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Children left disappointed over ‘shambolic’ Christmas event



The 'Frozen party' before the event opened

The ‘Frozen party’ before the event opened

HUNDREDS of angry Pembrokeshire parents have taken to social media tonight (Dec 9) to complain about a ‘Disney’ Christmas event which left their children ‘bored, confused and in tears’. Nearly 500 comments from irate customers had amassed on the Facebook page ‘Pembrokeshire-Bay’ within hours of the event taking place.

The event, held at the Begelly Arms, was the first of four advertised by Milford Haven’s Pembrokeshire Mascots – which is run by the same couple who run the Milford Perk American style diner.

The event, which was advertised as a ‘Frozen Christmas Extravaganza’ using a flyer showing characters from the hit Disney cartoon Frozen. The hand-out boasted a ‘Frozen themed disco, party games, professional photographer, face painting, glitter tattoos, balloon modelling, buffet and fabulous Frozen candy cart with a treat for every child’. As a finale the firm promised that kids would be able to ‘see Santa on his sleigh with a free gift for all’.

At £10 a ticket the opening night promised to be full of festive fun but things quickly began to unravel.

Frozen party: Parents are questioning if Disney authorised the 'shambolic' event

Frozen party: Parents are questioning if Disney authorised the ‘shambolic’ event

Concerns have also been raised by parents complaining that their children were put ‘at risk’ by overcrowding. Questions are being asked how 140 tickets were sold for a function room which can hold only 100 people.

One mother told The Herald: “Firstly the queues were awful, we waited for over an hour to get in. Once we were inside there was clearly nothing there. We expected a winter wonderland but there were no decorations, no tinsel, nothing. I had not prepared tea for my daughter because there was a buffet advertised, but all that was offered was a 20p pack of crisps and a mini-chocolate bar. The advertised present from Santa was just a 5p lolly.”

Disappointed customer, Jade Bevis, said on Facebook: “Absolutely shocking! It was a complete shambles.”

Georgia Lewis added to the long list of furious customers, saying: “Such a disappointment kids were so excited but u couldn’t move in there or breathe. I asked where the party and the fun was, it was terrible, queues everywhere! Queue to get in for an hour in the rain, and then queue for face painting, so no room for dancing or games.”

She added: “No buffet, no presents, no dancing space, and no bouncy castle – just two very upset girls! Cannot believe it – and all before Christmas too – they should be ashamed of themselves”

The Begelly Arms Hotel denied any wrongdoing saying: “Would like to apologise to everyone that has had to wait to enter the Frozen party in our function suite, but would like to make people aware the party has been organized by Pembrokeshire Mascots not us.”

Gutted at the way the event turned out: Pub manager Peter Adams

Gutted at the way the event turned out: Pub manager Peter Adams

Peter Adams, the manager of the Begelly Arms said: “I am gutted by the way the Frozen party was conducted tonight, I have to stress though that we at Begelly Arms, were not involved in the organisation of the event. The organisers were told when they booked the room that we would allow a maximum of 100, but I was told yesterday that they had sold apparently 140 tickets. We had people waiting outside tonight in the rain, it seemed that it was more of a grotto type event than a party, where you had pictures taken and they were letting people in a few at a time.”

Mr Adams added:  “We rented the room out in good faith to the organisers, who assured us that the event was well organised. Clearly it was not, as apparently parents were not supposed to accompany their children. There were mistakes made, and at one time the room was really too full. The Begelly Arms would like to thank all the people who have contacted us with their support and not blaming us for the chaos during this evening.”

The management of the company behind the event – Pembrokeshire Mascots – posted on social media saying: “I understand there are posts on here regarding our Frozen Party this evening. It’s very easy to hear a one sided story. Yes there were queues for the venue which are inevitable wherever you go – we also can’t help the fact it was raining!! We moved the queues as quickly as possible but needed to give the children time with Santa and the mascots. There were indeed queues for both the balloons and face painting which again are inevitable. We have been advising that parents are welcome however when Nan, Granddad, aunties and uncles all come along then then this again can add to the queues and congestion. As for there being no characters or party games, lots of children are having a great time playing games”

The spokesman added: “For every person that has made their concerns known to us then of course we have taken them on board.”

Hardly a buffet: This is what kids got as part of £10 ticket - Pic Bryn Hughes

Hardly a buffet: This is what kids got as part of £10 ticket – Pic Bryn Hughes



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Milford Haven: Apocalyptic scenes as work truck catches fire in Meyler Crescent



A MILFORD HAVEN businessman says that he is “absolutely gutted”, after he lost his tipper truck in a dramatic fire overnight.

Callum Hicks, of Meyler Crescent, was woken just after 1am on Monday morning (Mar 1) to see his vehicle in flames, with fuel running down the street on fire.

The apocalyptic scenes brought neighbours out of their homes and the fire brigade was quickly called and put out the blaze.

At this time the police and fire brigade are not suspecting foul play, but in a telephone call to a Herald reporter Callum Hicks said that he thought it was impossible that the vehicle would just spontaneously combust.

Work van: Callum Hicks with his truck, which he says was his “pride and joy”

Explaining that he thought his truck had been set on fire deliberately, he said: “There was CCTV of the fire, but its a football pitch length away, with a white van parked blocking the view of the camera. There was not a clear uninterrupted view.”

“I parked the truck at 2pm on Sunday afternoon so it was 11 hours before the fire started. The vehicle was therefore cold, and locked up.”

Firefighters at the scene

The Herald has asked two mechanics, one of whom has worked on Transit vans for decades. The first said: “It is very unlikely that a vehicle like this would catch fire on it’s own – its impossible – I am 99.9% sure that this was arson.”

The second, a specialist in vehicle electronics said: “There are so many fuses and fail safes its highly unlikely for diesel vans to burst into flames like this without some kind of catalyst.”

Burned out shell: The vehicle after the fire

“There have been issues regarding Transits in the past, even a product recall involving a fire risk from a towing module. But, the chances are a million to one of it catching fire after being parked up for almost twelve hours. It just doesn’t happen.”

The Herald asked Callum Hicks if he could think of anyone who may want to torch his truck. He said that he could not think of anyone who would do such a thing.

Commenting on the police handling of the matter, he said: “They told my missus, Rhianna Pearce, that they were not taking matters further because it was just an accident – its not!”

“I have been in trouble with the police before, and they know I am a bit of a boy, but I think this is the reason that the police are not looking into this properly.

“At the end of the day this was a large fire in a residential area, lives could have been in danger. I have lost thousands because I was insured third-party only and I do not have cover for fire.

Dyfed-Powys Police and Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have been asked for a comment.

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50



EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea



A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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