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A new look for top Welsh beer




Brains head brewer, Bill Dobson, with the new look The Rev. James

SA BRAIN & CO LTD, has unveiled a new look for one of its most loved beers, The Rev. James.

The beer, which has been a favourite in pubs for more than 20 years, now sports a new contemporary look designed to attract a new generation of beer drinkers.

Based on an original recipe from 1885, the signature taste of The Rev. James has also been used to create two new variations. The Rev. James Gold and The Rev. James Rye will be launched to coincide with the rebrand.

Available in pubs from May, the new brand and variants have been developed working alongside new and existing Rev. James drinkers.

Melanie Murgatroyd, brand marketing manager for Brains, commented: “The Rev. James has been popular with our customers for years. We haven’t changed the Original recipe but we wanted to make sure the branding better reflected the change in the ale market. Throughout the process we wanted to retain the loyalty of our current Rev. James drinkers while also attracting new drinkers with a more contemporary design and different variants.”

The two new variants will be based on the taste profile of the Original. The Rev. James Gold is a lighter variant than the Original combining Buckleys yeast and Cara malt to create a lighter ale. The Rev. James Rye is a richer, darker, but hoppy ale using Rye Crystal malt.

Brains head brewer for the last 8 years, Bill Dobson, was responsible for creating the new variants. Talking about the beers he said: “The Original Rev. James has a warm, rich taste with a smooth, unexpected clean finish. It is full of character while at the same time it is not too overpowering.

“The two new variants use the same exclusive Buckleys yeast strain to create two new beers inspired by the Original beer but each delivering their own characteristic taste.

“The Rev. James Gold is a 4.1% golden ale which has the crispness that you would expect from that type of beer, but by using Cara malt retains the richness and depth. Using a blend of US and Australian hops it is fruity, refreshing and mellow making it ideal for a summer evening.

“In contrast The Rev. James Rye is a darker 4.3% rye ale using Rye Crystal malt to add a richer taste and depth of flavour. A blend of US hops provide flavours of citrus and spice with a dry bitter finish.”

The Rev. James Original and the Gold and Rye variants will be available in pubs from May with the new branding also rolled out to pubs at the same time.

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The 10 powerful stain removers you already have in your kitchen



DID you know that you can remove grass stains with bicarbonate of soda, and that milk can work wonders with juice and ink stains? 

If your fabric has a tannin stain, don’t use soap on it – and if you have protein stains such as milk or egg, then cold water and soap are the answer.

These tips and many more are included in a new, free e-book from natural cleaning product company ALLAVARE. 

The company’s founder Ed Willes has put together his definitive cleaning guide which will enable you to save money and protect the environment while removing stains with ease.

ALLAVARE makes all its products at its headquarters in rural West Wales and sells them via its website and in selected shops across the UK. The business has its roots in a book of “cleaning remedies” created in the last century by housemaid Bette Smith. 

Bette grew up in London and went into service in 1922 at the age of 14. Starting out in Belgravia, she went on to clean in some of the UK’s most prestigious houses. She made her own cleaning products following formulas passed on by her mother, and collected them together in a book.

Bette became good friends with Ed’s mum Vanessa Willes and the secret formulas in “Bette’s Book” were first produced commercially by Vanessa’s company, Mangle & Wringer. 

Now, having moved from the Cotswolds to a farm in Llandeilo, Vanessa has handed Bette’s Book and the company to Ed, who has rebranded it as ALLAVARE (from the Latin “to wash”) and launched an extended range of products based on Bette’s cleaning remedies.

All ALLAVARE’s products are sustainable and contain no harsh chemicals, petrochemical ingredients, fillers, artificial fragrances or dyes. They rely on simple, natural ingredients such as lemon juice, vinegar and coconut oil. With an eye for recycling, they come in metal tins and refillable glass bottles.

Now, by sharing many of Bette’s secrets in an e-book, Ed hopes to help his customers get even more out of natural cleaning.

Ed Willes said: “We believe in helping our customers save money and protect the environment, so I decided to share many of the secrets from Bette’s Book with your customers for free. Her cleaning ‘remedies’ as she called them are simple and effective, and more people should have the chance to share in this knowledge. The e-book outlines the key types of stain and how to tackle them using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard – and it includes recipes for cleaning scrubs and sprays, loo cleaner, floor cleaner and more.”

To download the full e-book head here:

10 natural stain removers and how to use them

Bicarbonate of soda

Use for: mud, grass and perspiration

A fantastic natural stain remover. It is safe and non-toxic and works on most surfaces to clean and deodorise them. In the laundry it can be added to hand washed items to help break down protein stains. As a stain remover, make into a paste with a little water and leave on for 30 – 60 minutes.


Use for: grease stains

Sprinkle onto fabric and rub gently. Leave for 30 – 60 minutes and brush off. Launder as normal.


Use for: tannin stains

Mix glycerine 50:50 with water and work into the back of the stain. Leave for 30 minutes. Launder as normal.


