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New store makes difference to Capel Bangor

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New store opens: In the space where traditional village stores have been run through the years

New store opens: In the space where traditional village stores have been run through the years

A NEW addition to Capel Bangor was introduced to its residents earlier this year and is continuing to make a breathtaking difference to the community. 

Since opening the doors to the village of Capel Bangor, ‘Exchange Stores’ has made a significant impact in the area, and is the first shop in the village for 23 years.

A small village approximately five miles from Aberystwyth, Capel Bangor hosts tourist attractions such as the Tynllidiart Arms public house and a chance to travel on the seasonal Vale of Rheidol Railway.

Daniel and Melanie Hughes, owners of Exchange Stores in Capel Bangor, took the time to speak to The Herald about their new venture and what people can look forward to when they visit: “We’re a village store, and we hadn’t had a shop in the village of Capel Bangor for 23 years. We sell everything you would expect from a village shop, such as groceries, and we sell a lot of local produce. We also sell homemade sandwiches and homemade cakes.

“We open our grill everyday and we cook breakfast baps and food up until 2pm for people who want to grab something to eat when they are passing through.

“The Exchange Stores building is over 100 years old and was successfully run as the village stores by many local families over the years. The last village shop here sadly closed its doors 23 years ago, but now the Exchange has been brought back to life and is once again serving the local community.

“Having a shop like this in Capel Bangor has been so excellent, I don’t know how to put in to words. The local community have been so pleased about the shop opening. As a resident of Capel Bangor myself, I knew how limited we were for shopping and drove to Aberystwyth for every time we needed things like milk or bread.

“People have come into the shop and told us that having the shop has changed their life, and for the first time in many years, people have been able to get the daily paper and even fresh meat. It really has had a massive and positive affect on the local community, and it’s also a central focal point for people to meet each other in the village.

“We opened on March 23 and our local Councillor, Rhodri Davies, came and opened the shop. All of the locals turned up and had a full shop, which was lovely.

“We have been lucky with regards to having support as the caravan park, just down the road from Capel Bangor, has been amazing to us.

“For the future, we are thinking to improve and expand the food that we prepare and serve because that is really popular. Local farmers, tradesmen and even the local people enjoy coming and we offer breakfast as well as burgers at lunchtime at the moment.

“In the winter, we are hoping to expand that and serve hot sandwiches, cawl and even homemade soup. We will also continue to serve local produce to our customers. Seasonally, we’re going to be doing a lot of things, especially around Christmas time, which I’m really looking forward to, in order to make it a great shopping experience.

“The village does not have a Christmas tree so this year, my husband and I have said that we will make sure we will get a nice Christmas tree and put it outside. Now that we have somewhere which is a focal point for people to meet, it would mean a lot to people.

“We encourage everyone to visit our shop to try the homemade pies, cakes and Welsh ice-cream, which are all a huge draw, and we even stock the Pelican Bakery bread.

“We would also encourage people to come and support other local businesses at Capel Bangor through shopping at our store.”

To keep up to date, you can follow ‘Exchange Stores’ on Facebook at ‘Exchange Stores, Capel Bangor’.

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Scheme to enhance the town of Tregaron for the National Eisteddfod

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THE REGENERATING Rural Towns scheme run by the Cynnal y Cardi LEADER programme has been supporting Tregaron Town Council with a series of marketing techniques and installations to promote and enhance Tregaron in preparation for the historic and cultural event, the National Eisteddfod of Wales 2022.

This work acted as a legacy to the National Eisteddfod at Tregaron following the influx of thousands of people to the town daily for the duration of the festival and subsequently to the surrounding rural communities and local sites of interest.

A wide range of installations could be seen in Tregaron during the Eisteddfod following town branding design work, which included a giant deckchair, lamp post flags, banners, bunting, tiered flower planters, benches & picnic tables, monument conservation improvements, and a prominent Tregaron sign overlooking the ‘Maes’. Many of these features will remain in place for the summer months and can be utilised by the town in the future. Further town development work is due to commence to maintain and enhance the attractiveness and vibrancy of the town.

