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Robert Lloyd

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

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The popular Llanelli-based choir Côr Lleisiau Hardd have a special fundraising concert coming up next week.

The choir will be performing at The Hyst, the trendy new music venue in High Street, Swansea, on Friday, March 15.

There will be solo spots for choir members and a special appearance by Status 2.

The choir is led by Bridget Radford and has earned an enviable reputation for developing young talent.

Côr Lleisiau Hardd also have a junior choir called Lleisiau Hardd Bach. They rehearse alternate Sunday evenings and anyone interested in joining the choir can contact them through their Facebook page.

Last weekend’s big concerts fell victim to snow and ice.

Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir’s trip to Mid Wales for a concert to raise funds for the Brecon and Radnor Urdd Eisteddfod was called off. At the time of going to press, it is not known if the concert will be rearranged.

Llanelli Male Voice’s scheduled performance at the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli, was also called off and this event (organised by former members of the armed services to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis therapy centres in South Wales) will be rearranged to a new date.

Meanwhile, the big ‘St David’s’ concert in Llanelli, which was scheduled for Saturday night at Ffwrnes Theatre, has been rearranged.

The concert will now go ahead on March 31 and all tickets are valid for the new date.

Concert organiser Cerith Owens said: “We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by rearranging the date, but I am sure everyone appreciates that it was a wise move to postpone the event, given the unpredictable nature of the weather.

“Thankfully, all our guest artistes have been very helpful and will be available for the new date at the end of March.”

The concert will feature the Pendyrus Male Choir from the Rhondda Valley.

Sharing the stage will be the Cor Iau Ysgol Gyfun Y Strade Junior Choir.

Joining the choirs will be two very popular young soloists – mezzo soprano Eirlys Myfanwy Davies and tenor Osian Wyn Bowen.

The compere will be the ever-popular TV and radio personality and journalist Garry Owen.

This weekend’s big choral concert will take place at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen.

The South Wales Male Choir will be performing before a ‘home crowd’, much to the delight of their many fans.

Following a sell-out concert in Shrewsbury in January in aid of the Samaritans, Côr Meibion De Cymru (South Wales Male Choir) will perform again for charity on Saturday, March 10 (7pm) at the Lyric.

The ‘Sounds of Wales – Seiniau Cymru’ concert will benefit both Wales Air Ambulance and the choir.

The concert will also feature soprano Llio Evans, Carmarthenshire’s Côr Ysgol Maes Y Gwendraeth and the piano magic of Côr Meibion De Cymru accompanist Sian Davies from the Rhondda Fach.

Côr Meibion De Cymru, under the baton of Musical Director Elaine Robins, will perform a rousing programme of choral music, including several songs that will form part of the programme for the Welsh Association of Male Choirs Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in May.

Formed back in 1982 to tour the North East of the United States, the choir is proud to have performed at many high profile special events at home and abroad, including the 80th Anniversary of the Armistice in the presence of HM The Queen in Ypres.

At Cardiff Castle, the choir welcomed the late Nelson Mandela for the Freedom of the City ceremony in 1998 and for the first Anniversary of 9/11 Côr Meibion De Cymru graced both Grosvenor Square, London, at the invitation of the US Ambassador, and St. Johns, Cardiff, for the Lord Mayor’s Commemoration, prior to flying out that night to tour Australia.

The ever-popular vivacious North Wales Soprano Llio Evans is delighted to be reappearing with Côr Meibion De Cymru, having been guest soloist at both Oxford Town Hall and St. David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire, in recent years.

Llio hails from the famous village on the island of Anglesey, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

With her sparkling vocal tone and charming stage presence, Llio particularly revels in coquettish and comic roles.

Recent highlights include Iris (Semele) for Garsington Opera, The Little One in the revival of Music Theatre Wales’ critically-acclaimed production of The Golden Dragon (Eötvös) and her English National Opera debut as Celia in Iolanthe.

Llio gained a first class honours degree at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama before going on to receive an MA with distinction from the Wales International Academy of Voice.

