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Trust seeks new educational use as Llanwrda School closes

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Headteacher Hugh Davies: Anxious for school photos and documents to be preserved as a historical resource

Headteacher Hugh Davies: Anxious for school photos and documents
to be preserved as a historical resource

YSGOL Gynradd Llanwrda, the village’s primary school, is set to close on Wednesday (Jul 20) with a roll of only 11 pupils – but this may not be the end of its 220 years as a centre of education. 

The school building and land belong to the Almshouse Charity of Letitia Cornwallis, which is obliged to try and find a new educational use. The charity owns the school, the playing field in front of it, the adjacent Cornwallis House and the grounds of the village hall, on the far side of the playing field.

Proposals for new educational uses of the school should be sent to David Darrell, the Clerk to the Trustees of the charity, on 01554 300401 or 07831 346866, or by email at dgldarrell@gmail.com.

“We have received a couple of ideas, but plans for the future are at a very early stage,” he said.

The first school on the site dates from 1796, thanks to benefactress Lady Letitia Cornwallis, who died in 1740 but bequeathed monies for the benefit of the people of Llanwrda, including £800 to buy land and £400 to endow a free school for children in the parishes of Llanwrda and Llansadwrn, as well as £1,000 to construct and maintain homes for four unmarried women, from gentlemen’s families but without financial means. That building, the listed Georgian Cornwallis House adjacent to the school, is being renovated to form one two-bedroomed and four one-bedroomed flats.

The end of Carmarthenshire County Council’s years of maintaining the school was marked on Friday (July 8) with a reunion for past pupils, photographic displays and commemorative mugs on sale.

Among the most senior was Glenys John (92), who travelled from Porthcawl. Glenys, a graduate and widow of the Rev. Bryan John – whom she met in Llansawel — began her education in Llanwrda, and went on to a career in nursing and teaching. She mingled with dozens of other former pupils, including Ellis Davies, who left the school in 1934, Olwen Parry of Llandovery, a new pupil in 1935, and Peter Jones, also now living in Llandovery, who started at the school in 1940 during the Second World War and remembers the arrival of evacuees from England.

Post-war, Welsh TV star Elinor Jones was a pupil. Elinor, who came to the reunion, became a teacher, joined schools programmes on HTV, and became one of the best-known personalities on S4C.

Reminiscences in the afternoon were followed by an evening disco and refreshments in the village hall.

Headteacher Hugh Davies said there are hopes to create an archive of the school records, to add to the historical resources about Llanwrda village.

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Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened

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ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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