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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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Crabb backs veterans of Irish Troubles

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VETERANS of the Northern Irish Troubles have been backed by Preseli MP Stephen Crabb during votes in the House of Commons.

In the absence of a functioning administration in Northern Ireland, Members of Parliament have been voting in an effort to keep Northern Ireland running.

Stephen Crabb co-sponsored an amendment put forward by Johnny Mercer MP which passed. The Secretary of State must now report on the options available to allow veterans of the Troubles to assist in a truth recovery process, for the benefit of bereaved families, without fear of prosecution.

Commenting following the vote, Stephen Crabb MP said: “This is a positive step towards ensuring the hounding of veterans is stopped. The proud, local veteran community, along with myself, have been deeply troubled by the ongoing pursuit of current and former British Soldiers for actions carried out while under orders on active service.

“I have made the point previously to Ministers that we risk a serious breach of trust with our Armed Forces by opening the door to such prosecutions. The pressures placed on a solder in conflict situations are enormous and it cannot be right that actions carried out in these circumstances are re-opened decades later by people with no understanding of what happened on the ground.“

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Identical ‘call-out’ within three days for Fishguard RNLI lifeboat

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FISHGUARD RNLI inshore lifeboat launched on Thursday evening 18 July to the very same inflatable dinghy they rescued on Monday July 15

The inshore lifeboat and three volunteer crew launched at 8.45pm after the inflatable was reported drifting out to sea from Fishguard harbour. The flimsy inflatable and the young men onboard were taken under tow back to the area of Goodwick beach and they were again spoken to regarding the dangers of inflatable craft. On this occasion there was an off-shore wind and an ebbing tide which potentially presented much more dangerous conditions for the persons onboard.

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Rosslare ready to go it alone

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THE UK Government stands ready to revoke legislation governing the relationship between the ports of Fishguard and Rosslare.

The abolition of the current arrangements is a step closer according to Irish newspaper reports of a recent meeting between Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Fianna Fáil’s transport spokesperson Robert Troy and Wexford TD James Browne.

According to the reports, Mr Grayling told the Irish politicians that the UK has ‘no strategic or economic’ interest in keeping the ports’ governance structure.

The Irish Government, meanwhile, regards Rosslare as a major part of its Brexit plans and has acquired further land to provide additional facilities there.

The ports are governed by a UK Act of Parliament from 1888, which created the Fishguard and Rosslare Railways and Harbour Company.

The Act continued to govern the relationship between the Ports, even after most of Ireland secured its independence from the – then – British empire.

However, the old legislation has – in the view of Irish TD James Browne – hindered the Irish Government’s ability to expand activities at Rosslare to the benefit of the local and Irish economies.

Stena Line: Looking at the long term development of both ports

Fishguard and Rosslare ports are part of the one company, namely the Fishguard and Rosslare Railway and Harbours Company set up by an Act of Parliament.

Mr Browne explained to The Herald: “In effect, ownership of the port lies with UK government. But in turn the ports are effectively run as private companies: Irish Rail control and operate the Rosslare end and Stena control and operate the Fishguard side and there is an agreement in place as to the division of profits of the company.

“In Ireland, this complex and archaic ownership model has regularly been cited as an inhibiting factor in the development of the port. In short, no one will invest in a port whose ownership is unclear.”
The opportunity is not, however, all on one side, says the Wexford TD: “The decoupling of the two ports, and the transfer of Rosslare to Irish state ownership would free up both ports from this complex ownership model and allow investment in the ports.”

Mr Browne also highlighted the potential for growth in economic activity in West Wales’ closest trading neighbour: “Dublin Port is so busy that it is turning away business. Rosslare Port is in an ideal geographical location to attract shipping business and to take the pressure off of Dublin. Port. It, in turn, would act as an economic driver for the entire South East of Ireland.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb told us: Stephen: “The importance of the Fishguard – Rosslare ferry connection is unquestionable with 80% of all goods from Ireland passing through Welsh ports.
“However, the historic legal framework for the ports is outdated and does not give either side the freedom they need to develop and innovate. I can well understand why change is being sought at this time.

“I have met with the management on both sides of the Irish Sea to discuss Brexit planning and other aspects of the industry and will continue to do so.”

Ian Hampton, Chief People and Communications Officer, Stena Line said: “Stena Line hopes that by removing the historical legislation that governs the status of The Fishguard Rosslare Railways and Harbour Company it will enable Stena Line and the Irish Government to work closer together creating greater opportunity, such as the options for the long term development of both the respective ports.”

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