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‘Cactws’ opens its doors

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Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 14.25.08A NEW and unique retail store made itself a new home in one of Aberystwyth’s main shopping streets. 

‘Cactws’, the latest addition to the block, opened its doors to Pier Street and the rest of Aberystwyth on Monday, August 1, and has been the talk of the town.

The shop, which is dedicated to men’s fashion, is one of very few men’s clothing shops in the town, with the others being chain store Burtons and Clive Menswear, so it was definitely time to introduce an additional store that stands out from the crowd.

Pier Street, where Cactws has opened up, is becoming more and more of an attractive location to base businesses, amongst the likes of Aberystwyth’s local cafes and other well known names.

With a modern decor, upbeat music and irresistible clothing (‘Eastpak’ bags and ‘Cheap Monday’ t-shirts), shoppers will be spoiled for choice when exploring the shop and will be welcomed with open arms from professional customer service.

Matthew Penberthy, co-founder of Cactws, spoke to The Herald on the new clothing store venture and what the people of Aberystwyth have to look forward to: “Catcws is a menswear store aimed at a majority of ages and we cater for smart/casual wear and even sportswear to a degree. We sell a mixture of modern and traditional; We have, for example, straight-cut jeans and a higher cut for the older ages.

“We are a completely independent business, and we needed a bigger premises to move into and saw an opening here on Pier Street. It’s a lovely space to work in and Aberystwyth, we felt, was in need of another men’s store which targets a slightly younger audience and has more up-to-date fashion.

“Although there is a Burton’s store in the town, a Clive’s store which is a good shop that does traditional clothing and tailoring, there is also Olly’s which is a bit more tweedy. We, therefore, feel like we fill that gap.

“For those who have yet to come to our store, the environment is really nice to come into and the selection of clothes is different to anywhere else. The price point, again, is slightly lower than elsewhere but it does go higher as well due to demands. So far, even though we have been open for only a few days, business has been good and we have had people taking an interest in the shop.

“We had a really successful launch night where we had family and friends gathered in the shop. We had a few drinks upstairs as part of a little celebration and we did really well on that night and we hope to go forward and do student discounts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Right now, we are ironing the creases out before the students come back to the town.

“Pier Street is going through a bit of resurgence in terms of ‘Game’ moving from the High Street to Pier Street and there is an ‘Animal’ store which is going strong, with a few other popular stores opening up as well which is good.

“With Pier Street being around the corner from the Promenade, it is a nice way for shoppers to drop into our store over the coming months.

“We invite Herald readers to stay tuned to our social media pages to find out what we are up to and the promotions that we will run that they can take advantage of. We would also like to add that we also employ bilingual staff and are looking for all types of employees, be it professionals or students.”

For more information, and to follow every step of Cactws’ success, like them on Facebook – ‘Cactws Aber’.

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Ceredigion Museum to Display Rare Roman Cut Glass

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A PARTNERSHIP between Ceredigion Museum and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has attracted £1,000 funding from the Association for Roman Archaeology to display fragments of a unique Roman glass vessel, found at Abermagwr Romano-British villa.

The villa at Abermagwr was discovered during aerial photography in 2006 and excavated by Dr Jeffrey L. Davies and Dr Toby Driver between 2010 and 2015, in a volunteer-led community project. It remains the only known Roman villa in the county and the most remote Roman villa in Wales. The finds have been researched over time and the best have been put on public display at Ceredigion Museum. The finds include parts of Ceredigion’s earliest known slate roof, just one of the innovations discovered at the villa.

The most recent Roman finds handed to the museum are the cut glass fragments. The ARA grant will fund a bespoke mount, made by a museum specialist, to enable the delicate glass fragments to take pride of place in the Museum’s archaeology gallery. Roman cut glass is rare; only one cut glass beaker is on permanent display in the British Museum and the design on the Abermagwr vessel is unparalleled in Roman Britain. Professor Jennifer Price was struck by the rarity and quality of the glass vessel describing it as ‘of outstandingly high quality….[which] must have been an extraordinary item of luxury. Its quality is vastly superior to the rest of the glass vessels found at the villa’

Abermagwr Roman cut glass vessel

Prof. Barry Burnham of University Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, said “Its discovery so far west in Wales is all the more significant because it is vastly superior to the general range of glass material found anywhere in Wales. This raises interesting questions about how it came to be here, who owned it, and what it signifies in terms of social status and economic links.”

