Cardigan Castle: Gang of Four + One

My two recent posts on Cardigan Castle have generated an incredible response. On Thursday the 9th – when I was away in Pembrokeshire – my blog received a record 2,223 visits, and the ‘Cardigan Castle – Ready to Fall?’ post has been shared on Facebook an incredible 534 times, another record. Since then, more information has been received, in comments to the blogs, and also in e-mails and DM tweets. To the point where I feel the time has come to lay out the allegations against those who are – allegedly – running this fiasco.

Those familiar with the saga will know that the four principals are Mrs Elizabeth Jann Tucker MBE, Mrs Susan Joy Lewis, Mrs Sandra Margaret Davies and Dr Hedydd Parry Jones. The ‘One’, and the only man, is Jonathan Timms. Between them, these five play various roles in the running of the project. Those roles will be explained below.

To recap: Cardigan Castle is an old pile that changed hands many times over the centuries, and as castles go, in a land that has so many, Cardigan is not one of our great castles. But for the people of the town it’s their castle, and for the rest of the nation it’s important because in 1176, when it was home to Rhys ap Gruffydd (1132 – 1197), it hosted the first ever national eisteddfod.

I would advise everyone to set aside half an hour or so and read my previous posts before starting on this one. They are Cardigan Castle – Ready to Fall? (July 7), and  Cardigan Castle – It’s Getting Worse! (July 12).

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It seems only fitting that we start with the grande dame of this enterprise, Mrs Elizabeth Jann Tucker OBE. She was born in 1935 in Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire, the “only child of a well-to-do family” and was, I’m further informed, educated at an English boarding school. She now lives 7 miles north of Cardigan with her husband Tony in Aberporth, where they run a holiday homes business. She was awarded the OBE last year, as this report from the Tivy-Side Advertiser tells us.Jann Tucker

By an example of happenstance such as litter this saga, the newspaper report was almost certainly written by Mrs Susan Joy Lewis who was then the editor of the Tivy-Side Advertiser. I say happenstance because Mrs Lewis also lives in Aberporth. And as if that wasn’t enough happenstance for one paragraph, both are trustees at Cardigan Castle!

Jann Tucker and her husband strike me as the kind of people who like to ‘involve’ themselves. Perhaps because they know best. The Charity Commission website tells us that Mrs Tucker is also a trustee of Aberporth and District youth club, and also Aberporth village hall and recreation ground. Hubby is also a trustee of the latter body, and managed to upset locals with a plan hatched in 2008 to sell off part of the car park. And as might be expected, Jann Tucker also belongs to Aberporth community council, whose meetings Sue Lewis used to attend representing the Tivy-Side Advertiser.

It seems that Jann Tucker and Sue Lewis have been friends and neighbours for some years, and if one comment to my blog is to be believed, mutual back-scratching has been the norm. For according to ‘Wenda of the West’, “apparently back in 2006 ish Jan Tucker stole/claimed a parcel of land from Aberporth Primary School, who was chair of the school governors – Sue Lewis, she did nothing to stop her and Mrs Tucker added a nice piece of land to her estate”.

Jann Tucker joined Joined Ymddiriedolaeth Cadwraeth Adeiladau Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust (hereinafter referred to as ‘Cadwgan’) on 21.03.2000, and Ymddiriedolaeth Cadwraeth Adeiladau Castell Aberteifi Cardigan Castle Building Preservation Trust (hereinafter referred to as ‘Castell’) 28.03.2000. She still serves as trustee on both charities and also served as a trustee / director on Cardigan Castle Enterprises Ltd from 15.06.2010 to 28.01.2015.

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The next up in our Gang of Four profiles is Mrs Susan Joy Lewis herself. So what do we know? For a start, she was born in Devonshire, England, in 1962. Until late last year she was the editor of the Tivy-Side Advertiser. As we’ve already learnt, she lives in Aberporth, with husband Mike, who is also a journalist.

Sue Lewis served as a trustee on ‘Cadwgan’ from 18.03.2002 until 12.01.2015. (Though she is still shown as a trustee on the woefully out-of-date details to be found on the Charity Commission website.) She probably resigned from this charity to take up the paid post of the Castle’s Facilities Officer, something I shall return to in a minute. Though she still serves as a trustee on ‘Castell’, which she joined 19.12.2007. And she is also a trustee / director of Cardigan Castle Enterprises Ltd, which she joined 16.06.2010. Away from the Castle she is also a trustee / director of Small World Theatre.

