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Captain Evans remembered with new blue plaque

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SATURDAY (Oct 19) saw the unveiling of a blue plaque on the village green in Wolfscastle to remember Captain William Davies Evans, who was born at Musland Farm in the Parish of St Dogwells on January 27, 1790.

Captain Evans became famous as a chess expert, inventor and sailor. After the family moved to Milford Haven, he became fascinated by the sea and ships and in 1804 went to sea to fight for king and country and rose to the rank of captain.

He invented the internationally recognised system of tri coloured lights for shipping in order to make sailing at night less dangerous.

Whilst aboard ships he passed the time by playing chess, and invented the move now known as the Evans Gambit. In 1825, Evans played a game of chess against a high-ranking chess player, Alexander Macdonnell, and Evans won using the ‘Evans Gambit. The move is now recognised and used across the whole world of chess.

The blue plaque is affixed to a stone located on the green, next to the school in Wolfscastle. The stone was brought to Wolfscastle by Paul Evans of Musland Farm, where Captain Evans was born.

The ceremony was attended by members of Fishguard Sea Cadets, Mr Chris Martin, Chair of the Board of Directors of Milford Haven Port Authority and a number of members of the Welsh Chess Association, which had contributed toward the cost of the day. PLANED were also involved in contributing towards the costs.

A spokesman on behalf of the Chess association said: “The Welsh Chess Union and the Dyfed Chess Association are delighted that it has been possible to honour Captain Evans, probably Wales’ most distinguished chess player ever, in this way. We are hugely grateful to all those involved in the organisation of this event in Wolf’s Castle and in particular to its driving force, the Reverend Geoffrey Eynon.”

The plaque was unveiled by descendants of the Captain, who had travelled from Falmouth, Bristol and Folkstone for the prestigious event.

The children from Ysgol Casblaidd entertained the audience present and the audience sang the hymn favoured by sailors ‘Eternal Father Strong to Save’.

After the ceremony, a presentation was held by reverend Richard Davies of Little Newcastle at Penybont Chapel Vestry of the history of Captain Evans`s life and marine career, and Mr Howard Williams of the Welsh Chess Association spoke of the history of the ‘Evans Gambit’.

Members of Captain Evans’ family said: “As a family we played a small part in the proceedings which were so full of character and distinctiveness.

“We were overjoyed to see how the village school nurtures a sense of heritage in their pupils. The wider community’s generosity of spirit was overwhelming and even the weather complimented the ceremony. Not to mention the superb organisation.

“It would be fair to say we felt quite overwhelmed by the support from the community for the recognition and the event. It was great to have Captain Evans recognised in his home village and we can’t thank everyone enough for their efforts to make the day a success. The blue plaque is an enduring tribute. We received such a warm welcome in Wolfscastle on Saturday, and it was a profound experience. The chance not only to value Captain Evans legacy, but also to understand where it all started for him as a youngster on a Pembrokeshire farm.”

Cllr Barrie Griffiths, Chairman of Wolfscastle Community Council gave a vote of thanks to all had been involved in making the day a memorable one for all who were involved.

Reverend Geoffrey Eynon, who presided the proceedings throughout the day, said “It has been a wonderful experience from the time I read about William Davies Evans, visiting his grave in Ostend, in Belgium, seeking out his descendants and being instrumental in organising today’s event.”

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Residents invited to a Pembroke Tunnel drop-in event

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NETWORK RAIL is inviting residents to a drop-in event to find out more about essential maintenance work at Pembroke Tunnel, west Wales, which will improve the resilience and reliability of the railway for passengers.
The work includes essential vegetation management and rock netting in the area with work taking place for a week in December before the main work takes place in January and February.
Ahead of the work residents are invited to a drop-in event on Monday 18 November from 3pm to 6.30pm at the Dutton Suite, Pembroke Leisure Centre, Bush, Pembroke, SA71 4RJ.
No appointments are necessary and members of the project team will be on hand to answer any questions.
Then between Saturday 14 and Friday 20 December Network Rail will carry out drilling work overnight to install rock anchors at the top of the railway cutting as Network Rail prepare for the main phase of the works.
That will then take place between Sunday 19 January 2020 and Saturday 8 February 2020 where engineers will work day and night to install rock anchors and bolts before installing the rock netting across the railway cutting using road rail vehicles and specialist machinery.
Michael Pinkerton, scheme project manager for Wales and Borders, said:
“We would like to thank residents in advance for their patience and understanding as we carry out this work at Pembroke Tunnel.
“All this planned essential work forms part of our commitment to maintain a safe and reliable railway that is fit for use now and in the future. We are working closely with our partners to keep disruption to the local community to a minimum and encourage anyone wishing to find out more about this work to come along to our drop-in event later.”

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“We have a duty to win” says Crabb at campaign launch

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STEPHEN CRABB has launched his 2019 General Election campaign, highlighting the ‘duty and responsibility’ the Party has to win.
The Welsh Conservative candidate is hoping to be re-elected on December 12, having served as MP for the last 14 years.
At the launch at Martha’s Vineyard on Milford Marina, Stephen addressed a crowd of supporters with a promise to continue being a strong voice for Preseli Pembrokeshire in Westminster.
Stephen Crabb has consistently been one of the hardest working Welsh MPs with a strong track record of standing up for the local community.
Speaking at the campaign launch, Stephen said: “This General Election will be the most important for many years.
“We face a choice between the Conservatives who have a clear plan to unblock Brexit and improve Britain – or a coalition of opposition parties under Jeremy Corbyn, who want more years of delay and division.
“That is not in our national interest nor is it in the best interests of Pembrokeshire. The Conservative Party has a serious duty and responsibility to go out and win this election.
“Over the last 14 years I have fought tirelessly for local people and local businesses and if re-elected, I will continue to work hard to give Pembrokeshire a strong voice in Parliament.”
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Christmas shopping misery for west Wales rail users

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RAIL USERS in west Wales face festive misery due to engineering works which will close the Carmarthen to Milford Haven link for almost a month.

The line will be closed from this Sunday, until the Sunday before Christmas, at a time when many take the train to Swansea and Cardiff shopping for gifts for friends and family.

Signs have already been posted at railway stations confirming the delays.

Trains will be replaced by buses; rail officials have said.

A spokesman from Network Rail said: “Due to essential maintenance work, rail replacement bus services will run between Carmarthen and Milford Haven from Monday, November 18 until Sunday, December 22.

“Pembroke dock and Fishguard services are also affected on Sunday November 24.

“On all other days of operation, the train services will continue to stop at Whitland, Clynderwen and Clarbeston Road, Fishguard and Goodwick, Fishguard Harbour and stations to Pembroke Dock.

“We apologise for any inconvenience.”

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