67 COMPETITORS took part in this year’s photo-marathon, which produced a very high standard of entries.
FfotoAber’s photo-marathon came under starter’s orders at 10am sharp in the Morlan Centre in Aberystwyth on Saturday (Oct 22). Supported by Aberystwyth Business Club, Cambrian Printers and Aberystwyth Town Council, this was the sixth annual photo-marathon competition.
Once again this year, the challenge was to take six pictures on six themes in six hours. The themes, revealed in pairs every two hours in the Morlan Centre, were: ‘The other side’, ‘Four’, ‘Raw’, ‘Pattern’, ‘Collection’ and ‘Blue’. Throughout a blessedly fine day, Aberystwyth was inundated with photographers rushing every which way, lenses poised.
Some retailers were very patient and even creatively helpful as shutterbug after shutterbug arrived asking to take a shot. The final collection of over 400 photos, revealed in an awards ceremony in the Morlan on Sunday (Oct 23) at 6pm, suggest that Aberystwyth butchers and fishmongers were particularly supportive as the photographers went in search of ‘raw’ images.
TO THE WINNERS THE LAURELS!
On Sunday, Tony Hicklin was announced as the winner for best collection in the camera with removable lenses category. Tony’s set of photographs included a remarkable close-up of the veins on a leaf as his ‘pattern’ submission. Llio James took the prize for best set of photographs taken with a fixed lens camera, with a close-up of sheep’s wool catching the eye. The prize for the best collection in the 16 years and under category went to Kiera Ellis for a memorable set of close-up photos, which included a knot in a frayed ‘blue’ rope. Charlotte Rigg won for best collection of photos taken on a mobile phone. Charlotte’s photographs show what great results can be achieved with a mobile phone camera. Once again, close-ups were the flavour of the day, and Charlotte’s shot of a daisy against the sun is spectacular.
The winners for the best photograph for each theme were: Samantha Rigg (‘The other side’), a black and white shot of a gravestone angel; Tony Hicklin (‘Four’), a panoramic shot out to sea which features four bollards in the foreground; Tegwen Morris (‘Raw’), a striking shot of four legs of lamb hanging in a butcher’s shop; Siwan Fflur (‘Pattern’), a topical close-up of a pumpkin; Wendy Phillips (‘Collection’), an ingenious shot of five charity collection boxes; Kaloyan Cholakov (‘Blue’), a surreal image of a one-way arrow framed in a diaphanous blue mist.
Tony Hicklin, Llio James, Kiera Ellis, Charlotte Rigg, Samantha Rigg, Tegwen Morris, Siwan Fflur, Wendy Phillips and Kaloyan Cholakov were all presented with a large print of their winning photograph, courtesy of Cambrian Printers. The judges made a special award to Lynne Blanchfield whose set of photos, they felt, represented Aberystwyth. Lynne was pleased to receive a Siop y Pethe voucher, particularly as she has just embarked on a course to learn Welsh. Winners of the collections were given additional rewards for their efforts. Tony Hicklin was presented with a voucher from Ultracomida, Llio James received photography books from the National Library, Kiera Ellis was presented with a voucher from communications company 52-4, and Charlotte Rigg received vouchers for use in Siop FfotoAber, courtesy of Four Cymru.
David Lowe of Cambrian Printers, who processed all the photographs in double-quick time, said they were once again happy to be involved: “It’s a hectic Saturday evening and Sunday morning for us, from receiving the downloaded images to printing them all ready for the awards ceremony on the Sunday evening, but it’s worthwhile when we see them all hanging in the exhibition. I was glad for the competitors that the weather was kind this year as well.”
Returning as one of the judges was Jonny Morris from the Telegraph group. He was joined by professional photographer Betsan Evans and Aberystwyth Business Club member Aled Rees. Aled Rees admitted that the task, albeit enjoyable, was quite tough: “Looking at over 400 photos interpreting different themes and trying to come up with a winner was quite daunting – there was such an excellent array of images on show. It’s great, though, that the Business Club can be involved with the event and, being a partner since its inception, we’ve seen its potential growing year-on-year. If you get a chance, pop over to the Morlan to see the exhibition – it’s worth it.”
