07777683637 rlloydpr@btinternet.com

Press releases

Samoan international signs on loan for Ospreys

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The Ospreys have added Samoan international loose head Jordan Lay to the squad ahead of Friday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Ulster at the Morganstone Brewery Field.

The 26-year old has signed on a one-month emergency loan following an injury crisis that means the Ospreys are without all their front line loose heads.

Following Paul James’ retirement in December, Rhodri Jones (shoulder) and Gareth Thomas (ankle) have both been ruled out of action while Nicky Smith, who hasn’t played for the Ospreys since early December because of an ankle injury, is now with the Wales squad for their Six Nations campaign.

The situation led to Rowan Jenkins being drafted into the squad on permit from Aberavon, featuring off the bench in the last three Ospreys games, and prior to Lay’s arrival earlier this week he was the only senior loose head in the camp.

Lay has played 11 times for Samoa, making his debut against Tonga in July 2017, and has previous experience of the PRO14 with Edinburgh prior to his move to Ashton Gate.

Rugby General Manager, Dan Griffiths, described the situation as “exceptional”, saying:

“To lose four senior loose heads, as well as having two young players in the academy either with Wales U20 or returning from injury are exceptional circumstances.

“We’ve worked with the WRU to try and identify a suitable replacement but have had to look further afield to find a player of the quality needed to do an important job for the team over the next three matches.”

Head Coach, Allen Clarke, welcomed Jordan to the Ospreys, saying:

“It’s excellent news that we have been able to identify and recruit a player of his quality and experience to come in as short term injury cover at such an important time.

“Injuries and international calls have really put us under the pump in a key position. Rowan Jenkins has been excellent since coming in last month, in terms of his attitude around the environment and his performances on the pitch, but we need additional cover and Jordan will provide that over the coming weeks.”

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Press releases

Bid to make Narberth a ‘Dementia-Friendly’ Town

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The Narberth and Whitland Rotary Club is organising a meeting with local businesses to see if they will help to make Narberth a Dementia-Friendly Town.

The Narberth and Whitland Rotary Club successfully set up a friendship club more than 12 months ago to help people with life-limiting illness or suffering from loneliness.

The Living Memory Group (LMG) is now well established, meeting on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month from 1.30 to 3.30pm.

It is rewarding to see how much the attendees enjoy each session which can involve music and singing or handicrafts and painting.

The eldest member recently celebrated his 100th birthday and he still enjoys sketching and drawing portraits.

The Narberth Primary School led by Head Teacher Nia Edwards was instrumental in involving pupils from her Junior School, becoming active in this community venture.

The elderly and the young participants enjoy a synergy just like Grand parents with their Grand children and yet they are complete strangers.

Both generations benefit from this communal activity.

Now the Rotary Club is seeking to involve businesses in the town, making Narberth a Dementia-Friendly Town.

To understand how sufferers can enjoy the experience of shopping without confusion which often affects those with Dementia, the traders will learn how the service they provide can be tweaked without costing anything.

Residents and Business representatives are invited to come along for an hour at the end of the day and see what is involved.

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Press releases

Ospreys team to play Ulster

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The Ospreys team to play Ulster at the Morganstone Brewery Field on Friday 15th February 2019, KO 7.35pm, is as follows:

15 Dan Evans 14 Hanno Dirksen 13 Cory Allen 12 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler 11 Luke Morgan 10 Sam Davies (Capt) 9 Tom Habberfield 1 Jordan Lay 2 Scott Baldwin 3 Tom Botha 4 Lloyd Ashley 5 Bradley Davies 6 Olly Cracknell 7 Sam Cross 8 James King  

REPLACEMENTS – 16 Scott Otten 17 Rowan Jenkins 18 Ma’afu Fia 19 Will Griffiths 20 Rob McCusker 21 Matthew Aubrey 22 Luke Price 23 Keelan Giles

Jordan Lay makes his Ospreys debut.

Will Griffiths will make his Guinness PRO14 debut if he comes off the bench.

Dan Evans makes his 100th PRO12/14 appearance for the Ospreys.

The following players were unavailable for selection due to international duty:

Adam Beard, Aled Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, George North, Nicky Smith, Justin Tipuric and Owen Watkin (All Wales); Giorgi Nemsadze (Georgia)

The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:

Dan Baker – Knee; Rhodri Jones – Shoulder; Lesley Klim – Hamstring; Dan Lydiate – Elbow; Gareth Thomas – Ankle; Scott Williams – Back

Ospreys Head Coach, Allen Clarke, said:

“Our last game in Bridgend, against Connacht in October, was an excellent occasion on and off the field. The crowd were fantastic, getting behind the team right up to the final play which earned us a bonus point win. We’re looking forward to going back there and appreciate the support we get, hopefully we can make it another memorable occasion on Friday.

