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National success for Pembrokeshire swimmers

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Pembrokeshire County Swimming Club: National success!

Pembrokeshire County Swimming Club: National success!

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY SWIMMING CLUB, sponsored by Specsavers in Haverfordwest, as the umbrella Club in the County Aquatics Pathway achieved their best ever results in the Welsh Age Group Championships held recently at the Welsh National Pool.

The squad competed in 325 races over the four days of the c hampionships reaching 136 finals. From this 12 gold, 9 silver and 26 bronze medals were achieved, where 35% of those swimmers racing in a final got a medal. Coupled with 196 of the swimmers improving their personal best times County Coach Craig Nelson was ecstatic in his praise of the youngsters stating : “ Commitment to the training schedules in place certainly reaped dividends. Our current cohort of swimmers has high motivation to realise their ambitions and the fitness levels are exceptional. It’s certainly a big achievement when members of our squad compete at a national level and get a medal, especially in becoming a National Champion.”

Five swimmers, Lotty Whalley, Arabella Hayley, Louisa Twigg, Jonathan Orchard and Dan Davies became National Champions with Dan also finishing 16th in the 400 free, 14th in the 200 IM and 21st in the 200 Free at the ASA British Nationals held in the Olympic Pool, London. Mr Nelson singled these swimmers out for “their accomplishments and setting the barometer for future success within the squad. These five young people are the ones every Development Club swimmer aims to be and the success of our 18+ girls 400 IM relay team achieving a bronze shows how the enjoyment of swimming stays with the young people into early adulthood.”

Assistant County Development Coach Sam Jones was praiseworthy of the wider team who supported the swimmers during the Age Group Championships : “I’m very grateful for the support of those parents who stepped into roles as Team Manager and Coaches to support both myself and Craig over the four days and to the Pool Deck Technical Officials who ensured the event went off smoothly. Parents and the swimmers extended family play a huge role in swimming and their continued support is very much appreciated.”

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Community

Stunning mural by local artist graces Tenby’s oldest pub

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THE WELL-LOVED Coach and Horses pub, Tenby’s oldest establishment, now boasts a stunning new mural by renowned local artist Lloyd the Graffiti.

The artwork, completed on June 12, has quickly become a beloved fixture in the heart of the town, capturing the admiration and praise of residents and visitors alike.

The mural, which features a vivid depiction of the iconic Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, pays homage to his legendary visit to the pub in 1953. According to local lore, Thomas became so inebriated during his visit that he left his manuscript for “Under Milk Wood” on a stool. Lloyd’s artwork brilliantly captures this slice of literary history, merging it with a vibrant portrayal of Tenby’s charming streetscape.

The mural’s unveiling has sparked an outpouring of positive reactions on social media, highlighting the community’s appreciation for Lloyd’s exceptional talent and the mural’s contribution to the town’s cultural landscape. Guy Manning commented, “Love it, absolutely wonderful!” JenksArt added, “Well done buddy! You smashed that about time Tenby had something like this in the heart of the town.” Amanda Absalom-Lowe expressed her admiration, “Lloyd you are such an amazing artist honest to go how do you just do it!? What a talent you have in this world and show it to the world!! Amazing.” Local residents have also been sharing their joy at seeing the mural come to life over the past few days: Sarah Bolwell shared, “So amazing! We’ve loved watching this progress over the last few days, what a brilliant addition to the street.” Kath Brown humorously recounted, “Whoop whoop you finished it! Well done, it’s been a real treat to watch the progress and heckle you as we’ve gone in and out!”

Anna Davies, a top fan, declared, “Wow that’s amazing it’s absolutely awesome such talent Lloyd the Graffiti Dylan Thomas lives on in Tenby for everyone to admire and talk about.” Other reactions included Nicola Newell: “Amazing,” Danielle Coles: “Brilliant,” Cheryl Hunt: “Stupendous,” Theresa Evans: “Shouldn’t they have a Welsh flag out the front?” Hazel Phillips: “Amazing,” and Penny Rossiter: “This looks amazing.”

Lloyd the Graffiti’s mural has not only enhanced the aesthetic appeal of the Coach and Horses pub but has also reignited the town’s enthusiasm for public art. Many residents hope this will be the first of many such projects, bringing more color and creativity to Tenby’s streets. As the mural continues to draw attention, it stands as a testament to the vibrant artistic talent within the community and the timeless allure of Dylan Thomas’s legacy. Visitors to Tenby are encouraged to stop by the Coach and Horses pub to experience this remarkable piece of art firsthand.

