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Machynys dig unearths prehistoric life




screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-10-40-57AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL dig at one of the oldest houses in Llanelli is to conclude on Friday (Oct 14). Dyfed Archaeological Trust have been digging at the site of Machynys House, believed to be one of the oldest inhabited farms/homes in the Llanelli area. The site has remained hidden by overgrowth for many years, following the demolition of the home in the 1970s.

The house is believed to have been in the ownership of the Stepney Estate and was situated on an island of land, which was cut off at high tide. Ancient maps quite clearly show the Machynys Island situated in the estuary; however, it now sits well back from the new development homes at Pentre Nicklaus.

Archaeologists have unearthed some prehistoric flint pieces but they say that the two weeks they have been granted to explore the site has limited what they can do. Test pits have been dug across the site and they have yielded pottery, pipes and animal bones. Unfortunately, because of large amounts of asbestos on the main part of the site, the archaeologists have been unable to explore the main part of the house, where they believe they would have had the best chance of making substantial finds.

Fran Murphy, project officer for Dyfed Archaeological Trust, said: “The building remained in isolation for most of its history until the industrial revolution crept up and surrounded it with factories and huge chimney stacks. When we first looked at the area, we didn’t realise how much activity, including the dumping of waste, had taken place here. We came to do a bit of investigative work on the house but the discovery of asbestos halted that. What we did instead was look to the field that ran to the west of the house.”

Speaking about the finding of evidence of Prehistoric life, Fran said: “We have found prehistoric activity, such as flint flakes. This was an island before the land was reclaimed.

“We heard tales of monks living here and tunnels being dug under the estuary but they are tales.

“One of the reasons we looked at it was because of the fact it was on raised ground and we hoped that we would have made some finds here. There are tales of people having being buried here. We have pictures of the house prior to its demolition in the 1970s. This is council-owned land and they are hoping to redevelop the area.”

Fran said that the dig had caught the imagination of archaeologists: “We have had a lot of interest from volunteers to work here.

“It is very unusual to have such a large house on a site like this. The map evidence that we have dating back to the 16th century shows this house on the island.”

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Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach




THE CONSERVATIVE Party is investigating the attendance of senior Senedd members and staff at a Christmas party held during December’s lockdown.

Lockdown restrictions prohibit mixing with people outside your own household.

The Welsh restrictions barring such gatherings follow the basic outline of those imposed by the Conservative UK Government in December.

Those attending the drinks party included Paul Smith, the Conservative Chief of Staff at the Senedd, Darren Millar, the Party’s Chief Whip and campaign coordinator, and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS and Conservative Senedd Group Leader Paul Davies.

The Herald understands that a Labour Senedd Member who attended the Party has been suspended by the Labour Senedd Group pending its own investigation.

The Conservatives’ embarrassment at talking the talk but not walking the walk is intensified by Darren Millar’s presence at the shindig.

In May, Mr Millar led calls for Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething to be sacked for eating a bag of chips in a park with one of his own children.

If the Conservative Party follows the logic of their previously stated positions, Mr Millar’s and Mr Davies’ futures look bleak indeed.

With a Senedd election only months away, the revelations have thrown the Conservatives into disarray.

If they do nothing, the Conservatives will – at the very least – face claims they are hypocrites.

If the Conservative Party acts decisively, it faces massive internal problems.

The Conservatives responded to our request for a response to our story.

Those involved stressed they did not host a Christmas Party.

The incident happened on December 8, when the above met in the members’ tea room to discuss legislation for possible inclusion in the Welsh Conservative manifesto with a Labour backbencher.

During the evening they did drink a glass or two of wine.

They stress that at no point were there more than four people in the room at any one time and that they maintained social distancing.

A joint statement from Paul Davies, Darren Millar, and Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.

“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”

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Family tribute to Carole Patricia Fowler




Carole was a teacher for 30 years at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Llanelli. She loved children and they loved her. 

As one of her past colleagues said: “I know she made such a difference to every child she taught.” She was very popular with staff and well respected and loved by parents. She was dedicated and conscientious, always 100% for the children. She led the music there and was always popular with her guitar accompaniments for services and concerts. 

Likewise, she was a valued member of the choir at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Gendros, Swansea, where she would often accompany hymns with her guitar and gave guitar lessons to the children in the church’s Saturday Music Club. She was also a keen member of Côr Persain, Ammanford. 

She was talented, loved and in demand. A convicted and devout Catholic all her life, through good and bad.

Carole was an avid and very gifted crocheter and was always crocheting or knitting something for someone. She had been spending her time recently, during the Covid crisis, crocheting NHS teddies in scrubs and rainbows, with many given to practising nurses. Carole had recently started learning to make bobbin lace. She was also capable of some very decent sewing, too. 

She was also learning Welsh, doing ‘pilates’ and was considering taking up yoga lessons as well.

She was a busy lady! As one of her work colleagues said of her: “She was wise, strong, beautiful, generous, devout and feisty. And I loved her for all those qualities.”

Above all, she was an immeasurably loved Mam, daughter, sister and a doting Mamgu and so much loved by her fiancé. Having been together for 14 years, they would have been married last July 20th had covid allowed! 

Her premature passing at 61 is tragic and she is already sorely, painfully missed. She leaves behind a huge chasm in so many hearts that cannot be filled.

“Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord, may perpetual light shine about her, may she rest in peace.”

If anyone witnessed the collision or may have been travelling on the M4 at the relevant time, please contact the Serious Collision Unit quoting police reference DPP-20210113-317

Police can be contacted either online at:, by emailing, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Tip off leads to pensioner’s drug stash




A BRIEFCASE full of drugs has been recovered during a raid in Swansea suburb.
Police acting on information provided by a member of the public executed a warrant in Gorseinon and recovered a large quantity of cannabis.
A man was arrested on suspicion of possession of the class B drug, with intent to supply.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “At around 5.40pm on Wednesday, January 6, following an intelligence led operation, a 68 year-old man from Gorseinon was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.
“He was taken to Swansea central police station for questioning. He has been released under investigation”.

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