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Press releases

Big changes are on the horizon for Llanelli’s Tyisha ward

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Big changes are on the horizon for Llanelli’s Tyisha ward, and the community is being placed firmly in the driving seat.

Carmarthenshire County Council, working in partnership with a number of key organisations, is undertaking a huge community engagement programme to gain views and ideas ahead of the development of a regeneration plan for the area.

It means residents, tenants and businesses will have real opportunity to help plan for changes and improvements that will affect their future.

Cllr Cefin Campbell, executive board member for communities, and Cllr Linda Evans, executive board member for housing, are leading the engagement programme saying they want everyone in Tyisha to bring ideas and opinions on what matters to them.

The council has brought community engagement specialists on board and a programme of consultation activities will be held during the summer, aimed at reaching everyone who lives and works in the area.

Local school children will be making a 3D model of Tyisha, and the community will be invited to events to gather views and show where they want change to happen.

Local councillors and the AM and MP for Llanelli are being involved from the outset.

Cllr Campbell said: “We know that Tyisha has its problems, but we also recognise that it has a fantastic community spirit. People really want to see the area improve and we want people to be part of the change. There is real potential to do something and we’re excited about what lays ahead.”

All the views, opinions and ideas gathered from the community will feed in to a regeneration masterplan which will be developed early 2019.

Whilst representing socio-economic and environmental challenges, Tyisha is seen as an area of strategic importance, lying between Llanelli town centre and the proposed Life Science and Wellness Village at Delta Lakes.

It has the highest population density in Carmarthenshire, and over a quarter of housing is social rented, in low demand and difficult to let. There is also a high proportion of flats and maisonettes which no longer meet the needs of the community.

These are amongst the issues that need to be addressed.

Cllr Evans said: “With the Llanelli Life Science and Well-being Village being developed right on the doorstep of the Tyisha we want to ensure that the wider community benefits from such a significant development. We are all coming from common ground – we want the area to improve. We really hope that residents, tenants and businesses will take this opportunity with both hands and work with us all, the council and our partners, to ensure future investment and development is what the community needs and wants.”

Joining the council for the engagement programme are Dyfed Powys Police, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Llanelli Town Council, Pobl, and Ysgol Pen Rhos, amongst others.

Local officers and community representatives will be leading the engagement and will be attending a variety of community events, locations and projects during July and August.

This engagement model is being piloted in the Tyisha ward and if successful will be further developed and replicated in other communities across Carmarthenshire.

Further information will be made available to the Tyisha community in the coming weeks.

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News

Three former Llanelli Rugby Union players inducted into Hall of Fame at St Helens Rugby League

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Three former Llanelli RFC Rugby Union players have been inducted into the Hall of Fame at St Helens Rugby League Football Club.

The three are Kel Coslett, Roy Mathias and John Warlow.

All three are keen followers of the Scarlets Rugby Union region and have been regular visitors to Stradey Park and Parc y Scarlets down the years.

The three were at St Helens Rugby League club for the unveiling of their portraits in the Hall of Fame.

John Warlow
Kel Coslett
Roy Mathias
 
About Kel Coslett:

He played representative level rugby union (RU) for Wales, and at club level for Aberavon RFC, and Llanelli RFC, as a goal-kicking full-back, representative level rugby league (Rl) for Wales, and at club level for St. Helens (captain), and Rochdale Hornets as a toe-end kicking style (rather than round the corner kicking style) goal-kicking fullback, prop, second-row, or loose forward/lock, i.e. number 1, 8 or 10, 11 or 12, or 13, and coached at club level for Rochdale Hornets, Wigan, and St. Helens.

Coslett made his international rugby union début for Wales as a full-back in the 1962 Five Nations Championship match against England. He also appeared that year in the Test matches against Scotland, and France, before shifting to the professional rugby league code in 1962 with St. Helens.

Coslett was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Rugby League.

Dave Dooley of the Saints Heritage Society says on the St Helens history website  –

Kel Coslett is synonymous with Saints` great golden period in the 1960s and 1970s. His exploits are legendary and he holds many individual records at the club including most ever career appearances, greatest career and season points total and greatest number of goals kicked in a career or season. Kel was a player who evolved from a full back to the back row in the forwards and at the end of his career moved effortlessly into the prop forward position. His abilities and knowledge of the game were greatly refined over the years and it was natural that he became the captain of the club through the successful first half of the 1970s.