I suppose it’s worth asking why there is no Welsh version of ‘Castle Enterprises Ltd’. Perhaps because it wasn’t formed until 2010, and Lewis was on board from the start, as was her neighbour, Tucker. Though that said, and despite its name, it’s a company that doesn’t seem to be that enterprising, with a net worth of £0 and doing hardly any tradiSue Lewisng. Which only serves to make more corporeal the spectre of yet another project that will forever be suckling on the teat of public funding.

A few lines back I mentioned Sue Lewis becoming Facilities Officer at the Castle early this year . . . very soon in fact after losing her job as editor at the Tivy-Side Advertiser. In the taverns and coffee-houses of Cardigan dispute rages as to how this came about. Essentially, there are two interpretations.

The first – and more charitable version – posits a scenario along these lines. With the Castle opening to the public in 2015 it was felt – in the latter part of 2014 – that a restructuring was needed to meet the fresh challenge. And so existing staff were laid off (but encouraged to re-apply for their jobs). It was simply unfortunate – but unavoidable – that the new post of Facilities Office (salary £25,000 p.a.) was advertised over the Christmas period, and only on the Castle’s Facebook page, which must have been visited by as many as . . . oh, I don’t know, a dozen people.

(UPDATE 25.07.2015: I am indebted to ‘M O’ for providing this link which seems to show that the post of Facilities Officer was first advertised on December 23rd 2014 with a closing date for applications of January 2nd 2015. In other words, from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day. This is how things are done when the post has already been allocated but the clique involved has to pretend otherwise.

That this was allowed strengthens my belief that what we see at Cardigan Castle is what the funders want – an English tourist attraction and events venue stripped of all Welsh content and significance. Though I’m not sure the funders fully understand that the project they’re supporting may be camouflaging the real estate ambitions of some of those involved, and others close to them.

What is now clear is that Sue Lewis became Cardigan Castle Facilities Manager by deception and nepotism. I would hope that the way this post was advertised and allocated broke both charity law and the rules applied by the funders. But even if it didn’t, Sue Lewis’ position is now untenable. She must go, from her post as Facilities Manager and from all involvement with Castell Aberteifi.)

The second – and less charitable version – portrays a different sequence of events entirely. Having been told in early December that she was about to get the chop Sue Lewis and her friends decided to capitalise on the already announced restructuring and use it to create a new post for her, and then go through the motions of advertising that post over Christmas. She may even have been tipped off about her redundancy before the restructuring was announced.

Proponents of both versions seem to agree on three important points:

1/ The post of Facilities Officer was inadequately advertised, if it was advertised at all.

2/ Sue Lewis was appointed to the post by her friends and neighbours.

3/ She has no experience of the duties she is now expected to fulfil.

The Small World Theatre is a company based in the town that, with its falling income, may see regularly performing at the Castle as its financial salvation. If so, then it was obviously a wise move to get Sue Lewis on board in May, 2012, and it’s already reaping rewards. For as this letter written to a local politician puts it, “It is also worrying to be told that over £15,000 has been given to Small World Theatr for putting on very English based summer activities for children without any opportunity for other Welsh theatre groups to bid for the money and offer more suitable performances. There is a very serious and corrupt edge to this development as Sue Lewis is a trustee of Small World . . . “.

Elin Jones, the Plaid Cymru AM, is a ‘Friend’ on Lewis’ Facebook page.

In fact Plaid Cymru, the party, has behaved in its usual manner when confronted with ‘awkward’ situations – it has slunk away to the shadows for fear of upsetting people. And in the process abandoned a Welsh cause. God! I hope Plaid Cymru is destroyed next May.

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Next in line is Mrs Sandra Margaret Davies, born 12.06.1949. She is married to Meirion Davies, a teaching assistant some 17 years her junior. Having been born and raised locally she of course speaks Welsh, but like Jann Tucker, chooses not to. Now prepare to overdose on happenstance.

Mr and Mrs Davies live in Aberporth. (Where else!) Sandra Davies is the vice-chair of the governors of Ysgol Gynradd Aberporth. The chair, you will remember, is Sue Lewis! Meirion helps out at the local youth club, where other trustees are Jann and Tony Tucker. I stopped digging at this point because, quite frankly, there’s a limit to how many connections I can take. But I think I’ve established that we have here three people, Jann Tucker, Sue Lewis and Sandra Davies, who are all trustees at Cardigan Castle, who all live in the same small village some 7 miles up the coast, and who all know each other very well, having worked together on other bodies.

We all say, ‘It’s a small world’, but humbling phenomena like this bring home to us how true that is. Oh, yes.

