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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Hi everyone! Just to let all our followers know that the Coracle Theatre Project will be holding a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream in Ferryside on April 15th in aid of Ferryside Lifeboat. Performance will start at 2pm on the Foreshore and will be free to attend (with suggested donations to the lifeboat of £2 per person).

Mike Hackfort

Shakespeare on the foreshore
Shakespeare on the foreshore

Fundraising night in Meidrim 17th February

We are very pleased to announce that there will be a fundraising Bingo night in the Fountain pub in Meidrim, near St. Clears, on Friday 17th February. Some of the crew will be there trying to win the jackpot and we hope to see you there.

Not many people may realise that the Ferryside Lifeboat covers more a large operational area including the three rivers: The Towy – up to Carmarthen and beyond, the Gwendraith – up to Kidwelly Quay, and the Taf – up to St. Clears. In addition to this we may also be called to assist anywhere in Carmarthen Bay from Worm’s Head to Tenby or beyond.

We are very grateful to the people of Meidrim for putting on this fundraising night for us and it’s always good to meet up with people in areas we don’t get to visit much.


February Update

Once again the crew of Ferryside Lifeboat would like to thank all those who turned out on New Years Day for the now annual FLABB dip. This year saw an increase in the number of participants, which was fantastic to see from our point of view. If you fancy a go then please come along and join in, it is a free event to enter and I can personally vouch for the dips qualities as a hangover cure! Fancy dress and mankini’s optional!

Andy and his Mankini
Andy and his Mankini

At this time of year the crew turns its attention to planning the years fundraising and this year we have a bumper crop of fun events lined up. These events take an awful lot of time and effort to arrange and this year we would love to hear from anybody who has a few hours to spare to help us raise funds. There would be no formal commitment, only an hour or two here and there to help man stalls, shake tins and sell raffle tickets; Particularly in the summer months where we have multiple commitments, leaving the crew thin on the ground at times. If you can help then we would love to hear from you. Please e-mail [email protected]

Mike Hackfort with Dave Smith
Mike Hackfort with the recently retired Dave Smith

We are also looking for sponsors for our four main fundraisers, Glastonferry, The Big Swim, The Garden Crawl, and The Annual Autumn Show. We would be particularly interested in hearing from anyone (individuals or companies) who might be able to help financially with Glastonferry and The Big Swim. It will be our fourth year of running Glastonferry and the event keeps getting bigger and bigger. The Big Swim Swim has also become a big summer attraction within the local community.  Any sponsorship will of course therefore result in some very good advertising and a much-increased local presence (if that is what you wish).

Again, if you can help then please e-mail.

It costs upwards of £12-14,000 per year to keep the lifeboat operating in Ferryside and so any and all contributions are always very welcome. We can guarantee that every single penny raised through our fundraising goes directly to help keep the lifeboat afloat.

Once again, thanks to the community for all your help and please keep looking out for updates and more lifeboat news.

Anthony Rees

Mike Hackfort wearing his favourite hat
Mike Hackfort wearing his favourite hat

Big Swim 2012

After the success of the 2011 Big Swim we will be hosting our annual Big Swim again in 2012. The swim, on 11 August 2012, is a 2km event from Ferryside to Llanstephan and back, across the Tywi Estuary.

Big Swim 2011
Big Swim 2011

This year we have raised the number of swimmers to 100. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who wishes to join us. We do however request that swimmers be over the age of 16.

Big Swim 2011
The 2011 swimmers

On the day there will also be various beach activities for the public including a BBQ, live music and a raffle — all under the stunning backdrop of Llanstephan Castle.

Big Swim course
Big Swim course

The Big Swim starts at 1pm from the foreshore at Ferryside. For an application and info pack, or if you would like to make a donation to Ferryside lifeboat, please contact James on 07929 037938 or email us.

For more news on open water swimming you can visit www.h2openmagazine.com


Carmarthen Motorcycle Club Show 2011

The crew of the Ferryside Lifeboat will be at the Carmarthen Motorcycle Club show this weekend (20th & 21st August).

Motorcycle Show 2009
Motorcycle Show 2009

As usual we will be there to talk to people and will have some of our increasingly popular wrist bands for sale as well as the usual raffle tickets. This is a great show and we are indebted to the motorcycle club for their continued support of the lifeboat.

The Show will be held at the Carmarthen Showground, Nantyci, Carmarthen, SA33 5DR. Opening times are Saturday 9-5, Sunday 10-5.

For more information please visit http://www.carmarthenmotorcycleclub.co.uk/show.php

Ferryside Lifeboat Crew
Coxswain Dave Smith and Secretary Mike Hackfort with the Lifeboat tent

Both photographs sourced from the West Wales Motorcycle Show

Big Swim 2011 News

The Ferryside Lifeboat 2nd Annual Big Swim – over £5000 raised!

