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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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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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Milford Haven: Two bowling club members given life bans

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TWO members of Milford Haven Bowling Club, among the best players at the local green, have been suspended and subsequently received life bans from the Club’s management committee.

The trouble started for Heather Griffin, 59, and her friend Jimmy McSparron, 68, when Jimmy asked the organisers ofa friendly away game if Heather could bring her Jack Russell Terrier, who suffers from diabetes, on the bus journey.

The coach trip, scheduled for June 2, was organised by the club, but operated by Narberth Travel.

The club told Jimmy that they would find out from the operator if the dog was allowed on board.

A short time later, the club said that the dog was not allowed to travel. A curious Heather contacted Narberth Travel with a general enquiry about whether dogs were allowed on the bus journeys. She was told they were.

Believing she had been misled, Heather wrote a letter of complaint to the Bowls Club Committee. Her letter was supported by a further letter from Mr McSparron.

Both were horrified by the Club’s response. Instead of responding to the complaint, the Club told them they were suspended until further notice.

The letter sent to Heather included a section of the Club’s constitution dealing with disciplinary behaviour and she drew the inference that action against her would follow.

Confused and upset, Heather wrote a further letter and hand-delivered it to the management committee meeting on Tuesday, June 11.

Arriving just before the meeting started, Heather was asked to wait outside before entering the meeting. Mr McSparron accompanied her.

After a brief adjournment, Heather and Jimmy were called in front of the committee and told that the letter had been considered and that a formal reply would follow.

According to the pair Club Secretary, Adrian Lewis called Heather a ‘stupid bitch’.

On being asked to repeat his remark, Mr Lewis did and, according to both Mr McSparron and Ms Griffin, added, “I have resigned anyway – and you’ll get what’s coming to you.”

As the pair left the meeting, at the request of the Club Chair, they say another committee member approached them and a further verbal altercation took place.

After getting home Heather called the police and reported Mr Lewis’ remarks.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police has confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “We received a report of a dispute at the bowling club and spoke to two men [at the police station].

“Words of advice have been given.”

Milford Haven Bowling Club was asked to comment but only confirmed that two members had been banned for “a breach of the rules”.

Speaking on Wednesday, Heather Griffin said: “I feel totally demoralised and upset. I do not even know why I was banned as my last letter and email have been ignored.

“I now am in contact with the Welsh Women’s Bowling Association.”

Jimmy McSparron said: “I feel totally dumbfounded by the situation By supporting Heather, I have had a life ban. If you cannot support a fellow bowler, then something is radically wrong.

“It has been one-sided throughout.

“This is unfair, and we are both hoping that this will not affect our choosing a new club in the future as we are both avid players.” 

The pair are now looking forward to continuing with their hobby at an alternative club.
  • Mike Burgoyne from the club requested to comment further after reading this story in our print edition and said: “The information you have been given does not state all the facts only snippets that can be misconstrued.”Members of the club attended an EGM to discuss the banning of the two members concerned and gave full backing to the committee in their handling of this situation and the resulting bans. Milford Bowling Club now considers this matter closed.”
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The Pembroke Coast Express visits Narberth and Tenby

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THE ICONIC Pembroke Coastal Express passed through Tenby and Narberth on Sunday (July 14). The Tornado Engine then headed to Carmarthen, after that it was full steam ahead for Bristol Temple Meads Station. The tour was organised by Pathfinder Tours.

(Photographs taken by Malcolm Richards Photography.)

The train pulled into Tenby on Sunday, July 14.

Droves of passengers and onlookers were there to greet it

Two members of the crew.

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