This amiable Welshman became a Saint in the summer of 1962. He was signed from Aberavon RU club after completing a rare Championship winning season with them and gaining three welsh international caps. His first season at the Saints was nothing short of phenomenal. Kel recalls his debut game for the Saints against Salford:

“As soon as the match finished, I knew I could cut it in rugby league.”

That first season Kel played in every match from the full back position and scored in all but one. That black hole was towards the end of the season on 20th of April, 1963 (Shortly after the big thaw – when Saints seemed to be playing every other day!). In a home league game against Featherstone Rovers Saints scored 6 tries and won the match by 18 points to 5. Kel valiantly hit the posts and shaved the uprights with his conversion attempts. Kel recalled the match and in his own inimitable style dismisses the occasion as “Just one of those days!” His 156 goals that year demonstrated the accuracy of one of the last great `toe-enders`. That total left him at the top of the RL goal-kicking charts. This haul included two goals in the Lancashire Cup Final as Saints completed a hat trick of wins over Swinton.

The next season was very much a case of `more of the same` as Kel booted over 138 goals and scored five tries in 41 matches to top the RL Charts again. In those days Saints maintained a very high quality squad and competition for places was fierce. Inevitably, Kel was challenged for the full back berth by a red-hot Frankie Barrow. The local lad`s defensive qualities and fearless running greatly endeared him to the terraced crowds. For the next three seasons Frank commandeered the number one jersey as Kel made a steady transition to the loose forward position. The Saints won four trophies in the 1965/6 season and Kel missed out on selection for the Challenge Cup and Championship Finals through an injury sustained in the business end of the season. In the 1966/7 campaign Saints completed a third successive Lancashire League Championship and Kel played loose forward in 11 out of 15 starts. His transformation into the number 13 jersey was complete by the 1977/8 season. A benchmark performance came in the Challenge Cup first round that season when Saints defeated Halifax by 31 points to 2. Kel demonstrated all the craft of a quality loose forward namely shrewd ball distribution, excellent support play and rock-solid defence. In that particular game Kel scored a hat trick of tries and kicked 5 goals in a stunning performance. Coslett also donned `Yorkshire`s unlucky number` in the Lancashire Cup triumph over Warrington.

Kel repeated the performance in the 1968 Lancashire Cup Final against Oldham as he booted over 6 goals in the record 30 points to 2 victory. Coslett also re-established himself as the principal goal-kicker at the club. Remarkably, Len Killeen had taken over the role in Kel`s `low profile transition` years. He ended the 1968/9 season with 317 points from 154 goals and three tries.

The 1969/70 season saw Kel break the 300 points barrier again. On the way to that total was Saints final match of the swinging sixties. There couldn`t have been a finer venue than Central Park to host Kel`s golden boot landing 10 goals in a 53 points to 11 victory. As the Saints fans danced a double Christmas celebration no spectator would have predicted that the vanquished would be Championship contenders just seventeen months later. Before then the Saints had further cause to rejoice as they were crowned `Champions` after defeating Leeds on a wild May afternoon at Odsal Stadium. Kel kicked 4 goals as some `Myler Magic` ripped the Leeds defence apart in the second half as Saints went on to win by 24 points 12. The 1969/70 season had established a personal best for Kel of 160 goals.

Kel`s resilience was again demonstrated in the following season (1970/1) when he played in 49 matches collecting a fabulous goal tally of 193 goals. Unsurprisingly, Kel topped the RL goalkicking Charts that campaign. Twelve of these goals came in the 42 points to nil victory over Bradford Northern on the 19th. of October 1970 when Kel landed a perfect 12 goals out of 12 attempts from all parts of the pitch including three 50 yards penalty goals. At the end of the season it was Wigan who challenged Saints in the Swinton sunshine for the right to be named as RL Champions of the 1970/1 season. In an enthralling contest Kel kept Saints` noses in front at half time with three well taken penalties. In the second half the brilliant Bill Ashurst took control for the Riversiders as Wigan notched up an apparently unassailable 12 points to 6 lead. With only seven minutes of the match remaining, the Saints lacking a dismissed John Mantle, maintained their open attacking strategy and a slick crossfield move sent Bob Blackwood in at the left hand corner. Coslett calmly converted the try from the touchline to take the Saints` deficit to a mere single point. The conversion raised the tension to cliffhanger proportions and re-engaged the Saints` section of the crowd. As the game ebbed and flowed a last minute drop goal attempt by John Walsh bounced back into the grateful cradle of Billy `the bandit` Benyon and the never say die centre plunged over the Wigan tryline. Coslett was on hand to seal the match with a cool conversion. As Cliff Watson had been ruled out of the Final with a broken arm it was down to Kel Coslett to lift the Championship Trophy aloft – a manoeuvre he was set to repeat several times over the next six years!

