September Pembroke Soup- a REEL success

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    September Pembroke Soup- a REEL success

    Whether  it was the rainy day or the increased awareness of Pembroke Soup, but Saturday September 22nd at 12.00 to 1.30 was reeling – we saw a full hall, extra tables and chairs hastily fitted in and a real buzz of anticipation and sharing as people filled the hall.

    As people paid there four pounds to come in, five large pans of homemade soup were heating and filling the hall with delicious aromas. The Coo-op had again generously supplied ample bread. And we were ready to go!

    Each event sees four community groups coming along to tell us what they are doing in the community;how they are helping in the community and….. how the community might be able to help them. The event provides an opportunity for a small cash grant if funds are needed, as all of the door money is distributed amongst the groups presenting according to the silent vote made as people also choose their soup for lunch.
    This time we were all treated to a colourful and vibrant display of Irish dancing from Serenfach Irish Dance club. This club started in July 2012 and meets every Thursday in the Pater Hall from 4.00 to 7.30pm. It is run by Sharron Ewings, Amanda Phillips and Bethen Ewings who teach children from the age of four years, traditional Irish dancing in a fun way. They hold regular events to show the skill they have learnt. And what skills! A group of seven youngsters aged between 7 and 15 years of age put on an amazing display. ‘They were to perform again as folks were eating soup. What a treat. One hundred and fifteen pounds was to be donated to them at the end of the morning – funds having been requested, to help with the cost of outfits and shoes for the youngsters.

    They have a Facebook page serenfach irish dance or can be contacted on 07881707670.

    John Lloyd presented from Pemrokeshire Scout Association. He was to tell us about a project to build coracles. He explained how in modern day scouting ( and there are some 850 Scouts aged between 61/2 to 25 years, in Pemrokeshire alone) there are a number of projects and activities in progress- all designed for specific age groups to aid  their wider education and development. One such current project is to build coracles, involving both the Scout section and the Explorer Scouts.

    In the Uk there are about 18 variants of the coracle- a small single seated craft made originally of cow hide and woven willow. Today the coracles are made of canvass. Here in West Wales the Scouting Association have begun a project making  Cleddau Coracles ( one of 18 variants of coracle) an obvious choice with Pembroke Dock being on the Cleddau ! By April this year the first two were ready and launched at Gelliswick Bay and were part of a large Scout based activity event involving about 400 young people across the county. Many of these young people took the opportunity to try paddling a coracle. The project is planning to build another three this Autumn and funds are being raised for this purpose. The old traditional skills required to build coracles are being revived and  John explained his hope that some of the young people involved will learn something about the unusual craftsmanship. West Wales Maritime Heritage Museum at Hancocks Yard Fronts Street in Pembroke Dock were thanked for their support and continued use of their workshops  40 was later to be donated from Pembroke Soup.

    John Roberts from Pembroke Family Gardening Group spoke and shared his passion to see the small Tenby Daffodil reintroduced into our hedgerows and fields. It is a native daffodil that used to be everywhere, but has suffered perhaps from disturbances to the hedgerows from changes in agricultural methods and from the larger flamboyant cultivated daffodils. It now seems to be limited to a few favorable areas. However this small native daffodil, which likes to be planted out and left undisturbed will reward by spreading and giving the small delicate flower in the spring. Pembroke Family Gardening donated Tenby Daffodils to youngsters who had grown sunflowers and had a supply for sale. The organization was to receive forty pounds from Pembroke Soup – funding was requested to cover the cost of the bulbs. Look out for Pembroke Family Gardening at various events this autumn, when the bulbs will be donated to school children and parents with planting and care instructions. At September’s Pembroke Soup John Roberts thanked parents and children for the enthusiastic support given to this and previous projects. John can be contacted at

    Daphne Bush, chair/press officer of Pembroke Ladies Lifeboat Guild spoke describing briefly that in 1824, Sir William Hilary decided to form a coastal rescue service which was later to become the charity named the Royal  National Lifeboat Institution.

    Angle had its first Lifeboat Station in 1868, now having celebrated its 150th Anniversary. The ladies Lifeboat Guild was founded in 1949 and next year will celebrate 70 years of fundraising in this small locality, stretching outwards from Angle Bay. Daphne thanked the many people present, whose support would have enabled the longevity of Guild fundraising in the area during this time.
    It is interesting to know that in the UK and Republic of Ireland we are over 23000 volunteer fundraisers in total. There are 238 Lifeboat Stations with 4966 volunteer crew in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Lifeboats have been built at Poole headquarters for the last few years in a state of the art boat building centre, thanks to fundraising and donations. The RNLI can therefore now build, maintain, repair and service all of its boats at Poole. In addition engineers can service boats and equipment at Lifeboat Stations. The latest boat being built at Poole being the Shannon Class Lifeboat, capable of 25 knots and capable of turning in its own circle.

    Fundraising also supports the seasonal Lifeguard Service which has operated in Pembrokeshire since 2007. In the 2018 season 13 beaches were covered from Whitesands to Pendine. Newgale, in the North. It has 3 Lifeguard station points. The Lifeguard service continues around the coast from Pendine to  Aberavon and areas beyond. There was so much more to say about the charity. However, time was short; therefore, Daphne concluded by relaying facts regarding costs of equipment and running expenses, putting the need for continual fundraising truly into perspective. The cost of running the charity in 2017 was £176.5 million which is £483, 000 per day. Daphne later expressed gratitude for the forty pounds donated by Pembroke Soup – this could cover the cost of two pairs of special gloves for lifeboat crew.


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