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Celtic car tour an international success!

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carvalleyAN ENTERTAINMENT and presentation night was held recently at The Snooty Fox Inn, Nr Narberth by the organisers of the first ever Celtic Classic Tour which had raised the very pleasing total of £3,720.50 which was divided, and cheques handed over to the two nominated charities, CRY (Dean Mason Memorial Fund) and Meningitis Now by the highest sponsors on the event Michael Davies & Alyson Williams and Nicola Robinson & Scott Lewis. 

Nearly 40 classic cars and some Classic Bikes had taken part in The 2014 Celtic Charity Classic Tour of Ireland and Wales, it proved to be a great success with entrants from all parts of Wales assembling at The Snooty Fox Inn, Nr Martletwy, Narberth on the Friday Morning and after enjoying a hearty breakfast, the Cars & Bikes were given a great send off from many enthusiastic wellwishers with the S4C cameras also present to record the event which featured interviews with some of the entrants including joint organiser Gareth Jenkins, which was then given a prime spot on The Welsh National News Programme Heno that same evening. The event in aid of C.R.Y. (in memory of Dean Mason) and Meningitis UK, was started by 7 year old Celyn Jones of Bethesda, Nr Narberth who had Meningitis as a 2 year old, (who also spoke in Welsh on Heno) and as she cut the ribbon each of the superbly turned out vehicles drove through a magnificent spiral balloon arch kindly donated by Floatations Balloons, Narberth.

As the impressive convoy headed down the A40 to the Fishguard Ferry Terminal there was a large turnout of people in Fishguard Town as the locals who had made a special request for The Tour not to by-pass the Town gave everyone an enthusiastic send off as they were about to leave Welsh soil and head for the Emerald Isle. After a lovely sailing across The Irish Sea everyone headed for their overnight stays, and after meeting up in Wexford Town in the evening many sampled the local Irish hospitality. The Saturday morning saw everyone meeting up outside The Wexford Racecourse, before heading to The Dunbrodey Famine Ship Visitor Centre in New Ross where The Wexford Sports & Classic Car Club were out in force to give everyone a lovely welcome and the cars were then displayed in the Quayside car park for a couple of hours and after the local New Ross Council Dignitaries thanked everyone for visiting New Ross, the Wexford Club then guided the Celtic Tour Convoy on a picturesque drive which took in part of the famous circuit of Ireland World Rally stages before arriving in Dungarvan Town Centre to be greeted by the local Yesteryear Club and even though the weather was a little wet a pleasant 2 hour stop was enjoyed by all before setting off for the next overnight stop in Kilkenny City.

Kilkenny proved a great place to be on a Saturday Night with nearly ever other bar playing all types of traditional Irish music, and with the Celtic Tour being well publicised in the City which was voted Ireland’s Heritage Town of 2013 a great welcome was again received from members of The Kilkenny Motor Club as well as the locals. What was meant to be a 12 noon start on the Sunday Morning for our much anticipated display outside the historic Kilkenny Castle (once home to the Earl of Pembroke) was brought forward an hour to 11am to accommodate The Irish Television cameras who had agreed to come and televise the event to be shown throughout Ireland as well as on Sky TV. The vehicles proved a great attraction on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon in such a historic setting and as the crowds of all ages were fascinated by the great variety of classic and unusual vehicles that had come over from Wales many of the Irish folk also had their own interesting stories of some of the cars they had driven in years gone by, and before the tour left for our third and last overnight stop Nr Dublin, The Mayor of this great City as well as The Chairman of The Kilkenny Motor Club gave speeches when they not only thanked everyone who had come over to their City (described as the friendliest City in Europe) with their beautiful cars & motor cycles but also the effort everyone had made in raising money for two very worthy charities, joint organiser Norman Mason responded on behalf of The Celtic Tour by saying “What a great honour it was to be allowed to display our vehicles in such an historic setting and Kilkenny had certainly lived up to what we thought would be the highlight of what was turning out to be a great tour across the water to meet our Celtic Cousins”.

After a night of lovely Irish music provided by Bewleys Hotel in Newlands Cross, Nr Dublin, everyone was up early to catch the morning ferry sailing from Dublin Port to Holyhead, and when we arrived in Holyhead Port in North Wales around midday on the Monday we were greeted with more lovely weather which made the leisurely drive down through some of the most superb scenery Wales have to offer another great experience, before arriving back at The Snooty Fox at 6pm where a lovely buffet and presentation of certificates and awards were presented to everyone who had taken part in what had proved a challenging but very enjoyable trip of over 400 miles throughout the four days where many friends and memories that will last forever had been made. The First Celtic Charity Tour has been an outstanding success and plans are well underway for next year’s event, when it is hoped to take approximately sixty cars and bikes over the water to Ireland, so anyone who has an unusual or classic vehicle and would like to enter the 2015 event please contact Norman (07969 313892) or Gareth (07811 296325) or email classiccarrallies@yahoo. co.uk for further details.

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Pembrokeshire cottage letting agency offers free holidays to NHS heroes

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PEMBROKESHIRE-BASED holiday letting agency St Brides Bay Cottages has teamed up with its property owners and Operation Recuperation to offer free holidays to frontline healthcare workers. The family-run firm has announced the scheme to say thank you to the healthcare heroes who are risking their lives to keep the UK safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

The generous initiative will see healthcare professionals enjoy a well-deserved break in picturesque St Davids, Solva, Newgale or Porthgain, after the crisis is over. The scheme is part of Operation Recuperation, a UK-wide campaign launched to gift future stays in beautiful places to frontline healthcare providers.

Sam Sibbald, manager of St Brides Bay Cottages, based in Solva, said: “This is our way of showing our dedicated healthcare workers that we appreciate everything they’re doing in such difficult circumstances.