She is a winner of numerous awards, including Osborne Roberts Memorial Prize, Dame Anne Evans Award, and the Russell Sheppard Intercollegiate Award.

Llio is a British Youth Opera and Welsh National Youth Opera alumna and a former Alvarez Young Artist at Garsington Opera where she recently received the Leonard Ingrams Award.

Completing the bill on March 10 will be a choir from one of the newest secondary schools in Wales.

Ysgol Maes Y Gwendraeth has had a thriving music department under their Head of Music Nickola Roderick since 2013.

It will be the seniors of Ysgol Maes Y Gwendraeth Choir that take to the Lyric stage with Piano Accompanist Mrs Mared Williams.

Seats available at £15.00 plus booking fee by ringing 0845 226 3510 or go on line @theatrausirgar.co.uk or just call in at the Lyric Theatre Box Office, King St. Carmarthen, excluding Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

In other news, tickets are going fast for a major concert to be staged at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli on Saturday, May 19, 2018 (7pm).

An array of stars will perform a very special evening of song in celebration of Llanelli Rotary Club marking its landmark Centenary Year.

Shan Cothi, one of the country’s most popular sopranos, will be sharing the stage with two great Welsh international choral ambassadors – Côr Meibion Llanelli, under the baton of conductor D Eifion Thomas, and the Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers, under the baton of conductor John Hywel Williams.

Joining them will be the delightful sounds of Cor Ysgol Goffa, an ensemble from Ysgol Y Strade under the baton of Catrin Hughes and the Lewis-Meredith sisters – Calley, Sarah and Steffi.

The compere will be Robert Lloyd.

The event has two aims –

  • To help commemorate the centenary of Llanelli Rotary Club
  • To raise funds for the Green Light Postrate Cancer Machine at Prince Philip Hospital.

The concert is another event co-produced by Carmarthenshire Theatres and Loud Applause.

In April, there’s a big night planned to help raise funds for the Parc Howard Association, the voluntary group working hard to protect Llanelli’s famous park.

‘Music for the Parc’ is being staged at Llanelli’s Stradey Park Hotel on Friday, April 27 (7pm).

The evening will be hosted by BBC newsreader and broadcaster Huw Edwards, who is, of course, a native of Llangennech.

The concert is being organised by the ladies of The Phil Harmonics choir.

It will feature The Phil Harmonics alongside Parti Llwchwr, Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir, Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera, Otherside, Osian Clarke and Adele O’Neill.

Tickets are £12 and available from Mossies at Llanelli Market Precinct or via members of The Phil Harmonics.

Soloist Adele O’Neill is always a favourite with Llanelli audiences.

Adele is a native of Pontarddulais and an experienced Coloratura Soprano who graduated from The Guildhall School of Music and Drama (2003-07) under the tutelage of Professor Laura Sarti, the celebrated Italian Mezzo Soprano.

Adele has been successful in voice competitions which include the National Eisteddfod of Wales, winning several prizes in the soprano class. She was the winner of the International gold medal singing competition at Llangollen International Eisteddfod in 2008, and a semi-finalist in the International Montserrat Caballe singing competition in Zaragoza Spain in 2008.

Following her competition successes, Adele has performed in many operas with acclaim from both audience and critics.

Her operatic roles include principal roles as Adina (L’elisir d’amore) Donizetti; Leonora (Il Trovatore),  Violetta (La Traviata) Verdi; Micaela (Carmen), Bizet; Adele (Die Fledermaus) Strauss; Norma (Norma) Bellini; Elizabeth (Mary Stuarda) Donezetti.

Adele has performed as a soloist for many ensembles throughout the UK.

International engagements have included concerts in Spain, Italy, Czech republic and Canada.

She has performed with Longborough Festival Opera, Grange Park opera, and most recently Welsh National Opera.

In addition to her operatic work she has recorded with the Pontardulais Male Voice choir, Côr Meibion Llanelli and Morriston RFC male voice choir.