With the departure of Cliff Watson to Cronulla-Sutherland in the summer of 1971, Kel became club captain for the 1971-2 season and what a season it would prove to be. Kel`s men brought the Saints spectators an early Christmas present as the Saints carried off the BBC TV Trophy for the first time with a hard fought 8 points to 2 victory over a gutsy Rochdale Hornets. In a tryless match Kel kicked all the Saints` points. As this incredible season unfolded the classy Saints side were sweeping all before them. The 1972 Challenge Cup Final was a battle of the Roses as Saints took on a powerful Leeds outfit. Kel played a marvellous game in the loose – directing the team and holding out the lethal Leeds attack. His five goals haul in the Final, included a magnificent 30 yards drop goal that soared ten yards above the uprights, always kept Saints in the lead throughout the match. This great all round performance brought Kel the Lance Todd Trophy as the man of the match. Although Saints did lose to Leeds a week later in the Championship Final, it did not take the gloss off a fantastic season for the Kel and the Saints. In total Coslett played an incredible 54 matches that season scoring 8 tries and kicking 214 goals for an unbelievable tally of 452 points. The goals produced the game`s third best total of all time (behind David Watkins 221in 1972/3 and Bernard Ganley 219 in 1957/8).

The next two years were a `trophy free zone` for the Saints. In the 1972/3 season Kel was top of the appearances for the club scoring 162 goals and 330 points in the process. The 1974/5 Championship winning side played some of the greatest rugby ever seen at Knowsley Road under Kel`s shrewd leadership. In the entire league campaign Saints only lost three matches and topped the table 9 points ahead of nearest rivals Wigan.

Kel`s final season in a Saints` jersey more than lived up to the town`s expectations. Coslett captained the side for the fifth successive season and many pundits had written off the “old codgers” at the start of the campaign, laying all the plaudits at the feet of a youthful and talented Widnes team. As it happened an exciting Salford team ended the season as Champions. Coslett`s men however had already lifted a trophy when they defeated Dewsbury in the BBC TV Floodlit Trophy. Having dispatched Salford on their way to Wembley, few outside St Helens fancied their chances as Saints were paired against Widnes in the 1976 Challenge Cup Final. The press had labelled the Saints as `Dads Army` but as the Final unfolded it was the Saints pack, led by Coslett who battered Widnes into submission. A marvellous try from Jeff Heaton and a brace from Peter Glynn in the last 15 minutes presented Kel with the honour of receiving the cup for the second time from Margaret Thatcher. A fortnight later Saints battled with Salford for the Premiership Trophy. Saints played in a similar fashion as Saints killed off the `Red Devils` in the last 15 minutes to seal their third trophy of the season.

On the international scene Kel gained 12 caps for his native Wales. After coaching spells with Rochdale Hornets and Wigan Kel took over the coaching reins at Knowsley road. A very young squad, limited resources and a lack of big named stars were the inhibiting factors that led to a relative decline in the Saints` fortunes. His contract was terminated after two years just as Kel thought matters were on the upturn.

Kel did return to the club in the 1990s where he first worked in the marketing and corporate department and then became Team Manager during the great Super League era of Saints` success.

Kel Coslett has played more matches than any other player in Saints jersey. He has also kicked more goals and scored more points than any other Saint – some 1409 ahead of Paul Loughlin. These records could well stand the test of time as will the name of Kel Coslett in rugby league folklore! It is indeed also fitting that he is now the President of our famous club.

About Roy Mathias:

Roy Mathias was born in Llanelli on September 2 1949 and is a Welsh dual-code international rugby union, and professional rugby league, and footballer of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

He played representative level rugby union (RU) for Wales, and at club level for Felinfoel RFC, and Llanelli RFC, as a wing, i.e. number 11 or 14, and representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain, and Wales, and at club level for St. Helens, and Cardiff City (Bridgend) Blue Dragons, as a wing, or loose forward/lock, i.e. number 2 or 5, or 13, during the era of contested scrums.

