VOICES FROM WALES - NINETEEN OF FIFTY-TWO, CARMARTHEN VELODROME
For years Carmarthen Park was my rugby home. Privileged to play in an amphitheatre of sport, surrounded by a disused cycle track. Century-old photos showed the park as the sporting hub of the town and county.
As a supplement to my rugby training I always loved cycling and would occasionally find myself pedalling around the rugby ground, making sure I missed the surface cracks and the increased number of potholes that appeared as the years passed.
A £580,000 project to redevelop the site and make it a cycling hub for West Wales started in 2017. At 405 metres long track consists of more than 200 concrete panels. It was officially reopened two years ago, 117 years after it hosted its first ever cycle race
The track is located in the heart of Carmarthen Park. It has a history that goes beyond just cycling having been the scene of two National Eisteddfods and continues to be the home playing field of Carmarthen RFC.
VOICES FROM WALES - EIGHTEEN OF FIFTY-TWO, THOMAS SKEEL – A NAPOLEONIC SOLDIER FROM LAUGHARNE, CARMARTHENSHIRE, PART 2
In the second part of Thomas Skeel the 15 minute video showcases John Bradshaw recollecting the diaries of the landlord of The Ship Inn, Laugharne, Thomas Skeel. Skeel enlists into the 40 th Regiment of Foot and talks about his part in the fight against Napoleon in the Peninsular Wars of the early 19 th Century.
I first met Malcolm Cawley aka BB Skone over 25 years as a music journalist at a gig in the Officer’s Mess in Pembroke Dock. His writing was erudite, educated and entertainingly witty.
He has become a legend in West Wales for promoting and encouraging musical projects of aspiring performers. His Comprehensive Gig Guide column and gig reviews in local newspapers are always the place to find out what is going on in the music scene. For so many years he broadcast from Radio Pembrokeshire and was an innovator within the music scene: live performances from the smallest studios and always championing local music. He has now moved to Pure West Radio in Haverfordwest and has a two hour show on Sundays.
BB Skone's Pembrokeshire Music Show Page features all you need to know about the Pembrokeshire music scene. BB broadcasts his local music show at 7 p.m. every Sunday on www.purewestradio.com BB also writes for the Western Telegraph.
THOMAS SKEEL – A NAPOLEONIC SOLDIER FROM LAUGHARNE, CARMARTHENSHIRE PART 1
I’ve only ever heard it within the township of Laugharne.
Mother Bear is an exclamation of surprise, similar to the phrase Gordon Bennett! or Cor Blimey!
It began with the chance discovery of a memorial stone in churchyard, which led to finding the diary of Thomas Skeel, born 1781, a farm labourer from Hangman Street, Laugharne. The diary told the story of an ordinary man caught up in extraordinary events. His story deserved to be retold. So came the birth of Mother Bear Community Theatre Group, mixing storytelling with music to relive the history of those that have lived in the unique township on the banks of the River Taf. War, love, lust, murder and more are recalled in the tales from Agincourt to The Second World War. The treatments are presented as pop up theatre.
In this video John tells the story behind his research into the life of Thomas Skeel, landlord of the Ship Inn in Laugharne and relates some of the stories of his young life.
In Part 2, we find out about his adventures in Spain and Portugal, fighting the armies of Napoleon and being wounded at the Battle of Tallavera.
Mother Bear still performs regularly. They are looking to perform a 19th century arsenic murder mystery very soon! In the meantime Mother Bear produces these videos for Americymru – we got a few to go!!!
To celebrate we would like to release a video of the Big Spring Beach Clean. It is the UK’s biggest coordinated beach clean activity, which has brought together over 150,000 volunteers over the last five years, contributing an incredible two million hours of volunteer time to protecting and conserving our beaches for everyone to enjoy. These vital community events not only remove dangerous plastics from our unique and precious coastal environment, but also indicate where action needs to be taken further upstream to reduce the leakage into and impact of plastics on our ocean and beaches.
Jaz Strelecki has been a representative for Surfers Against Sewage since she was nine years old. Jaz also helps mum, Anna, run her iSea Surfwear clothing business in Amroth. Jaz is the surfer of the family and has always had a passion for spreading the word about environmental issues and especially beach cleaning.
As lots of groups help to clean Freshwater West already Jaz and Anna decided to focus on the teeny tiny micro plastics and nurdles/mermaids tears, to see how bad it really is on this lovely beach.
Mermaids’ tears, also known as resin pellets or nurdles, are used in the manufacturing of plastic products. S.A.S. identify these plastic pellets as a major source of pollution on Welsh beaches, and their undercover work in plastic factories have identified a route from plastic factories to the beach, via the storm drains.
These young men could well be described as having served in the secret underground movement during the Second World War, but not in the sense that most people would imagine, for even today many have not heard of the term Bevin Boy.
Sixty-eight years ago on the 2nd December 1943, Ernest Bevin the wartime Minister of Labour and National Service announced in the House of Commons a scheme that was to change the lives of many young men, by being directed to serve their National Service working underground in the coalmines of Britain.
When war was declared against Germany in September 1939, a large number of experienced miners were called up into the Forces, with others leaving to take up work in other higher paid industries. In the years leading up to 1943 various schemes were set up to recruit labour and thus increase coal production vital to the needs of the nation.
The release of ex miners in the Home Forces, the recall of retired miners, unemployed and young boys of school leaving age to make a career in coal mining were all tried, proving to be unsuccessful.
The only way of overcoming this serious situation was to conscript an additional 50,000 men to work underground in the coal mines over a period of eighteen months.
By Warwick H Taylor, MBE, Former Vice President of The Bevin Boys Association
I first met writer, Jaye when she needed to use The Great War trench system in Pendine to be a location for her screenplay Letters Home.
Letters Home started life as a short play in 2012 at Pontardawe Script Slam and went on to win the audience award. Jaye adapted it to a screenplay, which reached the semi-finals of the London Underwire Festival, and was chosen for a rehearsed reading at the London Screenwriters Festival.
After the success of Letters Home, her next project is Forgotten Conscripts. Jaye has a passion to get the story over and is now in the middle of postproduction of The Forgotten Conscript Trailer, which will act as a proof of concept and hopefully her skill, effort, and energy in remembering The Bevin Boys will be noticed by someone out there in the media world.
The ABC of Opera is the brainchild of Mark Llewelyn Evans. Mark has visited over 250 schools in South Wales and has now published a book to go with the workshops that is sold online worldwide. It is a fantastic piece of work that has been collated with the help of creatives across Wales.
Five Hundred years of opera to captivate, inspire, enlighten and empower children of all ages and abilities.
I feel so passionate that every child should have the chance to experience the performing arts whilst using their imagination to their full potential. It's about inspiring our next generation…. No art form should be elitist or unobtainable.
Mark Llewelyn Evans
Purpose of the project:
To make opera accessible to all children, non-pretentious and without elitism.
Offer the means to introduce opera to a much wider audience.
Educate about opera through the current curriculum.
Bring the power of classical music to young people.
Nurture imagination and personal creative expression through interactive elements of the project.
Offer the thought-provoking morals within each of the stories within a modern context.
Give some insight into the historical and cultural significance of the stories.
Make learning fun, build personal skills, build confidence, nurture imagination and creativity