Sandra Davies is now retired but formerly worked at the English military’s weapons establishment in Aberporth which used to provide many jobs for local people, alongside the service personnel and the ex-servicemen (who always had priority for civilian jobs). Nowadays the base employs far fewer locals and is engaged in developing drones, for both military, surveillance and commercial use.

She joined ‘Castell’ 27.11.2013, but seems never to have been a member of ‘Cadwgan’, maybe because, as she claims to be the trustee-accountant or some such, she too is getting paid. She joined the spectacularly unenterprising Cardigan Castle Enterprises Ltd on 24.04.2013.

Though one perplexing chapter in her recent history is Keykeeper Wales Ltd, Company No 08517357. It was in existence from 07.05.2013 to 20.01.2015 but never made any returns or filed any accounts. It seems to have been one of those companies that are set up, do nothing, and then fold; leaving one to think, ‘What the hell was that about?’ Apart from the Davieses the only other directors were William Neil Chambers and Nicola Lesley Chambers.

Sandra Davies world class staff

To help you understand Sandra Davies, and other self-hating Welsh, I’ll recount her answer when it was suggested to have bilingual front-of-house staff at the Castle. “We’ll never get world class staff if we have to rely on the Welsh”. World class staff! How much do they intend paying these ‘world class staff’?

Sandra Davies is also on Facebook.

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If we pass the Davies residence and keep going up the road we soon come to the village of Tresaith, near to where we find Dr. Hedydd Parry Jones. On the one hand, it’s nice toHedydd Jones get away from the stifling incestuousness of Aberporth, but on the other hand, we are of course moving further away from Aberteifi.

There’s not a lot to report about Dr Jones, she’s another who keeps a low profile. I’m told that before her retirement she was a GP in Castell Newydd Emlyn and is, I’m also told, married to a farmer in the Tresaith area.

She came relatively late to the Gang of Four, joining ‘Cadwgan’ on 18.11.2009, and ‘Castell’ on 25.04.2012. She served her time with Cardigan Castle Enterprises Ltd from 15.06.2010 to 28.01.2015.

One spectacularly offensive remark has been attributed to her. During a discussion on whether the Gorsedd should be invited to the spiritual home of the National Eisteddfod, she is reported to have contributed, “Over my dead body”.

Hedydd Jones remark

Hedydd Jones is also on Facebook, and despite her being another shrinking violet, I have managed to secure a photograph.

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It’s almost a merciful relief to be leaving the Ceredigion coast, but I don’t believe we should have to move as far as Kent, in England, for that relief, which is where we find Jonathan Richard Timms. ‘Who’, you cry, ‘is Mr Timms?’

Another figure of mystery is Jonathan ‘Joff’ Timms. We know he was born in 1945, so he’s of a ripe age, and he joined ‘Carigan contact TimmsCadwgan’ 15.11.2006. On the Charity Commission website he is even listed as the contact for the trust. (Click to enlarge panel on right.) He joined ‘Castell’ 18.04.2007.

As if that wasn’t enough, he and Sue Lewis seem to be the only directors left standing at Cardigan Castle Enterprises Ltd. So he appears to be the one person who is a trustee for both trusts and is also a trustee / director of the trading arm. So how does that work, with him living so far away? Does he make the 620 mile round trip to attend every meeting, or are meetings arranged for when he might be in the area? Though come to that, why would he be in the area at all? Well, boys and girls, you will not be surprised to learn that a dickie-bird tells me Mr Timms has a holiday home in Aberporth, and that he was almost certainly invited aboard the good ship Cardigan Castle by Jann Tucker.

A regular contributor to my blog, ‘Brychan’, had this to say of Mr Timms:

“The mysterious Mr Timms has moved.

When originally registered at the charity commission he declared he was resident at a period mansion, Glebe House, Mersham in the Weald of Kent. This property is Grade II listed. It was renovated by Talus, who are specialists in restoring period structures and sub dividing the property for sale. Half of this property is now up for sale for £950,000. I find no record of title change for the other parts of the structure. 12 other properties were built on associated land.

Mr Timms subsequently changed his address declared at the charity commission to another of his properties at 44 Oxenturn Road, Wye, a village some miles away, nestled in the North Downs.

It is quite evident, as his original Glebe House period mansion changed from detached to two semi-detached properties, that he specialises in buying and renovating period structures and then sub-dividing them for sale as separate units at vast profit. The ‘wedding venue’ and ‘events’ businesses that habit the property for a short period are merely ghost enterprises, the real cash is generated by the sub-division and subsequent piecemeal sale of a renovated freehold.

