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Vet completes epic 980 mile cycle challenge from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of charities

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A CARMARTHENSHIRE vet has raised over £8,000 by taking on the mammoth challenge of cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats in aid of the Wales Air Ambulance and The DPJ

Foundation.

Cath Tudor a farm vet at ProStock Vets, Carmarthen set herself the task of cycling nearly 1,000 miles as a challenge to do before she was 50 and to mark the ten year anniversary of ProStock Vets.

Cath, 50, from Llangynog, has always enjoyed cycling and raised £5,076 for the Wales Air Ambulance and £3,000 for the mental health farming charity – The DPJ Foundation.

Reflecting on why she decided to raise funds for the charities, she said: “I picked Wales Air Ambulance as it is an essential service for us living and working in rural communities, and as a family the Wales Air Ambulance came out when my brother, Richard Tudor, died in a tractor accident on the family farm in Mid Wales in April 2020. My brother was killed when the tractor rolled on a steep slope when spreading fertiliser. 

“I chose DPJ Foundation as well due to it being a local charity which helps farmers struggling with mental health.”

The vet is no stranger to getting on her bike for charity, in 2016 Cath cycled the length of Wales for The Stroke Association and in 2018 she also completed a charity ride around Montgomeryshire for the Royal Welsh Show and a bowel cancer charity.

Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’.

The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care.

Now operational 24/7, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep the helicopters flying.

Cath at Land’s End

A delighted Cath is extremely grateful to everyone who donated to the fundraiser, she said: “A massive thanks to everyone who has sponsored me and encouraged me to do the challenge. The support and reactions from everyone has been overwhelming.”

Despite having days when the fundraiser was challenging, Cath experience many highlights including seeing every area of the country and making friends for life.

She added: “There was a fabulous group of us, with everyone helping one another and I made friends for life.”

Katie Macro, Campaigns Manager for the Wales Air Ambulance, said: “Cath has raised an incredible £8,000 for two essential charities. It is heart-warming to hear the reason behind Cath’s fundraiser, sadly she knows first-hand the importance of the Wales Air Ambulance, especially in rural Wales.

“Cath set herself the challenge of cycling nearly 1,000miles and her determination to raise funds for both charities is evident. Thank you to everyone who has supported Cath and donated to the Wales Air Ambulance, you’re all helping us be there for the people of Wales when they need us most.”

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance.

These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com. 

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.

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Carmarthenshire’s Antiquarian Society releases latest publication

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The latest publication of The Carmarthenshire Antiquary has been released

THE COUNTY’S history society, the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society, has just released the latest volume of its publication The Carmarthenshire Antiquary, a long-respected source of extensively researched information about the county’s history and archaeology.

This volume includes articles on the links between Carmarthen and Bristol in the later Middle Ages, aspects of the history of Laugharne, the legend of Twm Sion Cati, SirThomas Picton, early film shows in Llanelli, the Central Wales and Carmarthen Junction Railway, and throws light on the relationships between tenants and landowners in nineteenth century Carmarthenshire. The publication’s cover shows the arms of the Vaughan family, owners of the Derwydd estate.

Members of the Society receive the publication free of charge plus a monthly online newsletter and a wide-ranging programme of events which include talks and lectures, some now available online, a themed annual conference as well as visits to a variety of historic places across the county and beyond.

On Tuesday 1 February there will be a talk at 7.30 pm via Zoom in connection with the Welsh Droving Trade. Further information about this event and how to become a member of the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society will be found on the website www.carmants.org.uk

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Tributes to council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Mair Stephens

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Cllr Mair Stephens

TRIBUTES have been paid to Cllr Mair Stephens, Deputy Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, who has sadly died.

Cllr Stephens, who led the Independent Group of county councillors, died on Sunday January 9, 2022, after a bravely fought illness.

Leading the tributes, Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council, said she will be missed and remembered.

“The Mair we all knew and appreciated was industrious and meticulous with an attention to detail that was phenomenal. She gave it her all, whether it was in her work as a councillor for St Ishmael’s, in her voluntary associations, or indeed her family life.

“She has been a thorough and conscientious councillor for many years and has served as a Cabinet member for numerous administrations bringing that same work ethic to her various Cabinet roles. She has served as my able deputy for these past seven years and was absolutely committed and supportive in that role as she was in her leadership of the Independent Group.

