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Local retailer brings community together to celebrate 50 years

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Local school entered into the competiton for stores 50th anniversary

2019 marks 50 years of The Original Factory Shop. To celebrate, local schools have been competing to be in with a chance to win £1,000 by creating artwork that best represents what their community means to them.

The Original Factory Shop in Haverfordwest has asked schools to submit their artwork to best represent the town and what their community means to them. After weeks of entries coming in, the winning school for the town has been named as St Aidan’s Church In Wales VA School who will have their winning artwork unveiled and displayed in store on 18th May.

Having won the title for the town, St Aidan’s Church In Wales VA School is now in with a chance to win the title of national winner and win £1,000 for their school. The competition has been taking place in stores across the UK, and now Haverfordwest will be battling it out with schools across the UK to be crowned overall winner and win the cash prize. The overall winner for the best UK entry will be judged and chosen by the CEO of The Original Factory Shop, Emma Fox.

Since 1969, The Original Factory Shop has been sitting at the heart of communities across the UK, offering incredible value, choice and quality. To celebrate 50 years in Haverfordwest, The Original Factory Shop has a bumper party planned on Saturday 18th May where St Aidan’s Church In Wales VA School’s winning creation will be displayed for all of the town to see.

The event is set to be a celebration of all things Haverfordwest with entertainment throughout the weekend as well as discounts available on a range of products in store for a limited time only. As part of the celebration on the day, the whole town is invited to come together at The Original Factory Shop in Haverfordwest on 18th May.

Competition entries may be closed, but schools can still get involved with the party as The Original Factory Shop is calling for groups and performers of any age to take part on the day. The team at the Haverfordwest store are looking for everything from choirs, dance troupes and even magic acts to get in touch and showcase their talent in an event set to celebrate the very best of what the community has to offer.

The Milford Haven store will see local face painter Gabrielle Swales, Alicia’s Home Made Creations cake stall and three other local craft tables on Saturday May 18. Balloons and sweets will be given out to children, along with a raffle.

Saturday May 25, there will be a staff bake sale, children’s indoor games, guess the amount of sweets and face painting. The store colleagues will be dressing up in 60’s Woodstock theme for the weekend.

Emma Fox, CEO of The Original Factory Shop said “We’re thrilled to be celebrating 50 years in the community. Everyone in Haverfordwest is coming together for what we’re hoping will be an amazing event. All the schools entries that have come in so far have been amazing and it’s going to be tough to pick a winner overall. We want to thank everyone for their tremendous efforts so far and I’d like to personally invite everyone in the area to come and get involved in what will be an amazing celebration!”

All proceeds raised by the local community through the events will go to the stores chosen charity Make a Wish.

The Original Factory Shop 50th Birthday celebrations take place in store on 18th May across all 168 stores – anyone who would like to get involved in the event should contact their local store here https://www.tofs.com/store-finder/

For more information on The Original Factory Shop please visit www.tofs.com.

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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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