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Radio Bronglais hits the road

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Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 10.58.43ABERYSTWYTH’S summer entertainment continued on Saturday (Jul 16) as Menter Aberystwyth introduced ‘Radio Bronglais Roadshow’ to the community. 

As part of Menter Aberystwyth’s Summer Entertainment programme, the community of Aberystwyth were able to brave the unfortunate weather forecast and gathered around the Bandstand to be entertained by the radio station from 2pm until 6pm.

The unfortunate weather meant that Menter Aberystwyth had to postpone the ‘Picnic in the Park’ at the Aberystwyth Castle grounds, which promised outdoor activities for children, bring your own picnics and live music.

Menter Aberystwyth covers not only the town of Aberystwyth but also its surrounding villages, as far as Eglwys Fach to the north and Llanrhystud to the south. The area comprises of 13 community councils and Menter Aberystwyth hopes to work in partnership with all of them.

A regeneration partnership for Aberystwyth and its surrounding areas, Menter Aberystwyth concentrates on the building of community ethos, where local people have a chance to address any issues they have regarding changes and solutions to their community. With links to various organisations such as the Aberystwyth Town Council, Ceredigion County Council, Aberystwyth University and BBC News, Menter Aberystwyth thrive on the support on the local community.

Funded by Aberystwyth Town Council and Aberystwyth University, Menter Aberystwyth provides help for other smaller groups in the local area in order for them to develop their own projects. In addition, they also provide guidance for businesses and other groups with regards to funding opportunities and available advice.

Cllr Alun Williams, Vice Chairman of Menter Aberystwyth, spoke to The Herald about the Summer Entertainment Programme 2016: “Events in the last year have included the Switch-on of the town’s Christmas lights and the recent Aber First awards. The Summer Entertainment programme, based at the new bandstand, is a part of that and Menter will be putting on around 40 different events there over the summer. The programme consists of local artists who Menter pay a small amount to perform.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there on Saturday, but the first event of the season was the Dylan Thomas Sound project the previous Saturday. Photos of this are on the Menter Aberystwyth Facebook page.

“Radio Bronglais/RBFM are a hospital radio station based in a building in the grounds of the hospital. As part of Menter’s programme, they presented a four-hour live broadcast road show from the Bandstand last Saturday, supporting the great work of the staff of Bronglais Hospital and various community groups around the area, some of whom were interviewed on the show.”

Due to the success of the event, Radio Bronglais released the following official statement: “Saturday (Jul 16) saw the successful return of everybody’s favourite radio roadshow as ‘RB FM presents…Summer at the Bandstand’ from the Bronglais Hospital community radio station. Radio Bronglais FM kicked off Aberystwyth’s Summer Entertainment Program with a flourish.

“RB FM’s four-hour live broadcast direct from the new Bandstand on the Aberystwyth promenade showcased the range of coverage it provides for its listeners. With a variety of guest speakers from branches of Bronglais Hospital services, associated bodies, and other third sector organisations, coupled with live performances from a diverse demographic of musicians, RB FM celebrated a brilliant afternoon of broadcasting.”

Cllr Williams added: “Aberystwyth Town Mayor Brendan Somers, who opened the event on Saturday, praised the hard work and dedication of all the staff at Bronglais Hospital, and that of the Radio Bronglais volunteers.

“The live broadcast was anchored by RB FM presenter ‘Big Pete’ Evans, and featured presenting slots from regular voices Lewis Harrowing and Gemma Freedman. The show included interviews with representatives from Age Cymru Ceredigion, Sight Cymru Ceredigion, the League of Friends of Bronglais Hospital, and the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative, amongst several others, as well as beautiful live performances from AberOpera, folk band Brenig, and regular RB FM presenters Del Whiting and Sean Hicks, the latter of whom also used the event to launch his new EP.”

Al Frean, RB FM Station Manager, was pleased with the success of the event and told The Herald: “It’s great to be out and about doing road shows and broadcasting from outside of the hospital. We get the opportunity to join the dots; showcasing snippets of Bronglais to the community whilst also bringing aspects of the community back to our listeners through our programming platforms.

“We just wish the reliable Welsh weather could have been a bit sunnier on the day! Of course a huge thank you goes out to everyone involved; from our guests to our own volunteers and a special thanks to Aberystwyth Town Council and Menter Aberystwyth for their help and support as organisers of the Summer Entertainment Program. Diolch i chi!”

