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Badger and the little Red Book

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badger84imageBEFORE Badger begins, he would like to correct an impression that could have been given by his column last week that Cllr Keith Lewis had not repented of any sins. Keith repenteth plenty. Or at least he will soon. It was a case of too many Lewises spoiling the joke. Saint Simon of Neyland will forgive Badger. Saint Simon knows that one word, “Plus” (or minus), can make or ruin a joke however bad. It is Rob Lewis who repenteth not, Saint Simon. Pray for his immortal soul, pray. And after that, on with the motley and back to the fray. A long time ago, when the world was green, adherents to extremist ideology clustered around one or two publications like moths drawn to a flame.

Badger remembers the strident cries of “Socialist Worker!” delivered in a mockney dahn serf accent by Repton old boys whose daddies were something big in the FO; Badger remembers Militant, a newspaper printed and circulated by those who thought everyone had sold out Marxist-Leninism, including —rather surprisingly — the pre-Glasnost Soviet Union. Badger remembers when jokes like this were rather more common: Q: How many Marxists does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: None: The light bulb contains the seeds of its own revolution! But the touchstone of many a member of the lunatic fringe of British left wing politics was a selection of extracts from speeches and aphorisms delivered by the biggest dingbat in the Comtnunist belfry.

Badger refers of course to “Quotations of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung”; otherwise, universally known in the West as “The Little Red Book”. Now, the glorious dawn of a new Cultural Revolution is upon us with the ascent to the giddy heights, Chair of Pembrokeshire County Council, of Chairman Tom Richards. Tom, often to be seen sashaying around Quay Street in a quite fetching scarf, hat and coat combination of a style befitting a gentleman farmer, has ascended to this seat of power not because of his keen insight, still less in recognition of his administrative skill or prowess with a well-timed gavel. No: readers Chairman Tom has been promoted to glory because of the old rule of “Buggin’s ibm”. This is not so much a job for the boys, as a job for one of the “good old boys”. But here is his chance to make a mark. To exchange notoriety for fame. Perhaps, readers, Chairman Tom’s thoughts might give us an insight into the future.

His investigative instincts piqued, Badger tunnelled to the Chairman Welsh Hook fastness to try and get a peep at what makes Tom tick and to discover how the Chairman’s thought processes work. After taking a wrong turn in Cockshoot Wood, Badger espied the tower of St Lawrence’s Church and regained his bearings: guided by the clink of glass on glass to the window of Chairman Torn’s parlour. There, wearing naught but his hat, chain of office, and an enigmatic smile was Chairman Tom. Perched on a stool and illuminated by a flickering oil lamp, Tom sat ploughing through Das Kapital and nodding eagerly.

Strewn around him on the floor were copies of “The Communist Manifesto” and Lenin’s “What is to be Done?” Through his spyglass, Badger spotted one phrase of Lenin’s, heavily underlined “The fear of criticism displayed by the advocates of freedom of criticism cannot be attributed solely to craftiness. No, the majority look with sincere resentment upon all theoretical controversies, factional disagreements, broad political questions.” Chuckling softly to himself, Chairman Tom continued to peruse selections of the literature of the left, scribbling the occasional note in its margins with a quill charged with green ink. Badger had not expected this: the complete works of Jancis Robinson, possibly; The Farmer’s Guardian, probably; The Beano, certainly. But not Chairman Tom showing every researching his own Little Red Book.

Badger had formerly always subscribed to the cock up theory of history and discounted conspiracy theorists as crackpots, like Oliver Stone or Gordon Brown. Now, however, recent events in Pembrokeshire suddenly became clear. Badger’s head swam in a way usually attributable only to over-imbibing on fermented fox. The collapse of the Communist Party after the 1996 Russian election: the re-establishment of Pembrokeshire County Council, the same year. Frustrated in their eastern European homeland, the pinkos had found a new crucible in which to carry out their unholy social experiments: County Hall, Haverfordwest.

The revolution having failed in the former Soviet Union, did the reds go from Moscow to Martletwy? Is it really so far-fetched to suspect that they might have? And if they did that would make the lPPG a Communist front. Not so much a sleeper cell, but a sleep-walking one. Let’s look at the facts, readers. Cadres formed; covert recruitment practices; literature produced secretively; slavish devotion to the party line: a bureaucracy that is only too eager to help rewrite history; the systematic harassment and bullying of refuseniks. CCCP = County Council Communist Party! Badger’s beguiling theory explains so much about the Kremlin on the Cleddau!