Do the good people of Aberteifi really know who they’re dealing with? I have assumed the ‘Welsh’ Government, CADW and Cyngor Ceredigion have done the precautionary background checks on this geezer. I wonder what he did with his bats? Did they move to Wye or Aberteifi?”

So Jonathan Timms appears to be a property specialist whose forte might be converting and flogging period and listed buildings, such as – dare I say it? – Castle Green House inside the Castle grounds. (Click to enlarge image.)Castle Green House 1

Also note that both trusts, in their declarations to the Charity Commission, state their objectives thus: “To preserve for the benefit of the people of Cardigan town and of the nation the historical, architectural and constructional heritage that may exist in and around Cardigan town in buildings (including any building as defined in Section 336 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) of particular beauty or historical, architectural or constructional interest’. Which suggests that certain persons’ ambitions may not be limited to the Castle.

I’m told Mrs Timms was acting as a ‘volunteer’ when Our Glorious Leader visited the Castle last month.

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This is the situation now, but the problems with Cardigan Castle go back years, to when the renovation was being done. There are too many problems to list them all, but one worth mentioning is the complaint from local businesses that they were not invited to tender for the work being done on the Castle.

Now there could be a simple explanation for this in that the main contractor, Andrew Scott Ltd of Port Talbot, was allowed to choose its sub-contractors and suppliers, perhaps arranging its own tendering processes. But if so, why did those representing the Castle not insist that the process be opened up to local contractors and suppliers?

Alternatively, if handing out the contracts to suppliers was within the gift of the trustees then local anger is understandable, and helps explain why a complaint I’ve heard more than once concerns the work given to Leekes of Cross Hands to supply furniture, fittings, sanitary ware and much else that could have been sourced cheaper locally. Inevitably, seeing as Jann Tucker was born in Cross Hands, people suggest she is related to the Leekes family. Possibly, though another option is that a member of the Leekes clan has a holiday home on the Ceredigion coast – Llangrannog has been mentioned – and is known to the Gang of Four, or some of them, or perhaps just one of them.

One of the most serious complaints I’ve heard is contained in the letter to a local politician I linked to above. (Here’s the link again.) The writer says, “We have at least 60 people in Cardigan who have asked to join (the trust, presumably) but have just been ignored”. This suggests that the Gang of Four doesn’t want anyone involved who isn’t going to toe their line. No elections, no applications; entry is by recommendation and invitation only, a methodology they might have picked up from their Freemason husbands.

Another regular complaint is that there seems to be no constitution for members of the public to consult, which charity law says there should be. Then there’s the issue of minutes being doctored, with the final versions bearing little resemblance to what took place in the meetings the minutes supposedly refer to. And as mentioned in the earlier posts, there is the absurdly high turnover in staff and trustees for the very simple reason that no one can work with the Gang of Four.

One of the more bizarre complaints is that the trustees spent £100,000 on a wedding marquee, a permanent structure but, of course, without foundations. This was done despite being told that weddings can only be in held in a building with three sides and a roof. As I say, this is one of the more bizarre complaints, but if true, then it displays a stupidity, and exposes a waste of public money, that should not go unpunished. Regarding this marquee, Jann Tucker averred that she didn’t want any “local riff-raff” getting married in it.

Sticking with the bizarre, another story I was told by, I suspect, someone who worked on the project, was that the main contractor, Andrew Scott Ltd, was told by a local contractor that the sewage / drainage system was 300mm ‘out’. The advice was ignored and now the Castle is said to have problems with this system. Oh yes, the same source tells me that the Castle has bought two banana trees. I just hope these are traditional Welsh banana trees.

Cardigan Castle is clearly in deep, deep trouble. A £12m project is being run by people who are out of their depth. Incompetence would be bad enough, but they compound that failing by being unpleasant creatures given to venomous, insulting outbursts. Small wonder the townspeople of Aberteifi feel alienated. They see no one from their town involved in running the Castle, and local businesses excluded from the £12m bonanza! Welcome to Aberporth Castle . . . with the contact address in Kent.

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That the major funders involved, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the ‘Welsh’ Government, have not stepped in to replace these women, and Mr Timms, with a board of trustees operating more transparently, a board more representative of Cardigan and the surrounding area, makes those funders complicit in and responsible for the malpractice now taking place.

Beyond malpractice we also have the clearly expressed sentiments of hostility towards the Welsh language, Welsh culture, and Welsh people. Outbursts that should disqualify these women from involvement in any project in Wales using public funding.

