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Is the Holy Grail in Pembrokeshire?

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FEW items in human history have captured as much attention and imagination as ‘The Holy Grail’, maybe that weird colour-changing dress from 2017 but that’s it!

Whether you believe it’s the cup used by Jesus at The Last Supper that then caught his blood during his crucifixion or if you think that it might be the bloodline of Christ, the search for the Holy Grail is a story of intrigue, mystery, regular toilet-breaks and bloodshed.

Our crusade, our last crusade if you will, to find the truth about this holy relic is based around legend, myth and tales hundreds of years old (we also got told lots by a guy in a pub who claimed to have been there) so it’s only right to take a pinch of salt so big that it could be used to defrost a driveway.

But let’s get started: After the death of Jesus, the cup was reported to be in the possession of one of Jesus’ disciples, Joseph of Arimathea who, legend says, brought the cup at the worlds first Ikea built on the Gethesmane Trading Estate.

Joseph, it’s believed, was so unpopular in the early church that he was sent to Britain in the years following Jesus’ death to help spread the word of Chris, according to legend he took his pilgrim’s staff and the Grail to Glastonbury in South-West England and, on land given to him by an English King, founded the Abbey.

To mark the site of the Abbey, Joseph stuck his staff into the ground and from it ‘The Glastonbury Thorn’ is alleged to have bloomed. The Thorn, which Homebase plants section experts have proven originated in the Middle-East, flowers twice a year, at Christmas and again at Easter.

Fast-forward about 1500 years to Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, the Church of England began ‘reclaiming’ the wealth hoarded by religious institutions that were under the control of the Roman Catholic Church.

Shortly before the sacking of Glastonbury Abbey National, a Monk was sent off in possession of an important treasure which, among other things, could be The Holy Grail or a Sony Playstation 5.

When the Abbey was stripped of its riches, no sign of The Grail could be found, just lots of scrunched up sweet wrappers and old Argos catalogues which are probably worth money now, people pay money for any old rubbish; look at eBay.

Shortly after that a Monk, exhausted and close to death began, according to local legend, hammering on the door of the monastery on Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire, demanding sanctuary.

After being granted entry, he couldn’t find any takeaways on his JustEat app so he demanded the Friar wall him and his ‘Glastonbury Treasure’ up so the Monk could fulfill his vow of protecting the treasure with his life.

Over the next 400 years, the Grail becomes little more than a story, various ‘Grails’ have been found around the world with none standing up to serious scientific scrutiny. One we saw was just a heavily painted Sprite can.

But there’s a twist in our last crusade that, some say, could point to the very spot that ‘The Glastonbury Treasure’ is hidden.

In the 1970’s, builders were brought in on Caldey Island to help improve the garden area of the monastery as part of a pilot episode for ‘Changing Rooms’, it was during these building works that Arthur Gay, the gardener, reported witnessing the ghostly spectre of a Monk who walked through the gardens and disappeared through a wall.

Could Caldey Island hold the key to unlocking one of the oldest and most controversial mysteries that christianity has left us with?

Even if it doesn’t, imagine the episode of ‘Cash in the Attic’ we’d get….

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‘We don’t want it’: councillors object to HGV tanker park plans

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PEMBROKE DOCK town councillors have objected strongly to plans to build a HGV tanker park in the town.

The tanker park would be located on the south-western side of Criterion Way, behind the ASDA petrol station.

However, at a meeting of the town council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday, April 13, councillors were in agreement that it would create more problems for the town.

Councillor Jonathan George said: “I’ve noted the public input on this and they don’t seem very happy about where it’s going to be put.

“It is close to a small park area and I don’t think it’s suitable to put this here. I won’t be supporting this.”

Cllr George Manning added: “There are many aspects of this which are totally inappropriate for Pembroke Dock. There are many other sites available but they haven’t looked at any of them.

“This does not do anything for the Future Generations act and it will bring more disruption to the town.

“This does not bring about any improvements to the existing transport infrastructure. There are lots of things about this, we don’t want it. I don’t think they have looked into it in enough detail.”

Cllr Gordon Goff said that the impact it would have on the public and wildlife would be ‘astronomical’.

He went on to say he was not happy with one of the statements in the application and said they ‘don’t want to be blackmailed’.

