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Ultrafast broadband voucher for communities

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COMMUNITIES in Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and across Wales can come together to make a bid for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme which can provide ultrafast broadband for homes and businesses.

The scheme, which is managed by the UK Government, has been given the boost of a top-up in Wales with the Welsh Government providing more funding to take into account the particular challenges caused by the country’s topography.

Ministers from both governments are now urging Welsh businesses and communities to apply as a group for the funding to get gigabit capable broadband.

The group must include at least one business along with surrounding premises. Two or more businesses can get together, or businesses with residents, to combine their vouchers towards the cost of building the infrastructure. Up to ten residents can get together with one business to create a group or community project.

Under the arrangements for Wales, the Welsh Government will provide an additional £3,000 for businesses up to a certain size and an additional £300 per residential property. This means that for group projects in Wales up to £5,500 is available per business, compared with £2,500 elsewhere in the UK. Up to £800 will now be available per residential property in Wales, compared with £500 elsewhere.

Deputy Minister for Economy Lee Waters said: “While the vast majority of premises in Wales can access superfast broadband, we know we must reach the final five per cent. There is no one size fits all solution to do this, and the Gigabit Voucher Scheme is an important part of our efforts to do this.

“I would urge communities without access to look at this option and see if it’s suitable for them. The vouchers would potentially give them access to some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK.”

UK Government Minister for Wales Kevin Foster said: “Improved digital connections for homes and businesses is a central part of our modern Industrial Strategy which invests in skills, industries and infrastructure to build a Britain that’s fit for the future.

“Together with the Welsh Government, we are working to ensure more people in Wales have access to reliable broadband speeds, supporting communities, enhancing access to online services and strengthening our rapidly expanding digital sector.”

The Welsh and UK Government funded £200m Superfast Cymru programme has already taken superfast broadband speeds to more than 733,000 Welsh homes and businesses commercial companies had no plans to cover. 

Residents and businesses can check whether they’re eligible for the voucher and look up their postcode to find a registered supplier in their area.

Further information on how to apply for the Gigabit Voucher scheme is available on: www.gov.wales/broadband

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Oil refinery exported to Pakistan from Pembroke Port

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THE FINAL parts of a decommissioned oil refinery have been successfully exported to Pakistan from Pembroke Port in a six-week operation.

The former Murco refinery in Pembrokeshire closed in 2014 and during the past three years over 13,000 tonnes of cargo has been transported over the quay in seven exports to southern Asia.

Over the past couple of months, 1,690 tonnes worth of components were exported on the heavy lift vessel Regine and 1,125 tonnes on the Maria. The largest lift weighed 315 tonnes and measured 21.3m x 8.8m x 8.3m.

In addition to these heavy lift vessels, the Terra Marique barge was positioned at Gelliswick Bay to load the parts that were too large to be transported by road and taken to Pembroke Port along the Milford Haven Waterway. This was a specialist operation as sand had to be dug out of the beach, a ramp built and parts were driven onto the barge when the tide allowed.

Operation underway: The Maria at Pembroke Port

Previously in June this year, 2,227 tonnes were exported on the Grietje and last year 4,865 tonnes were exported on the Annemieke, Regine and Frauke. In 2017, 3,240 tonnes of parts were loaded onto the largest vessel to visit to Pembroke Port, the Combi Dock III.

Chris Oliver, Operations Manager at Pembroke Port, commented “The export of the refinery components from Pembroke Port ran smoothly and efficiently. We deal with a wide range of cargoes on a daily basis but this was definitely one of the larger operations in recent years. Our site is flexible in accommodating numerous sectors including breakbulk, renewables, heavy lift operations and storage with a highly experienced team on hand to deliver a safe and professional service.”

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Caldey Classic Motorcycle Run huge success

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OVER 50 bikes set off from Tenby Harbour on the weekend (Jun 7) for The Caldey Classic Motorcycle weekend.