Use for: juice stains and washable inks

The original enzyme cleaner.

Lemon juice

Use as a: mild bleach

Apply directly to the stain and leave to dry. This is particularly effective on white fabrics and if left in the sun works doubly fast. On coloured fabrics a colour test is recommended.

Eucalyptus oil

Use for: grease stains, oil and tar

A naturally distilled oil. Add a few drops directly to the stain and leave for 10-15 minutes. Rub gently for thick tar stains. Air dry and repeat if the stain isn’t completely removed.

Soda water

Use for: tannin stains

Great remedy for coffee, tea, wine and other tannin stains.


Use for: grease stains

Great for collars and cuffs where it can be rubbed on prior to washing in hot water. Never use soap on tannin stains.

Washing up liquid

Use for: grease stains

It should preferably be a colourless, biodegradable, plant based detergent, which is fragrance free. Apply directly and agitate the fabric. Rinse in hot water.

White vinegar

Use as: a mild bleach

Perfect for use on urine stains as a deodoriser, mud and grass. Soak for 1 – 2 hours. On coloured fabric a colour test is recommended.

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Transport for Wales release statement about rail strike impact on services



THE BIGGSET rail strike in 30 years is predicted to bring the rail network across the UK to a halt later this month as thousands of staff stage a mutli-day walkout.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) has announced the strike action will take place on Tuesday 21 June, Thursday 23 June and Saturday 25 June, which will significantly disrupt the rail network across the whole of the UK.

More than 40,000 staff from Network Rail and 13 train operators are expected to take part.

Transport for Wales (TfW) is not one of the operators in dispute with the RMT however services across Wales will be seriously disrupted.

A TfW spokesperson said: “The industrial action resulting from the dispute between RMT and Network Rail means we will be unable to operate our rail services on Network Rail infrastructure.”

“The majority of rail services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended, with the exception of services on the Core Valley Lines (CVL) north of Radyr in South Wales.”

“There is also expected to be disruption on the days prior and after the industrial action. We will release more information as soon as possible.”

“Customers with existing tickets for travel from Monday 20th June to Sunday 26th June can use those tickets anytime between now and the 20th. Alternatively, customers may claim a full refund by contacting”

“In the meantime, we are suspending sales of Advance tickets for the first three strike dates to minimise the number of people disrupted. Customers should continue to check our website, and the websites of other operators, for updates.”

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Owens Group shifts gear to join Pall-Ex Group



CARMARTHENSHIRE based haulage firm Owens Group has strengthened its service offering by becoming shareholder members of Pall-Ex Group.

The family-owned business is a renowned name in the transport industry, employing around 1,000 people across the UK. Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, commemorated with a special one-off livery.

Reaching this milestone is testament to the quality lead approach of the business and its drive to deliver constant improvements for its stakeholders.

One such advancement is the recent opening of its new flagship facility in Bynea, supporting the business with its logistics, pallet distribution, bulk haulage, and express & home delivery services.

The Group’s quality is backed up by a range of accreditations and awards, including CILT National Road Safety Award, FORS Bronze accreditation and ADR certifications.

This commitment to excellence is a value it shares with Pall-Ex Group and its shareholder members across the whole of the UK.

Owens Group joined Pall-Ex in February and took ownership of longstanding Fortec member Celtic Couriers in late 2021.

For the Pall-Ex network, Owens Group covers parts of the CF postcode area, whilst Celtic Couriers makes collections and deliveries throughout the SA postcode area for the Fortec network.

From day one, Owens Group has been a family business, founded by Huw Owen in 1972. Now Group Chairman, Huw was awarded an MBE in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to employment and the community in Llanelli and South Wales.

Overseeing the daily operation of the business is Ian Owen, Managing Director of Owens Group.

Speaking about the factors that made the business choose to become shareholders in Pall-Ex Group, Ian comments: “Being a part of the Pall-Ex and Fortec networks will give the Group another service offering for its customers, with a euro pallet option alongside the standard pallet option.

“As shareholder members, we are working with likeminded, dedicated transport companies who are all invested in the success of the network.

“We are proud to have such a successful history as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, and this is just the next step in our success story.”

Pall-Ex Group’s Managing Director – UK Business Units, Barry Byers, oversees the Pall-Ex and Fortec networks.

He visited Ian and the team in Llanelli to welcome them and to see the celebratory livery himself.

Excited to have Owens Group onboard, Barry comments: “Owens Group have a rich history of quality, pride and success and are a renowned name in UK and European logistics.

“I speak for everyone at Pall-Ex Group when I say we are very excited to welcome them to both of our networks where they will deliver excellence throughout South Wales.

“Welcoming Owens Group to our networks signifies that Pall-Ex Group’s shareholder opportunities are the best in the sector, and that our model works!”

To find out more about Pall-Ex Groups shareholder membership offering, please visit:

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