A HISTORIC railway building renovated with Carmarthenshire County Council support has been short-listed for a national award.
Network Rail, which owns the building at Pantyffynnon Station, has recently completed extensive renovation works giving it a new lease of life.
The project was made possible thanks to support from Carmarthenshire’s Built Heritage Team and significant grant funding from the Railway Heritage Trust.
The building has now been short-listed for National Railway Heritage Awards this December. The awards recognise, acknowledge and reward, for the public benefit, the very best in restoration, conservation and re-use of our historic railway infrastructure.
Network Rail Asset Engineer Darren McKenna said: “The station building is a rare example of a ‘Brunel chalet’ which was a standard design by the famous railway engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.”
The Station Building and the signal box have a Grade 2 Listing. The Listing marks and celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic interest, and protects it for future generations.
Network Rail owns more listed assets than any other organisation in the UK. It has worked closely with Carmarthenshire’s Built Heritage Officer James Yeandle to ensure that the building was sympathetically restored whilst allowing the building to come back into full use.
Mr McKenna added: “The restoration work has been of great benefit as we have restored a Brunel-style chalet that represents an exemplar of high quality architectural railway restoration. The building is now an asset to the local community’.
As with any restoration project, there were challenges. Over the years, the building had been altered, extensions had been added and features such as the chimneys had been lost. Members of the local community were able to help by sending in their old photographs which provided evidence of how the station looked originally.
The beautiful sandstone tooled window surrounds were very dirty so great care was taken to find a method of cleaning that was effective but also preserved the detail to the tooled dressing.
The building had also become very damp so lime plastering was reinstated on the internal walls and a ventilated limecrete floor was installed as these are materials that allow the building to ‘breathe’. The reinstatement of the chimney provided an additional ventilation system allowing airflow and prevention of damp.
Council executive board member for culture, sport and tourism Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said: “I’m delighted that the Pantyffynnon Station Building has been short-listed for this prestigious award.
“Network Rail, the contractors, the Built Heritage Team and the Railway Heritage Trust, worked closely together to overcome the challenges resulting in an exceptional building restoration to be proud of.
“The project also offered a great learning experience to Tywi Centre Carpentry students who were able to work alongside contractors Towy Projects on the carpentry repair work at the Station.”
Baby died an hour after birth following ‘failings’ by Health Board
A BABY died just minutes after being born following failings by Hywel Dda Health Board, a damning report by the Public Services Ombudsman has found.
Callum James was born at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen on May 5, 2016, but died less than an hour later despite attempts to resuscitate him.
His parents, Ellie and Christopher James from Haverfordwest, complained that there had been a failure to monitor Callum’s development during pregnancy and to provide a birthing plan.
Mrs James also complained that the Health Board failed to respond to unusual pains during labour and to conduct necessary tests.
The report states there were also delays in Callum receiving treatment after he was born due to the First Consultant being sent to the wrong ward, delaying emergency treatment by 12 minutes.
The Health Board said that, in its view, there were no unnecessary delays in the attempts to resuscitate Callum, as the midwives in attendance had been trained in neonatal resuscitation.
In addition, the Ombudsman found that Callum’s death was also incorrectly registered as a stillbirth rather than neonatal death.
The report says Callum was ‘pale’ and ‘floppy’ at birth and immediately transferred to a resuscitation table where a team of medics worked for over half an hour to save his life.
The Ombudsman upheld the complaint that there had been a failure to monitor Callum’s development during pregnancy and labour and to provide a birthing plan.
Hywel Dda agreed to implement all of the Ombudsman’s recommendations, including providing Callum’s parents with an apology and £4,500 for the distress caused.
The Board also agreed to change Callum’s cause of death from ‘stillborn’ to ‘neonatal death’.
3,000 Welsh landlords still unregistered
JANET FINCH-SAUNDERS AM has called on the Welsh Government to urgently work to improve landlord registration under Rent Smart Wales, as estimates released indicate around 3,000 remain unregistered.
Ms Finch-Saunders said: “Rent Smart Wales estimates that still 3,000 landlords are unregistered here in Wales.
“Whilst that makes up a small percentage of our total landlords, it is most concerning for those living in properties leased to them by those who have not yet registered.
“The Welsh Government has confirmed that a landlord who is not registered with Rent Smart Wales is unable to serve a valid Section 21 eviction notice – so where unregistered landlords do indicate that they want tenants to vacate a property, this is not recognised by local housing associations, which can cause stress to tenants who may not be aware of their full rights under the law.
“By focusing on ensuring that all landlords are properly registered, the Welsh Government can alleviate such concerns, and I will be urging the Cabinet Secretary to act to ensure all landlords are abiding by this legislation in full.”
The Minister for Housing and Regeneration told Ms Finch-Saunders that the latest figures released by Rent Smart Wales show that 90,812 landlords are now registered. Rent Smart Wales’ latest estimate for the number of unregistered landlords is approximately 3,000.
This is based on the dwelling stock estimates recently published by StatsWales, and an estimation of the average number of properties owned by each landlord.
Care home honour Armed Forces Day
PLAS Y DDERWEN in Johnstown will be celebrating Armed Forces Day on Thursday, June 28, with a big brew up supporting SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity.
SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity, formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, provides lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families. Armed Forces Day is a chance to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community.
Janet Williams, Activities Coordinator, said: “It is very important that we keep the memories of those who fought alive and that we also think about those involved in conflicts around the world today. We welcome anyone that wishes to attend and will have the chance to meet the team and look around the home.”
Plas Y Dderwen is part of Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers, supporting older people living independent lives over the last 25 years.
Barchester services include residential care and nursing care as well as expert dementia care.
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