Mathias won a cap playing Right-Wing for Wales (RU) while at Llanelli RFC in the 11–6 victory over France at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday 4 April 1970.

Dave Dooley of the Saints Heritage Society says on the St Helens history website –

Roy Mathias had represented Wales RU against France in the 1972 Home Championships when he was lured to the greener pastures of Knowsley Road for £8,000. The man himself gave an early impression of Rugby League:

I watched the opening matches of the season against Rochdale and Salford and I saw David Watkins getting the treatment from one of our forwards and I thought “What have I let myself in for?”

The likeable Welshman`s fears were unfounded as he used the touchline beautifully with a classy `in and out` move to clinch a vital 15 points to 11 victory over Warrington on his debut.

Roy became a cult figure at the club. He had great pace in his early days and his powerful frame made him a difficult man to pull down when he got up a full head of steam. When Roy`s days on the wing were over he successfully made the transition to the back row of the forwards. In 11 seasons at the club he was rarely out of the team with injury and he seemed to relish the hard contact of the sport.

In his first season he topped the club`s try-scoring charts with 26 tries including touchdowns in his first four matches for the Saints and a hat trick against Wakefield Trinity in the second round of the Challenge Cup. Roy`s 40 tries in the 1973/4 was the best total for a Saints` player since Tom Van Vollenhoven in 1961/2. This haul included a hat trick against Castleford, four tries against Workington Town and a fabulous five touchdowns against Rochdale Hornets. Furthermore, these matches were in successive weeks! Despite these sterling performances Roy and the Saints failed to capture any silverware that season.

The Championship winning team of 1974/5 included a rampant Mathias topping the club`s tryscoring charts for a third successive year. Roy greatly benefited from excellent inside service from the likes of John Walsh and Frank Wilson. Nevertheless, when Roy had the line at his mercy there were very few defenders who could prevent another try for the Welshman.

Roy`s tough and robust body ensured he was virtually an ever-present player in the side for some ten years. This included every single Final that the Saints reached during his career (even those the Saints lost). Roy cashed in the Saints treble winning campaign of 1975/6. He scored a brace in the BBC TV Trophy Final as Saints crushed Dewsbury by 22 points to 2. This included an absolute screamer created by a beautiful side-stepping incursive break from the great Geoff Pimblett leaving Roy to romp in from the halfway line. Roy revelled in the glory of the Wembley win over Widnes in the 1976 Challenge cup Final. In the third part of the treble the Premiership Final against Salford was finally balanced in the 69th minute when a Peter Glynn pass ignited a smouldering Mathias to embark on a 35 yards dash towards the Salford line. John Mantle continued the attack before George Nicholls sent Glynn over the tryline with a perfectly executed reverse pass. Two late tries for the Saints sealed Salford`s fate. Roy had made many such critical breaks during his career, he was very much a gamebreaker.

In the 1976/7 season Roy continued his scoring prowess with hat tricks against Leigh and Oldham. He rounded off the season with a `belter` against Warrington in the 1977 Premiership Final following a neat offload from Eddie Cunningham. This proved to be Roy`s last winning medal with the Saints. Roy continued his fine form till the end of his Saints` days despite the club suffering a relative decline over the next five years. He again topped the club`s tryscoring charts in the 1978/9 and 1979/80 seasons. In the latter-mentioned campaign Roy bagged five tries against Workington Town. It was during that season that Roy experimented with life in the back row to great acclaim.

As the Saints glory team of the 1970s dispersed, Roy remained loyal to the cause and played through to the early eighties as Saints rebuilt their team around a nucleus of young local talent. He adopted the role of the `Elder Statesman` of the pack alongside Eric Chisnall and George Nicholls as they nurtured the young lads in the team.

On the international scene Roy`s fine club form was rewarded with a place on the 1979 Australasian Tour. This provided Roy with his solitary international cap for Great Britain. In welsh colours Roy is second on the all-time list of appearances in the scarlet jersey with 20 matches netting two tries in the process.

He is one of an elite band of players who have made more than 400 appearances for the Club. Roy is fifth on the all-time club try-scoring charts with 218 tries.

About John Warlow:

Douglas John Warlow was born in Dafen, Llanelli, on February 13, 1939.

He is a Welsh former dual-code international rugby union, and professional rugby league footballer of the 1960s and 1970s.

