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Penparcausaurus to join Archaeopteryx exhibition

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Left to right: George Barratt, Penparcau Forum; Jeff Dowse and Dai Gornall from Aberystwyth University’s Property Services Team; Nia Davies, Aberystwyth University Old College Project; and Bryn Jones, Penparcau Forum

AN 11 FOOT-LONG dinosaur built by a Penparcau community group for Aberystwyth’s annual carnival is to feature in a Jurassic heritage exhibition in Old College.

Dave the Dinosaur will be on display in the Quad alongside the main Archaeopteryx exhibition, which will be officially opened by wildlife expert and television presenter Iolo Williams at 6.30pm today (Feb 14).

The lifelike model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex was made by members of the Penparcau Community Forum, an organisation set up to develop sustainable and inclusive activities and facilities for the benefit of local people.

Complete with moving jaws and a thunderous roar, Dave formed the centrepiece of the Forum’s Jurassic Penparcau float at the 2017 Aberystwyth Carnival and was awarded the prize for Best Overall Float.

Visitors to Old College will walk past Dave on their way to the main exhibition featuring Archaeopteryx, a bird-like dinosaur with sharp teeth and claws.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Archaeopteryx exhibition is on loan from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, who have also collaborated with Aberystwyth University to help showcase the institution’s own fossil collections.

​​Dave the Dinosaur: In the middle of the magnificent Quad in Old College

Dating from the late Jurassic period around 150 million years ago, Archaeopteryx is believed to be the link between prehistoric dinosaurs and the modern bird.

As the exhibition is open over the school half-term and Easter holidays, interactive heritage sessions for families are being organised in partnership with Ceredigion Museum.

Children are also encouraged to bring their own toy dinosaurs when they visit and take a photo with Dave who stands seven feet tall, four feet wide and 11 feet long.

Karina Shaw, Director and Trustee of Penparcau Community Forum, says she’s delighted to see Dave the Dinosaur on public display again.

“The process of making Dave for last summer’s carnival float was wonderful. It helped to build stronger relationships in our community. It gave people a network to lean on in tough times and a group to share ideas and skills with. For some, it was a great source of therapy. For others, it was a chance to reconnect with their community and feel part of something special. It has made people proud of where they come from and all they have achieved and we’ll be able to share that now by bringing Dave to this high-profile exhibition in Old College.”

Louise Jagger, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Aberystwyth University, said: “It is wonderful to see the way in which this Jurassic Heritage exhibition has come together. We have worked in close collaboration with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and the HLF to bring Archaeopteryx to Aberystwyth, and the project in turn has inspired the Penparcau Community Forum to bring Dave the Dinosaur back into the limelight once more.”

Bryn Jones is the Co-ordinator of the Penparcau Community Forum and a member of the Old College Project Boar. He said: “Dave the Dinosaur had a tremendous reception when he first appeared at Aberystwyth Carnival last year and I’m sure he will delight visitors to the Archaeopteryx exhibition at Old College. This project shows how local organisations can work together in partnership and we look forward to seeing the transformation of Old College into a vibrant centre which brings everyone together, offering employment and training opportunities as well as showcasing learning, research and enterprise.”

​​A cast of the Berlin specimen of Archaeopteryx: Discovered in Germany in 1876 (Pic. Museum für Naturkunde)

The Archaeopteryx exhibition has been made possible thanks to a grant of £9,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which is being supplemented with a generous gift of £5,000 from Dr Terry Adams, geologist and Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University, and £3,700 from the AberFund.

Richard Bellamy, Head of HLF in Wales, added: “Thanks to funding from National Lottery players, this project has created a new opportunity for established organisations to work together for the benefit of local people and tourists. We know that there is a lot of interest in the Jurassic period and this funding means that more people will get to see and find out about important collections that wouldn’t otherwise be available in Aberystwyth. HLF is delighted to give its support”.

Dr Ian Scott and Professor Emeritus Richard Hinchliffe from Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, and Dr Bill Perkins from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, are providing additional content for the exhibition.

After launch night tonight, the exhibition will be open Monday-Saturday from 10am-4pm until April 21 and admission is free.

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Two men jailed for ‘terrifying’ creeper burglaries in West Wales

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TWO men have been sentenced to four years in prison for three creeper burglaries, including two at the homes of elderly female clients of a care agency where one of them worked.

Allyn Freeman, aged 33, of Bryn Wyre, Aberystwyth, and Daniel Bloomer, aged 23, of Heol Elynnydd, Devils Bridge, were sentenced after pleading guilty to all charges at Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday, December 2.