“Points are precious for all teams with this period of the season going a long way to define league positions and subsequent play-off spots. It’s great to have Bradley Davies back to bolster the team who collectively and individually have a clear understanding of what is required during this mini Six Nations block.” 

Forthcoming Fixtures

Fri 22 Feb – 7.35pm – Ospreys v Munster – Liberty Stadium

Sat 2 Mar – 2.45pm – Connacht v Ospreys, Sportsground

Sat 23 Mar – 3.00pm – Ospreys v Dragons – Liberty Stadium

Sat 6 Apr – 5.30pm (Local) – Toyota Cheetahs v Ospreys –Toyota Stadium

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Press releases

A farewell from Hywel Dda Health Chair Mrs Bernardine Rees OBE

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Press release from the Hywel Dda University Health Board:

We would like to wish our Chair, Mrs Bernardine Rees OBE, well following her decision to retire from Hywel Dda University Health Board.

Announcing her decision Mrs Rees said:“It is with the deepest of regret that due to health issues, I have decided to retire from my role as Chairman of Hywel Dda University Health Board. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as Chairman for the organisation during the past five years.

“I feel confident that the organisation, under Steve Moore’s leadership, is in a position to move ahead with an exciting health and care strategy, approved by Board in November last year, which will see lasting improvements to the health and well-being of our local population. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff for their dedication, hard work and continued commitment to providing the best possible care for our population. I have been fortunate in my position to have met so many of you and to have heard first hand the difference you make for our patients, whether that is through providing front-line care or in supportive roles, which are critical to the NHS. I have always been so proud of your achievements and your tenacity to overcome challenges and put the patient at the centre of your work and this is what motivated me to start the Employee of the Month scheme. It has been my privilege entirely.

“I would like also like to thank those whom I worked closely with for their support to me personally as the Chairman of Hywel Dda and I wish you all the very best for the future.”

Wednesday 02 January 2019

Bernardine will step down from her role as Chairman on 28th February 2019 and in the interim Vice Chair Judith Hardisty will take up the role of Acting Chair. Board Secretary, Joanne Wilson, will work with Welsh Government to commence the recruitment process for the substantive post.

Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “I would like to pay tribute to Bernardine, a colleague and a friend whom I admire greatly and will sorely miss. Bernardine has spent her entire career dedicated to the NHS first through her nursing, then in managerial and Executive roles and more recently, we have been fortunate enough to have benefited from her leadership and tenacity in the role as Chairman for Hywel Dda University Health Board.

“She has led this organisation to a position in which we have a clear health and care strategy, which gives us the foundation to transform and improve. She has also been a champion for our staff and I am sure she will be missed by many of you. We thank you Bernardine and we wish you all the best in the future.” 

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Robert Lloyd

Blog posts

The latest ‘On Song’ column from the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Some of the finest voices from West Wales will be venturing the other side of the Loughor Bridge this weekend for a special fund-raising concert.

Côr Meibion Pontarddulais Male Voice Choir will be starring in a concert at All Saints Church, Oystermouth, at 7.30pm on Friday, February 15.

The ‘boys from the Bont’ are record-breakers, having won the Blue Riband choir title an amazing 17 times at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

They will be under the musical direction of Clive Phillips for a concert which aims to raise cash for the organ restoration fund at the United Reformed Church in Mumbles.

The choir will be joined on stage by Llanelli’s great junior ambassadors of song, the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, under the baton of one of the longest-serving musical directors in the land, John Hywel Williams MBE.

Also featuring on what is a stunning bill will be the heavenly voices of the Angelicus Celtis choir, still revelling in their amazing TV appearances last year.

This year promises to be yet another busy year for Angelicus Celtis and the Hywel choirs as they will be taking part in special performances of The Passion Of The Christ, to be performed on Good Friday, April 19, and Easter Saturday, April 20.

The Passion of The Christ will be a blend of varied choral and vocal works, blended with narration and theatre to be held in South Wales over Easter weekend 2019.

This unique performance will present a dramatic retelling of the story of the life and crucifixion of Christ bringing together associated choir and vocal ensembles blending music and poetry from Bach, Barber, Jenkins, Mozart, Webber, Telemann, Dylan Thomas, Elizabeth Browning, Emily Dickson, Langston Hughes and Mary Oliver to name but a few.