He played representative level rugby union (RU) for Wales, and at club level for Felinfoel RFC, and Llanelli RFC, as a prop, i.e. number 1 or 3, and representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain, and at club level for St. Helens (two spells), Widnes, and Rochdale Hornets, as a prop, or second-row, i.e. number 8 or 10, or 11 or 12, during the era of contested scrums.

Warlow won a cap for Wales (RU) while at Llanelli RFC in 1962 against Ireland.

Dave Dooley of the Saints Heritage Society says on the St Helens history website  –

Warlow played in the successful Saints teams of the 60s and early 70s. He was a 6 feet 1 inch, 15 stones second row forward from Llanelli RU Club and a welsh Rugby Union international. He was signed in a pub by the then secretary Basil Lowe and Saints Chairman Harry Cook. The directors of Workington Town were also present attempting to sign `Big John`. Also in attendance to witness, and later celebrate, the signing of a Saint, were John`s team-mates from Llanelli.

Big John` was a stalwart of the “pack of aces” and played alongside great forwards like Cliff Watson, John Mantle, Kel Coslett, John Tembey, Mervyn Hicks, Ray French and Doug Laughton. Warlow was a tough nut with the ball in his hands and a powerful tackler. His unstinting efforts and consistent performances should have been rewarded with more international caps. With players of his calibre battering the opposition for the first hour, many a match was characterised by the classy backs running riot in the final twenty minutes.

He signed for the Saints on the 23rd. of October and made his debut against Liverpool City on the 30th. of November, 1963.He lodged with the infamous Minnie Cotton in Windsor Road for a spell. Minnie received national attention when she single-handedly invaded the pitch in the 1966 Championship Final against Halifax. Minnie set about a couple of Halifax forwards with her umbrella as retribution for some rough play against her lodger.

He had two spells with the Saints, leaving the Club after the end of the 1968/69 season for a stint with local rivals Widnes. John returned to Knowsley Road in November 1973 to complete his dazzling career with the Saints. His last match for the Saints was against Leeds in the 1975 Premiership Final against Leeds when Saints dipped surprisingly after winning the Championship at a canter.

In 235 games plus 10 as substitute and 13 as non-playing substitute John scored a total of 27 tries for an aggregate of 81 points. After his playing career was over John returned to South Wales. These days `Young Warlow` can often be located visiting the Llanelli RU clubhouse supporting the Scarlets.

Website link –

http://www.saints.org.uk/saints.org.uk/home/viewpage.php?page_id=283

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Ospreys

Press releases

Ospreys reaction to European rugby Challenge Cup draw

Posted By Robert Lloyd

After seeing his Ospreys team drawn in Challenge Cup Pool 2 alongside Pau, Worcester Warriors and Stade Francais, Head Coach Allen Clarke said that everyone at the Region should be excited about what lies in store in Europe in the coming season.

While Stade are familiar foes having gone toe-to-toe with Ospreys a little over a year ago in the last eight of this competition, there is a first ever clash with their compatriots Pau to look forward to as well as a ‘derby’ against Worcester Warriors to look forward to.

“It’s a really exciting draw” said Clarke, who will lead the Ospreys into European action for the first time.

“We are pooled with three teams that have real quality right the way through and will provide different challenges to what we are used to week in, week out, in the Guinness PRO14.

“When you look at out Pool, and the list of teams in the competition this year, it’s an indication of how the game is growing in Europe and the challenge that teams face across their domestic leagues to qualify for the Champions Cup.

“We are looking forward to playing different teams, going to different venues, and I think players, coaches and supporters will all share that excitement.”

Looking at the Challenge Cup opposition team by team, Clarke acknowledged that the Ospreys will be up against some clubs who will be looking to make a statement of intent this season:

“Pau showed their quality in this competition last season, winning their pool unbeaten, defeating Gloucester away, and going through to the semi-finals where they pushed the Blues all the way in Cardiff.

“Stade are one of the traditional giants of French rugby and are approaching next season with a renewed vigour so will be a really dangerous outfit with real quality. Worcester are a club that have invested and recruited, so will have increased expectations for the coming season. I know some of the coaching staff and we’ll see Ashley Beck coming back to the Liberty which will give it an added dimension.

“It’s an old cliche, about there being no easy games, but that is the reality, Each round will offer unique challenges and hurdles for us to deal with but when you see the names on the board like that it brings the new season that little bit closer.”

