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How Y Gegin is blazing a fantastic food trail for the county

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PEMBROKESHIRE has long been synonymous with outstanding food and home-grown produce. The County boasts an extensive dairy farming sector and miles of coastline providing restaurants and families with the freshest fish, together with a wealth of local independent creatives who continue to transform Pembrokeshire’s quality ingredients into stylish, exciting dishes.
Pembrokeshire knows its food.

However, one woman’s determination to make a long-held dream come true and a phone call to Pembrokeshire County Council has provided the County with a something of a game-changer: Y Gegin has arrived.

Co-creator, Michelle Evans takes up the story: ‘I used to be a divorce lawyer but I dreamt of having my own business and creating good food from locally-reared and sourced ingredients.

Once I took the plunge, bought a smallholding, launched Paternoster Farm and opened my beach hut, the idea of a food hall came quite quickly. I wanted a ‘bricks and mortar’ setting to
showcase what Pembrokeshire has to offer.’

Together with friends, Jody Bell and Rhiannon Morgan-Bell, owners of local street food purveyors, Cwlbox, the newly formed team looked for somewhere they could bring their proposal. ‘In short, Michelle says, ‘we wanted to create somewhere that I would want to visit, an attractive space where people of all ages would come together and explore tastes and dishes from around our County.’

Identifying the old Market Hall in Pembroke Dock, Michelle called Pembrokeshire County Council more in hope than anything else; ‘We had spoken to private landlords and hadn’t had much success in finding a suitable location. While the Market Hall was the perfect space, we were unsure of the reception we’d get from the Authority.’ Instead, PCC were receptive and equally excited about the idea. ‘Y Gegin have been the driving force for this project but as a Council, we saw this prospect as a chance to support local businesses being brave and trying something different, says Rachel Moxey, Head of Regeneration. ‘From the beginning this has been a superb example of what can be achieved in Pembrokeshire and we have been delighted by how things have progressed, particularly with the public’s response since Y Gegin opened in early June.’

What has been created is a triumph: Y Gegin comprises 6,000 square feet of historical Market Hall – where Buffalo Bill himself stabled his horses in 1904 – transformed into a cool, contemporary, and stylishly shabby-chic eatery that is delighting its increasing wave of customers, be they tourists or locals. ‘The response was incredible, says Michelle, ‘on our first weekend, we sold out of fresh produce! We couldn’t believe it’.

Joining Cwlbox and Paternoster Farm at the Market are Bubbling Cauldrons, Conti’s Ice Cream and Tenby Brewing Co., together with Rocky Bees, a pastry chef from Tenby creating a dream team of specialists and flavours – and a wondrous scent drifting out into the courtyard – drawing the curious and the hungry to sample the local eats prepared and cooked on site. Not only has Y Gegin provided wonderful food, it have created jobs and specialist training. ‘We’ve got some brilliant young people who’ve joined us on this journey, ‘states Michelle with justifiable pride, ‘and we are really keen for them to continue with us, offering full time positions together with barista and food prep training.’

‘We’ve trialled this in June but we’re very keen to continue,’ says Michelle. ‘The Council were open-minded and forward thinking and let us take a chance. It has been a great partnership so far!’ Y Gegin will be wowing its customers again this weekend once more on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday with even more locals and tourists set to spend a little time with Pembrokeshire’s ‘Cooks of Cool.’

Why don’t you join them?

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Community

Cruise Culture returns to Carmarthen this Sunday

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WALES’ biggest modified and performance car show is returning to the Carmarthen Showground this Sunday, August 25.

Cruise Culture is a static car show with modified, performance, classic and standard cars. The annual show attracts thousands of visitors each year.

On Sunday August 25, the ultimate indoor show hall will have some of the best modified cars from all over the UK on display, as well as an outdoor show and shine section.

Growing year on year, Cruise Culture now welcomes over 40 club stands. The entertainment stage will have DJs playing all day. Competitions throughout the day will include: Club of the Show; Car of the Show; Show and Shine Winner; Best Club Stand Car; Best Show Hall Car; Best Wheels of the Show and Best Install.

