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Haverfordwest firefighter looks back over 42 years of service

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Following 42 years of service, Watch Manager Keith Jenkins, Haverfordwest Fire Station is retiring from his wholetime duties as a Business Fire Safety Officer. 

Keith first joined the Fire and Rescue Service as an apprentice mechanic, with Dyfed County Fire Brigade, at 16 years of age, before becoming an on-call firefighter at Haverfordwest Fire Station in 1983.  

Keith has attended many significant incidents during his career. “I was on the Pointsman ship fire in 1984 and got caught in the third explosion, with two other colleagues. Firefighter Rex Evans, who broke his collar bone and Leading Fireman Brian Tytler who suffered 20% burns to his hands and face during the incident. I was so lucky just to get my helmet blown off and slight burns to my tunic. I also attended the Amoco Tank 11 fire in the same year, what an experience to see that boil over and flames reach over a 1000 ft high.” 

In 1985, Keith progressed and joined the wholetime on Red watch Haverfordwest. “On my first night shift I attended the Scoveston Manor House fire. That was a very sad experience and those sad scenes that will stay with me for the rest of my life.  

“In February 1996, I attended the Sea Empress oil spill, when she ran aground off the Pembrokeshire coast. I was part of a crew that was involved in manning the fire tugs and we stayed many a night on these tugs in case we were needed. 

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“I would like to say I am saddened to leave the wholetime at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service. It has been a privilege and an honour to be part of such a great Service and Team. During my time in the fire service I have been very fortunate to have gained experiences in so many different avenues and fields of this Service. 

“I have worked alongside many great managers and colleagues over the years and have been fortunate to have worked in four different commands, which has given me not only great professional development but personnel development too.  

“Amongst the hardest thing I have done during my time with the fire and rescue service is becoming a fire brigade diver. I trained and qualified with Northumbria Police, over a course of 8 weeks, and attended many incidents over the years. 

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“I was also in charge of Pontardawe Fire Station during the Gleision Colliery disaster in Pontardawe, where sadly four people lost their lives in this tragic incident. 

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“The fire service has been a massive part of my life. Having served the community for nearly 42 years, this has been a hard decision for me to make, so, at this moment in time, I will be continuing to work as a Watch Manager in charge of the On-call crews at Haverfordwest. I believe that the knowledge I have gained will carry me in good stead for the new role I have accepted with the NHS, as a Fire Safety Advisor in Hywel Dda Health trust.  

“I cannot thank the Fire Service enough for all that they have done for me, I will sincerely miss it.” 

(Lead image: Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)


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Art

National Gallery masterpiece visits Haverfordwest

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The Riverside Library, Gallery and Visitor Information in Haverfordwest is welcoming a very special exhibition this spring, thanks to the National Gallery Masterpiece Tour, sponsored by Christie’s.

Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study by Edgar Degas will form the centrepiece in an exhibition drawn from the National Welsh Portrait Collection at The National Library of Wales, which will be held at the Riverside Gallery, Haverfordwest.

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The exhibition will contextualise the painting through an exploration of the female form in art, and analyse the theory of the male gaze in portraits through the eyes of both female and male artists such as Seren Morgan Jones and Sir Kyffin Williams.

The exhibition will be open from 14 May – 3 September 2022 and will run alongside the current exhibition Pembrokeshire: Past & Present.

Mike Cavanagh, Head of Cultural, Leisure, Tourism and Registration Services for Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity finally to be part of the Masterpiece Tour after the pandemic forced us to put our plans on hold. The arrival of the Degas will have a huge impact on the community and the county’s many visitors, and will inspire, illuminate and raise ambition within the county.”

Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian at the National Library of Wales added: “It is wonderful to be able to work with Pembrokeshire County Council and the National Gallery to bring the ‘Masterpiece Tour’ to this region of Wales which gives the residents of Pembrokeshire and those visiting the area the opportunity to see the Hélène Rouart in her Father’s Study by Edgar Degas.”

An exciting series of events and activities are being planned to support the exhibition, such as a special talk about the masterpiece painting by one of the National Gallery’s curators.