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Scarlets

Press releases

Scarlets Heineken Champions Cup draw reaction

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The Scarlets have been drawn in to Pool 4 of next season’s Heineken Champions Cup alongside Racing 92, Leicester Tigers and Ulster Rugby.

With a semi final finish in the 2017-18 competition Scarlets were drawn in to Tier 1 for the draw alongside Leinster, Saracens, Castres and Montpellier.

The 2018-19 pool has a familiar feel for the Scarlets with all three teams regular opponents for the West Wales region in recent years.

Scarlets have gone head-to-head against Racing 92 in recent seasons, losing both home and away clashes in season 2015-16 whilst securing a draw at Parc y Scarlets and a win away from home in 2013-14.

Leicester Tigers were a Champions Cup opponent in 2014-15 with results favouring the home side on both occasions but Scarlets’ European history is peppered with clashes against the East Midlands side, most notable the side’s semi final loss in 2007.

Scarlets last faced Ulster Rugby, a familiar opponent from Guinness PRO14 action, in European competition in 2014-15 with results also favouring the home teams on both occasions.

Commenting on the draw Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac said: “A semi final in last season’s competition is something that we’re all immensely proud of but equally just as disappointed that we didn’t play to the best of our abilities on that afternoon in Dublin.

“Getting a good start in these competitions is vital and that’s something we failed to do last season. We will be looking to improve our performances in the opening rounds, look to build on last season’s success and ensure that we remain competitive in both domestic and European competitions.”

The fixtures for the new season will be announced around two weeks after the announcement of the last fixture list from the European professional domestic leagues.

Make sure you’re #inthepack with the Scarlets.

Season Tickets are available now from as little as £150 for families! Click here for more information or buy now, here

2018/19 Heineken Champions Cup pools 



Pool 1: Leinster Rugby, Wasps, Toulouse, Bath Rugby


Pool 2: Castres Olympique, Exeter Chiefs, Munster Rugby, Gloucester Rugby


Pool 3: Saracens, Glasgow Warriors, Lyon, Cardiff Blues

Pool 4: Scarlets, Racing 92, Leicester Tigers, Ulster Rugby


Pool 5: Montpellier, Newcastle Falcons, Edinburgh Rugby, RC Toulon

EPCR weekends – 2018/19 season
Round 1: 12/13/14 October
Round 2: 19/20/21 October
Round 3: 7/8/9 December
Round 4: 14/15/16 December
Round 5: 11/12/13 January 2019
Round 6: 18/19/20 January 2019
Quarter-finals: 29/30/31 March 2019
Semi-finals: 19/20/21 April 2019

2019 Newcastle Finals
 Challenge Cup final: Friday 10 May, St James’ Park
Heineken Champions Cup final: Saturday 11 May, St James’ Park

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Robert Lloyd

Blog posts

Latest ‘On Song’ column from Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The talented youngsters from Llanelli Youth Theatre and the Llanelli Stage Company are putting on a special musical cabaret show on Saturday night.

Forever Young is being staged at Glenalla Hall, Llanelli, at 7.30pm on Saturday, June 23.

The show follows the success of last year’s cabaret evening entitled ‘That’s Life’.

Forever Young promises to be an evening of music and song from the stage and screen.

Tickets are £8 and are available from members of Llanelli Youth Theatre and the Llanelli Stage Company, or Jill Stevens on 07870385513.

Meanwhile, the focus on young talent continues with news of a brand new musical which will premiere in Llanelli in August.

Age of the Geek is being staged at Llanelli’s Selwyn Samuel Centre from Thursday, August 9, to Saturday, August 11.

Age of the Geek is based on the book and lyrics by Elliot Alldridge, with music by Ryan Mellish.

The story goes like this –

Zack is an unpopular schoolboy, with braces, spots and asthma . . . but he’s also very dead!

Zack’s body was found in the park next to a suicide note, but things don’t add up.

Eli, an enthusiastic young journalist gets hold of the story and won’t let go until she finds the truth.

She goes undercover at the school where she meets Zack’s best friend Leo, a geek who lives at the bottom of the social food chain and someone who is struggling to survive without Zack.

Everyone is a suspect as Eli and Leo fight to find Zack’s murderer in Age of the Geek, a musical filled with laughter, emotion and mystery.

The tale follows the two heroes as they unravel the story of the untimely death of a teenage boy and find out which is more dangerous – hunting a killer or being a geek in school.