We are extremely pleased to announce that the Big Swim 2011 was a great day on August 6th this year. Hundreds of you turned out to see our 24 swimmers bravely take on the big swim from the foreshore in Ferryside to Llansteffan and back. The day was an absolute success in the turn out, the atmosphere of the day (and on into the evening!), and the money raised towards the new lifeboat.

This would not have been possible without the tireless work of James Littlejohns (Ferryside Lifeboat Senior Crew) who arranged the event, including all the safety details. We would also like to thank the River Towy Yacht Club for generously hosting the event and providing safety boat cover, and everybody else who was there on the day giving their time to ensure that the whole event could run smoothly and safely.

Ferryside Lifeboat Big Swim 2011
Our intrepid swimmers posing for the local press photographer

A huge thank you to all the swimmers who devoted months of hard work, training, and raising money for the event. We are waiting for all the money to come in but we estimate the event has raised over £5000. This is a staggering amount for an event that is still in its infancy. We would especially like to thank all those who went the extra mile in preparing food for the day despite all they had already done.

We are still waiting for pictures of the day to come rolling in. If you have any then please forward them to our email address [email protected] so that we can include them in a gallery on the website.

Ferryside Lifeboat BigSwim2011
Swimmers setting off from the foreshore with Llansteffan Castle in the background

First picture from This Is South Wales, originally here

Big Swim News

The 2nd Annual Big Swim is coming up on the 6th August. The 3Km swim is from Ferryside to Llansteffan and back and will start at 11.00am from the foreshore. We are expecting plenty of people to show up and we have now arranged for extra entertainment, we will have bands all day and plenty of other attractions. More news to follow when all has been confirmed.

We would like to say a big ‘congratulations’ to Louise Jones and Suesan Thomas who have been practicing relentlessly over the past few weeks and successfully made it across to Llansteffan and back last weekend. Well Done!


Ferryside Lifeboat - Louise and Sue
Louise and Sue after their successful training run
Ferryside Lifeboat - Swimmers
...and with their support crew

We are very grateful to the huge time, and not to mention considerable effort, all the swimmers are putting in. Remember, every penny they raise goes towards the lifeboat. Thank you everyone!

23rd Garden Crawl

23rd Annual Garden Crawl

Sunday 17th July 2011

1.00pm to 5.00pm

Last year we celebrated the 175th anniversary of the establishment of the first lifeboat at Ferryside in 1835: one of the very first lifeboats in Britain. The RNLI began the service to assist vessels using the thriving port of Carmarthen, but the eventual decline in commercial traffic along the Towy estuary led to its closure in 1960. However the 1960’s saw an increase in water based leisure activities and the Llanelli division of the St. John Ambulance began using a small inflatable boat as a rescue service. This lifeboat was granted divisional status by St. John Ambulance Wales. Generous local support has since enabled the Feryside Inshore Lifeboat to serve the coastal community to the present day.

Today this garden crawl is raising funds to ensure the continuation and improvement of the Ferryside Inshore Lifeboat into the future. Please throw any loose change into our collection boxes in the gardens, or if you would like to contribute in a more substantial way (e.g. by gift or legacy), please speak to the crew at the lifeboat station or the village hall.

We thank all of the owners allowing us access to their gardens during your visit. We kindly ask you to please respect the gardens during your visit, and keep high-spirited children and animals under control. Please feel free to ask questions, listen out for the jazz band and enjoy a very pleasant afternoon.

Garden Crawl Venues
Four Corners Square – Volunteers
The Square – Steve’s shop, White Lion and Ferry Cabin
Lifeboat Station – See the lifeboat and tour the station
The Ferns – Janet and Bryan
Plas y Dderwen – Steve and Irene
Roberts Rest Lodge – Joan, Maudie and Tarka
15 Brigstocke Terrace – Dave and Lynn
Village Hall – Refreshments, Raffle, Directions, Toilets
Whitethorn – Nerys, Dave and Glyn Model Vehicles and Railway
Castle View 1904 – Mo and Gary
Ty ar Dwyn – Beth and John
Pentisha – Ros and Dave
Ty Gwyn – Trudi and Alisdair
3 Llys Holcwm – Ann and Barry
8 Llys Holcwm – Becky and Rob
Keepers Cottage – Gill and Phil
You will find refreshments and raffle tickets in the village hall, and a warm welcome in the participating gardens and venues.

We also thank our sponsors and those who have donated raffle prizes for their generosity and invaluable support.

Ferryside Bristock Terrace
Ferryside Bristock Terrace

Carmarthen Annual Raft Race 2011

The Ferryside Lifeboat will be present at this year’s annual Raft Race at Carmarthen Quay on Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10th July.

We will be bringing the boat up on Saturday between 12.30 and 1.30pm.

On Sunday we will be giving a demonstration of the boat before providing safety cover for the race between 2.30 and 3.30pm.

