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“Inspirational” Haverfordwest station retailer celebrates 60 years’ service



A station retailer who has clocked up 60 years’ service has been praised as “an inspirational member of the railway family” by Transport for Wales.

Jimmy Summons, who runs the newspaper kiosk at Haverfordwest station in Pembrokeshire, began his career in the days of steam trains whistling past to meet the ferry at Fishguard when he was just 16-years old in 1961.

Over the years he’s seen Richard Burton, Prince Charles and Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II at the station and has served Lord Snowdon and Soldier Soldier actor Jerome Flynn.

And just a month short of his 77th birthday, Jimmy says he has no plans to retire yet.

“My cat wakes me up at 4:45am and I head down to make tea and get the papers ready,” says Jimmy, who has lived in the town his whole life.

“I’ll deliver to my customers around the town before coming down to the station to meet the early train.


“I love it because you never know who might walk through those doors or where they might be going, but I try to treat them all the same.”

Jimmy outside Haverfordwest Train Station (Image: Transport for Wales)

Having left school at 15, Jimmy worked with his brother before taking on the kiosk with a permit from John Menzies to sell newspapers, books and tobacco in the same year President John F Kennedy was inaugurated in the USA.

It was the last days of steam, before the Beeching axe had fallen on railways across Wales, and Haverfordwest had a much larger team managing parcels and wages from the site.

“We had some brilliant times over the years,” said Jimmy.

“I’ll always remember my good friends Dai Havard and Jimmy Morgan. The railway staff used to look after me when I was a youngster first starting and I’ve always loved being a part of things here. We’ve had plenty of fun over the years though there have been a few memorable moments.

“Once, many years ago, we had a parcel trolley fall on the line and I had to jump down with the rest of the boys and help get it up again before the train came through. Another time I had to warn the guard that a lorry had hit the railway bridge up ahead.


“Richard Burton came in while he was filming Under Milk Wood in Fishguard and got the train back to London, though sadly we didn’t see Elizabeth Taylor.

“We’ve had all the royals through over the years and I remember waving to Prince Charles and getting a wave back when they were off to an occasion at Picton Castle.”

Jimmy has clocked up 60 years working as a retailer at Haverfordwest Train Station (Image: Transport for Wales)

Jimmy has been married to his beloved wife Lorraine, 74, for many years and she too is still working, in a residential home, despite being older than some of the people she looks after.

He stopped selling cigarettes several years ago and has seen the book trade diminish over the years.

“Not as many people seem to like reading on their journey any more, which is quite sad. They all seem to be on their phones or iPads. But it’s nice that a lot of my older customers have started coming back after Covid and the papers are picking up more.

Transport for Wales Station Manager James Nicholas said: “Jimmy really is part of the fabric here at Haverfordwest and all our customers and colleagues think the world of him.


“The fact he’s up so early every day and is still working so hard to provide such a great service for our customers even after 60 years is phenomenal and he really is an inspirational member of our railway family. Thank you for all the hard work Jimmy and here’s to many more years at Haverfordwest.”

(Lead image: Transport for Wales)

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Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest closed to ALL visitors due to COVID numbers




Hywel Dda University Health Board has announced that Withybush Hospital is closing to all visitors with immediate effect due to increased cases of COVID-19 in the hospital, and the nearby community.

The hospital has said that there will very few exceptions, such as end of life or critical visits – and all visitors will have to take a lateral flow test before arriving.

Visitors are also being told to wear a face mask to the hospital, which will be replaced with a surgical face mask at the hospital’s reception.

They are also being reminded about the need for social distancing and washing hands as often as possible with soap and water or hand sanitiser.

In an online statement, the health board said: “The situation is being monitored at regular intervals and a further update will be made when visitor restrictions are lifted.

“We thank everyone for your understanding at this time while we work to stop the spread of this virus.”


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New conservation management plan adopted for Haverfordwest Castle




Pembrokeshire County Council’s ambitions to develop a new flagship heritage attraction project at Haverfordwest Castle have moved a step closer following the approval of a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for the site. 

Formally adopted by Cabinet, the CMP has undergone consultation with tourism and heritage professionals and the broader public. This plan is a key document that will guide the protection and enhancement of the site’s significance.

Cllr Paul Miller, Pembrokeshire’s Cabinet Member for the Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said he was delighted the CMP had been approved.