Tickets are £10 and are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk

Still shining the spotlight on young talent, we have the Gethin Hughes Memorial Bursary competition to look forward to at the end of this month.

The event – designed to provide a cash bursary to help with musical education – is part of Côr Meibion Llanelli’s annual concert at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, on Saturday, June 30.

The six contestants bidding for the prize are all members of Loud Applause Rising Stars, the group set up by Llanelli concert promoter Cerith Owens to help mentor and encourage young talent in Wales.

The talented six are Joseph Cavalli-Price, Osian Clarke, Lauren Fisher, Daisy Owens, Jack Owens and Neve Summers.

Loud Applause Rising Stars (a body directed by Llanelli concert promoter Cerith Owens) is an exciting group of talented young singers and instrumentalists who are ambitious and eager to fulfil their true potential.

Currently, LARS is made up of 14 young people who are under the guidance of established professionals.

The youngsters have an opportunity to take the stage at a number of prestigious events and concerts throughout the year.

The list of venues where they have performed in the name of LARS is impressive: Stradey Castle, Llanelly House and Theatr Ffwrnes, Llanelli; Margam Orangery; The Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, to name but a few.

A small group of members have also been to The Netherlands, to take part in the Official Commemoration of the World War Two Liberation of s’Hertogenbosh.

The organisers were so impressed with their performances that they invited LARS back to perform in the Commemorations again later this year.

Invitations for LARS singers to perform are numerous, from TV appearances, concerts and bespoke musical events to singing at a wedding in Venice.

The opportunity to perform for knowledgeable, paying guests in established venues is very difficult for younger performers to access. LARS further encourages the development of its members by staging its own concerts and also by providing opportunities for the young people to sing at other significant events, with the British Legion, the RAF and Machnys Golf Club, for example.

LARS is not an agency or a training school and any prospective LARS member has to go through a strict auditioning process to meet the selection criteria.

LARS provides the opportunity for them to take their natural talent to a broader audience, extending their aspirations and widening their experience and in so doing their confidence and artistry.

The young singers are supported by LARS charity, which is run by a dedicated group of individuals and financially supported by the Friends of LARS.

It provides mentoring in a safe, trusted and honest and nurturing partnership.

An important part of LARS is providing bursaries to its members, a much-needed income to help further their musical studies in what are difficult financial times.

You can find out more about LARS on the website at –

www.loudapplauserisingstars.co.uk

The June 30 Gethin Hughes Memorial Bursary competition will honour Côr Meibion Llanelli’s former accompanist.

Gethin Hughes was affectionately known as Llanelli’s ‘Mr Music’ prior to his death in 2011.

Following his death, the Gethin Hughes Memorial Bursary Scholarship was established.

The first winner of the cash bursary was Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama student Megan Thomas, from Trimsaran.

The competition will form the centrepiece of the concert by Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir, with the choir performing a wide-ranging repertoire dovetailing the competition.

In other news, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi have put together an exciting line-up for their annual concert on Saturday, July 21, at the Princess Gwenllian Centre in Kidwelly.

The evening will feature the popular North Wales act Piantel.

Piantel are pianist Annette Bryn Parry and harpist Dylan Cernyw. They are described as ‘a magical musical experience not to be missed!’

The concert will also feature the much-acclaimed Tywi Valley musical duo, the husband and wife team of Aled Edwards and Eleri Owen Edwards.

The compere for the Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi concert will be Ioan Hefin

On the same night (July 21), Burry Port Town Band are scheduled to stage their annual summer concert.

The band’s special guests will be Tenovus Cancer Care Swansea Sing With Us Choir and Burry Port Junior Band.

Curtain up is at 7pm on July 21, with tickets £10, under 16s free.

The Burry Port Town Band will be looking to perform an entertaining programme featuring popular classics and music from the stage and screen.

They will also feature their Eisteddfod programme ahead of the Royal National Eisteddfod at the Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday, August 4.

It has been a successful year for Burry Port Town Band, reaching the semi-finals of S4C Band Cymru and again qualifying to represent Wales at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain taking place on September.

The compere for the Burry Port concert will be Robert Lloyd.

Looking to the autumn, Côr Meibion Caerfyrddin Carmarthen Male Choir’s 60th anniversary concert will be held at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, on Saturday, October 13.