The mind-set is the same. The methods are identical. And Chairman Tom’s disdain for democracy and determination to stamp it out at all costs remarkably familiar. The glorious day has finally arrived for the !PPG fellow-travellers. The hammer and sickle replaced with the proud banner of the golden trough triumphant. Readers! Never mind the age old question of whether Bryn is a shape-shifting lizard who needs to travel by private lift twice a day to regenerate into (approximately) human form. The evidence suggests that the commies are already running Pembrokeshire. Altogether, comrades, before the secret police arrive! `Parry Jones’ flag’s a golden trough. Gouge the poor, enrich the toffs”.

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Christmas Card Competition

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The Ceredigion Herald Christmas Card competition is open to pupils aged up to age 11 and attends a school within Ceredigion.

  • The design must be on a piece of A5 paper, either landscape or portrait
  • Only pencils or felt tip pens are to be used.
  • Computer generated work is also acceptable.
  • Materials including glue, glitter or cotton wool should not be used.
  • Please write the pupil’s name, age and school on the back of their picture.

Prize: 100 Christmas Cards (Inc Envelopes) of your design for you to send to friends and family. Also you will receive a Christmas party for up to 50 guests which will include Bouncy Castle, Disco, Ice Cream Van as well as a visit from Santa with a gift for each guest.

To Enter: Please send entries by email to cardcomp@herald.email and include (Ceredigion Herald Card Comp in the subject line or by post to The Ceredigion Herald, 11 Hamilton Terrace, Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, SA73 3AL. Entries will need to be in before Friday 24th November 2017.

Terms and Conditions

In entering the competition you automatically agree to the Rules of Entry. The competition is open to children up to the age of 11 years old. The competition is only open to residents who attend Schools within Ceredigion.

Entries will be publicised in The Ceredigion Herald and online as well as the appropriate sponsor’s websites from 25th November 2017 for 7 Days, members of the public will be able to vote for their favourite.

Three finalists will be selected per area and the overall winner will be chosen by a judging panel made up of Herald Staff. The decision of the judges is final.

Entries cannot be returned and become the property of The Ceredigion Herald. Entrants transfer all of their ownership rights (including all copyright) of their designs to The Ceredigion Herald.

The Ceredigion Herald reserves the right to disqualify any entrant if they have reasonable grounds to believe the entrant has breached any of the Rules. (NB: All competitions are not open to member of staff or their immediate family)

Entries may be published within The Ceredigion Herald as well as online. The overall winner will be published within The Herald that covers your region and will also be asked to attend a winners’ presentation.

The winners will be notified after Saturday 1st December 2017. The winners’ name will be displayed on The Ceredigion Herald website and on the winning cards when printed.

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Milestone reached at Yr Egin

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THE CONSTRUCTION of Yr Egin – the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s new digital and media centre – reached a milestone on September 18 with a ‘topping out’ ceremony held on the site in Carmarthen.

The practice of ‘topping out’ is a tradition in the construction industry and celebrates a significant point in the construction phase when the building reaches its highest point.

During the ceremony held at the top of the building, Professor Medwin Hughes DL, UWTSD’s Vice Chancellor was joined by key partners in this exciting initiative including Ian Jones, S4C Chief Executive; Steve Nicholls from Kier Group; Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader and Mark James, Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council; as well as representation from the Welsh Government, which has provided £3million funding towards the new centre.

“Today is a very important milestone in the construction of the Yr Egin development,” said Professor Hughes. “The building has reached its highest point and clearly indicates the realisation of the University’s exciting and bold vision to develop a creative and digital cluster that will greatly benefit the county, the region and the creative industries across Wales.

“Co-locating a range of creative, digital and cultural practitioners within the same building – with S4C at its core as the main anchor tenant – will create opportunities, encourage innovation and enable job creation in this key priority sector.”

Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is an ambitious and transformational development that will be home to S4C’s main headquarters as well as a number of companies and organisations working with the creative and digital industries.

S4C Chief Executive Ian Jones said: “With just over a year to go until we relocate our headquarters to Canolfan S4C Yr Egin today is a significant milestone.

“Seeing Yr Egin take shape underlines our commitment to ensuring that S4C will have offices in three locations across Wales by the end of 2018.

“Our internal preparations for the move to Carmarthen are well underway and we look forward to the prospect of creating numerous employment opportunities from the first quarter of 2018 onwards.”

The design of the 3,700 square metre building has already received the support of the Design Commission for Wales with the internal layout of the building focused around a public foyer and atrium that overarches the three floors. There will be a specific focus on the broadcasting and performance on the ground floor, with a range of offices for S4C and other partners on the other two floors. The University will also create new enterprise incubation units, offering access to opportunities, facilities, events and industry networks.

