About: Chris O

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Chris Osborne ran the family's Fourcroft Hotel for 25 years, previously having gone off to London where he became a partner in one of the then largest property consultants. He was a founding Director of Pembrokeshire Tourism and contnues as Chair of the Tenby Sea Swimming Association, organisers of the annual Boxing Day and Caldey Swims and of the team that organises the annual Tenby Blues Festival. He also runs a monthly Jazz Brunch in Tenby hotels.
Website
http://www.TenbyJazz.co.uk

Posts by Chris O:

  • Long Course Weekend, 02 Jul 2019 in Event&Sport
  • Tenby’s Brexit, 17 Jun 2019 in Culture&News
  • New To Tenby’s Retail Offer, 15 May 2019 in Culture&Heritage&News
  • CARTEN100, 24 Apr 2019 in Event&Sport
  • The Easter Bunny, 18 Apr 2019 in Culture&History
  • Too Much Sand Moved, 01 Apr 2019 in LirpaLoof&News
  • Still David’s Day – emotions, 24 Feb 2019 in Culture&Heritage&History
  • Rugby Internationals in Tenby, 25 Jan 2019 in Event&Heritage&Sport
  • St Dwynwen’s Day is celebrated in Wales on 25th January. But who was St Dwynwen?, 21 Jan 2019 in Culture&Heritage&History
  • 2019 is Wales’s Year of Discovery, 10 Jan 2019 in Culture&Heritage&History

  • Long Course Weekend

    This weekend, some 10,000 athletes accompanied by 35,000 supporters, hailing  from 45 nations, will descend upon Tenby. Over three days they will participate in the biggest multisport festival in Europe, The Long Course Weekend.

    LONG COURSE WEEKEND SWIM

    On Friday is The Wales Swim and Childrens Events in LCKinder. Saturday sees The Wales Sportive, with 40, 70 and 112 Mile options. On Sunday, it’s The Wales Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5k. The LCW Prize ceremony and “After Party” see out Sunday evening. So, why is this event so successful?

    The organisers claim the secret to the success is the inclusivity of the event, attracting Pro athletes to the first time 5K athletes.  And athletes can enter one, two or all three events over the weekend.

    LONG COURSE WEEKEND FINISHIf the full Long Course Weekend – 2.4 Mile Swim, 112 Mile Bike and then the full marathon on Sunday – is completed, the athletes can collect the fourth, LCW medal.

    Built upon its successful Tenby format, there are now annual LCWs in Mallorca, Australia and Holland. The Long Course Weekend has made its mark, indeed it is the first of Tenby’s Season of Summer Events, with Tenfoot (Tenby to Saundersfoot) swim, Tenby 10K, Caldey Swim and last, but certainly not the least, Ironman Wales.

    Makes me breathless!

    Tenby’s Brexit

    I’m not prepared to publicly launch into either side of the widening schism between Brexiters and Remainers, as that is not the purpose of this website, nor indeed the Tenby Chamber of Trade & Tourism that supports it. But what has been its impact so far upon the town’s economy, which is within The Chamber’s remit, indeed its core purpose?

    Last summer, you may remember, we enjoyed three glorious months of sunshine, from May through to the end of July. And Pembrokeshire was booming. Unlike Cornwall, which was pleading with visitors not go to the beaches, Pembrokeshire welcomed all. And boy did they come. Whether it was the security issues of incidents across Europe, the logistical challenges of airports, the lowly exchange value of the British pound, the feeling of uncertainty which acts against long term planning or the simple convenience of jumping in the car for a few hours to the destination, the county had a great year. Tenby, as the much quoted ‘jewel in the crown’ of the county’s visitor offer, had a boom year.TENBY CAFE CULTURE

    Well it was boom on its four beaches but many of its inside offers – the museums, galleries, shops, etc – did not experience the same increase. But it really was magnificent sun. And though the less predictable weather of last August provided consolation to the ‘insiders’, many of them were by then three months ‘down’.

    Another challenge is finding staff for the increased demands. The hospitality industry has always struggled to find enough staff, but we were presented with a double whammy: more staff needed yet less were coming, put off by the apparent unwelcome sign being shown by the Brexiters, and many now had economies outperforming the UK’s.

