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Ex-teacher cycles for charity

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Mike Phillips: Took part in a 1,000km cycle

Mike Phillips: Took part in a
1,000km cycle

RETIRED physics teacher Mike Phillips recently took on a gruelling charity cycle challenge to raise money for The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and MacMillan Cancer Support.

Mike, who is also a town councillor, helped raise around £3,000 and completed a 1,000km cycle through Spain. Joined by his friend Peter Munt-Davies and Dr Sam Lewis (who travelled in a campervan), Mike cycled one of the Camino routes to Santiego de Compostella in north-west Spain in memory of two friends.

Mike said: “I also thought that I might get fit for the trip as well as losing a few kilos. The training began in October 2014 as well as a bit of weight loss. At 66, I am now quite fit as a result of the whole experience. As well as Spinning at Fishguard Leisure Centre on winter nights, I got some training rides in with Pete and even did three testing rides in Eire with my good friend Graham Coles, who is a keen mountain biker and runs Carningli Bike Hire in Newport.”

The cyclists joined The Confraternity of Saint James, and can now nail three scallop shells above their doors to show that they have made the pilgrimage.

“In Spain, we were known as ‘Peregrinos’,” Mike said, “and we carried a scallop shell, which prompted much kindness and hospitality en route.”

The pair set off from Seville Cathedral and met several challenged along their way, including mechanical issues, extreme weather conditions, tough terrain and illness.

Mike had to have his bike fixed before getting on the road at the start of the route after it suffered steering problems.

“After losing our way twice, we finally got on the ‘Camino de Piata’, which is an ancient trail across farm tracks. The heavens opened complete with thunder and lightning and we got very wet and muddy with a bit of hyperthermia in my case. At this point, after cycling across some very slippery, muddy fields, we elected to take on the Spanish roads, which were really cycle friendly.”

On arrival at the cathedral precinct in Santiago, Mike and Peter claimed their Compostellas (certificates for making the pilgrimage).

“Overall it was an experience well worth doing, and, looking back, enjoyable,” Mike said, “Would I do it again? Maybe, but I would need a roadie like Same Lewis, who is the unsung hero, but who, alas, did not qualify for the Compostella because he drove.”

To donate to the charities supported by the trip, you can visit www.justgiving.com/Mike-Phillips10 or go to the websites of the charities.

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Fleet Air Arm veteran donates ‘a lifetime’s research’ to heritage centre

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A CENTENARIAN Fleet Air Arm Veteran has made a nostalgic return to Pembrokeshire to donate documents, photographs and books – a lifetime of research – to Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre.

Hugh Langrishe, who recently celebrated his 101st birthday, lived in Pembrokeshire for 25 years – initially at Llanfallteg and then at Saundersfoot – with his late wife, Pam, who died last year. Since 1994 he has lived at Bromyard, Herefordshire.

He was joined by his son Jack and partner Julie Cavanagh, and friend Cliff Morris.

Hugh served as an engineering officer in the Fleet Air Arm during World War II and was attached to Royal Navy squadrons at air stations in Australia which supported the British Pacific Fleet. This prompted his research into many aspects of aviation history. When living locally he was a very active member of the Pembrokeshire Aviation Group.

This was his first visit to the Centre and he commented: “I did not expect to find such a professional museum. Everyone involved has done a job which is absolutely outstanding. The result is better than many a professional museum or collection I have seen. It deserves any award it might fetch.”

John Evans, of the Heritage Trust, added: “We were honoured to welcome Hugh back to the county and to be entrusted with his archive which includes a remarkable photographic collection.”

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Community

All aboard for return of summer coastal bus services

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TWO popular bus services will be returning to the Pembrokeshire coast from Saturday, 25th May.

  • The Puffin Shuttle (service 400, operated by Richards Bros) runs between St Davids and Marloes, via Little Haven, Druidston, St Brides and Martins Haven (for boat trips to Skomer Island).
  • The Strumble Shuttle (service 404, operated by Richards Bros) runs via the coast road between St Davids and Fishguard, including Abereiddy (for the Blue Lagoon), Porthgain, and Strumble Head.

The Coastal Cruiser (service 387/388, operated by Pembrokeshire County Council) around the Angle peninsular will also revert to its summer timetable on May 25th.

All three services will run daily from Saturday 25th May until Sunday 29th September 2024.

In addition, the Celtic Coaster (service 403, operated by Sarah Bell) around the St Davids peninsular will run an enhanced (half-hourly) timetable during half term (Saturday 25th May to Sunday, 2nd June) and throughout July and August.

These services are have been developed by the Pembrokeshire Greenways Partnership with funding from Pembrokeshire County Council, the Welsh Government and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Councillor Rhys Sinnett, Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Residents Services said: “Our coastal buses are a key part of our local public transport network, making it easy for both locals and visitors to get around the Pembrokeshire coast without having to use a car.

“We hope as many people as possible make use of these services so that they can have a hassle free way of enjoying our beautiful county.”

Extra services will also be available in the Tenby area this summer.

  • First Cymru’s Tenby Coaster, an open-topped double decker bus between Tenby and Saundersfoot will be returning, daily, between Saturday, 26th May and Saturday, 14th September 2024.
  • Taf Valley will be introducing additional journeys on the 351 service from Kilgetty and Tenby from Saturday, 20th July to Friday, 13th September, including a return journey on Sundays.

More information about these and other bus services which run to and around the Pembrokeshire Coast can be found in the new 2024 Coastal Bus timetable booklet, available soon from local libraries and information centres.

To request a copy, please contact [email protected] or call 01437 764551.

Bus timetables can also be downloaded from the Council’s website.

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Milford Haven to commemorate 80th anniversary of D-Day

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THE Milford Haven Town Council will be holding a Memorial Service to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day on The Rath on Thursday, 6th June 2024, at 8:45 pm. The beacon will be lit at 9:15 pm.

D-Day, which took place on 6th June 1944, marked a pivotal moment in World War II. It was the day when Allied forces launched a massive invasion on the beaches of Normandy, France. This operation, known as Operation Overlord, involved thousands of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and other Allied nations. The invasion was a significant turning point in the war, leading to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation.

The 80th Anniversary of D-Day holds profound meaning for many, particularly for those who lived through the war and the families of those who served. It is a time to reflect on the immense sacrifices made by the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who took part in the operation. It is also an opportunity to honour the bravery and determination of the veterans who survived and to remember those who did not return.

As the years pass, the number of surviving veterans dwindles, making commemorations like these even more poignant. The 80th anniversary serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of those who fought for freedom and the importance of remembering their contributions to history.

The Memorial Service in Milford Haven will provide a moment for the community to come together in remembrance. The lighting of the beacon will symbolise the light of hope and the enduring spirit of those who fought for a better future. The council encourages all residents to attend the service and pay their respects to the heroes of D-Day.

DID YOU KNOW?

During the lead up to D-Day, part of Milford Haven was taken over by the US Navy as a place where they could dock landing craft as well as make repairs to these craft. The crews would also have been stationed nearby in the town, and a Hospital in Hakin was set up with a hut encampment. The nearby Pier at Newton Noyes was also regularly used by the US Navy.

Landing Ship, Tanks (LST) were often put into Dry Docks to carry out repairs and preparation for the D-Day Landings. The base was the largest Advanced Amphibious Base build by the American Engineers and around 1,000 servicemen and women were stationed at the base during 1943 and 1944.

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