The Passion will include opportunities for solo singers, duet, trios, small group chorale and main choir and different roles associated with the life and crucifixion of Christ.

Auditions for these singing opportunities have started.

If you are interested in learning more about the auditions for The Passion of the Christ, please register your interest by contacting Jeremy Williams at jeremywilliams@me.com

Other diary dates for the Hywel choirs and Angelic Celtis include – 

June 1, Last Night of the Proms at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.

December 14, Christmas Fantasia at Ffwrnes Theatre.

Meanwhile, the countdown is very much ‘on’ to a whole series of concerts and events to mark St David’s Day.

The team at Access Wales are holding a Cawl a Chân at St Peter’s Civic Hall, Carmarthen, on Friday, March 1.

The price is £5 for a bowl of cawl and £1 for a tea or coffee with a Welsh Cake or Bara Brith.

Food is served between 11.45am and 2.30pm.

The ‘boys’ of Llandyfaelog-based Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi will be performing at a Cawl a Chân at Carmarthen Golf Club as part of their St David’s Day celebrations.

The evening of entertainment, cawl and Welsh cakes takes place at the golf club at 7m on Friday, March 1.

The evening will also feature Y Brodyr Gregory, the famous Gregory brothers Adrian and Paul.

Y Brodyr Gregory are one of the most popular entertainment acts in Wales and regularly perform on TV and radio.

The ‘boys’ of Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir will be helping the chairman of Llanelli Rural Council raise money for charity when they perform their St David’s Day concert.

The concert will take the form of a Cawl a Chân evening at The Diplomat Hotel in Llanelli on Thursday, February 28 (7pm).

The chairman of Llanelli Rural Council Councillor Sian Caiach has chosen three charities to support during her year of office – Breakthro’ Llanelli, Llanelli Railway Strike Riots 1911 Commemorative Committee and Wales Air Ambulance.

The evening will also feature special guest soloists, with more details being released next week.

Tickets, at £12 each, are available from Llanelli Rural Council, Vauxhall Buildings, Llanelli

Tel. 01554 774103 Email: enquiries@llanelli-rural.gov.uk

The Miners’ Theatre in Ammanford will be staging a St David’s Day Concert on Friday, March 1 (7pm).

The popular Cor Meibion Dyffryn Amman will share the stage with three highly-talented young musicians from the Ammanford area – clarinettist Catrin Soons and the beautiful voices of Neve Summers and Osian Clarke. The guest accompanist will be Joseph Cavalli-Price.

Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli always stages a hugely-popular St David’s Day concert. This year it will be held on Saturday, March 2.

The concert will feature the world-famous Morriston Orpheus Choir, conducted by Joy Amman Davies, and Côr Lleisiau’r Cwm, under the baton of Llanelli’s Catrin Hughes.

Sharing the spotlight will be two highly-talented young singers from the Loud Applause Rising Stars stable – mezzo soprano Nikkila Thomas, from Llanelli, and tenor Osian Clarke, from Tycroes. 

In other news . . . 

Burry Port Male Voice Choir are planning a joint concert with Snowdown Choir from Canterbury at St Mary’s Church, Burry Port, on Friday, July 12.

Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi have fixed the date for their popular annual concert.

It will be on Saturday, October 12, at the Gwenllian Centre, Kidwelly.

The choir will be joined by Mynydd Mawr Choir and guests Trio and Piantel, with compere Eirian Wyn.

Future events for Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi also include a scheduled performance at the National Botanical Gardens of Wales, Llanarthne, on Sunday, November 17.

Lovers of the popular S4C Sunday evening show Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol will be delighted to learn that the programme’s Easter special is being filmed in Llangennech.

The evening will be hosted by BBC newsreader Huw Edwards, a native of Llangennech, and will be held at Salem Chapel, Llangennech, on Sunday, March 24, with doors open at 5.30pm.

The conductor will be the celebrated organist Allan Fewster MBE.

Over in Swansea, the soloists from the Llanelli-based Loud Applause Rising Stars stable of singers will be performing at a charity concert in aid of the Mumbles Lifeboat and West Glamorgan Crimebeat on Saturday, April 6 (7pm start).

The concert is being held at All Saints Church, Oystermouth, and will also feature the world famous Morriston Orpheus Choir and guest compere Mal Pope, the TV and radio personality.

Back in Llanelli, there’s a special concert at the Thomas Arms on Friday, February 22.

It features Kirsten Orsborn, who is the Official Sweetheart of The Royal Marines and The Royal British Legion.