Members of the crew will be available and of course will be accepting any donations!

Carmarthen Raft Race
Carmarthen Raft Race

Photo from www.thisissouthwales.co.uk

Online Donations

A very big ‘Thank You’ to all of you who have donated money to the lifeboat via the new ‘PayPal Donate’ button on the website. This is greatly appreciated, especially at this time where we have considerable costs in purchasing the new boat and additional running costs.

If you would like us to put your names up on the website we would be more than happy to give you a public thank you for your generosity.

If anybody wishes to donate some money it is now easier than ever. Every penny helps us to update and maintain our essential life saving equipment. At the moment, as well as the new lifeboat and associated costs, we need to update our drysuits and EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) equipment. As I’m sure you can imagine, these are necessary to keep the crew safe whilst we respond to emergency calls. Every penny helps!

Glastonferry Round Up

Many Thanks to all those who turned out for Glastonferry 2011, especially as the weather turned out to be awful again on the day! There seems to be a running theme this year… lifeboat fundraising and rain.

We managed to raise a considerable sum of money on the day for the lifeboat, with every penny going towards its cost.

Thanks to all the bands who performed. Supergene were great as always, selling out of CDs, getting some more delivered then selling out again. The Lie Ins who delivered a fantastic set with the now compulsory ‘Pay the FLA’. Last and definitely not least to the Good Burghers who were outstanding, and a special thanks to them for providing the PA and other equipment for the night and then letting a bunch of idiots jam with them afterwards.

We’re looking forwards to Glastonferry 2012, hopefully with some sunshine next time.

Thanks to all our supporters

A big thank you to everyone who showed up over the past two weekends to the Ferryside garden crawl and the Gelli Aur game fair and contributed so much.
We are extremely grateful to you for the hundreds of pounds raised towards the new lifeboat. This is especially great considering the awful weather we had.
We hope to see you all again this Saturday for Glastonferry. It all kicks off at 5pm at the Ferryside Sports and Social Club in Ferryside.
See you there!

GlastonFerry 2011

25th June 2011 – Ferryside Sports and Social Club


Like most good ideas, the origins of GlastonFerry are linked to a conversation amongst friends in a pub.

The occasion was the spring of 2008 when crew members of the Ferryside Lifeboat, after an evening’s training, met up with some of the Ferryside Lifeboat Association – or FLA for short – for a quick pint in the local pub. The role of the FLA is to support the crew in matters of fundraising etc. and naturally this entails frequent meetings in convenient places where strategies can be talked over in a friendly and relaxed environment – hence the pub.

Conversation that evening soon switched to music. Amongst those present was local band leader and general musical maestro, Rob Gillespie, who casually announced that he had always wanted to put on a gig in the village and call it GlastonFerry. To this Jon Latimer replied with typical dry wit: ‘well, why not? we’ve already got the muddy field’. Rob shrugged, but Jon was on a mission. We did indeed have a muddy field and now we also had a catchy name. Within months, assisted by Andy Morgan, Jon had things arranged and the first ever GlastonFerry was staged in August 2008. Topping the bill that night was Acoustic Zeppelin whose Led Zeppelin tribute was an enormous hit with the substantial crowd present.

Also appearing that evening was the Llanelli based band The Lie-Ins who came equipped with a song – specially written by lead man Jon Tregenna – that perfectly summed up the event. ‘Pay the FLA’ was instantly synonymous with GlastonFerry. The anthemic chorus linked para-military funding with fund-raising for the independent lifeboat in a tongue in cheek way that typifies Jon Tregenna’s songs. We had a catchy name, a muddy field and now an anthem. In short, we had a real gig.

Sadly, Jon Latimer, the man most responsible for getting the gig off the ground died suddenly just months later. It was a shock to everyone, especially the FLA. At his wake, The Lie-Ins – who in typical rock and roll fashion had disbanded – reformed for a special performance, culminating in two encores of ‘Pay the FLA’. In many ways, that performance was GlastonFerry 2009. We just didn’t realise it at the time.

2010 saw the gig return in full glory. Local band Snakebite, featuring Jason ‘H2O’ Duxberry and former Dublin new wave star Tony Coughlin, kicked off the event in style. Next up with a new streamlined line up was The Lie-Ins and, yes, they did that song. The Swansea-based blues band The Good Burghers then took the crowds into the early hours with a stunning set that will be talked about for years to come. The highlight of the evening was an ensemble performance by The Good Burghers, The Lies-Ins, the Ferryside Lifeboat Crew and the FLA all belting out ‘Pay the FLA’.

So, what for 2011? We’re playing to our strengths and building from there. The Good Burghers are coming back, The Lie-Ins will return, and they will be joined by local supergroup Supergene. Other acts will be added as appropriate, but 2011 promises to be the best GlastonFerry yet.