IN MEMORY: A service in the memory of Janet Ford (nee Smith), late of Ponds Row, Cwmcarn, is to be held at the Zion Baptist Chapel, Cwmcarn, on Sunday, August 17, at 12.15pm, following morning service, and will be conducted by the minister Rev Purnell.

All past friends of the deceased are asked to attend the service.

OBITUARY: The funeral service to the memory of the late Bill Lewis took place at Harwood Park Crematorium, Stevenage, on Tuesday, August 5.

Aged 81, the former Crosskeys rugby player passed away at his home in Welwyn Garden City, and the Abertillery-born hooker, a member of the Black and Whites, Crosskeys former players’ association, left his home town club to join Crosskeys in 1955.

He played 150 games for the Pandy Park Club as well as playing for a combined Crosskeys/Abertillery side against the 1957 Wallabies.

A number of the Black and Whites travelled to Stevenage to pay their last respects to their former colleague.

Music by a Welsh male voice choir was played including Cwm Rhondda and Just A Closer Walk With Thee, as well as Como Prima by Mario Lanza and Nessum Dorma by Pavarotti.

Mr Lewis leaves his widow Lorna, married daughter Maria, and granddaughter Sarah.

Donations may be made to the Isobel Hospice and sent c/o Austin’s Funeral Service, 16 High Street, Welwyn, Herts, AL6 9EQ.

Following the service, light refreshments were served at the Shamrock Club, Ridgeway, Welwyn Garden City.

Brass band wins again: August 2, saw history repeat itself when Crosskeys Silver Band, under the direction of Kerry Bowden, won the fourth section of the brass band competition at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, in Cardiff.

This saw them regain the trophy they won 30 years ago on their last appearance at the event in 1978, when it was also held in the capital city.

On this occasion the band, as it has been all this year, was on top form, and adjudicator Kevin Gibbs had no doubts as to the winner with a performance which stood out from other bands in the section.

What made the day more enjoyable was that the contest was broadcast live on S4C.

This meant a greater number of people heard the band play a 15-minute programme which included Liberty Fanfare, by John Williams, the cornet solo Georgia On My Mind, by Hoagy Carmichael – played brilliantly by principle cornet Karla Howe – and Highland Cathedral, arranged by Andrew Duncan.

Musical director Kerry Bowden was over the moon with the result and says his telephone has not stopped ringing all of Saturday and Sunday following the performance, with people from all over the country congratulating the band on its victory.

Also the band’s website went crazy over the weekend with folk adding their best wishes through this form of media.

To top the weekend, the band appeared on ITV Wales with a new programme entitled The Visit on Sunday with Chris Segar when he paid a visit to the Eisteddfod (it was the first of three), so the profile of this small village band has risen tremendously.

Now they are busy preparing for their appearances at the Wychaven Band Festival, and the finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain in Harrogate, both of which occur in the second half of September.

These achievements come despite the fact the band only numbered seven instrumentalists when its current MD took over.

However, with a recruitment drive, encouragement, and a determination to succeed, the band is now a force to be reckoned with.

All the best wishes to them in their future engagements.

DIAMOND DAY: Information has come to hand of the recent diamond wedding anniversary of Crosskeys couple, Richard and Pamela James (nee Greedy), of Bright Street, Crosskeys.

They were married at Bethany Baptist Church, Risca, on August 7, 1948.

The ceremony was conducted by the Reverend Hopkin Morgan.

THANK YOU FOR BIRTHDAY WISHES: Clifford Parfitt and family wish to thank everyone who sent cards, balloons and messages on the occasion of his 100th birthday.

Special messages were received from the Queen, Paul Murphy MP, Rhodri Morgan, Welsh Assembly First Minister, James Purnell from the works and pensions department, Councillor Anne Collins, Mayor of Caerphilly County Borough, and Don Touhig, MP for Islwyn.

It is understood two birthday cakes were cut and devoured by a host of well wishers who visited Mr Parfitt’s home for the occasion.

Mr Parfitt is an accomplished organist and also plays the piano accordion. He is also keen to learn to operate a laptop.

Many thanks also to the Risca Salvation Army Band and songsters who played and sang outside his home on Sunday morning, July 27.

CAERPHILLY IN BLOOM 2008 RESULTS: Class One – Domestic Dwellings: 1A: Best Hanging Basket/Window Box Display: 1, Ray Garwood, Lon Isaf, Bonfield Park, Caerphilly; 2, Keith Harris, Springfield Road, Pontymister; 3, Philip Howell, Commercial Street, Risca; Highly Commended: Diane Fear, Bryn-y-Fan, Trethomas.

1B: Best Front Garden Display: 1, Ray Garwood, Lon Isaf, Bonfield Park, Caerphilly; 2, Keith Harris, Springfield Road, Pontymister; 3, Hazel Smith, Newbridge Road, Pontllanfraith; Highly Commended: Brian James, Tree Tops Avenue, Blackwood.

1C: Best Rear Garden Display: 1, Jeanette Link, St Mary Street, Gilfach; 2, Diane Fear, Bryn-y-Fan, Trethomas; 3, Ray Garwood, Lon Isaf, Bonfield Park, Caerphilly; Highly Commended: Keith Harris, Springfield Road, Pontymister.

1D: Best First Time Entry: Mrs I Gregorie, Pen-y-Groes, Oakdale.

Class Two – Best Street/Cul-de-sac: 1, Greenlands, Pantside; 2, Waunfawr Road, Crosskeys; 3, Rectory Road, Caerphilly.