“Haverfordwest Castle is one of the County’s most under-utilised heritage assets despite being one of its most recognisable landmarks,” he said.

“The approval of the CMP will help to ensure that we follow the correct procedures as we work towards developing the site as a heritage attraction that will tell the story of Pembrokeshire.”


This site contains three listed buildings and a scheduled monument, and is located within the Haverfordwest Conservation Area. The Conservation Management Plan will guide the care and celebration of these heritage assets during development and into the future.

Subject to external funding applications, the proposals for the site will be developed in four stages to include:

  • More green space for visitors through gardens developed on the burgage plots on the South banks of the Castle and the creation of a new walk around the outside of the Castle walls with new access from the North and South;
  • A new route from Bridge Street to the perimeter walkway, that will open up a stunning view of the castle;
  • A new events space for outdoor performance in the castle’s Inner Bailey;
  • Refurbishment of the Gaol to host a flagship visitor attraction.

“Regeneration of the Castle is anticipated to breathe new life into our valuable local heritage, creating a more attractive place where people can spend time. It will also provide Haverfordwest and Pembrokeshire with a quality destination for visitors,” added Cllr Miller.

“As the County Councillor for the Castle Ward I welcome this news and am very pleased of the approval of a Conservation Management Plan for the site,” added Cllr Thomas Tudor.

“Together with the new Castle Square and Castle Lake link, this can only further develop and enhance this part of Haverfordwest to the benefit of its townspeople and visitors to the county town of Pembrokeshire, providing a beautiful green space for the community and visitors to enjoy.”


(Lead image: Pembrokeshire Council)

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Haverfordwest’s Riverside Gallery reopens




After an eighteen-month hiatus, the National Library of Wales is returning to The Riverside Gallery in Haverfordwest with two brand new exhibitions.

The gallery will reopen on 18 September and the National Library is looking forward to sharing its collections with audiences outside of Aberystwyth once again.


The National Library of Wales houses over 1 million photographs connected to Wales, which range from works by pioneering photographers from the earliest days of photography to portfolios by contemporary practitioners of the art.

A spokesperson for the gallery said: “In the People: Photographs from the National Collection exhibition we will focus on the unique art of documentary photography. 

“These images capture the beauty, humour, joy, despair and determination of human spirit.  Whether they are images of normal people going about their everyday lives, or an account of an important historical event, each photograph is a snapshot in time to be preserved for future generations. 

“Pembrokeshire is a land filled with myth and legend, dotted with looming castles and mysterious cromlechs, and home to an old and passionate people who through the ages have been proud of their rich history, culture and landscape.


“Alongside the People exhibition, the permanent exhibition Pembrokeshire: Past and Present will celebrate Pembrokeshire’s history, as well as its continuing charm, displaying iconic works by artists and writers such as Gwen and Augustus John, Waldo Williams, Claudia Williams and Graham Sutherland.”

Mike Cavanagh, Head of Cultural, Leisure, Tourism and Registration Services at Pembrokeshire County Council said: “The gallery at Glan-yr-afon/The Riverside is a venue of national significance, and we’re delighted to welcome The National Library of Wales back with two brand new exhibitions.

“We’re sure that People and Pembrokeshire: Past and Present , much like the previous exhibitions, will be a ‘must-see’ for both residents and non-residents alike. The diverse offer, which includes a library, gallery, visitor information and coffee shop, caters for the needs of our local library users, whilst being an attractive destination for visitors to Pembrokeshire.”

Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian at The National Library of Wales added: “I am delighted that we are able to once again share our collections with our friends in Pembrokeshire and beyond. Connecting and collaborating with communities throughout the country and providing spaces to interpret and discuss aspects of Wales’ past, present and future is a key part of our work.

“Due to our continued partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council we are able to share our rich collections with the residents of the county and visitors to Pembrokeshire.”


Both exhibitions will run until 23 April 2022, as part of the ongoing partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council and The National Library of Wales at Glan-yr-afon/The Riverside.

Funding to build the facility came from a range of sources including Pembrokeshire County Council, Welsh Government, the Wolfson Foundation, the Foyle Foundation, and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. Haverfordwest Town Council have given a five-year funding package to ensure the library is able to open throughout the year on Saturday afternoons, the previous library having been open on Saturday mornings only.

(All images: Pembrokeshire Council)

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