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Milford Haven: Camp Valour director quits veterans’ project

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MAJOR Fabian Sean Lucien Faversham-Pullen retired from the armed forces after 25 years’ service.

So states a prospectus prepared by Camp Valour CIC, the organisation behind the ambitious project to convert the semi-derelict Palmerston Fort Hubberstone in Milford Haven into accommodation for former services personnel.

DATES CONFUSION EXPLAINED

As local Cllr Mike Stoddart points out on his Old Grumpy Blog: ‘A more worthy cause it is difficult to imagine.’

However, he also raises an issue in respect of the text of the brochure produced by Camp Valour.

Directly quoting from the booklet produced by Camp Valour CIC, Cllr Stoddart repeats the following words: “The Director, Fabian Faversham-Pullen, served in the armed forces for a period of 25 years, serving in various conflicts around the world.
“Upon leaving the military with the rank of Major, Fabian completed a law degree at Liverpool University.
“Along with his business partner he THEN (Mike Stoddart’s emphasis) helped to form a charity and became a trustee of D-DAY REVISITED, the charity’s aim was to assist Veterans of the Normandy campaign to return to the battlefields to take part in the annual commemorations.”
According to the Community Interest Company’s registry entry at Companies’ House, Major Faversham-Pullen was born in August 1974.

The same date of birth appears on the Charity Commission website for D-Day revisited, of which Major Faversham-Pullen is also a trustee.

The problem with those dates is that if it was AFTER leaving the military at Liverpool University and THEN founding D-Day Revisited in 2008-2009, the twenty-five years of service claimed are chronologically impossible.

The earliest date the Major could have entered the forces was after August 1990. For twenty-five years’ service to accrue, the date he ceased service would have been in 2015.

As Cllr Stoddart notes, an error in expression could be an innocent explanation for any confusion.

In order to clarify the situation, we approached Camp Valour CIC to resolve the point.

Nicola Wilcox, Chief Operations Officer for the Company told us: “Fabian’s 25-year service was earned during time served in both the regulars and reserves. If you would like to investigate further any serviceman or woman can be employed or study whilst being a member of the reserves unless they are on deployment.”

The original brochure produced by the CIC does not make clear that the Major’s 25-years’ service included a period as a reservist. The clarification now obtained by The Herald seems to tally with a possible chronology that Major Faversham-Pullen left the regular forces in or around 2005, completed a law degree and THEN founded the charity D-Day Revisited.

A SERIES OF COINCIDENCES

Jac o’the North, whose blog often examines the housing issues affecting Wales, drew attention to an unusual coincidence in the address of Camp Valour CIC and a dissolved company called Baron Security (UK) Ltd.

The sole director of Baron Security (UK) Ltd is shown as Sean Keven Patrick Pullen.

Sean Keven Patrick Pullen’s date of birth is shown as August 1974 in the information filed at Companies’ House.

The address of Baron Security (UK) Ltd is the same as that for Camp Valour CIC.

We put the coincidence to Camp Valour CIC.

Nicola Wilcox told us: “Sean Pullen and Fabian Faversham-Pullen are twin brothers evidence of this can be provided. They have both been supporters of the RBL both in the UK and overseas. Sean did indeed own a security company; however, this company failed. After retiring from the RBL in January, he lives and manages a company in Gibraltar.

Sometime ago Fabian took over some of Sean’s duties whilst Sean pursued other interests. This includes Sean’s place as treasurer of the D-DayRevisited charity. The charity is due to close this year due to the ageing population of Veterans.
“Sean has no connection to Camp Valour and Fabian had no connection to Baron Security.”

Ms Wilcox also confirmed that Major Faversham-Pullen served in the forces using his mother’s maiden name.

The clarification that Sean Keven Patrick Pullen and Fabian Sean Lucien Faversham-Pullen are twin brothers with a forename in common, both former service personnel active in the Royal British Legion, and both connected to bodies using the same registered office addresses the issue of identity raised by Jac o’ the North.