They themselves are the intolerant bigots they accuse their critics of being. Get rid of them!

42 thoughts on “Cardigan Castle: Gang of Four + One

    1. She definitely belongs to the ‘Pathetic’ wing of Plaid Cymru. But, then, what can we expect when we remember who her mentor is.

  1. Colin

    Well researched Jac, all of what I’ve looked at today tallies with your findings so it appears to be the truth as far as I can see. Why did I say that, well the whole story looks to be the stuff vendettas are made of, “surely to God the man must be as mad as a hatter!” could be the reaction of some. The truth is unbelievable, is there some official body such as OffCon or OffVipersNest that would or could take up this case and shake it out in the best interests of the people of Aberteifi? Failing that the people of Aberteifi or others should be well informed of these findings so that they may take the matter into their own hands if they wish. There has to be dealings there that have broken the laws bestowed on us by our friends in London

    1. I’m beginning to think that the funders and others are quite happy to have this shower running things rather than have some ‘frightful nationalists’ – i.e. decent Welsh people – in charge.

      1. Colin

        Someone honest for a start would help, Welsh or not (but preferably not). People are apathetic about this stuff, it’s the “well it doesn’t really affect me does it” syndrome; what they need is a start, if something started then more will follow, well as long as Coronation Street isn’t on.

        How about getting your findings out into the wider public domain, if enough people know and are known to know then they can’t stand by and do sod all

        1. I don’t believe that apathy is the problem down in Cardigan. Many locals are angry and want these people out, but they can’t be voted out because they won’t allow elections, and those who are funding the project refuse to remove them. It’s a stalemate. One that will be broken soon because those I’ve written about are so blatant in bending the rules to their own advantage, and insulting people, that their days are surely numbered.

  2. Anonymous

    Iam so relived to see that nothing illegal or corrupt is going on with these trustees. They are totally committed to the local community and heritage of Wales.no interest in personal financial gain whatsoever.Every public body should aspire to their transparency.

  3. Anonymous

    As a Cardigan resident and first language Welsh speaker this whole affair makes me sick – it’s time for direct action. The forthcoming concert on Saturday may just be the perfect opportunity.

    1. Anonymous

      …and what a great concert it was.
      .made possible by all those with a positive interest in making the castle a place for all walks of life to enjoy. Thankyou to all you welsh, english, irish, scottish people of the uk…trustees, local theatre groups, volunteers…the paying public etc….Now for goodness sake …Jac and co. ..quit yr moaning and yr gripes, yr negativities and yr negative aapproach.Get on the positive side and help the castle grow…Can’t you?? Diolch.

      1. If you are so proud of what’s going on there why can’t you give your name? “Thank you to all you welsh, english, irish, scottish people of the uk” Which are you, Tory, RedTory, Ukip or BNP?

  4. Brychan

    There are two failures in what’s gone on…..

    (1) Lack of governance and control,
    (2) project drift.

    The various charitable corporate entities have been in receipt of public funds. These failures appear to have had the following effects…

    (a) funds destined for ‘language and heritage’ diverted to commercial venture devoid of cultural merit
    (b) possibility of personal enrichment of individuals
    (c) evidence of ‘insider’ property speculation.

    The ‘buildings’ charity wound down its operation in 2012 when the construction phase completed, and the ‘operational’ charity then mushroomed with assets of the former. Ms Tucker (and others) being a trustee of both.

    Funding was from the Heritage Lottery Fund was sponsored by the Welsh Government and a tranch of this was ‘match funded’ by schemes administered by the Welsh Government.

    I believe that what has been uncovered so far merits an agenda item for the Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee at the Senedd. There is only one elected member of this committee, Angela Burns AM. She has a legal civil servant at her disposal, expert in these matters, the one who previously won a court battle against Donald Trump on behalf of the Scottish Government over the Menie “luxury golf resort” in Aberdeenshire.

    Does Dame Tucker have the same hairdresser?

  5. dafis

    given that so much info has been retrieved relatively easily by Jac, it is even more puzzling that various bodies formally established to oversee conduct ( and prevent misconduct ! ) do not appear to have got stuck into this situation which seems to have been off the rails for a good while.

    The Charity Commission would eventually be involved where there is evidence of misuse/misconduct, but prior to that there should have been an intervention from the body or bodies who agreed to provide funding – CADW, Heritage Lottery Fund, ERDF, ( any more ?). Did these not have regular monitoring and reporting in place ? on a £12 mill project one would expect something much more than an informal chat, or are the supervisory authorities also financially illiterate/inept or just don’t give a shit?

