Blog posts by year and month June 2010

Posts (126)

  1. The remains of two towers and three hall-like buildings thought to date from the 12th century have been unearthed at the site around Nevern Castle in Pembrokeshire. Until this discovery little of the castle could be seen. The Norman castle was built in 1108, and according to Dr Chris Caple of Durham University, the newly discovered constructions appear "to have been a highly desirable stone residence, a visible display of wealth and significant technical achievement". The excavations of the castle grounds are being directed by Durham University and supported by archaeologist Peter Kane of Pemborkeshire Coast National Parks. Local volunteers from Cardigan, Newport and the Nevern area have also been involved. The National Park Authority, one of the partners participating in this project, has invited visitors on to attend guided tours of the digs. Read the story on the Western Mail website. Read the Wales History guide to castles. Feel free to comment! If you want to have your say, on this or any other BBC blog, you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have a BBC iD account, you can register here - it'll allow you to contribute to a range of BBC sites and services using a single login. Need some assistance? Read about BBC iD, or get some help with registering.

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  2. A trip to Flint Castle to photograph burnett moths turned into something a little more unusual for Jeff Cohen. Walking back to his car, Jeff was amazed to see what he believes to be a colourful, red rumped parakeet perched up in the trees - not your average species for North Wales. These bird...

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  3. The European premiere of Mr Nice, which tells the life story of former drugs baron Howards Marks and stars Rhys Ifans in the title role, took place at the Edinburgh Film Festival yesterday. The film is adapted from Marks' autobiography that was written following his release from Indiana's T...

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  4. The 2010 Cardiff Comedy Festival promises to be a rib tickling affair, with the likes of Rhod Gilbert, Chris Corcoran, Jo Caulfield, Sadie Hasler, Gary Delaney, Phil Nichol and Lucy Porter all set to appear. The Cardiff Comedy Festival, in association with St David's Hall, is part of the annual Cardiff Festival series of events that features live music, street theatre, open-air theatre, children's entertainment and funfairs. Details for the opening night gala at St David's Hall have been announced, with Comedy Store regular Craig Campbell set to headline the night with support from Welsh comics Mike Bubbins and Gareth Brand, Cardiff-based comedy troupe The Plastic Seat Company and Matt Price acting as compère. This year's comedy festival will also feature the first ever Welsh Unsigned Stand-up Award (WUSA), the final of which will be hosted by Russell Kane. Find out more about the Cardiff Comedy Festival on the Cardiff Festival website. Feel free to comment! If you want to have your say, on this or any other BBC blog, you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have a BBC iD account, you can register here - it'll allow you to contribute to a range of BBC sites and services using a single login. Need some assistance? Read about BBC iD, or get some help with registering.

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  5. Curator and writer Ben Borthwick has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Artes Mundi, the UK's biggest contemporary art prize that exhibits biennially in Wales. Borthwick has spent seven years at Tate Modern as Assistant Curator. In 2008 he co-founded non-profit arts organisation Butcher's, which produces projects in high street locations and public spaces. He is also one of the inaugural curators of Latitude Contemporary Art, a new strand of public space commissions at the 2010 Latitude Festival. Artes Mundi was established in 2003 and aims to highlight and celebrate the most exciting contemporary visual art from around the world. Each biennial prize culminates in an exhibition, which is held at the National Museum Wales, Cardiff. The fourth prize was awarded to Yael Bartana of Israel in May 2010. The next exhibition and prize announcement will be in 2012 and is planned to take place in newly refurbished exhibition galleries at the museum in Cardiff. Borthwick commented on his appointment: "I am delighted to join the team at Artes Mundi, having watched it go from strength to strength with each prize. I believe art can transform our understanding of who we are and the world in which we live so it is a real privilege to continue Artes Mundi's commitment to artists who engage with the key questions of our time. "The chance to build on the networks Artes Mundi has established at the local, national and international level in order to create greater dialogue and exchange between artists and audiences from around the world is very exciting. I am looking forward to this challenge." Borthwick will take up the post as the prize enters its fifth cycle in September 2010. He takes over from founding CEO and Artistic Director Tessa Jackson, who leaves to become Chief Executive of Iniva - the Institute for International Visual Arts. Learn more about Artes Mundi and browse a photo gallery of work by the shortlisted artists for the Artes Mundi 4 prize on the BBC Wales Arts website. Feel free to comment! If you want to have your say, on this or any other BBC blog, you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have a BBC iD account, you can register here - it'll allow you to contribute to a range of BBC sites and services using a single login. Need some assistance? Read about BBC iD, or get some help with registering.

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  6. The first stage of the quest for the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World takes place on 28 June 2010. Four singers take to the stage at St David's Hall, Cardiff on Monday 28 June, each hoping to be standing there again next June, representing their country in the 2011 competition. Each f...