With the permission of the Harbourmaster Chris Salisbury and Sarah Edwards of Pembrokeshire Country Council, the bikes left Tenby pier and followed a 90-mile route through the beautiful countryside of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, taking in the South Pembrokeshire Coast and heading north from Whitland through to the tea stop Caffi’r Sqwar in Maenchochog.

The quaint little village also supplied petrol for participants, who then drank in the wonderful vistas of the Preseli Hills along past Waldo’s Stone to Eglwyswrw, finally heading to Nevern’s Trewern Arms for lunch.

The afternoon route visited the wonderful Gwaun Valley, past Gellifawr and then headed to Tufton, Clarbeston Road, Llawhaden, Carew back to Tenby via Gumfreston.

There were many spectators on the harbour on Saturday and Sunday morning and a fantastic crowd witnessed the prize giving Ceremony at the harbour on Saturday afternoon.

Prizes were awarded by Chairman Dai Garland and Clerk of the Course Huw Adams, which were as follows:

– Best Bike: John Mackay from Llandewi Velfrey
– Most meritorious: Kathleen Evans – Bristol
– Most interesting: Morgan Thomas – Nantgaredig
– Chairman’s Choice: John Hobden Plymouth
– Biggest combined age of rider and bike: Phil Hallett

Friday saw participants taken around the Tudor Merchants House and the RNLI Tenby Lifeboat Station. The bikers were delighted to be shown the inside of the boat by the Chief Mechanic.

Sunday was a short route from Tenby through Wisemans Bridge, Amroth, Pendine and Laugharne heading back to Caffle Brewery in Llawhaden for participants to purchase the Caldey Classic brew from Club member Chris Salisbury.

Clerk of the Course, Huw Adams, said: “Participants were delighted with our new location at Tenby Harbour and it provided a fantastic Backdrop for the event.

“The sun was shining and everyone enjoyed the relaxed format this year. I am sure the event will grow in popularity every year. We are particularly grateful to Alun Williams from Celtic Motorcycles and Scooters for sponsoring the event and major motorcycle media outlets for sponsoring the goody bags.

“Our thanks to all participants mainly from the Pembrokeshire Vintage and Classic Motorcycle Club but also some guests from Bristol, Plymouth and Brighton but the furthest travelled participant was Neil Collins from New Zealand. The event is the second rally that Neil has taken part in here in his homeland of Pembrokeshire.”

 

Mary Adams organiser Harbourmaster Chris Bannister with Mike Simon Chief Marshall and clerk of the Course Huw Adams

 

Glyn Garland first away with Clerk of the Course Huw Adams and Chief Marshall Mike Simon

 

Phil Hallett from Simpsons Cross on his 1954 BSA Goldflash – winner combined age of rider and bike

 

Malcolm and Hazel Graham from Brighton on a AJS.

 

Nigel and Jane Hodson from Llandowror with his 2008 Triumph Bonneville Outfit.

 

Participants from the Caldey Classic Weekend

 

Leader of the Pack – Alun Williams Sponsor from Celtic Scooters and Motorcycles in Milford Haven leader of the pack filled by Russell Leahy from Saundersfoot and Andy and Maz Davies from Haverfordwest on the Presell mountains

 

Adam Guinness from Bristol on the Bimota. This bike is older than it looks and is in amazing condition.

 

James Adams from Tavernspite on his Norton Dominator.

 

Best Bike out at the Weekend was John Mackay from Llandewi Velfrey.

 

The Square in Maenchochog taken over by bikes for the tea stop.

 

The Best bike of the weekend and the most interesting lined up side by side. The Matchless Model X owned by John Mackay who won the Concours Prize and the OK Supreme riden by Morgan Thomas winning the most interesting Prize
in its unrestored but rideable condition. A KTM riden by john Hobden in the rain on Friday from Plymouth and Richard Stubbs from Pembroke fixing his rider onto the BMW R26.

 

Passenger Kath Harries with her goody bag from Bonhams, Mortons media, Bmf, Royal Enfield goodies in that all riders received. Thanks to Alun from Celtic Scooters and motorcycles who sponsored
the impressive Rider Caldey Classic plaques.

