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S4C air Welsh learning programme

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Tom Shanklin: To take part in the programme.

EX-INTERNATIONAL rugby player and Tom Shanklin will be among eight familiar Welsh faces taking part in S4C’s flagship reality show, ‘cariad@iaith: love4language’, this year.

The series puts the stars’ knowledge of the Welsh language to the test as they attempt to learn as much as possible in a week.

Carmarthen opera singer Wynne Evans and tutor Nia Parry will present the series, which will begin next Sunday (Jun 14) at 8pm on S4C. The programme will air every weekday night at 8.25pm and 9.25pm, with the grand final taking place on Saturday June 20.

Tom Shanklin is in the record books as being Wales’ fifth highest try scorer of all time. During his time playing for the national team, he earned 70 caps and has also been part of the British and Irish Lions squad. Born in London to Welsh parents, the family moved back to Tenby where he grew up.

“I’m using the experience as a stepping stone to ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ or ‘Splash’, I don’t mind diving. But seriously, a lot of my friends are fluent Welsh speakers and I’d love to be able to converse with them and not have to make them switch to English when I’m around,” said Shanklin.

He added: “Growing up under the Landsker, you heard very little Welsh at school or anywhere in Tenby. I remember there was a Welsh class at school with about five people in it so the opportunity to use or learn it was very limited at the time. I’m really looking forward to not cooking, not ironing, taking part in the outdoor activities and learning the language. My vocabulary is very basic and I’m keen to improve my knowledge. I’d love to be able to leave and think I could strike up a basic conversation in Welsh with someone. Watch this space.”

Joining Tom will be TV weatherman Derek Brockway, actor and writer Steve Speirs, West End actress Caroline Sheen, radio presenter and comedian Chris Cocoran, actress Nicola Reynolds, CBeebies presenter Rebecca Keatley and athlete Jamie Baulch.

Over the course of the week, the eight stars will try their best to master as much Welsh as possible under the leadership of tutors Nia Parry and Ioan Talfryn through a unique teaching method known as ‘desuggestopedia’.

Ioan Talfryn explained: “Desuggestopedia is an unusual but pioneering method of language teaching, it comes from Bulgaria originally and it completely undermines the unfortunate tendency people have to underestimate their ability to learn anything new. In your average language lesson, people learn around a dozen new words and repeat them like parrots. Desuggestopedia immerses the learners in about a thousand words from the first lesson and makes extensive use of stories, games and songs in every lesson. After a while, the vocabulary that has found its way into the subconscious comes out and people are able to express themselves naturally.”

This series is broadcast during Adult Learners’ Week. Cerys Furlong from NIACE Cymru said: “NIACE Cymru is delighted to support ‘Cariad@Iaith at the start of Adult Learners’ Week 2015. Each year, we are reminded that for many people, the first experience of education is not an enjoyable or successful one. Through adult learning, in its many diverse forms, people are able to transform their lives.”

The programme is sponsored by the Welsh Government and the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said: “As a government, we are committed to giving people of all ages the opportunity to learn Welsh and are keen to encourage them to use the language in their day to day lives.”

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Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach

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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

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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: bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, 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

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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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