THE CARMARTHENSHIRE HUNT CLUB held their annual New Year’s Day Meet in Guildhall Square yesterday (Jan 1). This was the 130th occasion that the Hunt had met in the Square since their formation in 1889.
Although the day was slightly overcast this did not stop the hunt’s supporters from attending in large numbers to cheer the 71 riders as they made their way from Richmond Terrace, via Mansel Street, to Lammas Street where they paraded through the good wishes of the crowd to the Guildhall.
A Hunt spokesman said that at a conservative estimate around 600 people attended the Meet as well as a number of people who were protesting against the hunt who were corralled by the police behind barriers in the Square.
“The popularity of the Hunt has not waned in the years since the Hunting Act became law in 2005,” he said.
“Since that time we have conducted a trail hunt with the full support of farmers within the county.”
“Our hunts are continually monitored and on no occasion have we been found to do anything but comply with the current legislation as it stands.”
He added: “It is a great shame that those who protest are, in the main, not local people and they only visit on New Year’s Day to chant and make a noise. The vocal support we had from those in Guildhall Square and Lammas Street just showed how much our community supports the Hunt.”
“As for the claim that they succeeded in keeping the Hunt away from the steps of Guildhall it was, in fact, a Health and Safety matter agreed with the Town Council in order to protect the horses. With the police having to erect barriers it was feared that horses might have injured themselves by accidentally putting their hooves through the palings.”
The spokesman concluded: “We know that support for us within Carmarthenshire is very strong. The rural and farming communities are our strength and their help allows us to continue the traditions and enjoyment experienced by the generations of the past.”
At the start of the Meet in Lammas Street the riding members of the Hunt gathered outside The Boar’s Head Hotel where the owner, Meinir Hunter, and her staff passed around glasses of warm punch (known as stirrup-cups) and sandwiches to sustain the riders before they set off for a day’s trail hunting.
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THE HERO of London Bridge who was stabbed nine times as he fought off three terrorists armed with just a police baton has called on Carmarthen people to nominate an unsung hero of their own.
And British Transport Police Officer Wayne Marques said bravery and courage should be recognised because it is inspiring and encouraging to others.
He said: “Every tragedy has a silver lining and it is up to us to make sure that silver shines.”
Wayne, 39, who won the Against All Odds category in last year’s global hearing specialists Amplifon’s Brave Britons awards, was on patrol in the area of London Bridge Station when he heard screams on the evening of June 3 last year and then he saw people being stabbed in Borough High Street near the junction with London Bridge Street.
He charged at one of the terrorists lashing out with his baton. But soon he was being attacked by all three terrorists one stabbing him above his right eye which cause him to go temporarily blind in the eye.
More than 12 months on and Wayne still travels from his South London home to Harrogate, Yorkshire, where he receives rehabilitation treatment.
Seven people died in the attack and many more were badly injured.
Now Wayne is calling on people who know of acts of courage or bravery to nominate them for this year’s Amplifon – who have a store in Merlins Walk Shopping Centre, Carmarthen – Brave Briton awards.
He said: “I first felt surprised and then humble when I was nominated by a person I didn’t even know. The fact they had taken their time to fill in a form and nominate me made me feel very honoured. It would have been wrong for me to respond in any other way.”
Wayne added: “We need more people honoured in the way I was because there are a lot of people out there who go beyond what is expected of them for the sake of others.
“Even uniformed services personnel who do a job where they are expected to sometimes face danger go beyond that expectation and react to the highest magnitude.
“To nominate others and put them in the limelight is so inspiring and encouraging to others in their communities and around the country.
“Through adversity we as a nation tend to pull together. How we rally together makes this country great.”
There are six categories in the Amplifon Brave Britons awards: Against All Odds, Young Hero, Service To Their Country, Active Agers, Hero Pet, and Charity Champion.
Anyone who wishes to nominate a hero in any of the categories should visit http://www.amplifon.com
Finalists will be invited to an awards ceremony to be held at the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, London, on Tuesday, October 16.
A panel of judges including Falklands hero Simon Weston will also choose an overall Hero from the category winners who will win a trip to Italy.
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