After expressing concern that the CIC had been “subjected to a witch hunt that is making us question if Camp Valour has made a wise decision in choosing to restore Fort Hubberstone”, Nicola Wilcox also told The Herald: ‘Camp Valour C.I.C will be making an official complaint to Pembrokeshire County Council regarding the behaviour of Cllr Mike Stoddart, and his abuse of position in his seat of authority.
‘We are furthermore undertaking legal advice to ascertain what can be done about the lies and mistruths initiated by Royston Jones (Jack o the North) and Cllr Stoddart.’

CAMP VALOUR THANKS THE HERALD

Local councillors had raised concerns about the accommodation available to house servicemen in need and the pressure on local services that would come with such a large influx of people into one Council ward.

Mike Stoddart pointed out at the public meeting that the fact that the Fort was designed to accommodate 250 people in the nineteenth century, does not mean it meets the standards for accommodating that number in the twenty-first.

Cllr Rhys Sinnett enquired about the impact on local health and welfare services but was told medical care would be delivered by specialists ‘in-house’ at the Fort.

Nicola Wilcox said to us that the organisation was concerned about negative attitudes towards its project and could reconsider the scheme.

However, in spite of BBC reports, a spokesperson calling herself ‘Nicola’ and asking for her surname to be omitted from publication issued a statement to another newspaper confirming Camp Valour’s commitment and complaining “[W[e have been under constant attack from a local paper where they are putting two and two together and making nine.”

We do not know which local newspaper that could possibly be.

In an email to this writer, Camp Valour’s Chief Operations Officer, Nicola Wilcox, said: “I am happy that you have at least allowed Camp Valour the opportunity to respond to these ludicrous insinuations from various parties.”

We reassured Ms Wilcox that this article relates solely to ‘questions which you have answered and raised points which you have clarified.’

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Reminder from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to pre-book for attractions

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MEMBERS of the public are being reminded to pre-book their entry tickets before visiting two popular National Park Authority-run attractions.

To allow for social distancing on site, both Carew Castle and Tidal Mill and Castell Henllys Iron Age Village have been operating a pre-booking system since last summer.

Those wishing to visit should book their tickets online before arriving at the site. This applies to Annual Pass holders and others who qualify for free entry, such as wheelchair users and accompanying carers.

Carew Castle is open to pre-booked visitors between 10am and 4pm (Tidal Mill 11.30am – 5pm), while those wishing to visit Castell Henllys will be asked to book either a morning slot (10am-1pm) or an afternoon slot (2pm-5pm) before visiting the site.

Daisy Hughes, Visitor Services Manager at Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, said: “Over the past 12 months, we have made some changes to the site and how we operate to ensure that we keep you, our staff and our local community safe.

“All areas of the Castle and Tidal Mill are open, including the Walled Garden and play area. Nest Tearoom, which has plenty of outdoor undercover seating, will be serving light lunches and homemade cakes along with hot and cold drinks throughout the day, and the Castle and Mill Shops remain open – although face coverings must be worn and only card/contactless payments are currently being accepted.

“With the exception of Nest Tearoom, pre-booking is essential, though, and we’re asking all visitors to make sure they book their entry tickets in advance, in order to avoid any delays or disappointment when they arrive on site.”

Entry tickets for both Carew Castle and Castell Henllys can be purchased by visiting www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/events

A dynamic programme of events suitable for all the family will be running at both sites throughout the summer months. Visit the above website for more information and to book tickets.

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Salvage Hunters: New series is filming in Pembrokeshire, and they need help

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SALVAGE HUNTERS, the well-loved and most watched Quest TV and Discovery Network show, is on the hunt for locations to film at in the Pembrokeshire and the wider South West Wales area to feature in the upcoming series.

We follow decorative antiques expert Drew Pritchard as he travels around various locations in the UK and abroad on his quest to find and buy unusual objects with an interesting history.

Drew really visits everywhere – beautiful estates, old family businesses, barns and attic’s stuffed full of unwanted things, museums, factories, collectors and iconic religious sites buying all sorts along the way – from gorgeous country house furniture and railwayana to 6ft 1980s disco balls and anything in-between.

