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Bay Gallery reopens its doors

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Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 14.26.51THE BAY GALLERY reopened its doors on the corner of New Street and Pier Street in Aberystwyth on July 20. 

With very few art galleries in Aberystwyth, The Bay Gallery has always been an attraction in the local area, and even more so now as it opened again for the first time since its closure on Terrace Road on June 27.

The Bay Gallery is one of the latest shops to open up on Pier Street, with Pier Street becoming more and more of an attractive location to base businesses, amongst the likes of Aberystwyth’s local cafes and other well known names.

Penny Samociuk, the owner/ manager of The Bay Gallery, spoke to The Herald about the gallery and what the move means for the business: “Many of the artists currently exhibiting in the gallery also exhibited in the gallery in Terrace Road, but this is not a co-op. Although I am a member, The Bay Gallery is totally independent of the Art Trail.

“When the ‘Cardigan Bay Gallery’ in Terrace Road closed due to the imminent redevelopment of the building for the museum and Tourist Information Centre, I felt that it was essential that we find alternative premises.

“There are many very talented artists and craft makers in the county and its borders and there are few opportunities for the artists to show and sell their work. Due to the very nature of our industry, most artists struggle financially and the thought of committing to high rents and overheads meant it was difficult to get a consensus.

“After a couple of false starts, I was given the opportunity to lease 18 Pier Street, Aberystwyth, at a reasonable rent. With the enthusiastic support of landlords Idwal and Debbie Jenkins, and a couple of very able artists, we very rapidly turned the vacant shop into a gallery and managed to open by July 20.

“The Bay Gallery will almost exclusively exhibit quality fine art and craft from local artists based in Ceredigion and its borders. We would like to hear from any artist who would like to exhibit.

“Unfortunately, the space is quite small so there will be limited number spaces available at any given time and, as we need to pay rent and other overheads, the artists’ work will need to be of a high standard and have an appeal to the local residents as well as the holiday visitor.

“The Bay Gallery currently has several painters with widely differing styles, including myself, where I’m best known for my pebble paintings and very colourful imagery of coastal locations. Ag Cain, whose wit and pre-war poster style of painting depicting scenes round Aberystwyth and beyond, has proved to be immensely popular.

“There is Chloe Rodenhurst, who produces lovely naive images which tell old stories of the area, and Kim James- Williams, a naive artist who produces fun coastal images. There is also Andrew Warren, who is a wonderful landscape photographer, and Mary Herbert, a realist painter who focuses on animals, particularly horses. She often takes portrait commissions.

“There are also several 3D artists, including Angela Hathway, whose beautiful ceramic animals and birds are a delight and are a ‘must see’. Jeni Pain makes jolly ceramics of boats, lighthouses and other coastal themes which are very popular this time of year.

“Val Price-West makes interesting horse and rowing pieces that relate to her experience of rowing Celtic long boats and riding competitively, working together as a team, pushing everything to the absolute limits.

“There is Joanna Bond, who creates delicate ‘natures garden’ images in ceramics, often mounted on wood, and also unusual ceramic tiles, and Jude Riley, who creates unusual and inspired marbled coasters, scarves and special jewellery pieces. In addition, Moriah Glass has stunning scenes in glass to be displayed against windows together with her beautiful glass jewellery.

“Nantyfelin Pottery have three different lines of pottery which cater to a wide variety of tastes – large vases to small butter dishes and beautifully crafted tactile slate jewellery, vases and clocks.

“Pier Street afforded an exciting new venue from Terrace Road and we are delighted with how we have been received and supported by both locals and holiday visitors alike.

“Although we have only just opened, I feel this is the right place for us. I am hoping we will be able to build a permanent business here. I think by moving here, the gallery has brought a new feel to the street – the new Arty Quarter of Aberystwyth.

“I think The Bay Gallery will draw an increased diversity of customers to this end of town. Many of our customers have already said they are excited about visiting this increasingly attractive, intriguing part of town.

“Ceredigion is full of talented and inspirational artists, and I include myself in this category. To have an independent Art Gallery operating on a commercial basis is absolutely essential to form a foundation whereby these artists can compete to market their art on a commercial basis.”