Following a protracted investigation by Dyfed-Powys Police, which involved extensive crime scene investigation work, as well as ANPR and digital enquiries such as mobile phone detection and CCTV, they admitted their parts in a series of dwelling creeper burglaries in the Aberystwyth area during 2018.

Police Sergeant Steven Jones said the burglaries had been terrifying for their victims.

“These creeper burglaries happened as the victims, all elderly women, slept,” he said. “Two disturbed Freeman and Bloomer, which must have been a terrifying ordeal.

“We’re pleased that our case was strong enough to make Freeman and Bloomer admit what they had done so justice could be handed down to them.”

During the early hours of Saturday, 10th February 2018, they entered the home of an elderly lady as she slept in the Cwmrheidol area of Aberystwyth.
She woke to find items were out of place in her home and found her bank cards and £70 in cash were missing from her purse and her mobile phone had been stolen.

Then 12 days later, on Thursday, 22nd February 2018, Freeman and Bloomer entered the home of another elderly lady in the Llanfarian area of Aberystwyth. The victim, who received support from the care agency where Bloomer worked, had been on a list of planned visits for him.

At approximately 5.30am, the victim was in bed when she saw a light flashing in her room and a person walking in wearing a black coat with a hood covering their face.

During the burglary, the victim’s handbag, which contained a number of items, including £100 to £200 in cash, a small gold-coloured cross pin and two cheque books, was stolen.

The following day, Friday, 23rd February 2018, another elderly woman, who had received support from the same agency, was burgled in the Penglais Hill area of Aberystwyth.
She was asleep when she was woken by a noise downstairs at approximately 4.30am.

She got out of bed and moved towards the bedroom door when she saw a torch light shine up the stairs and she believes that somebody took hold of her walking stick, which she was holding in front of her.
A male voice then asked her “where’s your handbag” before running away. It is not thought that anything was taken in this incident.

All victims were offered the help of burglary support officers at the force.

Freeman and Bloomer also admitted a burglary at Ysgol Mynach, Devils Bridge, on Saturday, 10th February 2018.

For conspiracy to commit dwelling burglary they were both sentenced to four years’ imprisonment, with a further year, to run concurrently, for conspiracy to commit commercial burglary, and a further month imprisonment, to run concurrently for conspiracy to steal.

Bloomer was also sentenced to serve an additional 6 months imprisonment, to run consecutively, for conspiring to pervert the course of justice after trying to persuade Freeman to provide an account to police that would exonerate Bloomer for the offences, and offered him financial reward to do so.

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Ysgol Gynradd Dihewyd to close until 17 December 2020

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YSGOL Gynradd Dihewyd will be closed until 17 December 2020. A Contact Group is already self-isolating for 14 days due to a positive COVID-19 case and due to lack of staffing, the whole school will close.

Pupils in the affected Contact Group have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days due to being close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case at the school. These pupils and staff must remain at home for 14 days to reduce the possible spread of the virus to family, friends and the wider community.

All parents have been contacted by the School to inform them that the school will be closed until 17 December 2020.

The Council urges all parents to refer their children for a test if they develop any of the symptoms, which are:

· a high temperature

· a new continuous cough

· a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.

Parents should also be aware of other symptoms early on, such as headaches, tiredness and general aches and pains usually associated with the flu.

You can apply for a test online https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-covid-19-test or by phoning 119.

No further details will be provided regarding this matter.

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Vaccine plan unveiled for Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire

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HYWEL DDA University Health Board is making final preparations to deliver its mass vaccination programme following Wednesday’s announcement that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been granted temporary authorisation for use.

There will only be small quantities of a vaccine at first due to the storage requirements of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

A Hywel Dda spokesperson said: “Priority groups for the initial supplies of this vaccine include front line health and social care staff with direct patient and client contact across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. We are continually reviewing our plans based on receipt of further supplies.

“We are ready to deploy the vaccine in phases when the vaccine arrives. Eligible front line health and social care staff will receive details of how they will receive the vaccination as soon as possible.

“Members of the public are asked to not contact their GP practice or community pharmacies to enquire about the vaccine at this time.”

Ros Jervis, director of public health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Vaccination saves lives and Wednesday’s announcement is a truly significant moment.

“I’d like to personally thank everyone from organisations from across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire who, for the past few months, have worked tirelessly together to ensure we are ready to deliver this vaccine to protect our frontline staff and the clinically vulnerable in our community.

“Please do not contact your GP or pharmacist to apply for or ask for the vaccination. As soon as the vaccine is available for your eligible group, you will be informed and asked to make an appointment.”

In readiness, Hywel Dda UHB has established two vaccination centres for delivery of early supplies, one in Carmarthenshire and one in Ceredigion. Attendance at these centres is strictly prohibited without an appointment.

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