    And finally the Dyfed Powys Constabulary, who may regard Aberteifi as peripheral to their beat but nevertheless collect a slice of their funding from local Council Tax payers in that town and surrounding parishes. Now it is said that intelligence led policing has filtered westwards along the M4, so one could ask quite reasonably – who’s looking at intelligence gathered in Aberteifi ? – where it seems everybody but Plod is talking about this fiasco.

    If everybody’s looking the other way there must be an awful lot of neck strain in Aberteifi !

  6. Huw

    Can anyone print some Cris Tomos – ala cheguevara t shirts for saturday night? I’ll have 4…..

      1. I

        There’s a cheaper company in England you could use, unless a member of Jann Tucker’s family run a print shop somewhere?

  7. Wenda of the West

    Joff Timms declared to members of one Castle committee that ‘Rhys ap Gruffudd and his sons were nothing more than savages’, but of course that was doctored out of the minutes

    1. Iestyn

      This is one of the things that makes Yr Arglwydd Rhys so important to Welsh cultural history. His gathering is often referred to as “the first Eisteddfod” etc, but in fact it was a cultural gathering of poets and musicians from all around Britain and western Europe. The “eisteddfod” that celebrated the completion of Rhys ap Gruffudd’s castle was not the act of a “savage” or “robber baron”, as certain members of “the establishment” would have us believe the Welsh leaders were. This was the kind of pan European diplomacy and cultural linkage that the Welsh leaders would have been indulging in had they not spent most of their time, energy, wealth and ingenuity trying to keep the Anglo-Normans from stealing their country.

    2. Brychan

      The business model, which the trustees of Cardigan Castle have now embarked upon, can be seen here..

      http://www.leeds-castle.com/Visit/Castle+and+History/Leeds+Castle+Foundation

      Recent activities at this establishment include ‘Medieval Olympics’ which involves jousting on toy horses and cutting the heads off French people (8-10year olds) and burning Catholics while supping mulled wine (families).

      Other timelines include…How to kill your wife Tudor style….Shagging a chambermaid and drowning the baby….Disembowling senior clergy….Battle re-enactments of the Crusades where the defeated army have their faces blacked up with shoe polish…and….throwing homosexuals into the moat.

      Perhaps Joff Timms only regards Welsh nobles of ancient times “savages” or is this just a bit of sour grapes because he’s not considered of sufficient worth to become involved in such enterprises closer to his home. Middle class up-starts in England have to move to the colonies to play squire.

        1. Brychan

          I doubt of the castle grandees would have anything to do with Ukip. They’re just doing an accurate and overt retelling of the history of the castle.

          However, this is one of MrTimms’ (former) borough councillors…
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-18494307
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-31512117

          After leaving the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, Ms Yeo stood as a parliamentary candidate for Ukip. This was a vacancy opened up when the sitting candidate, Ms Atkinson MEP, was sacked for funnelling expenses into a local restaurant using false receipts.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-28840210
          She lept to fame for calling some of her incomers ‘TingTongs’ because of their ethnic origin.

  8. gaynor

    for pithy tshirt comments that hit aa contrevershal sbot go to shwldimwl t shirts, llanboidy, satisfaction guaranteed!

  9. Don’t tell me Timms is also a member of the Labour party too. That’s just the type of thing Kinnock might say. Wait a minute, he did….. “between the mid-sixteenth century and the mid-eighteenth century Wales had practically no history at all, and even before that it was the history of rural brigands who have been ennobled by being called princes”

  10. Colin

    Don’t forget Cowbois in Bala for Tee shirts especially for the 50 year anniversary of that ..kin dam shirts.

    I’m off to France for three weeks tomorrow so I hope you make a good showing on Saturday night if you can do it. Enough people to make someone take notice is what’s needed (obviously!)

    Hwyl

  11. dafis

    made me chuckle that announcement about military vehicles being assembled in Merthyr at old forklift factory. Recalling some of the legends of the Hoover era, it won’t be long before many homes in Merthyr have their own armored car made out of parts “liberated” from the factory. Then maybe we can mobilise the locals to take some form of action !

  12. Rhodri

    The Trustees Commissioned an over sized Eisteddfod Chair which understand cost over £10,000. The Lucky Sculptor who was given the commission was Paul Clarke from yes you guessed correctly Aberporth. His prominent work is a Dolphin at Aberporth, again funded by Public Money. It would be interesting to find out who was responsible for this commission. He has a number of images on his website: http://paulclarkesculptor.co.uk/ , including another flat relief panel that show the same Raven Symbols as on the Chair. Did he also make other items for the Castle? There are other items on his website, and some local people may recognise the location. If they are sited where I suspect they are the findings could be very interesting.