For those interested in seeing more of Lloyd’s work or commissioning a piece, he can be contacted through his social media platforms, where he regularly shares his latest projects and artistic endeavors.

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Community

Tragedy on Teifi: Tributes paid to Leon Vernon-White

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FOLLOWING the tragic incident last week, police have identified the canoeist who tragically lost his life in a river accident in west Wales as Leon Vernon-White. The 24-year-old, originally from Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, was described by his family as a ‘free-spirited’ individual and a ‘character’ who brought joy to those around him.

Leon was reported missing in the River Teifi near Cardigan on Thursday, June 6. His body was recovered near Cardigan Bridge in the early hours of the following morning, after a thorough search by multiple emergency services. The search involved Dyfed-Powys Police, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard, and the RNLI.

RNLI Cardigan Lifeboat also played a critical role in the search, deploying both their D-class and Atlantic 85 lifeboats to scour the river and estuary areas.

Leon Vernon-White was well-known in his hometown of Tewkesbury, where he often entertained locals with his singing and guitar playing on the streets. His family described him as a person who had the remarkable ability to make everyone smile. Despite his mischievous and stubborn streak, he was deeply caring, loving, and loyal. His talents extended beyond music; he was also a jewellery artist and had a keen interest in science.

In a heartfelt statement, Leon’s family expressed their immense loss, saying, “He will be a huge loss, and there will always be love in our hearts for him.” They also extended their gratitude to the emergency services and the support they have received from friends and family during this difficult time.

The RNLI Cardigan Lifeboat station detailed their involvement in the search on their Facebook page. They reported that their crew was paged at 19:52 on June 6 to assist in the search for a missing person in the River Teifi. The search operation saw the Cardigan D-class and Atlantic 85 lifeboats navigating the river, while the Fishguard lifeboat monitored the estuary for any signs of the missing canoeist.

Sadly, after hours of searching, the crew of the D-class lifeboat was involved in the recovery of Leon’s body from the river. The lifeboats were meticulously prepared for service again after the operation, demonstrating the RNLI’s dedication and professionalism even in the face of such tragic outcomes.

The RNLI expressed their deepest condolences to all those affected by this tragedy, echoing the sentiments of a community mourning the loss of a vibrant young man.

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Community

Changes to housing scheme once feared to have been sold to Birmingham backed

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Amendments to previously-granted plans for a Pembrokeshire housing estate, which was once feared to have been sold off to Birmingham City Council, have been given the go-ahead.

Back in 2022, Wales and West Housing and construction partners Jones Brothers (Henllan) Ltd were granted permission by Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee for a 50-home social housing estate on land off Maesgwynne Lane, Fishguard.

That permission, subject to the completion of a S106 planning obligation, was finalised in early 2023.

The 1.7-hectare site is being developed into a mixture of one-bedroom flats, one-bedroom bungalows, two, three and four bedroom houses.

Since then, rumours surfaced that the development had been sold off to Birmingham City Council for overflow housing, dismissed by the developers as having “no truth whatsoever”.

Wales & West Housing rubbished the claims saying that they are completely untrue.

“There is no truth whatsoever in this rumour,” a spokesperson for Wales & West Housing said earlier this year.

“We are very much continuing our development of the site off Maesgwynne Lane. We’re working with our construction partners Jones Brothers (Henllan) Ltd to build 50 new homes for affordable rent on the site, as approved by Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee.

“The development is being funded by Wales & West Housing in partnership with Pembrokeshire Council and Welsh Government.

“When it’s finished, we’ll be working with Pembrokeshire County Council to let them to local people who are most in need of homes they can afford to rent.”

Birmingham City Council added at the time: “This is not something we are aware of here, so it appears to be an inaccurate rumour.”

Amendments to the previously-granted scheme were recently submitted to county planners by Jones Brothers (Henllan) Ltd, with minor changes to roofing and other visual alterations.

In approving the amendments, a report for planners stated: “The proposed amendments are not so significant as to have a greater impact than the approved scheme; there will be no detrimental impact visually or in terms of local amenity; no third-party interests would be disadvantaged; and there will be no conflict with national or development plan policies.”

The amendments were conditionally approved.  

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