SCHOOL pupils took over the running of three of Llanelli’s landmark buildings for the day recently.
Communities First partnered up with Llanelly House, Llanelli Library and Parc Howard Museum to arrange a large scale Takeover Day.
Sixteen pupils from Coedcae School took over the roles of the staff in these historic venues and undertook responsibilities that they might never have had the opportunity to do before.
Additionally, 20 year six pupils from Ysgol Dewi Sant visited Llanelly House and enjoyed a tour of the building conducted by Ysgol Coedcae’s teenagers, while later they were engrossed in craft activities whilst visiting Llanelli Library.
This project was funded by the Fusion Programme, a Welsh Government initiative that aims to narrow the inequality gaps for individuals living in deprived areas by giving them the opportunity to access cultural services.
Carmarthenshire has been successful in its application to continue the delivery of the Fusion programme for the next two years, with a focus on improving individuals’ prosperity, health and learning through the creation of opportunities.
The event at Parc Howard was called ‘Why do I need to wear gloves?’ because the theme was all about conservation and how to care for museum collections.
Parc Howard Museum invited six year 10 young people from Ysgol Coedcae to spend the day with two professional conservators and the museum manager to explore the museum stores and undertake some practical conservation.
Museum Development Manager Morrigan Mason said: “The young people were curious and fascinated by the collections in store, in particular a tiger skull from India killed in 1864, a pair of women’s clogs worn about 150 years ago in the Welsh Tinplate and Metal stamping works in Llanelli, a fur collar and cuffs from a coat, and a mystery object that turned out to be part of a stalactite.
“We worked together to assess the condition of the objects and then carried out some very careful conservation cleaning.”
The museum discovered that it had some wonderful curiosities that really interested younger visitors and would now explore ways to build on this to appeal to a wider audience.
Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for culture, sport and tourism Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said: “This was a great opportunity for local school pupils to find out what Llanelly House, Llanelli Library and Parc Howard Museum have to offer and to join in with some of the interesting work their staff do.”
A second takeover day was ran on Wednesday (Dec 6).
The tale of the WW2 Luftwaffe pilot who mistakenly landed in west Wales
IT WAS this time of year, 1942, that a bizarre series of events led to a German fighter pilot landing at RAF Pembrey in South Wales, unintentionally aiding the war effort of The Allied Forces in the process.
On June 23, 1942, Oberleautnant Armin Fabar was ordered to a fly a combat mission along with his squadron, in response to an Allied bombing raid of northern France.
Fabar’s squadron (the 7th Staffel) all flew Focke-Wulf 190 fighter planes. These planes were seen as superior to the then current Spitfires of the Allied Forces, and in the subsequent dog-fight that developed over The English Channel seven Spitfires were shot down, compared to only two Focke-Wulf 190s (FW-190s).
One Czechoslovakian Spitfire pilot, Alois Vašátko, dramatically lost his life when, in the fray of combat, he collided head-on with an FW-190. The German pilot bailed out and was later captured by Allied Forces.
In the ensuing battle, Faber became disorientated and was separated from his squadron. He was attacked by a Spitfire manned by Seargent František Trejtnar. In a desperate attempt to shake off his pursuer, Faber fled North over the skies of Devon. He pulled off a brilliant ‘Immelman Turn’, a move in which the sun is used to dazzle a pursuer on your tail. Now flying directly from Trejtnar’s view of the sun, Faber shot him down.
Trejtnar crashed near the village of Black Dog, Devon suffering shrapnel wounds and a broken arm.
The victorious Faber had another problem entirely, though he was unaware of it at the time. He had mistaken The Bristol Channel for The English Channel, and flew north into south Wales, thinking it was northern France!
Finding the nearest airfield – RAF Pembrey, in Carmarthernshire, Faber prepared to land. Observers on the ground ‘could not believe their eyes’ as Faber waggled his wings in a victory celebration, lowered the Focke-Wulf’s undercarriage and landed.
Faber expected to be greeted with open arms by his German brothers, but was instead greeted by Pembrey Duty Pilot, Sgt Matthews, pointing a flare gun at his face (he had no other weapon to hand).
As the gravity of the mistake slowly dawned on him, the stricken Faber was ‘so despondent that he attempted suicide’ unsuccessfully.
Faber was later driven to RAF Fairwood Common for interrogation under the escort of Group Captain David Atcherley. Atcherley, fearful of an escape attempt, aimed his revolver at Faber for the entire journey. At one point the car hit a pothole, causing the weapon to fire; the shot only narrowly missing Faber’s head!
Fabers mistaken landing in Wales was a gift for The Allied Forces, a disaster for The Third Reich.
He had inadvertently presented the RAF with one of the greatest prizes of the entire war – an intact example of the formidable Focke-Wulf 190 fighter plane, an aircraft the British had learned to fear and dread ever since it made its combat debut the previous year.
Over the following months Faber’s plane was examined in minute detail, the allies desperately looking for any weakness in the FW-190. There were few to be found.
They did find one, however.
The FW-190s became relatively sluggish at higher altitudes. This knowledge aided the Allied Forces and saved countless lives, as the aerial battles turned increasingly in their favour.
Faber was taken as a prisoner of war, eventually being sent to a POW camp in Canada. Towards the end of the war he was sent home to Germany due to his ill health.
49 years later Faber would visit the Shoreham Aircraft Museum, where parts of his FW-190 are displayed to this day, along with parts of the Spitfire that he shot down in the skies over Devon. He presented the Museum with his officer’s dagger and pilot’s badge.
This little-known but important piece of Carmarthenshire history illustrates not only the high-stakes arms race between The Third Reich and The Allied Forces during WW2, but also the cost of human error.
Cered organises a fun evening for Llandysul Cubs with ‘Britain’s got Talent’ star
CERED: Menter Iaith Ceredigion hosted a fantastic evening for Llandysul Cubs where the comedian Noel James from ‘Britiain’s got Talent’ came to entertain them.
Rhodri Francis, Cered Development Officer said, “We are very keen to work with organisations like the Cubs in order to hold a series of Welsh language events for their members. The evening with Noel James at Llandysul Cubs was fantastic – everyone enjoyed themselves! We wish to organise more events there in the future. We would like to thank Llandysul Cub leaders for giving us the opportunity to work with them so that their members can have the opportunity to socialise and enjoy activities through the medium of Welsh”.
Alix Bryant,Cub Leader 1st Llandysul Scout Group said, “On behalf of Llandysul Cub Scouts I would like to say a huge thank you to Cered for organising a very entertaining evening for the Cubs. It was great for the children to be entertained bilingually by Noel James, he did an amazing job. I think the children especially enjoyed the impressions!”
“This session has inspired the children to complete their entertainers badge so maybe we will have a few budding Welsh comedians in our group. Thank you again and we look forward to working with Cered in the future”.
For more information about Cered: Menter Iaith Ceredigion events and activities, visit their website, cered.cymru or their Facebook page, @ceredmenteriaith, or get in touch by calling 01545 572 358.
Time given to develop Parc Natur Penglais
VOLUNTEERS, including students, have given around 500 hours of their time to develop Parc Natur Penglais.
Along with support from Ceredigion County Council, the Group have built around 100 steps in 5 different places which has made the park a great place to walk, play and enjoy around a number of safe paths.
Councillor Mark Strong said: “Knowing that we have the support of the local community makes such a difference to peoples’ enthusiasm and having the grant from Aberystwyth Town Council, Cambrian News and Tesco made it possible. Volunteers can make a relatively small sum of money go long way.”
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