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Charity appeal raises over £3k

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charity appealAN appeal set up for the Kidney Wales Foundation Charity in support of Adam Hughes of Tenby has raised the magnificent sum of £3,075.45.

Adam, a popular Teaching Assistant at Ysgol Greenhill School, was unfortunately diagnosed with kidney failure in April 2014, and is now on daily dialysis whilst he awaits a kidney transplant.

Following the diagnosis, Adam’s girlfriend Sabrina Revell and friends Alan Townsend, Stephen Handicott and Kathryn Hudson decided to run the Tenby 10k and the Cardiff Half Marathon in support of the Cardiff based charity, Kidney Care Wales, to raise much needed funds.

Donations of sponsorship came in from family, friends, work colleagues and many others in the community who all gave very generously in support of the appeal, and the fund was also swelled with the very kind donations received from the Welsh Cake Ladies of St John’s Church (£200), a collection at the Harvest Festival of Tenby V C Infants School (£240) a collection jar at the Buccaneer Inn Tenby (£103.72) and members of both Tenby and Saundersfoot Rotary Club. Special mention also to John Handicott who collected a large amount from the very generous Tenby harbour community.

The fund was also boosted considerably over the Christmas period with a magnificent collection of £375 in lieu of 50th birthday presents for Mr Russell Knox of Carew, (popularly known of course as Mutley), along with a collection of £260 at a New Year’s Day ‘Banish the Turkey’ walk around the Carew Mill Pond by members of Carew Football and Cricket Club and others from the Carew community organised by Mrs Carol Cole and her brother Mr Kerry Waters. (Many contributors to these two events had already sponsored the runners and their generosity is very gratefully appreciated).

All the runners, Adam and parents Linda and John Hughes are extremely grateful to everyone for all their support both for the appeal and for the family since Adam was diagnosed. The runners will not be resting on their laurels though and are now busy training for further runs in aid of Kidney Care Wales in 2014 including the Tenby and Cardiff 10k and the Cardiff Half Marathon. Adam is now on the transplant list for a kidney transplant. The transplant list for all of the UK is run from Bristol with some 10,000 people of all ages currently waiting for a kidney. When kidneys become available those on the list are checked for a match, and the person who is the best match and has been waiting the longest is selected.

Unfortunately the average time on the list is some three years and there is a great need for more people to become donors. All involved in the above appeal would encourage everyone to join the Organ Donation list, this can be achieved in just a couple of minutes online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk or you can do so by phoning the free phone number 0300 123 23 23.

There is a need to greatly increase the number of people who are willing to consent to organ donation and whilst it is very welcome that the opt-out system was coming to Wales, that was not until 2015, and even then there was the need to change people’s perception that organ donation was a good and natural thing to do. You can also read Adam’s blog ‘Life on the Transplant List’ on the internet at this link. http://adamjohnhughes.wordpress.com/

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Community

The Harbourmaster: Special rail excursion draws crowds to Milford Haven

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MILFORD HAVEN witnessed an extraordinary event yesterday as a special charter train, operated by UK Railtours, made a unique visit to the town, drawing in 500 railway enthusiasts. Departing from London Paddington, the 13-carriage train, which included both first class and standard accommodations, travelled off the usual passenger routes to provide a scenic journey along the south Wales coast.

Starting the day with pick-ups from various locations including Slough, Reading, Swindon, and Bristol Parkway, the train ventured through the Severn Tunnel into Wales, showcasing a series of rarely used freight tracks. Notably, the locomotive switched at Newport to a pair of GBRf Class 66 freight engines, enhancing the experience for those on board by traversing tracks seldom seen by passenger services.

The journey took passengers through Cardiff, Bridgend, and Port Talbot Parkway, deviating at Court Sart Junction to follow the diversionary Swansea District line. The train paused at various locations including Llanelli and Haverfordwest, where passengers enjoyed a 90-minute break while the train was serviced.

A major highlight of the trip was the exploration of the seldom-visited Robeston branch, a treat for the rail enthusiasts who filled the train to capacity, necessitating a waiting list for hopeful travellers. The venture concluded at Milford Haven, where passengers disembarked for a photo session before the train commenced its return journey to London, including a final scenic pass via the Swansea Avoiding line and the Bishton flyover.

Local Councillor Nicola Harteveld of Milford Haven Town Council expressed delight at the influx of visitors, noting, “What an incredible sight at Milford Waterfront today with passengers enjoying our local scenery. It’s a testament to the unique charm and appeal of special rail tours.”

First class passengers were treated to The Great British Breakfast and a four-course dinner, while a buffet car served those in standard class, ensuring all passengers enjoyed their journey with comfort and style.

This tour, fully booked in all classes, underscores the continuing enthusiasm for unique rail experiences in the UK, combining a love for heritage rail with the exploration of less-travelled tracks. As the train made its way back to London Paddington, the participants reflected on a day filled with adventure and picturesque landscapes, leaving them with memories of a rare rail journey along the historic and scenic routes of Wales.

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29 homes planned for Pembrokeshire village development

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A scheme for 29 houses, including two affordable units, in the north Pembrokeshire village of St Dogmaels, close to the Ceredigion border, has been submitted to county planners.