Kirsten is from the Neath Valley and is one of the UK’s best and most versatile international female vocalists, performing an extensive repertoire of music from Swing, Jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Twist, Motown, Soul, right through to Disco, Dance and Pop.

You can expect contemporary songs – and a trip down memory lane.

Looking further ahead, Côr Meibion Llanelli have added another date to their 2019 list of engagements.

On Saturday, October 5, they will be performing at The Queen’s Hall in Narberth to help the refurbishment appeal for one of the most popular concert venues in West Wales.

The guest star for the evening will be tenor Trystan Llŷr Griffiths and the concert will also feature the Accapella Youth Group, led by Molara.

Mid Wales Opera return to Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli at 7.30pm on Wednesday, February 27.

They will sing Puccini’s Tosca.

Power and passion collide in this breathtaking masterpiece.

Trapped in a life and death struggle against the corrupt police chief Scarpia, the diva Tosca and her artist lover face the ultimate sacrifice.

Puccini’s lavish score takes audiences on an emotional rollercoaster ride from tender love story through powerful brutality to ultimate tragedy. The opera will be performed in English.

The busy ladies of Côr Curiad Choir in Llanelli are looking forward to another big year of charity fundraising.

The choir’s main event this year will be on Saturday, April 6, at Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli.

Their special guest will be TV star and X Factor winner Sam Bailey and her band.

The evening will also feature Ysgol y Strade pupil Martha Morgan and Angharad Elise Thomas, who runs her own drama company called The Hive in Llanelli.

All proceeds from the Llanelli Côr Curiad concert will go to Marie Curie Wales.

The popular SA15 Stage School return to Ffwrnes Theatre from April 24 to 27 with the musical Annie.

Finally, Friday, June 14 (7.30pm) sees Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli hosting the Les Musicals Live Concert Tour. 

Jonathan Ansell (G4 Frontman) and Jai McDowall (Britains Got Talent – Winner) have joined forces to create a dramatic a spine-tingling concert.

This vocally dynamic evening showcases even more smash-hit songs from the greatest musicals of all time, brought to you by two of the world’s finest voices.

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

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

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Phil Evans

Blog posts

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. This column appears in the South Wales Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star. Website – www.philevans.co.uk



Last autumn, a friend of mine who (shall we say . . . ) was “a little overweight” told me he’d decided to do something about it.

His timing wasn’t perfect as we were enjoying a meal of chicken tikka masala, onion bhajis, poppadoms and garlic naans.  

It was the weirdest Italian restaurant I’ve ever eaten in.

Rather than take out a gym membership or sign-up for the London Marathon he was going to follow the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of walking 10,000 steps a day.

Last week, I saw him strolling along Fabian Way, Swansea and it was obvious he’d put on weightrather than lost any, so I decided to attract his attention in my usual subtle, diplomatic manner. 

“Oi! Chubster!” I shouted – and, fair dos, his head spun around in my direction.  

I couldn’t shake his right hand as it was gripped around a half-eaten Greggs pastie – and myright hand contained a half-eaten Greggs sausage roll.

I said, “I thought you were going to walk 10,000 steps a day?” as l brushed little flakes of pastry from my chin.

He explained “I intended to. But I couldn’t findonebuildingin this city with 10,000 steps to walk up and down.”

Which sort of made sense…

I did some research into this ‘10,000 steps a day’ idea to see if it was another number randomly picked out of the air like the ‘Five pieces of fruit a day’ advice of a few years back.

It started in 1964 when the Kyushu University Of Health And Welfare in Japan discovered that by walking 10,000 steps a day, a person could walk off 20% of their daily calorie intake. 

So…if we took 50,000 steps a daywe could walk off 100%of our daily calorie intake. 

Trouble is, if we walked 50,000 steps every day, at the end of the first week we’d end up in Hereford.

I wonder if there’s a Greggs there?


Don’t forget it . . . 

I remember the days when you could only get petrol, oil and bags of coal from the local petrol station.

How times have changed!

Today, most petrol stations are as well stocked up as the supermarkets, which is a blessing in more ways than one for many men, especially as St Valentine’s Day is tomorrow!

The last-minute chocolates, cards and flowers can quite often save a relationship.

Having said that, Welsh men are actually quite lucky – we get St Dwynwen’s Day on the 25th January, which I’m convinced was created as a three-week pre-warning just so we don’t forget.

Perish the thought!

Last year, I decided to get that special person in my life some lovely flowers for St Valentine’s Day.

The landlord of my local was quite touched and displayed them in a vase on the bar.


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

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