A £1.3 MILLION “golden egg” is at the centre of a renewed and bitter Appeal Court battle between an aging farming couple and their estranged daughter – dubbed the “Cowshed Cinderella”.
Eirian Davies, 46, was repeatedly assured by her parents, Tegwyn and Mary Davies, now in their 70s, that she would ultimately step into their shoes and take over the family’s thriving Henllan Farm, Whitland, and its herd of pedigree Holstein cows.
And in May 2014 three Appeal Court judges ruled that a stake in the thriving 182-acre farm was due to her for the years of low-paid toil she put in.
Miss Davies has told how she missed out on going to Young Farmers’ Club dances with her two sisters as a teenager because she had to “stay at home with a muck fork” , tackling her farming chores.
She worked on the family farm for over 25 years, although with sporadic breaks over the years.
“They always told me that the farm would be left to me,” Miss Davies told an earlier court hearing.
“Even on my birthday, when the other girls were having things, they would say – ‘you will have the damn lot one day, it will all be yours’,” she said.
Her father would regularly warn her “not to kill the goose that lays the golden egg” if she complained about her meagre wages, she added.
Until she reached the age of 21, Miss Davies was paid nothing at all for her work on the farm and, after that, there was a period when she was paid just £15-a-day for milking the cows, although sometimes she received more.
She claimed she could have ‘made a better life elsewhere’, but her 75-year-old father and mother, 76, insisted she had earned a fair income during her stints working on the farm, also being provided with free ‘bed and board’ and other benefits.
Describing her as ‘a selfemployed herdswoman’, they argued she would have done no better financially had she worked away from the farm.
In 2009, Miss Davies was shown her parents’ draft will, which left the lion’s share of the farm to her.
However, the couple later made changes to their bequests and proposed placing the farm in trust for the benefit of all three sisters equally.
Miss Davies had a ‘passionate interest in pedigree milking cows’ and, by 1989 when she turned 21, she was the only sister left at the farm, ‘her sisters having departed to follow other paths’. And, when she left the farm to work elsewhere for a while, her father begged her to return.
The bitter legal dispute was finally sparked in August 2012 following an “altercation” in the milking parlour – after which Miss Davies’ parents launched an unsuccessful bid to evict their daughter from Henllan Farmhouse.
Later on, Judge Milwyn Jarman QC ruled Miss Davies was entitled to a beneficial interest in the family’s lucrative farming business, prompting her parents to challenge that ruling in the Appeal Court.
But in May 2014 Lord Justice Floyd dismissed the couple’s appeal, ruling that Miss Davies had received “less than full recompense” for her contribution to the farm.
The appeal judge concluded: “This is in many ways a tragic case. The bitterness between the parties was such that each had few, if any, good words to say about the other.”
After the parents’ appeal was rejected, the case was sent back to Judge Jarman to put a figure on the amount of compensation due to Miss Davies.
He awarded her £1.3 million for her share of the family farming business in February 2015 at the High Court in Cardiff, triggering her parents to mount a fresh appeal.
The case returned to the Appeal Court on Tuesday this week (Apr 26) as Mr and Mrs Davies’ legal team launched their attack on the judge’s findings.
The couple’s QC, Simon Fancourt, claimed the £1.3 million pay-out would be “hugely disproportionate to any detriment Eirian incurred in reliance on representations that were made”.
The “representations and assurances” given by her parents were “general and non-specific” in the early days, said the barrister, including such sentiments as, “it’ll all be yours one day” and “don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg”.
He said Judge Jarman had found that the first time the couple made any substantial “explicit representation” about inheritance was in 2009 when Miss Davies was shown a draft of their wills, bequeathing the farm to her.
Mr Fancourt said that Judge Jarman unfairly “worked on the basis that there was an expectation of inheriting the whole lot”.
“He gave too much weight to the expectations,” said the barrister.
Lord Justice Patten, Lord Justice Underhill and Lord Justice Lewison, who are hearing the case at London’s Appeal Court, are expected to reserve their judgment to a later date.
Boris Johnson expected to resign as Prime Minister today
THE PRIME MINISTER, Boris Johnson is expected to tender his resignation today, according to sources close to Number 10.
Less than a month on from surviving a leadership challenge, the PM’s premiership will come to an end after senior ministers were among those to quit the government in protest at Downing Street’s handling of a series of recent scandals.
The latest of these being Mr Johnson promoting Chris Pincher to the role of deputy chief whip in February despite being told of a sexual misconduct complaint against the Tamworth MP in 2019.
On Tuesday, the PM apologised for allowing this job move to take place – but this did not stop the resignations of both his health secretary Sajid Javid and chancellor Rishi Sunak minutes later.
By Thursday morning, more than 50 Conservative MPs had resigned from their government roles.
Commenting on the news that the Prime Minister will be resigning today as Conservative Party Leader, Andrew RT Davies MS, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, said: “I’ve always said it was essential for the Prime Minister to hold the confidence of our country, party and parliament. Clearly, that is no longer the case.