The choir will be joined on stage by four other choirs – Mynydd Mawr, Burry Port, Dyffryn Tywi and Dyffryn Aman.

This will create a combined choir of around 150 voices under the baton of Wyn Maskell, musical director of Côr Meibion Caerfyrddin.

Also taking part will be well known soloists: Jessica Robinson, soprano, and Trystan Llŷr Griffiths, tenor.

The MC for the evening will be television and radio personality Garry Owen.

Finally, here’s another date for your diary for later in the year. The Annual Royal British Legion Charity Gala Concert will be held at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, on October 27 (7pm).

This year, 2018, marks a significant year for our Armed Forces. It is the centenary of the end of The Great War (First World War) and also commemorates 100 years of the Royal Air Force.

The prestigious annual Royal British Legion Concert has become one of the landmark events in the calendar of South West Wales, providing a platform for the Royal British Legion to pay tribute to the fallen of current and past conflicts.

It also helps the British Legion launch the Poppy Appeal in South West Wales.

The concert features leading soprano and TV and radio personality Shân Cothi, one of Wales’s premier choirs in the form of Dunvant Male Choir, the highly popular Carmarthen-based mixed youth choir Côr Seingar, Swansea-based Dancerama performing arts group youth choir, the stirring sounds of the City of Swansea Pipe Band and the unforgettable Corps of Drums of the 215 City of Swansea Squadron.

The compére will be Brian Sullivan and the guest accompanist Jeffrey Howard.

The evening ends with the poignant Tribute to the Fallen and a Service of Remembrance.

The Royal British Legion is being supported with this event by Loud Applause Productions, the production company run by Llanelli’s Cerith Owens.

 

Robert Lloyd works as a media consultant – www.rlloydpr.co.uk

If you have any news about the choral scene in Llanelli, the please contact him on 07777 683637 or email rlloydpr@btinternet.com

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Phil Evans

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The latest Phil Evans column

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy. Website – www.philevans.co.uk

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Any Old Irony?

It’s been said many times – but not by me – that Americans don’t appreciate irony in comedy.

Some people’s opinion of American humour is affected by crude Hollywood comedy films which rely on four-letter words and exaggerated and disgusting out-of-control bodily functions to get laughs.

I suppose that’s because very few Fridays go by without the opening of a new crude Hollywood comedy film that relies on four-letter words and exaggerated and disgusting out-of-control bodily functions for laughs.

But in truth, Americans, especially on the East and West Coasts (the people who mostly didn’t vote for the big orange-faced, comb-over clown who sits in the Oval Office tweeting about his busy schedule all day) appreciate irony as much as us we do this side of ‘The Pond’.

The USA has produced many humorists who’ve dipped their pens in the ‘inkwell of irony’ and written wonderfully subtle comedy that makes the reader think as well as chuckle.

For example: James Thurber, David Sedaris, Garrison Keillor and SJ Perelman – who our own Frank Muir, a man who knew a thing or two about humour, described as “the best American comedy writer of all time!”

Then, there was the great wit Dorothy Parker, who when challenged to make a joke containing the word ‘horticulture’ immediately responded . . .

“You can lead a ‘horticulture’, but you can’t make her think”. (Say it out loud if you don’t get it first time)

That’s one wickedly inventive comedy brain in action!

Irony is uppermost in my mind at the moment because the town of Chepstow in Monmouthshire was recently honoured by the environmental group “Surfers Against Sewage” (which sounds like a very unhealthy past-time to me) as a “Plastic Free” town.

This was such a big deal, local councillors hung a huge banner declaring Chepstow “Plastic Free” above the 13thCentury archway entrance to the old town.

Very commendable.

Oh, sorry. I forgot to mention . . .

The giant banner was made of plastic!

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Fun to come:

Having just read ‘What’s On in Swansea’, I’m extremely impressed with what’s coming up in and around our area over the next six weeks.

There are indoor and outdoor activities that won’t break the bank and events that include the whole family.

I think the ultimate up-and-coming event for me has to be the Swansea Air Show weekend.

The thrill and excitement of seeing the Red Arrows flying over Swansea seafront makes the hairs on the back of my neck tingle.

How do they pull off those manoeuvres?

It’s down to practise, commitment and dedication, enabling them to think as a team with each pilot knowing how the other thinks.

It’s discipline at the highest level.

Now then – what do I need to do to get a ride in one of those planes?

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You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk

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