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Badger and the farewell to arms



guybadgerHELLO readers! Last week Badger chilled your spines and tickled your funny bones (he hopes) with the tale of the legendary lost testicles of Pembrokeshire County Council. Today is, however, a solemn day. Today, October 31, is the day that the County Council bids a fond ‘adieu” to the much-loved and respected foul-mouthed bully, Bryn Parry-Jones. Badger will miss Bryn, too, readers. As the punchline to the longest running joke in Pembrokeshire, Bryn (or as Badger likes to think of him, ‘The Brynster’) was a major contributor to Badger’s oeuvre over the last sixteen months.

And after this All Hallow’s Eve, Bryn will be no more the gag of last resort. Fear not, however, Badger is not overly concerned: He is sure the activities of the IPPG’s own Secret Squirrel, Rob Summons, will provide him with plenty of material as he scurries around attempting to plug the leaks in the IPPG ship of state. Poor PC Summons, readers! As he desperately prowls the ether, spying on the IPPG’s ‘enemies’, his adventures into Facebook and the blogosphere will reveal that the regard in which he and his fellow IPPG toadies are held is even lower than even he might have suspected. An online poll on Facebook discovered that not a single IPPG member attracted a single public vote to be leader of the Council. East Williamston’s fearless blogonaut, Jacob Williams, came second in the poll. While that evil so and so Mike Stoddart also featured strongly.

One can only hope that the Burton representative’s bearing of bad news to Jamie Adams is met with more understanding than his counterpart’s in V for Vendetta. But how, Badger wonders, how will we commemorate Bryn? In the past, readers, rulers erected massive monuments to themselves to celebrate their lives and triumphs. One only has to look at the city of Rome – choc-a-bloc with monuments to emperors famous, notorious and obscure – for evidence of even the least distinguished leader’s desperate quest for monumentality. Nero built his golden palace, Trajan his column and Augustus (probably the greatest butcher of them all) built a monument to peace.

Now, readers, it is certain that the former Chief Executive of Pembrokeshire County Council exercised more untrammelled power than even the mighty Constantine the Great, but one would hesitate to put the scale of his achievements as on a par with even Otho of the Roman emperors. The giant golden statue astride a marble horse opposite County Hall is surely a non-starter. Still less likely is the eternal flame to be situated atop the homage to the Brandenburg Gate planned for the entrance to Fishguard Harbour. Perhaps even a memorial hot dog stand might be pitching it a little high, readers. Of course, the relevance of even the most splendid work of art fades from the memory.

The Mona Lisa’s position as the wife of a long-forgotten Florentine cloth merchant is not what makes her portrait famous. In a recent visit to mid-Wales, Badger visited the Welsh Museum of Modern Art. There, he realised that content without context can denude even the most striking painting or sculpture of meaning and significance. Just sticking a label on a daub and expecting it to resonate with its viewer is not enough. And so readers, Badger rejects the idea of a monument celebrating the sparse achievements and many flaws and failures of Bryn Parry- Jones.

There is a sense, after all readers that our reluctance to vote in local elections; our reluctance to stand as candidates; our reluctance to hold to account the ‘good old boys’ and ‘good old girls’ who treat their wards as fiefdoms, led to a situation in which Bryn could hold sway over our biddable, obedient and wilfully ignorant representatives. And through them over us. That must not happen again, readers. Badger hopes that there will never again be a situation where almost a quarter of councillors are elected because nobody else wants to get ten signatures and put themselves forward. Badger has an idea, readers. Badger has mentioned the way in which art and monuments change their meanings as time passes. The same applies to festivals. When Badger was younger, it was ‘Guy Fawkes Night’.

Every year, thousands – if not tens of thousands – of effigies are burned on a pyre. Among the general population, who remembers that it is an anti-Catholic festival? We annually incinerate representations of Guy Fawkes – the would be slaughterer of a king, the Lords and Commons assembled and a large number of Londoners – to ensure we never forget the threat to Britain posed by those of a Roman Catholic persuasion. Nobody thinks of anti-Catholic sentiment as they eat their burger and watch several hundred pounds worth of pyrotechnics streak into the night sky, a –fizzing and a-banging. Or if they do, they are a member of one of those little tin tabernacle churches which are the last redoubt of religious bigots.

So, readers: Combining the horror of Halloween and the explosive bangs and whizzes of Bonfire Night, we could have Bryn Night! Across Pembrokeshire, communities would banish the ghastly shades of Parry- Jones and his sinister little h e l p e r s H a l l a n d Lewis, to remind each other never to let such as he happen again. To add a little extra spice to the occasion a model of a Porsche Panamera could be ceremonially burnt atop a pyre made up of the electoral literature of IPPG councillors. Have a happy Bryn Night and remember, r e m e m b e r , readers!

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Sensational music event thrills the crowds at Scolton Manor



AN UNFORGETTABLE evening of live jazz, classical, rock, and film score music captivated hundreds of attendees at the enchanting ‘Music at the Manor’ event. Presented by the esteemed Pembrokeshire Music Service, this musical extravaganza took place amidst the picturesque grounds of Scolton Manor, offering young talents from across the county a chance to showcase their skills in a relaxed setting. For many of these budding musicians, it marked their debut performance in front of a live audience.

The event witnessed outstanding displays of talent from a myriad of ensembles, including the County Brass Band, Training Orchestra (featuring the Second Steps group), Concert Band, Rock and Pop bands, Rock Strings, Symphonic Wind Band, Pembrokeshire’s Community Choir, and the esteemed Cleddau Chamber Orchestra.

