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Carols to commemorate Christmas truce of 1914

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Roughly 100,000 British and German troops were involved in the unofficial cessations of hostility along the Western Front

Roughly 100,000 British and German troops were involved in the
unofficial cessations of hostility along the Western Front

‘SILENT NIGHT CAROLS’, which took place in Pembroke Town Hall last Saturday night (Dec 20), was but one of some three hundred similar events arranged to mark the centenary of the famous Christmas truce of 1914. The unique service included a specially-commissioned, contemporary version of Silent Night, with a new verse and chorus. This new version of Silent Night (Christ The Saviour Is Born) with additional words by writers Ben Cantelon and Nick Herbert, has been recorded by multi-platinum-selling tenor Paul Potts.

Through the “Silent Night Carols” and the release of this single, and the Silent Night Carols albums, HOPE Together has linked with Tearfund and Sports Chaplaincy UK in an attempt to bring a measure of help to those affected by the war in Syria. The Pembroke event, which attracted the enthusiastic support of the Mayor Councilor Aaron Carey,featured a live nativity made up of members of several local churches and was preceded by the results of the local “Find the missing donkey competition”.

Awarding the prizes Councillor Carey said “It’s been a good night with a really encouraging turn out. I am really happy that someone is doing something for the children of Pembroke, and hopefully this will build year on year becoming ever more popular” The mayor’s enthusiasm was matched by that of local organiser Lyn Edwards who observed “It was very powerful evening indeed, particularly for those members of the armed forces who were present. It was especially moving when we listened to the reading of a poem that talked about the plight of a soldier on the streets.”

“It’s been an amazing evening. This was a time when people from all sorts of backgrounds were able to get together and remember that Christmas is a time for bringing people together. Christmas is a time of hope because it is about the coming of Christ Emmanuel God with us”. Gareth Jones Chair of local Royal British Legion and the local Community Association clearly found the whole experience very moving as he explained: “I was asked to read a piece written by a soldier named Taff Evans entitled “Where did it all go wrong?”

It really got through to me because it is a year since I came back from Afghanistan and it really struck me just what it has been like there. I thought of some of my colleagues who have not made it not to mention one who simply couldn’t cope and six months after returning home took her own life” “But we have to carry on and I am privileged to have a family who are my strength and my reason. Also my military family needs to extend itself so that there aren’t any more that we lose. That’s what drives me” “I was delighted with the turn out and thrilled with the hard work everyone had put in to make the evening such a success” said Pembroke Pastor Rob James.

“I can think of no better way of thanking everyone than to quote the endorsement that these services have received from Prince William Duke of Cambridge. He has said “In the stillness of the night at Christmas one hundred years ago the carol Silent Night could be heard ringing out across No Man’s Land. Soldiers from both sides tentatively came out of the trenches to exchange gifts and to play football. For twenty four hours the fighting stopped for the 1914 Christmas truce. Even at the bleakest of times Christmas offers peace and hope. This Christmas the Silent Night Carol Services are a powerful way to remember the sacrifice made by so many in the Great War and to celebrate the peace we enjoy today”

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Business

Pembrokeshire the perfect holiday spot

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Pembrokeshire has been the perfect holiday destination for many years.

The county is home to miles of scenic coastline and beaches, stunning villages full of character and plenty of coastal escapes. It is the perfect place for tourists to sweep the cobwebs away and enjoy the beauty of the scenic Welsh countryside.

But with so many holidaymakers set to staycation in the UK, the question many people have been asking is where will they all stay? This is where Pass the Keys® comes in!

As the demand for staycation accommodation and short-term rentals grows across the UK, and more so in Pembrokeshire, there is an increasing demand for professional holiday let management services to help make the process of short term letting a completely hassle-free and enjoyable experience for property owners.

Pass the Keys® is run by local people & partnered with local companies but backed by a national brand who have are tried and tested infrastructure, as well as award winning technology to keep a cut above the rest. We are proud to be one of the only Professional Co-hosts of Airbnb in Pembrokeshire, so you can rest easy knowing that you are dealing with short-term letting experts.

