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Giant vegetables big in Japan



Giant award-winning veg: At Aberglasney Gardens

Giant award-winning veg: At Aberglasney Gardens

AN ANNUAL giant vegetable competition, which is rapidly becoming one of the highlights of the horticultural calendar, took place in Carmarthenshire on Sunday (Oct 16).

Aberglasney Gardens in Carmarthenshire hosted their fourth annual Giant Vegetable Growing Competition – the only one in Wales. In addition to attracting competitors from all over Wales, the event was filmed by a Japanese TV crew who went along to cover the competition for NHK, the Japanese equivalent of the BBC.

Despite a year of both very cold and very hot weather, making for tough growing conditions, the display of vegetables at Aberglasney did not disappoint.

From mammoth-sized marrows to colossal cabbages and titanic-sized tomatoes, logistically, it’s not an easy event to hold, but nevertheless it is one of the Aberglasney Head Gardener’s favourites.

Speaking after the competition, Joseph Atkin said: “We had to borrow a special custom-built scales from West Wales Weighing in Haverfordwest, and then needed some serious man power to get the entries onto the scales! It is, however, a great day and our competitors have once again put on an incredible display.”

The official weigh-in was conducted by gardening guru Medwyn Williams MBE, who travelled from his home in Anglesey to be at Aberglasney and was delighted to record some fantastic weights.

Amongst the most impressive vegetables was a marrow weighing 36kg (79.58lb) grown by Kevin and Gareth Fortey from Cwmbran. Kevin and Gareth also won the class for the heaviest leek weighing in at 4.3kg (9.48lb). The pumpkin class was won by Jenny Jones of Kidwelly with a weight of 30.6kg (66.50lbs). Ian Neale of Langstone in Gwent grew a cucumber measuring 80.4cm and a parsnip of 186.2cm long.

10-year-old Jamie Courtney- Fortey, who is Kevin’s son, is obviously following in his father’s footsteps having won the class for the largest sunflower head with his entry which had a diameter of 41cm.

Thanks to the generosity of event sponsors Kings Seeds, the prizes in each category were well worth growers efforts – first prize was £40 or a joint annual membership for Aberglasney worth £75; second prize £20 or a single annual membership for Aberglasney worth £55; and third prize was a family day ticket for the Gardens (two adults and two children).

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Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened



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



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

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



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:, by emailing 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

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