Deian Creunant from FfotoAber added: “It’s quite a challenge for people used to working in this digital age – taking six images in six hours on six themes. Many of the competitors say it’s tiring mentally and physically as they walk so much around the town. The final exhibition though is worth seeing – over 400 pictures capturing the story of the day. Don’t miss the exhibition in the Morlan – and look out for the pictures appearing in Aberystwyth shop windows as well in the coming weeks.”
All the photo-marathon images will be exhibited at the Morlan Centre until November 11. Winning entries from FfotoAber’s schools competition can be viewed at the Arad Goch Centre. For more information on FfotoAber, go to www.ffotoaber.cymru.
Ceredigion gritters prepare for Winter with a visit from ‘Goldie’
AS WINTER maintenance training preparations continue, a specially-painted golden gritter named ‘Goldie’ visited Ceredigion on 2 October to mark Econ Engineering, UK’s biggest manufacturer of gritters, 50th anniversary.
‘Goldie’ is spending the autumn visiting local authorities across the UK as they prepare for the winter ahead.
Ceredigion County Council prepares for winter all year round; salt replenishment starts in early June to ensure that by the time winter begins stock levels are up to approximately 10,000 tonnes. This is the amount of salt that gives Ceredigion the resilience it needs if it cannot secure additional salt supplies during the winter season in a timely manner.
The winter service fleet is operated by 51 qualified gritter drivers and maintained by 9 mechanics who all work on a rota basis over the winter period. There are 10 primary gritting routes covering 437km of Ceredigion’s roads, including the Trunk Road network.
One of the first tasks for the winter service team is to ensure that over 400 Grit bins across the county, which are for the motorist to use, are filled and any damaged bins replaced. Depending on the severity of the winter and the availability of resources, these bins may need to be replenished again during the season.
Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services and Housing. He said: “Although autumn has just begun, our staff have been preparing for winter for many months already and now are taking the next step to ensure our winter fleet is ready for any frosty occurrence. Training is being completed and maintenance checks are being carried out on the gritters. Our fleet consists of 10 frontline gritters, 5 situated in each of the north (Glanyrafon) and south (Penrhos) depots and 7 reserve gritters.
“The decision as to whether gritters are deployed depends on what information is received from MetDesk, our weather forecast provider. Each day during October through until the end of April, the council will receive three forecasts a day. This information is analysed by a group of experienced duty officers, who are on duty 24hrs a day, to determine whether a gritting run is required or not.
“Having Goldie here has been a timely reminder that winter is on the way and the council is doing everything it can to minimise disruption to travelling over the winter. If you are a motorist, it’s also time for you to be mindful of how you should prepare for winter too – in the way you drive during icy conditions.”
Andrew Lupton Econ Engineering Sales Director said, “Econ Engineering has worked with Ceredigion for many years now and we’re delighted that Goldie has been able to make a guest appearance as preparations for winter get into full swing. Ceredigion has always shared Econ’s own belief in the important role that technology and innovation can play in keeping winter roads safe and the council has taken great care to specify that their Econ vehicles are fitted with the most up-to-date technology. We have fitted the fleet of gritters with high-tech kit including navigation aids for the drivers, which ensure gritting routes are treated accurately across the region, both maximising road safety and minimising the impact of salt on Ceredigion’s environment.”
For more information on Highways During Winter and advice on driving in Winter go to https://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/resident/travel-roads-parking/highways-during-winter/
Trains could be opening from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth
THE REOPENING of the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen railway is not only possible, it’s now on the cards. This was the message of a meeting at Plaid Cymru’s Annual Conference in Swansea, arranged by Ben Lake MP, Elin Jones AM and Traws Link Cymru.
