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Port Authority ‘very keen’ for vets to stay

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Part of the plan: All Pets Vets

Part of the plan: All Pets Vets

THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of Milford Haven Port Authority has said that he is ‘very keen’ for the All Pets Vet Care store to stay in the Milford Haven port family. On Monday Alec Don spoke to members of Milford Haven Town Council to give them an update on the Milford Docks masterplan. He also talked about how the plans will affect the town and buildings such as the Torch Theatre.

He said: “We want to create an overall environment that is attractive, combining both the old and the new. What the consultation told us was that the centre of the site should actually be much more up around the top end of the dock between Havens Head and the station and the centre of the town, Charles Street with routes of walking in and out through the various locations to make the site work for open access and drawing people in and making it a pleasant place to visit.

There was quite a lot of thinking in the consultation that went in to where these different bits essentially go. The point about the whole development is Milford Dock presents an opportunity to create something that’s really got some heavy degree of critical mass. The construction of these buildings won’t be sustained unless they are successful in attracting lots of people to Milford Haven to do their shopping.” The Port Authority’s Estate Director, Jeff Teague, then spoke about the Heritage study they had done and supporting the fishing industry. He said: “Inevitably, sadly, there is going to be a compromise.

We have been asked to provide an improved access into the Docks to cater for the new development and we went through nine or ten different alternatives and the only acceptable alternative to the highways people was one that involved moving the old Docks office, the Vets practice. We are certainly not proud of this and we’re doing everything we can to work with the vet at moment to find alternative premises. The plan is to move that building approximately 50 meters south towards the Quayside and replicate it so we retain all the existing features and put it into another building that will have another use. We need to find reasons why people want to come to Milford Haven, that’s the most important thing.

Most of the surveys we have undertaken so far say the reason why people don’t visit Milford Haven is the lack of offer. We are not going to create something that competes with anything else here in Milford. We don’t want to compete with Haverfordwest. We want to create something different.” He added: “It is optimistic, it’s challenging but without the support of you people it would be nigh-on impossible so our message to you today is please support this project”. Alec Don added: “This scheme will not work without having some revised entrance arrangements and it’s not something just invented by Milford Haven Port. To mitigate the impact we have basically said to the Vets practice: we will help to build, they have aspirations including more training facilities. I recognise they have poured their own money and their heart and soul into it and it seems like a complete tragedy to do anything with it but our mission is to put them into a building that meets their future aspirations.” Alec Don then spoke about the Torch Theatre saying: “Milford Haven has a presence in the world of performing arts. We are a huge supporter of it and we want it to continue to thrive and flourish.

We said to them that cinemas and performing arts are going to be part of what attracts people to Milford Haven and the question for you is not whether there is going to be another cinema in Milford Haven or not in addition to the Torch but whether there is going to be an additional cinema complex in Pembrokeshire. I think the Torch has an incredibly important role to play in terms of doing for Milford Haven what the Haywood festival does for Hay-on- Wye. Every part of Milford Dock is something that really plays to attract people to Milford Haven from further afield. You can see we have aspirations for Milford Dock to deliver something really good for Milford Haven and we very much hope you would support us.”

When questioned by Cllr Rhys Sinnett about the Torch Theatre Alec Don said: “We will be writing to the council to say we do not intend to do anything with the core standings of the Torch. We are a supporter of the Torch but it is a little bit early to come to a conclusion about what the leisure use should be. If the Torch does not want to play ball then we will respect that but that dialogue has got to continue. What we want is as Milford Haven Port is something which draws the Torch’s expertise into projecting Milford Haven way beyond the boundary of Swansea.” Cllr Rickard then asked about the timescale period and public transport facilities.

Jeff Teague responded saying: “A project like this could easily take five years to complete. We’ve looked at all transport links; one of the important things is to bring a new bus route all the way through the Docks and out again adding to the existing services.” Cllr Byrne said: “One of the things I don’t want this to do is take away from Charles Street and I wish you can get together with Charles Street and work something out.” We also asked about the highways issue and Jeff Teague responded: “We had certain requirements placed upon us to create an access with sufficient capacity in terms of the volume of cars travelling per day. This is the only one that actually satisfied the requirements of the highways officer – we’re desperately disappointed by it.” With regards to Charles Street Jeff Teague said: “Charles Street has a problem like other high street in the UK where there has been a migration of retail but inevitably old buildings get left behind and my view is that a lot of new brands won’t go into old premises.