    So what for this year? Judging by the hordes of tourists currently here (it is Whitsun half-term), this season could be even busier. Always the year after a very sunny summer acts as a beneficiary. The pound is even weaker against all the major currencies. And the uncertainty prevails; dare one say it, it seems to be even ‘more uncertain’: no-one knows what is going to happen.

    Perhaps we can say with some assurance that Tenby will have another boom year. Certainly the amount of scaffolding put up and taken down over the last five months indicates confidence from the business operators in the season ahead. And, as we all know, economic performance is a result of perception rather than fact. A shame this approach couldn’t have some lasting political impact …..

    New To Tenby’s Retail Offer

    There has been a refreshing changeover in a number of Tenby’s shops over the last two years, including the below properties.

    TWO RED DOGS   TWO RED DOGS   M & CO

    M & CO   LOAFLEY   MORGANS FISH & CHIPS

    TAVERN   WOOL SHOP   WHITE STUFF   ESTATE AGENT

    JOULES   GREGGS   THE NOOK

    ROLYS FUDGE PANTRY   SEASALT   BOHO

    THE COVE   TY HAFAN   EBB & FLOW

    CHARLTON CARDS   MARMARIS BARBERS   LEROY CHEAL

    EVANS PHARMACY   HIDEOUT CAFE

    At the time of writing, the amount of scaffolding is another indication of a healthy financial economy, preparing for the main season and its huge influx of visitors.

    YEAH BUOY   TRESPASS   CARD FACTORY   ESTATE AGENT

    And inside Tenby Market there has been a substantial turnaround of stalls and stallholders. But you’ll have to see for yourself!TENBY MARKET

    CARTEN100

    Quick update: the ride was postponed on its initial date and has been rearranged for Saturday 1st June.

     

    From four riders in 2004, to a whopping 2,500 riders in 2017, 2018 and now 2019, the challenge of riding the 100 miles from Cardiff to Tenby has just kept growing, with more and more friends, colleagues and acquaintances. This is CARTEN100, a ‘not for profit’ fund raising venture, run by volunteers so they can benefit chosen charities.CYCLE RIDE from CARDIFF to TENBYThe CARTEN100 cycle ride is a leisurely ride from Cardiff to Tenby. While the main aim is to get people on their bikes, a benefit of the day is the money raised for charity. This is done from direct sponsorship for company logos on the cycling shirts and the CARTENers getting sponsored individually per mile.

    CYCLE RIDE from CARDIFF to TENBY

    The ride takes a fairly direct route from Cardiff to Tenby, using A-Roads, B-Roads and cycle routes. There are some climbs, none too difficult, but in Wales there is not a lot of flat land! Riders are encouraged not to rush to Tenby but to enjoy their day, as the organisers’ philosophy is to get people back onto their bikes by preparing to cycle 100 miles, as well as enjoying a good day out followed by a celebratory drink or two in Tenby.

    “It is a challenge, never a race”.

    The total raised by CARTEN100 is one million pounds and they are looking forward to another great year in 2019.

    The 2019 Charities, under the banner Riding out Taboos, are geared towards Cancer and how it affects everybody differently; from how it manifests in a body to how a person copes with diagnosis. This year the two key charities are Jo’s Trust (Cervical Cancer) and Prostate Cymru to raise vital funds and awareness of these “taboo” areas of health. Other local charities will also benefit, and these include Pembrokeshire Action To Combat Hardship, which runs food and basics banks in the county.

    The start is at the City Hall in Cardiff, in blocks of about 50 from 7.30am, and will take about an hour to complete.CYCLE RIDE from CARDIFF to TENBY

    The finish is in Tenby’s Tudor Square, which will be closed to traffic, so friends and families will be able to cheer the riders home in safety. The finishers’ T-shirt and complimentary pasta meal will be served in the harbour car park, where Tenby Lions will be the hosts in the CARTEN100 marquee, with a full bar and BBQ.

    The ride takes most cyclists about 10 hours, so expect the busiest activity to be from about 4pm.