“With her passing – as her colleagues and fellow councillors – we are all diminished. She will be so greatly missed but equally remembered by us all.”

Cllr Stephens, of Llansaint, was elected to Carmarthenshire County Council in 2004 as member for the St Ishmaels ward, covering the communities of Llandyfaelog, Ferryside, Llansaint, Cwmffrwd and Bancycapel.

For many years, and until her passing, she served on the council’s Cabinet with responsibility for council business and transformation, strategic planning, human resources and training, ICT, audit and performance management.

As well as serving the county council, Cllr Stephens had been a member of Llandyfaelog Community Council for over 40 years and served as National Chair of the Wales Association of Community and Town Councils, during which time she was instrumental in the formation of One Voice Wales, bringing together all organisations representing community and town councils in Wales.

She also represented community and town councils on the National Assembly Partnership Council and was Secretary of Llandyfaelog Agriculture and Horticultural Society.

One of her strongest passions was the Women’s Institute, serving as county organiser for Carmarthenshire and as Chair of the WI’s Federations of Wales Committee.

A strong campaigner for volunteering and supporting those in need, Cllr Stephens served on the Welsh Consumer Council and on the Board of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

In Carmarthenshire she was the driving force behind the county’s Christmas Toybox Appeal and was overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness shown by local people to the 2021 appeal in which she oversaw the collection and distribution of over 7,500 gifts to over 1,200 children.

Wendy Walters, Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “Mair will be hugely missed both by me personally and also by the wider team. We will hold very fond memories of working with Mair, and on behalf of all those officers that worked closely with Mair we offer our heartfelt condolences to her family – we hope that in a small way they may help during this very sad time.”

Flags at the county council’s civic buildings have been lowered to half-mast in a sign of respect following her passing.

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Sky Cinema original ‘Save The Cinema’ filmed in Carmarthen to hit local screen

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has annonuced that it has secured a two-week showing of Sky Cinema original movie Save The Cinema at Carmarthen’s Lyric Theatre – the very subject of the film.

Welsh Government Covid-19 restrictions meant that plans to premiere the film at Carmarthen had to be called off, but the council has since brought specialist equipment in to allow people to see the film being screened in the very place it was filmed during 2021.

The film is based on a true story inspired by the life of Carmarthen hairdresser Liz Evans who called on Hollywood to save her local cinema.

Save The Cinema illustrates how the resolve of a small Welsh town, inspired by the magic of cinema, was able to bring Tinseltown to their doorstep.

The film stars Golden Globe-winning Samantha Morton as the main character, supported by Oscar-nominated Jonathan Pryce, Harry Potter star Tom Felton and Keith Allen among others. Filming started last year and parts of the town were transformed to look like the early 1990s when the film is set.https://www.youtube.com/embed/dG9Qfab6Z2s?feature=oembed

Carmarthenshire County Council has been working closely with Sky Cinema throughout the production, supporting the filming of key scenes at The Lyric, in streets around Carmarthen, in council offices in Ammanford, and in other areas of the county such as Laugharne and Llandeilo.

The film has boosted the local econonmy by around £750,000 already, with more economic benefit expected in the coming months.

The sleepy town of Carmarthen in Wales is not exactly the first place to spring to mind when thinking of Hollywood blockbusters. But this changed in 1993.

Supporting filming in Carmarthenshire is one of the council’s key aims because of the money it brings into the county.

Council leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “We were delighted to host the production of this fantastic film earlier this year, with scenes filmed in Carmarthen, Ammanford, Laugharne and Llandeilo. And now to screen it in the place where it was filmed is just the icing on the cake. Carmarthenshire has proven itself again and again to be a desirable destination for the media and it’s enjoying a growing reputation as a filming location for major television dramas and movies, with several award-winning productions finding their home here in Carmarthenshire. Attracting national and international productions such as this has a major impact on the growth of our economy and ensures that our communities reap the benefits.”

Tickets for the screenings in The Lyric, from January 14-30, can be booked at www.theatrausirgar.co.uk. Bookings will only be allowed for maximum groups of six, and seating will be socially distanced. A Covid Pass will be required.

The film is also showing on Sky Cinema from Friday, January 14.

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