We are trying to add to the retail offer in Milford Haven and not compete with it.” Cllr Joseph asked about All Pets Vet Care said to which Alec Don replied: “There is some interest in looking at the plans to see if they can get more of what they want. It’s a fantastic facility inside, it’s clean, and it’s attracting serious people who are committed to the ownership of their animals. It’s exactly the sort of business we want populating Milford Haven so we are very, very keen for the vets to stay in the Milford Haven Port family.” Cllr Eden said: “In relation to the Docks offices – this is a listed building and a part of the town’s heritage. We’ve lost a number of buildings and I can honestly say I don’t agree 100% with the improvements.” Alec Don replied: “That building is the one, the potential entrance is what they have said has to be delivered so I really can’t change that. The building is going to be moved and rebuilt 50 yards across the road and it will have a use as a core part of the marine operation.” He concluded by saying: “It is really important that the scheme does have the support of Milford Haven Town Council.”

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The Pembrokeshire man on the Titanic

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ON the morning of April 15 1912, in the North Atlantic some 450-miles south of Newfoundland, the RMS Titanic slowly slid beneath the sea just two hours and forty minutes after hitting an iceberg.

Stories from that night are famous, from the lookouts misplacing their binoculars to the ship’s band playing even as the sea washed over their feet, the sinking of the Titanic holds a special place in the public consciousness and continues to grab our attention some 109 years after the ‘unsinkable’ ship sank.

Over 1500 people lost their lives in the biggest maritime naval disaster at that point.

Among the dead were American and British millionaires, White Star Line employees and countless anonymous immigrants from across Europe who were all seeking a better life in America.

908 crew were on board the Titanic when it left Southampton on its fateful maiden voyage, one of the crew was a man called Charles Essex Edwards, 38, who sometimes gave himself the first name of ‘Clement’.

Charles was born in 1862 to John and Harriet Edwards of St. Martin’s Place, Haverfordwest.

He worked as a carpenter as a 19-year-old man and would end up moving out of Pembrokeshire and going to sea.  By the time he married a lady called Lavinia Ann Poulter, from Llanstadwell, in May 1892 he was living in Newport.

Lavinia, a Pembrokeshire woman herself, was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Poulter who lived on Lawrenny Terrace in Neyland.

By 1895, Lavinia had returned to Pembrokeshire following the death of her mother. Charles and Lavinia’s marriage suffered but Charles would continue visiting Lavinia and stayed at his father-in-law’s house when he was on shore leave.

Although still married in the eyes of the law, Charles and Lavinia were basically separated by 1901.

Charles signed on to work on the brand new RMS Titanic after it had completed its sea trials in Belfast Lough, he gave his address as 7 Brunswick Square, Southampton. He worked on the Titanic as an assistant pantry-man steward who earned a monthly wage of £3 15s on his previous ship the SS Zeeland.

SS Zeeland: The ship Charles worked on before the Titanic

When RMS Titanic left Southampton a massive crowd had gathered to see the newest addition to the White Star Line fleet depart. Charles Edwards was there. He was there when the ship picked up more passengers at Cherbourg and Cobh.

He would’ve been working during the day, his job entailed keeping the ship’s pantries stocked with food and wine, a vital job on a ship with such a high-class passenger list as the Titanic.

He was, more than likely, sleeping when Frederick Fleet spotted an iceberg in the ship’s path at 11:40pm on Sunday, April 14. He would’ve been woken by the noise of metal on ice and the ship shuddering as it was torn open on the starboard side.

As the ‘unsinkable’ ship took on water Charles, as a White Star Line employee, would’ve been given the unenviable task of waking up passengers, informing them of what happened and getting them to put on their lifejackets.

Once the scale of the situation on the Titanic became apparent, the command structure effectively disintegrated.

Captain Edward Smith would’ve cut a forlorn figure as he wandered around near the wheelhouse and his last words to his crew, according to reports at the time were:

“Well boys, you’ve done your duty and done it well. I ask no more of you. I release you.

