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Nothing on the telly



badgertellyLAST Saturday evening, Badger was sitting in his sett putting up his paws after a hard day making worm and grub chutney. Badger flicked across the channels looking for something to divert his poor, fatigued brain. There was nothing on Badger’s favourite channels and somewhere along the way he must have got lost in the maze of broadcasters with names like 5+24+1 (yes, Jamie, that makes 30. Have a green star for effort), because all at once he found the Eurovision song contest. Now, Badger hasn’t seen that particular televisual oddity since Ken Rowlands was last a loyal member of the Labour Party.

Yes, readers: THAT long! Hasn’t Eurovision changed? Whatever happened to bell bottoms? Where were the middle-aged men and women shoe-homed into too tight costumes like so many Day-Glo polyester wrapped sausages? Where was the obligatory song that sort of went oom-pah, oom-pah, oom-pah-pah? And where was the country that always used to do quite well, the one called Whyommonnyee deece pwants? It had all become a bit flashy and sparkly. Never has so much confetti been expended, not even at a royal wedding. The light show was dazzling and some of the performances were, frankly, startling. I did not know, for example, that in Ukraine, singers’ backing tracks were powered by men running around in giant hamster wheels. As a commitment to green energy, that takes some beating. And as for Poland: well, Badger will never think of Poland in the same way again and for some reason has a yearning to visit it soon.

So many of the contestants had the good sense to sing in English, too. Tragically for the French, the lingua franca of modern popular music is the language of les Rosbifs who live over what the rest of the world still calls the ENGLISH Channel. No, readers, the French sing in a language that interacts with the modern world in the same tenuous way as How George interacts with science. Tangentially, and with every sign of pronounced confusion. One thing that impressed Badger hugely was the sheer grim-faced detennination of some of the contestants to demonstrate how pleased they were to be flying the flag. These were people not only having fun, but hell bent on showing the viewers at home just how much fun they were having. When singers were performing upbeat numbers, their teeth were blindingly white, eyes sparkly bright, and their demeanours rather like those of children who had been handed the keys to the sweetie shop. It brought to Badger’s mind, nothing more than the delighted expressions there must have been on the faces of Rob Summons and Keith Lewis when Jamie made room for them at the IPPG Cabinet trough.

Then there were the more serious numbers, sung by balladeers wearing expressions that recalled the agonised, constipated uselessness more usually associated with passing a particularly large kidney stone. The last time Badger saw that expression on a face it was on Sue Perkins’ face when well, when hmmm Ah! Okay, readers: the same sort of expression Sue Perkins always uses; the one that so successfully masks her happy-go-lucky charm and lack of self-righteousness. A bit like Reverend Lovejoy’s wife in The Simpsons. Then it came to Badger: our IPPG Councillors have much in common with Eurovision contestants.

So many of them deliver material that have as much in common with their average constituent as the average Eurovision contestant has to do with popular music in their respective homelands. The Netherlands as the home of Country music, compared to John Allen-Mirehouse (family crest a peasant possibly a pheasant, probably both – crushed under a wind turbine) representing well anyone really. There is an identikit sameness to the words uttered by IPPG Councillors in the same way as there is to the lyrical sensibilities of the average Eurovision song.

There’s a certain sameness to the insincere cant that !PPG cabinet members use to justify slashing services to the bone while making room for more trotters round their swill as there is to the constant burning, yearning and gaming of a Eurovision contestant. How many times can those charged with looking after the services delivered to the most vulnerable sit in the Council Chamber or Cabinet room lying to each other, themselves and the Pembrokeshire people that “times are hard” while they carry on defending favouring well-paid officers and divvying up the proceeds of their racket between themselves and their faithful acolytes? Holy-roller Simon Hancock struck a particularly pious note in the last Full Council meeting. Too much Methodism in his madness for Badger’s taste.

Yes, Simon it is better one sinner repenteth. Pity Keith didn’t and doesn’t. Let us all pray while Simon keeps watch over a series of disastrous cuts to adult social services provision. Perhaps Simon the Saint is just too busy with his other interests and responsibilities to notice what has happened to the adult social care budget on his watch. Up with charges; down with services; shut this; slash that; give Bryn a break; find money to let your chums round the Cabinet table; serve yourselves, not your fellow man; cut the wages of the lowest paid; preside over a pay system that penalises part time workers. Simon is to equality what Herod was to child care. Yes, readers, at the end of the day Simon’s transformation from Labour Party idealist to IPPG stooge is even more complete than the transformative experience undergone by the winner of this year’s Eurovision.

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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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