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Local heritage celebrated at new Burry Port housing development

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A blue plaque in honour of Captain John Wedge of Goodig has been unveiled at the Pen-y-Porth development in Burry Port, which is being built by contractors JEHU Group on behalf of housing group Pobl.

Members of the Pembrey & Burry Port Heritage Group met with representatives from JEHU Group, Pobl Group and to officially unveil the plaque, which was paid for by JEHU and Pobl as part of the community benefits package for the scheme.

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John Wedge junior became known as Captain John Wedge and was a well-respected sea captain and owned ships that traded from the Burry Estuary. He was described by fellow mariners and business associates as being “a kindly man” and a devout Christian.

Captain John Wedge made good use of his local knowledge of the Burry, and in 1805 he was commissioned by local landowners and industrialists to produce an accurate plan of the estuary.  This highly regarded chart known as “A Chart of the Burry Bar & Harbour (Llanelly)” was published in 1808 and was still in use well into the 19th century.

Marc Jehu, Group CEO for Construction at Jehu said: “This was a wonderful legacy project, helping to promote and protect the culture and heritage. The Jehu business is built on its rich family history so to be able to incorporate a part of history into the Pen-y-Porth development is fantastic for the community.”

Claire Tristham, Director of Development – West at Pobl Group said: “We are delighted to have been able to support this project and help to incorporate this piece of local history into the Pen-y-Porth development. At Pobl, placemaking is at the heart of what we do, and we’re always striving to ensure that our developments are about much more than just bricks and mortar, working with local community groups to incorporate their ideas into our schemes.”

Ellen Davies, Secretary of the Pembrey & Burry Port Heritage Group said: “The Pembrey and Burry Port Heritage Group are extremely grateful for the sponsorship by JEHU and Pobl of the plaque in honour of Captain John Wedge. The plaque, placed in the location of his home, will be a constant reminder of his achievements, his concern for the safety of the sailors in the estuary and the impact he had on the town’s heritage”.

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Burry Port

New car parking for Burry Port Harbour

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Carmarthenshire Council have announced plans to improve car parking at Burry Port Harbour.

The council say the move will see underused land transformed into an additional accessible parking zone with around 100 plus spaces on the East side of the harbour, with existing surfaces and spaces also upgraded.

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Disabled parking bays will be given prime location with panoramic views and there will be charging facilities for E-bikes which will enhance cycling and environmental provision.

Motorhomes will also have access to some bays during the day, around the Harbour area, with plans and funding bids for a bespoke developments along the wider coastline also in the pipeline.

The car park will have a new sustainable drainage system with upgraded surface dressing which will enable all year around usage.

The project is jointly funded by the council and Welsh Government’s Brilliant Basic scheme.

Carmarthenshire County Council Head of Leisure, Ian Jones said: “Currently the surface area of the car park to the East of the Harbour is loose gravel that is easily potholed and flooded regularly, so this improvement will offer a more modern, sustainable and attractive car park for our visitors to enjoy. It will also complement the existing car parks in the harbour and along the Carmarthenshire coastline.”

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The council say this is the latest in a long line of investments totalling £2m to maintain and restore the historic harbour and one of the county’s most loved and well visited beauty spots.

Restoration of the Grade II listed harbour walls has been undertaken and completed under the guidance of CADW.

Carmarthenshire Council add this investment compliments funding made over previous years which saw the council invest in new pontoons, along with maintenance and upgrades to the harbour railings and bridge.

A local operator has taken over the lease and opened a cafe and public toilets on the east side of Harbour, and the refurbishment of the old RNLI harbour office has started by The Marine Group (TMG) to create a harbour-side coffee house.

New pay and display facilities have been installed to support parking control ahead of a wider multi-million regeneration plan that will transform the harbour with a mix of housing, commercial and leisure space covering around 13 acres of prime development site.

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Welsh Government Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:“We are very aware of the important part that local tourism amenities have on someone’s overall experience when on a day trip or on holiday.

“These facilities often go unnoticed, but they are an important part of people’s experiences when they visit Wales, while also benefit those who live in the area. The £2.9m in new funding for the Brilliant Basics fund will go to projects which will help us make our destinations more accessible and more sustainable, and to grow tourism for the good of Wales.”

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Grandmother launches RNLI fundraising appeal almost a decade after Burry Port lifeboat crew’s attempts to rescue grandson

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An tragic incident at Llangennith almost a decade ago, where school boy Sam Capper tragically lost his life, has inspired a loving grandmother to put her best foot forward for the RNLI this Mayday, in tribute to the Burry Port RNLI volunteers who answered the call for help.

Leah Hunt, a police officer from Birkenhead, has officially launch this year’s Mayday Mile fundraiser by meeting her local RNLI crew at West Kirby for the first time, and revealing details of her own Mayday walking challenge on 22 May.