Finally, Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi have announced that this year’s annual concert will be held at the Princess Gwenllian Centre, Kidwelly, on Saturday, July 21.

Guest artists appearing with the choir will be Fflur Wyn and Llandovery singing duo Aled Edwards and Eleri Owen Edwards.

The guest accompanist will be Kim Lloyd Jones and the compere will be Ioan Hefin.


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

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. Website – www.philevans.co.uk


When it was announced The Rolling Stones are playing the Principality stadium this summer, no doubt many young music fans greeted the news with an uninterested shrug and an exaggerated yawn – if they could work up enough enthusiasm.

But it’ll be a sell-out and Cardiff’s hotels, bars and restaurants will benefit.

Can you imagine the length of the queues outside the Caroline Street chippies when 74,500 hungry people leave at the end of the concert?

“I think we’ll need another bag of King Edwards from the cellar, luv!”

Taking into account the average age of the Stones and their fans, the concert will probably end around eight-thirty.

Just kidding!

Although Keith Richard’s features are now so craggy and lived-in he actually looks likehis passport ‘photo, the fact that the Stones are still going strong and in demand after half a century is astonishing.

When the Stones began in 1962, there were no CDs, mobile phones, iphones, X-Boxes, home computers or downloads.

On Sundays, cinemas didn’t open until four-thirty and, although admission only cost seventeen new pence, as there were no videos or DVDs, you had to wait at least seven years if you wanted to see a particular film again!

In 1962 the UK had just twoTV channels – BBC and ITV – which broadcast in black and white and closed down around 11.30pm.

People were expected to go to bed early and be ready for work next day.

No wonder teenagers like ‘Mick’n’Keef’ rebelled, grew their hair and formed R & B groups.

Fifty years later, the Stones are still rolling and when they come to Wales in June, ‘This could be the last time’ fans will get to see if Mick really does ‘Move like Jagger’.

Unfortunately, I won’t be at the concert as I’m having a new shed delivered that day and I’ll need to paint it black.

Oh, get off my cloud!


Use it or lose it is the motto:

As we get older it’s so important to keep exercising in order to stay fit, flexible and healthy.

I’m sure I am not alone in hearing the snap, crackle and pop when I jump out of bed in the morning.

Unfortunately it’s not my breakfast cereal, it’s my knee joints warming up!

We are told to keep mobile by so many medical professionals on a daily basis, but how many of us manage to fit in some daily exercise?

Use it or lose it is the motto.

Now we can’t argue with that!

Unfortunately, the challenges of today’s daily living, plus the long, dark winter days and poor weather conditions does not help with the motivation needed to wrap up and get out there for some fresh air.

We can clearly see that phones are getting much smarter and thinner.

People, not so much.

Before you ask – I weigh 14st naked.

That’s if the scales in Boots The Chemist is anything to go by.

My case comes up next Monday!


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


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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. Website – www.philevans.co.uk


Having just returned from my holidays, I’m feeling relaxed, refreshed and (at least for a short while) I don’t have a care in the world.

Unlike one of my neighbours, who’s been completely bald for years and doesn’t have a hair in the world.

I understand that nothing much happened while I was away – except an earthquake!

It started with a low rumble in Tumble.

They felt its power down the Gower.

A window pane went ‘crack’ in a greenhouse near Clydach.

And a tree began to bend in a garden in Bridgend.

I did consider entering some of my poetry in the Eisteddfod, completing my application in the form of a poem so it would stand out from all the others.

But, ironically, I couldn’t think of a word that rhymes with Eisteddfod.

Joking aside, depending where you were at the time, the earthquake was pretty scary.

Two Carmarthen fellahs, having difficulty keeping vertical after a lunchtime drinking session, were violently knocked back on their feet.

Something else earth-shattering happened while I was on holiday.

KFC ran out of chickens.

Yes, the fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken, which specialises in fried chicken meals, was unable to sell fried chicken meals because they didn’t have any chickens to fry.

Apparently, they had problems with a new delivery firm and, until it was resolved, no chickens could cross the road.