Class Three – High Street Premises: 1, United Welsh Housing, Caerphilly; 2, Lillys And Lace, Aberbargoed; 3, St Catherine’s Church, Crosskeys.

Class Four – Public Houses/ Hotels: 1, Halfway House, Gelligroes; 2, Journeys End, Newport Road, Trethomas; 3, Prince of Wales, Risca.

Class Five – Schools: 1, Waunfawr Primary, Crosskeys; 2, Abercarn Primary; 3, Ystrad Mynach Primary; 4, Graig-y-Rhacca, Machen.

Class Six – Allotments: 1, Malvern Terrace, Risca; 2, Vicarage Allotment, Pengam; 3, Van Road Allotment, Caerphilly; Highly commended: Llwynon Allotment, Oakdale.

Class Seven – Wildlife Garden: 1, Mr and Mrs Steer, Machen; 2, Mr and Mrs Bell, Llanbradach; 3, Oakleys, Markham.

School Wildlife: 1, Rudry Primary; 2, St Helen’s Primary, Caerphilly; 3, Ysgol-y-Castell, Caerphilly; Highly commended: St Gwladys Primary, Bargoed.

Special Entries – Parks: 1, Anthea Goodwin, Yew Tree Cottage, Snowdon Close, Risca.

UPCOMING WALKS: Islwyn Ramblers have the following walks coming up.

On Saturday, August 16, Stepping Stones, a short, easy walk is due to go ahead. Anyone interested should meet at 9.30am at the Spiritualist Church, Pontywaun. Everyone welcome, no need for membership.

For more information call Maggie Thomas on 01495 273057.

On Sunday, August 17, a moderate to strenuous walk to Llangattock Escarpment.

The walk will be eight miles long. Anyone interested should meet at Blackvein Road, Crosskeys, at 9am.

For more information call Keith Livings on 01495 762193.

Wednesday, August 20 – Mynydd Medart, 6.30pm. Meet at Blackvein. Call Maggie Thomas for details.

VETERANS ON PARADE: The annual parade for Nuclear Test Veterans, South Wales area, will take place on Sunday, October 5.

Members of the NTV, Royal British Legion and other organisations are asked to meet in Riflemans Street, Risca, at 11am, before the parade marches at 11.30am, for a short service at the Risca War Memorial at 12pm.

After the service, the parade will re-form and march back to Riflemans Street and then partake of a light buffet at Risca Top Club.

For further details please contact the organiser, Councillor Stan Jenkins, on 01633 614963.

Also, the annual remembrance concert will be held at Risca Leisure Centre on November 7, organised by the Risca branch of the Royal British Legion.

It will feature the Risca Male Choir, Ty Sign Primary School Choir, and Crosskeys Silver Band with Andrew Jenkins (baritone) as soloist.

Any businesses wishing to sponsor the event will be able to place an advert in the evening programme.

Please make cheques payable to the Royal British Legion, Risca Branch, and forward to Councillor Stan Jenkins, 172 Manor Way, Ty Sign, Risca, NP11 6AD, with a copy of your advert.

Branches are asked to help by allowing their standard bearers to attend this event.

Tickets will shortly be available at various outlets in the Risca and Pontymister areas.

REUNION: Pontywaun Grammar School former pupils’ reunion event will this year be held at the Parkway Hotel, Cwmbran, on Saturday, September 6.

The lunch will be held at 1pm and people wishing to attend should arrive from 10am onwards.

The cost per head is £20, to book a place contact Shirley Kellen at The Vicarage, Church Lane, St Mellons, Cardiff, before August 12, marking cheques payable to Pontywaun Grammar School Reunion Account and add £2.50 per address to your cheque for the meal to cover printing and postage costs.

HELPING YOU STAY HEALTHY: Newport local health board’s short-led health walks in the Newport communities continue with the following: Thursday, August 14, Malpas Meander – a pleasant walk around Malpas with routes changed slightly from the last time.

This is a fairly long trek with some inclines. Meet at 11.30am at Malpas Library, Pillmawr Road.

On Monday, August 18, the walk takes in Maindee Riverside and Lysaghts Park.

This walk features sites under George Street Bridge, the riverside and incorporates a stroll around Lysaghts Park, Corporation Road.

Meet outside Eton Road Community Centre, Maindee, at 11.30am.

ST MELLONS SHOW: The show will be staged on Wednesday, August 13, at Tredegar House and Country Park, from 9am-6pm – M4 junction 28 between Cardiff and Newport.

Gates open at 8am with plenty to view during the day.

The event will feature cattle and sheep, pigs and goats, horses and ponies, showjumping, dogs, rabbits, caged birds, etc.

There will also be children’s competitions and amusements. Free car parking. Admission £7 for adults, OAPs £5, children £4.

The site is on the main bus route from Cardiff and Newport.

CWMCARN PENSIONERS’ CLUB: The club’s hall is open for coffee on Thursdays from 10am-12.15pm, and on Fridays there is a lunch club and members’ afternoon for tea and bingo.

Every Monday during term time there is singing for fun at 3.30pm, and on alternate Tuesdays armchair aerobics at 4.15pm.

These events are open to all, so come along and join in the fun. Call Carol Pruddah on 01495 271067 for more information.

RISCA IN BLOOM: Despite the inclemency of the summer weather the hanging baskets, various plant holders and beddings have been most beautiful, with the roundabout at Pontymister a sight to behold.

It is also pleasing to see the church entrances throughout the area have also added to make the town sightly.

Special mention is made to the folk at Bethany Baptist Church with their flower containers now in full bloom.