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New Quay RNLI assists boy with broken ankle

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LAST week New Quay RNLI volunteers had a busy week with two training sessions, two call outs and crew attending a local agricultural show in Caerwedros.

With the inshore lifeboat training on Wednesday night and the all-weather lifeboat training on Thursday night, the crew then proceeded to launch on service twice over the weekend.

On Saturday 6 August at 5.50pm New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard to provide first aid and assist the local New Quay Coastguard team with a medical evacuation on Traeth Gwyn, New Quay.

Huw Williams, one of New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “Unfortunately one of our crew members’ son had injured his ankle while playing on Traeth Gwyn. He urgently needed medical care but unfortunately there was a long wait for an ambulance. We arrived quickly on scene and administered pain relief. The casualty was in a lot of pain and we assisted the local Coastguard team to carry the casualty off the beach, up the steep path to their car.”

Father of the injured boy, Wayne Slawson added, “We would like to say a huge thank to everyone involved in this on Saturday and to both organisations as a whole, the level of service you all provide is first class.

“Our son is doing ok, following a few tough days in and out of hospital. He had to have a scan to determine whether or not he needed an operation as he had fractured his growth plate in his ankle. Luckily, they were able to manipulate the ankle into position while in theatre and now he has a full leg plaster. We can’t thank you all enough.”

The second callout was late on Sunday night at 11.50pm when New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard to assist Dyfed Powys Police in searching for a missing person.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “After a thorough search of New Quay bay in glass calm conditions, and with nothing found, we were stood down and back at station by 1.30am. Another great example of our emergency services working together with the local Coastguard Rescue Team and police officers involved.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager said, “We have been busy over the past few months keeping up with training and with many launches on service. Remember if you see anyone in trouble in the sea on the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Our volunteers are on call 24/7 to help.”

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Health

Possible super-hospital plans released as Pembrokeshire site ruled out

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HYWEL Dda Health Board have reduced the number of potential sites for the new “super-hospital” in West Wales from five to three. 

The new site has been narrowed down to two possible locations in Whitland or one in St Clears.

According to the plans provided in Hywel Dda’s technical appraisal reports, all sites will include a main building divided into planned and urgent care, as well as a separate facility for mental health services. Parking, administrative facilities, and a helipad are also planned.

Site 12 in Whitland
Travel time analysis for population to site 12

The potential Narberth site is no longer being considered, meaning that the new hospital would be built outside of Pembrokeshire.

Hywel Dda presented the findings of a “transport infrastructure analysis,” stating that both sites had bus services that are “infrequent” and “short,” making shift work difficult.

Plan for ‘site C’ in Whitland
Travel time analysis for population to ‘site C’

For Whitland, it noted that there was an approximate 750m walking distance from the train station to the hospital site, with recommended walking distance of 400m, and that local roads do ‘not appear’ to suffer from significant congestion during a typical weekday. 

In St Clears, the report highlighted the impact a planned new railway station – expected to open in 2024 – could have on the town, saying it would be a ‘major boost’ to the area providing viable alternative car travel, with it being understood there is a commitment to increase the frequency of services at some stations along the west Wales line from two hourly to hourly.

Plans for ‘site 17’ in St Clears
Travel time analysis for population ‘site 17’ in St Clears

After it was announced that Narberth would not be the site of the new hospital, Hywel Dda University Health Board Chair, Maria Battle, assured the residents of Pembrokeshire that their concerns would be taken into account.

“Our programme business case to the Welsh Government is seeking the greatest investment west Wales will have ever seen,” said Ms Battle.

Ambulance times to Whitland, Bronglais Hospital and Morriston Hospital (Welsh Ambulance Service travel time analysis June 2022)
Ambulance times to St Clears, Bronglais Hospital and Morriston Hospital (Welsh Ambulance Service travel time analysis June 2022)

“We have listened to and continue to listen to the fears and voices of the public we serve and our staff who understand the frontline challenges of trying to deliver services across so many sites and spread so thinly.

“Recognising the fragility of our services and the risk this poses every day, we do not intend to make changes at Glangwili or Withybush hospitals before a new hospital is built. And afterwards, they will continue to provide valuable health services to our communities.”

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