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New Mural at Theatr Gwaun tells multiple stories

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Wide angle shot of the finished mural

THE SCAFFOLDING came down to reveal the new mural on the exterior wall at Theatr Gwaun on Friday 24th September and it has had a very positive reception from the people of Fishguard and Goodwick. 

The mural was commissioned by Ancient Connections, a cross-border arts, heritage and tourism project, linking North Pembrokeshire and North Wexford, funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales co-operation programme.

The mural was created by Grant Radford of Accent London, originally from Port Talbot. He engaged with local schools and community groups linked to Theatr Gwaun before coming up with a draft design. 

This was then further honed and developed through dialogue with the team at Ancient Connections, Theatr Gwaun staff and a public engagement session held at the Theatr.

A simple colour palette of a rich dark purple/blue background, with black and gold images over the top gives the mural an elegant and contemporary feel. 

A silhouette of black birds flocking across the building is layered over with sparkling gold creatures of the sea and figures from folklore, such as a mermaid. 

Another layer of yellow stars presents these figures as constellations, paying homage to the navigation of seas using star maps in times gone by.

An anchor in the bottom right hand corner references Fishguard and Goodwicks’ rich maritime history and trade.

A local resident said:

“It’s fabulous. Relevant, bold yet delicate. I love how the different colours create depth and fluidity and the references to nature.”

A story key at eye level on the wall presents a series of smaller images that touch on significant stories and heritage of the local area, as well as links to Wexford across the water. 

Motifs include the ‘Sgadan Abergwaun’ or Fishguard Herring – as local people were referred to due to their dependence on herring fishing. 

A coiled rope references the traditional ropemaking trade in Fishguard that gave Ropewalk street its name. 

The enormous whale in the main mural and in the motif points to the presence of whales such as minke in the Irish Sea, as well as the famous film of Moby Dick, which was shot in the Fishguard area in 1954 starring Gregory Peck and Orson Wells. 

A light aeroplane recalls the first flight over the Irish Sea from Goodwick to Enniscorthy in 1912. A galleon conjures up the infamous pirate Barti Ddi who hailed from Puncheston and sailed the seas in the early eighteenth century.

Ruth Jones, Project Officer for Ancient Connections says:

“We are delighted with the mural, it is stylish and striking, and at the same time speaks of movement and migration across the Irish Sea, which are key themes for Ancient Connections. We hope that it will become a focus point for the twin towns to evoke local heritage and folklore, as well as give visitors an insight to the rich history of this area”.

A forthcoming leaflet will provide more information on Fishguard and Goodwicks’ local stories, folklore and heritage for local people and curious visitors alike. Ancient Connections is led by Pembrokeshire County Council, together with partners Wexford County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Visit Wexford funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales co- operation programme.

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Community

Meals on Wheels St Davids celebrates success at Ystadau Cymru Awards

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A COLLABORATIVE project involving St Davids Befriending Group and Pembrokeshire County Council has scooped the ‘Delivering Social Value’ award at the prestigious Ystadau Cymru awards for its Community Meals on Wheels (MoW) project.

Ystadau Cymru encourages excellence in active management of the Welsh public sector estate through strategic collaboration and good practice guidance.

The MoW project, which has been running since April, has provided people with a hot meal and helped the vulnerable in the community through the pandemic.

In total, the St Davids Befriending Group is made up of local individuals who work together on a voluntary basis in collaboration with Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi.

The Award was presented to the winners by Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evans MS. The judging panel hailed the project for being an inspiration to bringing a collaborative effort to life and realising what can be done when the public sector and resilient communities come together.

A Meals on Wheels service was last operated in St. Davids in the late 1980’s when it was run by the Royal Voluntary Service.

And although Pembrokeshire County Council tried twice to re-establish this in the early 2000’s – it was without success.

But, come the autumn of 2020 the St. Davids Befrienders got together to try once more to restart the service. After an initial meeting held last January between the volunteering group and local authority staff, the service launched in April 2021 – and it has gone from strength-to-strength.

All the meals are cooked by the staff at the Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi canteen as it’s a suitable venue to mass-produce the food in a safe environment with trained staff.

The Head teacher was supportive of the concept as the school is at the heart of the community.

Cllr David Lloyd said: ‘I am honoured to be part of such an incredible team that time after time delivers a wonderful service to people in St Davids.

‘This is a true team effort from the St. Davids Befrienders to our friends at Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi school.

‘The delight on the people’s faces when the food arrives, or when someone knocks on the door just for a chat, is something to behold. As one of those who deliver the food I can’t express the excitement and pleasure on the faces when I knock on their door, it is absolutely moving.