    And if you’re looking for something to do this Saturday, why not come along to Tudor Square and show your appreciation for the participants’ considerable efforts.

    The Easter Bunny

    The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is a folkloric figure and symbol of Easter, depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs.EASTER BUNNY

    The colourful myths of Eostre and her hare companion, who in some versions is a bird transformed into an egg-laying rabbit, aren’t historically pagan. They are modern fabrications.

    EASTER RABBIT

    Only one piece of documentary evidence for Eostre exists: a passing mention in Bede’s The Reckoning of Time. Bede explains that the lunar month of Eosturmonath “was once called after a goddess… named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated.”

    Originating among German Lutherans, the “Easter Hare” originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour at the start of the season of Eastertide. The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy, and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus or the Christkind, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holidays.

    The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau’s De ovis paschalibus (‘About Easter Eggs’) in 1682, referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter eggs for the children.

    As you have read, the Easter Bunny is legendary, perhaps not real, yet still luring people of all ages to Easter egg traditions. If nothing else, confectioners are grateful for the legends’ sustainability. And following those grand traditions, Tenby Chamber of Trade & Tourism organises an annual Easter egg hunt around town, on Saturday, 20th April, starting from Lollies Sweetshop at the top of Crackwell Street. Happy hunting.

    Too Much Sand Moved

    As a result of the recent two weeks long removal of sand from Tenby harbour, there is a problem.

    The change in the sand bed and, specifically, the sand bar outside the harbour area has produced an unexpected tidal rip on incoming tides. And this rip has pulled out a number of the harbour’s moorings.

    A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council stated that the tractors and trailers will be back this morning to undo the damage. The spokesperson hoped that sufficient sand could be returned by the end of the week to stop further damage. The moorings will then be repaired, in time for the boats’ return to the water at the beginning of May.

    SAND DIGGERS

    Still David’s Day – emotions

    We’re well aware of the Welsh response to 1st March, with daffodils & leeks to the lapel, trad dresswear or red rugby shirts to school and some group jolly singing for the olders. But what of the occasion for the exiles, the Welsh diaspora?

    Welsh cakes, you shout! As one found in a Geneva food fayre, there to be savoured amongst other worldly offers, but with a premium £10 price. Back in the motherland, that would buy half a shopfull.

    Hiraeth. We’re good at mourning some indescribable loss, some missing part. On St David’s Day, of all days, that sadness is ‘celebrated’ with special measure. When you’re not in Wales, that is the day you probably wish you were, even if the other 364 you choose absence.

    Rugby. I’m not suggesting everyone packs down, merely there are some occasions when your Welsh blood wins o’er all and rugby is often the catalyst. Not that we always win, yet it is the strongest ‘Bread of Heaven’ connectivity. And if the match happens to fall close to St David’s Day, then there is special importance. And if the match happens to be against the old enemy, like this year, then there is almost nothing that is more important. I am writing this on the morning of that match, bathed in English Kent sunshine. I’m stopping now, to continue in a post match vein.

    WALES RUGBY

    We won! Brilliantly. How Welsh can one be? Watched the match surrounded by 50+ English in a pub, with just three Welsh supporters. Muted appreciation, but when we scored that last try, in the last moments of a fantastic display, the celebration burst out of us. Couldn’t hold it in.

    Dewi Sant, I’m coming home.

    Rugby Internationals in Tenby

    Over the last decade or so, Tenby has been subjected to a strange phenomenon. Always a rugby town, with a proud local club that has seen better times, it has become a second millennium stadium.

    For reasons better known to the rugby fans from the valleys, Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, Llanelli even, instead of heading to Cardiff to watch the match, the hordes flock to Tenby for a ‘weekend of it’. Maybe it’s a trade-off, with the men watching the match whilst the women go shopping. But that’s a gross simplification.

    TENBY RFCThey arrive on Saturday morning, bright eyed, etc and within an hour they’ve gone ‘up town’. This seems to include visiting one or more pubs, settling into the most ‘homely’ to watch not just one, certainly two, if it’s one of those ultimate days then three matches, the common denominator being, of course, the match pits the mighty Welsh fifteen against any other. And many head straight for Tenby Rugby Club, a venue dislocated from the club’s ground, located towards the back of town, and from normal club activity for the weekend; it provides a great room with a great screen for a large, passionate audience not recommended for any away fan. And often the most passionate are the women, so it would seem the Tenby shopping allure is not the sole determinant in their Tenby rugby weekend.