Prizes and awards will be handed out for each of the various competitions. There will also be inflatables and fair attractions, meaning Cruise Culture is a great family day out.

There will be a wide variety of food stalls, not just burger vans but hog roasts, BBQ, pizza and much more. The Jamie Squibb Freestyle Motocross Stunt Show will also take place, as the team of riders perform breathtaking jumps and stunts.

Pre-sale tickets have now ended. Tickets are now only available at the gate. Gate price is £7 per person. Under 12’s get in free.

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Ignite your vocal powers with the new Torch Voices Choir

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A VOCAL coach who has worked with stars from the West End and Broadway is to launch a new community choir this autumn at the Torch Theatre.

Torch Voices, led by Angharad Sanders, is a choir open to all abilities, from those who would like to give singing a go for the first time to those who may wish to sharpen up their vocal skills. Covering music off all genres, this is a fantastic opportunity to sing in a friendly and fun ensemble. The choir will meet weekly on Thursday’s at the Torch Theatre from 5 September.

Angharad has many years of experience working in theatre and with choirs and singers across the globe. Previous students include Pixie Lott, both recent lead actors from the West End smash hit Everybody’s Talking About Jamie; John McRea and Layton Williams (Bad Education, Hairspray UK Tour) and new Broadway leading man Sam Primack (Understudy Evan in Dear Evan Hansen). She most recently was the musical director for the 5-star original U.K. touring production of Madagascar: the Musical, starring X Factor winner Matt Terry.

Angharad commented: “I’m extremely excited to be at the musical helm of the new Torch Voices. It’s long been a desire to return to Wales and work with local talent. At Torch Voices we will be covering all musical styles, from pop songs by artists such as The Pentatonix, Madonna, Adele and Queen through musical theatre repertoire and classical material. I would love to welcome passionate singers of all ages and abilities to come along and join us bringing this music to life. The choir is open to anyone aged between 16 (those aged 8 and over can attend if accompanied by an adult) and up and there will be no audition needed or requirement, other than a desire to make some great music.”

If you are looking to join the Torch Voices or just give singing a go, the theatre is offering two free taster sessions on Thursday 5 and Thursday 12 September from 6pm. The choir will run until Thursday 19 December before taking a Christmas break and costs £55 per term to take part. To sign up, please contact Box Office on 01646 695 267 or via boxoffice@torchtheatre.co.uk.

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Community

Pupils design road safety posters

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PEMBROKEHSIRE Road Safety team and Narberth-based Kia car dealers, Gravells, are working together to remind parents and children to buckle up this summer.

Pupils from schools across Pembrokeshire have taken part in a Seatbelt Safety competition in which they had to design a poster incorporating road safety characters Ziggy Zebra and Grizzly Gravell.

The contest proved extremely popular with the Road Safety team receiving over 300 entries. From these, one junior and one infant winner were picked as well as a number of runners up and highly commended entries.

The outstanding winning posters were designed by Macey James from Narberth School and Sam Clark from Pembroke Dock Community School.

Both conveyed simple messages – ‘Buckle Up Your Seatbelt’ and ‘Don’t Take Your Seatbelt Off’ – reminding drivers that the safest way for children to travel in cars is to use the right seat restraint and to always wear a seat belt.

The two winners received £25 gift vouchers with £10 vouchers going to the runners-up and goody bags for those Highly Commended. The winning schools also received cheques from Gravells.

Pembrokeshire County Councillor Phil Baker, the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways, said the standard of work was very high.

“We are very grateful to all those young artists who contributed with their entries. A great deal of thought goes into the making of their artwork” said Councillor Baker.

“We want to encourage people of all ages in Pembrokeshire to recognise the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt and the importance of being in the correct car restraint. These award-winning posters will certainly help to remind people of this vital message.

“Not wearing a seatbelt can be a fatal decision even on short, familiar journeys and at low speeds. The driver is responsible for ensuring that passengers under the age of 14 are wearing a seatbelt, or using the correct child restraint for their height and age.”

Ian Gravell, Dealer Principal for Gravells, added: “Road safety is a major concern on today’s busy roads so we are delighted to be a part of this exciting and important initiative.”

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