Regional construction company Kier Group Plc are the main contractors for Canolfan S4C yr Egin and are responsible for managing the construction of the new centre. The company’s Operations Director, Jason Taylor praised the project team for the hard work and progress they had made: “It has been a real pleasure to meet the university staff, the anchor tenant S4C and local councillors today to show them around the site. The project is gathering momentum and taking shape allowing us all to visualise the flagship Yr Egin building with its surrounding featured landscapes.

“Collaborative working relationships is a core part of the success of this project and a shared ethos between UWTSD, S4C and Kier. Throughout the construction process we have been working hard with our local supply chain partners to provide employment and up skilling opportunities. The project is also being utilised as a learning initiative for local schools and colleges.

“I would like to personally thank our site team for their efforts to ensure that the roof was complete for this ‘topping out’ celebration which enables them to progress internal works heading for completion. Kier are very proud to be part of this project and we look forward to seeing the completion of this creative Welsh digital hub in 2018.”

Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates said: “Once complete this new facility will help to deliver the infrastructure needed to support the University’s vision of a cluster of creative businesses in Carmarthen. This in turn will help to inject new life into the local economy, bring additional and high quality jobs to Carmarthen and enhance Wales’ growing reputation as an enabler of talent, imagination and productivity. It also supports our wider commitment to promoting Welsh as a living and vibrant language and will help cement links between academia and creative businesses.”

Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is a development that will transform and shape the creative and digital industries in South West Wales and beyond. It will also be a centre that will be at the heart of the community providing opportunities for local people to enjoy the building and its resources – a cafe, auditorium and performance stages.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “From winning the S4C contract to securing the City Deal investment, the Yr Egin development is well on track and we’re excited to be part of the journey.

“This is a fantastic development for the whole of the Swansea Bay City Region, especially so in Carmarthenshire, with the creation of exciting new jobs in the creative sector that I’m sure will act as a catalyst for further opportunities.”

Canolfan S4C Yr Egin’s design team is a partnership between the Rural Office for Architecture (ROA), a company based in Newcastle Emlyn, and BDP (Building Design Partnership), an international company of architects, engineers and designers, with local architect, Niall Maxwell leading on the project.
The building will be complete by next summer.

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Four friends, three mountains and one smashed target

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Left to right: Kate Williams, Lizzie Dykes, Nicola Morgan, Kate Morgan, Rhydian Morgan

FOUR FRIENDS recently completed the Tŷ Hafan’s Welsh3Peaks challenge, smashing their fund raising target of £1,000 in the process.

On Saturday, June 17, in the baking heatwave, Kate Morgan, Nicola Morgan, Kate Williams and Lizzie Dykes from the Llangrannog and New Quay areas climbed three of the highest mountains in Wales in one day; Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen-y-Fan, a backbreaking 20.35 miles with an ascent of 9,397ft (2,864m).

The team had set themselves an ambitious target of £1,000 but have since exceeded that target and they are now close to raising a £3,000 for Tŷ Hafan, one of the UK’s leading paediatric palliative care charities which offers care to children and support for their families, throughout Wales.

Beginning in the dark at 4am at the bottom of Snowdon with the other 70 teams taking part, they tentatively set out on what would be a very long, hot and gruelling day. Despite the testing conditions, the team finished in a laudable time of 17 hours.

Kate thanks everyone for their support: “We would like to say a big thank you to everyone one who has donated towards this worthy cause and supported us. It definitely spurred us up and down the mountains and made us think of families less fortunate than us.

“So far we have smashed our original target of £1,000 and money is still coming in, for which we are very grateful. We would love to now reach £3,000 which would allow Tŷ Hafan to do even more amazing work for families less fortunate than us.”

Talking about the challenge itself Kate explains: “Being novice mountain climbers, the biggest shock was trying to come down the mountains and not up. Our legs, knees, calves ached and were in pain right from the start of turning around and coming down Snowdon, well I was.”

Nicola added: “The heat was also a factor as well as the inclines so we took it slow and steady so we were able to complete the challenge. However, with the glorious weather we had some amazing views and watching the sun rise coming down from Snowdon was beautiful.”

They all agreed that they now have a huge sense of achievement, relief and sore legs but with the little sleep they had completed the challenge armed with nerves, excitement and adrenaline which had kept them going.

Lizzie ended by saying: “We would also like to say a big thanks to Rhydian, our fifth team member as without him it would not have been possible. He was a true star and had bacon rolls and tea and coffee ready after each mountain. He was a life saver.”

If you would like to donate towards this challenge there is still time: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/WalkingWendys

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