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Train enthusiasts let off steam



Wood burner: Engineering enthusiasts on an American loco

Wood burner: Engineering enthusiasts on an American loco

P E M B R O K E S H I R E MODEL ENGINEERS played host to no less than nine visiting engines on Saturday (Sep 20) when members of The Swansea Model Engineering Club came to visit them at their half mile long track behind The Meads Sports Centre in Priory Road Milford Haven. The visitors each brought their 5 inch gauge models along with them with an exception to Bill, who brought his 3 and a half inch gauge LNER 0-8-0 Q6. As he passed the photographer he said: “Look no hands!” A Co-Co GWR Class 52 diesel-hydraulic was also on the scene thanks to Ken.It was by far the longest engine on the track at almost 6 feet in length. The Co-co classification simply means that each bogie holds 6 wheels. Ken’s engine is powered by batteries although the full sized engines are diesel hydraulic. This taken aside, if out to the test it is a very capable engine and can easily and consistently pull a load that exceeds half a ton. The members had a drive of different engines whilst swapping around. Also at the event was Bobbie, who is a PME member and anyone that went to the exhibition in Milford Haven last September would have seen Bobbie’s engine on the PME display. For this visit Nick brought his 0-6-0 ‘Simplex’. Martin Evans was the original designer for the ‘Simplex’. It is an extremely popular design for model engineers as a basis of variations such as lengthening and adding extra axles. Completed in LMS colours, Nick’s engine was almost unmodified and performed all day without fault, much to Nick’s pleasure! Lunch was in the form of fish and chips which was organised for the visitors and members. Some of the drivers were enjoying themelves so much that they ate on the go! Also to bring a ‘Simplex’ was James. He spent all day driving around the track with the engine performing faultlessly. His driving skills and care and attention with the maintenance of his engine is a credit to James. His engine is in a spotless condition! Able to pull loads of over a ton is the 6100 Class GWR 2-6-2 tank engine which was brought along by the ever casually dresses, Ivor. The engine performed without a fault and Ivor informed that it weighs just over 170kg. This is no toy, all engines are working engines in their own right! Taking a different approach on driving was John on his 2-6-0 Mogul, he was laying rather than sitting and his driving trolley has been made specifically for this. The overcast weather did not become a problem and the fun carried on all afternoon. Soon the day came to an end, fires were dropped and engines packed away. The end of the day saw everyone gather in the clubhouse to catch up with old friends and finish off the refreshments provided by the wives of the members.

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Protestors rally against closure of Pembrokeshire adult day care centres



CAMPAIGNERS demonstrating against the closure of council-run adult day care centres in Pembrokeshire have accused the local authority of “putting pounds before people”.

A demonstration was held outside County Hall in Haverfordwest, urging Pembrokeshire County Council to reconsider the proposed cutbacks affecting the Anchorage centre in Pembroke Dock, the Lee Davies Day centre in Narberth, and the Bro Preseli Day centre in Crymych.

The protest drew users of the centres and their families, many of whom voiced concerns over the impact of potential closures. Among the demonstrators was Georgina Knowles from Templeton, whose daughter Sapphire, 28, attends the Bro Preseli centre.

“She loves it there,” Ms. Knowles said. “It’s brilliant and the only centre in Pembrokeshire suitable for her, with all the equipment and qualified staff that she needs. They’ve told us it’s going to be open until April, and they’re talking about a social enterprise taking it over, but we’re keen on seeing the council continue to run it. Please don’t close it down. We’ve been very stressed.”

Pete Welsh, 73, from Pembroke Dock, whose daughter Abi, 32, has been attending the Anchorage centre for 14 years, echoed these sentiments. “Living with somebody with additional learning needs is a 24/7 job,” he said. “So it’s both a lifeline and a form of respite for us as well.”

Mr. Welsh criticised the council, claiming it was “putting pounds before people, not least vulnerable people at that who can’t speak up for themselves”. He called for the authority to reverse its decision, alleging there had been no consultation with families and service users.

Kate Scourfield, who introduced the petition to maintain day centres at the Lee Davies centre in Narberth and Crymych, expressed her “grave reservations” about possible alternative service delivery models being considered.

In response, Tessa Hodgson, the council’s cabinet member for social care, assured that no changes would be made to adult day care centres until September, when the cabinet meets to discuss the issue. She highlighted that the Anchorage centre was in a poor state of repair, requiring maintenance work totalling £370,000.

Ms. Hodgson explained that the decision to opt for a 12.5% council tax rise, rather than a 16.3% rise, necessitated savings. She noted that numbers using the Anchorage centre had declined from 35 to 22 since the Covid pandemic, and the authority was striving to maintain frontline services amidst a “dire financial picture”.

She further added that additional funding had been secured to keep the Lee Davies centre in Narberth open until next spring, while discussions were ongoing about the potential takeover of the Bro Preseli centre by a social enterprise. No final decisions will be made about the three centres until the matter is reviewed by the cabinet in December.

Council Leader Jon Harvey acknowledged the tough choices facing the authority, citing a funding gap of £32.3m for the current financial year (2024-5).

Ms. Hodgson was not available for an interview, and the council has been asked to comment on the matter.

More than 3,000 people have signed online petitions calling for services to be retained at the three sites, underscoring the community’s determination to safeguard these essential facilities.

(Cover image: BBC Wales)

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Get the most from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park this summer



FROM local craft markets to artist-led workshops, bat walks and a planetarium session, residents and visitors can look forward to a delightful variety of ways to enjoy Britain’s only truly coastal National Park this summer.