Several newspapers reported that some KFC fans were so distraught they were unable to get their regular fix of eating fried chicken out of a bucket that they called the police!

Wondering exactly whatthese people thought the police could possibly do about it kept me awake all night.

In fact, I was still awake at seven’o’clock, so drove to my local McDonalds to try one of their new giant burgers for breakfast.

Guess what?

They’d sold out of them the week I was on holiday!


Prince Charles and the NHS:

Looking at life and situations from various angles can be a benefit and a curse.

Let me give you an example:

Over the past year or so I have visited friends and relatives at Morriston Hospital and, without doubt, the NHS staff, doctors, surgeons and support workers do a grand job.

However, we are all more than aware that the NHS continues to face cashflow and funding challenges.

Each time I have visited, I overhear many conversations relating to the lack of suitable parking facilities and, most recently, the state of the main entrance windows.

Maybe cashflow prevents the employment of regular window cleaner?


Last week, Morriston Hospital was blessed with the appearance of HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.

There was much excitement surrounding the visit and photo opportunities for all.

Clearly, to many, Charles’ visit was enthusiastically welcomed.

But my thinking was this:

How difficult was it for him and his huge entourage to find a parking space?

Did they have to drive around for 40 minutes, which is what I had to do a few weeks back?

And . . . wait for it . . . how did the hospital miraculously manage to find the funds needed to clean the hospital windows in readiness for the Royal visit?

They don’t do that when I visit!

My pals over in Dafen, Llanelli, tell me a similar spring clean operation happened over at the Wales Air Ambulance HQ, where flower beds, flagpoles and other assorted decorative items were spruced up in advance of the Prince’s visit.

I wonder if the Prince is really bothered about all the effort that goes into the preparation for his visits. My guess is he might be happier if the charity and health money was better spent on the ‘frontline’ services.


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

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Jenkins Bakery releases details of Easter products

Posted By RobertLloyd58

The Jenkins Bakery has released details of its Easter range of products.

“There’s something for everyone to enjoy at Easter time,” said the Jenkins Bakery’s operations director Russell Jenkins.

“Our staff always enjoy producing new ideas for Easter and I’m sure our customers will enjoy sampling the products we have on offer.”

The Easter range includes –


Moist chocolate Swiss Roll enrobed with chocolate and decorated with mini chocolate eggs in a nest of chocolate buttercream.


Our chocolate krispie confectionery with an edible sugar bunny and drizzled with white chocolate.


Our top quality shortbread biscuit cut out in a Shape of an Easter Bunny and expertly Hand Decorated.


A rich fruit shortbread biscuit dusted with caster sugar and packed in a gift bag.


Our delicious rich fruit cake marzipan and ribbed rolled sugar paste a fruit cake lover’s delight!


Our top quality moist chocolate cupcake hand decorated with a whirl of chocolate and           Easter sugar sprinkles.


New for 2018. Our top quality shortbread biscuit with a Easter bunny cut out and decorated with an edible sugar plaque.


Our top quality fruit cake topped with golden marzipan and white sugar paste which is decorated with the inscription: Happy Easter/Pasg Hapus.

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Jenkins Bakery team ready to celebrate St David’s Day

Posted By RobertLloyd58

St David’s Day (Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant) is the feast day for Wales’s patron saint, so Llanelli’s biggest bakery is marking the occasion in style.

Jenkins the Bakers will be rolling out patriotic products to make March 1st a real feast.

“There will be a proper Welsh theme to our products before, during and immediately after St David’s Day,” said operations director Russell Jenkins.

“We are already well known for helping to put the accent on all things Welsh at our bakery and our shops – and this year is no exception to the rule as we celebrate St David’s Day.’

Among the products hitting the shops this week are  –

A new ‘Sheep Cupcake’, Welsh Cakes, Bara Brith, Teisin Lap (cake on a plate), A Welsh-themed cupcake, the Welsh Pastie and new Jam Splits.

“We pride ourselves as being a bakery business which knows its customers and we know how people love to celebrate St David’s Day,” added Mr Jenkins.