Radio Bronglais FM is the hospital and community radio station based at Bronglais General Hospital in Aberystwyth. It is a self-funded voluntary branch of the healthcare community which endeavours to provide relief and support first and foremost for the patients and staff of Bronglais Hospital and its associated NHS services through its diverse broadcasting and befriending services.

For more information, tune in and support Radio Bronglais via 87.8FM across Aberystwyth or online via www.rbfmlive.co.uk and the TuneIn Radio app. For more information about Menter Aberystwyth’s Summer Entertainment 2016 programme, search Menter Aberystwyth on Facebook at @menteraberystwyth

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A brand new Welsh language ukulele orchestra

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CAN you play the ukulele and would like to join a ukulele orchestra? Or would you like to learn a new skill and to socialise in a Welsh-speaking environment? Why not join Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl?

On Monday, October 15, Cered: Menter Iaith Ceredigion, Aberystwyth Arts Centre and Learn Welsh will launch Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl which is a brand new, Welsh language ukulele orchestra in Aberystwyth for free, for those aged 16+.

Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl will practice weekly between 6pm and 7:30pm every Monday night during the school term and practices will take place at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre. There is no need for any experience or ability on the ukulele and there will be instruments available to borrow so that you can have a taste before buying your own ukulele.

Welsh will be the main language of Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl but there is a warm welcome to everyone whatever your level of proficiency in Welsh. Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl is supported by Learn Welsh as a great activity for learners to practice their Welsh outside the classroom in a fun and new way.

Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl’s conductor will be Steffan Rees who has held a number of Iwcs a Hwyl workshops over the last year as Cered’s Community Development Officer. Steffan is also a musician who composes and performs as “Bwca” and he has been playing the ukulele for years.

Steffan said, “I have really wanted to start a Welsh ukulele orchestra in Ceredigion for a while having seen the successes and popularity of those in Cardiff and South East Wales. The ukulele is an instrument that excites people of all ages and with some patience and perseverance, it is an easy enough instrument to master. I’m looking forward to developing a repertoire with the orchestra and play a few gigs; the National Eisteddfod in Tregaron in 2020 perhaps!”

Numbers for the first term of the orchestra are limited so contact the Arts Centre Box Office on 01970 632 232 to book your place in Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl.

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Hanes Llambed meeting held

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THE FIRST meeting of Hanes Llambed of the 2018/19 year was held in Lampeter’s Trinity Saint David’s Old Hall this week.

There was a good attendance as Cwrtnewydd resident Simon Evans gave the first of what will eventually be two talks about his home parish of Llanwenog.

Mr Evans spoke of how the parish was defined by the Afon Cledlyn and its tributaries, describing the region’s history from the Stone Age to the present day. The talk spoke of the several hill forts of the area, as well as Llanwenog church, founded around 500 AD, before it was built in its current form in the 14th century.

The Battle of Llanwenog in 981 AD between the Welsh and invading Danes was detailed, before the speaker went on to describe the Puritan struggle and the Civil War.

The talk then went on to the establishment of private academies by nonconformist ministers from 1750 onwards, and the founding of Unitarian chapels in the early 19th century.

The terrible agricultural situation of the 1840s was described, followed by the bad harvests, which led directly to the Rebecca Riots and emigration to the USA and elsewhere in Britain.

The next meeting of Hanes Llambed will take place in October when the subject will be the Cardiganshire War Tribunals of the First World War.

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Former AM charged with child porn offences

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SIMON THOMAS, the former Plaid Cymru AM for Mid & West Wales has been charged with three offences of making indecent images of children.

Mr Thomas, aged 54, was charged with the offences earlier today (Sept 18) at Aberystwyth Police Station.

He has been bailed to appear at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, October 3.

At the time of his arrest, Mr Thomas was his Party’s spokesperson on Rural Affairs and Energy policy and had recently taken up a role which would have seen him perform a significant role in Plaid Cymru’s future campaigns.

His arrest in July was a shock both to his political allies and those in other parties in the Assembly.

Following his arrest, Mr Thomas resigned immediately as an Assembly Member and from Plaid Cymru. He was replaced as regional AM by Helen Mary Jones.

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