    We also have the autumn internationals to give reason for Tenby rugby weekends, running between October and November and regularly, it seems, with Wales having an extra match. Thank you for the extra business.

    PRINCIPALITY STADIUM

    And then there is the World Cup, considered by some to be about football but in Wales there is only one World Cup, this year’s coming from Japan in September. Some many years ago, in the last knockings of the last century, Wales with English support was the host nation. This was the opportunity for the new, former Millennium, now Principality Stadium to puff out its chest and articulate to the rest of the world that Wales might be ditherers when it comes to new buildings for new parliaments, but when it comes to rugby there is no hesitation.

    It seems the Welsh team have been punching above their weight since then. We have a population of only three million yet going into this year’s World Cup we are seeded third in the world, after Ireland (6.6m) and New Zealand (4.8m). And from 20th September to 2nd November this year, we expect the ‘Tenby rugby match weekend’ to return, big time. After all, the matches aren’t 90 miles away, they’re in Japan.

    St Dwynwen’s Day is celebrated in Wales on 25th January. But who was St Dwynwen?

    St Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers, which makes her the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine.

    Dwynwen lived during the 5th century and legend has it that she was one of the prettiest of Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters. Dwynwen fell in love with a prince called Maelon Dafodrill, but unfortunately her father had already arranged that she should marry someone else.

    Dwynwen was so upset she couldn’t marry Maelon that she begged God to make her forget him. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.

    God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; her second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God’s service for the rest of her life.

    St Dwynwen
    The Church of Llanddwyn

    She left for the island of Anglesey and built a Church, which became known as

    Ynys Llanddwyn
    Ynys Llanddwyn Island, off Anglesey, by Dylan Arnallt

    Llanddwyn, literally meaning “Church of Dwynwen“. Its remains can still be seen today on the island of Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey. The smaller island also contains Dwynwen’s well, where, allegedly, a sacred fish swims, whose movements predict the future fortunes and relationships of various couples. Another tradition claims that if the water boils while visitors are present, then love and good luck will surely follow.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The popularity and celebration of St Dwynwen’s Day has increased considerably in recent years. So why wait until St Valentine’s Day to make your romantic feelings known, when you can wish your loved one ‘dwi’n dy garu di ‘ (I love you) three weeks earlier?

    2019 is Wales’s Year of Discovery

    So what might we tempt you to discover in Tenby?

    Tenby Museum & Art Gallery, 140 years old and still as vibrant with six weekly art exhibitions and collections of all ages and sizes;TUDOR MERCHANT's HOUSE

    The Tudor Merchant’s House, oldest remaining building and an exhibition of 15th Century living hosted by The National Trust;

    Paxton’s Sea Water Baths and Assembly Rooms, built as part of the town’s burgeoning reinvention as a tourist destination in the early 19th Century;

    The Stowaway Café, tucked into one of the arches leading down Penniless Cove to the harbour;

    Prince Albert, atop Castle Hill, Wales’s monument to Queen Victoria’s much loved husband;

    Tenby’s Huff House, atop North Cliff, a statement to 21st Century architecture and living;

    SHANLEY's PAVILIONThe wide steps that used to lead down to the South Beach’s Shanley’s Pavilion, a Victorian six floor entertainment complex, built in 1929, demolished some fifty years later. It included a cinema, ballroom, skating rink, conference and function rooms and an amusement arcade, all capable of being used at the same time.

    An introduction to not one, two, three, but four Tenby Lifeboat Stations, from the oldest, built in 1852, to the youngest built some seven years ago. Its predecessor, Grand Designs featured, dates  from 1905 and these days is used as a holiday home. All the stations are still standing, waiting to be found by you.

    And that’s just delving into Tenby’s rich heritage, not touching its bejewelled sporting summers, festivals at all times of year, markets, traditions, and so on and on and on ……. Best you discover Tenby for yourself!