“All our staff will be dressing up to mark our patron’s day and we take this opportunity of wishing all our customers a very pleasant St David’s Day.”

Product information –

BARA BRITH   £2.65

Bara Brith is a traditional Welsh fruit loaf containing top quality sultanas, mixed peel and spice.


Our top quality sponge individually hand decorated with a smooth, creamy frosting and a hand finished Sugarpaste daffodil.

WELSH PASTIE  £1.45 OR 2 FOR £2.60

Diced ham, smoked ham & leeks in a creamy cheese sauce encased in our top quality flaky pastry.


10 Mini Welshcakes packed in a gift bag.


10 Mini Plain Welshcakes packed in a gift bag.


New for St David’s day 2018. Four Plain Welshcakes split and filled with Raspberry Jam sprinkled with caster sugar.

TEISEN LAP   £2.00

A traditional Welsh favourite, moist Farmhouse fruitcake with a streusel topping.


Another new product for 2018 and one that should be popular with children of all ages.Plain sponge cupcake with a cream topping finished with mini marshmallows and a handmade Sugar paste faces.


  • The Jenkins bakery employs 300 people, full and part-time, across 30 different stores in South Wales. The company has the Gold Standard Welsh Food Hygiene Award and the Investors in People award. The business employs 70 people at its Trostre HQ, while the Jenkins shop network stretches from Carmarthen to Bridgend. There are shops throughout Carmarthenshire and even one as far afield as Powys.
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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. Website – www.philevans.co.uk


While I’ve been practicing my skiing skills, I’ve been thinking about something else that’s going downhill fast.

Breakfast Television.

If you watch any or all of the threebreakfast TV shows, you’ll know that one has a roster of presenters so personality-free they’re practically invisible, who alternate reading lines from the autocue, occasionally turning around to talk to the weather lady on the giant TV behind their red sofa.

The banter between them is so contrived it makes an Agatha Christie plot seem simple.

On another channel (which rhymes with ‘Sigh’- something I do whenever I tune in) they absolutely love‘Breaking News’.

Thankfully, 90% of these interruptions are just an excuse to give the presenters a break from delivering the same news items every 15 minutes.

And then . . . there’s Good Morning Britain– a show built around extended ads for competitions offering huge cash prizes and luxury cars.

Throw in some lightweight interviews, showbiz gossip and Piers Morgan talking loudly over everyone else and it’s harmless fluff.

Well, I thought so until last week, when, throughout their Valentine’s Day edition, viewers were promised a ‘Celebrity Wedding’would be happening ‘Live’ on the show.


I nearly had a second round of toast!

However, when it was time to introduce the celebrity couple, it seems their flight from L.A. was delayed, because instead of two famous faces, on walked a spray-tanned couple I’d never heard of, from a ‘reality’ show I’ve never seen, both dressed in white.

When I say ‘dressed’, she was wearing a white bikini andhewas wearing white shorts.

But, to show he was taking his marriage vows seriously, he also wore a black bow tie.

As I reached for the remote to switch off, I heard a strange noise coming from my TV.

It was the bottom of a barrel being scraped . . .

From now on, it’s BBC Radio Wales for me every morning.


Winter escape:

This week’s column has come to you from the top of a glacier in Zinal, a beautiful part of Switzerland.

Now this is where technology makes life easy for me and allows me to operate without any of the stress of meeting my editor’s deadlines.

The views are breath-taking and this puts me in the ideal mood to come up with some creative writing without too many distractions.

We are 2,800 metres above sea level, snow has fallen almost every day for the past month and continues to do so.

Transportation is good, buses and cars are running as normal.

The local shops are well stocked with fresh food.

Bread and milk are in abundance and there is no sign of any panic buying.

The temperature here is well below freezing, but the local residents and visitors alike are thoroughly enjoying the winter season and all that it brings.

Clearly, if this was happening back home, we would all be in ‘shut down’ mode and a state of chaos and panic.

Right, that’s enough taking the piste, I’m off to build an igloo!


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

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