 

Wonderful view for these bikes overlooking the harbour at the weekend.

 

Neil Collins from New Zealand with his brother and sister in law Phil Collings and Sue.

 

Chris Thomas from Nantgaredig in his 1934 BSA TW34 on three wheels. The oldest vehicle on view.

 

Alan Houghton from Fishguard on his Moto Guzzi enjoyed the North Pembrokeshire Vistas of the Presell Mountains.

 

Mary Adams, organiser, Chris Bannister Harbourmaster, Mike Simon Marshall and Huw Adams Clerk of the Course with the wonderful Backdrop of Tenby Harbour at the Caldey Classic Event in Pembrokeshire.
The event is run under the auspices of the Pembrokeshire Vintage and Classic Motorcycle Club.

 

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D-Day rescue boat will be in Milford Haven for 75th anniversary commemoration

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MILFORD HAVEN will be commemorating 75 years since the D Day landings in Normandy on Thursday, with the Royal British Legion’s local branch organising a service at 11am on The Rath.

But this years’ service will be extra special because out in The Haven an original WW2 RAF air sea rescue launch, which was in Normandy during the invasion, will be motoring past for all to see.

Call sign 441, the RAF high speed launch and her crew rescued the entire crew of a downed B17 aircraft during the Operation Overlord.

Owned by Mr Alistair and Mrs Marion Walker, it is the only working example of its type and during WW2 served at RAF Pembroke Dock

These craft were constructed by the British Power Boat Co, Hythe Nr Southampton. and were designed by George Salman as seaplane tenders. Power was supplied by 2 x 130 hp Perkins diesel engines giving a speed of 23 knots and were constructed between 1941 –1944.

The main work was running the crews out to moored aircraft and acting as tugs and service craft. As the war progressed and more use was made of land bases, they became surplus to requirements. However, a new role was found for them to provide a comprehensive A.S.R cover of the waters around the coast and to this end it was necessary to use some of the smaller tidal harbours. It was almost impossible to use any of the larger High Speed craft for this purpose, and the Seaplane tenders were ideal fitted the role admirably.

Some of the notable rescues by these small craft such as no 1515 operating out of Lyme Regis picked up 26 paratroops from Lyme Bay on D Day and 441 is known to have res¬cued a complete crew of a Fortress bomber and 444 the crew of a Lancaster who were located by light signals.

The RAF Search and Rescue Force

The Marine Craft Section (MCS) was created just days after the formation of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1918, but would achieve fame for its role in air-sea rescue operations during the Second World War.

As the UK entered the Second World War, the MCS found itself ill-prepared for war. During the Battle of Britain, the MCS could only keep 10 of 13 High Speed Launch (HSL) boats available for air-sea rescue operations at any one time. The high performance of the craft was at the expense of the service life of the engines, at only 360 hours. Even with the help of civilian vessels and the Royal Navy, aircrew who baled out or ditched in the North Sea and English Channel had only a 20% chance of being returned to their squadrons. Between mid-July and October 1940, the UK lost 215 pilots and aircrew to the seas.

In light of this, in 1941, an emergency meeting was convened by Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris. The Royal Navy offered to take over sea rescue operations in their entirety. The RAF declined and subsequently created the Directorate of Air Sea Rescue in February 1941.

Operationally it was to be known as Air Sea Rescue Services (ASRS), later becoming the RAF Search and Rescue Force. Together with the expansion of the ASRS component of the MCS, the ASRS worked to improve the survival of aircrews through the development and issue of better individual survival equipment. By the end of the Second World War, more than 8,000 aircrew and 5,000 civilians had been rescued, and the MCS had some 300 HSLs and over 1,000 other vessels, located not just in the waters around the UK, but around the world.

After the war, the MCS was granted full branch status in 1947, however the role of the new branch would be greatly reduced post-war. This was due to a variety of factors, including the end of the British Empire, the withdrawal of flying boats from service and the increasing use of helicopters in air-sea rescue. The branch was disbanded in 1986.

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