    I struggle to see how Public Funds can be spent on commissioning works of Art.

    I have contacted Paul Clarke and he confirmed that he was responsible for the design of the chair, and the “Heraldic Symbols” incorporated in the design. He got it badly wrong. Heraldry was in its infancy when the Lord Rhys lived, but his descendants Coat of Arms and that of the House of Deheubarth are given as “Gules, a lion (rampant) Or, armed Azure. In plain language a Golden Lion standing on its hind legs, with the claws highlighted in Blue on a Red Shield.

    Paul Clarke appears to have Googled Rhys ap Griffith and or Dinefwr and found the Arms of the Rice Family whose ancestor Griffith ap Nicholas acquired Dinefwr in the early 15th Century. The most famous member of the family was Sir Rhys ap Thomas his grandson who sided with Henry Tudor and became the most powerful figure in South Wales.

    Someone has created a false Coat of Arms on Wikipedia for the Dinefwr Family, which no resemblance to any of the Coat of Arms that is ascribed to them.

    Syr Rhys ap Thomas gave “Argent a Chevron Sable between Three Ravens proper”. In plain language A single Black Chevron between Three Black Ravens on a Silver shield. Not three White Chevrons with a Red Lion passant
    between Three Ravens on a Red background.

    The Dinefwr family claim descent from Urien Reged and the Ravens represent “Brain Urien” mentioned in the Mabinogion, and this where the Ravens on the Chair have come from.

    The Trustees have taken these fictitious Arms and Colours and ascribed them to the Lord Rhys.

    They proclaim that Red and Black are the “Lord Rhys Colours” and are selling a bag as “The Lord Rhys Bag” with this Coat of Arms.

    The guilty of passing off Goods under false pretences, and probably using an image without complying with the Wikipedia Terms of use.

    I have pointed this out to the Trustees but they are not interested.

    Glen Johnson or Simon as I call him, as he simply a Cataloguer and not a Historian by stretch of the imagination, as his approach is simplistic to say the least, response was that others including “CADW” have used the same Coat of Arms. To be fair to Glen, he was not a Trustee when the was commissioned and says he no input into the design. I am surprised that as the self proclaimed Cardigan Castle Historian the Trustees did not see fit to consult him, although I doubt he would have spotted the error.

    Paul Clarke on his website states – “One of my most recent commissions: a large Bardic Chair which contains multiple carvings in wood, bronze and slate standing nine feet tall celebrating the rich history of the newly restored Cardigan Castle.”

    Every symbol on the Chair is therefore meant to reflect the “history” of Cardigan Castle.

    If he is serious about reflecting accurately the history of Cardigan Castle, he should correct the errors at his own cost, and the Trustees who have a Duty of Care but have been obviously negligent should at their own personal cost pay for correcting all the other errors.

  13. Rhodri

    Selected Highlights from Aberporth Community Council Minutes, which are only available on their Website up to the April 2015 Meeting, and there is also a Gap between December 2012 and April 2014. Are they hiding something?

    15th April 2014

    (7) Paul Clarke has been asked to do a maintenance review of the dolphin; he has looked at it and there are no problems, it needs it to dry out before he can treat it.

    21st October 2014

    (32) Maritime Project
    Minutes of meetings were provided.
    The FLAG application has been approved by Welsh Government for £20,000. The grant acceptance forms have been signed and completed.7
    Two meeting have been held. Paul Clark has agreed to come on board and help with the project. Sketch drawing of the proposal was provided. There will be a monthly progress report. Grass area has been cleared and the rubbish is to be removed. A new account is to be opened for this project so that accounting and claims can be easily monitored and processed. Cllr Arthur Richards has produced the timesheet and record spread sheet for volunteer hours
    Cllr Arthur Richards has completed a Welsh Government audit form for the FLAG review.
    Welsh Government is visiting for a study visit and information packs have been put together.
    The Chair of the WI has approached Cllr Anne McCreary enquiring about the possibility of a joint project; there is potential for them to support with this project.
    Email received advising that Catalys will be evaluating the Ceredigion FLAG scheme.