“I saw first-hand the pressure the NHS is under, when my dad had a stay in hospital last year. I could tell how pushed they were on a normal day-to-day basis, let alone with having COVID-19 to deal with. Now my dad is at home, needing carers every day, and I can see, more than ever, how much we rely on the people who look after us.

“We’re taking part in Operation Recuperation thanks to the generosity of our cottage owners. By gifting stays to these dedicated workers, we’ll be helping them to recover from the fight against coronavirus.”

Several cottage owners, whose properties are let by St Brides Bay Cottages, have come forward to donate stays in their holiday homes.

Among them is Sheila Morgan, who together with her husband Chris, owns The Anchorage, a two-bedroom apartment in Solva. She said: “As a retired nurse with medical staff in the family, I can fully appreciate the strains and stresses all NHS staff are going through at present. Thank you all for your sterling work. Hopefully the peace, quiet and Pembrokeshire air will aid recuperation.”

Debbie and Patrick Bowie-Moore, the owners of five-bedroom holiday home Mount Pleasant, in Solva, said: “The healthcare workers have offered their all, and it’s our privilege to give a family – who may have been kept apart – the opportunity to stay in Mount Pleasant as a massive thank you.”

Simon Baker, who owns Cefn y Mor, a four-bedroom property in Solva, said: “We are backing the Operation Recuperation project because we have family members on the frontline of the NHS, and know what risks they are taking, and what effort they are putting into saving lives. Our only effort is to stay at home and avoid infection. A small price to pay.”

Jim and Maureen Dale, whose three-bedroom holiday home, May Cottage, is situated on a grade II-listed farm, near St Davids, said: “Rarely do we get an opportunity to say thank you to the staff at the NHS – we tend to take the service so much for granted. Now the chips are down and there they all are, on the frontline looking after us all. Thank you all at the NHS.”

David and Judith James, who are offering a free stay at their converted watermill, Melin Llanrhian, near Porthgain, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support Operation Recuperation as a very small thank you to everyone in the NHS who has worked so hard in such challenging circumstances.”

Operation Recuperation is collecting donations – in room nights and cash – to give free stays to frontline healthcare staff, once the virus restrictions have been lifted.

Rachel Sherwood, who launched Operation Recuperation, said: “A huge thank you to St Brides Bay Cottages for proudly supporting Operation Recuperation and to the cottage owners who have donated stays in this stunning part of Wales, despite very challenging times.

“Sometime in the not-too-distant future, a number of our frontline healthcare staff will be enjoying long clifftop walks, fresh seafood, lazy days on the beach and cosy evenings in sea-view cottages.”

To find out more about St Brides Bay Cottages and Operation Recuperation, visit: https://www.stbridesbaycottages.com/, email enquiries@stbridesbaycottages.com or call 01437 720027.

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Council pays out £2.5m in business grants to date

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has revealed that since Wednesday, 1st April, it has already paid out £2.5 million in grants to local businesses.

The Authority’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Paul Miller, said Council staff had been working hard to make the Covid-19 business grants payable as soon as possible

Explained Councillor Miller: “Payments started on Wednesday this week for those who qualify for grants linked to the National Non-Domestic Ratings (NNDR) system. We have already paid out around £2.5 million in grants to local businesses.

“Daily payment runs are being made in order that these can get into business bank accounts as soon as possible.

“We cannot unfortunately acknowledge receipt of applications but, once authorised, businesses will be emailed and the grant will be paid within two to three working days.”

Councillor Miller added: “If there are any issues with a grant application, or information is missing, a Council officer will be in touch to discuss the matter. A dedicated team has been set up to do this.”

For further business advice refer to the Council’s Business pages which can be accessed via the following link: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support

This will enable access to the application form for the above grants, provide answers to frequently asked questions and links to further sources of advice through HMRC, Welsh Government, Department of Work and Pensions, Public Health Wales and other organisations.

For further enquiries not answered through the business pages, email: covid19@pembrokeshire.gov.uk and an officer will respond. Please view the business pages first.

For those who don’t qualify for the grants, Welsh Government will soon be making details available of how business can access other funding through an Economic Resilience Fund.

Details will be available on the Council’s business pages as soon as they are released by Welsh Government.

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Man issued with two COVID-19 fines in 24 hours as police thank those following new legislation

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A man has been issued with two fines in 24 hours for flouting Coronavirus legislation, as police thank those who are following the new rules.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers in Carmarthenshire stopped the 22-year-old from Llanelli twice for being out of the house without a reasonable excuse.

A report was made on April 1 that three men were breaching the COVID-19 legislation by gathering in Llanstephan. A woman who had attempted to film the men reported that they had stolen her phone and driven away.

Officers quickly linked the car to a suspect and traced it driving towards Carmarthen and then Llanelli, and a roads policing unit was directed to the area.

The car was stopped, and the two occupants – a 22-year-old from Llanelli, and a 18-year-old from Carmarthen – were arrested on suspicion of theft. They were also both issued with tickets for COVID-19 offences.

T/Chief Inspector Tom Sharville said: “We are taking the new legislation seriously, and would like to thank the majority of people who are staying home to keep others safe.

“The measures are difficult to adapt to, but it is important that we stay at home to save lives.

“However, there is a minority out there who are under the impression the legislation does not apply to them, and are flouting the law.

“This was the second fine one of these men was issued with in 24 hours, after he showed a clear disregard for all guidelines.”

The men were arrested on suspicion of theft of a mobile phone, and were released under investigation pending further enquiries.

For information about the COVID-19 legislation, and answers to many frequently asked questions, visit https://bit.ly/DPPCovid19

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