Among the delighted attendees was Patricia Mawuli Porter OBE, who attended the event alongside her family. She described the evening as “a wonderful demonstration of community, music, family, caring, and just what an amazing part of the world we live in.” Mawuli Porter OBE was particularly impressed with the diversity of performances, ranging from youth bands belting out energetic renditions of songs like ‘Teenage dirtbag’ to the majestic classical and movie-themed scores, which added depth and variety to the musical tapestry.

“We can only applaud the team at Pembrokeshire Music Service for putting on the most incredible community event and look forward to next year’s event with great anticipation!” Mawuli Porter OBE exclaimed with enthusiasm.

Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, expressed his gratitude to the Pembrokeshire Music Service team for organizing such an excellent evening of entertainment. “It was a lovely concert, and so good to see it full of local people enjoying themselves,” he commended. “Credit must go to the brilliant participants, be they playing an instrument or singing songs, they were excellent.”

Vivienne Ward from the Newport Music Society also offered her congratulations to all the performers, acknowledging the impressive talent pool in Pembrokeshire. “What impressive young musicians there are in Pembrokeshire, and what a wonderful variety of different bands/orchestras are available for the young to choose from; they are indeed lucky,” she praised.

The event drew overwhelming praise from parents in attendance, with one parent raving, “The standard was exceptional, and a wonderful evening was had by one and all. Well done, everyone! A massive thanks to everyone involved, and much appreciation to Pembrokeshire Music Service – we are so lucky to have you!”

Philippa Roberts, the head of the Music Service, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to all those involved in making ‘Music at the Manor’ a resounding success. “A huge thank you from the team at Pembrokeshire Music Service to everyone who contributed to making Music at the Manor a wonderful community event,” Roberts said. “Working in partnership with Valero, the Friends of Pembrokeshire Young Musicians, and Scolton Manor, I am grateful to everyone who helped and supported the performers to provide a special evening of live music.”

With its remarkable performances and celebration of musical diversity, ‘Music at the Manor’ proved to be an extraordinary showcase of Pembrokeshire’s vibrant musical talent. As the echoes of this magnificent event fade away, anticipation for next year’s edition continues to build, promising an even more spectacular musical spectacle for all to enjoy.

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Police confirm body found in search for Huw



POLICE said than a frantic search for Haverfordwest man Huw Phillips, 56, has been called off after the body of a man was discovered in the local area.

Police said that Huw’s family have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers, after the body was found on Saturday afternoon (Jun 3). 

Huw’s son Kenes Phillips took to Facebook to share the sad news. He bravely said: “Thank you everyone for sharing, showing your love, helping with the search and just doing whatever you could to offer the slightest bit of help.

“But unfortunately, my father was found dead.”

Huw’s good friend Mark Llewhellin paid tribute. He said: “Huw was born of the 4th July. He was kind, sensitive, a good laugh and one of my very best friends.
“I was lucky to have had him as a close friend.
“See you on the other side my friend, but not yet, not yet.”

The police posted on Facebook at 4pm on Saturday saying: “Thank you for sharing our appeal earlier to find Huw, missing from Haverfordwest.

“Sadly, a body has been found during the search, and therefore we are no longer appealing for information.
“Officers are supporting Huw’s family and our thoughts are with them all.”

Earlier on Saturday, the police found Huw’s abandoned car in Clay Lane, Haverfordwest.

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Ironman Wales in Tenby becomes second UK event of 2023 to sell out



THE HIGHLY anticipated Ironman Wales event in Tenby has captured the attention of athletes, becoming the second race in the UK this year to sell out well before the season kicks off.

Scheduled for Sunday, September 3, Ironman Wales has now joined the Ironman 70.3 Swansea event as another sold-out competition in the country.

The popularity of the Tenby event should come as no surprise, as it was the only race to feature in the top 10 globally in eight out of nine categories in the Ironman Athletes’ Choice Awards. This prestigious recognition is based on votes cast by triathletes from around the world.

The captivating swim start at Tenby’s North Beach, the picturesque bike ride passing by stunning beaches and castles, and the exhilarating finish line on streets filled with cheering spectators have made Ironman Wales internationally renowned.

Sam Brawn, the regional director for UK & Ireland at The Ironman Group, expressed his delight, saying, “Ironman Wales continues to attract a tremendous following from our athletes year after year. Whether they are returning participants or newcomers eager to conquer this iconic course, the event remains immensely popular.”

“We take great pride in the fact that the race has been acknowledged as one of the finest events in the global Ironman Series. It secured a spot in the top 10 across multiple categories in the Global Ironman Athletes’ Choice Awards, including a second-place ranking in both the ‘Will Recommend To A Friend’ and ‘Overall Host City’ categories.”

For those who were unable to secure a spot in Tenby, Mr. Brawn highlighted Ironman Cork as an exciting alternative. The inaugural event in Cork, Ireland, took place last year and will return on Sunday, July 2.

“It’s also thrilling to witness the growing popularity of new races, such as the festival weekend in Cork, Ireland, which has gained traction after just one year,” he added.

The official UK and Ireland race season will commence in just over a week with Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire on June 11. The organizers eagerly anticipate an exhilarating few months of racing, regardless of the weather conditions that the British summer may bring.

Athletes looking to complete their race calendar for 2023 can find the full schedule of events at

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