    18th November 2014

    Request to go into committee to discuss BIG SHIP finances & Fireworks
    Fireworks DO
    In the Tivyside about lack of donations from the public and the community council had chipped in. People called to ask how community council had chipped in
    Concerns about the organisation – no committee, no accounts, no books
    AR – need to be transparent. If we wish to continue to support it.
    Agreed to employ Paul Clarke to manage the project and that we use local contractors to undertake required work. Paul to make stage invoicing – we can submit stage claims

    16th December 2014
    (4)Items agreed for payment:
    £2500.00 P Clarke

    (35) Cllr Jann Tucker informed the Council that after 20 years Mrs Sue Lewis has been made redundant from the Tivyside. On behalf of the Community Council she thanked Sue for all her support. Councillors expressed their concerns over the loss of local knowledge as the paper is to be edited in Haverfordwest.

    20th January 2015
    (4) Items authorised for payment:
    £2500.00 P Clarke

    Maritime Project
    (37) Updates were provided by Cllr Arthur Richards and Cllr Anne McCreary. Minutes of the meeting were provided.
    There are 33 ships so 33 stones are needed to be engraved; the committee are looking at options to reduce the number of stones. All the stones have been kindly donated. Paul Clarke has completed the large stone engraving and the wood is being cut. Quotes have been received for the concrete work. The committee are looking into options for benches. The unveiling/Launch is to be held alongside the Big lunch on the 7th June and invitations will be sent to the Chair of FLAG and the Welsh Government grant unit.
    Cllr McCreary had been meeting with Hanes and with Maxine Thom; bilingual posters requesting information regarding maritime history are to be put up to collate information for the panel; the art work needs to go to Sigma April. The Poem competition closes end of January.

    17th February 2015
    (5) Items agreed for payment:
    £1875.00 Paul Clarke

    17th March 2015
    (1) The March meeting of the above named community council was held at Aberporth Village Hall on Tuesday 17th March 2015 at 6:30pm. The Chairman, Arthur Richards, presided.
    Present: Cllr Jann Tucker, Cllr Hywel Evans, Cllr Richard Williams, Cllr Gethin James, Cllr Anne McCreary, Cllr June Allen, Cllr Mike Harwood, Cllr Gethin Davies, Vanessa Owens (Clerk), and Mrs Sue Lewis.
    Welcome to Sue Lewis as press for Cambrian News

    (6) Items agreed for payment:
    £2,599.43 Paul Clarke

    (17)
    A letter was received from Mr & Mrs Timms regarding the hedge at lower welfare park; Cllr Gethin Davies organised to get it cut with a machine.

    21st April 2015

    (1)
    The April meeting of the above named community council was held at Aberporth Village Hall on Tuesday 21st April 2015 at 6:30pm. The Chairman, Cllr Arthur Richards, presided.
    Present: Cllr Jann Tucker, Cllr Hywel Evans, Cllr Mike Harwood, Cllr Gethin James, Cllr Dai Ogilvie, Cllr Colin Evans, Cllr June Allen, Cllr Gethin Davies, Cllr Richard Williams., Vanessa Owens (Clerk) and Mrs Sue Lewis (Cambrian News)

    (5)
    Items agreed for payment:
    £2500.00 Paul Clarke

    1. TeifiLeaks

      How did Sue Lewis have time to write for the Cambrian News when she’s 3 months into a job helping run a £12m project?! Her husband does indeed write for the Cambrian News, shouldn’t it have been him attending?

      1. Rhodri

        Many reports in the TivySide and Cambrian News were very similar. Perhaps she has always been multi-tasking.

    2. Brychan

      Besides a benevolent sweetener on heritage buildings to lubricate land deals, is there any UK government land and assets in Aberporth that this outfit might be interested in? They have just completed a land development deal at a previous haunt of Mr Timms….
      http://www.wyewithhinxhillpc.kentparishes.gov.uk/UserFiles/file/Press%20Releases/Telereal%20Trillium%20press%20release_Wye%203%20acquisition_Final.pdf
      Cllr Gethin Davies should note that Mr Timms may be more than just an owner of a, now permanently occupied, holiday home with a concern for unkempt hedges in the local park.

    1. Yes. I have heard about the investigation into Cantref, though I’m also told that the investigation was almost immediately contracted out to a private company. I’m also hearing that there are three lines of enquiry, the most rewarding of which – if pursued with enthusiasm – could be procurement processes. But anyway, I detest all housing associations, so if the ‘Welsh’ Government has any sense it will find a few other cases to investigate – God knows there are enough! – and then start cutting these buggers adrift and let them sink or swim. The Welsh public purse could be saved hundreds of millions that could be far better spent.

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