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Photographer Jack Lowe visits Aberystwyth to continue RNLI project

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Jack Lowe: With his vintage camera

A PHOTOGRAPHER and lifelong RNLI enthusiast capturing stunning shots of lifeboat crew with a photographic technique from the 19th century will be focusing his lens on Aberystwyth RNLI.

On September 24, Jack Lowe will be welcomed with open arms at the lifeboat station and the public are welcome to visit and to see Jack in action.

He is undertaking an ambitious project to visit all 237 RNLI lifeboat stations in the UK and Republic of Ireland, capturing stunning glass images along the way. Earlier this year he photographed crew members at seven lifeboat stations in south and west Wales and now he is bringing his Victorian camera and developing equipment back to another seven Welsh stations from Penarth to Aberystwyth.

Grandson of Dad’s Army actor, Arthur Lowe, Jack has admired the RNLI since he was a little boy. He says the project allows him to ‘follow his heart’.

The talented photographer has been a lifelong supporter of the charity, joining Storm Force (the RNLI’s club for children) at the age of eight and raising over £6,000 for charity by completing the Great North Run three years in a row. Photography has also been a strong passion of his, ever since he received a Kodak camera from his Grandma when he was nine.

As part of the RNLI Lifeboat Station Project, Jack plans to visit all 237 RNLI lifeboat stations, photographing the breath-taking views from each station along with the crew members. He will be using a Wet Plate Collodion, a Victorian process that allows him to record stunning images on glass. The project is predicted to take approximately five years to complete.

Crew Member Paul McCann said: “The crew are really looking forward to having Jack visit the station. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of something like this, some crew are cutting their holidays short to ensure they are here. We are also excited about the talk the night before at the National Library which will kick off the weekend.”

Jack says: “I’ve been looking forward to bringing The Lifeboat Station Project back to Wales ever since my first visit in March. It’ll be great to experience the warm Welsh welcome once again and to add to the growing collection of photographs documenting the RNLI volunteers in this stunning part of the world.”

His unique glass photographs are to be developed in a decommissioned NHS ambulance, which he purchased on eBay and transformed into a mobile darkroom. On this leg of his trip he will be visiting Penarth, Horton and Port Eynon, Little and Broad Haven, Fishguard, Cardigan, New Quay and Aberystwyth RNLI lifeboat stations. On Friday 23 September, Jack will give a talk about the Lifeboat Project at the National Library in Aberystwyth.

Jack added: “From an early age I knew I wanted to either be a photographer or a lifeboat crew member. This trip has given me the opportunity to fulfil both my dreams. It’s fantastic to see how many people have been so interested and engaged with the project.

“Some of the images I have captured so far have been regarded as mesmerising and have even rendered some crew members to tears!”

He will return to visit the remainder of the Welsh lifeboat stations in the future.

You will be able to check the confirmed times of the itinerary by following the link to the Project’s interactive Mission Map: http://lifeboatstationproject.com/stations/

You can also follow Jack’s RNLI photographic mission on Facebook (fb.com/LifeboatStationProject), on Twitter (@ProjectLifeboat) or on the Project’s dedicated site (lifeboatstationproject.com).

Anyone interested in attending Jack’s talk in Aberystwyth on September 23 can book now to reserve a seat at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EGMIHK. Admission costs £6 with a percentage of proceeds donated to the RNLI charity.

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Aberystwyth waste pilot launched

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AN innovative pilot scheme has been launched in North Parade, Aberystwyth to help promote positive waste behaviours in the town centre.

The initiative sees communal wheelie bins being delivered to the pilot area on the afternoon before the usual scheduled waste collections. The bins provide a means of containing the waste for the time between it being presented and being collected. Protecting the waste from attack by animals, including seagulls, will help keep the town centre’s streets clean.

The new approach will also help support more local residents, especially those living in properties where space to store waste is limited, to make full use of the weekly recycling and food waste collection services. Reducing the amount of recyclable waste that goes into black bags is not only better for the environment but it also helps ensure it is dealt with in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

The days and frequency of waste collections will remain the same with wheelie bins being provided each week for clear recycling bags and food waste and fortnightly for black bags. Waste should be presented in the correct wheelie bin by 8am on the day collection.

