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Badger and the little yellow god



Badger0THE LONG-FORGOTTEN J. Milton Hayes it was originally who told the story of Mad Carew and his attempt to steal the green eye of the little yellow god. Honestly: Badger had to look it up — especially after the great Keats/ Shelley debacle: Badger thought the tale of Mad Carew was by Harry Champion (who popularised such music hall classics as “I’m Henery the Eighth, I Am” and “Any Old Iron”). For those of Badger’s readers born into the great slough of despond that was education during the last thirty years or so, Badger recommends dipping into poetry now and again. it illuminates and entertains in equal measure.

Sitting in his sett on a chill evening, while above spring has sprung and young rascals take long refreshing walks with their (frequently temporary) beloveds, Badger likes to read poetry. One thing that Badger has realised is that poetry often provides uncanny parallels with life in Pembrokeshire. Who can read the lines “The boy stood on the burning deck, when all but he had fled”, and not be touched by the plight of “popular” one-time yoghurt salesman Jamie Adams as he heads full speed into an iceberg to try and douse the flames? But it is to Mad Carew we turn. Badger does not mean the estimable IPPG member for that ward. Councillor David Neale is a man who listens to his constituents’ his unfailing support for Jamie and the officers’ club that make up Meibion Bryn.

No Badger speaks of the protagonist of Hayes’ verse. You see, in the poem Mad Carew is set a dreadful task to perform by the object of his affections, his commanding officer’s daughter. Braving disaster he acquires the green eye of the little yellow god, only for her to refuse to take it from him and leaving him to a gloomy fate: “the vengeance of the little yellow god”. And so it is, when Badger sat in his sett pondering the words of the poem, he thought about the officers who are involved in the ongoing grants imbroglio that is rumbling its way on to a no doubt messy conclusion involving the weasel words that “lessons will be learned”. Consider them in the role of Mad Carew. Seized by the illusion of their acumen and vim, the County Council sent them out to grab the green eye of European funding.

With a healthy rake off the top for the Council, it was in its interests to encourage the officers to get as much as they could and then hunker down in County Hall while their gains were counted out. They have succeeded handsomely in grabbing oodles of Euro-swag. All in exchange for far too few questions asked. But the cost! What — apart from too-fat salaries, that is — has been Dave Pugh, Jamie-no-mates and the rest of Meibion Bryn to launch their scurrilous and untrue attack upon him in an attempt to stop the truth coming out, breached the code of conduct for Council staff which prohibits favouring one party over another, or acting in a manifestly self-serving way to cover-up their own inadequacies.

Those officers are now left gently swinging in the breeze; hoist by their own arrogance, unjustified self-belief and a failure to tell right from wrong and how many beans make five. Badger has pointed out before the actions of the person at their head, Dr Steven Jones, who was rapidly out of the blocks at January’s Audit Committee meeting to say, in terms, “the buck ain’t gonna stop with me!” Now Badger discovers that officers have been reduced to tampering with minutes of meetings to shore-up their desperate failure to properly scrutinise tenders, documents and bills of quantities: the officers, rather like Mad Carew, have returned panting and tattered from the ordeal of gaining their prize, only to find themselves objects of derision and despair. Desperate to shore up their tattered reputations and cover up further abject failure in scrutiny, officers have “creatively adjusted” the minutes of meetings to make it look as though they undertook scandal overseen by complacent and over-confident officers and a compliant and over-confident IPPG Cabinet, Badger does not know. But one thing is certain, an attempt to rewrite history to exonerate or exculpate officers from the consequences of their (in) actions is unlikely to be smiled upon by the rozzers. Links between evidence are vital in putting together events.

Move a link or adjust its setting, and the whole chain is jeopardised. For self-serving reasons, a senior manager at the Council thought it necessary to fiddle the record and attempt to mislead whoever depended upon the documentary record to make an informed decision. At worst they have tampered with evidence; at least, they are guilty of being idiotically self-centred and arrogant. In Pembrokeshire County Council terms, of course, Badger believes that the officer (and Badger has three strong sources who name the officer responsible) will be regarded as most culpable for getting caught. Much will be Bryn’s displeasure, no doubt. Mighty Bryn’s wrath.

The Eleventh Commandment of the little tin god in County Hall (Thou shalt not get caught) has been broken. it is only by the merest chance that this person’s attempt to establish that scrutiny that he realises with the benefit of hindsight should have been undertaken at the relevant time — i.e. now the grants scandal has been rumbled — was done when it mattered. Hayes’ verse warns that just because something glitters and is valuable, does not make it a prize of worth and prestige. For Hayes’ hero the reward for his exploit in seizing the green eye was a sticky end. Mad Carew, Badger ponders … A person who confuses his own self-interest with the public interest must be off their bloody rocker!

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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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