Now in its sixteenth series and airing to over half a million people in the UK and millions more worldwide, this is a great opportunity for you to promote your business or home to a broad audience, sell a few items that perhaps you no longer need, make some money and celebrate the history and heritage of the UK.

If you think you fit the bill or know somebody that might then please do not hesitate to reach out and speak with a member of our team.

Call us on 0203 179 0092 or alternatively send us an email to – salvagehunters@curvemedia.com

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Haverfordwest and Cardigan high streets listed as among the ten worst in Britain

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TWO west Wales high streets have been listed in a UK wide report detailing Britain’s worst high streets.

In the highly respected report Cardigan High Street has been listed as the 4th worst in Britain, whilst Haverfordwest has come 8th.

The Harper Dennis Hobbs rankings, which come out every two years, in sadly listed six Welsh High Streets in the worst 10 category.

Some retail centres have performed well since 2019 but most Welsh towns have fallen down the list.

Overall the performance in Wales was poor with a major drop in the average position of Welsh high streets on the UK list.

More shops in Haverfordwest’s town centre have closed since the coronavirus hit (Pic: File image)

The average rank was 797 – the worst of any nation and region in the UK, showing the huge challenge Welsh Government has to revive town centres. Six of the bottom ten UK high streets were in Wales.

Normally Harper Dennis Hobbs releases the full ranking but when the firm published its 2021 report in February, it only made the top 50 best-performing locations publicly available. Now, a copy of the full list shared with i lays bare the shopping centres and high streets that have fared worst over the past year.

Top of the worst list is Girvan in South Ayrshire.

Girvan is home to around 6,500 people and has suffered the same difficulties as many cities and towns across the UK when it comes to its high street’s declining appeal – but it is the area’s “very weak retail offer” and the large number of empty shops that helped seal its place at the bottom of the league table.

Haverfordwest in 2014. can you spot any differences to now?

“Girvan along with Haverfordwest and Cardigan all scored poorly due to a very weak retail offer [and] the towns have a relatively high vacancy rate,” said Andy Metherell, head of retail consultancy at Harper Dennis Hobbs.

Andy Metherell, head of retail consultancy at HDH, explained: “Our analysis is unique as we use variables that both consumers and retailers consider when assessing shopping locations to rank the top 1,000 retail centres in Great Britain. This Vitality Ranking looks very different from previous years as the ‘retail health’ of high streets across the country has seen contrasting fortunes since the start of the pandemic.

“The most vital retail centres currently provide services that are essential to people’s lives, such as grocers and pharmacies. These essential retailers have been able to trade throughout the strictest lockdowns, and consumers have not been willing or able to travel far to visit these stores. Shopping patterns have therefore changed significantly since the start of the pandemic, and consumers’ local high streets are benefitting at the expense of major destinations.”

Turning empty retail spaces in the town into homes or offices could help rejuvenate the area and bring “demand to the doors” of shops that survive, Mr Metherell said.

Cardigan High Street before Covid-19 (Pic Stay In Wales)

Top 10 best high streets 2021

  1. Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire
  2. Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
  3. Tenterden, Kent
  4. Wimbledon Village, south-west London
  5. Marlborough, Wiltshire
  6. Sevenoaks, Kent
  7. Kingston upon Thames, Greater London
  8. Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
  9. Harpenden, Hertfordshire
  10. Ilkley, Bradford

Top 10 worst high streets 2021

  1. Girvan, South Ayrshire
  2. Bristol – Baldwin Street
  3. Chepstow, Monmouthshire
  4. Cardigan, Ceredigion
  5. Southsea, Portsmouth
  6. Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taf
  7. Ammanford, Carmarthenshire
  8. Haverfordwest, Permbrokeshire
  9. Canning Town, east London
  10. Newtown, Powys

(Source: Harper Dennis Hobbs)

Cardigan High Street pictured in the early 2000’s before Currys left town (Pic Geograph)
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