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The latest figures released today by the RNLI have revealed the number of lives saved by RNLI crews from Flint to Penarth has increased by 22 per cent in 2021. In Wales, volunteer lifeboat crews saved 45 lives in 2021 compared with 37 in 2020.

Leah says the figures released today serve a stark reminder of why the RNLI is such a vital charity.

She is calling on people to support Mayday and raise funds for crews, such as the Burry Port RNLI crew who helped to save her son Lewis, during an incident which tragically took the life of her youngest boy Sam.

Sam Capper, aged 15, from Rock Ferry died in hospital after falling into the sea when a wave hit him in Llangennith, Swansea, in 2012. His older brother Lewis, now 31, jumped in after Sam and held onto him before being rescued by an RAF rescue helicopter and Burry Port RNLI lifeboat.

To support Mayday, Leah will take part in the Wirral Coastal Walk on 22 May along with Lewis’ three children Archie, nine, Kael, seven and five year old Neala. All will be wearing yellow wellies as a tribute to RNLI crews across the UK and Ireland who are prepared to drop everything should the call for help comes.

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Leah says: “Before losing Sam, I now realise these people had never entered my mind, but were there for my family when I needed them most and to think that volunteers would risk their own safety for my family is just incredible and I am eternally grateful.

“This walk is certainly not about me, but about keeping Sam’s memory alive. On the 10th anniversary of his passing – it’s more important to me than ever to see his legacy live on in such a positive way. I would do anything for the RNLI and the walk is just one of the ways I want to say thank you. We regularly visit Burry Port and they have made us feel part of their family and I’m so grateful for that.

“Although the tragedy of losing Sam will never go away, they gave me back my son Lewis and I will be forever in their debt for that. I’m really looking forward to walking the Wirral Coastal Path for Mayday and will be chatting with my grandchildren about the uncle they never got to meet.”

WATCH: Leah Hunt talks about the death of her grandson, sam, the support that burry port lifeboat gave her at the time and why she’s supporting the rnli

The busiest station in Wales during 2021 was The Mumbles where lifeboats launched 95 times and assisted 143 people.

This is followed by Tenby where lifeboats launched 78 times and aided 36 people. It was the Porthcawl RNLI who saved the most lives during 2021, with 11 people still alive today thanks to the volunteer crew.

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Events are taking place across Wales to support the RNLI fundraiser whereby people are invited to walk, jog, hop or skip. The Mayday Mile which challenges you to cover at least one mile in any way you like between Saturday 1st and Tuesday 31st May, whilst raising vital funds for RNLI lifesavers so that they can continue to keep people safe at sea.

At Tenby, RNLI supporters are being invited to sign up to a virtual ramble and Penarth RNLI will also be hosting a sponsored walk on 1 May.

Crew and supporters of Porthcawl RNLI are calling on locals to join a walk on 1 May and chose either a five, 10 or 15KM challenges to raise funds.

Faye Maher, RNLI Engagement Lead for Wales says: “Last year was an exceptionally busy one for our crews across Wales, but our volunteers would not be able to continue saving lives without the generous support of the public.

“With the increased popularity of the Welsh coastline, we’re expecting a busy summer and are so grateful to all those who have answered our Mayday plea. It’s exciting to see details of all the events flowing in and I hope people enjoy taking part whilst raising much-needed funds to help us continue saving lives.”

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Lead image: Leah and her grandchildren with the West Kirby RNLI crew (Image: RNLI/David Edwards)

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Crisps cost one Burry Port worker a packet

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A packet of crisps proved costly for one Burry Port road worker after he was ordered to pay nearly £200.

Jack Howells was laying tarmac on a road when a resident caught him red handed on camera discarding the empty packet on the floor.

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The 24-year-old of Tyn Y Bryn Road, in Tonyrefail, was fined £100 by Llanelli magistrates and ordered to pay costs of £85 in a prosecution led by Carmarthenshire County Council.

The court heard that on Monday, November 8 last year, a resident heard noises outside their property and saw a road worker throwing a banana skin on the ground. The resident then decided to switch on her phone video and caught Howells who was laying tarmac emptying the remains of a bag of crisps into his mouth before throwing it on the floor.

The evidence was then passed onto Carmarthenshire County Council’s enforcement team who contacted Gwendraeth Valley Tarmac and were able to identify Howells.

Howells was contacted by the council and agreed to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) within 14 days to avoid going to court.

Despite reminders and a verbal agreement, Howells failed to pay up and was taken to court last Friday where he admitted the offence.

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He was also ordered to pay £34 victim surcharge.

(Lead image: Allen Watkin / Creative Commons)

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