Situated just a stone’s throw away from St Davids Cathedral and stunning beaches, Oriel y Parc National Park Discovery Centre is the perfect starting point for any summer holiday adventure. Free to enter, it offers a wealth of information on where to find your best experiences in the National Park – along with the chance to hire an e-bike and explore the picturesque but hilly St Davids countryside with the aid of an electric motor. The Centre is also home to Amgueddfa Cymru in Pembrokeshire and features a changing programme of exhibitions, along with a packed schedule of activities and events throughout the school holidays.

The main exhibition during this period will be Courage and Community – RNLI 200, celebrating 200 years of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution saving lives at sea. As well as plenty of exhibition games and activities for the whole family, Courage and Community also features an Arancia-class inshore rescue craft and some RNLI equipment to offer a taste of a rescue at sea.

For an extra charge, younger visitors can participate in a Legends of the Sea Trail, where they’ll become a member of the RNLI crew and complete the missions on the islands and sea around Oriel y Parc to rescue those in danger and earn a reward.

Discover a unique array of handmade crafts at Oriel y Parc’s Summer Craft Market on Saturday 10 August between 10am and 3pm, or at one of the Handmade Craft Fairs, hosted by Makers Bizarre. The Handmade Craft Fairs will take place in the courtyard every Tuesday, from 23 July to 27 August, between 10.30am and 4.30pm. Perfect for adding a touch of local charm to your home or finding one-of-a-kind gifts, entry to all markets is free.

Wednesday Club! sessions will run throughout the summer holidays, offering a wide variety of art and craft activities for creative young minds.

The first is scheduled for Wednesday 24 July, with a drop-in Make your own Sea Trinket Workshop between 10am-3am. The next four sessions will be led by local artists and include: Ocean Navigation Chart Making with Hannah Rounding on 31 July; a Stars & Story Stones Workshop with Kerry Curson on 7 August; Fantastical Boat Collages with Kate Evans on 14 August; and a Beach finds – Drawing and Mark Making session with Kate Freeman on 21 August.

All artist-led Wednesday Club! sessions take place between 11am – 12pm and 1.30pm – 2.30pm and booking is essential.

The final Wednesday Club! workshop of the holidays will be a Seaweed Printing Workshop. This is a drop-in event and booking is not required.

Further information about Oriel y Parc’s exhibitions, summer activities and e-bike rentals can be found at

There will be plenty of opportunities to learn about different areas and aspects of the National Park through the Authority’s exciting programme of summer events.

Tickets are still available for three Ranger-led walks through the spectacular Preseli Hills, taking in the history, legends and wildlife of this magical landscape.

The Craig Talfynydd Walk to the heart of the Preseli Hills will take place on Wednesday 24 July and Tuesday 13 August, and there are still places to join the Carningli Circular on Friday 23 August. Anyone interested in ancient history should consider joining the Foel Drygarn Walk, which takes place on Friday 9 August and Tuesday 27 August and visits one of the best archaeological sites in the Park.

Some fabulous historical walks with knowledgeable guides are also scheduled for the summer, providing opportunities to learn more about your favourite places – or discover new ones. A Nevern – Castles and Pilgrims walk will take place on Friday 16 August, while on Friday 30 August, the Porthgain, One Village, Three Industries walk offers the chance to explore one of Pembrokeshire’s most iconic stretches of coastline.

The Park Authority’s popular Bat Walks will continue at various locations throughout July and August, which is generally the best time of year to observe these fascinating nocturnal creatures. The availability of bat detectors is guaranteed to make this a memorable experience.

At Manorbier’s Giraldus Centre, visitors will be able to enjoy a unique opportunity to explore the night sky in the middle of the day on 10 and 11 August. Several Planetarium Shows are scheduled over the two days in a state-of-the-art, high-resolution 360° planetarium. Those attending will be able to embark on a virtual journey through the solar system, land on other worlds, fly through Saturn’s rings, and marvel at Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Each 45-minute show features expert commentary and is suitable for visitors aged 5 and up.

Please note that booking is essential for all walks and activities around the Park. Further information is available at

Angharad, the Park Authority’s Summer Ranger will also be out and about throughout the holidays, with plenty of advice and information about places to visit and things to do. If you’re looking for some activities for the children this summer, Angharad will also be delivering some family favourites such as rock pooling and bug hunt sessions. Why not stop and say hello?

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Children of Herbrandston delighted at fabulous new playpark



THE CHILDREN of Herbrandston say they are delighted with a new playpark that has been kindly funded by South Hook LNG.

At an official opening of the excellent facility on Thursday (July 19) Hamad Al Samra, General Manager, who cut the ribbon, said: “Our support for our community spreads throughout Pembrokeshire, and we are pleased to be able to assist varied projects and groups that bring enormous benefit to local People.

This particular project in Herbrandston is about supporting our closest neighbours – a community that we have lived alongside for the past fifteen years, and in which many of our People at South Hook, live with their families.

We are pleased to have worked with the Community Council in providing the Village with a Playpark that will benefit the entire community for years to come.”

Martin McGeown was on hand with one of his ice cream vans to ensure that everyone had a treat on what was a lovely sunny day, and the Herbrandston Playpark Committee supplied tea and coffee, refreshments and scones to those gathered who included both adults and children living in the village, staff members from South Hook LNG and members of the press.

Photos by Martin Cavaney

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