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Man accused of sexually assaulting six-year-old girls

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A FORMER Penparcau man is to stand trial accused of sexually assaulting two six year old girls.

Raymond Albert Wardall, 55, now of Blaenllynant Lodge, Queens Road, Aberystwyth, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.

Wardall denied a total of eight charges of sexual assault and sexual touching.

He will stand trial on November 27 and was granted bail until then.

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Alerts issued ahead of Storm Brian

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NATURAL RESOURCE WALES (NRW) is warning people that parts of the Welsh coast could see localised flooding as Storm Brian combines with high tides this evening and tomorrow.

The conditions could cause a storm surge, which in some areas could lead to overtopping of sea defences. Current predictions show that the worst affected areas are likely to be along exposed sections of the west coast of Wales from Southern Gwynedd to Llantwit Major.

High tides in these locations are expected to peak between 6am and 11am tomorrow (Oct 21).

NRW has already issued a number of flood alerts for the west coast, and is likely to issue flood warnings for Aberystwyth and Newgale later today. Further alerts or warnings for other areas will be issued as necessary.

24/7 Emergency response workers from NRW will be out at key areas of the coast over the next couple of day to monitor the high tides and condition of its sea flood defences.

NRW has also contacted its partner agencies such as local councils and the emergency services to ensure that appropriate responses are in place should the need arise.

Richard Hancox, from Natural Resources Wales said: “Conditions across the coastline are likely to be extremely dangerous this weekend and we urge people to stay clear, and avoid visiting the coast during this time.

“We know people are tempted to try and take photos of these storms, but it really isn’t worth putting your life at risk. Sea spray and flood water can knock you off your feet easier than you might think, and the large waves can send debris flying onto shore.

“If anyone is concerned about the risk of flooding to their home, please check to see if flood warnings are available in your area, and visit our website for advice on how best to prepare.”

Flood alerts and flood warnings are updated on the Natural Resources Wales website every 15 minutes.

Information and updates are also available by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188. People can also register for free flood warnings either by calling the Floodline number or at NRW’s website.

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​Major bequests for Aber research ​

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TWO major legacies to support postgraduate research have been announced at Aberystwyth University’s Founders’ Day held in the Old College on October 13.

The University revealed that Eleanor and David James had donated £2m to the institution where they both worked for 35 years, while former student Margaret Wooloff has bequeathed £400,000.

Both bequests will be used to fund postgraduate research at the University, in line with the wishes of the benefactors.

The legacies were announced as part of the University’s now annual Founders’ event, which echoes the celebrations held in the town back in October 1872 when the first students arrived at Old College.

The Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor Elizabeth Treasure, said: “It is extremely fitting that these very special bequests have been the focal point of this year’s Founders’ Day event. They remind us how the University has been supported since its early beginnings by the generosity of the people of Wales and the wider world.

“Eleanor and David James, and Margaret Wooloff all dedicated their lives to the furtherance of knowledge and their valuable contributions to education in Wales will live on in their legacies. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”

The Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Aberystwyth University, Louise Jagger, said: “There is a very strong bond between the University and our family of alumni across the world. Eleanor and David James and Margaret Wooloff were all active members of the Old Students’ Association during their lives and we are immensely grateful to them for their support over the years. Their generous legacies will now enable the scholars of the future to pursue their particular fields of expertise and undertake research with impact, which is integral to our mission as a leading University.”

Members of the local community joined staff and students at the Old College to mark Founders’ Day.

The guest speaker at the event was Ceredigion MP Ben Lake who said: “The story of how Aberystwyth University – or the University College of Wales as it was originally called – is one in which we can all take pride as a nation. Driven by the vision of its founders, the dream of establishing a college with University status in Wales was made possible thanks to the generosity of ordinary people. The roots and foundations of the University reflect our values in Wales and it is vitally important that we commemorate and celebrate this very special heritage.

“May I take this opportunity to congratulate Aberystwyth on being named recently as the University of the Year for Teaching Quality by the Good University Guide – a well deserved accolade which is testament to the dedication of all its staff.”

In July 2017, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced that it had earmarked £10.5m for ambitious plans to redevelop Old College in time for the University’s 150th anniversary in 2022.

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