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Carmarthenshire Museum to open for National Gallery painting exhibition

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Carmarthen Museum Abergwili

ART enthusiasts are being given the opportunity to view a masterpiece from the National Gallery’s Collection at Carmarthenshire Museum, as it re-opens its doors to visitors following a first phase of restoration works.

It will be the first time the museum has been open to the public since 2020 when it closed for phase one of improvement, funded by Carmarthenshire County Council.

People will be able to visit from Saturday to see Jean-Siméon Chardin’s ‘The House of Cards’, a painting from the National Gallery’s masterpiece collection, which was painted by the 18th century French artist in around 1740–1.

Carmarthenshire Museum was chosen by the National Gallery as one of only three museums in the UK to exhibit part of its collection.

The museum, in Abergwili, re-opens following completion of the first phase of restoration by Carmarthenshire County Council which has invested significantly to create a better environment for museum collections.  

The expansive programme of phased works includes roof repairs, two new galleries, re-building of the chimneys and decorative stonework.

Phase one involved making the historic landmark building watertight, installing a new roof, restoring stonework on the front of the building, repairing over 100 windows, restoring the iconic lantern window over the museum’s central hall and the distinctive carved stone porch – both legacies of the building’s past as the palace of the Bishops of St Davids.

The museum also has a new shop to showcase gifts inspired by the museum collections and regional crafts and will open next week.

The museum entrance has also been adapted and is fully accessible with a gentle ramp and a power assisted outer door. Other sensitive modernisations have also been carried out.

Phase two of the ongoing restoration works is well underway and involves upgrading two galleries on the ground floor.  

This work, funded by Welsh Government, is expected to be completed by Easter.

The final phase will focus on smaller projects throughout the museum and the park and will get underway later this year.

During the museum’s closure, the surrounding Bishop’s Park has also undergone a transformation under the management of the Tywi Gateway Trust, featuring accessible pathways, landscaping, interpretation, and planting after the council granted £300,000 towards the cost of developing disused outbuildings into a vibrant visitor centre and café within the museum grounds. 

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, said: “A huge amount of restoration work has been already done and is continuing at Carmarthenshire Museum, and we are working towards a completion date later this year. We are pleased that we have been able to complete phase one of these works just in time to host this magnificent painting as part of the National Gallery’s Masterpiece Tour. 

“We wanted to be able to welcome visitors back as soon as was possible so we kindly ask our visitors to bear with us as we complete the rest of the phased restoration works that are underway at the museum. 

“Investing in our museums and engaging in cultural activity has a demonstrable positive impact on starting well, living well and ageing well. Our museums are the family photobook of the history of our county, documenting where we’ve come from and helping to shape the unique cultural identity of our future generations.”

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Community

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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