The meeting came after the publication of the Welsh Government’s rail strategy document, ‘A Railway for Wales – Meeting the needs of future generations’, in which the Welsh Government states that it wants to ‘improve connectivity on the nation’s key corridors – especially the western corridor from Ynys Môn to Aberystwyth, Carmarthen and Swansea Bay.’
Over the years, Plaid Cymru has secured commitments by the Welsh Government to invest in scoping, feasibility and technical studies. It has also made several manifesto pledges to reopen the line.
The inclusion of the rail route in the Welsh Government’s rail strategy document is a major step as it lists, for the first time, that the re-opening of the line is part of the Welsh Government’s overall transport plan for Wales.
Ben Lake MP said:
“I am grateful to Mike Walker and Geraint Blayney for preparing such a detailed presentation, and indeed to the entire campaign for working so diligently to ensure that this important proposal receives the attention and consideration it deserves.”
Elin Jones AM said:
“It’s great to see that the campaign to reopen has now for the first time been given official status within a Government transport strategy.
“Whilst Welsh Government had commissioned both a scoping study and a full technical feasibility study for the reopening in recent years, it is only now that they have included the line as part of its future thinking.
“It will be for Westminster Government under the current devolution settlement to fund new rail infrastructure, but Welsh Govenrment has a role in ensuring that it is high on the agenda for rail investment.”
Mike Walker, a campaigner for Traws Link Cymru said:
“Following the Feasibility Study into the re-opening of the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen railway that was published in 2018, and which showed that there are no insurmountable engineering problems associated with the re-establishment of the line, Traws Link Cymru is further encouraged by the recent document released by the Welsh Government “A Railway for Wales: Meeting the needs of Future Generations’.
“This outlines future Strategic Corridor Developments for Wales including enhanced connectivity from Ynys Mon, through Dolgellau, Aberystwyth and Carmarthen, to Swansea and South West Wales. For the first time, the Welsh Government has publicly acknowledged the need for a north-south rail corridor, a key element of which is the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen line that has been the focus of the Traws Link Cymru campaign.
“The onus is now on the Welsh Government to accept that the re-opening of this railway line is a transport priority for Wales, and to seek funding from Westminster to deliver the project.”
Hate Crime Awareness Week 2019
NATIONAL Hate Crime Awareness Week will take place from October 12 – 19 this year. Ceredigion County Council is highlighting the campaign by reminding residents of what is a Hate Crime and signposting people to the necessary support; whether they may be a victim or a witness to a hate crime incident.
Ellen ap Gwynn is Leader of Ceredigion County Council and Members’ Champion for Equalities. She said: “We will not tolerate any form of Hate Crime in Ceredigion. Everyone should be respectful of each other’s individual characteristics and beliefs. This national week of raising awareness is an important reminder to us all that we need to live in harmony with each other to make our communities safe and prosperous places for our residents to live in without fear.”
Hate crimes may be physical or verbal attacks, threats or insults that are motivated by the victim’s age, disability, ethnicity, religious belief or non-belief, sex or gender identity or sexual orientation.
Hate crimes can be any criminal action that is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice and hatred.
Kay Howells is the Mid and South West Wales Community Cohesion Coordinator. She said: “Hate crimes often go unreported, leaving offenders free to commit further offences. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a hate crime, please make sure that it gets reported. By reporting these offences a picture of the number, type and range of incidents taking place in Ceredigion can be recorded, enabling resources to be targeted in order to deal with them.”
If you are in immediate danger call the Police by dialling 999 (non-emergencies 101).
You can make a report online using the Victim Support website, http://www.reporthate.victimsupport.org.uk/ this can also be made anonymous if that’s better for you.
Alternatively, you can call Victim Support directly 24 hours a day on 03003 031 982. If you would like support they can arrange this at the same time as making the report.
Visit the council’s Hate crime page for more information: http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/your-council/strategies-plans-policies/equality-diversity/hate-crime/
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