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Lead image: Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas. Helene Rouart in her Father’s Study. (Image: The National Gallery, London)

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Haverfordwest

Are bungalows making a comeback? National housebuilder adds 3 single storey homes to Haverfordwest development

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Bungalows may be seen as housing for older people, but they’re a popular choice across a wide spectrum of house buyers according to Persimmon Homes – and demand is growing.

Persimmon is currently working on the second phase of its Merlins Lane scheme on Scarrowscant Lane in Haverfordwest, with 91 homes being built to take the overall total to 170.

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The national housebuilder has taken the unusual step of building bungalows at Merlins Lane as it believes there is growing demand for one-storey living.

Sharon Bouhali, Sales Director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “When people talk about bungalows they tend to think of older people as there is obviously the benefit of having no stairs to climb.

“But, actually, bungalows are a popular option for a variety of reasons, not least the flexible space they offer as they tend to have a bigger footprint than a tradition two-storey house.

“Bungalows can also be convenient for young families as parents don’t have to worry about their children falling down stairs.

“Maintenance is also easier as there are no high windows to clean and it’s easier to access the guttering and roof.

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“Perhaps most pertinently in the current climate, bungalows are more eco-friendly as they use less energy to heat, producing significant cost savings.”

Persimmon is building three Madison style properties at Merlins Lane, a versatile bungalow featuring a front-aspect living room leading into the kitchen, which has access to the well-sized garden.

There are two double bedrooms, a spacious bathroom with a bath and a separate shower, and two handy storage cupboards.

Work started at Merlins Lane in mid-2020 and has proved extremely popular.

(Lead image: Persimmon Homes)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Duo jailed for assaulting and robbing man in terrifying attack

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A man and a woman have been jailed for assaulting and robbing a vulnerable man at a railway station.

Rory Barnes, aged 23, of Ash Grove, Neyland, Milford Haven, and Hayley Talman, aged 30, of St Davids Close, Hubberston, Milford Haven, approached their victim at Haverfordwest Train Station at around 9pm on Sunday, 16 January.

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Talman first asked the man, who is disabled, if he knew anyone who did drugs, before Barnes got up close and invaded his personal space.

The victim moved away but was followed by Barnes a number of times, before he grabbed hold of the victim and told him he must ‘do flake’ because of the jacket he was wearing.

The victim once again walked away, this time to the front of the train station, however, Barnes stayed with him, asking for personal details such as name and address.

The victim once again moved away and went back onto the platform. Barnes again followed and sat down next to him and asked for a cigarette.

The victim then got up and walked to the front of the train station, with Talman and Barnes following him.

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Barnes then attacked the man, throwing him to the floor before getting on top of him and punching him twice to the head, before placing his hands into his coat pocket and removing a pouch of tobacco.

The victim then managed to run away towards the town centre, however, Barnes has chased after him.

He once again threw the man to the floor, shouting and swearing at him to give him everything he had.

Barnes has then punched him at another four or five times to the head area, and while he was on the floor, Barnes and Talman have gone through his pockets, with Barnes removing a debit card.

Barnes has then stated that he had a knife. He was searching his own pockets as if he was looking for something, with Talman saying the victim needed to listen as Barnes had a knife.

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Barnes has then asked Talman for the knife before telling the victim that if he reports the matter to police then he will find him and stab him.

At this point the victim was able to run away from the area.

Officers from Dyfed-Powys Police attended and promptly arrested Barnes and Talman, before launching a thorough investigation.

Senior Investigating Officer DS Tanya Grey said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for a vulnerable victim. Barnes and Talman subjected him to threats and intimidation before launching a violent attack.

“When the victim finally managed to get away from them he was running, fearing for his life as they had threatened him with a knife.

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“I would like to commend him for his bravery throughout the investigation.

“We’re pleased with the sentences handed to Barnes and Talman and hope this offers some solace to the victim.

“I would also like to commend our officers, from the initial response officers to the investigating team. Their professionalism helped ensure Barnes and Talman were handed these sentences.”

Barnes was sentenced to four years and nine months imprisonment, as well as a further 18 months to run consecutively for an incident in Cardiff. Talman was sentenced to three years and two months.

Both appeared at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, 11th March 2022, having pleaded guilty at a previous hearing.

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(Lead image: Dyfed Powys Police)

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