“Boris Johnson’s legacy will always be that he ended the deadlock and got Brexit done, delivering on the will of the British people.
“As well as securing a historic victory in 2019, Boris ensured our return to freedom out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Regrettably, it has now become very difficult for him to deliver on the mandate he secured.
“As a friend and supporter of the Prime Minister, I recognise his achievements over the last three years. It now falls to the Conservative Party to select a new leader to deliver on our manifesto commitments for the remainder of this parliament.
“I wish him, Carrie and the rest of his family all the best for the future and thank him for his service to our country.”
Reacting to the resignation of the Prime Minister Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:
“Finally this whole sorry and undignified saga has come to an end. It was always abundantly clear that Boris Johnson was unfit to be Prime Minister and those that backed him to the hilt have a responsibility for the mess and destruction he and his brand of populism has had on our country.
“The Welsh public won’t forgive so many Welsh Conservative MPs for propping up Boris Johnson for so long against various scandals while at the same time ordinary families were struggling to cope with the cost-of-living crisis.
“Johnson or no Johnson, for many former Conservative voters the party they once knew is beyond redemption and will not be coming back.”
Werndale Hospital recognised for outstanding patient care in national award
STAFF at Werndale Hospital near Carmarthen have been recognised for the quality of their patient care.
The prestigious ‘Private Hospital Group of the Year’ award is presented to an organisation that has shown excellence in its delivery of care, commitment to the community and innovation within healthcare.
Werndale Hospital was also recognised for their initiatives to support staff in their career progression and wellbeing.
The latest statistics show, 98% of patients at Werndale Hospital were satisfied with their overall level of care, 98% of patients would recommend their care to family and friends, and 98% of patients rated the nursing staff as excellent or very good.
In addition, independent analysis of Circle hospitals’ hip and knee procedure outcomes of health improvement shows that Circle scored 8.4 versus an independent sector average of 7.8 in the hip category, and a score of 15.4 versus an independent sector average of 13.9 in the knee category.
The award presented to Circle Health Group, owners of Werndale Hospital, in London in June, also noted the extraordinary contribution the teams at the hospital had made to the community.
In 2021 alone, Werndale Hospital partnered with Air Ambulance Wales and raised £1,205 to support the charity’s work in the community.
In addition to the charitable work, Werndale Hospital was recognised for it’s commitment to support staff through a series of wellbeing initiatives and career development opportunities. The judges were particularly impressed with the launch of the ‘Be Heard’ survey at the hospital.
The survey looks to empower staff to feedback on everything from the working environment at the hospital through to their own career ambitions. Building directly on the feedback from this survey, the ‘Grow Your Own’ campaign was launched which supported staff to work towards specific qualifications from nursing degrees with partnered universities through to bespoke management programmes and MBA qualifications.
As a direct result of this support for staff at what is a challenging time for healthcare workers, Werndale Hospital and Circle Heath Group were recognised as being a Top 20 Best Large Company to work for.
At the heart of Werndale Hospital’s approach to treating patients is a commitment to the community they serve.
Paolo Pieri, CEO of Circle Health Group, said: “The award is a testament to what an amazing year 2021 was for Werndale Hospital with considerable investment into the facilities and services on offer to patients in west Wales. I couldn’t be prouder of what our staff and doctors have achieved.”
Aberglasney Gardens delighted to win 2022 Trip advisor Travellers’ Choice Award
ABERGLASNEY Gardens is thrilled to have been recognised by Tripadvisor as a 2022 Travellers’ Choice Award winner for being in the top 10% of attractions worldwide.
The Award recognises businesses that consistently deliver great service with the Gardens being rated ‘Excellent’ by 342 visitors.
The award celebrates businesses that have received great traveller reviews from around the globe on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months. As challenging as the past year has been, Aberglasney stood out by consistently delivering positive experiences to visitors.
Aberglasney’s Director of Operations Jim Stribling said: “We are delighted to have once again won an award from Tripadvisor. It is fantastic recognition for the team’s hard work and dedication. To rank among the top ten percent of those listed on Trip Advisor as one of the best places to visit is outstanding.
“We are grateful to all those who take the time to leave us a review after visiting. It is no cliché when I say all the team, be it in the gift shop, the gardeners, the tearooms and the administrative team, all take the reviews on board to help make a visit to Aberglasney the best possible experience for everyone.”
Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, helps hundreds of millions of people each month become better travellers, from planning, to booking, to taking a trip. Travelers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to discover where to stay, what to do and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before.
With more than 988 million reviews and opinions of nearly eight million businesses, travellers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodation, book experiences, reserve tables at restaurants and discover great places nearby.
As a travel guidance company available in 43 markets and 22 languages, Tripadvisor makes planning easy no matter the trip type.
“Congratulations to the 2022 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Winners,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “The Travellers’ Choice Awards recognise the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: your guests.
“Ranking among the Travellers’ Choice winners is always tough – but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Whether it’s using new technology, implementing safety measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps you’ve taken to meet travellers’ new demands. You’ve adapted brilliantly in the face of adversity.”
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