‘It makes everything worthwhile and brings the community together in ways that sometimes can be slightly missed. I want to take this opportunity to thank Sarah Oliver at Pembrokeshire County Council, Ystadau Cymru for this marvellous award and Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi’s school for enabling the St. Davids Befrienders to provide the amazing Meals on Wheels service.’

Applications were encouraged to demonstrate how the projects achieved social value through collaboration with multiple partners – and this is exactly what the Meals on Wheels realised.

Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council added: ‘This is a hugely successful and significant project for the people of St David’s – and I’m delighted it has been celebrated in this way.

“The St David’s Meals on Wheels is a great example of collaboration between volunteers, stakeholders and the local school.

“It has breathed new life into a voluntary service that was lost decades ago. This is an incredible achievement.’

Since April, the MoW team have delivered meals, ensuring some of the most vulnerable in the community receive a hot, healthy and delicious meal. 

Chief Executive Will Bramble said: ‘This collaborative project, involving the public estate, has made a significant impact on the community they serve.

‘I am immensely proud that this partnership approach has enabled this Authority to help provide a Transformative way of working which benefits those who need it most.

‘This recognition is a symbol of what can be achieved when communities pull together, utilise local resources to solve problems – and more importantly, show they care.’

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Art Auction in support of Tenby Museum

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TENBY Museum and Art Gallery opened it’s doors to the public on the 9th September after being closed for eighteen months due to Covid. During this time a new roof and replacement Velux windows were installed as well as extensive internal redecoration carried out.

Being closed for all this time has resulted in a loss of revenue for the museum,  and with this in mind the ‘Friends of Tenby Museum’ are organising an Art Auction on Friday 10th December at the museum to help raise much needed funds

There was a wonderful response from artists who contributed their work in support of the museum including Naomi Tydeman, Sally Green, Tom Sloan, Jon Houser, Meirion Jones, Brian Froud and Louise Burdett to name just a few. All the work will be on display at the museum gallery and can be viewed for free by the public on Thursday to Saturday from 25th November until Friday 10th December.

Doors open to the public at 6.15pm and the auction will start promptly at 7.00pm. Our auctioneer for the night will be the very talented local artist Guy Manning.

All proceeds will go to the Tenby Museum and Art Gallery which is the oldest independent museum in Wales. We appreciate your support and if you can’t make it on the night, you can either leave a bid in a sealed box at the museum or on-line at the museum website www.tenbymuseum.org.uk

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Community

Ultra-runner demonstrates to never give up on your dreams

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Rhys O’Mara (Left), Sanna (Centre) and Hollie Thomas (Right)

INSPIRATIONAL speaker Sanna Duthie recently inspired Military and Protective Services learners at the College with her story of running the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in a record breaking 51.5 hours without any sleep, to help raise money for the Welsh Air Ambulance.

Former College learner Sanna Duthie, an office manager by day and active runner by night, shared her experience of running the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in record breaking time. Sanna had participated in a few marathons over the years such as Tenby Long Course Weekend, the Gower 50 and the London Marathon.

However, the real adrenaline rush to complete the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path was when Sanna competed in a 100 mile race of the coastal path in 2017.

“I realised I wasn’t too bad at that distance and then that’s when I got it in my head about doing the whole thing.”

Running a coastal path isn’t the easiest challenge and Sanna had to be prepared with an extensive training programme running over 300 miles a month equivalent to 10 miles a day. Sanna also had strength and conditioning training at a local gym to ensure her successful recovery.

“Coast running is hard on your muscles and joints and you need to strengthen those in order to not get injured,” said Sanna.

Originally Sanna started to run the entire coastal path in August 2020 but after 63 miles had to abandon the race due to dangerous weather conditions. This only made Sanna more determined and she completed her ultra-run on 8 th May 2021.

Sanna explained the highs and lows of the run, “There were times when I just wanted to quit, and I even started to hallucinate but I used a tactic where rather than focus on the whole run I broke it down into sections – this made things less overwhelming. Close friends and family would join alongside me on different stages of my run, and this motivated me to get to the finish line.”

Protective services learner Rhys O’Mara was thoroughly inspired by Sanna’s story, “I feel like, from the talk, I’m more inspired to go out and push myself to take on bigger and better physical challenges, the talk really showed that you can achieve anything when you dedicate yourself to a task. After College I’m looking to join the RAF as a drone pilot and have a full career in the forces.”

Sanna was the first female to run the entire coastal path and breaking the previous record of 64 hours and 32 minutes and raised an impressive £5,768.14 for charity.

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