Mark Pennino and Jamie Smith, Owners of Pass the Keys – South Pembrokeshire

Our holiday homes thrive thanks to our high standards of local support and this is demonstrated by our extremely high ratings on both Trustpilot and Google Reviews, why not take a look for yourself. Our bespoke software systems ensure that your holiday home is successfully marketed, occupied and kept safe, all of which are important factors to consider when selecting a holiday letting agency.

So, if you’re curious to find out more or maybe you are managing your holiday home yourself and it’s all getting a bit too demanding, go to our website and see how much your property can earn.

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Community

Enjoy the beach, but safely says the council and police in joint message

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YOUNG people in Pembrokeshire who are meeting up on the county’s beaches with their friends are being urged to do so safely and with consideration for others.

The message comes from Pembrokeshire County Council, Dyfed Powys Police, and other local agencies.

“It’s been a tough year for young people,” said Cllr Tessa Hodgson, Pembrokeshire’s Cabinet Member for social services.

“They spent much of the winter cooped up at home. Many have also been studying and had assessments. It’s natural to want to socialise – and to enjoy spending time on the beach.

“But please do so safely. If you’re a parent, please advise your child not to meet others at isolated beaches with poor mobile phone reception. We haven’t seen these problems so far, but if a young person has a drug or drink-related incident on an isolated beach, then it’s much harder for them to get help. The same goes if there’s an issue linked to reckless behaviour.”

Young people are also asked to act responsibly while at the beach, and to respect the local community.

It follows some instances where tins and bottles and the contents of bins were left strewn across the sand following gatherings.

“Young people are generally sensibleand we hope these were isolated incidents, but we would like to take this opportunity to remind them to respect the environment, put litter in bins or take it home,” said Cllr Hodgson.

“Please enjoy going to the beach – but please behave and allow others to enjoy it as well.”

National Park Authority Chairman, Cllr Paul Harries added: “As well as having a negative impact on other people who want to enjoy the beach, actions such as littering can also have negative impacts on wildlife.

“We would urge everyone to tread lightly as they enjoy the Pembrokeshire Coast so that all who visit or call this place home can do so safely.”

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Community

Enhancement project nears completion at Withybush Woods

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ONE of Haverfordwest’s favourite woodlands has been transformed over the past two years, thanks to an EU-funded improvement project led by Pembrokeshire County Council.

Withybush Woods is a tranquil dog-friendly woodland featuring two ponds, a wetland area, an accessible 1.5km footpath with bridges and a boardwalk, and lots of wildlife including resident ducks, moorhens and swans.

Owned by the County Council, the wood is located not far from Withybush showground and is part of the Victorian garden of Withybush House, demolished in the 1960s.

Pictured at Withybush Woods are Cllr Cris Tomos, Cllr Steve Yelland, and Helen Ross, External Funding Officer.

Work to improve the site has been carried out by the Council with support of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority youth rangers, and volunteers from Rudbaxton Community Council.

Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Welsh Language, said the Council has received lots of positive comments about how peaceful and beautiful the area is.

“Together with our partners, we have worked hard to improve and enhance Withybush woods and we’re delighted with the feedback that we’ve received,” he said.

“We know it was especially popular with local people during the pandemic and we’re pleased that it provided them with some tranquillity and the opportunity to relax and spend time amongst natural surroundings.”

Cllr Tomos said the new features had also been welcomed, and had made a real difference to the overall appeal of the area.

“As well as a newly-restored lower pond and a new wetland area, we have de-silted the upper pond, created an extra 500m section of accessible footpath including bridges, planted thousands of wildflowers and bulbs, installed signage, birdboxes, feeding stations, and more.

“There are still some elements of the project which haven’t been completed as a result of the pandemic, including the installation of an otter holt and planting of native trees – but this work will be carried out as soon as we are able to.”

Cllr Steve Yelland, county councillor for Rudbaxton, said: “I am delighted with the work that has been carried out at the woods, it has greatly increased the attraction and pleasure for many. The extension to the path and the new pond has added to the enjoyment which is used by both children and adults alike and is proving so popular that the car park is quite often full, which is a pleasure to see.

“I have had many people comment and say how much they appreciate the improvements that have been made and how much they enjoy walking through the woods.”

The enhancement work received funding by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. It also received funding through the Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme, through the WCVA.

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