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  7. This week's scouring of the Welsh musical constellations brings you the first part of my conversation with David Wrench about his new album Spades & Hoes & Plows - an album rooted in old folk songs of 'insurrection, defiance and rebellion', reanimated in such a blackly iconoclastic manner that the album defies almost every convention you dare throw at it. For that reason alone the album warrants investigation. It's an album that expounds the dark political souls of these remarkable songs of truth in a daringly contemporary manner, buckling convention whilst simultaneously sounding thrilling and unsettling is one of the high achievements of Welsh music. Truly. bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00stlqq/Adam_Walton_20_06_2010/ From another dimension of the musical universe comes a half hour mix of warm-hearted, playful electronica from Cardiff's Mice Girls. Their melodic synths tumble like prismatic waterfalls all over the dancefloor in your mind. You do have a dancefloor in your mind, don't you? At my age, it's the only place to dance with any dignity. It's half an hour to elevate and invigorate you. Still don't know anything about their mysterious mousey selves, though. Ah, well. Sometimes you can know too much. Godfather of the Welsh underground, founder member of Y Fflaps, Ectogram's Alan Holmes, reminds us of some of North Wales' fascinating - but largely uncelebrated - musical past. This week he recalls Some Noise - a band that featured a North Walean talent who has as much claim as anyone to inventing punk rock. A man called Ben eulogises the electronic musical genius of Laurie Spiegel. And we have new Welsh music from all over the country - including debut plays for Cut Ribbons, Liars Beware, River Kids, Tacsi, Piblotko and the Abodes. ** send new Welsh demos high in inspiration to: themysterytour@gmail.com with a short biography and a contact number, please ** Next week, more from David Wrench & a live set from Wrexham's Gallops! Have an excellent week. Thanks / diolch yn fawr, Adam ISLET We Shall Visit CUT RIBBONS When Will The Water LIARS BEWARE Sex RIVER KIDS The Seed 2.0 BAGPIPE WHISKEY This Is A Chicken THE JOY FORMIDABLE Popinjay VICTORIAN ENGLISH GENTLEMANS CLUB A Biting Wind Followed By An Occasional Drift Of Snow IVAN MOULT I Might Get Cold LUNGWAH The Snag TACSI Diolch SPENCER MCGARRY SEASON Great Enemies SOME NOISE In Transit THE KEYS People Meet People HYENER Kitchenn For Beth On Radio 1] PIBLOTKO Vacant Vessel TENDER TRAP Do You Want A Boyfriend? MOTHER OF SIX Penelope RACE HORSES Scooter DAVID WRENCH/BLACK SHEEP A Radical Song STAGGA The Dragon BLUE EYED SHARK EXPERIMENT What To Do THE MICE GIRLS Exclusive mix THE MICE GIRLS Clothes BAD COMPUTER Evils CORNELIUS Another View Point VOLTAGE All Night [azari & Iii Remix] DANIEL STEINBERG Tom's Diner [bingo Remix] ETIENNE DE CRECY Gorkster PEACE DIVISION Eh Oh Um ANDY CALDWELL It's Guud JAVI COLOURS Shined On Me MICE GIRLS Infestation THE ABODES Potato Tragedy LAURIE SPIEGEL Appalachian Grove 1 THE DEATH OF CHAPMAN BAXTER Taste Like Chicken DIDZ Hot Gal

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  8. A seven foot metal sculpture has taken up its new position at the Point of Ayr lighthouse and will preside over Talacre beach in north east Wales. The Keeper on Talacre beach with Point of Ayr lighthouse in the background. Images courtesy Phil Thomas. Following the many eerie stories of a...

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  9. Abstract artist Elfyn Lewis scooped the Welsh Artist of the Year 2010 prize at a ceremony at St David's Hall in Cardiff yesterday. Lewis, from Porthmadog in Gwynedd, won the £2,000 prize after his son Hamish selected the winning painting Pwll Crochan (Cauldron Pool) when his father couldn't d...

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  10. Cliff Benson from the Sea Trust has been in touch about a recent spate of whale and dolphin encounters off the Welsh coast: "With two reports of minke whales seen in the Bristol Channel this month as well as hundreds of common dolphins off Pembrokeshire - it's safe to say, the whale & dolphin watching season is already off to a spectacular start". "June seems to be a particularly good month for seeing minke whales in our waters". "A recent survey by the Gower Marine Mammal Group just off the South Pembrokeshire Coast produced a feeding frenzy with at least two minke whales and one larger whale - probably a fin whale". "Risso's dolphins as well as hundreds of common dolphins were also recorded. Another minke whale was seen yesterday by charter vessel 'Jessica Hettie', off Lundy Island". A common dolphin off Ramsey Island taken by Richard Crossen on 6 June, 2010: "People are often surprised to hear of whales in our waters but with this beautiful weather and calm seas - we're hoping for a bumper season of sightings". "It seems that from our records, minke whales start arriving in our waters about now (June), following the mackerel shoals". "They also seem to be breeding here as can be seen from Adrian Shepherds picture taken on one of our recent surveys": "Last August we were surrounded by huge fin whales so you never really know what's going to be out there". Find out more about whales and dolphin sightings off the Welsh coast by following the Whales in Wales blog. We've had some lovely photos of dolphins submitted to our Flickr group so take a look if you have a spare minute. As usual - you can submit pics to our Flickr group or e-mail them to us at wales.nature@bbc.co.uk. Gull

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