Carrie Canham, Curator, said “When I was at school we were taught that the Roman’s didn’t have a significant presence in West Wales, but local excavation results have overturned that assumption. This extraordinary object shows that the villa at Abermagwr was the home of comparatively wealthy Romans enjoying the good things in life. I’m extremely grateful to the ARA for the funding that will enable visitors to the museum to see it displayed to its best advantage.”

Councillor Catherine Hughes, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Porth Ceredigion, Early Intervention, Well-being Hubs and Culture said: “It is a delight to hear the history of the rare Roman cut glass here in Ceredigion. Thanks to Carrie and the team at Ceredigion Museum and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales for their work, and the Roman Archaeology Society. We look forward to the day when we can see the pieces in all their glory.”

The Covid-19 pandemic is delaying the work to make the mount until later in 2021. The glass fragments are too delicate to courier to the craftsperson making the mount, so he will have to come to Aberystwyth and set up a temporary workshop at the museum. Then the fragments will go straight on display.

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Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach

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THE CONSERVATIVE Party is investigating the attendance of senior Senedd members and staff at a Christmas party held during December’s lockdown.

Lockdown restrictions prohibit mixing with people outside your own household.

The Welsh restrictions barring such gatherings follow the basic outline of those imposed by the Conservative UK Government in December.

Those attending the drinks party included Paul Smith, the Conservative Chief of Staff at the Senedd, Darren Millar, the Party’s Chief Whip and campaign coordinator, and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS and Conservative Senedd Group Leader Paul Davies.

The Herald understands that a Labour Senedd Member who attended the Party has been suspended by the Labour Senedd Group pending its own investigation.

The Conservatives’ embarrassment at talking the talk but not walking the walk is intensified by Darren Millar’s presence at the shindig.

In May, Mr Millar led calls for Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething to be sacked for eating a bag of chips in a park with one of his own children.

If the Conservative Party follows the logic of their previously stated positions, Mr Millar’s and Mr Davies’ futures look bleak indeed.

With a Senedd election only months away, the revelations have thrown the Conservatives into disarray.

If they do nothing, the Conservatives will – at the very least – face claims they are hypocrites.

If the Conservative Party acts decisively, it faces massive internal problems.

The Conservatives responded to our request for a response to our story.

Those involved stressed they did not host a Christmas Party.

The incident happened on December 8, when the above met in the members’ tea room to discuss legislation for possible inclusion in the Welsh Conservative manifesto with a Labour backbencher.

During the evening they did drink a glass or two of wine.

They stress that at no point were there more than four people in the room at any one time and that they maintained social distancing.

A joint statement from Paul Davies, Darren Millar, and Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.

“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”

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Warning to drug users in Ceredigion over ‘Street Valium’

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POLICE are once again warning drug users in Ceredigion to take extra care when taking illegal prescription drugs especially when taken in conjunction with other drugs and/or alcohol. Mixing drugs, knowingly or unknowingly, can be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “We have reasons to believe that drug users are making use of “Street Valium” at the moment and this is very concerning as individuals just do not know what these tablets may have been combined with. Valium, also known as diazepam – is a benzodiazepine. Combining opioids and benzodiazepines is particularly dangerous because both types of drug sedate users and suppress breathing”.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately should they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone that you believe could come into contact with these drugs.”

To seek advice and support, visit https://barod.cymru/where-to-get-help/west-wales-services/ddas-dyfed-drug-and-alcohol-service/

Please be aware that some services may operate an automated service outside office hours.

In an emergency, or if you think someone’s life is at risk, always dial 999.

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