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23 Community MP starts anniversary Parkrun SATURDAY (Oct 1) marked the

weekend of the 12th anniversary of Parkrun, which started in Bushy Park, London, with 13 friends doing a weekly 5k time trial which grew, and grew, and grew. It is now an international organisation with hundreds of events, but it keeps to its basic principles of being free to runners, inclusive, and welcoming. Aberystwyth Parkrun started in

September 2012 and was the fourth event to start in Wales, where there are now 20 events. To celebrate the 12th international anniversary, MPs

all over the UK were invited to their local Parkruns. Mark Williams MP attended Aberystwyth Parkrun - sadly, not in his running gear but with a very necessary umbrella! He set the runners off at the start, then cheered them over the finish line while the volunteers explained the technology to him - how a few bits of very simple-looking equipment can turn out a set of results before lunchtime with a huge amount of data! Despite the rain, puddles and

autumn leaves causing treacherous running conditions, the pace was brisk

at the front with the first three men again setting times which will place them in the Parkrun sub-17 minutes ‘Hall of Fame’.

One of those was a Personal Best

time, along with three other PBs further down the field. Well done to all runners, whether

Braving the weather: MP, volunteers and runners get a soaking

setting a PB or not, for running in those conditions - and a big welcome to the four Parkrun ‘tourists’ who ran Aberystwyth Parkrun for the first time.

Castell Henllys delivers golden visitor experience A RECENT visit by a ‘mystery

shopper’ to Castell Henllys Iron Age Village resulted in the presentation of the highest level Gold Accolade Award by Visit Wales. Visit Wales,

the Welsh

Government’s tourism arm, recognises achievement of excellence for facilities and customer service, as well as accrediting businesses and accommodation across Wales with a visitor quality standard. Interim Castell Henllys Manager

Jenn Jones said: “The assessor for this quality assurance scheme was completely unknown to our staff, so we were thrilled to have met the high standards set by the scheme. “We have worked hard over the

past couple of years to add value to our visitors’ experience, with the addition of a cafe and, most recently, a Barefoot Trail, which were mentioned as highlights.” The assessor also mentioned the

Visitor Centre with interpretative displays ‘gave a very good first impression’ and the self-guided trails leaflet as being ‘a useful, handy guide to the attraction’. The site was graded on pre-arrival

(online information including Facebook and TripAdvisor information), arrival (car park, layout, first impressions,

Top marks: Castell Henllys Iron Age Village and its cafe

visitor information), the attraction itself, cleanliness, toilets, catering, retail and staff. All were highly rated, with all staff noted as being friendly and helpful. The cafe at this well-known North

Pembrokeshire visitor attraction, which the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority owns and leases to Wendy Edwards (Cafi Ysgubor), also received a Quality Café Award. The Quality Cafe Accolade

achieved by the attraction was given for delivering a high quality

and memorable food experience for visitors. It was noted there was an excellent range of hot and cold meals available, with fresh cakes and sponges, and noted ‘the afternoon tea offering looks delicious!’ Cafe staff were praised for giving a very good level of customer care. Two roundhouses at the Iron

Age Village, the Cook House and the Meeting House (or Earthwatch) first constructed in 1981, are being rebuilt over the next two years as they have come to the end of their useful lives.

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