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Treasure hunters find rings in west Wales

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goldringTREASURE hunters from the Pembrokeshire Prospectors Society, Kevin Higgs and Phil Jenkins, have discovered late medieval and Renaissance gold and silver rings. While using a metal detector, Kevin Higgs discovered a late medieval ring in Pembroke in 2014. Dating back to the 14th century, the ring is of part-hollow construction, with a hexagonal bezel set with a small uncut (cabochon) blue sapphire.

Milford Haven Maritime and Heritage Museum has expressed their interest in acquiring the ring for their collection. A silver-gilt posy-ring finger ring was also found at Carew by Mr Higgs while he was metal detecting in June, the year previously. Narberth Museum have said that they wish to acquire the item. Another Pembrokeshire Prospectors Society member, Phil Jenkins, found a silver gilt fede (faith) ring in Lamphey in October 2013.

The outside of the hoop had a late medieval inscription reading: ‘jaspar: melchior: baltazar’ in a mixture of upper and lower case crude black letter script. This legend invokes the names of the magi, or Three Kings, supposed to be especially effective against falling sickness and fever. Tenby Museum have expressed their desire in acquiring the faith rings. In December 2014, Mr Jenkins also found a gold religious finger ring, engraved with an image of St Catherine holding a sword, in Llandissilio.

A symbol of her martyrdom, a wheel, protrudes from St Catherine’s left side. The hoop is decorated on the shoulders and sides with sprigs and the inside of the hoop bears the legend ‘•en•boen•eure•’ (‘In Good Year’) in late medieval Black Letter script. According to Dr Redknap, such iconographic rings can bear one or more Christian figures or scenes engraved on the bezel, such as the Annunciation with Angel on one panel and Mary on a second panel. Common legends are de bon cuer (‘Be of good heart’) and en boen an.

The discoveries were first reported to the co-ordinator of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales (PAS Cymru), Mark Lodwick, and subsequently reported on by Dr Mark Redknap, who is head of Collections & Research in the Department of History & Archaeology at the National Museum Wales. Dr Redknap said: “These cases provide an intimate insight into fashions and personal devotion circulating in Wales in the later medieval and early modern periods.

“These are significant additions to the growing database of treasure cases from Wales, and will enrich existing collections at the local museums in Tenby, Narberth and Milford Haven who can acquire the artefacts through funds via the Saving Treasures, Telling Stories project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. “Visitors to National Museum Cardiff this year can also see fantastic Welsh treasures alongside extraordinary treasures from all over the world in our exciting exhibition Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology which is on until October.”

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Ceredigion dog breeder fined for failing to comply with dog breeding licence

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A CROWN COURT has upheld a conviction that the dogs under the care of Mr. Jones were kept in overcrowded conditions in contravention of the minimum space standards required by the license conditions.

Other convictions were overturned.

On 27 November 2020, and 22December 2020, the Crown Court heard an appeal by Mr. Dorian Wyn Jones, of Dorwan Kennels, Penrheol, Talsarn, relating to convictions for failing to comply with dog breeding licence conditions. 

Mr. Dorian Wyn Jones had previously been convicted at Aberystwyth Magistrates Court of running a licenced dog breeding establishment far in access of the number allowed on his licence and that the dogs in his care were kept in overcrowded conditions.

The Court heard evidence that Mr Dorian Wyn Jones had been granted a licence for 33 dogs. However, during a visit undertaken by Ceredigion County Council’s Public Protection Officers on the 07 August 2019, they found 91 dogs at the premises excluding puppies, in breach of his license. The dogs were kept in pens of a size that were inadequate for the number of dogs kept within them.

On 9 February 2021, Dorian Jones was fined £1000 for the overcrowding offence, and ordered to pay legal costs amounting to £2500. 

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Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, dies aged 99

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The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s ‘strength and stay’ for 73 years, has died aged 99.

Prince Philip’s health had been slowly deteriorating for some time. He announced he was stepping down from royal engagements in May 2017, joking that he could no longer stand up. He made a final official public appearance later that year during a Royal Marines parade on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

Since then, he was rarely seen in public, spending most of his time on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, though moving to be with her at Windsor Castle during the lockdown periods throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and where the couple quietly celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November 2020. He also celebrated his 99th birthday in lockdown at Windsor Castle.

The duke spent four nights at King Edward VII hospital in London before Christmas 2019 for observation and treatment in relation to a “pre-existing condition”.

Despite having hip surgery in April 2018, he attended the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a month later and was seen sitting beside the Queen at a polo match at Windsor Great Park in June. He and the Queen missed Prince Louis of Cambridge’s christening in July 2018, but he was seen attending Crathie Kirk near Balmoral in August, and driving his Land Rover in the surrounding Scottish countryside in September.

It is expected that flags on landmark buildings in Britain will be lowered to half-mast as a period of mourning is announced.

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford has expressed his sadness on the news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and offered condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal family on behalf of the Welsh Government.

He said: “It is with sadness that we mourn the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout his long and distinguished life, he served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit.

We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his children and their families on this sad occasion.

He will be missed by the many organisations that he supported as Patron or President over many decades of service”.Andrew RT Davies, the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, has led tributes to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose death was announced today.

In light of the sad news from Buckingham Palace, campaigning has been paused with immediate effect.

Mr Davies said: “This is a very sad day for the United Kingdom.
“The Duke of Edinburgh led a remarkable life, excelled himself with his career in the Royal Navy, was the strength and stay to Her Majesty The Queen, and has left a legacy to the nation through the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“Dutiful, devoted, and diligent, his like will never be seen again, and Welsh Conservatives offer their deepest condolences to The Queen, and the rest of the Royal Family.”

Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru said: “On behalf of Plaid Cymru, I send my condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and her family. Many young people in Wales will have benefited from the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, a reflection of many decades of his public service. Thoughts are with the Royal Family at this time.”

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Elin Jones calls for a plan to revive Aberystwyth town centre

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AS NON-ESSENTIAL retail re-opens on April 12, many of larger shops in Aberystwyth town centre will not be re-opening, with head offices scaling back on their presence on high streets across the UK.

In Aberystwyth, their absence will be particularly obvious with many of these retailers being located along Great Darkgate Street. Multiple retailers such as Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Clinton Cards, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, M&Co and Lloyds Pharmacy will not be reopening leaving a large proportion of empty properties.

These closures are in stark contrast to many independent retailers on Aberystwyth’s other streets looking to expand or start.

Commenting on this issue, Elin Jones said: “It’s time for a major rethink for Aberystwyth’s Great Darkgate Street.

“The multiple larger retailers are turning their back on our town centre and now we need to re-focus these large premises in order to make them more attractive and accessible to independent, local businesses. There have been smaller independent shops opening along other streets in Aberystwyth and throughout Ceredigion, so there is definitely businesses who could be persuaded to have a presence on the high street.

‘It would be great to see a partnership effort in the town to persuade the absentee landlords to give rent-free start up opportunities, to re-purpose the larger premises to suit smaller businesses and to ensure the buildings look attractive on the street.

‘Welsh Government has confirmed that no rates will need to be paid for this whole financial year and therefore now is a great opportunity to support small local businesses to reclaim their place on Great Darkgate Street.

‘It is the town’s largest street and needs to be a star attraction in Ceredigion.’

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