Once the waste is collected the wheelie bins are removed which avoids problems that would arise if they were left there permanently which includes causing unnecessary street clutter and obstructions as well as potentially being misused and attracting fly-tipping.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards, the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services, said: “I am fully supportive of this initiative. It is an example of the Council working in partnership with communities on resolving issues. I wish the initiative every success and look forward in the future, to further working closely with our communities on finding creative solutions to the issues we are all concerned about.”

The scheme started on August 6-7. If it proves to be successful, consideration will be given to extending the pilot to other areas where it may work. Consideration is also being given to other ways of further supporting positive waste behaviours in Aberystwyth and Ceredigion in general ahead of a new domestic waste collection system that will be introduced in 2019.

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Consultation on future of gas network for west Wales enters final week

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PEOPLE from west Wales are being urged to have their say as a public consultation on the future of the local gas network is set to close on Friday (Aug 17).

Wales & West Utilities look after the pipes that bring gas to homes and businesses across Wales and the south west of England. The company has received almost 20,000 responses to its consultation but is now urging as many people as possible to take two minutes to pipe up and shape its plans for the future. Everyone who completes the consultation will be entered into a weekly draw to win a £100 Amazon Gift Card.

The company is asking people to give their views on issues such as the gas emergency service, investment to keep the gas network safe and reliable and how it supports those most in need. It is also seeking views on preparing the gas network for a greener future, making sure it can continue to deliver essential services for generations to come.

Wales & West Utilities charge for their services through consumer gas bills. Currently, their services make up 20% of an annual gas bill – so for the average gas bill of £630, that’s £128 a year – or 35 pence per day.

Graham Edwards, Chief Executive at Wales & West Utilities, explains: “The pipes we look after are mostly underground and out of mind, but we provide an essential service in keeping people safe and warm in their homes and powering businesses. Now, as we plan for the future, we want as many people in West Wales as possible to have their say on the future of their gas network and the services we provide.”

“This consultation is about ensuring our customers’ views are heard so that we plan and work towards getting the balance right between investing to maintain and improve our services and preparing the gas network for the future, while keeping bills low.

“We understand the financial pressure households across the area are under and we remain committed to keeping our portion of the gas bill to a minimum – we have already reduced the cost of our services since 2013 from £145 to £128 today.

“We’re looking forward to hearing customer feedback from West Wales as this will play a vital role in shaping our business for the future.”

Wales & West Utilities also connects around 11,000 homes and businesses to the network each year. And, for customers in need of extra support, the company has a scheme offering low-cost gas connections and financial help for appliance repairs. There is also a priority register to make sure people in vulnerable situations are prioritised when things go wrong.

To have your say on the future of your gas network and the services Wales & West Utilities provides please go to PipeUpOnline.co.uk or Facebook.com/wwutilities and be in with a chance to win a £100 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card.

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Elin Jones welcomed to Gorsedd as ‘Elin Ceredigion’

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AT THIS year’s National Eisteddfod, held in Cardiff Bay, Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion, was welcomed into the Gorsedd.

The ceremony of the Gorsedd of the Bards is an integral part of the National Eisteddfod, and honours people who have made a significant contribution to the Welsh language and to Wales. Upon being admitted to the Gorsedd, the member is able to choose their ‘Bardic name’. Elin Jones has chosen to be known as Elin Ceredigion.

Elin Jones said: “It’s an honour to be admitted to the Gorsedd at this year’s National Eisteddfod, and to be known there as Elin Ceredigion.

“This was a very different and diverse National Eisteddfod. People from all over Wales and from many different cultures were able to see the Welsh Language thriving.

“The National Eisteddfod is important in whichever part of Wales it may be held. In two years’ time, it will be in Tregaron in Ceredigion which will be equally as exciting and important an Eisteddfod.

“The Gorsedd will next meet in Ceredigion in July 2019 – to proclaim the 2020 Ceredigion Eisteddfod.”

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