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Llanelli landmark features on BBC Two show

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THE PROJECT to restore Llanelli’s historic Railway Goods Shed will be featured on the popular BBC Two programme Great British Railway Journeys tonight (Jan 8).

Michael Portillo, the programme’s presenter, visited the Grade II listed building last summer to learn about the history of Llanelli’s railways and the plans to bring the Goods Shed back into use for the benefit of the community.

The latest episode featured an interview with local historian Russell Grigg and a performance by Cor Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir inside the Goods Shed.

The Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust (LRGST) has been working to redevelop the derelict Goods Shed and surrounding areas into a vibrant community hub, offering a range of educational, training, upskilling, arts activities and business start-up support, as well as a café and visitor centre.

If the remaining funding can be secured to complete the project, it is hoped locals residents and schools, as well as tourists, will visit the Goods Shed to learn about and celebrate Llanelli’s heritage.

Nia Griffith, MP for Llanelli and Chair of the LRGST, said: ‘We were delighted to be asked to take part in this episode of Great British Railway Journeys. It is a fantastic opportunity to make people aware of the project to transform the Railway Goods Shed and the benefits it will bring the community.

We managed to surprise the presenter Michael Portillo and TV crew with a special performance by Llanelli’s own Cor Meibion choir inside the building. Hopefully this performance is a sign of brilliant artistic and cultural events to come when the project is successfully completed.”

Development support has come from the Heritage Lottery, Big Lottery, Architectural Heritage Fund, Carmarthenshire County Council, Dwr Cymru and Llanelli Town Council, which has helped to secure planning permission and draw up the innovative and creative architectural proposals to restore the building. Bids have been put in for the capital funding needed to complete the £2.2m project.

The LRGST already has partnerships with a number of organisations that all have strong records of delivery, including Carmarthenshire Youth and Children’s Association, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Cyfle Building Ltd, Indycube Community, Bluebee Productions and Hive Theatre School.

The Llanelli Railway Goods Shed, which was built in 1875 and can be found on Marsh Street, is a classic example of the Brunel style of architecture and one of the few surviving buildings of its kind in Wales.

Anyone wanting to sponsor or get involved with the project should contact Nia Griffith MP (nia.griffith.mp@parliament.uk) or the LRGST’s Secretary Richard Roper (richard876@btinternet.com).

The Trustees are particularly interested to hear from people interested in Llanelli’s industrial heritage and local history or with expertise in business, marketing, fundraising, accountancy, the arts, education, practical construction and social media.

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Cold temperatures likely to lead to icy conditions

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A YELLOW weather warning is in place over Wales from 10pm tonight (Jan 16) and 11am tomorrow morning (Jan 17).

As temperatures drop, there is a strong chance of ice patches causing dangerous conditions for motorists.

Icy patches developing with wintry showers also affecting some areas.

What to expect

  • Some injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces
  • Probably some ice on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths
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Police target burglary suspects in dawn raids

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SIXTEEN addresses have been raided by police in an operation responding to a spate of high-value burglaries in the south Wales area.

Officers targeted locations in Fforest-Fach, Clase, Morrison, Brynhyfryd and Bonymaen following a year of thefts in the city and Neath Port Talbot.

Operation Timmia also saw locations in Swansea citry centre targeted by South Wales Police.

Six people have been arrested and remain in custody, The Llanelli Herald has been told.

The large scale operation used the police helicopter, forensics teams, financial investigators and cash-detecting dogs.

Police seized three caravans, a cannabis cultivation, large amounts of cash and jewellery, and a number of other items believed to be linked to crimes.

Detectives said those arrested are being held on suspicion of several offences, including conspiracy to commit burglary.

They have also issued an appeal to trace a further four suspects: Daniel Casey, 27; Terrence Casey, 19; Michael Casey, 18; and Patrick Joyce, 20.

All four men have links with the travelling community and are known to travel throughout the UK, said police.

“We know the recent spates of burglaries and car thefts across the division has been of real concern in our local communities and I hope the scale of this morning’s enforcement action reassures the public that we do take the matter seriously and that we are fully committed to bringing those responsible to justice,” said Det Insp Dave Peart.

“We now have a number of individuals in custody and enquiries are ongoing to locate a number of outstanding suspects.”

As part of the raids, officers searched an industrial unit in the Fforestfach area of the city, and nine caravans on Millstream Way traveller site.

The force said the investigation follow what has been described as a “high number of burglaries and aggravated burglaries in the past year”.

In some instances, homeowners were confronted by armed gangs who either threatened or inflicted violence.

Supt Cath Larkman added: “During some of the recent burglaries we’ve seen an increasing use of, or willingness to use, violence, so today’s action was absolutely proportionate and necessary to protect the public from further criminality and potential harm.”

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Band leader sexually assaulted 14-year-old cadet

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THE LEADER of an Army cadet band turned a kitchen into a sauna and sexually assaulted a naked teenage boy.

And Philip Pryor, now 65, used a British Legion computer to download child pornography.

Pryor, of Llys y Llyfgell, Burry Port, has been jailed for two and a half years.

Swansea Crown Court heard how Pryor had been the leader of an Army cadet band in Burry Port, which attracted members from across west Wales, as well as being a branch secretary for the British Legion.

Robin Rouch, prosecuting, said the Army had a hut in Burry Port which the band used for rehearsals and some cadets slept there, as did Pryor, before a concert.

A man who was a 14-year-old cadet at the time told police how Pryor would boil pans of water and place towels around doors and windows and turn the kitchen into a sauna.

Boys were encouraged to take off their clothes, as did Pryor.

On at least three occasions he touched the boy indecently, said Mr Rouch.

The victim did not complain until many years later after he had seen a television news item about young footballers being abused and confided in a friend about what had happened to him.

He later told police that at the time Pryor, who had played in a military band while serving in the Army, had told him that because of his standing in the community there was no point in complaining as no-one would believe him.

Mr Rouch said a police investigation began and officers removed a British Legion computer used by Pryor and found he had downloaded a small number of indecent images of schoolboys.

Pryor admitted three offences of indecent assault and one of possessing child pornography.

His barrister, Frank Phillips, said Pryor was now remorseful and ashamed and had lived as a recluse since his arrest.

Judge Geraint Walters told Pryor he had been in a position of trust.

“You targeted him and abused him more than once.

“The fact that he went to the police so many years later demonstrates the long lasting effect of what you did to him. It has never left him.

“It shows the wickedness of an adult taking advantage of a youngster.

“There was some grooming here in that you allowed him to have alcohol and cigarette.

“I accept you have led a blameless life since the offending but it is not possible for me to pass a sentence that could be suspended,” he added.

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