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Talks unlock secret of Nevern Castle

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Nevern Castle: Archaeologist digs

Nevern Castle: Archaeologist digs

DR CHRIS CAPLE of the University of Durham will reveal the fascinating feudal history of Nevern Castle with a special talk at Castell Henllys Iron Age Village on Wednesday (June 17).
The talk titled ‘Protect us from Evil: Excavations at Nevern Castle 2008-2014’ will detail the history of the Castle and the finds made during archaeological digs led by Dr Caple, supported by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Nevern Community Council and university students.
Dr Caple said: “The talk will outline the history of the Castle and the result of eight seasons of excavations on the site, from the earliest earth and timber Castle constructed by Robert FitzMartin on the site in 1108 to the Castle controlled by Hywel Sais consumed by fire and partially demolished in 1195.
“I will explore the role of the Castle in defending those inside in terms of the physical remains of the weapons and defences and the rare evidence we have uncovered of ‘spiritual’ defences.
“We found apotropaic symbols scratched onto slates in the entrance to the Castle, which were designed to ward off evil, the first time such evidence has ever been recovered from a Castle in Britain.”
The Castle’s turbulent past can be attributed to its strategic location, having changed hands on several occasions during the 12th century alone as the Welsh and Normans battled for supremacy in the area.
Nevern Community Council bought the Castle site in 1980 for the benefit of the local community and visitors and has worked with the National Park Authority to conserve and promote enjoyment of the site.
Dr Chris Caple’s talk ‘Protect us from Evil: Excavations at Nevern Castle 2008-2014’ will take place at Castell Henllys Iron Age Village at 7.30pm. Tickets are £3 and refreshments will be available.

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Angle RNLI tasked to two simultaneous incidents

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AT 4:27PM on Friday (Jun 21) the All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch following a VHF call from a 28ft vessel with a fouled propeller in the Longoar Bay/Butts Bay Area.

There were other vessels in the area safety boating a sailing race but due to the weather conditions they were unable to assist.

The lifeboat launched shortly after and began making best speed to the vessel but only minutes later the crew were requested to divert to another incident. The Coastguard had received a 999 call reporting a person cut off by the tide and possibly despondent near the old mining depot and the entrance to Castle Pill. With this, Tenby All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to assist with the initial incident and Milford Haven Port Authority patrol vessel Dynevor was also proceeding.

A local fishing vessel had made the call and was on scene attempting to communicate with the person. Soon after, the first informant lost sight of the person. Soon after, the lifeboat arrived on scene and after a brief discussion with the fisherman a search was commenced. The Y boat was deployed to head into Castle Pill to attempt to get a visual of the person if they had rejoined the path back to the main road.

At this point, Dale Coastguard Rescue team and the police were tasked to assist. Shortly after, the fisherman reported catching sight of the casualty through a gap in the hedge, making his was back up the road towards Black Bridge. Following this information, and with the first informant confident that this was the person he saw earlier the lifeboat was stood down to return to the previous incident.

After recovering the Y boat the lifeboat began making best speed back down towards Longoar Bay. Arriving on scene, and following a quick assessment it became clear that the casualty vessels anchor was potentially dragging. A tow was swiftly passed to the vessel and their anchor recovered.

With the tow set, the crew began towing the vessel back to Milford Marina.

Arriving off the entrance to the Milford Docks channel, the tow was dropped and the vessel transferred into an alongside tow and taken into the marina. After safely securing the vessel on the fuel pontoon, the lifeboat and her crew were stood down to return to station where she was readied for further service shortly after.

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Tragic death of eight-month-old girl leaves family in mourning

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THE HEARTBROKEN grandfather of Mabli Cariad Hall, the eight-month-old girl who tragically died after her pram was struck by a car, has spoken of the enduring pain his family faces. Mabli was hit by a white BMW outside the entrance to Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest on 21 June 2023. She succumbed to severe traumatic brain injury at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children four days later.

Speaking to the BBC this week, Paul Sambrook, Mabli’s grandfather, expressed the family’s profound grief, stating it would take years before things felt “even half right”. Speaking outside Withybush Hospital, he said, “We’re a large family, we’re a close family, and to see everyone in the family go through the same pain is a very difficult thing to bear.”

He continued, “As a grandfather, the older member of the family, you mourn several times over. You mourn for the loss of your granddaughter but then you mourn for the loss of happiness that everyone else had.”

Describing Mabli as “full of fun” with “a lovely laugh” and a “light in her eyes,” Mr Sambrook lamented the loss of her future. “She would’ve been a character, without a doubt. She was a character. I think that’s the awful tragedy. The loss of a life is one thing, the loss of the lifetime is the thing that hurts more.”