“You know the rule of the sea. It’s every man for himself now, and God bless you.”

This would’ve been around 2:10am, at that point Charles would’ve faced a literal up-hill battle with male members of the crew only having a 24% chance of survival and many people gathering ‘like bees’ on the stern of the stricken liner which, experts say, raised to a 12 degree angle.

The Pantryman-stewards from the Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic

Many male crew members elected to stay at their posts as, according to Victorian culture it was better for men to die than to live and be perceived a coward, so the lights of the ship remained on until about 2:18am, just two minutes before Titanic broke apart and began its journey to its final resting place some 12,000ft below on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

But now you know there was a man named Charles Edwards who was born in Haverfordwest and who died when the Titanic sank in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. His body, if it was recovered, was never identified and we don’t even have a picture of him.

When news of the disaster broke, The Pembroke County Guardian described the tragedy as ‘one of the most appalling calamities in the long history of shipwreck’.

Four men from Maenclochog, it was later revealed, had a lucky escape as their plans to emigrate that April on the Titanic were thwarted by one of their number being unable to travel, so the group decided to wait for their friend. That decision saved their lives.

Pembrokeshire responded to the sinking by raising money for the Titanic Relief Fund, Pembroke Dock raised £12 2s 0d through a collection at the Royal Dockyard and, in Haverfordwest, Sidney White, who would later go on to own The Palace Cinema, hosted benefit performances to packed houses which raised £5 15s.

Lavinia, after a legal battle with Charles’ brother William, was given £192 in compensation for Charles’ death and went on to look after her father at Railway Terrace, Neyland until he passed away.

Lavinia went on to move to Middlesex where she lived until 1934. She left her estate to her chauffeur.

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Marloes pensioner in child abuse images case

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A PENSIONER has been bailed to attend Swansea Crown Court by magistrates sitting in Haverfordwest Law Courts this week.

Derek Lister, 72, of Marloes is accused of making indecent photographs of children.

He appeared before the bench, on Tuesday (Apr 13).

Lister was represented by Redkite Solicitors.

The court heard that between June 2009 and November 2019 in Marloes, Pembrokeshire, Lister allegedly created 3 indecent category A images of a child, 14 indecent category B images of a child and 152 indecent category C images of a child.

He will now appear at Swansea Crown Court on May 11 at 10am for the next hearing after the local court declined jurisdiction.

Lister has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Derek Lister: Accused of making child abuse images
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Primary school teacher described as ‘touchy-feely’ on day two of trial

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher, accused of sexually assaulting his pupils was “very touchy-feely”, Swansea Crown Court heard on the second day of his trial.

James Oulton, 34, of Haverfordwest would put his hands around students’ waists and touch their bottoms, an ex-female pupil said in a video interview played to Swansea Crown Court.

The defendant denies 30 charges of sexual assault at a primary school in Haverfordwest. The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

On the opening day of the trial, court heard that Oulton said the case was a “witch-hunt” and that he always behaved appropriately with children.

On Tuesday, the jury watched the video interview with one of Oulton’s former pupils, who said he was a “friendly person, very chatty and sociable and quite outgoing and wanted to know everything that was going on.”

She added: “Mr Oulton often wanted to know a lot of details on what we had done over the weekend, where we had been, and also who they had been with.”

“At the time I just thought he was trying to be really friendly but now when I look back at it now, it does seem odd.”

The witness also described the defendant as a “very touchy-feely teacher”.

She added: “If he was marking your work or if you approached him to ask him a question, he would put his hands around your waist or around your bum”.

“If he was standing by his desk, he would, like, motion to his knee, so he wouldn’t ask you directly to sit on his lap but he would tap his knee.”

Swansea Crown Court heard that the witness eventually came forward and told her parents parents after she heard them speaking about Mr Oulton being suspended from his job.

“Did you feel under pressure to say something had happened to you?” asked Mr Clee.

The witness answered “No”

Oulton, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, previously told the court he had behaved appropriately.

He also believed letters were sent by Pembrokeshire County Council to parents which encouraged “deliberately false evidence” and collusion between pupils.

The trial continues.

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