Whitland-based Obsidian Homes Ltd, through agent Amity Planning, is seeking permission for the development and associated works on agricultural land off Longdown Bank, towards the south-east of the village.

A supporting statement says: “We have a clear vision for this development site to provide 29 much-needed houses for the area along with providing affordable houses which again are much needed within the region.

“The scheme provides affordable housing units for the local population as well as open market sale units all contained within the site. The affordable units, in terms of architectural style and materials used, are completely indistinguishable from open market tenure. Affordable properties are located alongside the open market sale units to ensure a cohesive and mixed community of new residents.”

The units proposed range from two to five-bedroom types, which the applicants say will “go a long way to meeting the stock required in the local area,” with seven per cent of them, two, affordable units.

The scheme submitted – within the settlement boundary for St Dogmaels – follows a 2022 pre-application inquiry, addressing issues of pedestrian connectivity, landscaping, the impact on the Welsh language, and the mix of housing, the applicants state.

The applicants conclude: “This development will act as a natural continuation of the village and provide much-needed housing stock for the area alongside affordable units meeting the needs of local community. This comprised of residential development for up to 29 dwellings, green / blue infrastructure including new areas of green space that will incorporate ecological mitigation and habitat creation, retained woodland and trees, sustainable drainage features, trim trail informal play and recreation space.

“Sustainable drainage and ecology will play a key role in this scheme and the attenuation features will become an attractive place for residents. All the main design elements of this application have been considered and incorporated into this proposal.

“The units proposed range from two to five-bedroom types and will go a long way to meeting the stock required in the local area. This, coupled with seven per cent affordable units, will create a community and foster relationships between this new development and St Dogmaels as a whole. These affordable units are located alongside the open market sale types and are architecturally indistinguishable from open market sale types.

“Extensive areas of existing woodland and significant trees have been retained and incorporated into a green swathe running along the eastern boundary of the site. These form the framework for the development, with residential blocks running in line with the sloping contours.

“A new public open space will feature buffering the development from the east. This will incorporate a range of informal play spaces as well as a small trim trail like walk for residents as well as featuring swales and attenuation features.

“The development will reflect the character of St Dogmaels in terms of scale, massing and the range of materials used. Materials used across the site reflect those found in the context of the site helping to form a natural urban extension to St Dogmaels.”

The application will be considered by Pembrokeshire p[lanners at a later date.

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Radon Gas lurks in Pembrokeshire’s tranquil landscapes

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Pembrokeshire, often overshadowed by more common concerns, holds a hidden threat: radioactive radon. This natural gas, lurking in the earth, carries a sinister risk, elevating the spectre of cancer among those unknowingly exposed.

Radiating from the ground beneath our feet, radon infiltrates every building, its presence more pronounced in certain regions, dictated by geological quirks. A recent initiative by the UK Health Security Agency provides an illuminating tool: an interactive map, revealing the lurking presence of radon in our neighbourhoods. Through a spectrum of shades, the map delineates areas of peril, with darker hues signalling a greater than one in three chance of radon intrusion, while lighter tones offer a reprieve, indicating a risk of less than one in a hundred homes.

In the tranquil expanse of Pembrokeshire, where verdant landscapes stretch uninterrupted, one might assume safety from such urban perils. Yet, contrary to expectations, the region exhibits a concerning prevalence of radon, outstripping even the bustling metropolises of London, Birmingham, and Manchester. However, it falls short of the heightened risk faced by rural counterparts like Cornwall and Derbyshire.

Within Pembrokeshire’s borders, a mosaic of risk emerges. Tenby, Milford Haven, Pembroke, and others hover in the 10-30% bracket of maximum radon potential, while Saundersfoot resides in the 3-5% range. On the fringes, Hook and Broad Haven bask in a relatively low risk, boasting a mere 1-3% potential. Yet, amidst the picturesque landscapes, enclaves such as Stackpole and areas south of Buckspool cast a darker shadow, harbouring a potential of over 30%.

But what exactly is radon gas? This silent intruder, devoid of colour or scent, stealthily penetrates homes, a by-product of radioactive decay in subterranean minerals. Its radioactive emissions pose a perilous threat, particularly to lung tissue, leaving a chilling legacy of lung cancer in its wake.

The question looms: How perilous is radon? Ukradon warns of its insidious nature, its radiation quietly wreaking havoc on vulnerable tissues. The real danger lies in its invisibility, easily inhaled and ensnared within the lungs, where it sets the stage for cancer’s cruel advance. Duration of exposure serves as the harbinger of risk, with prolonged contact amplifying the peril.

So, what recourse do we have? Prevention begins with awareness. A Radon Risk Report, available for a nominal fee from the UK Government, unveils the threat lurking beneath our feet. For those at risk, a simple procedure unfolds: detectors dispatched to monitor radon levels in the home, offering a lifeline of awareness in the face of this silent menace. Yet, even as we take these precautions, let us not forget the compounding risk posed by smoking, a potent catalyst for radon’s deadly dance.

Interactive map here: https://www.ukradon.org/radonmaps/

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