Electoral Reform recommend parties put forward balanced slates of male and female candidates.

“Women are the minority in our council chambers and in the House of Commons – making up 28 per cent of Welsh county councillors and 28 per cent of Welsh MPs. Plaid Cymru is taking active steps by passing a motion in last week’s conference to increase representation of women. We need deeds not just words.

“The private sector also has a long way to go. In 2017 in Wales, only six per cent of chief executives of the top 100 businesses in Wales are female.

“A number of issues were addressed during the question and answer session from the election of Donald Trump to the need for the protection of services at Withybush Hospital. I made sure the women were aware that the buck stops with the Cabinet Secretary for Health Vaughan Gething when it comes to the health service in Wales.”

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Police name Carmarthenshire man killed by Storm Callum landslide

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has confirmed the man who died in a landslide at Cwmduad during Storm Callum yesterday (Oct 13) is 21-year-old Corey Thomas Sharpling, from Newcastle Emlyn.

Corey’s family has paid tribute to him, saying: “We are heartbroken at the tragic loss of our beautiful son Corey.

“Many knew his wit, charm and sense of loyalty and we take those things with us in our hearts. We would like to thank the community for their support at this time and also friends and colleagues at University of Wales Trinity, St David, Carmarthen.

“As a family we would appreciate time to grieve and ask to be given privacy in which to do so.”

Specialist police officers are supporting Corey’s family. Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating the circumstances of his death.

Inspector Chris Neve said: “Dyfed-Powys Police officers attended the A484 near Cwmduad on Saturday, October 13, following reports a tree had fallen on to the road.

“While officers were dealing with the obstruction a large scale landslide occurred, which tragically resulted in Corey losing his life at the scene.

“We are currently working with partner agencies to make the area safe for residents and road users and I urge people to stay away from the location at this time. The road is closed.

“Corey’s death will no doubt be a shock to the local community and on behalf of Dyfed-Powys Police I offer my deepest sympathy to his family and friends.”

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Haverfordwest: THI project to renovate old post office

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THE OLD Post Office building in Quay Street, Haverfordwest, is undergoing a major refurbishment project thanks to the Haverfordwest Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI).

The grant funders to the THI are the Heritage Lottery Fund, Cadw and Pembrokeshire County Council, which has awarded £100,000 towards the project.

“We’ve been working with the committed Haverhub team for many months now and I’m pleased we’ve been able to support their efforts through this Grant award,” said Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture.

The building, which has been empty for many years, is an example of the high quality neo-Georgian post offices of the inter-war period.

It is constructed from Bath stone ashlar, with its doric colonnaded door and finely-carved royal arms providing striking architectural features.

All the windows will be refurbished or replaced as necessary, with necessary repairs undertaken for the masonry and architectural roof lantern.

Steven Jardine, Project Co-ordinator, said the old Post Office is one of the last projects to benefit from the Haverfordwest THI, which will end by April next year.

“Haverfordwest THI has provided grants of more than £1.5 million in the town since 2016, enabling more than £2 million worth of renovation work to take place to historic properties,” he said.

“The buildings refurbished during the two years include commercial properties at Castle Square, Victoria Terrace, High Street, Mariners Square, and now at Quay Street.”

Haverfordwest County Councillor Tom Tudor, whose ward includes Quay Street, said: “It’s wonderful to see the restoration work providing real regeneration action for Haverfordwest.”

Pictured inside the building are (left to right); Steven Jardine; Malcolm
Arnold, building director; Gitti Coats, founder and project coordinator;
Dan Payne Haverhelper and builder; Tom Symonds, events director,
Cllr Tom Tudor and Jerry Evans, owner and financial manager.

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