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Author: Owen Roberts

Local Pub will be saved!

It’s the community news story of the year that just gets better.  The intrepid volunteers from Hayscastle Cross who recently pulled all the stops out to raise over £210,000 to save their beloved local pub from closure, have now been awarded a grant of £244,250 from the UK Community Ownership Fund to allow the pub to pass into the ownership of the community itself.

One of 6 Community based projects in Wales to receive the vital injection of funding, the team are absolutely delighted.

Y Cross Cas-lai Community Benefit Society Ltd Chairman, Geraint Evans, expressed his profound gratitude, stating, “this wonderful grant makes it possible for us to create the pub and community hub we dreamed of creating.  We are very grateful to receive this incredible funding boost.   It’s also a massive thank you to all our friends, families, local residents, and numerous businesses, including the current owners, who continue to put in so much time, effort and goodwill to make this all happen.”

Of the small team of local volunteers who pulled all the elements of the funding application together, Evans had a very special thank you “you told our story and set out our mission in your own words and that passion and commitment clearly shone through in the application, thank you”.   

And in one final thank you for the Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire. Geraint said “he’s been with us all the way, lending real tangible support”. Geraint was clear that putting vital assets back into community ownership is the kind of levelling up politics that really matters in these turbulent economic times. Crabb even wrote to Rt Hon. Michael Gove, endorsing the bid and highlighted the shared values between Y Cross Cas-lai Benefit Society Ltd. and the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund, which aims to “safeguard the small, but much-loved local assets on which we cannot put a price.”

Local horticulturist celebrates 80th Birthday

Local horticulturist and committed volunteer, Dave Baster has recently celebrated his 80th Birthday. A huge congratulations from the whole of the community and thank you for all that you have done over the years.

Hayscastle Environmental Society

The date of the next meeting is 20th April 2023 at 7.30pm in the Community Centre. We would encourage anybody to come who is interested in caring for the environment in the Hayscastle area. Unfortunately we have been unable to attract any new members for several years now and the future of the Society is in jeopardy. The meeting will be to discuss the future of the Society and the way forward.

There will be a litter pick around the village on Saturday 1st April at 10.30am, meeting outside the Community Centre.

Haycastle Community Forum

Group updates

Management Committee – No meeting held.
Next meeting to be held on the 21st of March 2023 at 7pm

Community Council – No information

St.Mary’s Church – Mike Rowlands is very busy with other churches, has been
less than 6 people attending. Next meeting regarding the church will be in the

Newton Chapel – First Sunday of every month in Newton all welcome.

Environmental Society – They have had no new members of recent, the
concern is that it will not last. We could put an email out to all asking for help/
to attend the group. Rachel Jones explained the YFC would be happy to help
but can only do weekends, Dave said that the shed does need painting Rachel
has agreed for the YFC to take this job on. Dave Baster is going to speak with Emyr who already mows the woodland to
see if he will be able to help with some further tasks, funds will be available
from the community council.

Grasshoppers – Would like to see some more members. Individuals have
offered to help with the watering of the flowerbeds in Hayscastle.

WI – Will be celebrating the 50th anniversary in November this year. They are
in need of new members and will be starting a recruitment drive soon.

YFC – Have had an influx of new members and been very busy with activities
and community events. They are currently preparing for talent, after this will
hope to help towards some community work. Geraint congratulated YFC on
the Welsh speaking event they attended. Dave Baster also thanked the YFC for
helping them through the pandemic with shopping.

Hayscastle Show – We raised over £900.00 on the gate last year with all
proceeds going to Shalom House, they will be attending the community centre
on the 23rd of January at 7.30pm to do a small talk and have the cheque
presented to them.

Over 55 club – We meet up at 2’oclock the first Monday of every month,
always welcoming new members.

Y Cross Cas-lai Community Benefit Society Ltd – We are at the stage of seeing
about the feasibility of purchasing the pub. The next public meeting will be
held on Tuesday 24th January at 7pm at Newton Chapel. We would like to liaise with other organisations, local businesses, and suppliers, and hope to provide employment in the community and volunteers.

Cross Inn Community Purchase Update

Thank you to all of you who have previously attended the public meetings regarding the potential community purchase of the Cross Inn.

Since the last meeting held on 27th September, a significant amount of work has been undertaken. A Committee of 15 members has been established, with a number of sub-groups created to take forward specific tasks. This group have all the necessary skills to both evaluate and to run the project, if appropriate.

We can confirm that the required Business Plan, Share Offer document, Risk Assessment and 3-year Financial Plan will be finalized shortly. The application to set up a Community Benefits Society (CBS) has been submitted and the initial application to the Community Fund has also been submitted. We have evaluated the accounts and a full survey of the premises has been undertaken.

We would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their kind help and support in providing us with cash funds to cover all initial expenses e.g. survey costs, CBS application etc:

– Castle Hot Tubs
– Richie Hunter Agricultural Contractor
– Sean Savage Agricultural & Lime Contractor
– Gwilym J Morris Building Contractor
– Sheldon Humprhreys Electrical Contractor
– Emyr Evans Agricultural Contractor
– JJ Morris Estate Agents
– Peter James Welsh Hook Garage
– Wyn Raymond Swmbach Farm
– Clive & Kay Hampton
– Mike & Anne Hillier
– Jeremy & Jill Bowen
– Ashley & Kay Thomas
– Richard & Sue James
– Alyson Moules
– Capel Noddfa (Newton)
– Alan Mason Mason Bros

The is another public meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 24th January where the findings of the feasibility work will be shared and the next steps identified. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting and find out more about the efforts being made to ensure our local pub is not lost.

As well as an email distribution list, we have setup pages on Instagram and Facebook. We are also in the process of creating a website.

Instagram – Y Cross Cas-lai (@y.cross.caslai) • Instagram photos and videos

Facebook –

Grasshoppers Club – October Update

A regular attendance and fine weather have enabled the children to find and clean out all the nesting boxes in the Community Woodland. There was some excitement when a mouse jumped out of one and more when a very large spider was residing in another. Repairs were carried out and the boxes left to dry out in the greenhouse to erect at the next meeting.

The old hedgehog home had rotted away so thanks to the Pembrokeshire Hogspital who donated another one. The was repositioned in the small copse which is full of snowdrops in late winter. Food was also put out for them and later inspection showed it had been eaten so was replenished at the next meeting.

A whole meeting was taken up when Gerry and Russell from the Pembrokeshire Hogspital came to talk to the children, introduce them to live hedgehogs and explain to them why it is important to look after them. The children were engrossed, answered questions and also asked lots of questions. They got to handle the hedgehogs as well and later proudly showed off the home they were looking after in the woodland.

The Grasshoppers Club meets every other Monday, 4.30-6pm at the Community Woodland. The next meeting is Monday 24th October.