He shared fond memories of Mabli, recalling how she would distract him while he worked from home. “Very often she’d come and sit on my knee, while I was trying to work, and help me type various things. We’d end up watching some nursery rhymes or some dancing fruit. In the end, I’d give up trying to work. We used to have a lot of fun.”

In the wake of the tragedy, a purple heart has become a motif for the family, symbolising their love and loss. Mr Sambrook expressed gratitude for the support they have received, saying, “It’s been an inspiration despite the sadness.”

Mabli’s parents, Gwen and Rob Hall from Neath, laid tributes near the spot where their daughter was fatally injured. Supported by friends and family, they placed flowers, teddy bears, lights, and cards in her memory at a tree near the hospital entrance. The family also attended a private memorial service at the hospital.

At the opening of the inquest into her death, the family released a statement describing their pain and grief as “indescribable”. They said, “During this terribly painful time, we still have no answer to the central question we inevitably ask regarding the tragic loss of our beautiful baby girl.”

The driver of the BMW, along with their passenger and a pedestrian who was also hit, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to hospital. Dyfed-Powys Police have stated that the investigation is ongoing and that specialist officers continue to support the family. No arrests have been made.

Hywel Dda Health Board’s Chief Executive, Prof Philip Kloer, extended his condolences, saying, “Our thoughts and sympathies are with Mabli’s family at this time, she will always be remembered by us.”

As the family grapples with their grief, they find solace in the memories of Mabli’s short yet joyful life, while the community continues to offer its support during this heartbreaking time.

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Campaigners call to fight US Space Force-led Brawdy radar site plans

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A CAMPAIGN group, fighting against proposals to for a deep space radar dish array in north Pembrokeshire, described as “the United States’ lurch into an attempt to dominate all of space,” has raised more than £1,000.

The UK/US military plans for a 27-dish Deep Space Advanced Radar Concept (DARC) at Cawdor Barracks, Brawdy is part of AUKUS, a three-way security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States to build three DARC radar installations around the world, one in each of the three countries.

The radars would track foreign countries’ communications and military satellites in space, so that British, US and Australian aircraft could then destroy them with anti-satellite missiles at will.

A scoping report was submitted to Pembrokeshire County Council early last year, as reported by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, which said DARC would track active satellites above the Earth.

That application stated: “The Ministry of Defence has a duty to protect the UK national interest around the world. This includes the Space Domain, which offers both the UK and its Allies an important strategic advantage, but also emerging threats and vulnerabilities that need to be monitored.”

It added: “The Deep-space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC) is a United States Space Force (USSF) led programme that aims to set up three geographically dispersed radar sites to increase global Space Domain Awareness with the UK and Australia being offered to host one of the three sites.”

Late last year, Cawdor Barrack was identified as the preferred UK site, with the-then UK Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps.

It was said that retention of the base for DARC would create up to 100 jobs.

The DARC scheme would be subject to an as-yet unsubmitted planning application.

Campaign group, PARC Against DARC is hoping to stop the scheme, describing the proposals as a “monument to the needless, sabre-rattling, expansionist vanity project that is the United States’ lurch into an attempt to dominate all of space, against the stated wishes of almost every nation in the UN”.

PARC (Pembrokeshire Against Radar Campaign) was originally set up back in 90s when the US Military unsuccessfully attempted to build a similar radar installation on the Dewisland peninsula, north Pembrokeshire.

The revamped 2024 operation has launched a change.org petition webpage and an online crowdfunder page, along with social media pages.

On the crowdfunder page, which has raised just over £1,000 to date, it says: “In 1991, faced with a near-identical over-the-horizon radar array project barely a couple of miles away in Dewisland, the people of Pembrokeshire formed PARC (Pembrokeshire Against the Radar Campaign), and after one of the most sensational, national and viral UK campaigns of the 1990s, demolished the radar plans, and forced Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher herself to cancel the entire radar project.

“Well, PARC is back—and we’re here to repeat history.

“To pull it off, and defeat the US’s attempt to colonise space in a way that no citizen of the county, the nation or the world has ever voted for, we are going to need all the support and solidarity we can bring together.”

Identifying Cawdor as the preferred site last year, Grant Shapps said: “As the world becomes more contested and the danger of space warfare increases, the UK and our allies must ensure we have the advanced capabilities we need to keep our nations’ safe.”

PARC Against DARC is to is to host a public launch meeting at Solva Memorial Hall at 7pm on June 27.

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