One of the documents submitted with the application states that if the development was not approved it would mean that the applicants, Certas, ‘will either have to find a different site’ or ‘will have to cease operating in the area’.

Cllr Terry Judkins said that the Port Authority wanted to ‘use Pembroke Dock as a dumping ground’ and added that he could not support it.

Cllr Maureen Colgan added that she was ‘totally against’ the application and said that the area should be kept for leisure and be developed as an area where people can sit and enjoy themselves.

The application is due to be decided by Pembrokeshire County Council at a later date.

Cllr Paul Dowson has already called in the application for it to be debated by the County Council’s Planning Committee.

In his request he states that it is too near habitation, it is within the Pembroke Dock conservation area and that children have been using the area near the bandstand as play area for over 20 years.

The area had also previously been the subject of an application for a marina and other leisure facilities but that investment was written off in 2017.

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Trial of Haverfordwest primary school teacher starts at Swansea Crown Court

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher who is accused of sexually abusing eleven children thinks he is a victim of a witch hunt by the police, a jury has heard.

But at Swansea Crown Court on Monday (Apr 12), the Clare Wilks for the prosecution said that the defendant had “abused the trust of parents and staff” by sexually touching children in his care.

James Oulton, denies 30 charges of sexual assault against the eleven children who were aged eight or nine years old at the time.

The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

The jury heard how the pupils, now aged between 11 and 17, claimed he touched them sexually.

But the court was also told that Mr Oulton claimed he received cards at the end of term, and he believed letters sent by Pembrokeshire council to parents encouraged false complaints and collusion between pupils.

Oulton, 34, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, told the court he had behaved appropriately.

The jury heard how the alleged abuse occurred while Mr Oulton was working at a primary school in Haverfordwest.

Clare Wilks, prosecuting, said some of the children alleged that they had been assaulted on a daily basis, while others had had given statements to say it only happened the one time.

The trial continues.

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Kill the Bill protest to take place in Haverfordwest on Saturday

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INDIVIDUALS and activists from local groups, including Extinction Rebellion Pembrokeshire, Stand Up to Racism West Wales, Pembrokeshire People’s Assembly and Reclaim These Streets Pembrokeshire are campaigning against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and are to hold a demonstration against the Bill at 1pm this Saturday April 17, in Haverfordwest.
One of the organisers told  The Herald: “This is an enormous piece of draconian legislation that includes significant expansion in police powers to curtail the right to protest. The right to peacefully assemble and protest are a fundamental part of any democracy; empowering people to have their voices heard, in addition to holding the Government to account. These rights are universal –they protect peaceful and legitimate protest whatever the cause.
“The events at the Clapham vigil and at demonstrations over the last few weeks are a dangerous indication of what the future of protest will look like if the police powers bill gets through parliament.”
A local campaigner, a mother and grandmother said “We are in the process of losing a fundamental part of our democracy, It is important we protect it for future generations. We have messed up so much of their future already-we need to hold the Government to account”.
Aspects of the Bill include:
  • The power for Police forces to shut down protests that they deem too disruptive at their own discretion.
  • Up to a 10-year sentence for demonstrators considered to be causing a “public nuisance”.
  • The power for police forces to impose start and end times on static protests of any size.
  • The power to expand stop and search powers, which already discriminate against marginalised communities. If you live in the Dyfed Powys police area, you are 5 times more likely to be stopped and searched if you are black than white.
  • Up to 10-year sentences for damage to public monuments’ Police powers will be expanded and custodial sentences increased to “protect” women.
  • These measures are not sufficient to prevent violence and are troubling, considering some police officers’ involvement in cases of violence against women. Significant restrictions on where protests around Parliament may take place.
  • The elevation of trespass from a civil offence to a criminal offence, meaning police and courts can give harsh sentences to Travellers.
  • Increased power of police to seize vehicles and homes from Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities and demanding proof of permission to travel.
  • The bill will criminalise a way of life for these communities.
A peaceful, Covid-compliant march and rally will be taking place in Haverfordwest on Saturday April 17 , assembling at Picton Fields at 1pm.
People will be asked to wear masks and keep to social distancing regulations.  It is one of a number of protests being organised nationally on the same day against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill.

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